March 4, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)

CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

I notice in a prominent paper in the west, published at Calgary, called the 'Albertan,' these words:
It may be a question whether or not the members of the parliament really earn their salaries for attending the sessions of the Dominion parliament, but there can be no denying the fact that the reporters in the press gallery should have their wages raised many times over.. . . A bold, brave young man who will risk his life and understanding by sitting day after day and night after night listening to the debates upon the Naval Bill, endeavouring to get the kernel out of_ the volume of chaff, is worthy of better things. It is possible that he does get good wages, but it is also certain that he does not get enough.
. ... So the ' Albertan ' repeats that whatever may be the salary of the reporters who sit by and listen to this kind of thing from day to day, from week to week, that they are underpaid. A man who risks health and mind on a proposition like that should get some sort of bonus from the State.
Sir, there's many a true word spoken in jest. I have taken the precaution to look into this matter, according to 'Sells' World's Press, 1909, I find that we have in Canada 892 newspapers, divided among the provinces as follows:
Newspapers.
Ontario 525
Quebec 117
New Brunswick 39
Nova Scotia 62
Prince Edward Island 12
Manitoba 79
Northwest Territories 25
British Columbia 33
Total 892
There are forty press representatives in the gallery, representing probably eighty newspapers. Now, it is to the interest of Canada that what is done here should be published through the country. The 'unrevised 'Hansard' is sent out, it probably does not reach the persons addressed for a week or ten days after the speeches reported have been made, but what the men in the press gallery report is sent by telegraph. I submit that, if we have anything for the people of the country to know, the country as a whole and the newspapers as a whole should help to pay for making it known. We allow a certain sum for a newspaper editor in the city of London,
England, in order to secure information from there. The city of Toronto pays $4,000 a year for what? For a bureau of publicity. 1 ask that similar steps joe taken here. It may be an innovation; no other parliament in the world may have it, but why should we wait for another parliament to show us the way. If there is any way by which a certain amount could be set aside for publishing by telegraph the news which we desire to have published, I submit, the government should take some steps in the matter.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE PRESS GALLERY.
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