September 7, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)



There may be some members present who were not here on the last occasion, and possibly it will be easier for me to give the information than for my hon. friend to look it up in * Hansard.' An application was made to us as the result of the proposal which, on behalf of the government, I made to some members of the Canadian press three or four years ago. My colleagues at that time were good enough to concur in the suggestion I made to aid the press of Canada in obtaining an independent cable service from Europe. We bad noted with regret-and I am sure that hon. members on both sides have shared in that feeling- that the press of Canada depended for reports of what is occurring on the other side of the ocean on American newspapers, and that these reports, with every desire to be fair, naturally dealt with all questions from an American point of view. In nine cases out of ten the information published in Canada was received second-hand through American channels. So strongly impressed was I with the need of a change that four or five years ago I called upon representatives of leading Canadian newspapers and assured them that if they would form a Canadian service the government would assist them. At that time the representatives of the press were not prepared to take up the project; they would have had to put in a considerable sum of money, and the press at that time did not seem to be strong enough to bear their share of the burden. The matter slumbered for several years, but recently I was approached by- representatives of the press, who said that if the government would renew the proposition they would take advantage of it. Interviews took place between a committee of the press and a committee of the government, when the representatives of the press assured! us that if aid was given to a moderate degree they would be prepared to contribute largely to the undertaking.

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