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


Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)


I think we may attain a very .cood object by this Bill, but I cannot ngree with the Minister of Finance that we should disinterest ourselves completely in regard to the employment of this sum after we have voted it. It is very properly placed

in the hands of the representatives of the press themselves, and I have no doubt they will make the best use of it. At the same time, I think we should, to a certain extent, control that expenditure, and see that it is used as much as possible, in the interests of the general public. Since we are contributing a considerable sum, we should see that these news are disseminated as much as possible among the Canadian people. The words in this section, ' that the sums will be paid to any association or committee representing the proprietors of such papers as associate themselves for the purpose of establishing and maintaining such service, are, my hon. friend will admit, rather vague.
1 would much prefer to state that the payment will be made to some regularly organized body, and would go the length of saying that the by-laws under which this organized body was formed should be subject to the approval of the government, and that the government should see to it that the public generally derive as much benefit as possible from this service. I may say that tlie great difficulty with weekly newspapers, particularly those that are published on a Saturday, is in obtaining the latest telegraphic despatches, and those newspapers that do not form part of the regular association, if they wish to publish the latest news, have to pay a considerable sum, much more than they would pay if they belonged to tlie regular association, which their means do not allow them to join. I think some provision might properly be made in regard to these newspapers, some of which have a wide circulation. That can only be done- I do not know that we can do it by legislation-but I suppose it can be done by the government examining the details of the bylaws or rules under which this association will carry on this service. I think also, as this is a venture, so to speak, something new, that we should have at the end of each year, some detailed report of the manner in which this sum has been expended, and also anything else that may be of interest that parliament should know in relation to this service-the number of words transmitted, the way in which the service was carried on, such as we have, for instance. in regard to the work done at our national printing establishment, of which we have had from time to time very extensive reports from the King's Printer. I think it desirable that some addition should be made to this legislation providing for a yearly report to parliament, showing the way the money was exjiended, and giving other needful details. X would suggest that to my hon. friend, and if he thinks it is a proper suggestion, he might add to this Bill a section providing that full information should lie given to parliament of the working of this measure.

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