Hon. RAYMOND MORAND (East Essex) moved concurrence in the second and final report of the special committee on radio broadcasting.
He said: Mr. Speaker, in moving concurrence I should like to take a few moments to explain some of the features of the report. First of all, let me assure the house that it has been a real pleasure to work with this committee, largely due to the wholehearted cooperation and assistance given by the members of the committee to their chairman. In fact, they took practically all the work away from me and as a result I found my task easy.
The evidence, coming from all parts of Canada and from practically every walk of life was well prepared. Your committee weighed the evidence, bearing in mind both its source and its kind. In a very short time after we had begun our work it became evident that radio was a weapon which if used in a destructive way, could do a great deal of harm, or was an instrument which, if well used could help to build culture and civilization. The science of radio is but in its infancy. A decade ago it was only a toy, and gradually it has gone through the various stages from the time when we tuned in or dialed to find out how far in geographical space we could reach and what stations we could find, until to-day when it has become a real utility of entertainment and education. It has developed as an aid to education more in the past two or three years than previously. We speak of it as a help in education not only because it may be used to teach the youngsters, but because it is a projected arm of education which helps to finish and instruct adults in their homes. To-day radio finds its way to the homes of the most distant frontiersmen on the very edge of civilization. With those facts in mind your committee undoubtedly realized that their efforts would have to be of a serious character, and that they would have to keep the future definitely in mind.
To-day radio is an adjunct or auxiliary to religious teaching; it is being used by the various churches. Some of us may listen to what is going on in our neighbour's church, without being caught at it, and while things may be running smoothly in our own churches
we find, through the radio, that our neighbour's church is prospering just as well. Radio is a great help to the teaching of disease prevention, and the promotion of health measures throughout the country. Through the broadcast of weather reports it is an aid to agriculture and is most useful in police work and many other types of education and utilities.
Your references were very definite. We were asked first to study the Aird report. In 1929 a commission was appointed by the then government. It travelled throughout Canada, the United States and Europe making a study of radio, its methods of application and control in those various countries. A report was made in 1929, which until this day had not been implemented. We were very fortunate in having the help of the three men who made the investigations and prepared the report. They gave us valuable information, which could not be put into the short space of a report. Their work, however, I am satisfied, helped the committee to arrive at the conclusions now before the house.
Your second instruction was to provide a technical scheme that would give to Canada the type of broadcasting to which it was entitled. In order to do that it was necessary for your committee to obtain the help of technical advisers, and in the help we secured we were most fortunate-and I speak both of the advisers who were definitely attached to the committee, and from the department. A scheme is presented in our report which we believe will quite definitely give to Canada that type of radio broadcasting to which she is entitled. I shall take a minute or two to read and to comment upon a few of the suggestions we have made.
First of all we believe a thorough survey of the entire field should be made before anything definite in respect to changes should be contemplated. Secondly, your committee recommends that consideration be given to the use of five 50 kilowatt stations, one in each of the following provinces, namely, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and in the maritime provinces three 500 watt stations, one for each province, or one large 50 kilowatt station, as the commission may later decide. In Saskatchewan and Alberta we suggest two 5 kilowatt stations, in each province, synchronized on a common channel. Further, a 10 kilowatt station in northern Ontario and one in western Ontario, a 1 kilowatt station at Port Arthur-Fort William, a 500 watt station in Toronto, and a 1 kilowatt station at or near Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec.
Radio-Report of Committee
It might be of interest if in a short way I were to try to give, from a layman's standpoint, something of the business of broadcasting in its technical sense. Having had only six weeks' schooling in the matter I feel I am not very capable of going into the various technical points, but I shall explain it in the way it appeals to me. Dealing with the air, one would naturally believe that that is the one thing of which there is an unlimited amount. Hon. members may call it air, ether or space, whichever they wish. Strange however as it may seem, for purposes of radio broadcasting the air is of very limited quantity. The spectrum or the amount of space allocated or possible for broadcasting is, first of all, divided by international agreements or conventions into that used for commercial purposes, that used for ship-to-shore' work and that allocated to broadcasting. On the North American continent there are ninety-six channels, or we might call them highways in the air, and over those channels the human voice or music may be transmitted to be picked up by your radio receivers. By that I mean that if ninety-six stations of, say, 50 kilowatts, were placed on the North American continent there would be no further room for more stations. They would completely cover the allotted space of air, or ether, so far as radio broadcasting is concerned.
As we know, that space must be divided among the United States, Mexico, Cuba and Canada. By definite electric waves set at definite rates they are able to super-impose music or the voice and carry them through those channels, in much the same way that one goes over a highway in the country. Because of the large geographical area and the resulting difference in time it is possible to put stations upon the air w'ith lesser power, three or four on the same channel, providing that the power is not such that they interfere with one another. For instance, it is possible to put upon the same channel a station in California and another in the New England states, or one in the maritime provinces and another in Vancouver, provided the power is not so high that they interfere one with another. That accounts for the large number of stations now operating on the North American continent, most of which are on shared channels. Up to the present time we have been using for radio broadcasting a certain number of channels that were not in use in the United States. There was no definite written arrangement of any kind, but by a word of mouth agreement we were using certain channels. I propose to put on Hansard what channels we are using now and
what channels it will be possible for us to use in the future. At the present time under the so-called "gentleman's agreement" Canada has available the following channels:
Clear channels, no power limitations.. .. 5
Shared channels, power limited to 4 K.W.. 1
That was shared, I believe, with another station near Washington.
Shared channels, power limited to 500 watts 11
Total channels 17
On the five so-called clear channels, we are at present operating the following stations:
Stations of 5 K.W. (power)
3Stations of 4 K.W. (power)
1Stations of 1 K.W. (power)
1Stations of 500 watts (power)
6Stations of 100 watts (power)
4Stations of 50 watts (power)
In other words these channels are really shared and not clear channels in Canada. On the remaining shared channels we are operating a total of 40 stations ranging in power from 500 watts down to 25 watts. In addition there are ten stations operating on "split channels." That is, we found it was impossible to place all the stations we wished on the channels available, either clear or shared, and some stations were put in between two others. I understand we have no right to use these split channels by any international arrangement. The stations have been operating fairly satisfactorily to date, but undoubtedly they will have to be discontinued.
Under the new proposed agreement the following channels would become available:
Clear channels, no power limitations.. .. 9
Shared channels, power limited to 1 K.W.. 4
Shared channels, power limited to 500 watts 3 Shared channels, power limited to 100 watts 20
Total channels 36
This means that under the new agreement we have increased by SO per cent the number of clear channels, and have now sufficient high power channels to set up a thoroughly satisfactory trans-Canada chain. This would not have been possible under any arrangement of the clear channels previously available. The four shared channels with a power limitation of 1 K.W. constitute a new type of channel not previously available to Canada. The coverage possible with the remaining twenty-three shared channels will be several times as great as the coverage available from the twelve shared channels previously in use.
Radio-Report of Committee