May 11, 1933

CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

If there is the hon. gentleman should sip at it.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Is there a nursemaid in the House of Commons?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Onions.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

I did send the hon. gentleman a bag prepaid.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Well, Mr. Speaker, with due respect I stand here for the liberties of the Canadian people, for the freedom of the electors, the men and women and children of this country and of the constituencies of hon. gentlemen opposite as well as my own. We will not stand for discrimination, we want fair play for all, and as members of the parliament of this country we want to retain control of the men who are paid with the taxes that come from the Canadian people. We wish to be able to say our word about what is done; to praise if it is right, and if it is not right, to condemn. WTe want to keep the right to present to the government the grievances of the people, of the electors of my hon. friends opposite, both of them, Essex and the newborn child.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. O. HANSON (Skeena):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to say a few words on this bill on behalf of the people of central and northern British Columbia. I have had a lot of communications asking me as to what the radio commission are doing. Up in our country the people are paying licence fees to listen to American radio programs. They have re-

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Radio Broadcasting Act

quested the commission and the Minister of Marine that a radio station be established in northern or central British Columbia to serve that territory, but up to the present nothing has been done. The other day I received five letters in one mail asking what they were paying licences for to the Canadian government, when they only have American broadcasting programs to listen to. I therefore urge the government and the minister, if this money is voted, that consideration be given to those people. They are isolated, many of them use the radio as their only means of keeping in touch with what is going on outside; they have not the facilities of those living in the populous centres. I urge the minister to see that something is done for those people to warrant them paying the licence. They are complaining, and rightly so, about paying it, and I submit they should be given some consideration. I trust the minister and the radio commissioners will see what can be done on their behalf.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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?

Noé E. Chevrier

Mr. E. R. E. CHEVRIBR (Ottawa):

Mr. Chairman, I have listened with considerable interest to what the previous speakers have said. At this late stage of the discussion I do not desire to take up time. My views as to appointments to the government service are well known to hon. members of this house. May I add that I fully concur in the remarks made by the former Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe).

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (East Hamilton):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the criticisms this morning I wish to express the opinion of this group, which is absolutely in favour of the principle of public ownership. After all, this child is only just born, and the 245 members of this house were the midwives.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LIB
LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

It was carried unanimously.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

No, it was not.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

Well I understand it was; at any rate we will not argue about that. I am not unmindful of the fact that in bringing order out of ohaos there is bound to be some disagreement. [DOT]

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

How about bringing chaos out of order?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

Someone says "How about bringing chaos out of order." That hon. member must have a very short memory. Chaos has been the general condition in the broadcasting field on the North American con-

tinent, largely through the lack of control by this government and the government to the south.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

I am not complaining about .the right of any lion, member to criticize the commission. I believe that in view of the length of public experience of the chairman of the commission someone might whisper in his ear just to keep quiet for a time, which should be quite easy in view of his experience in the newspaper business. In my judgment the radio commision should act in the national life of this country more or less as a judicial body. I do not believe that the chairman should go about the country making such speeches as he has made. I believe that is absolutely inconsistent with the dignity of the position. It is only natural that when he utters what in my judgment were direct insults to members of this house they should be answered on the floor of this house.

But what I chiefly rose to object to is the provision in this bill further reducing the power of the Civil Service Commission.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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LAB

Humphrey Mitchell

Labour

Mr. MITCHELL:

The last two sessions of this parliament have seen a fall in the prestige and influence of that commission. Last session we saw 4,000 members of the postal service given back to the old system of party patronage with all its evils. This year we have a measure passed by this house which takes from the jurisdiction of the commission certain employees of the penitentiaries. Now we have, before the ink on that bill is quite dry, this commission being given power to engage its own personnel. In my judgment, taking the long view of it, we are thereby opening the way for the entrance of all the evils of party patronage into the operations of this commission. I am not unmindful of the difficulties confronting the commission in the absorption of broadcasting stations, and dealing with the question whether it is a practical thing to absorb the staff that exists at the time the commission takes over a particular station. But I do not think it is beyond the power of the government and the commission to fit such matters into the frame work of the civil service legislation. It is only human nature that the party which created this commission will bring pressure to bear to see that its own friends are appointed to the positions coming under this commission, if this amendment is adopted. I believe this is a retrograde step; I believe it is absolutely against the building up of what I believe to be necessary in this country, an

Radio Broadcasting Act

efficient civil service. I am not unmindful of the fact that party patronage will die slowly; I have not forgotten to take into account the mental background of those members of this house who carried on during that period when party patronage was at its height.

I believe I have expressed the opinion before that it will take at least a generation to build up an efficient civil service, on the principle of trial and error. I believe the government is absolutely wrong in taking this step; I think it is absolutely unnecessary and against the general opinion held throughout this country in connection with the building up of an efficient civil service in this dominion.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ALFRED DURANLEAU (Minister of Marine):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend

to take very long to reply to the objections which have been raised in this house since this bill was introduced. It seems to me that each time my hon. friend from Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) speaks about radio matters he has an obsession with regard to the licence granted to La Patrie for the erection of station CHLP. I have answered my hon. friend once or twice in this regard and for the last time, I hope, I will answer again.

Hon. gentlemen opposite cannot understand why a newspaper which is supposed to be Conservative should have a station. They have been accustomed to having their following in Quebec in control of all the newspapers and radio stations in that province, and they cannot get over the fact that a Conservative paper should have a small, one hundred watt station in order to give a chance to every party and every man who wants to broadcast his opinions with regard to public and even political matters. They cannot understand why we should have even one small station. I have already said to the house that the acting Minister of Marine did well when he granted that licence. The commission was not functioning at the time; the acting minister had the power and he took that action. I believe the people of the province of Quebec are satisfied to have that station ; I think we should have more in Quebec, and I hope the radio commission will give justice to every party in that province and see that the electors are given proper treatment and that they have a chance to hear and read both sides of all questions. Since the radio estimates were brought down we have heard a great deal of criticism. We expected it, because we know there are enemies in this country1 who are heard through the members of this house.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   PURCHASE OF STATIONS-APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF
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May 11, 1933