May 11, 1933

LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

What kind of enemies?

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)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

When I say enemies

I mean those opposed to state control or state ownership of radio in this country. We expected opposition, Mr. Speaker, but I do not think this criticism is fair when it is remembered that the commission has been in charge of radio in Canada for only three or four months. Why not give these men a fair chance? I know they have been on the job from nine o'clock in the morning very often until twelve o'clock at night in order to give the best possible service to Canada. Of course they had to comply with the international agreements that are in existence, and on April 1 they had to make some changes in wave lengths. That has resulted in some criticism, but conditions will be remedied; give them time. Next June there is to be a conference in Mexico of all the countries of America, at which we will discuss the whole question of wave lengths. All these matters will be readjusted, and I think the commission should have at least a few months in which to satisfy the public. I do know that their aim is to give Canada the best service possible. We hear many local complaints, but if hon. members could go to the offices of the radio commission they could find volumes of letters of congratulation which are being received every day with regard to the programs the commission have put on during the last two months. Hon. members would be amazed to read the congratulations they have received.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

We certainly would be.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

May I say to the minister-

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)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I am sure hon gentlemen have not had the opportunity of hearing all the programs that the commission have put on during the last two months, because they have been attending the sessions of this house every evening.

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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

We cannot get them in Ottawa.

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)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I know there has been some trouble in Ottawa, but in ,a short time it will be remedied. We will have an agreement with the United States in a short time which will enable us to adjust matters satisfactorily. I do not want to take up very much of the time of the house at this late stage of the session-*

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

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Explain the bill.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I should like to mention a few of the things that have been done

Radio Broadcasting Act

by the commission since its appointment. They started with the Christmas broadcast, with which I am sure everyone was pleased. We tried previously to have an imperial broadcast on Christmas day, but we could not get it. This year, however, due to the organization of the commission, that broadcast was successful and everyone was pleased. The commission has transmitted many programs by means of transcontinental chains to all radio stations in Canada that were in a position to take them. On the average this has amounted to about forty stations for each broadcast. We had thirteen one-hour concerts by symphony orchestras; surely that is something. We had eleven forty-five minute concerts by army, navy and municipal bands, and we had ten popular dance programs. In addition we had twelve one-hour French programs from Montreal and Quebec. I am proud to say that with respect to these programs the largest number of letters of congratulations have been received from various parts of Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The memorandum continues, giving the following details of broadcast:

Choral societies and choirs-two one-hour programs.

Special events, such as finals and semi-finals in the Canadian hockey series, speeches by the Right Hon. Ramsay MacDonald, Right Hon. R. B. Bennett-

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

-and Sir Arthur Salter-seven programs varying from fifteen minutes to an hour and a half. I am glad to hear hon. gentlemen opposite applauding, because I am sure that every Canadian who listened to the remarks of the Prime Minister of Canada when he was in Washington on a recent occasion will admit that it was a great achievement for the radio commission to have brought over so clearly and distinctly the speeches made on that occasion.

In the western provinces radio listeners have been hearing for the first time in the history of the radio regular symphonic programs. A survey made by the university of Alberta some weeks ago showed that they were the most popular programs of any kind with radio listeners. Dr. Stapleford, head of the United Church's college at Regina, recently said that the commission's work for the west had been magnificent. A similar tribute with reference to the commission's work for the maritime provinces was recently expressed by Hon. F. D. Richards, Prime Minister of New Brunswick.

One of the most remarkable of the commission's trans-continental broadcasts occurred on April 21st when the Western Canada High Schools' Orchestra, composed of 265 juvenile musicians from the prairie provinces, was assembled at Winnipeg and heard in a beautiful program. Commenting on this program, Mr. P. G. Padwick, the organizer of the concert, wrote: "The Radio Commission was able to do more for the extension of the orchestral movement in forty-five minutes than has been accomplished in ten years of hard missionary work."

The Empire Christmas broadcast brought upwards of 3,000 congratulatory messages from various parts of Canada. It could not have been carried out had the commission not been appointed. An attempt in the previous year failed because the necessary co-ordinating forces did not exist in Canada. The magnificent Anglican broadcast on Sunday, April 23ird, was arranged through the cooperation of the commission; otherwise it could not have been organized. One of the other recent acts of the commission was the broadcasting to every part of Canada of Right Hon. Ramsay MacDonald's address at Washington on April 22nd. Without the commission's assistance this broadcast would have been heard only in the Toronto and Montreal areas.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I do not wish to interrupt the minister in the reading of the memorandum he has been quoting from, but I would ask him this question. If the commission is doing so splendidly under the statute as it stands, why is it necessary to amend that statute in the way proposed?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I shall come to that in a minute. Since the commission has been functioning we have observed that its activities are handicapped by the provisions of the act as it is now in force.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

With such a glorious record?

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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

We are to-day acting on the advice of a man of very considerable experience. As I say, I shall come to that point in a moment or two, but at present I am merely stating to the house what the commission has done, is doing and intends to do. Surely my hon. friends cannot expect the commission to have done everything conceivable during the short time that they have been in office. They did not own these stations in Canada; they have to hire wireless stations, and their operations cannot be expected to have been so far perfect. But they are doing their best and I hope that in a few

Radio Broadcasting Act

months my hon. friends will admit with others that no other organization could do better than the commission has been doing.

It is the intention of the commission to organize a complete wire chain across Canada, tying in all the principal stations in each area throughout the country. This chain will be operated by the commission for a certain number of hours each day, and Canadian programs of the very higest calibre will be transmitted throughout Canada over these lines. It is the intention of the commission to secure the very best talent in all the cities throughout the country, and to have these artisits broadcast from as many Canadian stations as possible. These programs will comprise all types of entertainment, including dramatic productions, talks and music, in such a way as to interest all classes of listeners in Canada.

Due to the wide variation in time between Halifax and Vancouver, it will be necessary for the country to be organized into a number of regional chains in addition to the main trans-Canada hook-up. This work is already well under way. It is the intention of the commission to have available at least four hours of Canadian programs each day. These programs will be clear of all advertising matter and will be transmitted at suitable periods for the various parts of the country.

Upon taking office in January, 1933, the commission found that an agreement had been signed between Canada and the United States, laying down very definitely the distribution of channels and power throughout Canada. This treaty had been arranged by the Canadian Legation with the State Department at Washington in May, 1932. This agreement made it possible for Canada to use an increased number of clear channels and permitted a very large increase in the power of Canadian stations. To effect this agreement it was necessary for a few small stations to be reduced in power and for a number of changes in channels to be made throughout the country. Since the commission could only make these changes at the time of the renewal of the station licences, it was impossible for effect to be given to the agreement until April 1, 1933.

These changes have had the effect of clearing a greait deal of interference from Canadian channels and, while it is possible that in some parts of the country certain American stations are not now well received, it will be found that other American stations carrying exactly the same chain programs can now be heard in those particular areas, whereas before these latter stations were blanketed by the Canadian

stations. This is the situation which exists in Ottawa at the present time. American stations carrying all of the high class chain programs are now heard here that could not previously be picked up on any set in /the Ottawa district.

With respect to western Canada, it is the intention of the commission to build two powerful stations which will give entire satisfaction to the west.

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

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Where?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

Is it true

that the complaint just now is that the radio commission is working only one way-that it works in the west but not in the east? Is that true?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

Why should that be?

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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

I do not know; I am merely putting 'the question to the minister, because I am not an expert.

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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I am told that it is working both ways. The commission is trying to give satisfaction to the whole country.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
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May 11, 1933