August 23, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit


How does anyone know that private enterprise could not do the same job for two cents instead of four?
I wanted to say something on commentators, but I do not know whether I should go into that at the moment, because it is quite a long subject. But the matter of taking over the class 1-A channels has given us some considerable concern. I am not going to repeat what the hon. member for Eglin-ton (Mr. Fleming) said. He gave an excellent speech and reviewed what had happened with respect to notification being given or not given-not adequately given-to the stations that were about to lose their channels. But I will deal with the alternative suggestion that was made by those who now operate Canadian station CFCN on wave length 1010. They proposed to the C.B.C. some months ago-I believe it was last fall-that they might be able to retain their wave length and that the same purpose would be gained if the corporation should take another wave length, namely 1060, step up its power, and operate from another location, and the argument was, of course, .that that wave length was the wave length on which a station in Mexico wras operating. The officials of CFCN said, "Well, now, we believe that you could do the same job and cover the same people in that area of the country in Alberta if you would negotiate with Mexico for the use of that channel and set up directional antennae that would not interfere with the Mexican station covering all that they require." That was a reasonable suggestion. However, the point I want to put over is this, that when the officials were asked if they had investigated that suggestion the answer was, no. The only conclusion I can gather from that was that it was already predetermined, that they were going to take this wave length anyway, and regardless of any suggestion or negotiation with other countries-that could

go by the boards-"we are going to have this thing anyway." I think that at least they could have investigated the situation and sought out the possibilities which may lie in that direction.
In that connection I have a suggestion to make which may be a new one; I am quite certain it will not be acceptable to the C.B.C. It is this, that we permit CFRB and CFCN to stay on their present wave lengths and let them go up to the 50-kilowatt power, thereby reserving for Canada those channels, and let the C.B.C. wait before investing any money in new radio equipment. My contention is that, with the present rapid development in frequency modulation and in other branches of radio science, perhaps even in television, although that may be further away, it may not be many years until the new equipment which they contemplate using will be absolutely obsolete and that the money we are now voting for them will be a mere flash in the pan which will be spent, and nothing realized thereby. It may be of interest to some to know that the national broadcasting system in the United States has already spent in the neighbourhood [DOT] of 815 million on frequency modulation and television research alone, without getting a nickel out of it. That is what the C.B.C. is faced with in the next few years. And goodness knows what would happen if television ever came into its own.

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