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BriefsReportTable of ContentReport IndexRoyal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and SciencesRoyal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and SciencesRoyal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences

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IGNORANCE of Canada in other countries is very widespread. People in many countries are aware of our material resources, it is true; but our rapid growth as a world state, and our assumption of world responsibilities, have naturally outstripped the knowledge among other nations of Canadian institutions, habits, people, geography, and especially of our subtle and important relationship with the Commonwealth of Nations. It is not unnatural that Canada has been frequently called "the unknown country". Most striking of all is the ignorance of Canada among the people of our nearest neighbour, whose unfamiliarity with our affairs is equalled only by their friendliness. Most Americans probably know Canadians as persons, but few could pass an examination on Canadian institutions. It may be that the many features which the two countries have in common present a difficulty in themselves; similarities can be deceptive.

2. "The Projection of Canada Abroad", the phrase heading this chapter, is of course a metaphor drawn from the cinema and suggests a practice now universal. Nations project themselves on the international screen in various ways. These extend from the daily work of press officers, to what might be called "cultural export" such as the visit of an orchestra or an exhibition of pictures abroad. The division between information and cultural exchanges between states is indeed often blurred; in the following pages we shall deal with both since the projection of Canada abroad through all available channels must be in the nature of a combined operation.

3. All nations now recognize as public responsibilities both the issue of information about themselves and cultural exchanges with other states. Canada is assuming these responsibilities along with her new international importance, and certain departments and agencies of the Federal Government are actively engaged in this task. It is obvious that the Canadian voice is listened to most attentively when the hearer has some familiarity with the Canadian scene and with Canadian achievements. The promotion


abroad of a knowledge of Canada is not a luxury but an obligation, and a more generous policy in this field would have important results, both concrete and intangible. Information about Canada as a nation serves to stimulate our international trade, and to attract tourists and desirable immigrants. In our inquiry, however, we are more concerned with another field. Exchanges with other nations in the fields of the arts and letters will help us to make our reasonable contribution to civilized life, and since these exchanges move in both directions, we ourselves will benefit by what we receive. We are convinced that a sound national life depends on reciprocity in these matters. It has been suggested earlier in this Report that Canada's national character may have been impaired in the past by too frequent recourse to one wealthy source, whence we have taken too much while giving too little. Further consideration leads us to the conclusion that we have neglected our other more distant neighbours, taking little and giving even less.


4. Canada's cultural relations with other countries were referred to by sixty-four organizations which made representations to us. This interest was a reflection, it seemed to us, of the importance now attached to this subject. It also expressed the belief of citizens that Canadians in this sphere had arrears to make up. Despite the limitations of our official efforts, however, we are not and have not been without exchanges with other countries in information and in cultural activity. Although their work is not normally thought of in this connection, missionaries from Canada to foreign fields for more than two generations have, in the most effective manner, extended the knowledge of Canada abroad as an indirect consequence of their immediate purposes. During recent years, moreover, there have been very considerable exchanges through the printed word, films, pictures and radio and, of course, through travel for business or pleasure or study. These exchanges have developed with the growth of modern commerce and communications. For more specific purposes exchanges are effected through the voluntary efforts of individuals and of organizations with special interests. The exchange of teachers between Canada and Great Britain has gone on for almost thirty years, and in 1951-2 the Canadian Education Association and the provinces will arrange for some fifty-five teachers from Great Britain to exchange posts with Canadian teachers. The Institut Scientifique Franco-Canadien has carried on similar exchanges between Canada and France on the university level. The effect of these imaginative ventures over the years must be beneficial to the countries concerned.

5. We have heard from a number of organizations occupied in vary-


ing degrees with cultural exchanges abroad. For example, the Canada Foundation for some years has been serving as an unofficial office of information and, as we observe elsewhere, is in regular correspondence with more than forty countries abroad. The International Student Service, while providing material relief for students abroad, is also concerned with student exchanges. Moreover, its annual summer courses held in Europe provide healthy and stimulating contacts between students and professors of various countries. The Canadian Federation of University Women and others have active international affiliations. A few organizations such as the Imperial Order, Daughters of the Empire, and the Canadian Federation of University Women give scholarships for study abroad as do some of the provinces notably the Province of Quebec which for many years has given generous grants for study in France. Our scientific and learned societies do what they can to maintain associations with their colleagues abroad, and Canada is usually represented at international conferences concerned with such matters as adult education, cooperatives, labour, or women's interests. Some societies in Canada, for example the Canadian Inter-American Association, promote cultural exchanges largely for economic reasons, and business firms of many kinds support similar projects, either independently or in associations.

6. The list of voluntary enterprises must, of course, include the truly heroic efforts of Canadian artists to carry or send their wares abroad. Canadian musicians and lecturers visit the United States, and occasionally manage to journey overseas; and Canadians frequently welcome those from abroad who pay return visits.


7. All these voluntary activities are, however, trifling in comparison with what Canadians want to do, and with what they think should be done. Moreover, recent years have shown strikingly how inadequate these international contacts are in comparison with Canada's changing place in a changing world. The gap which voluntary and spontaneous effort cannot cover has been partly bridged by government services, to some of which reference has already been made. There is no need here to give details of the essential work of the Department of Trade and Commerce in information services of various kinds. Several other departments or agencies of government, apart from External Affairs to be noticed later, deal with cultural matters. For twenty-five years, beginning with the notable showing at the British Empire Exhibition of 1924-25, the National Gallery has sent Canadian paintings abroad, and has brought those of other countries to Canada. The Gallery also from time to time provides our diplomatic missions with Canadian pictures on extended loan.


8. The most important agency engaged in the task of promoting a knowledge of Canada abroad is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, of which the International Service was established in 1944. Its purpose is "to present an honest, objective, colourful picture of Canada and Canadian life, through informative talks, commentaries, news and entertainment programmes".1 The Voice of Canada is now broadcast daily in thirteen languages, including Czech and Russian, and is heard in Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the South Pacific; mail from the overseas audiences is on the increase, and during this last year more than thirty-seven thousand letters were received from Europe, Central and South America, the Carribbean and the South Pacific areas. The programmes consist of informative talks and commentaries about Canada, news and entertainment programmes, including plays and music by Canadians illustrating Canadian life. This International Service is operated by the C.B.C. on behalf of the Government of Canada, and the costs are met by direct appropriations from Parliament. The money which the C.B.C. receives from licence fees or from commercial revenue is not involved. Policies are determined by an advisory committee of the Federal Government, on which the Departments of External Affairs and Trade and Commerce are represented.

9. In addition to the daily programmes transmitted directly, a number of special programmes is transmitted by the International Service; these are then broadcast on ordinary broadcast bands by the national radios of the countries to which these programmes are beamed. These broadcasts are made in Western Germany, in Britain and in France. French radio has been very co-operative in broadcasting Canadian talks as well as plays produced and adapted for French listeners by the International Service of the C.B.C. To encourage an interest in Canadian music abroad, the International Service has also undertaken to produce five albums of the recorded music of eight eminent Canadian musicians. These albums are distributed by Canadian diplomatic missions abroad to foreign radio stations and to interested groups. In October 1949, the International Service conducted a song-writing contest open to all composers living in Canada. More than one thousand songs were entered in the contest by composers in all ten provinces, and nine of these composers were awarded prizes of $250 each for their entries. The International Service has also made arrangements for radio stations in Holland, Belgium, Pakistan, South Africa and in South America to carry regular programmes of Canadian origin which the International Service of the C.B.C. produces.

10. The National Film Board occupies a particularly important sector on the publicity front. Distribution of Canadian films abroad is carried on through Film Board and government offices, the governments and cultural agencies of other countries, and through commercial channels. At


present forty of our diplomatic and consular posts1a and nineteen trade commissioners' offices distribute Canadian Government films on a non-commercial basis; in addition there are Film Board Centres in London, New York and Chicago. The number of films held by each of our various missions abroad is about two hundred. There has been a steady increase in the showings and in the audiences reached through Canadian offices abroad. The largest single distributing centre among the posts is the office in Sydney, Australia, which arranged, during 1949-50, 4,425 showings with a total attendance of 521,830. Reports from our diplomatic missions reveal the popularity of Canadian films and their importance as an instrument of national publicity. National Film Board films have won recognition in recent years in several international festivals, among them Venice, 1949 and 1950; Brussels, 1949; Edinburgh, 1949; and Cleveland, Ohio, 1949. We have on file warm tributes from many parts of the world to the artistic and technical excellence and to the integrity of National Film Board films.

11. More and more in recent years the Department of External Affairs has found it necessary to add to its own responsibilities in information services abroad the tasks of co-ordinating other information agencies, official and voluntary, and of promoting cultural exchanges. Much of this work has been assumed because of pressure both from within and without the country and for want of any other available agency. Neither the officials concerned nor the public are entirely satisfied with the resulting improvisation. As a preliminary to our recommendations which will be found in Part II, it seems desirable to give here a somewhat detailed picture of the present responsibilities for information and cultural services of the Department of External Affairs; to mention what is being done in this matter by other countries; to give some account of suggestions and comments made to us by various interested voluntary bodies; and finally, to point out what seem to us the principal gaps or deficiencies in our present system.

12. Information and cultural services alike are looked after by the Information Division of the Department of External Affairs. (A separate Press Office is responsible for supplying information to Canadian papers). The official channels of information from the Department to countries abroad are of course the diplomatic missions and consulates. Canada in 1939, apart from the offices of Trade Commissioners, had only six diplomatic posts abroad and no consulates; today we have forty-five diplomatic and consular offices in thirty-four countries.2 In addition, Canada maintains Trade Commissioners in nineteen cities abroad where there are no Canadian diplomatic or consular officers. The work has therefore grown enormously in bulk alone, to say nothing of variety.

13. Information is sent to our missions abroad and to other outlets


principally in printed or mimeographed form. Elaborate measures are taken to give complete and accurate news to the press at home and abroad, and to carry to all missions adequate reports of Canadian press news and comment. A daily air mail bulletin goes out to all posts, as well as a weekly bulletin and a printed monthly External Affairs Bulletin which is also circulated widely in Canada and abroad. A regular summary of Canadian editorial opinion is also sent to all missions. Special arrangements are made for information services to Washington, New York and to other posts in the United States.

14. Apart from these services, the Department produces in mimeographed or printed form a large amount of material which is sent to posts abroad, to editors, libraries, educational institutions and to various interested persons.3 Canada from Sea to Sea is a popular pictorial booklet of which three-quarters of a million copies have been distributed in four languages--English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. A new edition, to include Italian, is contemplated. The principal annual publications are the formal report of the Department and a separate volume entitled Canada and the United Nations. A periodical survey of Canadian cultural activities is prepared for missions abroad. This survey gives an interesting and informative commentary on Canadian events and developments in education, the arts, letters and sciences. In addition to all this relatively ephemeral material, the diplomatic posts are equipped with small working reference libraries on Canadian history, economics and politics. This material is supplemented by a service which deals with inquiries coming from Canada and abroad; these run to an average of 1700 a month and form one of the most demanding of the Department's informational activities.

15. Although reliable information must depend largely on written material, the Department is quite aware of the far more important appeals to the ear and to the eye. As we have remarked, two important national agencies, the C.B.C. and the National Film Board, are already engaged in sending information abroad. With both of them External Affairs maintains the closest collaboration. It gives advice and help to the C.B.C. on the material to be produced, as we have said, and its officers abroad are essential to the distribution services of the National Film Board. The Department of External Affairs also purchases on a limited scale silk screen prints from the National Gallery and reproductions of Canadian paintings, and distributes them not only to posts abroad, but to foreign art galleries, schools and clubs.

16. Although the Department, through the means already mentioned, supplies much material to various individuals and institutions abroad with which it maintains direct contacts, the chief information agencies are the diplomatic and consular posts. On their energy and resourcefulness, and on the facilities afforded to them, depends the quality of the work


done in this important field. Special information officers are maintained in London, Paris, Rome, Mexico City, Canberra, Washington and New York; in each of the last two cities there are two information officers. In addition, in London, Paris, Washington and New York are maintained small special staffs whose duty it is to deal with current inquiries, to help all correspondents and writers interested in Canadian affairs, to supply materials to educational and other groups and to follow up, where necessary, references to Canada in the local press or periodicals. In all posts, however, all officials are reminded that it is their constant duty to promote interest in and to give information about Canada. It is understood that the Mission itself should be a Canadian cultural centre. Officers of the Department serving at Canadian missions abroad maintain close relations with the press, through press conferences and other means; moreover, they are frequently called upon to speak at public gatherings large and small. These speeches are of great value as a means of indirect publicity.

17. Compared, however, with what other countries are doing our informational activities seem to be more than modest, even when allowance is made for differences of population. In various services and ministries of government Great Britain employs some two hundred and thirty press and information officers; the United States has almost five hundred; and France, in addition to having at least one officer in every Embassy and Legation responsible for relations with the press, radio and films, has organized more than thirty cultural missions abroad, most of them with a staff of four or five.

18. A further responsibility of the Department must be noticed. This, already referred to, is the duty of co-ordinating various information activities. The Head of the Information Division is chairman of an Inter-Departmental Committee on Canadian Information Abroad. This Committee includes senior officers of the departments most concerned and is able to prevent wasteful duplication and to co-ordinate the policy and the practices of the various Canadian information services.

19. A most important and much discussed problem of co-ordination, however, is that of UNESCO matters, now entirely a responsibility of the Department of External Affairs which not only recommends the delegations to UNESCO Conferences but also performs in some measure the duties of a National Commission for UNESCO in securing the co-operation of voluntary societies and in promoting UNESCO projects in Canada. The question of Canada's relations with UNESCO has aroused much interest, and, we must add, much controversy and criticism; since this is one of the matters which we are instructed specifically to review, we have devoted a separate chapter in this part of our Report to a discussion of this organization, of its principles and practices, and of the conduct of its


affairs in Canada. We mention UNESCO here in order to include it as one important aspect of the whole problem of securing proper exchanges of information with other countries and adequate sympathy and understanding between Canada and all her neighbours near and far.

20. Finally, we must mention the work of the Canadian Government Travel Bureau, the federal agency responsible for promoting the general interests of the tourist industry in Canada. The Bureau, a division of the Department of Resources and Development, has been in operation since 1934; it employs a staff of seventy persons and has an annual budget of about $1,500,000 of which nearly two thirds is spent in advertising the tourist attractions of Canada in magazines and newspapers in the United States, whence comes more than ninety per cent of Canada's tourist revenues. The Bureau maintains an office in New York City and has a representative in the Canadian Consulate-General in Chicago. During 1950 the Bureau dealt with more than 350,000 separate requests for travel information on Canada, and through more than 1,000 publications in the United States and elsewhere, it provides factual information in an attractive manner on the varied tourist resources of Canada.


21. It is generally agreed by those competent to give informed views that there is room for the development of Canada's information and cultural activities abroad. Many of our posts abroad, even important posts, are still without an information officer. The appointment of additional Canadian press officers in the United States, if they were well selected, would greatly aid in the promotion of a better knowledge of Canada in that country. More printed and mimeographed material is needed and in more languages; material for the use of children and in schools is at present inadequate; and in London there is a need for something to replace Canada's Weekly, a useful periodical which has recently ceased publication. Some periodical similar to the South West Pacific of the Australian Government has been suggested. Moreover, the limited libraries in the posts should be built up. These at present are largely confined to factual and reference material.

22. It has been represented to us that more films could be used in the posts abroad, and more prints of films now available. In addition, a more effective distribution system is needed. Even the larger missions have no officer specially trained in film work. If the Department were able to extend its staff for this purpose, and to match the $50,000 allocated in the National Film Board budget for international distribution, much more effective work could be done. An expansion of present services in photographs and other illustrated material is also desirable.


23. All these matters, however, are related largely to information services. The problem which has occupied most of our attention is the development of cultural exchanges. These exchanges are valuable from the political point of view in creating a proper understanding of Canada abroad, but are also important, as we have said, in promoting the normal development of Canadian cultural life. We have heard of the work in this field from various sources, and have been forced to the conclusion that our cultural exchanges are still in an elementary and indeed in almost a non-existent stage.

24. Educational exchanges are perhaps the most common and best known forms and arouse the most general interest; in an earlier chapter we have referred to international exchanges among scientific workers arranged by the National research Council. Inquiries on this matter from abroad are handled by the Department of External Affairs which endeavours to answer them and keeps in touch for this purpose with various governmental departments, with provincial departments of education and with non-governmental organizations. Unfortunately, the necessary facilities for dealing adequately and promptly with inquiries on Canadian education do not exist. There is no single body responsible for assembling, for example, material on the cost of living for foreign students in Canada, on academic requirements, on the availability of scholarships and professorships, on the qualifications and specialties of particular institutions, and on kindred matters.

25. There are other notable gaps in our provision for educational exchanges. First, although certain individuals and groups and some provincial governments may offer scholarships to students from abroad, Canada officially does nothing in this field. There may have been constitutional reasons for this policy or lack of policy, but to the representatives of other countries a consistently negative reply must seem to be dictated either by excessive modesty about our educational facilities, or by indifference to the benefits thus given and received.

26. The anomaly of the present situation is aggravated by the fact that every year Canadians go abroad in large numbers by means of scholarships granted to them from other countries and by their governments. These we have referred to in some detail in discussing scholarships in Chapter XIII. We need not speak further of American generosity; but perhaps few Canadians are aware of the fact that we also receive scholarships and travel grants from the governments of France, Great Britain, the Argentine, Brazil and Sweden. Two of these countries, however, have mentioned the difficulty of making grants in the absence of any Canadian national organization prepared to take over the responsibility of administration, of selection and of other essentials. The Department of External Affairs is hardly equipped for this function although it


has given all possible help, and has recently enlisted the co-operation of the National Conference of Canadian Universities.

27. The want of any national educational body also limits other educational exchanges such as international seminars, exchanges of professors, and exchanges of students. As mentioned already, the Department of External Affairs has given some assistance in the matter, necessarily limited not only by its want of information and of specially qualified officials, but also by lack of funds for the assistance which may be considered desirable. In this matter there is need for both machinery and money. We have therefore heard with particular interest that for some time now officials of the Canadian Government have had under consideration the possibility of making available part of the blocked Canadian funds in France, Italy and the Netherlands for educational and cultural programmes. If the plan is found to be practicable it would no doubt be possible to send post-graduate Canadian students, teachers and professors to pursue advanced work in at least these three countries in which the largest amounts of Canadian blocked funds are now held. Thought has also been given to the practicability of making possible tours abroad by Canadian artists and speakers, for the financing of exhibitions of Canadian art and for Canadian participation in cultural conferences of a semi-official nature taking place in those countries. The total of the blocked Canadian funds in European countries amounts to a very considerable sum, and we hope that it may be found possible and desirable to use part of the sums available to help finance cultural exchanges which could do much to enhance the reputation of Canada abroad and which would be of great value to Canadian citizens.

28. Lack of money and lack of machinery also hamper general exchanges in the arts, letters and sciences. It is agreed that Canadian paintings, sculpture and books should be sent to missions and offered as gifts to foreign institutions in greater quantities; that exhibitions and displays should be organized for travel abroad; that musicians and lecturers, musical and theatrical companies should be encouraged to make foreign tours; that notable scholars should be enabled to attend international gatherings; and that other countries should be invited to reciprocate by similar visits to Canada. Little or nothing is done in these fields, but not for lack of money alone. If public money were available, it must of course be spent with the greatest care and prudence; but at present, just as we have no one body capable of giving information and advice on educational matters, so we have no national organization competent to speak with knowledge and authority on the increasingly important matter of cultural exchanges. The promotion of international exchanges in the arts, letters and sciences would increase Canadian prestige in other countries. It would give the worker in the creative arts a wide export market and in return would enrich the cultural fare received by Canadians from abroad.



29. As already suggested, Canada, in this respect, is out of step with the rest of the world. For good or ill, information and cultural matters are now becoming more and more an essential part of foreign policy. The pace in this matter has in recent years been set by the dictatorships; democratic countries are following their example partly in recognition of changing circumstances which make this activity necessary and desirable in itself, partly because false propaganda can be countered only by the truth effectively and generously disseminated by every practicable means.

Great Britain

30. One country which has taken the lead in these enterprises is Great Britain, formerly the home of laissez-faire philosophy. This has not been a question of party politics; the present policy was initiated before the late war and has been continued as a matter of course by governments of different political complexions. Great Britain today spends over £ 16 million annually on information and cultural services, of which more than £ 11 million are allocated to overseas departments.

31. Apart from this provision of funds for information, Great Britain has initiated an interesting experiment in the cultural field which has no counterpart in Canada. This is the British Council. Founded in 1935, it was incorporated in 1940, and is now supported entirely by public funds, to the amount of £ 2,226,000 in 1950-51. The object of the Council is to extend a knowledge of the English language and of the United Kingdom abroad, and especially to develop closer relations with other members of the Commonwealth. The British Council, it is apparent, is designed to avoid officialdom and to retain, along with government support, a voluntary and spontaneous character in its activities. The Council has 200 members and is assisted by advisory councils. Most of the active work, however, is carried on by an executive committee of thirty, of whom nine are nominated by government departments. Although its expenditures are reviewed by Parliament, it enjoys great independence and is entirely free from political control or interference.

32. The Council's activities are many and varied, in accordance with its general objective, to make the British people known abroad through their cultural activities as seen against their social background. It thus helps to develop sympathy and understanding by getting away from the exclusively political and economic approach of the past. It is organized into divisions of education, science, fine arts, drama, music, and there are divisions dealing with printed matter; it is aided by voluntary committees with functions roughly corresponding to these divisions.

33. The teaching of English is promoted by special training courses at


home and abroad and by scholarships which enable foreign teachers to study in Britain. Visits are arranged in all fields, from craftsmen who come for a three weeks course to internationally known representatives of the arts and science. Every assistance is given to private visitors, to colonial students, and, in London, to all students from overseas. The Council also helps to administer scholarships offered to British students from abroad, and sends out on tour theatrical companies, musicians, lecturers in a wide variety of subjects and, in general, distinguished representatives of every aspect of British cultural achievement.

34. Apart from these exchanges of persons, there is a vigorous circulation to foreign countries of books and periodicals, including a number of Council publications, sheet music and recordings, films, and exhibitions of original work or reproductions in the arts. The Council's own publications touch on many subjects, but particularly on modern developments in science. Distribution is made in various ways, but especially through British Council Centres which are maintained with a few notable exceptions in most countries of the world. One of these exceptions is the United States, another is Canada, which alone among Commonwealth countries has not had a resident British Council representative.


35. France has a much longer record of official cultural exchange or cultural exports. Since the great days of the seventeenth century France has taken a justifiable pride in being a centre of light and learning for Europe and for countries beyond the seas. To this tradition France is still faithful, although circumstances may limit some of her activities. Until 1914, this work was done mainly by the Department of Education; between the wars it was taken over by the French Foreign Ministry. The emphasis was on education. French professors were sent abroad to foreign universities, and French lycées and primary schools were established abroad. French Institutes were established in European and other capitals; professors, artists and musicians were sent on tour; and gifts of books were made to institutions abroad.

36. Since 1945 this work has been extended and is now consolidated under a Director General of Cultural Relations. The Institutes are centres, not only for educational activities, but also for the development of a policy whereby French professors, aided sometimes by supplementary grants from the French government, teach in foreign universities. The French lycées abroad operate in the closest co-operation with local educational institutions. Lecturers are sent out with the co-operation of the Alliance Française. Exhibitions, ballets, symphony orchestras and individual concert artists go on tour and generous gifts of books are made to universities and libraries.


The United States

37. The United States has only recently inaugurated a definite official policy of cultural exchanges, but much work has been done in this field by voluntary bodies. A considerable number of these organizations receive state aid, and the State Department is now participating directly in various projects. This Department in 1949-50 spent about $27,000,000 on educational and information projects, and an additional $6,000,000 in consultation with the Advisory Commission on Educational Exchange. The federal nature of the United States constitution has apparently not impeded educational exchanges. In one recent year 935 students were brought to the country, and 1,891 were sent abroad under various exchange systems.

38. It is not surprising to find that, of the senior scholars sent abroad, most were technical experts. However, in the cultural field the United States Government has established thirty centres in eighteen countries, and sixty-seven libraries and thirty-four reading rooms in sixty countries. A recent development in the field of educational exchanges has been the release of United States assets, frozen in countries abroad, to finance student exchanges. A similar scheme has been under consideration by officials of the Canadian Government, as we have observed.

Other Countries

39. There is no doubt that Canada lags far behind the leaders of the western world in cultural exchanges. A comparison with smaller Commonwealth nations and with other countries comparable in size is more difficult to make. We find, however, that Australia's Department of Information alone, with an annual budget of £351,000 (Australian), maintains news information bureaux in London and New York, and energetically sends out information by radio, films, photographs, (there is an Australian collection of 40,000 in London) books and periodical publications, including three magazines dealing with Australian life, economy and culture. Its short wave division is on the air twenty-two hours a day, and broadcasts in five languages.

40. Smaller countries outside the Commonwealth also have given increasing attention to this matter. Belgium in 1950 spent $155,937, or 7.7 per cent of the budget of the Foreign Ministry, on cultural activities, through its missions abroad and through Information Centres in New York and London. The Cultural Division of Brazil's Foreign Ministry has an annual budget of $200,000 and maintains Cultural Institutes in neighbouring Latin-American countries. It also grants one hundred and seventy scholarships to students from abroad, including three from Canada. By means of some sixty cultural agreements with other countries, it promotes exchanges of books, periodicals, exhibitions, artists and lecturers.


Sweden operates through the Swedish Institute for Cultural Relations, composed of one hundred persons, half nominated by the government and half by private organizations. Supported by government and private funds, its aim is to present an accurate view of Sweden and of Swedish life to foreign countries. It works directly, and through branch offices in London, Paris and New York.


41. It is apparent, then, that in this important national activity Canada has fallen behind other democratic countries, including some with smaller populations and much more limited resources. Canada's deficiencies in cultural exchanges have not escaped the attention of Canadian voluntary groups which, in commenting on the matter, have stressed the benefits to Canadian artists and scholars, and to Canadian life in general, of more generous official support for cultural exchanges; and these have urged the adoption of a more vigorous policy in our cultural relations with countries abroad.

42. It was suggested to us that diplomatic missions should include cultural attachés. These representatives, it was thought, might serve also as information officers. Moreover, it was proposed, missions abroad should reflect Canadian achievements in art and industry through an appropriate use of Canadian furnishings, pictures, sculpture, music and books. Works of art should be also purchased, we were told, on a generous scale by the Federal Government to be used as gifts to institutions abroad.

43. There were many comments on the importance of facilitating personal exchanges in various ways, in particular by providing financial aid or guarantees to touring musical and dramatic artists, to lecturers and musicians, and to Canadian scholars and scientists who should more frequently attend meetings of learned societies. It was pointed out to us that Canadians who attend these gatherings may deduct their expenses from income tax only when the meeting is held in the United States. Even then these deductions are allowed only to professional men who are able to include them as expenses incurred in their business operations. It was also proposed that financial and other encouragement should be given to international associations wishing to hold meetings in Canada. There were also a number of representations on the importance of international exchanges by means of scholarships.

44. Voluntary societies asked also for more exhibitions of all forms of art. They deplored the lack of any official interest in publicizing and promoting the circulation of Canadian books abroad. Finally two types of cultural centres were suggested. It was thought that libraries, museums,


musical performances, and exhibitions should be organized in our national parks for the benefit of tourists and other visitors and that "Canadian Institutes" should be established in London and Paris.


45. Where there is so much interest in all quarters in promoting cultural exchanges, why has Canada done so little? Three reasons have been suggested. The first, but not the most important, is that necessary parliamentary appropriations are not made. To this we shall refer in Part II. Two other reasons have been advanced, on which we have already touched in this chapter. We have no single national body representing the needs and interests of education and capable of giving information on all aspects of education abroad which are of interest to Canadians. Government departments are therefore hampered by the difficulty of securing even the information necessary for the development of educational exchanges. It is not necessary to add that these departments also need and would welcome the views of representative bodies. These educational bodies do exist in Canada, but all are hampered in their work by lack of central offices and of funds for travel.

46. Similarly, there is no one central body in Canada concerned with a broad understanding of Canada's intellectual and cultural life to which the Department of External Affairs could turn for expert and authoritative guidance. We have already referred to the work of certain organizations which have done much to promote cultural exchanges. We have heard too from groups with limited facilities and from certain eminent Canadian citizens overwhelmed with inquiries and requests coming to them from abroad, often through the Department of External Affairs. As we have shown, they do what they can with their limited resources, but they are fully aware of the inadequacy of their efforts and they are the first to admit that they cannot speak for Canada. The great need, apparently, is for financial support and for consolidation of effort. On these matters we shall make recommendations in Part II of this Report.

* From: Canada. Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters, and Sciences. Report. Ottawa : King's Printer, 1951. By permission of the Privy Council Office.

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