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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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1. It is seldom that five people can reach completely identical conclusions on all the various aspects of a specific problem. This is particularly true when these five individuals come from different parts of Canada, have different backgrounds, education and careers and have to deal with a variety of vexed problems such as those submitted to this Commission of which they are members. Furthermore, in the history of Royal Commissions, particularly in Great Britain, it has been exceptional to find unanimous approval of the Report by the Commissioners.


2. The main grievances formulated by the private broadcasters against what they describe as the autocratic powers exercised by the Board of Governors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation can be summarized as follows:

(a)Refusal to allow private stations to initiate network operations or to enter into agreements with the American broadcasting networks or with American independent stations.
(b)Refusal to allow the broadcasting of FM programmes different from a station's AM programmes, or to recommend the granting of television licences to individual private stations.
(c)Refusal to recommend the granting of licences to private stations for more than one year, thus jeopardizing the station's investment and discouraging the spending of money for station improvements or for the betterment of programmes.
(d)Excessive powers vested in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Board of Governors which, it is claimed, could, if exercised ruthlessly bring about the bankruptcy of most private stations.


(e)The regulations which the private broadcasters find particularly irksome are the restriction on network broadcasting, the obligation imposed upon private station affiliates to reserve time for national programmes, the regulating of advertising practices and the limitations on the use of recordings and transcriptions.
(f)Aggressive competition for commercial advertising and for audiences by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, acting simultaneously as regulator and controller of the private stations while competing with them.
(g)Absence of an independent regulatory body with authority over all broadcasting stations in Canada, including those owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and with power to force the Corporation to follow its own regulations.

3. This demand for an independent regulatory body is the main point at issue between the private stations and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The request for such a body has repeatedly been made by the majority of the private stations. It was backed, at the Commission's hearings, by associations representing the businessmen of the country, on the ground that nobody should act at the same time as controller and competitor, or as judge and litigant. The creation of an independent regulatory body was opposed by the voluntary associations which do not realize all the implications of the Broadcasting Act, but fear that any change in the status quo might reduce the number or lower the quality of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's programmes in which they are particularly interested. These voluntary associations also fear American programmes and their advertising, not realizing that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is the sole importer, practically, of American programmes which are brought into Canada over "land lines" rented from the telegraph companies.

4. Since the appointment of our Commission, some of the grievances listed above have been partly alleviated, notably by lengthening the term of the broadcasting licences from one to three years, and by granting temporary permission to individual stations to broadcast programmes on FM different from those broadcast on AM by the same station. The basic grievance, however, the lack of an independent regulatory body, still remains.

5. My colleagues consider that to take away the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's regulatory powers and to vest them in an independent body, leaving the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation only as an operating entity in full charge of its networks and of its programming, would be fatal to the work of the national system. They recommend that the private stations should have the right to appeal to a Federal Court from the decisions of the Corporation's Board of Governors. This suggestion, however, does


not solve the basic problem of the relations between the Corporation and the private stations. The Board of Governors would become a Court of first instance instead of a Court of last instance, as at present, but it would still remain as judge in its own case.

6. The fact that the Court of Appeal would be called upon to decide on an issue which had already been decided by the Board of Governors, would, inevitably, prejudice the issue in favour of the Governors' decision. Moreover, most cases would have technical aspects which the Court would not be competent to decide, even with the help of occasional assessors. Furthermore, the majority of the questions submitted for appeal would require quick decisions which no Court of Justice could be expected to render in time on account of the cumbersome processes of law.


7. Most of the voluntary associations which have testified in favour of the present system of broadcasting operations and control do not realize the role of the private stations or the conditions under which they operate, either as network stations or as isolated stations. They do not know that in 1932, when the Canadian Broadcasting Act was enacted, there were already 70 private stations in operation under licences granted under the Radio Telegraph Act. These private broadcasters had carried out, at their risk and expense, all the pioneering work entailed in the development of any new industry. The pioneering expenses, in the case of a revolutionary industry such as broadcasting, must have been particularly heavy and the Government agency was able to take full advantage of the technical experience gained by the private broadcasters and manufacturers, thus saving certainly a great deal of money.

8. There is a tendency on the part of the general public to minimize the importance of the private stations within the national broadcasting system. There are at present 150 broadcasting stations in Canada; 15 are owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and 135, or 90% of the total, are privately owned. The three Canadian Broadcasting Corporation networks consist of 14 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation stations and 68 community station affiliates, plus about 20 supplementary affiliates. The total national broadcasting system therefore consists of 102 stations, nearly 86% of which are privately-owned.

9. In the brief submitted to our Commission at the Ottawa hearings, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, in voicing his objections to the demands of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters for permission to form networks of their own, revealed at the same time the importance of the private stations:


"An attempt at private network operation could be made only if stations were withdrawn from networks of the national system. This would leave gaps in the nation-wide coverage of the national system and very seriously affect its ability to carry on its services. The system would, in effect, cease to be national."

10. Doubtless, if the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation were deprived of its private affiliates, it would be hard put to fulfil its educational and unifying functions. It would probably lose some of its gross commercial revenue which now exceeds four million dollars a year, (C.B.C. reports net commercial revenue after deducting payments to affiliates and to agencies but before deducting operating expenses and overhead). The arrangement described later would not disrupt the national broadcasting system, as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's chairman seems to fear, because private stations would have to obtain permission from a Government agency to form and operate private networks.

11. In order to appraise judicially the services rendered by stations owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and those rendered by the private stations, it is necessary to differentiate between the functions which the Broadcasting Act imposes on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the limitations which financial necessities place upon the activities of the private broadcasters. No private station could carry on a programme policy such as that of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or such as requested by some of the associations without running into financial difficulties. The dissimilarity is comparable to the difference between the British and the American systems. In Great Britain, where the funds are supplied by the owners of receiving sets, the objective is to give the people what they ought to have; in the United States, where broadcasters have to pay all their expenses out of their own income, the policy is to give the audiences what they want. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tends to follow the British Broadcasting Corporation policy, tempered by the obligations to carry commercial programmes and by the demands of sponsors of these programmes who, in view of the importance of the gross revenue which they bring ($4,316,000 last year), sometimes try to impose their wishes on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

12. There is a tendency to under-estimate the importance of advertising in the economic life of the country. One of the most serious problems in Canada is the smallness of its domestic market compared with its productive capacity. The American philosopher who claimed that "people would beat a path through the forest to your door if you made a better mouse trap" was wrong. He did not realize that in order to sell goods people must know that they exist and must learn through the various advertising media the quality of these goods and their possible usefulness. As pointed out by H. A. Overstreet, in The Mature Mind, "basic to a


high productive economy is the process of letting people know what has been produced".1 In this connection, it might be argued that the private stations advertise Canadian goods while the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation commercial network programmes advertise chiefly American goods, made either in the United States or in the Canadian plants of American Companies.


13. With the possible exception of some of the educational programmes produced by the American networks and which come occasionally over the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's own networks, we do not hear the programmes broadcast by the American institutions of education. This question of the broadcasting of "educational or public service programmes", as they are sometimes called, is very important and it may not be out of place to review here what is being done in the United States in the hope of drawing some lessons which might be applicable to Canada. The information given here has been derived from a book published in 1946, entitled Radio the Fifth Estate, by Judith C. Waller, director of Public Service, Central Division of the National Broadcasting Company. In addition, mention is frequently made in Miss Waller's book, of a publication called Education on the Air, which, apparently, has been published yearly since at least 1930, probably in Washington. It will no doubt come as a surprise to Canadians to learn that at one time, probably in the twenties, there were 202 private broadcasting stations in the United States owned by universities, colleges and schools. In 1945, however, the number had dwindled to twenty-six stations, but it has increased since and there are now about 40 stations, owned by American Colleges and Universities, which broadcast educational programmes. There are in addition over 20 applications for licences pending before the F.C.C. These stations are subsidized in various ways and are classified by the F.C.C. as "Non-Commercial Broadcast Stations licensed to an organized non-profit-educational agency for the transmission of education and entertainment programs to the public".2

14. The Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) was created in 1934 to replace the Federal Radio Commission organized in 1927. The commercial interests were, at the time of the organization of the F.C.C., doing their utmost to improve their educational broadcasts and were showing more willingness to co-operate with all public agencies as well as with the schools themselves. It, therefore, seemed less necessary that any fixed percentage of time or facilities should be set aside for "educational institutions and government agencies". Nevertheless, the F.C.C. decided that co-operation in educational matters between broadcasters and interested


groups should be under the direct supervision of the Commission itself. A new body, the Federal Radio Educational Committee, was therefore created in 1935, with a membership of forty (now reduced to fifteen), representing educational stations, independent educators, networks and local commercial educational stations. 3

15. The oldest educational radio station in the United States is that of the University of Wisconsin. It is operated by the Division of Radio Education, a department of the University. There is also a Faculty Radio Committee of seven representatives from various divisions of the University: music, agriculture, speech, etc. This Committee serves as an advisory and policy making body. Its programme schedule is planned, first, with the listener in mind and, secondly, with the idea of what the service may do for the University, realizing, of course, that good programmes mean good publicity. "The educational station", as explained by Harold B. McCarty, Director of the University of Wisconsin radio station WHA, "seeks to advance the public taste and elevate existing wants, not merely satisfy them. . . . As universities and colleges are constantly reaching out for new truths and new interpretations, so it is possible for educational stations to do likewise." 4

16. A number of these educational stations have switched from AM to FM broadcasting on account of the superior quality of the broadcast reception because static is not transmitted through the FM receiver. "Some States, notably Michigan, have even gone so far as to set up the structure for State-wide FM networks, so that each school may be in a position to contribute a specific type of programme to the daily programme schedule. In this way, a well-rounded and interesting programme schedule may be maintained. Other States have also indicated an interest in the same type of service. It would seem that through these new channels education by radio has finally come into its own." 5

17. I revert now to the Canadian problem and particularly to the programmes broadcast by the private stations. It has been acknowledged that these stations play a useful role in the activities of their community, but they have been criticized for not giving more programmes which could be classified as educational. "An educational program" has been defined as "one which raises standards of taste, increases the range of valuable information, or stimulates audiences to undertake worth-while activities. In short, an educational program is one which improves the listener".6

18. At one time there was a suggestion made in the United States Senate that every radio station should be required to set aside at least 15 per cent of its time for educational purposes. No such law was passed but the Act providing for the granting of licenses "has been interpreted as meaning that a certain percentage of radio programmes must be educational, informative, cultural or whatever other word one may choose to


designate those programmes which are not pure entertainment".7 There is no such compulsion in Canada and the private stations take advantage of it, but it can be argued that by carrying free all the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's educational programmes, the private station affiliates contribute in a substantial measure to the effectiveness of the national educational campaign.

19. The local stations have also been taken to task for not encouraging sufficiently the development of local talent. It is fair to point out that the same criticism, though in milder terms, has been levelled at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for not originating more of its musical programmes outside of the large centres. Even such an important broadcasting centre as Quebec claimed, at our hearings, to have been neglected by the Corporation. This shows that it is not easy to utilize local talent in small communities: firstly, because it is generally non-existent, secondly, because it is not economical. In this connection, the evidence given at the Montreal hearings by one of the representatives of the Canadian Marconi Company is pertinent:

"The use of such performers [local talent] is desirable but not to the extent of excessive broadcasting of immature talent that can make better use of the private practice room or the school auditorium. Nor should a well-run station sacrifice all else to pay too large a number of professionals. One must realize that four or five musicians and a singer cost $150 or more for a quarter-hour broadcasting. Only two such quarter-hours a week mean over $15,000 per year. This is beyond the resources of all but a few Canadian stations if they are to effectively support other community activities. Then again only the larger cities can provide even this much really professional talent." 8

20. There is no doubt that some of the private stations, particularly those located in the larger cities, make good money. But in 1948, 27% of the stations of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters did not make both ends meet and the remaining 73% which showed a profit had an average net after taxes of $17,300 per year. Of course it is impossible to tell if these stations were run efficiently or to ascertain if the owners withdrew exorbitant or reasonable salaries. Nevertheless, it is not quite logical to expect private stations to go willingly into the red to produce the type of artistic or educational programmes which the voluntary associates expect the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to supply. It is better for the local stations to offer most of the free time which they can spare to the encouragement of community activities. The Australian Broadcasting Act of 1948 recognizes the fact that you cannot expect the private stations to lose money in the public interest; it empowers the Australian Broadcasting Control Board "to provide financial assistance to the commercial broadcasting stations for the purpose of ensuring that programmes


of adequate extent, standard and variety are provided in the area served by those stations".


21. I do not agree with the demands of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters for permission to enter into broadcasting or telecasting agreements with American networks or stations, or with their desire to organize their own separate networks without the authorization of the Control Board suggested below. I believe, however, that as a matter of elemental equity their demand for an independent regulatory body should be granted.

I therefore recommend:
(a)That the Canadian Broadcasting Act should be amended to provide for the creation of an independent regulatory body with authority and jurisdiction over the activities of both the privately and the publicly owned broadcasting and telecasting stations, this body to report to the Minister of Transport and to be known as the Canadian Broadcasting and Telecasting Control Board.
(b)That persons engaged in broadcasting or telecasting in Canada directly and adversely affected by a final decision of the said Control Board on any matter on which this Board has final authority be granted the right of appeal to a Federal Court against any substantial miscarriage of justice.
(c)That persons engaged in broadcasting or telecasting in Canada be granted the right to notice of consideration by the Control Board of matters directly affecting them, and the right to full opportunity to be heard in such matters in person or by counsel and to a public hearing on request.

22. It has been suggested that in order to avoid the difficulties which beset the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, shortly after it took over some of the duties of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, an attempt should be made to outline as precisely as possible the modified functions of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and of its Board of Governors, as well as the duties entrusted to the suggested Canadian Broadcasting and Telecasting Control Board. The following paragraphs aim to delineate the respective functions of the operating body and of the regulatory body. No attempt has been made, however, to rewrite the Canadian Broadcasting Act.



23. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would remain as an operating body only, with all the powers conferred upon it by Article 8 of the Canadian Broadcasting Act, save that in the event that the Corporation and the private stations were unable to agree on the conditions for the broadcasting of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's programmes the matter would be referred to the Control Board for final decision.

24. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would remain in charge of operation of its own stations and networks, but the rates charged to the private broadcasters for line transmission of their own programmes or of those of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would be subject to the decision of the Control Board in the event of disagreement. (Articles 10 to 20, both inclusive, of the Broadcasting Act, would, mutatis mutandis, govern the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's operations).

25. The Board of Governors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would be replaced by a Board of three Directors, plus the Chairman of the Corporation. The members of the Board of Directors would be appointed by the Governor in Council and chosen for their business acumen and administrative ability to represent the taxpayers at large, and to help the Chairman to keep the operations of the Corporation on an economical and efficient basis, having in mind the basic reasons for the existence of the Corporation as a publicly-owned agency, viz.: to encourage national unity and promote better understanding between the different parts of Canada; to broadcast programmes tending to help the nation towards maturity; to develop its taste; to encourage the study of the arts letters and sciences, and to counterbalance the influence of some of the immature American commercial programmes by gradually replacing them by suitable Canadian programmes.


26. The Corporation and the proposed Control Board would be responsible to the Minister of Transport who would exercise all the powers conferred upon him by the Radiotelegraph Act and by the provisions of the Canadian Broadcasting Act, Article 22, paragraphs (4) and (5), and by those of Article 24, save that the recommendations regarding the application for licence to establish private or national stations would be made to the Minister by the Control Board instead of by the Corporation as at present.

27. The licences granted by the Minister to any broadcasting station should be for a period of five years, but subject, upon recommendation of


the Control Board, to suspension for failure to comply with any of the major provisions of the Canadian Broadcasting Act or with the main regulations under this Act or under the Radiotelegraph Act or its regulations.


28. The Canadian Broadcasting and Telecasting Control Board would consist of five members appointed by the Governor in Council and would have the following qualifications:

A Chairman who should be a man with a judicial mind and a broad general culture to enable him to appraise the quality of the programmes broadcast or telecast in Canada.

Three members, each suggested to the Governor in Council by the Department of Transport, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, respectively.

The fifth member, to be selected at large, should be an educator or a former educator of a broad general culture and with practical knowledge of pedagogy and of psychology.

29. The members of the Control Board should be adequately remunerated to enable them to devote their whole time to the work of the Board. Members of the Control Board should, upon appointment, sever all other ties and interests in the field of broadcasting and telecasting. The Control Board would be helped, in its task of ensuring adequate programmes and a well-balanced schedule of programmes for Canada, by Regional Advisory Councils selected to represent adequately the different parts of Canada, as well as the basic disciplines in Arts, Letters and Sciences. The Control Board could be financed from transmitters' annual licence fees which would be paid by all broadcasting and telecasting stations.

30. It is not contemplated that the Control Board would exercise its powers over programmes in an autocratic manner but rather that it should by persuasion and by discussion with representatives of the broadcasting stations raise the general standard of the programmes broadcast in Canada, for the purpose of fostering national unity, cultivating the artistic taste of the people, supplying well-balanced entertainment, and encouraging the study of arts, letters and sciences in general, and more particularly of the economic and social problems which face the nation. The powers granted to the Control Board to suspend the licence of any broadcasting station for violation or non-observance of the regulations made by the Board or of any order given by the Board should be used with discretion and after due warning had been given to the station or stations.



31. The regulatory functions of the Control Board would be, mutatis mutandis, those enumerated in Articles 21, 22 and 24 of the Broadcasting Act; the Board of Control would be empowered to adopt the existing regulations or to make new regulations.

32. The regulations which the Corporation (to be replaced by the Control Board) has the power to enact and listed in Article 22 can be summed up as follows:
(a)control of the establishment of networks;
(b)reservation by private stations of periods for broadcasting of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation programmes;
(c)control of character of all programmes broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or by the private stations;
(d)limitation of time devoted to advertising and control of character of advertising broadcast either by the Canadian Broadcasting stations or by the private stations;
(e)stipulation of time devoted to political broadcasts by stations owned either by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or by private broadcasters and equitable assignment of time on an equitable basis to all parties and rival candidates.

In article 22 (2) any disagreement between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the private broadcasters for the broadcasting or telecasting of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's programmes would be referred to the Control Board instead of to the Minister as at present.


33. In order to enable the Control Board to complete its organization, the amendments to the Canadian Broadcasting Act should only come in force three months after the modified Act had been passed by Parliament and assented to by the Governor-General. In the meantime, the Corporation should continue to exercise its present functions in matters of routine only, but without taking any major decision which might affect the status quo. Pending the coming into force of the Act, the Control Board should in relation to programmes of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, consult representatives of the Corporation and, in relation to programmes of the private stations, consult representatives of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Existing regulations should also be reviewed at the same time for the purpose of ironing out possible disagreements.



34. The principal objections raised by my colleagues against my suggestion, made some months ago, in favour of an independent regulatory body such as outlined in the preceding pages are practically all concentrated in paragraphs 36 and 37 of Chapter XVIII, the pertinent parts of which are quoted below accompanied by my rejoinder:

"36. We have considered these proposals [for an independent regulatory body] and find that they would either divide and destroy, or merely duplicate the present system of national control".


35. The fear that an independent body would destroy the national system is based on the assumption that the private broadcasters would under the new set-up be free to make connections with the American networks or with the American independent stations, and would also be at liberty to constitute and operate at will private networks. The arrangement suggested in the preceding pages provides that the private broadcasters could not do any of these things without first obtaining the permission of an impartial Governmental agency, namely, the suggested Broadcasting and Telecasting Control Board. The only difference with present conditions would be that the Control Board would take the place of the Corporation's Board of Governors and, in case of disagreement, would set the rates for the broadcast or telecast of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's sponsored or sustaining programmes by the affiliated private stations. The Control Board would also deal with any other disagreement which might arise between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the private broadcasters.

36. Divide? Certainly: in order to provide for a better distribution of labour and to relieve the Corporation from the heavy responsibilities which it has to assume under the existing Act. Ever since the writing of the American Constitution it has been recognized that no single body could be entrusted with legislative, judicial and executive functions. Yet this is what the Governors of the Corporation have to do: they have drawn up a set of regulations (some of which they ignore, such as that against broadcasting news already published by a newspaper); they act as judges and decide upon pecuniary disagreements between members of their own staff and the private broadcasters; they are charged with the administration of the budgets of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the International Service (and of Television, in the near future), involving yearly expendi-


tures which threaten to reach $20,000,000 within the next two or three years. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, freed from its legislative and judical [sic] functions, could concentrate on the operation of its broadcasting stations and of its three networks and on the production of better and more varied programmes for radio as well as for television, in accordance with suggestions made by the new Control Board.

37. As explained above, there would be no duplication under the suggested arrangement; each body, the Corporation and the new Control Board would have definite and separate functions to fulfil. The three Directors of the Corporation, who might be three of the present Governors, would have the duty, as representatives of the taxpayers, to attempt to keep expenditures within reasonable limits. It is very difficult for part-time Governors to resist the enthusiasm and persuasion of a full-time Chairman, steeped in the technicalities and in the details of the agency which he directs. It is logical for the head of an organization, be it privately or publicly-owned, to have the tendency to expand its activities as much as possible in order to increase the usefulness and the importance of his organization. This should not be taken as an arraignment against the present able and persuasive Chairman of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, but solely as a recognition of a legitimate ambition common to all energetic chiefs, but which nevertheless must be held in check, particularly when the money of the taxpayers is involved.


38. There is no doubt that radio and television are two very powerful media, but, at the present time, psychologists and educators are more alarmed at their possibilities for evil than enthused at their possibilities for good. Mr. H. A. Overstreet, well-known American psychologist, in a recent book, The Mature Mind, expresses the following disturbing views on the effect of radio programmes on the people, which are paraphrased or cited below: there is no doubt about it; an amazing new force has entered our human scene. Will it become a new major force for our maturing? Or will it so lend itself to our immaturities that these will become more tenacious than ever? A simple Yes or No answer is not possible. Radio has poured into our homes great symphonic music, the news of world transforming events, great poetry, great speeches, great drama. . . . It would be strange if all this could happen without some increase in maturity happening also. 9

39. As Overstreet points out, for one notable programme lasting a scant half-hour or less, scores of lesser programmes with their ubiquitous advertising of goods have occupied all the other bands of the air all day


and all night long. In the total mass, the proportion of greatness to the proportion of littleness has not been encouraging. From the psychological angle, then, the average level of radio programmes betrays our immaturity quite as much as it fosters that immaturity.

"One programme-building assumption has been that people must not be asked to keep their attention focused on any one thing for more than a few minutes at a time. This aspect of the radio formula must be of major concern to all who care about human maturing. One mark of the psychological growth of the human being, from infancy through childhood and into adulthood, is the lengthening of the attention-span. The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through. Whatever other influence it may exert for our maturing, radio is on the side of lifelong immaturity in the constant invitation it offers us to develop hopscotch minds." 10

40. Another writer, whose views of mass communication media are pertinent to this study is Mr. Gilbert Seldes who published, in October of 1950, a book entitled The Great Audience, from which have been abstracted the following comments on American programmes.11 In one of the chapters entitled "A Nation of Teen-Agers", Seldes claims that the policy adopted by advertisers in the various media aims at the glorification of youth and the prevention of maturity. The economics of advertising are simple: "Young people stay alive longer, and if they get the habit of buying a magazine or a lipstick or a shaving cream in their youth, they are profitable customers, theoretically, to the end of their lives. If you get them young they stay with you longer." People must be kept young even if they grow older. There is a determined effort to perpetuate the adolescent mind. Nothing in the popular arts suggests to people of thirty or forty that they can safely read a book, discuss politics, bother about juvenile delinquency, serve on a jury, earn a living or write a letter to the editor--all of these things and a thousand others are the stigmata of maturity and must be practiced in secret, if at all. In fourteen million homes equipped with radio, no magazines are read; families with television sets read fewer magazines than those who do not have them; half the adults in America never buy books. 12

41. The philosopher of the life of reason exhorts us: "Let us be frankly human, let us be content to live in the mind." Adult life is the life that the average man can lead if he is not prevented. But he is prevented if he is constantly being urged not to put away childish things, to shrink from the awful consequences of a mature and responsible life. The devices for delay in maturity are heavily capitalized; the enterprises that profit by our coming of age are relatively few. There is no vested interest in maturity, although the maturity of its citizens is the prime interest of the nation.


"Preach, dear sir", wrote Jefferson, "a crusade against ignorance." And he might now add against "immaturity".13

42. The reasons which have led me to abstract, paraphrase and cite a number of passages from the books of Miss Waller, Mr. Overstreet and Mr. Seldes, is that I found in them the expression of views which I shared and which were expressed better than I could have done. Furthermore, it was evident that the opinions of these experts would carry more weight than those of an engineer. I have quoted or reworded many passages from these works because they have shown facets of the broadcasting problem which were not raised at our hearings but which are vitally important and basic to Canada's broadcasting and telecasting problems, in which the question of our matureness is at stake. It is true that the comments by Miss Waller, by Mr. Overstreet and by Mr. Seldes refer to the American situation, but there is sufficient similarity between the two countries to make them applicable to us. Furthermore, there is no evidence that this matter of speeding up the passage from adolescence to maturity has been given sufficient consideration and study in Canada. The excerpts and quotations given above reveal what heavy responsibilities will be placed on the shoulders of the members of the independent regulating body charged with the task of not only arbitrating on the disagreements between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the private broadcasters, but also with the more difficult mission of planning an adequate and well-balanced schedule of radio and television programmes for Canada. It is obvious that the group of men who will have this double responsibility should not be charged with this other double duty of operating the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation networks and of producing the programmes suggested by the new Control Board.


43. My colleagues in their paragraph 37 have the following comments anent the suggested Control Board:

"But it may be argued such a body would have the power to improve but not to destroy. It could concern itself with the progress of public and private stations and strive for the improvement of both in the public interest. The theory may sound plausible but we doubt very much whether it would be effective in practice."

The opinions of Messrs. Overstreet and Seldes quoted above and the arguments developed in the preceding paragraphs indicate that the tasks ahead are so important, varied, and conflicting that they could not be successfully carried out by a single body. There is a great amount of work to do for both the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as operator


of an important broadcasting system and for the suggested Control Board as an arbitrator between the C.B.C. and the private broadcasters and in inspiring both privately and publicly owned stations in the matter of developing adequate programmes. I do not share the view expressed by my colleagues at the end of their paragraph 38 to the effect that "the completely separate regulatory body contemplated must treat all alike". Obviously the new Control Board would be bound to require a higher standard of programmes from the publicly owned stations than from the privately owned stations since the last named have to earn a sufficient revenue to cover expenses while the C.B.C. does not have to worry about making both ends meet since the Government is there to shoulder the deficits. I believe that the Control Board suggested would greatly improve the present situation not only from the paramount necessity of meting out justice to the competing parties but also from the equally important problem of increasing the variety of the programmes as well as raising their standard throughout Canada.


44. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has stated that it requires a yearly amount of $14,200,000, distributed as follows:

Current expenditure $ 7,500,000
Amount to maintain services at present levels 3,000,000
Improvement and extension of services 2,200,000
Production of new programmes to take the place of less desirable commercial American programmes 1,500,000

There is no doubt that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation should be granted whatever amounts are needed to maintain an adequate service both in broadcasting and telecasting for the purpose of fulfilling the aims of the Canadian Broadcasting Act. Although the expenditures of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation appear reasonable when compared with those of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Commission does not know whether or not the operations of the Corporation are efficient, nor if substantial savings could not be realized by entrusting the production of commercial programmes to private producers. This suggestion stems from my conviction that, as a rule, private organizations can produce more economically than governmental agencies. Moreover, the State is now forced to undertake so many new activities and to carry so many new burdens, that it is reasonable to suggest that it should attempt commercial production only when private enterprise is unable or unwilling to venture. Two of the great American networks, Columbia Broadcasting


System and National Broadcasting Corporation, have recently adopted the policy suggested above. They were induced to abandon the production of commercial programmes partly as a result of the aggressive competition of the talent agents, who had gone in for production, and partly on account of an F.C.C. decision. Mr. Seldes explains the situation somewhat as follows: "A new profession grew up, the independent inventor who made his own programme, hired talent, recorded a sample or two, prepared a budget, and offered the entire package to any buyer. The discomfited networks saw the most interesting part of their business taken away. They have never entirely given up trying to create programmes and the National Broadcasting Corporation and the Columbia Broadcasting System each had a subsidiary talent agency until the propriety of such combinations was questioned by F.C.C. One excellent result of the entire operation was that after they sold their birthright as creators of entertainment, the networks with time to fill spent their energies on sustaining programmes."14

45. The estimated amount of $14,200,000 is certainly expandable and it is doubtful if anybody can offer a reliable estimate of the probable requirements of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the next three or five years. The replacing of some of the American programmes by Canadian programmes, although desirable, will be difficult and expensive. There is a scarcity of trained broadcasting talent in Canada, particularly at the price offered, because we have not, as they have in the United States, the educational stations owned by colleges or by universities, nor have we what is called "radio workshops" which are set up by high schools or colleges for the following purposes:
(a)training students for professional radio;
(b)for teaching and directing radio school activities;
(c)for the development of discriminatory listening;
(d)training to develop better educational programmes;
(e)stimulating experimental research in the programme field, or, as a final objective given by the Syracuse University Workshop,
(f)encouraging interest in local educational programmes to the end that these eventually may be organized into a community radio project.

To all of these purposes, George Jennings, of the Chicago Radio Council, adds: "To awaken within the student a realization of the power of modern radio as a medium of propaganda, of education, and of cultural dissemination, as well as a medium for entertainment and advertising." 15

46. I am in general agreement with recommendations k, and l, of my colleagues, but I doubt if the population of Canada will grow rapidly enough to keep up with the increase in the Canadian Broadcasting Cor-


poration's yearly expenditures. Eventually, either the licence fee will have to be increased or the statutory grant raised, unless substantial savings can be realized. It might be advisable to adopt the Australian formula of charging a licence fee for each receiving set instead of charging only one fee per household. There is no doubt that in the cities most of the households have at least two receiving sets. I do not know how successful is the collection of these licence fees in Australia, but certainly the cost of collection would be increased as it would necessitate an inspection of the homes which might entail legal difficulties.

* 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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