Editorials

Too Much Hush

January 15 1944
Editorials

Too Much Hush

January 15 1944

Too Much Hush

Editorials

THE MOST successful way in which to get public co-operation in the wiping out of any bad thing is to supply the public with facts;

all the facts, no matter how unpleasant they

may be.

First real progress in Canada’s battle against tuberculosis and cancer came when people learned how many of their fellows were dying from these diseases. The psychological reaction was, “This IS serious. This IS real. I must do all I can to protect myself and my family.” Followed co-operation in the matter of early diagnosis and treatment.

Syphilis and gonorrhea, diseases too long regarded as unmentionable, constitute one of the greatest of all menaces to national health. Wartime conditions have brought about a marked increase in their incidence.

At the recent National Venereal Disease Control Conference held in Ottawa, civilian doctors, members of the medical services of the armed forces, and defense and health ministers spoke frankly of the situation, admitted its gravity, agreed that a national program to combat these diseases was vitally necessary. But government department officials declined to make public statistics covering the incidence of venereal diseases in the armed forces.

As we understand it, the objection is that without full civilian figures, those of the armed forces could not be fairly compared; that information concerning the latter might serve as a deterrent to recruiting.

This strikes us as unsound reasoning. Venereal diseases don’t originate in the services. They are spread by civilian and service personnel alike.

Potential service recruits are not going to be frightened away by being told facts and having the assurance of protection.

And the population of this country as a whole is surely adult-minded.

The danger of any hush-hush, bogeyman policy is that it does not bring public realization of the extent of the danger, or of the necessity of general co-operative action to remove that danger.

Only facts can achieve that purpose.

CBC's "Boardinghouse" Reach

Editorials

PAPER rationing and other wartime restrictions affecting the publishing industry have curtailed advertising in magazines and

newspapers and in other ways halted their expansion for the duration. Direct mail and similar forms of advertising have been so drastically reduced by Government order that certain businesses are going to find it tough to function.

Results of these restrictions tie in with the Government’s desire to lessen the demand for consumer goods, and as part of the national antiinflation policy the objective generally is regarded as sound; has been accepted with good grace and in the spirit of co-operation.

It is all the more amazing, then, that the Government should have tolerated the action of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in establishing a second national network.

In spite of CBC’s explanations, the basic fact is that at a time when competing advertising media are restricted under Government policy, the nationally owned radio system is expanding its chain and advertising facilities.

Commercial operations of CBC have far exceeded the limit originally set. On February 3, 1938, the chairman of its governors stated, “Beyond the figure of $500,000 (per year) of commercial revenue from network and local stations it is not the desire nor the intention of the corporation to go, and that only until we are self-supporting from other sources.”

On February 8, 1938, Hon. C. D. Howe, then Minister of Transport with CBC in his field, told the House of Commons, “It is not the desire or intention of the corporation at any time to obtain a revenue of over $500,000 from commercial sources for obvious reasons.”

The latest CBC report shows its gross commercial revenues to be around $1,800,000.

From the public CBC exacts a license fee. It pays no taxes, as do those with whom it competes. It has soared far beyond the advertising revenue bracket so clearly defined. It has detoured the Government’s declared policy of curtailment of advertising and ordinary business expansion.

The feeling is growing—in more than one connection—that CBC is ignoring the standards of a democratic, public utility. It’s about time Parliament straightened things out.

If Every One—

Editorials

If every one who drives a car could He a month in bed,

With broken bones and stitched-up wounds, or fractures of the head.

And there endure the agonies that many people do,

They’d never need preach safety any more to me or you.

If every one could stand beside the bed of some close friend,

And hear the doctor say “no hope” before that fatal end,

And see him there unconscious, never knowing what took place,

The laws and rules of traffic I am sure we’d soon embrace.

If every one could meet the wife and children left behind.

And step into the darkened home where once the sunlight shined,

And look upon “The Vacant Chair” where Daddy used to sit.

I’m sure each reckless driver would be forced to think a bit.

If every one would realize pedestrians on the street

Have just as much the right-of-way as those upon the seat,

And train their eyes for children who run recklessly at play,

This steady toll of human lives would drop from day to day.

If every one would check his car before he takes a trip.

For tires worn, loose steering wheels and brakes that fail to grip,

And pay attention to his lights while driving roads at night,

Another score for safety could be chalked up in the fight.

If every one who drives a car would heed the danger signs.

Placed by the highway engineers who also marked the lines,

To keep the traffic In the lane and give It proper space.

The accidents we read about could not have taken place.

And last, if he who takes the wheel would say a little prayer,

And keep in mind those in the car depending on his care,

And make a vow and pledge himself to never take a chance,

The great crusade for safety then would suddenly advance.

C. E. WEISER

In Ethyl News.