Early Days of Radio Broadcasting


Good evening folks,


I'm sorry tpo be so slow in responding to you email but October was a difficult month with medical exams and doctors' appointments but here goes, better late than never!


Your mentioning Henry Hindley brings back memories. In the early days of radio all broadcasting radio licences had to be recommended by the Department of Transport and the Canadian Radio Commission and finally approved by Cabinet before they could be licensed by the Department. I was told by Bill Caton and W.B. Smith at separate times that Cabinet did not like doing that. I know this gave our Dept'l staff a lot of work. John Chrome and his staff had to ensure that all the technical requirements (and they were very demanding, especially those of NARBA)  were met while Frank Foster and his staff had to ensure that all the social, economic, commercial and legal considerations were dealt with in the brief that went to our Minister for Cabinet consideration.


The result was that a working group was established, perhaps by Secretary of State Dept,  involving Gordon Nixon, Bill Caton, Henry Hindley and Judy LaMarsh to revise the Broadcasting Act and the Radio Act so that Cabinet would not be involved in deciding who should get broadcasting licences. I know Gordon and Bill Caton spent a lot of time on this task and I remember Gordon  telling me afterwards  that he thought they had been able to work out a very reasonable, understandable and workable procedure for satisfying Cabinet's wishes. I think it was following the approval of this group's work then  that the CRTC was given the power to grant Broadcast Station Licences but only after the Department of Transport issued Technical Construction and Operating Certificates. The objective was to ensure that all the technial requirements set out in our bilateral and regional frequency sharing and coordination agreements could be met at all times. Cable TV was brought under the same control procedures. It was following the approval of that legislation, I think, that Frank was apointed Secretary of the CRTC and Charles (Chuck) H. Hedges took over Frank Foster's job in DOT. If we are to put this on the web we should check it with Bill Robson and Chuck Hedges.


You also mentioned Bert Walker. You know he invented a unique and very accurate doppler navigation system for aircraft that was manufactured by Canadian Marconi. It had four beams directed at the four quadrants on the earth below the aircraft. The data received by the four beams was converted into what was needed to control the aircraft and keep it on its course to its destination. People were quite impressed with it when it came out. Bert later retired to live in the U.K.  If this is to go on our web site we should also check it out with Bert Blevis and Roy Dohoo.


Bill Wilson



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