Volume #18 - 845.|
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES
FINANCIAL POSITION OF CANADIAN MAGAZINES
Memorandum to Cabinet|
July 10th, 1952|
FINANCIAL POSITION OF NATIONAL CANADIAN MAGAZINES|
On March 19 the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance received a délégation from the Magazine Publishers Association of Canada which submitted a brief concerning the financial position of national Canadian magazines. The substance of the brief was that the financial position is precarious and becoming increasingly so, and that unless some relief is found continued publication may become financially impossible. The brief pointed out that Canadian magazines are an important instrument in the development and dissemination of Canadian culture, as was recognized by the Massey Commission, and that their increasing difficulties are mainly due to the competition of American magazines. These, owing to their very much larger circulation can be produced on more favourable terms. The brief particularly directed attention to the effects of the development of "Canadian editions" of American magazines such as Readers Digest and Time. These editions secure a substantial amount of Canadian magazine advertising, which is one of the principal sources of revenue for Canadian magazines. The brief recommended:
(e) That a specific duty, as well as sales tax, be charged on imported magazines carrying Canadian advertising.
(b) That the exemption from duties and sales tax on paper, engravings, art work, ink, etc., accorded to Canadian periodicals should be confined to publications where editorial content (space devoted to non-advertising matter) is 75% or more of Canadian origin. (This would exclude "Canadian editions".)
(c) That all magazines printed and published in Canada be granted a statutory postal rate of 1½ cents per lb. in Canada, with no distinction between local and non-local delivery and that this rate be granted only to those publications with 75 per cent or more Canadian editorial content.
The brief was referred to the Interdepartmental Committee on External Trade Policy. The Committee had an economic survey of the position of Canadian magazines made by the Department of Trade and Commerce which substantially confirmed the representations in the brief as to their financial position. So far as the recommendations in the brief were concerned the Committee were of the view that they either presented difficulties that were too serious to enable them to be adopted or, in some cases, that they would not be effective in aiding the Canadian magazines. It was finally concluded that only two means were available to the government of providing any measure of assistance:
(a) to have greater public attention drawn to the national Canadian magazines through programmes and commentaries on the C.B.C. with the hope thereby of raising their circulation; and,
(b) to give some financial help through directing a larger amount of government advertising to them.
So far as the first is concerned, the Chairman of the C.B.C. has indicated that they think it would be feasible to arrange some commentaries or programmes so that attention would be directed from time to time to national magazines. Details are being worked out.
The total of government advertising expenditures and its allocation is shown in the attached table. In 1952 Canadian government advertising amounted to $4,723,000 of which $382,000 or 8 per cent went to Canadian magazines and Canadian editions of American magazines combined. In 1953 government advertising had dropped to $4,311,000 but the share to Canadian magazines and Canadian editions had dropped much more sharply to $195,000 - about 4½ per cent. While it would not be possible to do anything very substantial through directing government advertising to Canadian magazines, even a relatively modest amount might be quite important in the marginal financial condition of many of the magazines. The Committee accordingly recommend that, without increasing the overall amount of government advertising, additional advertising to the total of $100,000 per year be directed to national Canadian magazines rather than to other media. This diversion should not include "Canadian editions" of U.S. magazines.
The diversion could be effected by having a directive sent to the departments with the largest expenditures on advertising informing them of the government's desire. It would then be for the departments to take action individually to divert a part of their advertising. The departments Most concerned, with their advertising expenditures for 1953, are the following: National Defence ($2,186,000), Resources and Development ($1,103,000), Finance ($481,000), Labour ($240,000), Citizenship and Immigration ($134,000), Post Office ($120,000), R.C.M.P. ($79,000), Trade and Commence ($44,000), National Revenue ($43,000).
Tableau des dépenses
Table of Expenditures
TOTAL GOVERNMENT ADVERTISING EXPENDITURES
(thousands of dollars)