crime to make a bet on a race track; and when the Criminal Code was consolidated, there was added to it a provision calculated and intended to allow the registration of a bet or the selling of a pool on a race track. That legislation was subsequently tested in the courts, and the decision of the courts in connection with it is clearly set forth in these reports. Sir Allan Aylesworth, speaking to the House upon the debate on the MilleT Bill, and the provision which was inserted in that Bill and which was supposed to deal effectively with this evil, as it had developed in the country, made this reference to it:
We have all heard of the ancient conundrum ''When is a dog's tail not a dog's tail?" With the answer: "When it is a waggin," It seems to me that this is something of the same sort: 'When is a place not a place?'' The definition is that the word "place" Is to Include any place, whether it is or is not a fixed place. Now to my mind, the word "place" necessarily implies and carries with it the idea of localization and of definite fixity. I cannot understand a place that is not a fixed place, and I cannot therefore think that the object which the framers of this Bill had in view, in endeavouring to get over the decision of the courts I have described, can be accomplished by any juggling with words or verbal trickery such as, it seems to me, with all respect to the draftsman of this Bill, the definition I have referred to, literally amounts to.
It appears that the provision that was added to the Criminal Code of 1902 has been questioned in the courts, and that the courts had ruled that if the bookmaker in the selling of a pool or in the registration of a bet stood still or under an umbrella, then he was committing a crime; but if he was moving from place to place in the booth, he was not committing a crime, so that it would be clear that previous to the legislation passed by this Parliament in 1910, the registration of a bet, or the selling of a pool was really on the verge of criminality. As I am a layman so far as legal matters are concerned, and as my opinion might not be considered as very authoritative if I attempted to give a definition of the statute with regard to this subject. I desire to quote the opinion of the Hon. S. H. Blake, K.C., of Toronto, who, I think, will be regarded as a reasonable authority upon the construction of any statute. Speaking on the peculiarities of the statute as it had been construed by the highest courts in the land, because the case had gone to the Court of Appeal and from there to the Supreme Court ,of Canada, and the highest judges in the country had placed their construction upon the insertion of the particular clause to which I have alluded heretofore in the Criminal Code in the year 1902, the Hon. S. H. Blake thus added his
voice to the chorus of church denunciation of the Woodbine race track at the afternoon session of the diocesan synod meeting:
It will be seen by reference to section 235, sub-section 2, of the Criminal Code that some provision was supposed to have been made for betting- on and during the meet of a regularly organized and incorporated race track. This was taken advantage of until race track gambling became a public scandal, demoralizing in the extreme, until a case known as the Queen vs. Hanrahan, in which the Police Magistrate of Windsor convicted the defendant for keeping a common betting house. This case was taken to the Court of Appeal, where the conviction was unanimously sustained, the late Chief Justice Armour in his judgment, was very emphatic, holding as he did, that betting on any track, whether incorporated or otherwise, was an offence against the Criminal Code. The writer, acting in accordance with this judgment, brought the president of the Ontario Jockey Club into Court, where Colonel Denison convicted, giving a stated case, which was taken to the Court of Appeal, where the conviction was quashed, the court holding that as the president neither took part in the bookmaking nor profited thereby, a conviction could not be sustained against him. At the same time, one of the judges made a remark to the effect that the Crown should have proceeded against the bookmakers. At the next race track meet, evidence was secured and several bookmakers were brought into court, one of whom was selected as a test case. Colonel Denison again made a conviction, and this case was also taken to the Court of Appeal, where the conviction was sustained. It was then carried to the Supreme Court at Ottawa, and the judgment of the Court of Appeal was upheld, with one or two of the judges dissenting. This, however, did not put a stop to the gambling on the Woodbine race track, which was shown by a change of tactics in which the bookmakers stood on the lawn (and enclosures set apart for the bookmakers and their customers) and continued business as usual, the only difference being that they stood marking time instead of sitting.
A case was brought into court and a conviction secured before Col. Denison, who, when passing sentence, stated that the. attempted subterfuge in order to evade the law (in his judgment) intensified the offence. This case was also taken to the Court of Appeal and quashed on the grounds that standing up and moving about whilst the business of betting was carried on did not constitute an offence, not being a house, room, or place.
So it appears reasonably clear that, as 1 have said, previous to the legislation of 1910 on this subject the right to carry on race track betting or gambling had a very narrow margin indeed to stand on.
After full consideration of the subject, I believe that the majority in this House based their judgment upon three considerations, which considerations in turn were based upon the expert testimony given before the commission to which I have referred. The first consideration, I think, was this-that horse-racing was necessary to the development of the thoroughbred
horse, that it had the effect of developing his speed, stamina and character, and that, to the extent that thoroughbred blood was infused into the light horse of this country, to that extent the light horse of this country was improved. The second consideration, 1 think, was this-that a very large number of the best citizens of this Dominion held horse-racing as their real sport, and that Parliament should not go so far as to deprive them of the privilege of associating themselves to carry on a race track. The third point was this, that the evils which, it was admitted, had developed upon the race track were due to excessive race meets. The evidence of the detectives of New York, the evidence of the thoroughbred men of Canada-I mean the thoroughbred horse-breeders in Canada-and of all others interested, I think, supported that view. The evils that had developed in Victoria and Vancouver during the time of the Seattle exhibition were the consequences of the fact that there had been forty-two days' racing. To this was due the deplorable, demoralizing and degrading condition alluded to by Hon. Sydney Fisher, the late Minister of Agriculture, in his sworn testimony as published in the report of the commission, in which he stated that he would not like to find himself after dark with those who were connected with the racing on that occasion, in Victoria and Vancouver., I think this Parliament believed that the limitation of the days of racing would be the means of eliminating the very undesirable element which was complained of, and whose presence was regretted'by everybody, including the racing men themselves, as the cause of the demoralization attending this sport throughout the Dominion. It was pointed out that during the first days of a race meet in any community, the class of citizens to which I have alluded, the class that hold horse-racing as their real sport; predominates upon the track; but that in a few days their desires in that connection are gratified. Then, if the racing is allowed to continue day after day, week after week, and month after month, it resolves itself into a gambling institution pure and simple. The legislation passed in 1910, and rightly passed, was intended to limit the evil by limiting the race meets to seven days twice a year. Well, that legislation did not hold. I think the racing men ' put one over ' on Parliament, as they say. So I come to this House as a representative of a free constituency that has been outraged to ask that this evil
may be remedied. Before the passing of the Act to which I have alluded, the Act of 1910, we had in the city of Windsor twenty days' racing in the spring, and nine in the fall. Public opinion was developing against it because this was regarded as excessive. The Miller Bill was passed and the number of days' racing limited to fourteen. From that day I never heard a single complaint from the people of the county of Essex regarding the operation of that one track and the fourteen days of racing. But certain speculators, mostly from the American side, to some of whom I shall probably refer at greater length before I close my remarks, have taken advantage of the situation. I am not going to find fault because of the law passed years ago under which certain charters were granted. There is no reason to find fault. Previous to 1900, when certain restrictive legislation was passed in the great racing states of New York and Michigan, we in Canada did not suffer from the abuses which have since arisen. It is not to be wondered at that our statute made it very easy for men to secure race track charters in Canada. But the limitations placed upon race track operations by the great states of New York and Michigan led to the whole institution being imported bodily into the province of Ontario and that is the cause of the difficulty to-day in Canadian racing. Years ago, as I understand-and again I want to say that I am not a lawyer