February 28, 1923

LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

Perhaps both of us have been baffled by the resolution as prepared by the law officers. But what I am trying to establish is this, that whether or not my hon. friend proposes it, the tendency of his resolution will be actually to create a new offence, namely, that of race betting. The fact in itself of staking money on the eventual result,, of a race contains no element of evil; and I think it is going very far to say, as does the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown), that it will sap the very foundations of national life. What may be regarded as bad-and possibly we may agree on this point-is the danger of an individual or an organization abusing the. privilege to deceive or rob a portion of the public. What therefore, the law should seek lo prevent is, not the act itself but merely its abuse. In other words, betting is not an offence; the abuse of betting and the dishonest methods surrounding it are alone to be fought against. It is on that principle that in many countries and in different provinces of our own Dominion, instead of prohibiting race betting altogether, legislators have thought better to regulate it and place it under proper conditions in order to prbtect the public. For me, it is merely a question of control. The pari-mutuel system, well-known to all, and to which my hon. friend himself has alluded, is an instance of such an application.

In my opinion this system of restricted betting is, to the proposal of my hon. friend, what the law of temperance in the matter of alcohol is to the law of absolute prohibition. Instead of curtailing individual liberty because of possible abuses, it stops the abuses by regulating individual liberty. And to my mind that is the proper way to proceed. We must not expect too much from human nature When a man obeys the Ten Commandments and escapes the seven capital sins he is on a fair way to sanctity. I do not believe in creating new sins; I find it hard enough to dodge the old ones. And unless I am shown that race betting in itself, even at the racetracks, is an evil, I will persist in my opinion that those who care to should be allowed to do it. The law will serve its full purpose if it sees to it that such a practice is devoid of fraud and corruption. I grant you that even with the pari-mutuel or any such system

Race-track Betting

some people will suffer from the races by indulging in too much betting. I do heartily sympathize with the cases that have been brought to the attention of the House by the hon. member for Lisgar. But what is the fact? I say that such people will not be stopped by any regulation. If they are debarred from betting on the races they will bet on anything,-on the number of white horses they will pass on the streets or on the odd figures on the licenses of passing automobiles. That is a well known fact. I believe that most of the men that have been alluded to, if they had not lost money at races, would have put their money on something else. I do not see at all, therefore, how this proposed resolution could do away with such an abuse. I would sooner see these men bet at the race-track under the control of a well-established system than see them go to the poolrooms. As a matter of fact, one of the .young men referred to was, I understand, an habitue of poolrooms, places where men are not prevented from betting.

If you have proper regulation at the racetracks you will provide, for the great majority of those who attend, clean sport and desirable enjoyment. My hon. friend himself has noted an increased attendance at the race-tracks. Of course, he argues that this shows that the evil is growing. But I might argue, on the other hand, that it shows a great increase in the public demand for race-tracks. Race betting and horse-racing have been so closely associated that it is readily conceded on every hand that you cannot have the one if you discard the other. Horse-racing has always been a great sport; it has been called a kingly one, and it is now enjoyed by great numbers of people in many civilized countries. Many arguments can be advanced in favour of it; but my hon. friend does not like the argument in regard to horse-breeding. Well, I am not an expert so far as that is concerned and I will indulge in no argument on that point. I would say this, however. My hon. friend says that he does not believe that race-tracks favour the raising of thoroughbreds; and further, he argues that these animals are not essential to the welfare of the agricultural class. A thoroughbred, I will admit, is an ob-jet de luxe. But if we were to eliminate all such objects for such a reason as my hon. friend advances, does he not realize that the very progress of humanity would be

5 p.m. attacked in every direction? The fact that the raising of thoroughbreds is not essential to fanning is certainly no argument against race betting.

But it might be well for the House to be reminded that race-track betting is a revenue

producer for the public treasury. I could easily submit figures in support of this statement. Everyone knows that where race-tracks are permitted the state or the province, a; the case may be, reaps an important revenue from the proceeds of the enterprise. In the province of Quebec the tax on receipts at the gates and the betting at the race-tracks totals, I understand, close to $700,000 annually; and the province of Ontario derives a still larger benefit from this source. If betting is controlled so as to prevent fraud, and if the public treasury obtains a commensurate proportion of its benefits, I do not see why there should be a demand for its prohibition. Besides, considering the human aspect of the case, as my hon. friend for Lisgar would say, I do not believe in a general way in the spirit of prohibition. In most cases it is not even practicable. We have in this country already too much prohibition and not enough enforcement. And my hon. friend in the end will find it much easier to prevent horse-racing than to prevent betting. If the people do not bet at the race-tracks, under a system of control, they will bet in the poolrooms, and the result therefrom will be much worse. Now, Sir, if we keep jamming the statutes with every shape of proposed reform we shall be so busy enacting that we shall have no time and no energy left to see that these enactments are enforced. It is not the racing but the betting that my hon. friend wishes to stop; and that I say he cannot do.

And after all, why prohibit so much? Life, Mr. Speaker, is not such a wonderful adventure that we should strive in every way and torture and wring and wrest our brains, to add to its difficulties. If we begin prohibiting there will be no end to the practice. A demand for prohibition may be advanced against anything that is not essential to common life. An economist has proclaimed that there are only three such things essential to life,-bread, water, and a blanket; and I believe that man must have lived in a cold country. The first element of luxury and excess appears when you put butter on your bread, when you flavour water, or when you cut a blanket in the shape of clothes. In primitive ages, Mr. Speaker, I fancy some censors must have objected to the flavouring of water or the cutting of blankets for the making of clothes, but the Liberals of the granitic period saved the day. If we were to apply that preventive spirit to every form of social activity which seems frivolous or superfluous, then we would gradually revert to the original state of primeval humanity. Some would prohibit the smoking of cigarettes; some

Race-track Betting

would stop theatres or motion pictures; some would do aw'ay with dancing or legislate against extravagant modes of dressing. Some vegetarians and Utopians would condemn the eating of flesh and meat and would impose upon others the diet of their own delicate stomachs. But why try to deprive humanity of all that makes life bearable? What right have we to do it? We are endowed, I will admit, with legislative power, but that does not convey the right to play and juggle with every privilege of the common people.

I do not believe in such radical legislation.

I believe in moderate laws that respect individual liberty, that are designed to add to the general comfort and satisfaction, not to impair it; that do not tend to drown one's existence in the dark depths of monotony and tediousness. And I will say in conclusion Mr. Speaker, that if there is one thing that I would like to see prohibited, it is prohibition itself.

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. S. F. TOLMIE (Victoria City):

Mr. Speaker, before proceeding to make a few remarks on the resolution before the House I would like to have it clearly understood that I have not a dollar invested in either race-tracks or race horses. I have, however, been closely identified with agriculture and stock breeding during all my life.

This resolution, as explained by its mover (Mr. Good) has for its objtect the prevention of betting as it is carried on on the race-tracks to-day. The mover and the seconder (Mr. Brown) state that it is not their intention to interefere at all with horse racing. It is a well-known fact that it is impossible at the present time to carry on horse racing without betting, and that it is very much better to carry on that racing under a well organized system than to have it carried on illegally, as is the case in some of the states to the south of us.

The provisions of the criminal code bearing upon horse racing have been amended several times during the last few years, but perhaps the most important move made in that connection was the appointment of the Rutherford Commission in 1919. At that time those opposed to racing, particularly with those with headquarters in Toronto, objected very strongly to the appointment of Dr. Rutherford, for the reason that he was a veterinary surgeon and knew something about horses. All of you who have followed the career of Dr. Rutherford, first as a private citizen, then as a representative of Manitoba in the provincial house, then as federal member from that, province in this House, then as Veterinary Director General, when he organized the present Health of Animals branch and placed it on a sound basis; then as Railway Commisioner, will all agree that a better and more fair minded man could not have been found for the purpose in the whole Dominion of Canada. It affords me a great deal of pleasure to bring this to the attention of the House on this occasion.

The findings of that commission were to the effect that bookmaking should be eliminated; that the pari-mutuel system of betting should be adopted as the fairest that was known; that the races should be limited to seven per day; that percentages should be established on the basis of which those conducting the races could not collect from the public more than a certain amount of commission in proportion to the amount taken in in the betting during the day. This gave the public the assurance that they would receive all that was coming to them. It was rather hard on some of the small tracks, whose overhead expenses were practically as great as those of the larger tracks where the intake was very much greater. One of the sufferers in this connection was the Connaught Park Club situated across the river.

Another important point touched on in the report was that the Minister of Agriculture should have the power to accept or reject the type of machine used for the purpose. This was a most important provision. The clubs also were required to cover all the expenses of administration. Then it came to the point where it was necessary to select proper inspectors to see that the law was carried out, and after looking into the matter very carefully we assigned this duty to the Mounted Police. It was felt that that organization was quite capable of carrying on the work and that they could render first-class service. The commission also found that racing as it is carried on to-day could not be continued on a proper basis without betting.

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Will the hon. member permit a question? Would he be good enough to develop that theme and state why it is impossible to carry on racing without bet. ting?

Mr. TOLMIE I am glad to inform the hon. gentleman, Mr. Speaker, that that is my next note. In the first place, we have very strong competition on the American side, where according to the law they do not have any betting, but where, as a matter of fact betting is carried on freely-to a very much greater extent than it is carried on here. We find that you cannot get the proper number

Race-track Betting

of horses for the purposes of a really good meeting on this side of the line in the face of that competition unless you are able to attract them by large purses. Now, because I say we are getting some of these horses from the other side of the line, hon. members must not run away with the idea that they are necessarily American horses; some of the very best strains of racing horses on the American side and as far down as Tia Juana, Mexico, are Canadian horses, owned by Canadians. So that it is necessary for us to put up big purses in order to secure horses to take part in races on this side of the line, and the heavy expense involved in conducting races in Canada where the population is not very dense makes it necessary that we should have some other source of revenue than that which is afforded by the gate receipts.

Let us look for a moment at how racing is carried on in other countries. In New York state they are not supposed to bet on the races. There are five or six big tracks not very far from New York city where racing is carried on during a great part of the summer season and at those tracks they carry on what is known as the oral system of betting, which is illegal. Thousands of dollars change hands every day. The state does not exercise any control and where that kind of betting is carried on we find that quite frequently those attending the races are fleeced out of their money by book-makers of no standing. Down in New Orleans they also carry on an oral system of betting at the present time. In Nevada and some other states book-making is permitted. But in Kentucky and Maryland, which are two of the most important horse-breeding centres in the United States, they have tried both book-making and the pari-mutuel system, and they have now adopted the latter in both these states, finding it is the fairest way to conduct races. And they are securing a revenue from the racing amounting to several million dollars a year. In New Zealand and Australia racing is conducted under government control, and the pari-mutuel system is adopted. In France, racing has been under control for a number of years. They also operate under the parimutuel system, and the profits which are secured by the government are used for the improvement of live stock, for charities-for introducing water systems into,small villages that have not enough money to provide their own water supply, for the restoration of farms in the devastated war area, for the building up of new model farms, and for the equipment of their agricultural colleges.

rMr. Tolmie.]

In this country, if legal betting was stopped to-morrow we would have a great deal of betting going on illegally. In fact it is not difficult to step down town this afternoon- it would now be a quarter past two at Tia Juana-and if you know the ropes you can bet on a horse running a few miles out of San Diego, California, or on a horse running in New Orleans, or on horses racing in other states. So that making betting illegal does not control betting by any means, and I am quite safe in saying that there is no city of any size in the United States or Canada today where any interest is taken in horse racing where you could not obtain a bet of that kind. If you only want to find the place, it is as easy to find as a bootlegger in a prohibition area. Last year, as has been pointed out, Ontario received a revenue of some $4,000,000 as a result of taxes on racing. In Quebec, I believe, the amount derived by the government from racing was $850,000, the whole of which was devoted to charity.

I claim, Mr. Speaker, that the conditions prevailing in Canada, where betting is under control and where racing is under control, are infinitely better than the systems I have just described existing in these states in the south where betting is not permitted. Far better to apply a law and have people betting out in the open than to restrict betting and have it carried on illegally behind a curtain. Speculation, I think I am safe in saying, is inherent in the British race, as it is in nearly all others. There is a tendency to spend your money with a view to increasing the amount, either by a bet on a horse race or by betting on stocks or on grain, or investing in real estate, and in many other ways; and I feel that if we stopped betting we would only be encouraging the system of so-called bootleg betting that is so prevalent at the present time. I claim that it is far better to apply remedies that would improve the conditions. I do not claim that the business is without abuse at the present time, but almost every business can be abused, almost any entertainment can be abused. I think we can attain a far better and a safer end by applying proper remedies to improve the conditions than by the application of a law which we cannot possibly carry into effect. Personally, I have never been able to see much difference between the man who wins a bet on a stock speculation and the one who wins a bet "on a race track, except that in the one case he is credited as a successful business man and in the other some of our friends call him a gambler.

In Great Britain, racing has been carried on for centuries, and during that period they have created what is known as the thorough

Race-track Belting

bred horse, a horse that is used for, racing in all parts of the world to-day, a horse that has played a most important part in building up many other breeds and bringing them to their present state of perfection, a horse that has realiy been the foundation of our very best cavalry horses, and a horse that is very much in demand at a good price throughout the country. In addition, the thoroughbred today plays a most important part in the production of what is known as the saddle horse, and the hunter, for which there is a very brisk market in many parts of this continent. It was only a few weeks ago, when I was judging at the big winter fair in Toronto, that I saw in some of these hunter classes as many as forty, fifty and sixty head of horses in each competition. It was one of the finest shows I have ever seen. I might say that one of the best stables of hunter horses in the world is owned a few miles out of Toronto. They went down to Madison Square Garden, New York, a year or two ago, and were successful in winning a great majority of the prizes. You cannot obtain perfection in this particular class of horse without the thoroughbred horse being used in its improvement.

Another point. If you stop the thoroughbred from racing you will never get the same perfection as you have to-day. The race track is the only place we have to form a real opinion as to a horse's courage, stamina and speed.

Racing is more popular than ever in Great Britain. The races there are conducted in a clean-cut, sportsmanlike way, and if anyone is caught doing anything crooked, he goes to gaol if they can prove the case against him. Racing is patronized there by everybody from the costermonger to the King, and any one would be very cold-blooded indeed who could attend either the Derby or the race for the Ascot gold cup without being very much moved. I had the pleasure of attending in 1921, the Ascot races. People do not go there by the thousands, but by the tens of thousands. I saw acres of cockneys, more cockneys than I ever expect to see in my life again, on that race track. To give you an idea of the crowd, Mr. Speaker, and of the popularity of this sport, it required from ten-thirty in the morning till twenty minutes to three in the afternoon to travel in a first-class automobile thirty miles over the best roads I have ever seen. It was simply one continuous procession. The people take a very keen interest in the sport, and everybody appears to have a little bit on the big race or on some race during the day. I saw some of the finest looking people I ever saw in my life on that occasion.

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LIB
CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

And they all appeared to be enjoying the sport to the full. Let me quote what the London Times has to say about the Derby:

Our people thrill to the Derby as to no other event in the sporting year. The great ones of the land are overshadowed by it into a just insignificance. A cabinet minister with double pneumonia would arouse far less concern than a Derby favourite with a cough. We are all apt in our own little worlds to think ourselves people of consequence. And so we may be. But we get our importance into better perspective when something happens that is really national-not the affair of any class or clique, but the feverish interest of everybody. Then we shrink to quite a wholesome size, and only become inflated again as Derby Day recedes. Next Wednesday, let us hope, will be a day of good sport. In any case, it will be a day when the noblest of animals will teach his masters their proper place.

That is an editorial published by, perhaps, the most prominent paper in the whole British Empire. Royalty not only attends races in Great Britain but also owns stables; and I may say here that I consider that where Royalty in the Old Country has taken an interest in live stock breeding-not only in horses but in other lines-it has been one of the greatest inducements to other people with money to invest along similar lines. Such encouragement as this has placed Britain today in the proud position where she has created, and maintains in a high state of perfection, more breeds of horses, cattle, sheep and swine, than the whole world combined.

In the Canadian West His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales owns a ranch where he breeds thoroughbred horses. Last fall he raced those horses and won some races, too. Great Britain has always been a great: country for the encouragement of outdoor sports, perhaps the greatest country in the world in that particular line. . And horse racing has been one of the greatest sports enjoyed by the people over there. This continuous devotion to sport and outdoor exercises has built up one of the greatest and best empires on the face of the globe. The people of Great Britain have made a record in business second to none. Their record in the late war is well known to you all. Their record after the war. in meeting their liabilities, is perhaps one of their greatest achievements. Think of it for a moment. It is a country where racing has been carried on for hundreds of years and where-if we were to take the remarks of the mover and . seconder of this resolution seriously

we might reasonably expect to find decay taking place as a result of the indulgence in that sport among all classes for hundreds of years. But what do we find? We find in Great Britain one of the best and strongest races physically in the world. It is

Race-track Betting

a country that has done more for the extension of-

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Has commercialized gambling been associated with horse racing for so many hundreds of years?

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

All I know about it is

that they go out there and bet, and I saw a string of book-makers at Ascot half a mile long. I did not ask them what they were doing, but they appeared to be trying to sell something. I am sure that this great country with all her achievements, and all her sins iu the matter of horse racing, has done more to extend civilization, and Christianity, has done more to spread the word of the Bible than any other country,-and she has raced through it all.

Considering that we are descended from a stock like that in the Mother Land it is only natural that racing should be popular in Canada. The sport has been carried on here for many years. We have in the Ontario Jockey Club one of the oldest organizations in the Dominion, and one that races every year at the Woodbine track, where they put up a nice, clean show-as nice a show as anyone might expect to see anywhere on this continent. They have a race there called the King's Plate, the oldest stake race run on this Continent and one that was first brought into prominence by the late Queen Victoria having contributed the plate which is raced for at the present time. They have also done another valuable work in the distribution of stallions throughout the country-in fact one of the features of the big winter show recently held in Toronto was the nightly parade of the stallions owned by the Ontario Jockey Club, and distributed about the country for the improvement of live stock, many of which were brought from Great Britain at very heavy cost. As I pointed out before, these animals are doing a very great service in the country, and we are able by the use of such improved blood to produce hunter horses of high quality. These horses sell at from $500 to $5,000 apiece, according to their quality and their ability to perform.

Then we have, close to Ottawa, the Connaught Jockey Club. I have attended several of the meetings of this club across the river, and I want to say that while it is a small meeting it is one that will compare very favourably with any race meeting I have attended elsewhere. It is run and operated by business men of this city simply for the sport there is in the game, and I am quite sure that if their books were examined to-morrow it would be seen that under the present percentage allowed they are not making any very

fMr. Tolmie.l

great profit. In this connection I might quote what the Ottawa Evening Journal has to say with regard to the meetings carried on at Connaught Park. In its issue of September 26, 1921, the Journal said editorially: THE CONNAUGHT PARK MEETING

The Connaught Park Jockey Club is to be congratulated on the character of the autumn meeting. A week of splendid racing was provided and enjoyed by many thousands of people, men and women of all ages. There was no suggestion throughout the meeting or after it of dishonest racing. The patrons of the club appeared to get a fair gamble in their betting in the mutuel machines. Forty thousand dollars was given by the club in stakes and purses, these being of a size to attract some fine horses from a number of the leading racing stables of the continent. Canadian bred horses were prominent among the winners. It is understood that the Jockey Club kept in view local conditions in managing the meeting and that of a wage bill of $20,000 for the week a good part went to returned soldiers and practically all to local men.

Senator Belcourt, president of the club. Mr. Stewart McClenaghan, chairman of the management committee, Mr. T. P. Gorman, secretary, and others who were responsible for the conduct of the meeting, merit the appreciation of thousands of race-goers of the Capital. Good clean racing on well ordered tracks such as the Connaught Park Jockey Club presented, is the best opposition to the attempts of reformers to abolish the sport.

Now, I may say that racing is of the greatest assistance to some of our exhibitions held in the far West. In the first place racing has a distinct advantage over any other form of attraction at an agricultural exhibition, for the reason that if you hire certain attractions to perform during the week every daily performance is the same; but in the case of racing, no matter how often it is carried on, no two races are exactly alike, neither is one day's racing like that of the day previous. You therefore have an entire change of programme each day during the whole week. Racing seems to be the most popular sport that can take place in connection with agricultural exhibitions out in our - country. We have had racing at the Victoria exhibition for a number of years. Last year, unfortunately, we elected a gentleman to high office in the city of Victoria who objected to racing. In the adjoining municipality of Oak Bay, another man was elected who also objected to racing. I suppose the two gentlemen put their heads together and decided that they would not have any races last summer in Victoria. The result was that a referendum on the subject was submited to the people of the city, and also of the adjoining municipality, as to whether we would have racing with pari-mutuel machines or not, and in both cases, when the votes were counted, the decision was decidedly in the affirmative. In the city of Victoria the vote in favour of horse racing with pari-mutuel machines was

Race-track Betting

something over two to one and the mayor of the city, who objected so strongly to racing last year, now stays at home, a majority of 3,600 having been cast against him in the municipal elections.

Racing is enjoyed by thousands of people in this country. Thousands of dollars have been invested in racing plants, and in breeding establishments and stables. I know of one plant in Canada the proprietor of which told me only last summer out at the Connaught Club races, that he had half a million dollars invested in his breeding establishment and racing stables. I claim that the right of these people should be protected. They have a right to ask that from the government of this country. I am quite sure that, after the futile efforts of the people to the south of the line, by certain legislation, to make the people in that country good, we should profit by the lesson, and should realize that you cannot legislate people to be good in this country any more than you can in any other. If the people are inclined to speculate they will do it, and if they cannot do it legally, they will do it illegally. It is far better, in my opinion, to have people betting out in the open, where everybody can see them, rather than to drive them to the pool rooms, to illegal betting and card playing. . Let me quote an extract from a correspondent in the Citizen, speaking of betting. It reads:

-It is intensely human and natural-if all the joys and amiable weaknesses were cut out, life would be scarcely worth the living, and anyway a sinless Eden would make Heaven a perfectly superfluous abode.

If that paragraph represents the sentiments of a portion of the people of this country, then apparently there are some friends of the racing game. Under these conditions, why not look the matter squarely in the face, and try to apply reasonable remedies, rather than to attempt the impossible. If the mover and seconder of this resolution will bring down any scheme which will improve the conditions I will be very glad to give them my hearty support, because I believe in straight racing, and have absolutely no use for crooked racing. What we need to-day is rather proper regulation. We should aim at something we can achieve rather than try to accomplish the impossible.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

Did the hon. member approve or disapprove of the order in council passed in the summer of 1917?

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

I never came into politics till 1918. There are laws that I have pointed out prohibiting the betting on races any-, where except on race tracks, and I would ask the mover of this resolution, are those rules

being observed? It is quite possible to get a bet on any race being run in the United States to-day by simply going down town and finding out where bets will be taken. If we cannot enforce the present law against illegal betting in pool rooms, how does the mover and seconder ever hope to accomplish any more, if the present legislation which they propose is adopted? Why not try and remedy this first evil as we go along, and when we accomplish that try and do something better, if something reasonable is suggested? Personally, I would very strongly favour federal control of racing from one end of this country tp the other. It would guarantee a certain amount of uniformity. We can remove the abuses as they occur in the racing game, and lift racing to a higher plane even than it occupies to-day. Then, by the application of reasonable taxation, a good revenue could be secured, which could be devoted to charity and the development of research in connection with our contagious diseases. And in that connection I would suggest that tuberculosis, both in the human family and in animals, should be taken up very much along the line which France has adopted successfully for some time past. I would like to point out to the mover of the resolution, that he supports the government in Toronto, which government is using its best efforts to squeeze the last dollar out of the racing game. In fact, it has reached the point where it is little less than extortion at the present time. If they are really in earnest in their desire to eradicate horse racing, why do they not tax it out of business? They have the law right in their hands, and can do it if they wish. That would be far better and more manly than to try to throw the responsibility on the federal government. Judging from their actions, one can only conclude that the revenue from racing has a great many more attractions for them than the eradication of the sport.

With regard to paternal legislation which is going to tell us when to go to bed and when to get up, I may say that there is very strong resentment among the people throughout the country. There is no use attempting to force upon the people any form of legislation which we cannot carry out, and if we are going to ask British immigrants to come and settle in Canada, for goodness sake let us leave them a few things that they can do that they were accustomed to do in the Old Country before they came over here. I believe, Mr. Speaker, as I have said once before, that we can accomplish a good deal by taking hold of this matter and investigating it thoroughly, applying those remedies that will cure the condition, rather than by the application of irn-

Race-track Betting

possible legislation. Therefore, I must oppose the resolution proposed by the hon. member for Brant.

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. ANDREW McMASTER (Brome):

I desire, in rising to support the motion proposed by the hon. member for Brant, to deal with some of the-I was going to say the arguments, but I think I will qualify that remark by saying-the assertions made by those who are opposed to it. Let me first deal with the royalist argument introduced by way of interjection by my good friend the learned and hon. member for George Etienne Cartier (Mr. Jacobs). Does the hon. member for Brant not know, says the hon. member for George Etienne Cartier, that the King of England is an owner of race-horses, a supporter-of race meets and all that that means? If the hon. member desires to infer that the King of England is fond of seeing horses race, I do not doubt that that is true, but my recollection of all the public utterances of King George have been to the effect that he is a strong opponent of gambling, and I know his father was before him.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Is that an assertion or an argument?

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

That is an argument and an assertion, but the royalist argument used by the hon. member for George Etienne Cartier-

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would advise members on both sides not to use the name of His Majesty in the present discussion. First of all, rule 19 states that no member shall speak disrespectfully of His Majesty. Of course this afternoon no member has used disrespectfully the name of His Majesty, but this rule must be interpreted, and I find in the authors that the name of His Majesty should never be brought into a debate in a way to influence the opinions of a deliberative body. I refer to rule 19. You will find in Beau-chesne's Parliamentary Rules, under rule 19:

Besides the prohibitions contained in this rule, it has been sanctioned by usage both in England and in Canada that a member, while speaking, must not:

And I refer to paragraph (f) which reads:

(f) Use the King's name for the purpose of influencing debate.

And whilst I have not in my hand Bourinot or May, I know there are any number of precedents where the Speaker has, during a debate, stopped members addressing the House when the name of His Majesty or His Excellency has been mentioned. Let me quote the following from Sir Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice, twelfth edition, at page 292:

[Mr. McMaster.'l

The irregular use of the King's name to influence a decision of the House is unconstitutional in principle, and inconsistent with the independence of parliament. Where the Crown lias a distinct interest in a measure, there is an authorized mode of communicating His Majesty's recommendation or consent, through one of his ministers; but His Majesty cannot be supposed to have a private opinion, apart from that of his responsible advisers; and any attempt to use his name in debate to influence the judgment of parliament, would be immediately checked and censured.

I would also refer to Bourinot, page 338, where it is stated that:

The use of the name of the sovereign or his representative in: debate, so as to interfere with the freedom of discussion, or for the purpose of influencing the determination of the House or the votes of members, with respect to any matter pending in parliament is out of order, being unconstitutional and an interference with the independence of parliament.

I must say that there was but a very mild use this afternoon, and there was nothing disrespectful. I am, however, just stating the principle which is accepted in England and in Canada, that is to avoid entirely mixing up the name of His Majesty in any debate. We must not. forget that this assembly, like the House of Commons in England, is considered the first club of gentlemen in the land,

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

The argument used by the hon. member for George Etienne Cartier (Mr. Jacobs) was amplified and extended by the genial member for Victoria City (Mr. Tolmie). In support of gambling at race-tracks, he called upon British and imperial sentiment. The British Empire apparently, according to the former Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie) -and perhaps the portfolio which he held before is some excuse for the position he as-sumes-rests not upon the commerce of Great Britain, not upon the fact that John Bull is, perhaps, the greatest trader in the world, not upon the manufacturers or the shippers of Great Britain, but upon the racing of Great Britain, and it is because the British people are so given to racing, that they have been able to have their far-flung Empire upon which the sun never sets.

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

Does the hon. member mean to say that I deliberately said that the progress of Great Britain and its commerce depended upon horse racing?

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I did not say that the hon. member said that deliberately; but I say that that was the inference from his remarks, and that is a fair paraphrase of what he said.

I can understand that prompt settling of liabilities may be encouraged by attendance at a race-course, and so far as that goes, per-

Race-track Betting

haps, my. hon. friend is right. But that the spread of Christianity and of the Bible was in some way connected with the institution of betting at race-courses is quite beyond me.

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

Is the hon. gentleman stating that I said I believed the extension of Christianity and of the Bible was due to horse-racing?

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

No, I will say almost exactly what the hon. member said. "The British people are a great people." We will all agree with that. "They have spread the Bible throughout the world, and they have been racing all the time." Was it inferred by my hon. friend that racing was deterrent to the spread of Christianity and the Bible, or was it in spite of racing that they were spreading the Bible, or was it because racing creates manly people and manly people were spreading the Bible?

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I interject that they were racing to spread the Bible.

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I am glad my hon.

friend is interested in this subject. I tell him, he is interested in the Old Testament but not in the New. It would seem to me that what my hon. friend (Mr. Tolmie) has stated, has nothing to do with the greatness of Great Britain. I have a great admiration for the British people; but I have no admiration for the addiction to gambling and betting which is one of the failings of that great people.

Then we heard from the hon. gentleman who brought forward the imperialistic argument, the argument of vested interests. There are, he said, hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in racing plants, and as racing can be maintained only through betting, we must maintain betting in order to maintain racing, in order to secure the permanence of the invested capital in that business-for I take it that that argument is an admission that racing is not only a sport but a business. .

Then my hon. friend spoke about "paternal legislation" which he denounced in unmeasured terms. If he will turn to the criminal code and look at the law on betting, 2 George V, chapter 19, he will see paternal legislation carried to the utmost degree. We are told how many days a week horses can run, and how many miles from cities race tracks may be established. If ever fatherly care was shown in connection with legislation it certainly is shown in the case of this statute.

Why am I in support of this resolution? Because I am a Liberal, not a Liberal of the age referred to by the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret), but a modern Liberal.

When I see in our statutes. th$t gambling, -that is to say, gambling from which someone makes a profit, is prohibited everywhere except on a race-tig

I take objection. It is not attempted, to touch, and this resolution does not touch, gambling between two friends who wish to put a bet upon a horse or upon the odd or even number of an automobile, or to adopt any other foolish way of wasting one's time or money. What is objected to is the exception made in favour of race-tracks by the law of the land in regard to common gaming houses. That is the point. Is it fair that two or three men, who wish to. gamble, and who meet together and appoint one to keep the- what is the name?-"kitty" it would be in some games-to keep the table and to have a rake-off for keeping the table, should come under the condemnation of the criminal law, while other men are permitted by the law to go three miles outside of some city, maintain a race-course and run races so many times a week, and authorize someone to make money out of their gambling? I believe in equal rights for all and special privileges for none, and that is the main objection I have to the law as it is at present.

My hon. friends who have opposed this motion have spoken as though the motion were an impairment of individual liberty. Of course it is. But article 235, dealing with betting and pool-selling elsewhere than on race-tracks; article 228, defining what is the keeping of a disorderly house; article 227 of the criminal code, in which a common betting house is defined;-these are [DOT] all infringements of natural liberty. The eloquent speech, which everyone enjoyed listening to, pronounced by the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret), was not directed against this resolution, it was directed against the criminal code of this country which forbids betting as a commercialized proposition. His whole speech was in favour of open betting; and if he were consistent with himself he *would be as strongly opposed to the present law as to the resolution introduced in this House by the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Good).

Now, let me take up for a moment the proposition that horse-racing could not exist without gambling. I know very little about horse-racing. I have been fond Of sport all my life, but what I enjoyed was playing at something myself and not seeing animals or Other people playing. If horse-racing has attractions that draw the crowd merely for the love of seeing the horses run, it would Seem to me that the gate receipts should be

Questions

great enough to enable prizes to be given sufficiently high to encourage competition in horse-racing. And if the existence of horseracing is necessary to the development of a high class of blood animal, though I am all for economy and hate governmental expense, I would prefer to see the government offer a few good prizes for the best race-horses and do away with this roundabout method of obtaining money for the purpose of giving prizes. I would infinitely prefer to see the government give a few great national prizes for the best three or four or five classes than to have us depend on a weakness in human character and in human conduct, to call it no worse than that. I am one who believes that you cannot legislate men into righteousness. But you can, by legislation, remove a great many of the snares that beset the rising generation.

On motion of Mr. Carmichael 'he debate was adjourned.

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February 28, 1923