March 2, 1925

LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. L. H. MARTELL (Hants):

I have

heard the argument submitted by my hon. friend from St. James (Mr. Rinfret). There

Race Track Betting

are many members on my own side of the House for whom I have great respect. One is the hon. member for St. James, and another, is my hon. friend from Cape Breton South and Richmond (Mr. Carroll). But when we are placing upon the statute book of this country prohibitory legislation, then I think my hon. friend from Brant (Mr. Good) has introduced a first-class piece of legislation, and I hope as a result of his resolution a law will be placed on the statute book. It is a great thing that we on this side of the House, led by my right hon. friend (Mr. Mackenzie King), can afford to disagree among ourselves on a matter of great public interest. The hon. member for Brant is introducing into this House a very important piece of legislation, and has argued forcibly I think in support of it. The hon. member for St. James has presented a good argument from his standpoint; but we are not getting fair racing as a result of the legislation that exists to-day. It is all very well to say that if we endeavour to put restrictions upon the racing of horses we are going to prevent the breeding of good horses in Canada. That is not the case. There is not a member of this House-not even the hon. member for Brant-who is against horse racing. I do not think he would say he is against it, but what he is opposed to is the fact that there is an organized system in this country of cheating the people at races. That is all there is to it. You go to a horse race and what do you find? You look at the odds. You have twenty to one shots and you have thirty to one shots; you have a certain horse which is placed at two to one, a second horse at certain odds, a third horse at. certain odds, and I am very much convinced of the fact that there is some person who knows exactly what home is going to win. That is what I think the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Good) is trying to prevent. He is not trying to prohibit good old-fashioned, honest horse racing which many of us have been accustomed to seeing. In the winter-time we could go to our pond or to our river and we could see farmers bringing out their horses. We could all subscribe a certain amount of money to furnish prizes for those horses, first, second and third. The passing of the resolution of my hon. friend does not prevent that. The same thing happens in the summertime. You can go to a race track and you can subscribe prizes and witness a genuine horse race. That is the sort of horse race that encourages the breeding of horses in this country, but when we get back to the organized system of gambling 43i

legalized by parliament it is absolutely wrong. That is the reason I oppose it at the present time. I do not believe in prohibition in anything. I believe we were given by the Great Divine Creator a certain amount of reasonable intelligence, but this reasonable intelligence should not be permitted to be used in excess for the purpose of the aggrandizement of certain people of the country in order to make money at the expense of other people. For that reason I intend to vote for the resolution of the hon. member for Brant, much as I respect the hon. member for St. James.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. L. J. LADNER (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. MoQuarrie) provides in his constituency two tracks for horse racing on Lulu island, and from my constituency come frequently several thousands of people to fill the grandstands. It may be said that I would be embarrassed by either the motion or one of the several amendments, but I am not. The resolution in question is a straight issue whether we are for or against horse racing as it is carried on in Canada today under the law. To support the resolution means without question the elimination of horse racing in Canada, excepting in the small meets where these prizes referred to by the last speaker (Mr. Martell) are put up. To oppose the resolution would have the appearance of supporting a special privilege for public gambling protected by the Criminal Code of Canada. That is according to the wording of the resolution and I do not favour such an idea. The amendment deals with an entirely different phase of the question. It does not go to the principle of horse racing, whether it be good, bad or indifferent, but it goes to an abuse which I believe, is accepted by all thinking citizens of this country as being an abuse to be eradicated. The amendment to the amendment really reverts again to the main motion involving the principle of horse racing in Canada.

In this particular discussion, I do not consider that I am called upon to express my personal opinion. Personally, I am not much interested in horse racing, if you judge interest from the point of view of attendance. I believe my duty here to-day is to express the will of the majority of the people in my constituency and, as far as I can, of the majority of the people in British Columbia. Members from other parts of Canada will speak for their particular sections. British Columbia has considered this matter in a legislative way. The provincial legislature made quite a careful inquiry into the question

Race Track Betting

of horse racing, its advantages, its disadvantages, its abuses, and all the merits and demerits attributable to this particular enjoyment. Representations were heard from all public bodies for and against horse racing. The owners and those interested1 in the tracks and horses appeared before a committee of the legislature and the people at large placed their views before that body. After very careful consideration of the question extending over a lengthy period of time, the provincial legislature arrived at a decision which was in the nature of a compromise. They reduced the days of horse racing in British Columbia from seventy-two to forty-four; a very large majority of the members of the provincial legislature agreed to that legislation, and it has become the law of that province as regards horse racing. The motion of the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Good) would seek to impose upon the provincial legislature of British Columbia the super-authority of the Parliament of Canada on the self-same problem which that province has considered and decided upon. In that regard the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfrev) expresses my view. The people of one province may think one way and the people of another province may think another. It is not good policy for this parliament to seek to undermine the decision of a province legislating on the same principle indirectly through the Criminal Code instead of by direct legislation. The people of British Columbia through their representatives in the provincial legislature having decided upon this question, I believe as a matter of policy that hon. members from British Columbia should be guided by that decision rather than by their personal will and judgment.

I do not propose to say anything on the moral aspect of the question. I would, however, point out that in some speeches to-day the extremes of the gambling side and also the extremes of the raising of good race horses have been put before this House. In my judgment, in horse racing there is an element of both judgment and chance. It is not gambling in the sense that lotteries are gambling as you find them in Prance and in many other countries. Business men in almost every activity in life engage in gambling from the time they step into their office until they leave, if the element of chance is to become the determining factor plus the element of judgment. When our friends from the prairies sell their crop of wheat in the fall- and perhaps many of them are hedging or selling short or long at the present time on wheat-there is in that far more element of chance than element of judgment. The

element of judgment is more prevalent and there is greater opportunity for exercising it in horse racing than there is on a wheat market especially as it has been during the last few weeks. It is not, however, my intention to elaborate on that point. As I say, the legislature of British Columbia having decided this question after hearing all parties interested, I do not propose to aid by my vote a motion which seeks to superimpose upon British Columbia the will of the Parliament of Canada.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. ROBERT FORKE (Brandon):

Mr. Speaker, we seem to have got into a tangle through the motion, the amendment and the amendment to the amendment. I may say, before I go any further, that I intend to vote for the amendment to the amendment. I will vote against the amendment, and if both are defeated, I will vote for the resolution. I listened with a good deal of in-9 p.m. terest to the speech delivered by the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret). He made a very clever argument, but in my opinion he started from a wrong premise. He started on the assumption that betting was right in itself, and consequently all his argument was built upon a false foundation. I agree, however, with the sentiment that, perhaps, in modern times we are too fond of legislation. I think I repeated the phrase the other day, "Anxious for legislation but impatient of law". And that I think is a weakness of modern civilization; we are too anxious, generally speaking, to tie ourselves up with laws. In this particular case however, I look upon the matter in an entirely different light. There are questions that are fundamentally moral, and of course I admit the right of everyone to judge for himself so far as that is concerned. But in the matter of betting I do believe that this practice, as I know it to be carried on, is immoral in principle, and therefore I can do nothing else conscientiously than vote against the legalizing of what I regard as a moral wrong.

It has been suggested that some in this House are against horse racing, but I do not think that this is so. After all, what is a horse race? It is simply an effort on the part of one animal to outspeed another in a set race, and so far as I have had any experience of horse racing it has always struck me as being not so much a question of speed as a matter of fairness and honesty on the part of the riders, and also of the closeness of the contest. How much difference does it make in a race unless you have a stop watch? The trouble with modern racing is that it is not conducted as a test of the speed of horses but merely as a

Race Track Betting

means of settling bets, and that is what destroys horse racing as a sport. Now, I want to say a few words about sport, for I think that sport is one of the finest things in human life. And that is a broad statement to make.

I like to see sport among young people, and there is no better phrase we have to-day than the one we use when we speak of playing the game. What does "playing the game" mean? It means playing fair; and in the school yard, in the large arena of sports generally, one of the finest things in Canada to-day is the fact that everyone wants to see sport carried on fairly. We admire those who when they win can take victory with humility and those who when they lose can look upon defeat with courage. That is the kind of thing we call sport. I wonder how many members in this House will say that racing as it is conducted to-day is in reality what we can call clean sport? Conscientiously speaking, I do not think it can be so described. Rather, judging by what I have seen of racing, I am inclined to think, as one hon. member has already said to-night, that often it is known beforehand what horse is going to win. This would not be so if it were not for betting.

As to the argument that horse racing is necessary to encourage the breeding of good horses, I would dwell on that point for a moment. I have had some little experience in my early years in the raising of race horses and I know something about thoroughbreds. Let me tell hon. gentlemen that no one can afford to breed a racehorse unless he is a very wealthy man; and I will say why.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

Or unless he has a good

horse.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Wait a minute and let me

explain; I know what I am talking about this time at any rate. I can speak about running horses; I am not referring now to harness horses. I know, that when you breed horses for, racing purposes you may breed about twenty colts, or even fifty, before you get one that will win a race. On the other hand, when you raise a horse for harness purposes, for working in the field, even though he may have some blemish or may be weak in some spots he can always be sold for what he is worth. When you raise a running horse, however, unless he is speedy and without blemish, he is likely of not much account for anyone. And there is the difficulty in producing racehorses. So that horse racing, if it is to be conducted as a clean sport, will always be undertaken largely by wealthy people. The other sort of racing that has been alluded to

in this House to-night, that is to say, racing at country fairs and local meets, and events of that sort, is, I think, about the cleanest and best sport we can find in the country in connection with what I would call legitimate horse racing.

Allusion has been made to-night to gambling in other respects than racing. Now, I come of a race which perhaps is just as fond of money as any other, but I for one do not want anything for nothing; I want to give value in return for any money I receive, no matter in what way I get it. And I sometimes think, when I have gone out to the races and have seen betting going on, that if the people who felt jubilant over their winnings could come face to face with some of those from whom they got their money, they would not be so happy after all. No one who has gone to the race course and watched some of the scenes that take place there, the heartburnings, the soreness and the disappointments, can feel much joy in any winnings he has made. Getting something for nothing will not tend to make anyone happy; you will find it a law of life that no happiness will come in any other way than in rendering some service, and I could never appreciate any money that I got from anyone for which I did not give value in return. I know that there is something in human nature that inclines us to take a chance, as we say. I believe the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) alluded to that fact. Well, do you not think that there is enough in human life in the way of taking chances without artificially manufacturing games of chance? It seems to me that when one takes a chance at legitimate work he endeavours to give some service to those around him. to do something for ihis family and for humanity. He may fail in his endeavours and lose in the fight, but at any rate his fight was honest, and his intention was rather to give some benefit in return for what he received. It needs courage to be a good gambler. You have heard of "poker face." I do not know anything about poker, but I do know that poker face is a mask that can hide the feelings that are behind. Hon. gentlemen may laugh, but while I do not know anything about this form of activity, I do know that the man who has gone in for that sort of thing loses his feelings to a large extent; at any rate, he feels no sorrow for other people, as he probably would in other walks of life if he happened to make some success through another's misfortune.

Race Track Betting

I cannot agree to give betting a legal status. I know very well that you cannot make people moral by legislation; I admit that. I grant, too, that perhaps it is a wrong idea that you can make laws to keep everyone walking along the straight and narrow path. But when you find the government going out of its way in the Criminal Code to provide special legislation for one particular thing in this category, I am inclined to look upon it with suspicion and to wonder what the reason is for such legislation. There is a difference between gambling and what we may call speculation. Speculation may not always be right in itself, but it is quite different from gambling. I would remark to my hon. friends to my left, in this connection, that we in the west know what speculation really means. When the western farmer goes out and sows his seed in the spring he is speculating to a certain extent upon the harvesting of a crop. At the same time, he is not robbing anyone; he is trying to raise a crop that will be of value if he is successful. So you cannot compare the taking of a chance in that way with gambling.

Allusion has been made to-night to wheat gambling in the pit, on the grain exchange. Mr. Speaker, I am just as ready to condemn wheat gambling as I am to condemn horse gambling. I believe it is utterly wrong in principle and bad in practice. If any hon. member here had in his employ a young man who was speculating in futures or gambling on the race track he would not entrust him with very large sums of money, and that in itself, I think, is proof that there is something dangerous and wrong in the habit of gambling.

I do not intend to say anything more, because I do not think I can add anything to the arguments that have been presented here to-night. I do not want to set myself up as a Puritan. I know there are certain weaknesses in human nature and that if you attempt to tie people down too tight they will find an outlet in some other direction. But I do believe this thing is wrong in principle and that it should not be recognized by the government of this country; therefore I am prepared to vote for anything that will curtail what I consider to be an evil in itself.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with a great deal of pleasure to the discussion which has taken place on the resolution offered by the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Good). He proposes in that resolution entirely to eliminate horse racing as it is carried on in this country, for

this reason: that it is well known that to carry on horse racing under present conditions, to offer the large purses that are given in connection with horse racing, there must be a source of revenue other than that which is derived from the gate. In that connection an added revenue is secured from the commission paid on the pari-mutuel machines. If we did not have this, then, we could not offer the large prizes that are at present given and we would be unable to secure the best horses in competition with the United States and therefore would not be able to put up the high quality of racing that is found on many of our tracks to-day.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Joliette):

What is the commission charged, or what is the rake-off, on the pari-mutuels?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
Permalink
CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

That is all to be found in

the criminal code-the different percentages that are charged. Ontario charges a tax of five per cent on what is taken in through the pari-mutuel machines.

With regard to the various amendments which have been offered, the sub-amendment, I think, is a rather ingenious one because after it patches up the amendment to a certain extent it remains with practically the same effect as the original resolution; it would cut out horse racing altogether. I do not propose to support that.

So far as the handbooks are concerned, there is no one interested in legitimate racing who does not wish to have handbooks wiped out entirely. It is a fact that in the city of Ottawa to-day and in every prominent city in the whole of Canada-the same is true of the United States

you can go down town any day and bet on a race at Tia Juana, Mexico; Miami, Florida, or Lexington, Kentucky, where races are being conducted at the present time. That is the sort of thing that the person who wishes to gamble has access to every day, and it is a very injurious thing. It is quite different on the race track, where racing is continued only for a very short time, a week or ten days in the spring, perhaps, and then no more opportunities until the following fall. That, I repeat, is a quite different thing from the handbook system.

As I said a moment ago, it is utterly impossible to conduct racing on a high scale without a certain amount of betting. Betting on horse races is permitted in every part of the British Empire. The hon. member for Duf-ferin (Mr. Woods) this afternoon called attention to the fact that we should bring up our young people in this country as well as possible. I quite agree with him on that point,

Race Track Betting

as well as on many of the other points he brought out in regard to the moral phases of the question. But I would ask him this: Can we expect to bring our young people up any better than the young people of Great Britain are being brought up, where they have carried on horse racing for hundreds of years, and where, indeed, pure bred horses really originated?

As to the estimate of the amount of money bet on race tracks, you will see statistics which, it is alleged, show that $36,000,000, $50,000,000 and up was bet in one year, with the additional statement that the most of this money went to the United States. But what evidence is there that this has taken place? How can you tell how much new money has actually been bet? You can go to the race track here at Connaught Park with a two dollar bill and if you are fairly lucky you may come home with your two dollar bill after the seven races are run. Or you may make a little money, or you may lose your two dollar bill on the first race. It is a very difficult matter to estimate the amount of new money that is wagered on an occasion like that.

As to the remarks of the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. McQuarrie), he is a brother British Columbian. He has distinguished himself in his knowledge of law; he has distinguished himself in this House in his knowledge of sockeye salmon. He proved himself some years ago to be a very great lacrosse player. But when it comes to horses he needs, to take a night course in some school. I was very much astonished to hear him say there were no Canadian horses racing at the coast meetings; that a gang of fellows, blacklegs and others, came up from California and elsewhere, swept up all the money and then went out. Do not think for a minute that British Columbians are as easy as that. I know of several strings of Canadian horses that are racing at the coast. I know of horses from the big E.P. ranch south of Calgary, owned by the Prince of Wales. Horses are bred in the interior of British Columbia, horses bred at the coast, horses that come from my own town of Victoria, are competing in these races on the mainland and on the island.

An. hon. MEMBER: Do they win?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

Win? Certainly, they get

their share. With regard to the nature of the racing carried on there, I feel that the hon. member is rather too severe in his criticism. I quite agree with the action of the British Columbia government, however, in regulating the racing rather than introducing legislation such as we are considering here

to-night, which has for its object the utter elimination of racing. We know that racing has been carried on for many years in Great Britain, in Australia and in New Zealand under careful regulations and that it is under those conditions one of the cleanest sports that, you could have anything to do with. In British Columbia they have cut down the number of days' racing from seventy-two to forty-four, on the ground that seventy-two was too much, and I agree with them.

We have heard a good deal of criticism regarding this racing business; let us look for a moment at the other side of the question, and deal with some points that have not 3'et been touched on to any great extent. In the first, place, racing is one of the most popular sports, properly conducted. Let me say that I have not one dollar invested in any race horse or any race track. I am speaking on this question as I do because I feel that the people should be allowed to judge for themselves to a certain extent; that they should not be legislated around in their daily life as we are trying to do in connection with some other matters.

This sport of racing is backed up by a very important and growing industry, that of horse breeding. It is proposed to wipe this out entirely. When we realize that during the year 1924 there were in our country no less than 2,000,000 patrons of race tracks it will readily be seen that there is some force in the suggestion of the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) that this is a big country and that we should consider all the people and their wishes in matters of this kind. It is estimated that only 75 per cent of the people who go to a race track bet on the races through the machines. There are many others who do not go to the machines at all, but pass the hat around, form a pool and do a little betting, but 25 per cent, it is estimated, do not bet on the races at all, but simply go there for the pleasure of looking on. This betting on racing, taken on the whole, I feel is not done by the average visitor to the race track for the purpose of getting rich, for the purpose of making money, but rather for the purpose of an added thrill to the interest in the races. A party of four or five will go out and put in the afternoon making small bets, such as $2 on a race, have an enjoyable time, compare their winnings and losses on the way home and it adds considerable interest to the afternoon's sport.

There is one other very interesting feature in connection with race track betting, and that is that whereas when the pari-mutuel system was first introduced larger sums were bet to a very great extent; nowadays on

Race Track Betting

many of the big tracks it has been found necessary to remove many of the big betting machines, and there has been a very much greater demand for the smaller or two-dollar bets, indicating that people are not betting to make money on the races but to give an added interest to the afternoon's sport.

We have at least $6,000,000 invested in race tracks in this country. It is proposed by the resolution before us to wipe out this investment entirely, to make it perfectly worthless. Ontario derives a revenue of something like $4,000,000 a year from her race tracks. This is a very important revenue. They charge $7,500 a day on the mile tracks, and $2,500 a day on the smaller tracks. In addition, there is an amusement tax, and in addition to that five per cent of the amount of the money that goes through the machines also goes to the province.

There is another very important phase to this question, one that is sneered at sometimes by those who are perhaps not as well informed, and that is the important part that racing plays in connection with the breeding of horses, particularly the thoroughbred horse, the hunter and the saddle horse. We have horse breeding establishments in Canada extending from Quebec to the Pacific coast. Perhaps the most prominent is the EP. ranch south of Calgary, owned by the Prince of Wales, where he has established a first class stud of thoroughbred horses. These breeding establishments vary from those owning a single mare to other establishments where there is an investment of half a million dollars. My good friend from Brandon (Mr. Forke), the leader of the Progressives, a few moments ago suggested that the breeding of thoroughbred horses was a very precarious thing. I will admit that. The breeding of any kind of a horse is a precarious thing, for any horse might be unsound; it might be born unsound, or suffer from a blemish later on which will greatly reduce its value, but if you are breeding and have established a stud of horses, very carefully selected, you can get rid of your stock without expending a single dollar on training at all, simply by selling them on their pedigree, on the results of what their sires and dams have done, and what the offspring oc these particular animals have been able to d>

on the 'rick. If you have good stock, j'ou will always find a ready sale for them.

I may say that over $2,000,000 in purses was divided among the race horse owners in Canada during the past year. It has been suggested by some of the speakers that nearly all of this money went to the United States.

It may perhaps be of interest to you to know that of all the stables that raced in Canada last year the two largest winners were Canadian stables, one of which won between $90,000 and $100,000. That was just simply in purses, or what was offered by the race track owner. At the Woodbine track in Toronto, $70,000 was offered in purses to Canadian breeders. Only horses bred in Canada were permitted to compete in these races. In addition to that, they have offered special prizes to the breeder of the winners of some of these big races, with the result that one man located in Ontario -who owned only one thoroughbred mare produced a winner in one of these races and was promptly handed a cheque by the Ontario Jockey Club for $500 as an encouragement to go on and breed more good horses. The Ontario Jockey Club, composed of four different associations, have rendered a very valuable service to the horse breeders in this country inasmuch as they have spent a lot of money in the importation of first-class thoroughbred stallions from the Old Country. These animals are rendering excellent service in the improvement of live stock in this country, and all this is carried on absolutely at their own expense. In adition to that, they have offered a number of prizes to horses shown at the various exhibitions. You will all understand that in producing a first-class saddle horse or high class hunter, you must have a thoroughbred cross in order to get that fineness of quality so much desired in the fine saddle horse or hunter. From the purebred you get speed and stamina, the ability to travel over rough country, take high fences and water jumps at a good speed, and at the same time be able to go the distance; and in no other way can you get it.

The United States government, recognizing the value of improving the quality of hunters and saddle horses, is spending $250,000 in assisting in that work. The breeding of the thoroughbred horse has been taken up to a considerable extent by the states in the south, particularly in Kentucky, California and some other states, but it is from Great Britain that the very best horses come. It is to Great Britain that owners from the Argentine, the United States and other parts of the world go when they wish to secure fresh blood of high class quality. They have built up a big industry in both these countries I have mentioned, and also in Australia, where they pay thousands of dollars for horses. We shall find conditions in Canada just as good when racing is as well regulated as it is in

Race Track Betting

these other countries, and we shall have an excellent market here for the raiser of purebred horses.

While, as I have pointed out, the effect of the resolution before us to-night would be to destroy absolutely horse racing in Canada for the reasons that I have already given you, it is interesting to know that my good friend from Brant has not introduced into his resolution anything to overcome gambling in the wheat pit or on the stock exchanges, or gambling over the bridge table which takes place in every city of Canada from one end to the other every night. If you are invited to a bridge game in any recognized house, and you will not play for money, that will be the last invitation you get.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Mah Jongg, too.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

There is nothing in the

resolution about those handbooks that are doing so much harm all over this country from one end to the other. If you are going to wipe out gambling, let us get together and be consistent and wipe it all out at once. I have here a.little clipping taken from a paper in Florida in which Clarence Darrow, a well known lawyer in the United States makes a few remarks in regard to racing.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

Have you got the opinion there of Mr. Calder, of Montreal, with regard to Mr. Darrow? .

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

I will just give you this first, and take a chance on Mr. Darrow later.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Calder will be with you on this.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

Mr. Darrow says:

I have greatly enjoyed visiting the track. Most people come to Miami to be amused, and I know of no better source of amusement, and I am glad, for one, that the visitors here have an opportunity of seeing the races. The few people who hold out objection to racing always remind me amusingly of the story of why the Puritans abolished bear-beating-not because it was cruelty to the bear, but because it was pleasure to the onlookers. And I thought the modem American was ahead of that feeling.

It's funny, the trend of the mind. A lot of people seem to think that a bet on a horse race is a sin, and never stop to think that practically everything in life is a gamble. One is encouraged to buy real estate on the chance that the value will go up, or to take a chance on the price of grain or stocks and bonds rising, and no one thinks anything of it, and yet there is no comparison as to the amount of money lost or won.

All business involves a large element of gambling One buys something in order to sell again at a profit, with no certainty that such will be the case. Practically all one's life is a gamble. In fact, if the speculative element were removed there would be little left to live for. That is life.

I do not believe that we can remedy the situation by eliminating horse racing altogether. That would be a very sad result, particularly in a country like this where there are so many British bom people with whom this pastime is so extremely popular. I think that in order to meet the whole situation as we find it there should be, not only with respect to horse racing but as regards many of the other lines which I have mentioned, a real campaign of education in which the churches should take a very active part and that we should receive the support of the people who are in favour of carrying on that work. .

The resolution would wipe out betting on horse racing altogether; it would wipe out the races, but it would not stop the handbook gambling that is taking place every day. I feel that it would be much better to have what betting we have carried on in this country, if the law is strictly carried out, and to have that betting out in the open as we find it on our race tracks and under proper supervision, than to have it carried on in the dark as is the case with handbook betting. Personally I am strongly in favour of the strictest regulations being applied; you will not find any friend of regular racing who desires to encourage in any way anything improper on a race track. Every one of these persons feels that if racing is to be sustained in this country it must be carried on on the square and out in the open, and I am a very strong supporter of that feeling. In Australia and Great Britain this has been accomplished for a number of years, and by the exercise of a little intelligence and a careful application of our laws we can get the same result in this country.

In Victoria city, which I have the honour to represent, we had a plebiscite on racing in 1922. The vote went in favour of racing by two to one, and a mayor who had been in office during the previous year, and who was strongly opposed to racing, was sent home at the next election with a majority of three thousand against him. I may say that in that city we cater to the tourist trade to a very great extent, and that other legitimate amusements that we can provide there provide added attractions in our city for these tourists. As for the legislation recently passed in British Columbia for the regulation of racing I am heartily in favour of it. I think it is a move in the right direction. I do not believe we cam get any good results by putting on the prohibition suggested by the resolution. We know that in the case of the prohibition of liquor, both in the

Race Track Betting

United States and in this country, it has failed to a very great extent in many places. It is by a campaign of education that we shall get good results rather than by adopting the spirit of the resolution which we are considering this evening.

Mr. JOS. T. SHAW (West Calgary): I rise in the first place for the purpose of defining, if I can, the issue, and secondly for the purpose of making my own position clear in connection with the various and embarrassing amendments now before the House. Many of the hon. gentlemen who have spoken, including the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rin-fret), seemed to be entirely off the track so far as the issue is concerned. The issue, as I understand it, is not whether or not betting shall be prohibited; the question is whether or not commercialized betting shall be prohibited. The criminal code does not prevent, nor does my hon. friend the member for Brant (Mr. Good) seek to prevent, betting between two individuals who go to the race track and have their bets. If I understand the hon. member for Brant aright, that is not his purpose at all. The law now does not prohibit individuals betting with each other, any more than the law prohibits people from playing bridge with each other as the hon. member for Victoria City (Mr. Tolmie) has suggested. The law does not prohibit gambling, if you want to call it so, of that kind, unless it is carried on in a common gaming house-unless there is somebody making a profit out of it other than the players themselves. The same situation exists, as I understand it, in regard to betting. The law prohibits commercialized betting but it does give a special privilege to racing associations. Personally I am against privilege of every kind, whether it be that privilege to violate the law that is now reserved for the betting associations, whether it is a privilege which is given by means of a protective tariff, or whether it is a privilege given in any other direction. And so I say to hon. gentlemen who seem to think this is a matter of trying to stop betting that they are shooting entirely beside the mark, because that is not the question at all.

So far as the resolution is concerned I am heartily in accord with the hon. member for Brant; I shall vote yea on that motion. But now the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Stork) comes along and he proposes something with which, on one phase alone, I am in hearty accord also. His amendment has two horns to it. By one he proposes to wipe out the resolution itself. To that extent I am opposed to his amendment. In the second place he

desires to institute some measure which will eliminate the hand-book evil so-called. To that extent I am in hearty agreement with the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Skeena, and consequently I find myself confronted with this situation on the amendment-part I am in agreement with, and part I differ with. Under the circumstances I must necessarily vote against the amendment although I admit frankly there is a portion of it with which I am in sympathy. I trust that if the amendment is rejected by the House the Minister of Justice will not take that as a mandate from the House not to introduce the amendment which he proposes to the criminal code for the purpose of eliminating the hand-book evil.

Now with regard to the sub-amendment. The sub-amendment proposes to restore the situation so far as the resolution is concerned and seeks, by a rather ingenious method I think, to bring before this House the original issue which was presented to it by the hon. member for Brant. I think it is unfortunate that by this trick of fortune the House is prevented from passing its judgment on the main issue which is now before it-I think it is an unfortunate thing. I do not suppose for a single moment that the hon. member for Skeena intended that should be so, but nevertheless that is the actual situation-we are prevented and effectually prevented by the terms of the amendment-if we desire to support the amendment with which some of us at least are partly in favour-from expressing our opinions on the original resolution. Therefore as far as I am concerned I shall vote for the sub-amendment. If it carries and is tacked on to the amendment I shall have to vote for it. If the sub-amendment does not carry I shall vote against the amendment.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
Permalink
LAB

Joseph Tweed Shaw

Labour

Mr. SHAW:

I should like to remind my

hon. friend from St. James that I am on the track this time. If the amendment standing by itself does not carry and I have the opportunity of voting on the original resolution I shall vote in the affirmative.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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PRO

Arthur John Lewis

Progressive

Mr. A. J. LEWIS (Swift Current):

I would like to define my position on the subject before the House at the present time. I also feel myself in rather an embarrassing position, because there is a part of the amendment which I would like to support. Yet at the same time I also feel that I would have liked to have given my vote in favour of the original motion. I am not so charitable as the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Shaw) when he suggests that the hon. mem-

Race Track Betting

ber for Skeena (Mr. Stork) brought this motion before the House not thinking it was going to put the original motion out of the way. So far as I am concerned, it seems to me as if it was a deliberate action to prevent the motion going before this House; and for that reason I am sorry that he has confounded the issue as he has done. The hon member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) says there is an element of gambling in all things. Perhaps that is true. He says " there is gambling in politics, and perhaps in the near future some of us will realize that politics is a gamble." I quite agree with him, and his side of the House will also realize that it is a gamble. It may be a gamble for people who are entering into politics, but it is a bigger gamble for the people of Canada who place men in parliament and expect them to pass reforms for the upbuilding of the country and welfare of the people, and also expect them to carry out resolutions and pledges that they gave to the people some years ago. My hon. friend from Victoria City (Mr. Tolmie) said we should not support the measure of my hon. friend from Brant (Mr. Good) because of the great number of British people that are in this country. I think the British people can speak for themselves. I should like my hon. friend to speak as a Canadian and not throw the blame on the British subjects who have come to this country. It is only a few days since the hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River (Mr. Manion) deplored the fact that people who come to this country were speaking in regard to a certain constitutional issue and said if anyone was entitled to speak on that matter, it was the Canadians and not the people who have come from other countries; for that reason they both take different issues.

I want to speak for a moment or two with regard to race track gambling. The hon. member from Victoria City endeavoured to show the benefits that would accrue as a result of permitting horse racing and betting at the same time. It seems to me his argument is equivalent to this, that without betting there is not sufficient interest in horse racing to make it worth while. If that is the position, ;then the sooner horse racing is abolished the better. If you have to depend on the weakness of individuals in order to make horse racing a success, then the sooner it is eliminated from our national sport the better. So far as hockey, soccer football and other sports are concerned, which I delight in and love to witness, it is not the betting on

the games that I enjoy. If there is such a thing as intrinsic value in sport, it is the play, the manliness of the players and the skill that they put into these things that make it worth while, and I have no doubt that if the pari-mutuel machines were eliminated horse racing would still go on. There is enough of the spirit of the sportsman in our country to induce our British and Canadian people to go to the races for the real love of seeing good honest, clean horse racing.

There is another feature in regard to this betting, and I believe every member in this House knows of it: that wherever you find betting permitted, whether on horse racing or other sports, there is always a certain element that goes along with the betting coming from different parts of this and other countries, which is not always desirable in the interest of good citizenship. The authorities recognize that this element is coming along, and therefore police forces are provided, and they have to take special precautions to safeguard the public at the races. For that reason it would seem to me that if we could eliminate betting this class of undesirables would not be found at the race track.

We have been told that there is an element of gambling in all things; there is an element of gambling in buying and selling wheat. I may say that, so far as western Canada and the growers of wheat are concerned, there is an organized and systematic effort through the wheat pool to eliminate that evil, by eliminating gambling on the grain exchange. This wheat gambling is not done by the men who grow wheat to any large extent. It is done by people who are endeavouring to manipulate the market from outside. As far as the average individual is concerned, there may be a speculative feature in growing wheat, but it is for an honest purpose, to supply the needs of humanity and to furnish food. You cannot say that the element of betting and gambling at a race track is for the purpose of improving the race or of benefiting the people at large. For that reason, I think it is well for the people of Canada to realize that it is a very significant fact that the people who are in power at the present time have side-stepped the issue that has come from the churches and the great moral forces of this country for the elimination of race track gambling. It is just as well for the people to understand that there is always an element of gambling in sending men into our legislative bodies to interpret the wills of people. The people have spoken with no uncertain sound. But we find very little has

6S4

Race Track Betting

been done. I say that 170 people were elected in this country on a free trade basis, and they were expecting that as a result there would be a lowering of the tariff and that there would be economic administration, but they have gambled on a hundred to one chance and very little has been done.

The hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rin-fret) stated that two years ago parliament voted in no uncertain way on this matter, that there was a majority of twenty against the proposition, and that we have not changed. You do not know whether we have changed or not. We never stand still in Canada so far as this comer of the House is concerned. We are going forward and onward. It may be that the reactionaries think things are at a standstill. But in Canada the Progressive party believe in going forward, and for that reason, my hon. friends themselves will realize that they are also being weighed in the balance, and if in the balance of public opinion they are found wanting, they will realize that the Canadian people may be played with for a certain time and hoodwinked into believing in pledges. But it is only in action that we get the things that we want done, and when the people of Canada have spoken with no uncertain sound through the churches and the moral, social and reform councils, I think it is time for us as the representatives of the people, for that is what we are in the final analysis, to do as the people desire. Therefore, if I have the opportunity I will vote for the amendment to the amendment, and if the two amendments are got out of the way, I will give my vote for the original motion.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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LIB

Harold Putnam

Liberal

Mr. HAROLD PUTNAM (Colchester):

On the majority of occasions in this chamber I like to be ranked with those who give a silent vote, when that vote is not ambiguous and has the meaning simply of an ordinary vote. In such cases I for one am content to let it pass; but with this unusual and strange mixture of amendments following a motion, one is under the risk of being misunderstood by merely casting a bare and unexplained vote. I have received representations too many and too important upon this question to allow myself to be under any such misunderstanding to-night. At the outset of my remarks which, I will say for the relief of all, will be very brief, I do not see any need of throwing any shadow of bad faith upon the amendment or the amendment to the amendment any more than upon the motion itself, which I accept from the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Good) as entirely one of the utmost good faith. It is unfortunate

that we are in something of a complexity, almost phenomenal, as respects the order of the amendments that have been offered. There is no attempt at dissimulation in the matter, because the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Stork), who moved the amendment, very frankly supported the pari-mutuel at the race tracks. I cannot agree with him as to the justice or equity of allowing that state of affairs to go on. I voted a couple of sessions ago with the position of the hon. member for Brant. I do not know that there was any great wisdom in the question being repeated in the same terms; but now that it is repeated, I have only one duty and it is the same duty which my conscience told me to follow then. The hon. member for Skeena appeared to argue in favour of the parimutuels on their merits. I could not follow him in that, and he wished to summon to his aid Lord Rosebery, reasoning from the analogy of his conduct in England that he was impliedly a supporter of the pari-mutuel in Canada. The hon. member cited three great ambitions of Lord Rosebery. One was that he wished to marry the wealthiest woman in England, second, that he wished to have the fastest horse at the Derby in England, and third that he wished to be Prime Minister of England. I do not think any intelligent critic, writing a life of Lord Rosebery, could cite those three things or any one of them to his credit, but he would rather put that down as a weakness on the part of Lord Rosebery. If he had for his particular ambition to marry the richest woman in England, or to have the fastest horse, I think his third ambition to be Prime Minister of England would probably proceed from the motive of vaulting, personal ambition rather than from any really sincere desire to serve his country.

I am told that the amendment would banish far more evil than would the motion itself. That may possibly be so, and I am told that the newspapers coming over from the United States and publishing the tips, selections and information on races in various other parts of the continent for the year round, produce far more betting than the parimutuel machines for the few weeks they are conducted on Canadian soil. Even if that be true, the fact is that the government have nothing like the direct responsibility for the former that they have for the latter, for in the latter, as they take about a million dollars and give it, I believe, to the government of Ontario, I consider that the administration becomes very directly an interested partner in the institution of betting itself. I have little to add. I am going to support the amend-

Race Track Betting

ment to the amendment as being the nearest approach which lies before me to help the hon. member for Brant in repeating the ambition that he had two or three sessions ago. If that fails, I shall take the same course seriatim as has already been indicated by those who are allied with my belief in this matter.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
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LIB

Lewis Johnstone Lovett

Liberal

Mr. L. J. LOVETT (Digby and Annapolis):

Mr. Speaker, I did not intend to take part in this debate; but owing to the complications that now surround the question under discussion in the form of a main motion, an amendment and an amendment to the amendment, I find myself in a very embarrassing position in regard to my vote. For instance, supposing I wish to vote for the main motion, naturally I will vote against the amendment and the amendment to the amendment. But if the amendment to the amendment or the amendment carries, I would be debarred from voting for the main motion. Therefore, the only course open to me is to place myself fairly on record as being in favour of the resolution moved by the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Good). If I have an opportunity I shall certainly vote for that resolution, and in doing so I feel I shall be carrying out the wishes and desires of a majority of the people whom I have the honour to represent.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RACE TRACK BETTING
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. GOOD TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE
Permalink

March 2, 1925