June 12, 1925

LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Mr. Chairman, I

am not very familiar with these objectionable games myself, but I think the essential element in all of them is that by sleight of hand on the part of the operator the innocent victim is pretty badly stung. Religious and charitable organizations are permitted however to raise money by means of wheels of fortune, this being a favourite method of retailing merchandise, the profit realized being about 33^ per cent, or about the same as that realized by any retail concern. This used to be the regular method adopted by our ex-

hibitions for raising money, but they were deprived of it by the amendment which went through the House three sessions ago without comment. Evidently the House did not know what was involved in the change, and I am quite sure the Minister of Justice did not.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Did the Minister of Agriculture?

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I did not until I

went back home after prorogation and the fair managers protested to me thunderously. They said, "'Why didn't you let us know this change was going to be made?" I had to admit that I did not know myself.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

Will the minister state

*who sprung this on him two years ago?

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I do not know. It

may have been a hot day; anyway the section -went through without the slightest discussion. I remember that a't the time the Minister of Justice had requests for a great many reforms, and apparently he could not grant the majority of them, but this seemed to him a somewhat innocent looking one, and, as I say, it went through the House without comment. Regardless of the ethics of raising money this way, I ask the committee if it was fair to treat our agricultural exhibitions in this manner. I have no compunction whatever in asking that this section be agreed to.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

Will the minister please explain just what methods of gambling will be allowed on agricultural exhibition grounds if this amendment goes through?

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The retailing of

merchandise by means of wheels of fortune.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

This looks to me like an

attempt to legalize crime in the interests of agricultural associations. Is this another concession which the government is making to our friends the farmers?

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

It is the regular

practice in my hon. friend's own province.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

Mr. Chairman, I have

received representations from gentlemen associated with agricultural exhibitions in New Brunswick pointing out the necessity of this legislation if they are to finance their fairs. It is unfortunate, I think, that they have to have midways and wheels of fortune, but I cannot see that retailing merchandise by means of wheels of fortune is such a shocking

Criminal Code

form of gambling, as suggested by certain people, that it should be put under the ban. I am going to support this section, 'because without this concession I think one of the main attractions of the exhibitions we have in our provincial towns will be taken away. The midway attracts as many people as the agricultural exhibition itself. I do not agree with the hon. member for George Etienne Cartier (Mr. Jacobs) that this form of gambling is simply legalized crime. My view is that, on the contrary, it is a perfectly proper method of retailing merchandise. At least, that is the excuse of the Minister of Agriculture, and I am going to rest my conscience on that excuse.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

Mr. Chairman, when this

change was made in the law three years ago, I think I understood the Minister of Agriculture to say that there must have been some reason for introducing the measure.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I know that in the province

of Ontario the midway featm-e of fairs has been under consideration for many years, and the allegation so frequently made that no fair could finance itself without a midway has been completely disproven. There must be at Least a hundred and fifty fall fairs in Ontario that are being carried on very successfully without any midway features at all. I have heard it contended that the midway damages the fairs. I should like to know from the minister what fairs have requested this change.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I can only say that my office was besieged with people when that delegation came last year, claiming to represent all important agricultural fairs from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, and they represented that this provision was necessary to the success of their undertaking.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

Could the Minister of Agriculture give us any information on that point?

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The representations were made largely by those interested in what are known as the "A" and "B'' fairs, numbering between forty and fifty and helld all over Canada. These are the most difficult fairs to finance. They find their revenues cut into by $5,000 or $10,000, some of .them more, and the practical question is how to replace that money. Is .my hon. friend going to help out these fairs by making a contribution from his own pocket? Three years ago we increased the grants ito these fairs by $1,250, but even 269i

that did not compensate them for the Loss. These exhibitions are undoubtedly of great educational value from the point of view of agriculture. If my hon. friend can suggest any better solution of the difficulty, we shall be giad to hear it.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

I am not at present taking a definite stand against this legislation; I am seeking information. I have heard-I do not know how correct the information is-that the fairs asking for this legislation are very few in comparison with the total number of fair associations in Canada, and that they are almost entirely those of the large cities. Is it possible that these fairs are, after all, not agricultural fairs primarily-perhaps only secondarily? If the minister takes the position that these fairs must be given the right to finance themselves in this way in order to inveigle people in to see the fine stock- which is, after all, the side issue, the madway hrino* the main fa'r-^ ^ not. hp-liove that is wise policy. It was advocated years ago in Ontario with respect to the smaller fairs, and I think the argument was shown to be a fallacious one. However,-if the minister states that there is real difficulty I do not know that I should definitely object to trying the legislation out, although I have grave doubts as to the outcome. Representations were made to me not long ago by the president of the United Farmers of Ontario against this legislation. I do not know whether the organization itself has taken any definite stand in the matter, but I understand that the Social Service Council of Canada has taken a definite stand against the amendment. I rose rather to -seek detailed information in order that we might see what was the proper thing to do. I am doubtful of the propriety of passing this legislation. . [DOT]

Mr. MicTAGGART: Will the provisions of this section apply to all agricultural fairs, regardless of whether they are in receipt of a grant from either the Dominion or a provincial government?

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB
PRO

Arthur John Lewis

Progressive

Mr. LEWIS:

I am just a little surprised at the Minister of Agriculture fathering a provision of this kind. I am particularly surprised1 after his recent return from Toronto.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Permalink

June 12, 1925