May 22, 1934

CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, very briefly I wish to state my position with regard to this bill. I cannot vote for it because, after careful study, I believe it to be ultra vires of the parliament of Canada. This parliament has jurisdiction in criminal matters, and we enacted section 236 of the criminal code dealing with lotteries. When we enacted that section dealing with the criminal aspects of the creation and administration of lotteries, so far as provincial lotteries are concerned, I think we exhausted our legislative jurisdiction.

By this bill the parliament of Canada purports to authorize the attorney general of any province to authorize a committee created by himself to organize a sweepstake for the purpose of raising money for the benefit of one or more hospitals within such province. I should like some hon. gentleman to inform me where, under the British North America Act, we acquire jurisdiction over the attorney general of a province which would permit us to authorize him to create a committee to raise money for certain provincial purposes. I do not think that power exists within the four corners of the British North America Act. Section 92 of that act provides:

In each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to matters coming within the classes of subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say

7. The establishment, maintenance, and management of hospitals, asylums, charities and eleemosynary institutions in and for the province, other than marine hospitals.

This bill deals with the raising of money for provincial hospitals; as I understand it that is the principle and policy of the bill, yet the raising of money for such hospitals, for their establishment, their maintenance and their management, is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the legislature of the province. Therefore I personally raise my objection to placing upon the statute books of Canada a bill at least four-fifths of which I believe to be beyond the jurisdiction of this parliament.

3290 COMMONS

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Cahan

If I may be permitted to do so I should like to examine section 3 of the bill. This section contains twelve paragraphs, by which we authorize the attorney general of the province to authorize a committee to organize a sweepstake for the purpose of raising provincial funds. Under the authority of the attorney general we authorize this committee to specify the hospital or hospitals to be benefited; to specify the person or persons to whom the moneys to be applied for the benefit of the hospital or hospitals shall be paid; to specify the event or events upon which the winner or winners of the sweepstakes shall be determined; to specify when the sale of tickets may commence and when it must cease; to specify the price of tickets; to specify the form and contents of the tickets; to specify what portion or what amount out of the proceeds of the sale of tickets shall be applied for the benefit of the hospital or hospitals, what portion shall be applied for defraying the expenses of the sweepstake and what portion shall be paid in prizes; to specify how many prizes there shall be, and so on. Certainly all these provisions are beyond the authority of the parliament of Canada when dealing with the raising of funds for a provincial purpose. [DOT]

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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LIB

Wilfrid Girouard

Liberal

Mr. GIROUARD:

Do I understand the Secretary of State, (Mr. Cahan) to say that this matter comes within the provincial jurisdiction? If so, is my hon. friend of the opinion that the provincial governments have the right to legalize sweepstakes for charitable purposes?

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

If my hon. friend will allow me to proceed certainly I will not omit some consideration of that point. It is my personal opinion that the legislature of the province of Quebec, when enacting the measure which was enacted with the unanimous approval of the house of assembly and the legislative council, was acting within its exclusive legislative jurisdiction except for one aspect, namely that by section 236 of the criminal code the parliament of Canada has declared that the organization, maintenance and operation of lotteries is illegal and is a crime except for one or two conditions which are imposed by way of exceptions to that measure. Therefore, if we are to approach the real issue it appears to me that it can be approached only by some such amendment to the criminal code as that proposed by the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay (Mr. Casgrain).

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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LIB

Pierre-François Casgrain (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Thank you.

IH

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

The amendment suggested

by the hon. member if I may be permitted to refer to it, declares that "lotteries organized by the government of a province of Canada for educational or public charitable purposes, under a law of the legislature of such province" shall be excepted from the operation of section 236 of the criminal code. If this were a question of the House of Commons authorizing national lotteries to be created and maintained by the government of Canada for all Canada, I certainly would vote against it. I believe there are very strong objections to the organization and maintenance of national lotteries, and sitting as an hon. member of this chamber and dealing with a national question I am bound to exercise my judgment as to the moral or immoral effects of the proposed legislation. But our ideas of morality differ-as between individuals in this house they differ; as between the people resident in the different sections of the dominion, they differ, and I have always hesitated to enact criminal laws which declare to be criminal certain acts which a large body of people in the country regard as legal, moral and defensible. Therefore I think this bill in a rather clumsy fashion, if I may say so, endeavours to usurp provincial jurisdiction. But with regard to whether this parliament should except from the operation of the criminal code lotteries, organized under the law of a province which was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature of that province and which are to be carried on directly by the government of the province for two provincial purposes, namely hospitals and education-with regard to that principle may I say that if such a measure should come before this House of Commons, I could not give my vote in favour of declaring that to be criminal which the whole people of the province as represented by the unanimous vote of the legislature, have declared to be desirable and moral. Therefore, on that issue if the bill introduced by the hon. member for Charle-voix-Saguenay comes before the house for decision I think my position is clear. Unless I hear some very strong objection which, up to the present, I have not heard, I think I should have to except the provincial law from the operation of the criminal code, and to that end would vote for the measure. So far as any personal request of mine may have force and effect in this chamber may I state I think it most desirable that an opportunity be given by the house to the consideration of Bill No. 83.

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Carmichael

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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LIB

Pierre-François Casgrain (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Would the minister permit me to say that I have already asked the Prime Minister for that permission.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I am simply asking that

it be granted, that is all. I am not surprised that the hon. member finds it rather embarrassing to have my support for any suggestion he may make.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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LIB

Pierre-François Casgrain (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I am rather proud.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

At the present time however I am simply speaking for myself and recording my views. I certainly cannot vote for the bill before the house because I consider it to be only so much waste paper and that, as an act of parliament, if the constitutional question were raised, it would prove ineffective and inoperative. If this bill purported to authorize a national lottery to be carried on by the government of Canada I would oppose it, but I am not prepared to declare that which in the opinion of the whole province in which I reside, as indicated by their representatives in both houses of its legislature, is moral and virtuous, is nevertheless criminal, and should be prohibited by the criminal law of this country.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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PRO

Archibald M. Carmichael

Progressive

Mr. A. M. CARMICHAEL (Kindersley):

Mr. Speaker, before proceeding to a discussion of the bill I purpose moving the following amendment, seconded by the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speakman):

That the word "now" be left out, and the words "this day six months" added at the end of the question.

I have listened with interest to the debate thus far, and the opinions put forward by the mover and seconder of the motion for second reading. The mover has said that this bill represents a mild form of gambling, and the seconder assured us that the province of Quebec is very strongly in favour of the measure-

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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IND

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Independent

Mr. BOURASSA:

Not all of it, please.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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LIB

Pierre-François Casgrain (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

And British Columbia

also.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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PRO

Archibald M. Carmichael

Progressive

Mr. CARMICHAEL:

The statement of

one hon. member was that a very large section of opinion across Canada was back of the bill, and I say that in that statement he is not correct. The hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) reviewed the history of lotteries in England. I noticed however that he did not follow that history all the way through. He began at the right date, namely in the year 1569, in the days of Queen Elizabeth. She had to have money to pay for her expensive wardrobe and to keep up expenses of a very extravagant court. Having 74726-208

exhausted means of taxation for raising money she resorted to lotteries, and as he intimated lotteries were kept up in England for a period of about two hundred and fifty years. Large sums of money were raised at times to support the national government. But the time came when the people of England, which had then become the United Kingdom of England and Scotland, including Wales, thought that from a national viewpoint it would be better not to have lotteries. In the year 1823 the sale of lottery tickets was made illegal in England, and in 1826 lotteries were finally abolished. So that from 1826 to the present date there have not been lotteries in England. It is true that a few years ago, following the heavy expenditures necessitated by the war, and the desire on the part of some people in the United Kingdom to raise much needed moneys, there was an agitation on the part of a minority again to resort to lotteries in England for purposes of raising money. This suggestion was perhaps put forward because of the situation existing in the Irish Free State where lotteries have been in vogue since 1930. Because of this agitation the question came before the parliament of the United Kingdom. The Britisher with his traditional carefulness and caution did not rush immediately into the establishment of a system of lotteries. He took a sensible course and on June 4, 1932, the British parliament appointed a royal commission composed of twelve members under the chairmanship of Sir Sidney Arthur Taylor Rowlatt. This commission was designated "to inquire into the existing law and the practice thereunder relating to lotteries, betting and gambling and cognate matters and report as to what changes if any were desirable and practicable." This commission held a number of meetings, it called witnesses and took evidence from persons representing the following organizations: The police of the

metropolis, the chief constables of various cities, the Jockey Club, the National Hunt committee, the National Greyhound Racing Society, the hospitals, the British Charities Association, the Church of Scotland, the Scottish National League Against Betting and Gambling, the Salvation Army, the police courts, the Christian Social Council, the Charity Organization Society, the Post Office, the Scottish and Welsh Football Association, the Gaming Laws Reform Association, the newspapers, the National Bookmakers' Protection Association, the National Sporting League, the Association of Municipal Corporations, the Convention of Royal Burghs. Sir Josiah Stamp also appeared before the

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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IND

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Independent

Mr. BOURASSA:

Who got the 75 per

cent?

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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PRO

Archibald M. Carmichael

Progressive

Mr. CARMICHAEL:

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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CON

John Alexander Sullivan

Conservative (1867-1942)

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Sullivan):

It is moved by Mr. Carmichael, seconded by Mr. Speakman, that the motion that this bill be now read a second time be amended by leaving out the word "now" and adding the words "this day six months" at the end of the question.

The question is on the amendment.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
Permalink
CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. MAURICE DUPRE (Solicitor General) :

Mr. Speaker, the opinion I humbly wish to express is my personal opinion only, and I shall be very short. I want to speak in favour of the principle of this bill. It has been said of lotteries that they are a tax on all the fools in creation. That in

3294 COMMONS

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Dupre

my opinion is the best argument to demonstrate that every lottery, if well conducted, must be a success.

I have listened with a great deal of interest to the speech delivered a few moments ago by my hon. friend from Kindersley (Mr. Carmichael), and I noted what he said on the expense and abuses of lotteries. I do not deny his statements but it must be remembered that, all told, from fifteen to twenty countries already have lotteries which seem to be working satisfactorily. May I remind my hon. friend from Kindersley that the profit from the French lottery, for instance, was more than $140,000,000 in one year. Sweden has a lottery, so have Panama and Mexico. Spain has a $25,000,000 lottery. We find lotteries also in Cuba, Belgium, and Italy, where the lottery brings in a profit amounting to $40,000,000. Germany recently organized a lottery to take care of unemployment. There are state lotteries also in Czechoslovakia, Turkey and a few other countries.

Coming to the British Empire, we have the lotteries in the Irish Free State and in India. Once lotteries were permitted in England, and even now under a new law they are tolerated on a small scale, although with many restrictions. We find lotteries in New South Wales, whose one hundredth lottery was drawn recently with ' a total profit of $7,500,000. Australia has its state lotteries which have enabled the Australian government to provide baby clinics, child welfare centres, and dental services for children and the unemployed.

Gambling in lotteries does not differ very much in principle from gambling on the stock exchange or in cards or on races and as Senator Molloy said humorously a few weeks ago in regard to this bill: "This is a poor man's bill. It gives him his stock exchange, his grain exchange and his mining exchange."

I do not wish to comment on the valuable opinion of such a distinguished jurist as my colleague the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan). What he has said must, I think, be considered very carefully. Could we not though find a way out of the problem by abolishing the restriction in our criminal code in regard to the subject of lotteries?

Should we refuse any province the right to raise new revenues to take care of its hospitals or charitable institutions when that province unanimously makes such an appeal? I think such a request should be granted and the benefit should be extended also to uni-

versities and other educational establishments. If, as the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) said a moment ago, the hon. member for Berthier-Maskinonge (Mr. Barrette) comes along with an amendment to include universities and other educational establishments, I shall be very glad to vote in favour of it.

By clauses 4 and 5 of this bill the operation of sweepstakes would be limited within the province which decides to conduct such sweepstakes.

May I congratulate the mover of the bill, the hon. member for Carihoo (Mr. Fraser) and the seconder, the hon. member for Dorchester?

I suggest that lotteries might be considered as a special measure which can be justified by the abnormal conditions through which we are passing?

May I venture one suggestion: Let us try this for one year only?

Like the premier of Quebec and the hon. member for Dorchester I would prefer a federal lottery by drawing of lots. We should have one federal lottery and not a multiplicity of provincial ones. For instance, the federal government might allow a lottery to take place once or twice a year, the profits to be retained in part by the federal exchequer, the other part to be distributed among the provinces on a per capita basis and the provinces to distribute those moneys as they deem advisable. I do not think many provinces will refuse their share on the ground that lotteries are more or less immoral. If this bill does not pass-I do not know what is ahead of us-might not the following suggestion be considered?

(a) A referendum on lotteries to be held this summer by the federal government.

If the referendum, as I surmise it will be, is favourable to lotteries:

(b) A national lottery by drawing of lots, not depending upon the result of races here or abroad could be held by the federal government in the fall-and if it is successful, a second lottery could be held next winter or next spring-the proceeds to be divided among the federal and provincial governments. As a consequence the federal and provincial coffers would be all the richer by an amount varying between $20,000,000 and $40,000,000.

To sum up, I am in favour of lotteries:

1. To keep our money in this country and to cause millions of dollars from other countries to come into Canada.

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Rinjret

2. To take to a certain extent the place of taxation. I should call a lottery the best mode of taxation. It is a voluntary or self-imposed taxation.

3. Because it would stop this general disobedience to our laws, something which to my mind is depressing and dangerous.

4. As a temporary measure and an expedient in these abnormal times to bring millions into the federal and provincial exchequers.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (St. James):

Mr. Speaker, in the first place I want to express the hope that the stand taken by the Secretary of State (Mr. Ca'han), although very commendable, I am sure, from many angles, will not confuse the issue before the house. We are dealing with a bill to permit the establishment of lotteries. This measure may not be perfect; it may stand amending when we reach the committee stage, but the government has very readily given the house an opportunity to pronounce not so much on every detail of this bill as on the question of lotteries in general.

My first word is to express the 'hope that when we vote on the amendment and the second reading of the bill we shall vote for or against the establishment of lotteries, leaving to the committee stage the objections raised by the Secretary of State. He has not convinced me that the bill is not proper. In the first place, it does not deal so much with the maintenance of hospitals as with authorizing provinces to establish lotteries. They might do this for another purpose. When we reach the hospital clause, we might change that altogether, but I repeat that the main purpose of t'he 'bill is to authorize the establishment of lotteries and this should not be lost sight of. The Secretary of State has also sought to show that there might be a conflict with the criminal code. The bill as drafted and passed in the Senate covers that feature of the matter. In clause 2 there is a reservation v^hioh is quite clear; it states:

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary and notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other act.

Then we have clause 8 which states:

The provisions of the criminal code respecting betting, pool selling, bookmaking and lotteries, shall not apply to any hospital sweepstakes authorized under the provisions of this act.

Therefore it seems as if the objections had been foreseen by the Senate and had been dealt with, but even if they had not been dealt with properly, may I express the hope that these objections do not confuse the issue when we have to vote on the amendment and

on the second reading, and that the house shall register its vote for or against lotteries' which is the main purpose of setting this day for a discussion of the bill at present before us.

We have already had exhaustive speeches on the bill by the proposer and seconder and other members, and many figures have been quoted. I do not intend to set a rule for the 'house but I shall set a rule for myself and be content with presenting in a few sentences the arguments which I think are in favour of a measure of this kind.

In the first place I do not see that there is anything immoral about a lottery. Everyone is free to dispose of his money as he sees fit. It has been argued that life itself is a vast gamble. Whether you invest your money in trade or the stock exchange or any other avenue of activity you certainly take a chance, and I do not think there is anything wrong in principle in placing a little money in a lottery. I will go further. In years of depression such as we are going through there is something to be said in favour of allowing a poor fellow to introduce into his life that element of hope and ambition that comes to him by placing a little money in a lottery. Naturally it is only a small proportion who will win, but there is something, I say it very seriously, in having everyone enjoy for a little while the hope of gaining something. If they do not succeed this time they may try again. We should not seek to establish life and social activity on the basis of everyone getting so much a week and having no hope of improving on that. I have stated my views on several proposals of this kind since I have been in the house. I think it is very much like betting or things of that kind; the individual should have the enjoyment of his money, even being free to lose it if he chooses, provided he is not defrauded and provided that the contract, whether it be a lottery or something else, is properly controlled by the state.

It has been shown that many countries have established lotteries; in fact the debate has been in part an interesting course in history, from Egypt and ancient Palestine up to this day. The substance of what we have heard this afternoon is that there is certainly nothing wrong with lotteries so far as the principle is concerned, because quite a large number of countries have tried it. Some have kept it, others have not; but the fact is that lotteries have been experimented with by so many countries in so many different times in our history that we may well argue that there is nothing wrong about the idea and that it is worth trying. At the

3296 COMMONS

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Rinjret

present time we have them in the British Empire, as has been stated by former speakers, especially in Ireland. We all know that, because there is hardly a member of this house who has not got a friend with a ticket on one or two of these British Empire lotteries in his pocket; the Irish and the Calcutta sweepstakes have been very popular. So far as I am concerned I have none and do not intend to buy any until it is legalized; I do not want to be misunderstood as to that. But the fact that these lotteries exist in certain countries is certainly an argument in favour of them.

I hasten to the last part of my speech to make good my promise at the beginning. There are two special reasons which should favour the establishment of lotteries at the present time. The first is the great need of money by all our public corporations. Taxes have reached the limit; you cannot indefinitely increase income or excise tax or any other tax of the kind. I have been through a municipal experiment which convinced me that money is needed in many fields of public activity, yet we do not know where to get it. There is not the least doubt in my mind that there are still many people in this country who evade taxes in one way and *another; the character of their business permits them to do that, it being such that the government cannot lay their hands on it. 'They are the gamblers, and the very people who will buy lottery tickets and buy them in large quantity.

Then as has been said, the purchase of lottery tickets is a voluntary contribution. The contention that part of the money is lost and does not reach the desired end is in my opinion not a valid argument. That condition you have everywhere where money is collected for charitable purposes. Even under the system of the federation of charities, which has become very popular in our large cities, a percentage of the amount collected must be set aside for the collection and administration of the funds so obtained. And what about the euchres, concerts, banquets, all these activities for so-called charitable purposes, in which sometimes seventy-five per cent of the receipts is spent on the very evening they take place? You cannot hold any of these things without most of the money derived being spent on the very evening, and perhaps only fifteen or twenty per cent remaining for the original purpose; yet we subscribe largely to them. With a lottery, even if you have to set aside a considerable percentage for prizes and cost of administration,

[Mr. Riiifret. I

a large proportion will be left to go to the institutions to be benefited, as has been shown in the countries that have made the experiment.

Then there is another argument, perhaps an even stronger one. It is the one that was advanced in favour of doing away with prohibition-the fact that prohibition-in this case of lotteries-is not being obeyed by the public. It is not popular, and as has been said, you cannot enforce a law against popular opinion. I am told on reliable authority that millions of dollars go from the several provinces of Canada, I think from all provinces, for the purchase of tickets in lotteries held in other countries,-the Irish sweepstakes, the Calcutta sweepstakes, and the national lottery in France when it is in operation. So that the question for us to decide to-day is not so much whether we are in favour of lotteries; for we have the lotteries with us. They may be illicit, but the public authorities are powerless to prevent people from patronizing them. So what we have to decide to-day is whether we want a Canadian lottery, or the continued support in Canada of the Irish or Calcutta lotteries. That is my viewpoint. That is one of the reasons why I shall vote against the six month's hoist and for the second reading of the bill.

I just want to add this. I might have preferred a national lottery, as mentioned by the Hon. Mr. Taschereau in his speech and by several hon. members here to-day. It would probably avoid the objections raised by the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan). But as we realize that several provinces probably are not as much in favour of such a lottery as others, I think it would be more consistent with the spirit of confederation to pass a bill which would allow every province to deal with the matter as it wishes. If Quebec wants a lottery, under this bill it could establish one. If British Columbia wants a lottery it could establish one. If some other province does not want a lottery it does not have to follow suit. For all these reasons-and I will not extend my remarks; I promised they would be brief'-I shall vote against the amendment and in favour of the second reading. I hope that notwithstanding the several objections raised by hon. members, including the Secretary of State, the issue will not be confused in the minds of hon. members. Let us vote on the second reading for or against the establishment of lotteries; then if the bill passes, as I hope it will, we can amend it in committee and make it as good as possible.

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Mullins

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. MULLINS (Marquette):

Mr. Speaker, I am going to take only a short time, but I want to put myself on record as being absolutely opposed to this bill. We have had enough gambling all over Canada in the past, and to me it is not right to get money in the way proposed by this bill.

I am a life governor of a hospital; we do not want any such money included with our donations. I do not care whether the proposition comes from Louisiana, Quebec, Italy, Germany, or any other place; it is not legitimate money, and God knows that Canada has had enough gambling. We have seen gambling on the stock exchanges, that is what put the country in the position we find it in to-day.

A short time ago I went into the northern part of my constituency to visit some of my old friends who operate small farms there. They have made homes for themselves away from the temptations of the stock ticker and out of reach of the lures of high pressure salesmen of watered stocks and lottery tickets. There I discovered a people who have found economic security, who have time to read good books and to meditate on what they see in the daily newspapers. It needs people of that kind to build a country, and you will not get anywhere by gambling. It is known that many cases of want and poverty throughout this country have been caused by speculation, by people wanting to get rich too quickly. I am sony that I must take issue with my hon. friends, but I have decided that money obtained by gambling in stocks or the buying of lottery tickets is not good money. I know we have sent millions of dollars to New York and other places, but that does not make it right. The hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) has sent me a note; some time I will talk to him about the subject to which he refers.

I am absolutely opposed to this bill; I cannot support it or anything like it that will affect my constituency and my province and country. In this letter from the Good Fellowship Association of Toronto I see no reference to the province of Manitoba, for which I am thankful. The signer of that letter is an old pioneer from Manitoba, now a resident of Toronto; he has asked me to support this bill. I am sorry that he signed the letter, and I am sorry that I must refuse his request. I think we have had sufficient experience in this country to know what results from speculation and gambling. All you have to do is go down the street and sit in the offices of the stock brokers and watch the ladies who are carried away by speculation. Those

I mentioned when speaking the other day were not mothers or homebuilders. They have been carried away by speculation and gambling, and anything we can do in this house to correct that situation should be done. I would say that the man who is peddling tickets around this building should be put out. I have seen a man selling sweepstake tickets in this House of Commons. I have never bought one; I do not want to get money in that way. The only way to get money is by hard wrnrk, and the sooner Canada gets rid of the gambling spirit and buckles down to work the better it will be.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, there are one

or two points I should like to emphasize. I quite agree with the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. Fraser) that in the speculative transactions on the stock exchange, the grain exchange and the mining exchanges we have the same reprehensible practices that are denounced when we come to so called gambling. Further than that, it always has seemed to me an extraordinary thing that we should exempt race track gambling from the criminal code and that lotteries held for charitable purposes Should be excluded as well. It seems to me that if gambling is anti-social in its character it is not improved because the gains go to church purposes, and on the other hand it does not seem to me that the man who can afford to go to a horse race should be able to gamble while the poor little fellow who cannot afford to go should be penalized.

There is one other matter on which I agree with those who have introduced this bill; that is with regard to the present regulations. I think it is absolutely abhorrent to all justice and decency that we should give the prize to an informer. I hope that at this session of parliament that provision of the criminal code will be changed. If there is anything wrong with gambling the prize should go to the state and not to the "hypocrite," as someone has called him, though I think that term is inadequate to describe him.

There is a very interesting question that has been introduced, and I think perhaps the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) was not quite fair in his presentation of the case. Undoubtedly people differ greatly in what they think right and wrong. The hon. gentleman rather laughed at those who believe in prohibition; he was rather inclined to resent the superior morality affected by some people who denounce certain practices of which he approves. Well, there are two sides to that question. Just for the purpose

3298 COMMONS

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Woodsworth

of illustration, because I do not want to discuss the question, let me point out that a very large number of organizations in western Canada, some of them very reputable women's organizations, to-day are pressing for the right to disseminate birth control information. You cannot say that those people are immoral, yet I venture to say that if I were to introduce a bill making it quite legal to disseminate birth control information there would be a decided protest from a large number of the members of this house on the ground that such a practice would be immoral. Or again, supposing Alberta asks for general legislation permitting sterilization of the unfit, are hon. members in this house, some of whom have spoken in advocacy of this measure now before us, going to take the ground that if Alberta wishes to do that she has a perfect right to, no matter whether or not the rest of the country wishes to introduce measures of that kind. I think hon. members must remember when they are making the plea that certain sections of the country should have the right to any action they wish, whether other sections wish it or not, that that argument may be turned against them, and will be turned against them before very long.

I believe it was the hon. member for Dorchester who said that we might be able to do legally what is not being done legally to-day. The hon. member stated that the regime of prohibition was a regime of hypocrisy. Well, again, I would say that with regard to birth control and some other matters reprobated by certain sections of this house, under the present regime there is being done illegally that which, if certain parts of the criminal code were rescinded, might be done legally, and that the present regime is indeed a regime of hypocrisy.

I should like to point out that once we start in this direction there is no line to be drawn. If these moneys could be used to help hospitals, then also they could be used to help universities. If they are a good thing to help universities, I do not see why we should not carry on the whole business of government in that way. There is no end to it; I think that is a correct statement. We might organize ourselves on a vast lottery scheme. In fact, I do not know why it should be desirable for any of us to go on trying any longer to make an honest living. Why should not everybody get into this game? There, is really no line which could be drawn. It is useless for us to go back and talk about the example set by the Egyptians and the

Romans. They did a host of things which we would not countenance to-day, and I do not think that those precedents are any argument in favour of the introduction of a system of sweepstakes into this country.

Further than that, in passing I should like to protest against upholding the action of the Senate as action which necessarily we ought to follow. The reference may have been made facetiously, but speaking seriously I must say that I refuse to admit that the Senators are any wiser than the members of the House of Commons. We are asked in the bill to permit the raising of money by sweepstakes in order that the sick may be cared for. God pity the sick if we have to come to this way of looking after them. It is said that this is a voluntary tax. That is the very reason I am opposed to it. We are also told that it is the poor man's chance to gamble. This bill means that the poor man is going to be taxed in an involuntary way to support, first, our hospitals, and later on our educational and perhaps our governmental institutions. I do not believe in that procedure. I am irrevocably opposed to that principle. If any man should be taxed it is the man of wealth who ought to be taxed to look after the poor and the sick. There is not the slightest doubt-

Mr. ST-PERE: That same chap may make big bets.

Topic:   HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES
Subtopic:   BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES
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May 22, 1934