May 22, 1934

LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Yes, but that is

another matter. I say he ought to contribute his tax in a legal manner, and not in this casual way, to the care of the sick. I think that when we put these matters on such a basis we are off on the wrong line altogether. Even the Solicitor General-and this appears most strange when we realize that he is a member of the government-went the length of suggesting that because of the present emergency we should raise some of the governmental expenses in this way. Well, I knew that the government was in a bad way. I recognize the fact that last year and again this year the government had to borrow money in order to balance its budget, but I did not realize that it was quite so badly off that a member of the government would have to rise in this house and state that we should go into the gambling business, and that that is the only way left to raise money to carry on the affairs of government.

The most fundamental objection I have to this kind of legislation is essentially that it is an encouragement of the propensity to get

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Guthrie

money for nothing. It is not merely a question of taking a chance now and then. We must understand that if we get something in this way, someone.else must go without; it comes out of the pocket of someone else. I was very glad to hear the note of reality introduced by the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Mullins). After all, we in this country come of pioneer stock. We have been told that the way to gain wealth is by honest toil. Surely we have been brought up to believe that. I quite frankly admit that the greater part of the wealth in this country has not been gained by honest toil. I say that under the conditions which are being revealed in the committee on price spreads we are learning that a great deal of wealth has been built up through the possession of special privileges of various kinds. No doubt that is only too true, but at the same time I should like to cherish the old tradition that the way to gain wealth is by honest toil. One hon. member went so far a few moments ago as to say that he thought it was a splendid thing that occasionally the ordinary poor man should be given a chance to make a bet, in order that he might possibly get something in life worth living for. It is that kind of thing which leads me to protest against a measure of this kind. I say we ought so to organize the industrial life of Canada that in the ordinary course of events the ordinary working man would get a chance to make a decent living, without having to resort to the off chance of getting something through gambling operations. That is the real point.

Mr. ST-PERE: There is a difference between betting and gambling.

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

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I shall let my hon.

friend explain it.

Mr. ST-PERE: I will explain it.

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

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I wish to point out one fundamental difficulty with this kind of thing. I do not wish to discriminate between rich men and poor men. If the rich man has a right to gamble, most assuredly the poor man has the same right. But I do say that this kind of thing is being introduced in order that the poor man will be placed in the position whereby involuntarily he will be taxed, and further that a very small proportion of the taxation will go to the ostensible purposes for which the legislation is introduced.

There is the even more serious consideration, that we are diverting the minds of our people from real values in life, and emphasizing the view that it is only those who can get something for nothing who can get on in the

world. I should like to see the labouring man adopt some other means of attaining the good things of life than by taking a remote chance, and paying five cents, ten cents or a dollar for some sort of a ticket. I should like to see it possible for a man adequately to care for his family, or for anyone who may be in the hospital, without resort to any such method as this. I should like to see it possible for any man to have an automobile, if he wishes to have it, without having to place his little bit of earnings into some such scheme as this.

For those reasons I must support the amendment providing for six months' hoist.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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

CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READING


Bill No. 16, respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company-Mr. Davies.


HOSPITAL SWEEPSTAKES

BILL TO LEGALIZE LOTTERIES WHEN CONDUCTED BY PROVINCES


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Fraser for the second reading of Bill No. 56, with respect to hospital sweepstakes.


CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Minister of Justice):

I desire to make a few observations

on the bill now before the house-

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

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I do not want to interrupt my hon. friend, but private bills have not all been disposed of.

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

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

This is a private bill.

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:

On the point of order

raised by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie), although to-day has been fixed for the consideration of Bill No. 56, this bill has been considered all afternoon and I understand it will be considered again after nine o'clock. But there is another bill standing in my name, Bill No. 83, to amend the criminal code, which should be called for discussion until nine o'clock.

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

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Bill No. 56 was considered this afternoon by special consent and it has now been reached in the ordinary course of business under the heading of private and public bills.

Hospital Sweepstakes-Mr. Guthrie

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

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

My point of order was that we would automatically revert to the consideration of Bill No. 56 at nine o'clock, but that this should not deprive the sponsor of Bill No. 83 of the right to take advantage of the hour allotted to private bills.

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

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

We have reached this

bill and we are going ahead with it. Special facilities were provided for its consideration before nine o'clock, but it has now been reached in its place as a private bill. We are proceeding with the discussion of a bill which is rightfully before the house.

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

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

My ruling is that Bill

No. 56 has been reached in due course and is now properly before the house. As to whether the discussion will continue after nine o'clock is a matter of consent.

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

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

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

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

May I ask whether the

commission also included stock exchanges?

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

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I am going to read the

commission so that my hon. friend will have full information. The commission consisted of some ten persons, and the chairman named was a very able English judge, at that time retired, the Hon. Sir Sidney Arthur Taylor Rowlatt. He had associated with him nine distinguished commissioners. The commission reads as follows:

Whereas we have deemed it expedient that a commission should forthwith issue to inquire into the existing law and the practice thereunder relating to lotteries, betting, gambling and cognate matters, and to report what changes, if any, are deemed practicable.

The commission held a great many sittings. It summoned before it men and women of standing in almost every rank and calling. The evidence taken covers between six and seven hundred printed pages. I do not profess that I have read it all but I have read a great portion of it. Some one hundred and seventy witnesses were summoned, including bankers, merchants, shipping men, railroad men, members of the various religious denominations, prison officials, race track operators, proprietors of racing stables, many of the leading racing men of England, bookmakers, representatives of all lines of sport where betting is permitted. I think every kind of gambling was considered by the commission, and men representative of the various business and sporting interests appeared before it and gave evidence. The conclusion of the commission, if I read it correctly, is to the effect that lotteries constitute a menace to public welfare and are economically unsound. The report of the commission is lengthy, but there are certain parts of it that deal expressly with the question of lotteries, and what we are concerned with at the present time is the views of the commission in regard to the single subject of lotteries. The report sets out at length all the enactments which have ever been passed on the subject by the parliament of Great Britain; it gives a very good historical resume of the operations of lotteries from the days of Queen Elizabeth down to the present time, and the conclusions of the commission in regard to lotteries are to be found on page 143, section 495. The commissioner's conclusions on this matter are as follows:

1. There is no justification for assuming that there is a sustained or insistent demand in this country for this type of gambling facility.

2. The demand for the legalization of large public lotteries in this country is based upon insufficient appreciation of the difficulties and disadvantages involved'.

3. It is doubtful to what extent an authorized public lottery in this country would put a stop to the sale in this country of Irish sweepstake tickets. It is clear that even if such a lottery were to be authorized, special measures would still have to be enacted to deal with the sale of tickets in lotteries promoted outside Great Britain.

4. The existing law in regard to the sale of tickets in lotteries promoted abroad proved unworkable owing to special causes. There are several measures which can be adopted to bring up to date the law against the sale of foreign lottery tickets, and to make it effective.

5. It is much easier to authorize large public lotteries in this country than to put a stop to such lotteries once they are started.

The commission in its report also finds that there is little or no objection to what it terms small lotteries and it makes no finding as against small lotteries. It deals with small lotteries in section 499 as follows:

We considered' the further question whether very small lotteries or prize drawings, in which members of the public generally are invited to purchase tickets, could be exempted from the prohibition of lotteries. It would in any event be necessary to confine the exemption to schemes which complied with the following conditions:-

1. that the scheme is promoted by some institution of a permanent character conducted for purposes not connected with gaming, wagering or lotteries;

2. that the proceeds of the scheme are devoted to some charitable or philanthropic object;

3. that no profit accrues to any person from the promotion or administration of the scheme, and that no commission is paid in respect of the sale of tickets;

4. that no administrative expenses are allowed in connection with the scheme except printing, stationery, and postage;

5. that prizes are in kind and limited in value;

6. that the price of the tickets is limited in value to a few pence.

The commission concludes that there is little or no objection to lotteries of this kind.

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

May 22, 1934