May 22, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


James Shaver 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.

Full View