Mr. LAFORTUNE. (Translation).
I was not aware of that, and must apologize. I hope he will soon recover, and come back in good health and good disposition.
I was just saying, Mr. Speaker, that the Montreal Jockey Club has its grounds in the county of Jacques Cartier, within the limits of the finest parish in the province, that of St. Laurent, where I have my home. That association has spent up to date a million dollars on its race track. I was proud last autumn, when the opening took place under the patronage of His Excellency the Governor General, to witness the assembling there of more than one hundred thousand people. What a fine sight it was! The best and finest people in the province were in attendance, and in particular beautiful women. And everything went on without any unpleasantness whatever. Notice, Mr. Speaker, that as is always the case, perfect order reigned throughout. There are policemen on the grounds who have an eye on strangers coming and going; as regards the Montreal people, who are all good citizens, such measures are unnecessary; but in order to ensure greater safety, and lest some one might act improperly, the association have policemen on the grounds in sufficient numbers
to prevent or counteract any wrong doing.
It is a day of rejoicing for the farming community; it is a festival of agriculture. Before long, I shall request my leaders to set apart a day as the festival of agriculture, ' farmer's day.' No such day has yet been set apart. Professional men, labour men, have their day; the farming community alone is without a day set apart in honour of their calling, which is the finest under the sun. That request I shall not make just now, but at the next session, and mind you it will have to be granted. I let that stand as a notice of motion for next session.
The hon. gentleman's reference to public sentiment recalled to my memory certain utterances of our opponents on another question. They stateu that public opinion was entirely against us and would bnna about our downfall. As evidence, they pointed to petitions bearing a great many signatures and laid before the House.
I cannot say very much about the petitions in favour of this Bill. I do not know what signatures they bear, but what I do know is that very often such petitions are signed injudiciously, by routine without paying any attention at all, and more than anything else; to please the person who takes the petition around. Several of the petitions which were sent with reference to the Naval Bill had been forwarded from my constituency. On looking into them, I found that the signatures were all in the same handwriting. I made inquiries from several of my friends who answered, ' We never signed our names to that petition.'
' But,' I would say, * I saw your names on the document.' ' Well,' they would answer,
' it was put there by my son, my daughter or my wife.' Of late, when people made inquiries to me about the Miller Bill, they would ask: ' Mr. Lafortune, is that Mr. Miller who is circulating a Bill for the purpose of sending every body and soul to jail, the same man wanted to prevent trains from circulating on Sunday? '-' I do not know, but they read pretty much the same.' ' Is he the same man who wished to prevent us from going out on Sundays -' I do not know, but it looks like it; the principles involved are alike.'
If we were to insert in the criminal code provisions against all those who are guilty of wrong-doing, what great number of lawyers and judges would we not need! Even now it is a difficult matter to secure judges for the settlement of business and other lawsuits of importance. Indeed, many judges would be required to dispose of criminal cases, should we undertake to put a stop to all abuses, wrong-doing and to restrain all those who live beyond their means. That might give me a chance of being appointed a judge before long.
Subtopic: RACE-TRACK GAMBLING.