Mr. O. J. WILCOX (North Essex).
I desire, Mr. Speaker, to make a few observation upon this Bill. Recognizing that I am but a new man in this House, I have refrained from taking an active part in discussion, but as the. question we are now considering is one which affects the con-
stitueney I have the honour to represent, I could not possibly deem it consistent with my duty to give a silent vote. I may say that I have received communications and petitions containing nearly 600 signatures of the best citizens in the riding of North Essex, nearly 400 of whom are representatives of the agricultural class, asking me, as their representative, to oppose the provisions of this Bill on the ground that they are too drastic.
I have also received a few communications asking me to support the Bill.
At the outset, let me say that I have every sympathy with that class of good and noble citizens who have joined this moral reform association. My hon. friend from South Grey (Mr. Miller), who introduced the Bill in a very able manner, and who addressed us this afternoon with his usual eloquence, complained that the opponents of this measure spoke of him as being narrow, and also stated, that certain references had been made toward Dr. Shearer which were improper. I might, however, remark that I have taken rather an active interest in this question myself, and that the reflection -which my hon. friend drew to our attention was new to me. This is the first time I heard it made. While I recognize that the work which the Moral Reform Association is doing is very important, yet I am inclined to the view that it is impossible to make a people moral by legislation. All we can expect parliament to do, is to regulate the evils at the race track. There-being no pretense by the Bill to nrevent racing itself.
My hon. friend from West Northumberland (Mr. McColl), in the very fair argument which he presented this afternoon, dealt largely with the question from the standpoint of the jockey club and the working out of bookmaking generally. It seems to me that there is one side to which my hon. friend did not refer, and that was the evidence pointing out the fact that the thoroughbred horse is the fountain of light-horse breeding. I concur in the remark of my hon. friend from West Northumberland (Mr. McColl) that my hon. friend from South Grey (Mr. Miller) was not fair in the evidence he submitted this afternoon. When he quoted the evidence of the veterinary director general, Dr. Rutherford, as favourable to the passing of this Bill, I am inclined to the view', from a very careful perusal of that evidence, and from having had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Rutherford when he was before the committee, that Dr. Rutherford's evidence was conclusive that the passage of this Bill would affect, and affect seriously, a very important industry in this country. I desire to quote from Dr. Rutherford's evidence, and I shall not take a clause here and a clause there as it may support the theory I hold
or help out the argument I desire to present, but I shall quote from the beginning. Mr. Moss, who was the solicitor representing the horse breeders' associations, conducted the examination of Dr. Rutherford as follows:
Q. What is your position?-A. I am veterinary director general and live stock commissioner.
Q. Of Canada?-A. Yes.
And let me say that Dr. Rutherford does not possess any interest in any jockey club in this country, he has no financial interest in breeding, and, holding the high and important position he does, he would give an unbiassed opinion upon the question which we are considering this afternoon:
Q. How long have you occupied that position?-A. I have been veterinary director general for nearly eight years, not always by that title, and I have been live stock commissioner for three years and a half.
Q. And previous to that did you have experience in horse-breeding?-A. Yes.
Q. I understand, to shorten the matter up, that you have had experience in that business all your life both in the old country and on this side of the Atlantic, and perhaps you will indicate briefly just what that experience is? -A. Well of course I have been connected with horses all my life. I have been a veterinary surgeon for upwards of thirty years. I was for neafly two years manager of a very large racing and breeding establishment in the United States. I have been connected with horse-breeding. I was for five years president of the Horse Breeders' Association of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. I have bred a number or horses myself and have always taken a great interest in the subject. . , .
Q. At the present time you have no interest -no financial or other interest-in any racing track or anything of that sort?-A. None whatever.
Q. What do you say, Dr. Rutherford, I am going to ask you the question broadly, as' to the importance or otherwise of the thoroughbred in connection with the horse-breeding industries of the country?-A. The thoroughbred horse is the foundation of all light horse breeding. Without the thoroughbred horse you can have no really good light horse breeding.
Q. Will you explain a little more fully what you mean by that?-A. Well all our breeds of light horses, with the exception of some of the breeds of ponies in which it cannot be traced, owe their best qualities to the thoroughbred horse. The American bred horse for instance is descended direct from the English thoroughbred Messenger imported during the latter part of the eighteenth century. The Hackney horse owes its best quality to the thoroughbred horse. The great progenitor of the hackneys was a thoroughbred horse also imported about the same time, a horse called Blaze. Take the various breeds of coach horses, both British and continental and they have all been built up by the use of a very strong infusion of thoroughbred blood. The common horses in the country, the half-
breed horses that are for hunting and military purposes in all countries in the world, m the present day owe their best qualities- their excellences, their endurance, their strength and their courage to the use of the thoroughbred blood.
Then, at page 13:
Q. In your opinion is Canada a country that ought to develop a large light horse breeding industry ?-A. Yes.
Q. Is it suitable for that purpose?-A. Very suitable.
Q. In what regard, Dr. Rutherford, would you explain that more clearly?-A. Well-
Q. I mean that is your opinion, now give us the reasons for that opinion?-A. Well, we breed in Canada at the present time a very large number of light legged horses, but there are many, a majority of those horses, useless nondescripts, because insufficient care and attention is being devoted to the selection of proper sires for use on the common mares of the country. If we were to use more thoroughbred blood in this country we would have an infinitely better class of light horses for general use. Not only that, we would be doing our share in furnishing our quota of the horses required for military purposes in the event of the empire being engaged in war. That we are not doing at the present time. JBut we found that there were purchased in the United States during the Boer war something like 113,000 odd horses and mules; they bought in Austria-Hungary a very large number, they bought in Italy, they bought in opam, they bought in Argentine, they bought wherever they could buy because the Boer republic not being a sovereign power there was no objection on the part of neutral powers to allow the purchase by the British war office of horses in those countries, except on the part of the United States, which, towards the close of the war, summarily ejected the agents of the British war office and told them they must get out of the country and must not come back any more. The other countries however, raised no objection. If this republic had been a sovereign power, Great Britain would have been unable to purchase horses except in her own territory or in that of an ally or friendly nation, with the result that the 800,000 odd horses which were used up in the Boer war^ would not have been available and the empire would have been seriously crippled.
Dr. Rutherford, speaking on the question of the development of thoroughbreds, also states:
Q. Then is the maintenance of racing necessary to maintain the supply of thoroughbreds?-A. I think it is, absolutely.
I might also quote Mr. Duncan McEach-ern upon the same point, I might also quote Mr. A. E. Dyment, men which have no financial interest, and are qualified to express an opinion on this question, to back up the evidence submitted by Dr. Rutherford, the veterinary surgeon, and live stock commissioner of this Dominion. Their evidence seems to me almost conclusive that the thoroughbred horse is an important
horse, and that he cannot be developed to his best without racing. It would take a great deal to convince me that such is not the fact, because I have bred horses myself. I have to-day on my own farm, horses that furnish living evidence of the truth of Dr. Rutherford's testimony, so it will take a great deal to convince me that the breeding of light 'horses in this country is not largely dependent upon thoroughbred horses. I may say that I have never in my life attended the race-track, I have never registered a bet with a book-maker in my life. But from the evidence I have seen of the evil which is caused by racetrack gambling, I think the situation could be met by an amendment which will be submitted to this Bill. We are in favour of this Bill with one exception. We believe in doing away with the hand-book, we believe in doing away with the communication from the track, but we ask that, as the Bill does not prevent individual betting, it shall simply provide the means of regulating betting. There is no other means, to my mind, that can be adopted to regulate betting without permitting the book-maker to operate upon the track for the number of days which the race is allowed to be carried on. Now let me read one or two communications from the most prominent business men we have in the city of Windsor. Windsor has a population of 17,000 people, and we have had one of those meetings 'successfully carried on there for the last ten years.;
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic: WM. SKENE,