Canadian Racing is Saved: Miller Bill Beaten Section by Section at Night Session of Commons., Daily Racing Form, 1910-04-09


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CANADIAN RACING IS SAVED KILLER BILL BEATEN SECTION BY SECTION AT NIGHT SESSION OF COMMONS. Close Vote Follows Two-Days Discussion of Merits of Measure— Canadian Racing Associations to Soon Announce Seasons Program. Toronto. Out.. April 8. — The future of raring in Canada was established b tin- action of tile House of Commons at Ottawa late last night in defeating the Miller anti hookmakiug bill clause by clause. ai .1 re asserting tlie policy of the legality of butting on race courses on race days. It was no snap verdict, and there was no contusion in the issue. The government had refused to make it a government measure, thus allowing its followers a free hand. The first test came when in the committee of the Whole a motion to eliminate the first section of the bill allied hjr a majority of one vote, amid gnat excitement, opponents of the bill oil l«th sides of the house standing up and cheering wlien the vote ol 7s to 77 was announced. A motion to defeat the second clause of the hill carried hj ■ to 73. Mr. Mctoll. representing the opponents of the measure, then made an offer to substitute the Eng-lish statute in modified form, restricting race betting to tlie time of meetings and to race grounds and limiting the duration of race meetings in Canada to eight fan, but Mr. Miller declined to accept this offer and announced, that he would re-introduce his bill next session. The Hon. Mr. Aylesworth. minister of justice, declared most definitely against the bill and all similar legislation. and pointiil out that the influences behind it would make crimes of dancing, card-playing. tbeater-goini; or any other form of entertainment of which they did Mat approve. It was declared by several speakers that this hill, being copied from 1nited States legislation, denied a liberty that Urn ish siiblects hare always enjoyed. The substitute offered by Mr. McColl could not lie voted on under the rules of order, but it was favored by everybody except the most rabid of the Miller faction. It is a copy of the English act. which prohibits handliooking. but makes any form of betting legal on race courses. If the Miller far-lion will accept it. there will be a unanimous bill. but unless they do. the matter cannot be revived. Sir Wilfrid Lamicr. the premier, in moving that tlie cuiuimttue rise, said that it was eiilent that the sense of the house, was not with Mr. Miller. The Canadian Haeing Associations will meet next week t i arrange the seasons racing program. The rejection of the Miller bill came as a climax to two days of heated discussion of the subject in Hie Commons in which the champions and opioncnts of the measure frequently clashed. The author of the bill was assisted in defending it by Messrs. Martin. Armstrong and Maddin. while Messrs. Mc-C-oll. Sifton. Wilcox and Barker were prominent in opposiug the proponed legislation as altogether loo drastic. At tie- outset an attempt on the art of souk French members to strangle the bill on a technicality, that tln evidence taken before the committee had not lieen printed ill French as well as English, failed. Mr. Miller, in advocating the passage of his bill, indulged in tin- same line of argument as when the hill was given a reading prior to reference to the select committee that considered it. He contended Ihat its passage would not adversely affect racing and the breeding interests of the counlry. In con-eluding, he intimated that when the bill reached tlie committee stage he would pro|M sc an amendment making it clear that its provisions would not extend to beta between private individuals. Mr. Mcfoll. of West Northumberland, objected to tin- 1 1 1 wan lj drastic and unjust provisions of the bill. The proposed legislation would make criminal certain acts and courses of conduct which a large number of |icnp]c regarded as innocent n creation. It would seriously affect, if it did not alw.lish. the noble and royal sport of horse racing, be detrimental to the breeding at lighi horses in Canada, and result in great financial loss to importers and breeders of thoroughbreds and standard -bred horses and to jockey clubs and racing associations. He contended that what was ger.orallv apnheu of as the evils of betting diil not occur on the race track and that the betting tliat took place at race meetings like that of the Woodbine, was not gambling in the strict sense of the term. The liookinaking was carefully supervised. and the legitimate bookmaker was not the terrible individual he was pictured by people who did not know anything alxint him. It was established by evidence that the thoroughbred was a very important 1 ana for breeding, that racing was necessary to develop the thoroughbred, and that in order to tiro mote racing it was necessary to have public lietting. Mr. Wilcox, of North Essex, also opposed the bill mi the ground that it was t-xi drastic. Be stated that he had received a pettthM bearing the signatures of Him of his constituents, asking him to do so. and of that iiuiiiImt 4 mi tielonged to the agricultural class. He denied that the Windsor track was MM ated and controlled by Americans and claimed that it u.i conducted in an orderly manner. Mr Barker suggested that the supiiortcrs of the bill wore actuated more by consideration for the vi lara at their constituents than by their consciences, and argued 1hat they were inconsistent in that, ■while •■ondemniug professional betting, they admitted there was an harm in private lietting. and saw no harm in gambling an the stock exchange. Ha criticised some of the statements made by Dr. Shearer liefore the committee, and charged those who had s|K ken m favor of tlie bill with having misrepre seated the testimony of the witnesses. He stated that be had lieen a shareholder of the Hamilton Jockey Club for fifteen MM, and that be had Merer received ;t cent in dividends. Ho defied anybody to to a single transaction on the Hamilton track that was not cri-ditahle. Hon. Clifford Sift on stated that the promoters ,,f tin- bill had not lieon aide to persuade the government that they should stand s|»onsors for it. He be lieved it would have la-en more satisfactory if the government had soon its way to introduce a moderate measure which would have secured the general assent of the liouse. It had la-en clearly Braved by the midline liefore the committee that the English thoroughbred Imrse was the basis of improvement of the light bame breeding industry throughout tlie Whole world: that racing had developed the English thoroughbred and that racing alone would maintain its quality: that the stopping of liookinaking on race tracks would have the effect of doing away with the conduct of racing by p -putahlc men. who engaged in Jt «s .-, sport: that the iinpoitat ion of high-class tlsirouglibieds from England would tie stopped, and thai tie- placing of thoroughbred horses throughout i for amice free of charge would «• disoon tinned. He had thought that the committee that promise and adopted a moderate course of regula tjon. The basis of the British criminal law-was the general assent of the community, ami if tlie promoters Insisted on passing their anieudment ta the criminal Bath, the effi-ct would Ik* t i bring the criminal law into contempt among a considerable section of the t eople. He challenged the promoters to cite a precedent in Bmat Britain or in the history of criminal legisla flat of the Parliament of Canada where an act had pisse.l will out any public agitation or demand, lie claimed that there had lieen no general demand for legislation of the kind proposed, and that it would 1«- unwise to legislate beyond the evils which Jjad been proved.

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