Page:1930 QLD Royal Commission into Racing Report.djvu/24

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24 Committee. Limitation of Members. Disposal of Revenue. Books of Account. The management is vested in a committee of twelve, six of whom, being those longest in office, retire in each year. Their successors are elected by postal ballot of the members. Each candidate for the committee must be a member of the Club, and must be nominated in writing by a member of the club twenty-four days before the date of the Annual Meeting. The rules provide for the limitation of members to eight hundred, which number was reached some years ago. This limitation was fixed in July, 1923, by resolution of the members in general meeting, and has since been adhered to by large majorities, notwithstanding various attempts to have it raised. It is difficult to estimate the reasons which prompt individual members to adhere to this limit. On the last occasion on which the question was raised, the Annual General Meeting, of July, 1929, the committee, being divided on the point, made no recommendation, but left the matter entirely open to the members. Individual members of committee spoke for and against an altera- tion of the rule, and finally the motion for an increase to nine hundred was defeated by an overwhelming majority. Before this division was taken the Treasurer had argued strongly against an increase of membership on the ground of probable financial loss to the Club. No doubt this consideration affected some members. Others were probably influenced by more or less selfish reasons. Some perhaps considered that, as their Club's limitation was already more liberal than that in force in the Victorian Racing Club and the Australian Jockey Club, there was no reason for altering it. Possibly others considered that the members' accommodation was already sufficiently taxed. The normal waiting list is not unduly large. The number of would-be members is in the vicinity of eighty, of whom between thirty and forty are admitted annually by reason of deaths, resignations, &c. Some witnesses suggested that it was improper to have a limitation at all, and that a higher entrance fee and annual subscription should be charged and the limitation of members abolished. Alternatively, they suggested that the limit should be raised. No satisfactory reasons were, however, established for any statutory interference with the decision of the members on this point. All moneys received by the Club, from whatever source, are used, expended, and disposed of in prize money, expenses of maintenance, improve- ments, the payment of taxation, and donations to charities. Proper books of account are kept, which correctly disclose the manner in which and the purposes for which all moneys are disposed of and expended. (b) The Brisbane Amateur Turf Club. Bona fides. The bona fides of this club has, from its inception, been generally doubted by the racing community. The Commission consequently devoted great attention to this question. A very considerable body of evidence, both verbal and documentary, was taken on the point. The witnesses included one of the vendors, Mr. Wren, the promoter of the Club, Mr. G. M. Dash, the first Chairman of Committee, Mr. A. M. Oxlade, and several original members.