Page:1930 QLD Royal Commission into Racing Report.djvu/28

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28 Finding as to Bona fides. Members. Limitation of Members. Disposal of Moneys. Committee meetings have been held more or less regularly. An annual meeting has been held in each year, at which the attendance has been poor. At these meetings, members of committee have been duly elected according to the rules, and other club business appears to have been properly conducted. Only two of the original members of committee still have seats on that body. The actual racing has been in the hands of the manager employed in the time of Nathan and Wren. It was not, however, shown, that these gentlemen have ever attempted to interfere with the management or control of the property or with the conduct of the racing. On this evidence, looked at as a whole, the Commission is still left in doubt as to whether Nathan and Wren and the original promoters did intend a genuine sale, and whether the terms of sale were not designedly and by preconcert so arranged as to keep the property always within the reach of the vendors, should they determine to resume control. With regard to the present position, however, the Commission has reached the conclusion that the club now governs its own actions in its own interests, in accordance with its own constitution and rules, owes no allegiance to the vendors, and is a bona fide club. The Commission has been aided in reaching this conclusion by the execution, after the whole position had been fully ventilated, of the two amending agreements of 6th December, 1929. The amendments effected by these documents all render more possible the ultimate acquisition by this club of the property. They reduce the annual instalments from £48,000 to £24,000. They cancel the option originally given to the vendors to charge interest on instalments now in arrear — a right the exercise of which would have put the club in an impossible position. They remove certain difficulties pointed out during the hearing as to the legal effect of the original agreement. All these alterations point in the direction of the present recognition, by independent contracting parties, of a genuine existing contract of sale. The rules provide that the club shall consist of all persons who have been duly elected as member's thereunder. Every candidate must be proposed and seconded in writing by a member of the committee. Election is by ballot of the committee. Membership is completed by payment, after election, of the entrance fee of £20 and the first annual subscription of £5. The present number of members is forty-nine, consisting of two life members and forty-seven ordinary members. The rules provide for an annual general meeting for the purpose, inter alia, of filling up by election all vacancies on the committee. The committee, in which is vested the management of the club, consists of eight members, elected at such annnal meeting, after nomination in writing by a member at least sixteen days before such meeting. The four members of the committee longest in office retire annually, There is no limitation in the number of members. The moneys received by the club from all sources have been applied in payment of upkeep, in prize money, in improvements, in taxation, and in reduction of the purchase moneys still remaining due on the purchase of the property.