Page:1930 QLD Royal Commission into Racing Report.djvu/27

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Needless to say, the club has never been able to make the stipulated payments. It was urged that this inability was due, notwithstanding a growth in income in the early stages, to an unexpected increase by The Queensland Turf Club in the minimum prize money distributable at a meeting, and to the imposition of income tax. As already shown, however, an increase in minimum prize money should have been and probably was contemplated. And although the imposition of income tax was unexpected, and made a very heavy drain on the club's resources, the gross receipts, even in the absence of that tax, would still have been substantially insufficient to enable the performance of the contract.

On the execution of the agreement, a cheque for £10,000, dated 21st March, 1923, and signed on behalf of the club, was handed to the vendors in payment of the deposit.

This was another circumstance calling for explanation. At the time, the club had no moneys to meet this cheque. It was not presented for payment until 3rd April, 1923. Meanwhile, the club, which had arranged with Dash for a loan of £10,000 at 10 per cent, interest, had received £8,000, part of such loan, from Dash, and had also received from the vendors, as part of the profits for 1923, which were to go to the club, the sum of £6,878 13s. 7d. It was thus that the club was enabled to meet the cheque when presented.

The Commission was unable to satisfy itself from what source Mr. Dash who admitted that, the loan was not made from his own moneys, was able to make this advance of £8,000.

All that could be ascertained was that, on 16th March, 1923, £10,000 Commonwealth Bonds were lodged in a Sydney bank, in the name of Dash, by way of security, and that Dash thereupon drew a cheque for £9,000 against these bonds in favour of his Brisbane account, from which account he then advanced the £8,000. Dash alleged that these bonds were handed to him in Sydney personally by the late the Honourable A. J. Thynne, at the instigation of the late Mr. J. J. Knight. His evidence on this point, however, was quite unsatisfactory, and it was proved that Mr. Thynne had not been in Sydney at the relevant time. Dash,, however, strenuously denied that, Messrs. Nathan and Wren or any of their associates in any way assisted in finding these moneys. Wren also deposed that his firm and he himself did not find the deposit moneys.

The club, which was first mooted at a meeting of seven persons including Dash, on the 12th January, 1923, adopted draft rules on the 22nd January, 1923. These rules provide for the payment of an entrance fee of £20 and an annual subscription of £5. Besides containing the provisions usual in such cases, they are prefaced by a declaration of intention that the club is to be so conducted that none of its revenue shall be used for any personal profit or gain.

The club comprised, at the signing of the agreement, only about eight or nine members, and has since made no vigorous efforts to add to its numbers. By the end of 1923, the membership had increased to forty-four. The entrance fee and the first subscription of several of the members was, however, arranged by Dash. Since 1923, a few members have fallen out and a few have joined, the number never exceeding forty-nine.

With the exception of two life members, all the present members, who include a number of well-known business men, have, at any rate for the last few years, duly paid their annual subscriptions out of their own moneys.