THE " DAILY NEWS " AND THE " MORNING LEADER."
MR. GEORGE CADBURY, the great Birmingham millionaire and philanthropist, unless we are mistaken, exercises, directly or indirectly, a potent in- fluence on the now amalgamated paper, the Daily News and Morning Leader, and also on the Star. After he had bought the Daily News he used the follow- ing language in an interview published in the Sunday at Home for February 1909—an interview the authen- ticity of which has never been denied, and is indeed unquestionable :— " did not enter upon this work' [the ownership of the Daily isreuni], he said solemnly, 'either from my own inclination or in order to make money. I entered upon it as a public duty, and, though members of my family aro working strenuously with all their might to make it a groat success, I will never touch a farthing of my share of the profit the paper may make. It shall be used for philanthropic purposes.'
"The Drink Problem.
"Mr. Cadbury is a total abstainer, as his father was before him ; yet he keeps an open mind upon tho drink question. No licensed house exists to-day in Bournville; yet he has inserted a clause in the trust deeds which makes it possible by the unanimous consent of the trustees in whom ho has vested the village—a gift repre- senting a quarter of a million sterling—to make the sale of intoxicating liquors at Bournville at least permissible. If drink is to he sold at all,' he said, would have its sale municipalized, so that no profit accruing from it should go to individuals, and so that there should bo no incentive for its sale except to satisfy a reasonable demand.
"' But I put betting on quite another basis,' ho continued, 'for I am faced with the undoubted fact that millions of good Christian People, of whose Christianity there can be no doubt, think it right to take strong drinks in moderation, but I never heard of an earnest Christian Worker who indulged in betting. Therefore under careful restrictions it may be well to supply drink. I would rather they could procure it in Bournville for consumption at home than they should go to some vice-ridden drink shop outside; but I would make no compromise on betting. As you know, I make the seclusion of betting forecasts from its columns a condition of my connexion with the Daily News."
The attitude thus assumed was conspicuous in the advertisements put forth by the Daily News after its purchase by Mr. George Cadbury. Hero is a portion of In the case of a man of honour, probity, and public spirit, pressed by none of the temptations to compromise which affect men in financial difficulties, one might have felt sure that whatever else happened we should never find the user of the words we have quoted from the interview pur- chasing and maintaining, or helping in the purchase and maintenance of, a paper which through its insistence on racing news and betting tips has made itself one of the most con- spicuous of the journalistic gambling tables of the country. Yet that miracle happened. Mr. George Cadbury and his Quaker associates purchased the Star and the Morning Leader and have continued to run those papers, not on the lines of the interview, but exactly as papers are run by those whom we may term men of the world proprietors—persona who hold that there is no harm in betting or giving facilities for betting so long as there is no fraud. But this miracle and the scheme under which the Cadburys and their associates spoke with two voices—a morning voice which denounced the evils of betting and an evening voice which furiously incited to betting—incredible as it may seem, has been out- done. The betting voice has shouted down the anti-betting voice. We actually find the man who spoke in the inter- view in the Sunday at Home the words we have quoted, and in whose interest the Quiver advertisement was pro- duced, allowing his anti-gambling paper, the Daily News, to be joined to the Morning Leader, and the amalgamated paper, which bears as its first name the Daily News and retains the outward semblance of the Daily News, to pub- lish betting news and racing intelligence. The anti-betting and racing flag, that is, was hauled down last Monday, and the flag of moderate facilities for betting now waves over the joint concern or " reformed " Daily News. Remember that in drawing attention to this fact we are not for a moment declaring that there is anything wrong per se in quoting the odds or giving accounts of racing. The present writer would himself find no moral obstacle to holding shares in a paper, or even to controlling a paper, which published the kind of racing intelligence pub- lished by the Manchester Guardian or the Times. But then he does not profess, and never has professed, to take the line which Mr. Cadbury took in his interview, or in the adver- tisements of the Daily News. What we protest against is, not the publication of betting news, but that organized hypocrisy under which mon say that gambling is a crime with which there can be no compromise and then for various reasons are content to own and control papers which live by incitements to betting. That is a kind of attitude which must cause moral rottenness and must lower the moral standard infinitely more than any amount of the backing of horses. Hypocrisy is the unforgivable sin which taints all human endeavour. As Cowper pointed out long ago in his poem " Pity for Poor Africans," you cannot carry on the slave trade in the interests of morality. Cowper gives as his fable the story of the boy who protested against his comrades robbing an orchard and injuring the poor farmer. When, however, they said they were going to rob the orchard whether he liked it or not, he felt his conscience relieved, "Lie blamed and protested, but joined in the plan; He shared in the plunder, but pitied the man."
Mr. Cadbury and the other owners of the Star blame gamblers and protest against the wickedness of betting, but nevertheless share in the evil by owning a paper which one of them which appeared in December 1906 :— in the pages of the Quiver I WOMAN'S
Anything that affects the well-being of the Home is essentially a Woman's Question., It is the duty and the pleasure of the Mother to guard her Homo against the admission of everything that is evil.
And she does this fearlessly.
But there is one form of evil, chiefly affecting the welfare of the young people, which finds its way into moat families without lot or hindrance.
That is the evil of Dotting and Horse- racing — an oval which is destroying thousands of our young people every year,
The proceedings of any Police Court prove the truth of this statement, and Magistrates oonfirm it.
No Section of Society is free from it.
It increases year by year.
The aurae of Dotting would die but for the publicity afforded by the Press of Groat Britain.
There are thousands of persons who do not believe in Dotting and Horse- racing, and who yet bring home news- papers which live largely on Turf luta- ligence.
They do it without thinking of the temptation which they are thus plac- ing in the hands of the rising genera- tion.
Will you allow this temptation to enter your house t Remember this great risk may ts avoided by buying " Tux DAILY NEws," which doom not contain one line of Bet- ting or Iforse.racing news, incites to betting. After such action their pity of the victims of the betting habit can only be described as an outrage. It is an offence too rank for tolerance.
No doubt we shall be told that we are unfair to Mr. Cadbury and that we ought to remember that whereas the Morning Leader used to publish betting tips the amalgamated Daily News and Morning Leader now only publishes betting news, and that therefore there has been, on the whole, a slight gain for the Cadbury conscience. Even if it is true that the Star goes on with gallant " Captain Coe " at the prow as usual, owing to the fusion the tipsters of the Press are less by one. We are bound to say that the argument leaves us cold. In the first place the developments of modern betting have made tips in the morning Press of comparatively little importance. The man who wants to bet may find it pleasant and convenient to see in his Daily News, as he will in future, the list of starters and the criticisms on the horses' form by " Uno," the celebrated prophet of the Yorkshire Post. But those who want serious direction for betting and advice as to how they are to invest their money want it later in the day. They always look to an evening paper for their "tips." They will find. them as before in the Star, which is in fact, though not in name, the evening representative of the Daily News and Morning Leader. What matters is not that there is one journalistic tipster the less, but that the paper which was to set an example to other newspapers in the matter of affording facilities for gambling has ceased to exist ; and has ceased, not because its proprietors have gone down fighting, but because they find it inconvenient for commercial and other reasons to continue to keep the anti-betting flag flying. That may be sound business, and we have no doubt it is ; but it is not the kind of action which will lead to reform or which will tend to carry out that policy which, curiously enough, we have no doubt Mr. Cadbury and his associates at heart desire—the policy not merely of prosecuting bookmakers for carrying on their avocations in public places, but also of preventing all news- papers from giving gambling facilities in that most public of public places—the columns of the daily Press.
For ourselves we do not bold the view that Mr. Cadbury holds in regard to gambling, i.e., the view which is set forth in the interview. We hold that the sound analogy is that of the use of intoxicants which he re- pudiates. We hold that there is no harm per se in wagering money on horses, but we believe that the evils that arise from the excess of wagering, i.e., gambling, are so serious that the State should put a stop to them. The only effective way to do so is to forbid the publication of all incentives to gambling in the newspapers. We are fully aware that there are a great many people who dis- agree with us entirely here. They maintain, and maintain quite sincerely, though, as we think, quite wrongly, that mankind will always bet and gamble, and that it is absurd to attempt to prevent them doing so. Those who profess such a view will naturally be entirely out of sympathy with our desire to prevent facilities for betting, just as we desire to prevent facilities for roulette, and we do not, of course, expect support from them. What we do expect is that men who hold the extreme views held by Mr. George Cadbury should. not be parties to carrying on a newspaper which lives by furious incitements to betting. That is, he should not carry on the Star. While Mr. Cadbury and his associates do so they are not merely leading a con- siderable number of poor men into the folly and worse of ruining themselves by betting, but are doing what is an infinitely greater injury to morality and to the nation— setting a public example in moral hypocrisy. Let them not lay to their souls the flattering unction that no groat harm is done. The world is full of insidious temptations to hypocrisy and to depreciations of the moral standard. Does any one suppose that the men and women thus tempted. are helped by the example offered by Mr. George Cadbury and his associates ? Rather they are weakened. in their struggle to keep their intellectual integrity, Thoy are sure to argue : " Here is admittedly a. thoroughly good. man with philanthropic impulses who sees no harm in not practising too closely what he preaches. What is good. enough for so noble a man as Mr. George Cadbury must be good enough for us." Has Mr. George Cadbury never heard of sinning against the light ? Does he not realize that there is such a thing in morals as well as in worldly conduct as noblesse oblige ? Has he never reflected that a good. life and a high standard in most things cannot give a dispensation for doubtful conduct in other matters, but rather are a pledge of honour never to fly the flag of expediency ? Strict virtue in one department of life can never purchase an indulgence for a less rigorous morality in the others.