The Alcoholic Liquor Sale Control Bill.
Clutha Leader, Rōrahi XXII, Putanga 1100, 13 Mahuru 1895, Page 3
The Alcoholic Liquor Sale Control Bill.
The Alcoholic Liquor Sale Control Act Amendment Bill was committed. — A long discussion took place on the proposal that the licensing poll should be taken on the same day as a general election. — Mr Seddon said he should be prepared, although it would add to the cost of elections^ to amend the bill by having separate polling booths and separate officers, It was convenient for people in country districts; and to those engaged in agricultural pursuits it was a great inconvenience to leave their work and- towel lohg^dfetfttiQesj;
but on the general election day a could leave their employment and record their votes. It was not so much a matter of inconvenience i 1 towns, where they could vote without suffering any loss. He wished to got the voice of the whole of the people on the licensing question, as he felt they could never have rest till this important question was decided. If the people of the Colony wanted prohibition they must have prohibition. — Mr Hall- Jones moved as an amendment that the licensing poll should not be taken on the same day as a general election. — Mr Seddpn announced that the Government did not treat this bill as a party question. — The division resulted in a tie — Ayes 31. noes 31. The •Chairman gave his vote against the amendment, which was declared lost, and the clause passed unaltered. On clause 3 — which provides that the granting, of licenses is subject to the vote of the electors, and sets out four questions on which the vote is to be taken, Mr G. W. Russell moved the excision "of the first sub-section inviting the electors to determine whether the number of licenses in a district is to continue. He said that if this subsection were struck out three questions would be left for the electors to decide — -viz., whether there should be reduction, whether there should be total prohibition in the district, whether there should be total prohibition in the Colony. — Mr Seddon could not accept the amendment as the electors had as much right to have the issue submitted to them as any other. Sir Robert Stout saw no reason why the amendment should not be accepted as it would not affect the bill. — After a sdort discussion the amendment was lost by 42 to 21. Mr Millar proposed to strike but the second subsection, which makes the question whether the number of licenses existing in a district is to be reduced one of the questions to be decided by the electors. Lost by 59 to 3 and clause passed unaltered. Mr T. Thompson proposed- to strike out clause 4, which provided that the poll - should be taken on the day of a general election. He said the question was one of such great importance that another vote should be taken on it, especially as the last vote had resulted in a tie. The responsibility of deciding the question should not rest with the Chairman of Committees. —On a division the amendment was carried by 31 to 30 and the clause struck out. Clause 6, which provided that each voter shall be entitled to vote on any one or two of the proposals, but on not more than two, and that the voting shall not be cumulative, was discussed at great length. — Mr Earnshaw moved an amendment that each voter should be entitled to vote for one, two or three of the proposals instead of one or two. — Mr Seddon hoped the House would stick to the bill as it stood. — Sir R. Stout apported the amendment, and said that if the cumulative vote were not allowed he would ask all those who supported temperance to vote for killing the bill by the chairman leaving the chair. If the bill were passed as it stood it would be entirely in favor of the liquor party. — Mr Seddon said this was democracy — that temperance members would support the bill as long as they got what they wanted. — (Sir R. Stout; Certainly) — then Sir R. Stout would find that the majority would not vote for the chairman leaving the chair. He considered two votes were sufficient. Voters could vote for local prohibition and national prohibition, or reduction and licenses to remain as they were. — Mr G. J. Smith said the bill as at present drawn was definitely worse than the present law.-- -Mr Bell said the bill was a brewers' bill. — Mr Seddon resented Mr Bell's statement, and declared that on the contrary it gave more to temperance reformers than any measure introduced in any legislature in the world. — Captain Russell suggested that the first thing to be done was to take a straight vote of the people for prohibition or no prohibition. They could then take a vote for reducing licenses, but the two should not be mixed up as it would only lead to confusion. — Eventually Mr Earnshaw's amendment was carried by 40 to 20.— Mr Seddon said he should loyally accept the verdict of the committee. On Clause 7 — ' Provisions subject to which a poll is to be taken,' — Mr Seddon moved that this clause be struck out owing to the alteration in the previous clause.— This was done. On Clause 8, which sets out when a proposal is deemed to be carried, Mr Lawry moved that a three-fifths majority should decide for reduction instead of aa absolute majority. — Lost on the voices. The clause was altered to provide that a committee, at its first meeting- after a licensing poll, shall reduce the licenses by 10 per cent instead of 5 per cent if the poll is in favour of a reduction. A proviso was added to the effect that where a re: duction has been carried the number of licenses should be reduced by one at least. This was inserted, to meet the case of any district which has only one or two hotels.- — Mr G. J. Smith moved that in the portion of the clause providing for no licenses it should be a bare majority for prohibition instead of three-; fifths.— Mr Seddon opposed the amendment which was rejected on a division b^ 31 to 22 arid the bare majority fesaified, r " '"' / " : . '''■''•■'- •".' *"'" " : -
Aras (22)—8e11, Buddo, Button, Carnell- Earnshaw, Fiatraan, Hall-Jones, Hutchison, W., Kelly, J. W., Massey. MpNab, Millar, Morrison, Newman, O'Regan, Pinkerton, Pirani, Saunders, Smith, G. J., Stout, and , Tanner, Maslin. •. - Noes 1 (31) —Allen, Buick, Caclman, Carn-. cross, Carrol, Collins, Crowfcher, Duncan, Duthie, Fraser,- Green, Hall, Harris, Hogg, Hutchison, G., Kelly, W., Lang, Lawry, MacKenzie, T., McGowan, McKenzie, «T., McLachlan, Mills, Mitchelson, Monkman(?), Reeves, Russel, G. W M Seddon, Smith, E, M., Willis, Thomson, T. Pairs —Ayes: Wi Pere, and Te Ao. Noes: Meredith, and Parata. J3ir Hobert Stout moved that the three-fifths majority for colonial prohibition be struck out in favour of a bare majority. Lost by 30 to 21. The clause was then agreed' to as amended and a motion to report progress was carried by 31 to 20. The House rose at 1.25 a.m. On Tuesday the-Alcoholic Liquors. Sale Control Act Amendment Bill was further considered in Committee. Clause 20, Bellamy's—a poll of members to be taken as to whether liquor is to be sold —Sir R. Stout ob jected to this clause altogether and said it was not necessary. —The Hon Mr Seddon moved an amendment to make the continuance of Bellamy's subject to the district or national option poll. —Agreed to. Clause 21, Clubs —no charter for premises where license forfeited and charter subject to results of poll. — Carried. Clause 25, cost of elections and administration to be paid by local bodies. —Mr J. W. Kelly said ha should move a new clause to make the cost payable by the Government instead of by local bodies. —The Hon. Mr Seddon opposed the amendment, which was lost by 32 to'2l and the clause passed. Clause 26, increase of rates in case of loss of revenue, was passed on the voices. Clause 27, increase of licenses on a 10 per cent increase of the population. —Struck out. Clause 28, no new bottle or wine licenses to be granted. —Mr Mills moved to amend the clause so that bottle licenses shall be put before the electors as well as other questions. —A long discussion ensued after which the amendment was lost on the voices. Mr T. Mackenzie moved that no new licenses of any description should be granted within any licensing district after the passing of this act. —The Hon Mr Seddon said this was prohibition by act of Parliament, and the amendment was so absurd that it was waste of time to discuss it. —Mr T. Mackenzie said the Premier himself had just abolished one class of license (bottle license) which he had said had caused great evils. He (Mr Mackenzie) considered that if bottle licenses had caused great evils, how much more evil would be caused by selling liquor by the glass, —The amendment was lost by 54 to 5. Mr Willis moved to strike out subsection 2 of clause 28. He said he wished to provide that all holders of wine licenses in the colony at present shall remain holders of them without being subject to renewal by the licensing committee. —Lost by 42 to 12. — Mr Mills moved to add to the clause ' until the electors shall have decided if such licenses shall be again renewed.' The Hon. Mr Seddon said this addition would make the . Committee look ridiculous, as the clause already provided that licenses could be renewed until the licensing poll was taken — Lost by 28 to 12, and the clause carried by 30 to 23. Clause 29 was amended so that the committee shall consist of the stipen-; diary magistrate and five other persons, and a proviso added that where prohibition prevails it shall not be neces? sary to elect a committee. Propress was reported, and the House rose at 1.15 a.m. ':