CORN EXCHANGE AND FARMERS’ CLUB, CHRISTCHURCH.
The ordinary meeting of the Committee of the Corn Exchange and Farmers’ Club was held at the Exchange rooms, Cashel street, on Saturday afternoon last. There were present—Mr. Thomas .Bruce (chairman), Captain Willis, Messrs. Pcryman, Woodman, Bailey, Henderson, and Gammack. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. The Chairman stated that befoie proceeding with the business to be considered by the Committee, he would like to mention, for the information of those members who were not in attendance at the last meeting, that a most exhaustive and studiously written paper, treating of the important subject of Farmers’ Corn Exchanges, and their utilisation by farmers, had been read by Mr. Wra. Batemen. Those who were then present had not only complimented the author, but had also unanimously expressed a wish to have the paper printed, owing to the valuable information afforded. Mr. Peryman hoped that the Committee would express its opinion in regard to the valuable nature of Mr. Bateman’s paper, and that the suggestions advanced by that gentleman would be entered in the minute-book, as a record and recognition of the way in which the Exchange had estimated the efforts of Mr. Bateman, and—“ That he be elected an honorary member of the Corn Exchange and Fanners’ Club.” The suggestion and resolution, after being seconded by Mr. G. B. Woodman, wore carried nem. con. The Chairman then called attention to a letter written by Mr. E. B. Bishop, under the heading of encouragement to the farmers, and which appeared in Friday’s issue of the I/yttelton Times. Mr. Bishop, he might say, was well and favorably known, both as a gentleman of long standing in Canterbury, and as one who had on many occasions interested himself in the promotion of objects dealing with the welfare of the community. In the present instance he had, at his own expense, circulated copies of the letter referred to. He (Mr. Bruce) could thoroughly endorse the views put forth by Mr. Bishop, and would like to see them carried into effect. One result would bo that the people would have “good beer;” and in order to accomplish this desideratum, there must be unity of action, as one individual could not act singlehanded in such a laudable cause, which was a philanthrophic one, and tended to advance the interests of both agriculturalists and consumers. Mr. Bishop’s sole object was, evidently, the production of a wholesome and palatable beverage : free from sugar. The Chairman then expiated upon the properties of “ good” beer and supported bis arguments by a reference to the certificates of eminent State analytic chemists and medical authorities. It is an universal and acknowledged fact that, if too much sugar is employed in the manufacture of beer it becomes highly injurious as a beverage, lie thought that it the members present should resolve to interest themselves in the movement emanating from Mr. Bishop, it might be for them to communicate with other kindred societies, Farmers’ Clubs, and Agricultural Associations, asking their co-operation. Mr. Peryman, with the Chairman’s permission, would like to make a few remarks before any motion was submitted to the members of the Committee, with respect to the matter before them. While concurring, to a certain extent, with the remarks of the Chairman with reference to the manufacturing of a good alcholic commodity, yet it struck him that there might be a principle involved, and upon which he wished to invite discussion, as to how it would affect the brewers. Might it not be said that the} 7 (the members) were involving themselves in this matter of principle as it affected others? For instance, m’uflit not the brewers justly consider that they had a right to interfere with the interests of the farmers with regard to the kind of implements used, or to the seeds they might sow ? It is a question dealing with a complication of interests, which had in part to he considered, and was one which affected not only the brewers, but the farmers too as growers of barley ; the more barley used by the brewers the better for the farmers. Captain Willis had listened to Mr. Peryman with considerable attention, but could come to no other conclusion than that his premises were bad. Perhaps that gentleman had overlooked the fact of the existence of an Act dealing with the adulteration of food, and, therefore, the matter of principle referred to did not arise. He, for one, “ liked a drop of good beer and they no doubt all remembered the good old saying, “ there’s nothing like malt and hops for good beer. ” He then referred to the effects produced by Colonial beer, in regard to the sugar it contained, and said that instead of its being a thirst quencher, it was generally admitted to be an inveterate thirst maker and stomach deranger. He asserted that it possessed all essential ingredients for the maker of bad vinegar ; and they were all aware of the injurious effects of such. Colonial beer was equally injurious when sugar had been largely introduced into it. He was of opinion that the Adulteration of Food Act was a sufficient reply to this matter of principle ; and to his mind, there was no principle involved at all. Under the circumstances of the case, he considered they would be doing their duty if they applied to the Government to pass an Act to prevent public brewers using sugar as a substitute for good malt. If good beer could be had the working class would not bo the victims of that vile compound designated “Scotch whisky,” the inferior kinds of which were as highly impregnated with that deleterious thing fusial oil. There was a fine liquid known as “negative spirit,” and from which was manufactured all kinds of spurious liquors. Captain Willis averred himself a Protectionist, and considered it was the duty of the committee to give every possible encouragement to those who did produce such food and beverages. Mr. Bailey saw no objection to supporting the views of the Chairman, provided they did not injuriously effect the brewers interests by bringing into the market cheaper and inferior beer. Mr. Henderson stated that although he was a thorough free trader, yet he believed in good food and beverages. After a little further desultory conversation, it was resolved “That the Committee of the Corn Exchange, Christchurch, approve of the suggestion of urging the passing of an Act for prohibiting the use of sugar in the manufacture of beer by the public brewers of this colony, and compelling the use of malted barley in lieu thereof “ That the President of the Exchange he requested to communicate with kindred associations with a view of further co-operation in the above matter,” Mr. Peryman suggested that lists be printed, with the name and address of each subscriber of the Corn Exchange, together with the rates, and that the same be circulated for the information of those directly interested. The suggestion was favorably received, and the subject postponed for further consideration. After the usual vote of thanks to the Chairman, the meeting terminated.
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