The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 1880.
The Licensing Bill now before Parliament, in whatever shape it may ultimately become law, has met as yet with but little opposition either in or out of the House. The hotel-keepers throughout the colony, noting the absence from the Bill of Local Option, eo far as that principle is likely to affect vested interests, seem to be content to let the measure take its course, and beyond one or two half-hearted remonstrances against the family hotel licenses and the conditions of club licenses they appear to be comparatively apathetic on the subject. In their opposition to the family hotel license most right-thinking men will be with them ; and we are at a loss to fathom what object Government had in view in introducing into their Bill such a palpably dangerous element. There are too many boarding-houses in the colony now with a not over pleasant reputation for propriety amongst police circles, and we have no doubt, were a good many of these to obtain power to dispense intoxicating liquor to their boarders, there would be brought about a state of things not at all to be desired. The only good thing that could possibly be said for this license would be, that it may perhaps prevent men living in these establishments, who who drank for drinking’s sake, from going elsewhere to get drunk ; and having got drunk at home they would be saved the danger of going to bed in the gutter, as many of them do, after their skinful at a properly licensed bar. In a “ family hotel,” licensed under this new Act, a sot of the kind we have referred to would probably be bundled off to bed by his landlord, and the police cell would be deprived of a tenant. But there are great evils indeed impending the adoption of the family license, and we are glad to see that its adoption is being stoutly opposed in Parliament. Take, for instance, the of Ashburton. No one will for a moment assert that the residents within these town belts have not plenty of facilities for quenching their alcoholic thirst in the numerous hotels that already exist, or that there is any necessity whatever for increasing these facilities by empowering every hoardinghouse in the town that chooses to apply for a “ fomily hotel” license to sell liquor to bona fide residents within them. We do not for a moment mean to insinuate that such licenses would be abused by these boarding-houses. We would hope that our boarding-house keepersareabetter class of men, and would be perfectly trustworthy ; but still the facilities for drinking would be increased by such licenses, and that is not at all desirable. Then, again, there are boarding-house keepers in the colony,—many of them, too—who are not trustworthy; who would eagerly clutch at the opportunity for “shebeening” that the family hotel license would afford, and the result in all probability would be that a crop of midnight hells might spring up, and become as fruitful a source of blackguardism and crime as has ever yet been discovered. The fact of their being under police supervision is no guarantee against the mischief they would do. Regarding the club license, we cordially agree with the opposition raised by the publicans against the exemption of these establishments from police supervision. We fail to see on what principle of fairness a club ought to be allowed exemption from police supervision while family hotels are not. The new Bill proposes to limit the sale of liquor in these “family” hotels to only bona fide members of the household, for such, we presume, permanent lodgers in a family hotel may fairly claim to be. The sale of liquor in a club is also restricted to the members of it, but there is nothing to prevent a very large business being done among those who are only visitors to the family hotel and to the Club, and surely if police supervision is necessary in the one case, it is also necessary in the other. We are glad to observe that the Dunedin publicans contend for the extension to the Club of this supervision, and also that the principle of local option should apply to it. They go further, and demand that wholesale licenses should only be granted after they have run the gauntlet of public opinion under the principle of local option. Taking the Bill as a whole, and without referring further to what we may consider its faults —and it is not free from faults—we look upon it as a measure of the most liberal and progressive tone on the subject of the Licensing Laws that has yet been attempted by any Government. Parliament too, seem to be in earnest for licensing reform, and both-sides of the house seem to agree with the main principles of the Bill, more especially' with that of local option, which, with existing licenses exempt from its operation, seems to have thoroughly won popular favor, and on that head at least our teetotal friends may be credited with having scored a point.
New School District. —The boundaries of the proposed new school district of Hinds are published elsewhere. School Wanted. — The Winslow people are to hold a meeting to-night to see about getting a school established in the township. Remanded. —The case against Benjamin Corrie for alleged sheep-stealing was called upon yesterday at the R.M. Court, and the accused further remanded till Tuesday. The Unemployed. —The unemployed in Christchurch have issued an appeal to the public for work, and urging that the soup kitchen only reaches one section of the people. The Committee invite subscriptions. Tenders. —ln another column are given officially the prices of the various tenderers £jr the building of additions to the stabling at the Upper Ashburton Road Board office—Messrs Baker and Brown’s tender having been accepted, at L 55 ss. Road Closed. —Mr. W. B. Compton, Clerk to the Mount Hutt Road Board, notifies the closing from the 10th of June, of the road leading through sections 15380, 7325, 26683, 1324, and 7245, in the Mount Hutt Road District. The Ashburton County Waterworks Bill. —The Bill amending the County Waterworks Act of 1879 has been introduced in the House by Mr. E. G. Wright, M. H. R., as also the Malvern Water-race Transfer Act, 1878, Amendment Bill. Vagrancy. Joseph Beirara was brought before his Worship yesterday charged with having no visible means of support, but on the application of Constable Warring, the case was adjourned until Tuesday next. A Dust Storm. —Pedestrians whose duties or engagements led them forth into the streets" of Ashburton about nine o’clock last evening, were unpleasantly reminded of the fierce nor’-westers which passed over the township some eighteen months since, by the clouds of dust and strong wind which prevailed about that hour, and with more or less force all the night through. Accidents. —Yesterday Mr. Donald McLean, manager of the Lagmohr station, had the misfortune to sustain a very nasty accident on the bridge. Riding over, his horse slijiped on the damp timber of the bridge floor, and both horse and rider came heavily to the ground. Mr, McLean had his left shoulder dislocated by the fall, but he was able to ride to Dr. Stewart’s house, where the joint was sot.— While a young lad named Hepburn, belonging to the township, was driving the horse at a chaff-cutting machine at Leamington, a few miles up the river, he got his footcaught in the cogs of a horse-power. The small toe was severed, and the others seriously damaged. Dr. Stewart thinks the whole fore part of the foot will require to be amputated. Railway Bicycle. —The Yankees are always ahead in matters mechanical. On Thursday we had an opportunity of witnessing one more step forward they have made. It was a bicycle intended for the use of railway inspectors of the way, and it is astonishing how easily a man astride this new kind of bicycle can get up “ steam” to a speed of from sixteen to twenty miles an hour. The legs of the rider having nothing to do in the act of propulsion, as is the case with the ordinary road bicycle, the whole work being done by the hands and arms, and the motion of the body is exactly the same as that in rowing. The machines will be found exceedingly useful to inspectors, who can now mount a bicycle and reach a distant working ground or weak spot in the line without having to wait the most suitable train. Drunk. —A man named Joseph Brown, charged with being drunk and disorderly, was brought before Mr. Guinness at the R.M. Court yesterday, and had nothing to say in defence of bad conduct. Constable Farmer gave evidence to arresting Brown outside the Eoj'al Hotel. There were several previous convictions against Brown, who on giving his Worship a pledge that he would immediately go to some work which he had in view outside the township, was let oft’ with a fine of 10s. or forty-eight hours’ imprisonment. The Assault Case. —Mr. Ireland, who appeared j-for the accused Mahoney in the assault case which was adjourned last Court day to allow of Constable Smart being present to give evidence, asked permission from his Worship yesterday to put the complainant, Lucas, in the box for the purpose of asking him one question. Lucas having been sworn, in reply to Mr. Ireland, stated that he had never made any offer to Mahoney to compromise the case instead of bringing it into Court. The only thing which he had done was to render his account to Mahoney, and request a settlement. Constable Smart being absent at the Supreme Court sittings at Timaru, Mr. Guinness further adjourned the case until Tuesday next. Con. Croft. —Any of our readers who may have resided in Wellington, or have even passed through that city, will doubtless remember the irrepressible Cornelius Croft, whose untimely death has been announced in our telegrams. “ Con.” was one of the characters of the Empire City, and for many years past has been the premier bellman and billsticker of the place. Although addicted to an undue use of ardent spirits, Con. was of a goodnatured disposition, and had no worse enemy than himself. His abilities were of no mean order, and it is a sad pity that his educational attainments were not used in a way more conducive to his own interests, as well as to those of his fellowcitizens. Some of the Wellington schoolboys, who found out that Con.’s knowledge of Latin was beyond their own, and perhaps equal to that of their tutors, were wont to engage the old man in a matter which was perhaps less honorable than ’cute. On special occasions, when a hard Latin translation had to be given into the schoolmaster next morning, and the evening was required by the lads for some recreation of a particular kind, Con. was interviewed by the boys, and for a half-crown would with ease reduce the difficult task to intelligible English, and the relieved urchin would only have to transcribe it into his own handwriting. Some very amusing stories are told of this ecentric individual. He had a keen eye to the ridiculous, and on one occasion, seeing an unfortunate fellow-citizen lying on his face in one of the by-streets, overcome by the heat' f the sun, or perhaps more likely with a too indulgent use of alcohol, Con quietly went up and posted a large bill, which he had with him, on the unconscious form of the inebriate, announcing that he would be put up that day for public auction. Pluck Rewarded. —Two Dunedin constables, Townsend and Colhorne, have received Ll.O each for their plucky conduct in capturing Butler. Sunday Trading. —The Christchurch R.M. yesterday again fined “ Wicked Marks” ss. for selling fruit on Sunday, and this time ordered him to pay expenses amounting to 255. Up.—The Auckland publicans have raised the price of beer to Gd. per pint. What will bo the rise on liquor in places like Ashburton, where the drinks all round are sixpence a drench. Infanticide. —The woman Matthews, who recently gave birth to a child on the banks of the Avon, the body of which infant was afterwards found in the river, has been committed for trial on a charge of infanticide. Mr. Joyce made an eloquent appeal on behalf of prisoner, rousing the Court to such a pitch of enthusiasm that . they applauded him. Great sympathy is felt for the accused.
Grass Specimens for Auckland.— Mr. James Farmer has forwarded to Auckland Museum from London a case containing fifty different species of grasses suitable for arable land. Railway Changes. —The Dunedin Star of June 9 states that the General Manager of Railways in future will he known as Traffic Manager ; Mr. Conyers is to be designated as Railway Manager ; Mr. Armstrong, Locomotive Engineer here, takes charge of a small station in the North Island. A New Zealand Suicide. —A recent telegram from Melbourne says that John Muller, a native of Switzerland, recently arrived from New Zealand, committed suicide a day or two ago in Melbourne cemetery. The body was discovered to-day, and was found to have been horribly gnawed by rats. Samoa. Sydney telegram of the Bth says :—Schooner Tamar has arrived from Samoa, and brings the following news. Her Majesty’s corvette Danae, twelve guns, has shelled two of the principal villagesj which has incensed the Samoans, who threaten to swarm into Samoa city and massacre the whites. The Danae remains to protect the white population. The New Ireland Expedition.—A telegram from Cooktown, of 7th, : — Advices from the Duke of York Island to May 30, confirm news recently received of the great distress among the Chandernagore immigrants, who have now returned to Likilika bay. Nine more of the party have died of fever and ulcers, from which they were suffering when latest advices left New Ireland. There were HO signs of the Genie vessel, which lately sailed from Aden with another batch of immigrants. The Bible in Schools. —Napier, June 8. —A meeting was held last night for the purpose of securing the reading of the Bible in public schools. The Bishop of Waipu presided, and the Revs. St. Hill, Spear, Hovel, and Penny were present. It was resolved to present a petition to Parliament, praying that the Bible may be read without note or comment in schools. A committee was appointed to get the petition signed, which will be forwarded for presentation to the local members. A counter petition is to be got up. A Wages Case. —At the Timaru R.M. Court ou Thursday Patrick Egan, Thomas Osborne, Neil M‘Neil, John Henderson, Peter Rooney, John M'Carthy, Alex. Godsell, Hugh Boyd, and John Coffey, were charged with seizing a number of horses valued at L 750, in the possession of the National Mortgage and Agency Company, who had seized the horses for wages due by their employer, Walter Allan, whese property had been mortgaged to the Coinpan}'. The charges were dismissed. Accused, who are a very decent lot of men, were kept in gaol all night, bail being refused. They thought that they had a right to take the horses for the payment of their wages. Liberal Invercargill. —At a meeting on Tuesday'last the Invercargill Reform Association resolved io send the following address to Mr. Gladstone, Premier of England : “From this remote dependency of the British Empire, the members of the Invercargill Liberal Reform Association desire to convey their congratulations on the success of the Liberal cause in the Parent Country. They regard it as the opening of a new era of wise and beneficent legislation, of peaceful foreign policy, of prosperity to commerce, and, at the same time, as an augury of the success in the land of their adoption of kindred principles of Liberalism, whose chief exponent in New Zealand is Sir George Grey.