A Wellington Publican and His Holiday.
(From Wednesday’s Post).
At the Resident Magistrate’s Court today, Mr. Stafford, on behalf of Messrs. Donald and Pascoe, brought before the attention of Mr. G. B. Davy, as Chairman of the Licensing Bench, the following singular circumstances :—Mr. Charles Martin, the licensee of the Albion Hotel, of which Messrs. Donald and Pascoe are the joint proprietors, obtained from Mr. Mansford permission to be absent from the hotel for the space of six months, he (Mr. Martin) being desirous of paying a visit to Sjnlney. The application was not objected to by the police authorities, and Mr. Mansford granted it. The proprietors of the hotel, being acquainted with the circumstance, were averse to Mr. Martin’s proposed holiday, and their solicitor brought the matter forward with a view of ascertaining whether Mr. Mansford had really the power to grant such application. Mr. Stafford said the proprietors’ interest in the hotel would bs seriously affected if Mr. Martin wore allowed to leave the colony, and he contended that such a long period of leave should not be granted on a merely ex parte application. In Otago, he explained, the Licensing Bench liad the power to grant leave for 14 days, and if at the expiration of that term the licensee failed to return his license would be instantly cancelled. Mr. Davy, 11. M., remarked that he was unaware of any authority here for granting leave of absence to licensees, and he failed to see what he had to do with the matter at all. What the consequences would be if Mr. Martin took it upon himself to. leave the colony he was not, under the circumstances, prepared to say. At this stage Mr. Martin said he wished to make a statement. Entering the witness-box he stated that the whole matter arose purely out of “spite, wickedness, and vindictiveness,” and that the solicitor on the other side had bullied him to such an extent as to cause him much annoyance, expense, and vexation of spirit. Mr. Davy said that, so far as he knew, nobody had any right to give Mr. Martin leave of absence, and if the licensee left Wellington it would be entirely at his own risk. Mr, Sandilands, who, represented the licensee, said there was nothing to prevent him from ' taking his departure, and, haying obtained permission from Mr. Mansford, he could go if he wished. The matter then dropped.
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