The Ashburton Guardian. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1880. “ A Car go of Moonshine.”
[lssued at 5 p.m.]
In a paragraph from Wellington yesterday it was stated Government was on the alert for smugglers, and was building revenue cutters to cruise around the coast. That Government is doing anything of the kind is now denied, and it is stated that the origin of the report was that an old revenue cutter is being replaced by a new one. We are glad to find that no necessity exists for any steps being taken to put down smuggling—in other words that no smuggling exists. But we confess that never in the Colony’s history were the temptations for t; running moonshine ” so great as they are now. The Customs tariff is high ; work is scarce, and wages low; and there are hundreds of miles of coast, presenting just the sort of facility for safely landing contraband goods that would win the attention of men who have a handy conscience, and are themselves handy Avith boats. Smuggling may not be nfc along the coasts of New Zealand, wc are glad to be told it is not j but we
would be far from surprised were' Gd r vcrnment to discover that no small portion of the dutiable goods used in some parts of the colony have never paid duty. The Palmerston affair shows that there are people bold enough to attempt the working of an illicit whisky still ; and only this week a man was fined in .Wellington for receiving tobacco that had not paid to the colonial revenue the high toll exacted by the Customs tariff. It would be a very difficult thing indeed to thoroughly guard the New Zealand coasts against the introduction of contraband goods. There are so many almost unfrequented places on the seaboard that offer enticing landing places that many a “ cargo of moonshine ” could be safely run ashore, without a single soul knowing anything about it except those more immediately interested, and it is from outside inorb than from the interior of the colony that an influx of smuggled goods may be looked for. Stills are dangerous things to work, and though for a time they may run safely, they are always in danger of leading the law to their own scent. Besides, they only deal in one article, whereas a small schooner could bring from American and other ports, goods of almost every description likely to yield a profit, and a properly-or-ganised band of men could run : them into New Zealand without a revenue officer being a bit the wiser There may not be any necessity for Governmental watchfulness, but we think there are plenty of chances for those who may want watching, as well as every inducement for the latter to embark in a contraband trade.
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.
Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.
Print, save, zoom in and more.