The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 1881. Our Licensing Laws.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.35 p.m.] ,
A most distressing scene came before our notice a few days since in Timaru. A boy of some eight or ten years of age staggered through the main thoroughfare in a state of drunken imbecility, his actions forming food for the amusement of the •crowd of passers-
by, instead of arousing a feeling of commiseration and shame in their breasts We do not draw this matter into the notice of the public for the purpose of throwing discredit on the morals of our sister township—far from it; but we do so because we consider it points directly to an existing discrepancy in the Statutes of this colony. It also directs attention to the increasing depravity of the juvenile public tastes. And why is this ? The answer is simple in the extreme. The unbounded license allowed the youths in this colony is working out its result, and much does that result tend to the deterioration of the social status of the rising and future generations. What is needed is the enforcing active and stringent measures affecting the granting and general conditions of public licenses. Those of an apathetic turn may, and possibly will, urge that on the conviction of a publican for serving children with intoxicating liquors, the Licensing Bench may forfeit his license, but we contend that more than this saving clause (Heaven save the mark !) is needed. Not alone in regard to the dispensing of liquors, but the general conduct of licensed Houses. What do we see on entering nine out of every ten billiard saloons in this colony ? A crowd of youths sitting around the room, or participating in the amusement. No sooner are our boys freed from the thraldom of the schoolroom than they are to be found lounging in bar- parlors, or in fancy attaining the art of billiard playing—in fact, training as adepts in all the devices which keep body and soul together in the gambler. Can we wonder at their wan visages, or that they in after life tend to the disreputable? We answer, No. Let this be prevented by direct and prohibitory legislation ; our licensing laws at present only condone the existing state of affairs. A publican by giving intoxicating liquor to a drunken man runs a risk of the forfeiture of his license; why, then should he be exempt on a more vital point ? If we do not desire that the rising generation should grow into a class of persons similar to those who inhabit that hell upon earth—San Francisco —or incur a repetition here of the dreaded outrages on life and properly by the larrikin element, now so common in Victoria, let some immediate and decided action be taken for its prevention. The case we have related may be, and we sincerely hope it is, one in a thousand. But the after facts relating to gambling dens, drinking saloons, billiard rooms, &c., are a daily increasing evil, and can be witnessed nightly by those who are in any way sceptical. All these tend in but one direction—the prisoner’s dock, either in the mild form of the habitual drunkard, or the accompanying vices, extending even to murder. If we have no desire that the generations of the future should grow up into a community of drunkards and criminals, some immediate action is, as we have already pointed out, necessary. Parliament does not assemble until June next; we should suggest that in the meantime some of our legislators might devote a portion of the interval to the preparation of an Amendment Act on the present Licensing Statutes, embracing prohibitory measures in the matters referred to.
The San Francisco Mail. —The San Francisco mail left Chri&tchui'ch, per special train, at 2.40 p.m., and will arrive in Ashburton before five o’clock.
Football. —The opening of the football season is postponed from to-morrow until further notice, in consequence of the unusually hot weather now being experienced. Orangeism. The ordinary monthly meeting of the local Loyal Orange Lodge was held last evening, in the Templar Hall, there being a good attendance of brethren. The business was of a purely formal character. Telegraphic. —The extra fee of sixpence at present levied on telegraphic messages to and from the undermentioned taxed stations has been abolished, and ordinary rates only will be collected in future: —Hampden, Herbert, Kekeraugi, Longford, Lyell, Manuherikia, Miranda, Ohaeawai, Owake, Richmond, Tarapera, Taphouse, Upper Hutt, Urctara, Wainui, Waipu, Waitotara. Scholastic. —We are glad to learn that the following pupil teachers from this district have successfully passed their examinations, and are entitled to certificates: —Miss Christina Henderson and Miss Dynes, the D certificate; Mr Wake, the D certificate. All three are from the Ashburton school, Mr Wake and Miss Henderson having had the main portion of their training at the above school, and Miss Dynes at the Sydenham school, though now one of the mistresses at the Ashburton school. South Rakaia School Committee.— The usual monthly meeting of the Committee was held on Tuesday last. Present —Messrs Hardy (Chairman), Davies 1 Bowler, Byrne, and Gaarder. The chair - man stated that no application had been received for the appointment of assistant mistress. After some consideration it was resolved that the chairman interview the Secretary of the Board of Education on the subject. Several letters were read from the Board of Education. The master’s report was read and received, and the meeting adjourned. He Wouldn’t Reform. —This morning a man named Brennan, who figured in the R. M.’s Court yesterday, on a charge of drunkenness, and to whom the leniency of the Bench was extended, on the strength of a promise of reform, was again brought before the Resident Magistrate on a similar charge. The accused was fined 10s. On a second charge of being illegally on certain premises he was “sent up” for three days’ hard labor. Strange to say, when arrested on Wednesday, he had in his possession Is. 2d., and the same sum was found on his person when searched last night. Query—Whence came the wherewithal to get drunk I Possibly some of our correspondents can suggest some elucidation of the mystery. Fires. —A four-roomed cottage belonging to Mr Alfred Hewitt, situated in Ollivier's road, Christchurch, about,half a mile down the Ferry Road, was totally destroyed by fire last night. It seems that Mrs Hewitt had gone out about half an hour previously, leaving a kerosene lamp burning on the mantelpiece in the kitchen, which is supposed to have been the cause of the fire. It was insured in the Standard office for L2OO, and the furniture in the South British. The alarm was not conveyed to town until the house was completely destroyed, and so the engines did not turn put.—Early yesterday morning, says the Lyttelton Times, Mr G. F. Smith, of Little Raima, near SouthbridgOj discovered that four of his stacks of wheat were on fire. Mr Smith at once got assistance, and every endeavor was made to save them, but without success. They were insured in: the New Zealand office for Ll5O. A fire occurred at Wanganui yesterday morning, which destroyed a dwelling-house and its contents, belonging to Mr W. Dempster, of. Nukumara. It was insured in the North British company for L 460. It is estimated that the loss:will amount to. LI,OOO.
Struck of the Rolls. — A t the Sup-, cemo Court, Wellington, yesterday, in re Henry Adams, Solicitor, formerly Crown prosecutor at Nelson, defendant not appearing to show cause, the rule was made absolute to strike him off the rolls. Immorality in Industrial Homes.—Michael Breen, a former inmate of the Auckland Industrial .Home, was arrested at Mahurangi yesterday, on a charge of indecent assault in connection with the recent disclosures of immoralities among the children at the Home. He lately served a term of six months’ imprisonment for indecent assault on a girl at Mount Albert.
A New “Pick-me-up.’’ —Mr J. M. Cambridge, of the Medical Hall, East street, notifies in another column that he has just received a consignment of a new alcoholic “ pick -me - up,” called “Zocdone.” This beverage is designated by the British Medical Journal as a brain and nerve tonic and nutriticnt tonic beverage, and is recommended by that journal as of use in cases of general malaise connected with phthesis in its last stages. Zocdone is also in general favor in the London clubs.
Gold or no Gold I —The Waimate Times of Saturday says:—“Notwithstanding the fact that the recently reported discovery of a quartz-reef near Pudding Hill turned out to be incorrect, there is a very general belief that there is good payable gold within a short distance of Waimate, and that the belief is well founded we hope to be able to give some indication in onr next issue. Meanwhile, a number of onr business men are interesting themselves in a proposal to offer a reward for the discovery of payable gold in the district. Already L 325 is guaranteed, and a meeting is to be held early next week to take further steps in the matter.” Supreme Court, Auckland. —At this court yesterday Purcell, for forgery in connection with his bankruptcy, was sentenced to two years. E. H. Jaggar was sentenced to two years’ hard labor on three charges of forgery. Warner was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for larceny as a bailee. Sutherland, for breaking and entering, to two years’ imprisonment. In the case of Bell, of Ohaupo, charged with embezzlement, the counsel for the defence pleaded that the man had been drinking. Prisoner was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Novel Swindle. —A remarkably clever and novel piece of swindling (says the special correspondent of the Lyttelton Times ) has been perpetrated in the Wellington district. A leading legal firm, in conjunction with a local auctioneer, sold to a person a run carrying some 2,000 sheep, taking a small sura in cash, and apparently good paper for the balance. The purchaser took possession, sheared the sheep, and sold the wool, and subsequently the sheep for cash, and has levanted with proceeds, the paper being worthless. I send you confidently the names of the parties concerned, which for obvious reasons it would be unwise to publish. Rather complicated legal proceedings are likely to arise. Lottie Wilmott Turned out of Court.
—The Auckland correspondent of the Lyttelton Times wired the following on Wednesday :—“ An incident quite unexampled in any of our local temples of justice, took place this morning in the Supremo Court, in connection with the hearing of a charge of rape. The indictment had hoeh read over, and the usual order was given for women and children to leave, and to remain out of hearing. Some took the hint and departed, but twi Indies remained upon the bench, immediately behind the press box. One of them was a Maori, and the other a European lady, well bejewelled, and wearing a heavy veil, who subsequently turned out to be Madame Wilmot. Attention having been directed to their continued presence, the Court crier requested them to withdraw, and they did so rather reluctantly. Immediately afterwards the Crown Prosecutor received a message from Madame Wilmot, asking if she might be allowed to re-enter and remain in Court as a special reporter, but he took no further notice of the un-
usual request, and the case then proceeded. A lengthy examination of the first witness had all but.finished, when it it was stated that a woman was sitting at the end of the gallery upstairs, partly concealed behind one of the arched buttresses of the building. All eyes were turned in the indicated direction, and the intruder stood revealed ; it was the irrepressible lectureas. The presiding Justice remarked that this was a case for the adoption of the course pursued on a similar occasion by Baron Creaswell ; that learned judge once directed that all respectable women should leave _ the Court, and that all others who remained should; be expelled. The power of expulsion would have to be resorted to as the lady still maintained her seat. The crier was ordered to remove her and lock the
door of the gallery. The officer left on his errand and a hush of expectation ensued. In a moment or two he made his appearance in the gallery, and crossed over to the half-concealed and veiled figure, held a whispered conversation with the lady, who at length rose slowly, and after an ineffectual effort to engage the the crier in conversation, left the gallery when the door was shut and bolted after her. The hearing of the evidence was then continued.
A meeting of shareholders in the Templar Hall Company is convened for Wednesday next, at 8 p.m. All claims against the estate of James Fletcher must bt sent in to the trustee, Mr F, Pavitt, on or before the 15th inst. Tenders are required for building a five-roomed house in Ashburton, labor only. Tenders to be sent in to Robert Ennis, Tinwald Post Office by the 14th inst.