The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prevalebit. SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 1882. The New Licensing Act.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.50 p.m.j
Under the new licensing laws passed during last session the present system of licensing will very shortly become_a thing of the past. Licensing commissioners will disappear, and their place will be supplied with licensing committees, elected by ratepayers. Each committee will consist of five persons, who will hold a great deal of power in their hands. Brewers, wine and spirit merchants, maltsters, distillers, importers for sale of liquors, dealers in liquors, agents or auctioneers for dealers, persons interested in any public house, building, or premises as mortgagees or otherwise, who own in fee or for any less estate of any licensed house, who have been bankrupt or insolvent within four years, and have paid less than 10s in the pound, and also General and local Government officers are to be exempt from sitting on the Licensing Committees.
But while the restrictions are so stringent respecting the publican or any one in the remotest degree connected with his calling sitting on the Licensing Committee, there is nothing whatever to prevent , the teetotallers or other persons of extreme views from being elected. Surely what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander? Like that dealing with gaming and lotteries, we are much of opinion that the new Licensing Act, at least as ? whole, will not be found to work particularly smoothly.