The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, JULY 13, 1888. CHE EXHIBITION LIOENSE
The question of granting a license for the sale of spirituous liquors to the Secretary of the New Zealand and £outh Seas Exhibition Commissioners, or to some person approved by that body, is being strenuously opposed by a large number of teetotallers. '■ Objection to the license is taken on more than one ground. It is alleged that the granting of the license would be a breach ; of the law, as it would be contrary to the last looal option poll, which decided that there should be no increase m the num ber of licenses. This objection, however falls to the ground as one license at least m the licensing district m which the Exhibition building is situated has lapsed since the poll was taken, Tte objeotion, as a matter of prinoiple, to the sale of liquor m the Exhibition, is entitled to respectful consideration. We venture to think that nose of the promoters of the Exhibition propose to turn the building into a "drinking shop," and that the prohibition party are making altogether too much of the matter. It is not as if the sale of excisable liquors m. an Exhibition were a new thing. No Exhibition of any importance has been without a license, and there has never been any complaint of drunkenness or even undue indulgence having been caused or permitted inthe refreshment rooms or bars. The Christ* church Exhibition was open for four months without any ( »se of drunkenness occurring m the building or being attributed to the sale of drink there. Since that time habits of temperance and even total abstinence have become more general m the community. Those who attend sports, races and other large' gatherings can testify to the change which has come over the habits of the masseß during the last few years. At one time such gatherings were often scenes of the wildest disorder and brntality, where now a man tljo worse for drink is rarely seen. Surely our temperance friends do not fear that this great ad vance is going to be lost, and drinking habits relapsed into simply because a thirsty person can obtain what refreshments he desires m the building instead of having to cross the street for it. It is not such facilities for drinking as will be afforded by the exhibition license that incite to drunkenness. The reverse is \ rather the case. Visitors having had the necessary refreshment while seeing the Exhibition have no occasion to go to an hotel afterwards, but go direct to their homes or to the railway station without going anywhere where they might bo led to exceed the bounds of moderation. The question whether so-called "temperance drinks " or good alcoholic drinks taken m moderation are the Icsb injurious to the human system . is open to argument—so far no beverage has yet been discovered which is so wholesome as pure water. Still visitorß to an exhibition, tired and thirsty with long sightseeing, desire something more palatable, and, unlesi total prohibition beome the law of the land, so reasonable a demand as that foV a license for an Exhibition such as ia about to be held at Dunedin should not be refused.
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