The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit TUESDAY, JULY 23, 1889. TRIENNIAL LICENSING COMMITTEES.
Tbe fact tbat twenty five petitions! have been this seßßion presented in the House of hopresentatives from as many County Councils, besides others from Road Boards, Town Distriot Boards and Municipal Councils, praying for an amendment of the machinery of the licensing laws, shows that there is a widespread desire for an alteration of the existing state of things. We sympathise with that deßire, but we do not concur with the remedy proposed by the petitioners which was that they be themselves constituted the licensing authorities. On the contrary we entirely agree with the view of the Petitions Committee that it is not expedient that those who receive the revenue should have the granting of the. licenses. At the same timo we admit that the frequency of these elections involves an amount of expenditure which is quite unnecessary, and we are of opinion that the shortness oi, tho term of office oi the Committee is a distinct element of weakness. .We therefore think that the Bill which has just pasßed the House, and which comes on for the second reading in the Legislative Council to-morrow, provides the true remedy by making the elections triennial and concurrent with the local option polls. In order to effect this the Committee elected in 1890 will have to I serve for one year only, the triennial elections commencing in 1891 when the next looal option poll falls to be held. It may not be generally known that the cost ol these elections throughout the colony is about £7000 per : annum, aud as threa polls will i now; be saved in each triennial period this? will mean a saving to the local governing bodies or no less than £21,000 within that term. Thia year, as last, the Bill ran a narrow chance of i being upset by the attempt made to im- | port into it tho question of the extension [ of the franchise but having escaped being wrecked on that rock is likely, we are glad to hear, to have a safe passage through the Council. The widening of the franchise will doubtless be carried in its turn, and we believe that next session its extension to all adults both male and female would be conceded by both branches of the legislature.
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