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Those who are in favor of placing the I question of licensing under the direct control of the ratepayers will be pleased to find by an announcement among the telegrams published in this issue that the Premier has informed Mr J.Fulton; the member for Taieri, that it is the intention of the Government to submit next session a Bill having this object in view. This is a fulfilment of a sort of half promise made in the House on the 20th August when, in reply to a question by Mr Fulton, the Hon Mr Fergus said that " the House having affirmed that such a Bill should be brought in, he supposed it was the duty .of the Government to carry out the wish of the House.'' The Government would" take rthe matter into consideration, and, probably a Bill would be brought down next session." The resolution of the House to which Mr Fergus referred was moved, on behalf of the. member for the Taieri, by Mr Withy, memher for Newton, on the 17th July, and ran as follows:— '* Whereas the enormous direct expenditure on intoxicating liquors in this colony, amounting annually to'inore than two millions sterling, contributes largely to the existing depression, adds materially to crime and poverty, and reduces the capital available for reproductive industries ; .and- whereas the people, under the' present law, are powerless to remove the principal cause of these evils; it is, in the opinion of this House, imperative that the Government should, without delay, introduce a .Bill giving power to the people, by. direct vote at the ballot-box periodcally taken, to prohibit the salex of such liquors within the district in which they reside." This was carried without' debate, that is to say the only speech on the occasion was that of the mover, and the division list, counting in a ,pair, stood ayes 37, noes 27, a majority for the resolution of 10. It will probably be > of interest to many of our readers to give the names of those who voted on the occasion. These were :' Hot "the resolution—Messrs Anderson,- Barron, Brown, Bruce, Buchanan, Buxton, Cowan, Fraser, Fulton, Goldie, Grey, Guinness, Hamlin, Harkness, Hislbp, Hobbs, Joyce, Lawry, Mackenzie T., Mills, Moat, Monk, O'Conor, Reeves R. H. J., Richardson E., Richardson G. F., Ross, Saunders, Seddon, Steward, Taipua, Taiwhanga, Thompson R., Thompson T., Verrall, Withy, and Whyte; Against' the resolution: Messrs Allen, Ballance, Blake, Carroll, , Dodson, Duncan,' Fergus, Fitchett, Fitzherbert, Graham, Grimmond,.Hodgkinson, Humphreys, Jackson, Jones, Lance, Larnach','Loughrey, McGregor, I McKenzie J., Parata, Pyke, Russell, Seymour, Turnbull, Valentine, and Walker.

It will thus be seen that while altogether 84 membera recorded their votes, there were 10 who were absent from the division lobbies. This number of course includes the Speaker, so that

given with the " Noes " ti:»

[ would still have " had it" by a majority of one, while it is quite possible that lof the nine three or four might have voted with Mr Withy if they had been obliged to pass the tellers. Looked at in this way it would appear that the promised Bill is safe to pass in the House of Representatives., but we would advise those who are anxious to ace it made law not to count too much upon this, for it by no means follows that all who voted for Mr Fulton's resolution will necessarily vote for the Bill. For while willing to leave the question of the renewal of any existing license as well as the question of the granting of additional licenses to the direct arbibra? ment of the ratepayers there are certainly some among", those who asked that a Bill should be brought down who like Mr Gladstone will demand that some provision be made either to secure compensation to persons suddenly deprived of their licences, to give a time of grace of a fixed term before the withdrawal of license can take effect, or to provide that the Act if pasised shall not £om.e Q operation for 3, 4, or o years, - Failing some suoh provision- as -this being contained in the Bill or added to it in Committeeoourr r own impression, is that it will not pass its third reading. With such-a provision as that last indicated., viz., the suspension of the Bill's operation, for a sufficient time to enable licenseholders to prepare for possible eventualities by disposing of their properties if they,so desire, we believe it would stand a very |a,iu chance of beooming law. • • :

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Bibliographic details

THE LIQUOR TRAFFICDIRECT VETO., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2428, 13 May 1890

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THE LIQUOR TRAFFICDIRECT VETO. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2428, 13 May 1890

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