(We do not hold ourselves responsible for opinions expressed by our correspondents.)
INDEPENDENCE OF PUBLICANS WHERE NO OPPOSITION PREVAILS*
TO THE EDITOR. Sib,—l would esteem it a favour, if you would be good enough to insert these few lines m your paper, and at the same time ask you : " Has a publican got the option to refuse a man a breakfast, or, for that matter, any meal ? " On Sunday last I put up at a hotel m the Selwyn district with the purpose of boarding until I could procure work, All went well until Tuesday morning, 25th.-- inst. When breakfast was ready, I entered the dining room, only to be told by the publican's wife that I wa3 not wanted there. I aaked why I didn't deserve breakfast, when Mrs Publican very bluntly and discourteously ejaculated " You eat too much; you eat enough for three men; I had enough of it last night j it would not pay to feed, etc." Now, sir, let us suppose those statements about my eating capacity to be correct. I was prepared to pay cash for what I got, as I had done on all previous occasions, and under the laws of humanity should not be refused a meal. In defence of my own character I must say those statements were absolutely false, either being baaed purely on imagination or because the woman was labouring under an aberration of the intellect. In consequence of the ridiculously unreasonable action on the part of the acting waitress, I acquainted the proprietor with the facts, and applied to him to supply my needs. His reply was short and decided— 111 oan't do anything for you." So he also refused a meal to a hungry man, well knowing I was prepared to pay. Evidently that hotel proprietor is not master of his own business. To some of your readers, sir, this matter may seem trifling or almost impossible j but if they happened to be strangers m a strange land with the King's coin m their pockets to pay their way, and received the same unjust and uncivil treatment, they also would take up sword or pen m self defence. That what I have stated about all concerned m refusing me a meal for cash, m the presence of ear witnesses, is correct I can say on oath; and that they had no valid reason for so doing I am also prepared to swear to. Seeing that I was successful m obtaining work m the grain store m that deserted Tillage where there is only one hotel and I no other accommodation house, I was compelled to leave work to look for work and tucker m another part of this prosperous colony, all on account of a publican—a man that holds a license and keeps an accommodation house, but is not a qualified businessman, lie should not be let off scot free. In this civilised and enlightened young country where the Trade and Prohibition are household words to-day, that action may prove very disastrous at the coming local option. The case has been reported to the Selwyn Licensing Committee, and I sincerely hope and trust that the publican m question will not go unpunished.—l am, etc., Spot Cash. Ashburton, 26th April, 1905.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6556, 28 April 1905
Correspondence. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6556, 28 April 1905
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