Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 1905. NO-LICENSE AND SOCIAL RECREATION.
An important subject was referred to in the letter that appeared in our Tuesday's issue, signed "No Extremist," and criticising the efforts that are being made by the NoLicense party to deal with the question of providing social recreation for those who were deprived by the closing of the open bars of their main facilities for obtaining amusement for an evening. The writer of that letter is evidently hostile to the NoLicense party, and his statement as to the prospects of business in Ashburton are lamentably astray; but we are glad to see that this subject, which we discussed a little over two months ago, has not been forgotten by the general public. It is, of course, in the opinion of some supporters of the No-License movement no part of the duty of the No-License party to make any such provision as that proposed ; that, they consider, devolves on those who want it. But we are inclined to think that there is a great deal of misapprehension in that view. Those who hold it can hardly have had much experience of open bars, and of that numerous section of the public'which frequents them. As we *: remarked on a former occasion when dealing with this subject, there is little doubt that a large proportion of those who enter a public house do so not so much because of the attractions the liquor has for them as because the bar is a place for meeting their friends and acquaintances and tor enjoying their society and conversation in a way impossible in the open street. Probably none of those electors whose vote secured the closing of the bars were among the number of those who frequented them, except possibly a certain section who kuew they had sufficient facilities of their own of the same kind in another place. It will be admitted even by the most ardent supporter of No-License that those who enter a public bar tor the sake of the social recreation and entertainment which they find there enter it for a perfectly legitimate object, though they may, and frequently do, of course, obtain something that is not legitimate from the point of view of society—this something being a state of alcoholic intoxication. However, the supporters of No-License in this town have decreed that the evils that spring from the open bars are so great that these agencies must be swept away even though they take with them much that is innocent and logiiitnato enough. This being the case, wt» consider that those who3e efforts deprived a considerable section of the cokiuiun'.ly of a means of obtaining social ro.reution aud atmisemont which that secton regarded as valuable, are called on t > make some investigation us to what f'aoiLtifes cm be supplied in the place of those which have baen taken away, aud which to all appeirancos are likely to remain away, .■jo tar as Ashburton is- concerned, 'lhe project may, of course, prove either difficult or impossible; but we do not anticipate that the 'alter alternative is much to be foared. After next month the Ashburton Club will also lose its license, and will therefore be run on strictly temperance lines. We understand that the No-license Council had in view in referring to this subject two months ago the idea of approaching the executive of the Olub with the proposal that after its license lapses they should make an effort to popularise the institution, and increase the number of members. The object of toe Committee appointed by the No-license Council to confer with the executive of tho Club on this matter was to see if they would be willing to open their doors to all respactable members of the community, on terms within the roach of everyone. Whether the conference has taken place, and what the result was, we have not heard; but the idea was certainly a good one, and we should be glad i:o see it carried into effect, if only as an experiment.