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At its annual meeting in Wellington on March 4, the' British Medical Association received a deputation from the National Efficiency League and the New Zealand Alliance. _ The deputation asked the Association to publicly express its opinion upon the influence of the liquor traffic on the general health of the community. . ■ . The Medical Association, after a lengthy discussion, decided to submit the following questions to the individual members, and answers were requested not later than March 22nd— (a) Do you approve of alcohol as a hietiicine? (b), Do you believe that the efficiency of the community will be increased by the total suppression of alcohol ?

Objection was taken by the Efficiency League and the Alliance to the form of the questions, and it was suggested that the following''should be substituted: "Are you of opinion that from a general health point of view it would be advantageous to the community if the use of alcohol were prohibited except for medicinal, sacramental, and industrial purposes?"

The original questions had 5 however, been sent out. . The following letter was then sent to him:— Wellington, April 5, 1919, Dr. Giesen, Chairman of the Council Medical Asscu.j Wellington. Dear Sir, —We have yours of the 4th instant, stating that owing to a technical fault in procedure the Association is not able to publish tht result of the referendum until the divisions to which the question has been referred have discussed the matter.. As the matter is of vital public importance we desire to know whether it is not a fact:

, (1) That the decisions of the divisions cannot possibly be obtained in time «to be published before polling day, April 10. (2) Tliat sdme hundreds of replies have been received. (3) That the meeting at which it was decided not to publish the result' of the referendum was called at the instigation of members personally interested in the liquor trade. (4) That the meeting was presided over by Dr. Fyfe. ' (5) That, he not only cast his deliberative vote/in favour of holding up the publication of the l-esult of the referendum, but also his casting vote,- so that the matter was decided upon'the votes of Dr. Fyfe. (6) That no important question has ever before' in the 'history of the Association been decided on the deliberative and cast- . ' ing vote of the Chairman. (7) That one of the divisions ha.s intimated to-the Council that if the result of the referendum is not published by Monday,, it will on that date make public the resolutions which it sent as a remit to the annual meeting, and that this resolutiou was strongly favourable to prohibitionists. In vjew of the urgency of the matter, we shall be glad to have an immediate replyYours faithfully. W. D. HUNT, President of the ..National Efficiency League. ' . R. S. GRAY, President N.Z. Alliance. (8) The Chairman of the Council replied as follows :—" (Copy of letter from Dv. Giesen). «?00 Willis St., Wellington. W. D. Hunt,- Esq., Rev. R. S. Gray. Gentlemen,— In reply to your letter or April otn, 1919, I have' to .state that the seven questions raised in that letter are substantially correct. Yours faithfully, (Signed) E. W. GIESEN, Chairman of Council B.M.A. CANTERBURY DOCTORS TAKE • ACTION. my ■■ In connection with' this matter; it is interesting to note that the Canterbury Division of the British Medical Association carried the following resolutions and handed them to the PreSvS for publication. (1) That the efficiency of the conimuaiity will bo greatly increased by the total suppression of alcohol. jV. (2) That while alcohol may have, V tJheapeutic value, in certain ' few instances there are better \ therapeutic value, in certain. if not the dangers and objections \ of alcohol. '

(Never before have' the. doctors of jNfew Zealand spoken so strongly against the liquor traffic.

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Bibliographic details

THE LIQUOR TRADE AND THE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9582, 9 April 1919

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THE LIQUOR TRADE AND THE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9582, 9 April 1919