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OHINEMURI AND NO-LICENSE.

PETITION TO PARLIAMENT, SOME REPRESENTATIVE VIEWS. Messages which have been received from Waihi lately, intimate that there is some likelihood of a petition being circulated throughout the Ohinemuri licensing district, for presentation to the Prime Minister and Parliament, asking that legislation be introduced to enable another licensing poll to be taken in the district, or that the present licenses be allowed to continue. The petition will allege that a revulsion of feeling has occurred since the carrying of No-license, which (it is stated) is prejudicial to the interests of the district. It will also lay stress on the allegations ol irregularities at the recent poll. A "PURELY LOCAL" ACTION. A prominent member of the licensing trade, speaking to a "Star" representative this morning, stated that prior to seeing the paragraph, he had heard nothing whatsoever on the subject, and as fai as Auckland was concerned they were quite unaware of any such action being taken, it being (in his opinion) purely local. Replying to a question on the point, he remarked that he had no doubt that the mining population of Ohinemuri were beginning to realise what they had done, and those who had not would, he was confident, do so within six months of the closing of the hotels. He had not (he stated) the slightest idea who was moving in the matter—whether "the trade" or the people. "Anyone." he said, "who was acquainted with the Ohinemuri district at the time of the mining boom, and who has travelled in the district, will wonder what will happen if this hoped-for revival in mining takes place. As to standing any chance of success with this petition, the law is there, and I don't see how they are going to get over it in any way. They will simply have to put up with the consequences of their rash act." "And do you think there has been any revulsion of feeling, as alleged, since the poll?" "Yes, there is bound to have been a certain amount, and there will be a jolly sight more towards the end of the year. Do you think it reasonable to suppose that these working miners who have been accustomed all their lives, and for generations before them, to their beer, are likely, in one day, to forego their natural custom? Of course they cannot realise it yet, but wait and see. My opinion is that there will be more than one petition from that district when they- fully realise the prohibition order they have taken out against themselves. Remember there were also a large number of people (numbering 2310 for continuance) opposed to the Nolicense proposal, and who voted according]}', Xo-license having been only carried by 77 votes. Are they likely to fit down and keep quiet, and will they not think it tyrannical?" Asked if he considered there was likely tc be any sly-grog selling in Waihi, this gentleman replied that lie was not for one moment going to make such an assertion, having too high an opinion of the British feeling to abide by the law to insinuate that there would be. But he would say that there would be far greater evils springing up in Waihi than were alleged to exist there under the licensing system. THE NO-LICENSE VIEW. Mr W. J. Maodermott, ssc-retury of the Auckland City League of the Provincial Xo-license Council, remarked to a reporter that any attempt to deprive the people of the effect of their vote would only recoil on the party attempting it. "it is," he said, "absolutely too ridiculous for consideration. They are trying to make out that it was a snatch vote, but i it was absolutely the will of the people of Waihi. Every opportunity they lmve had for the past nine years the Waihi people have voted strongly for No-license. 1 think the Trade is too astute to take any such step, and I fail to see what purpose can be served by advancing it. We ure more entitled to ask for it than the other side when we had majorities, although we could not get three-fifths. When you consider that Hutt was lost for No-license by three and a half votes short of a three-fifths majority, I think we have got cause to complain that the will of the people is not given effect to. If any Government wanted to commit political suicide, they might grant such a petition as that referred to, but not otherwise, for there would be. a great revulsion of feeling on the part of all fair-minded people." Mr Maedermott, in reply to a question, pointed out that it was impossible and absurd for anyone to talk about a revulsion of feeling in Ohinemuri since the poll, when the people had yet experienced nothing about the results. As far as the irregularities were concerned, he remarked that the magistrate's decision was final. He had not the least idea whence the proposal for the petition had emanated.

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OHINEMURI AND NO-LICENSE. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 67, 19 March 1909

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