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CORRESPONDENCE., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 71, 24 March 1909
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. "A.L."—lt was "Dick" Arnst, champion sculler, who won the Sydney Thousand cycle race, not his brother "Jack," who has a better record for road cycle racing. LOCAL ELECTIONS. (To the Editor.) Sir, —"Dum Vivhnus Vivamus" has proved very conclusively that there is intolerance to be found everywhere, and when he charges the No J licen3e party with narrowmindednese and bigotry it sounds ra.tb.er like f>atan rebuking sin. He has, of course, a right to his opinion on the results of the licensing election, but I think he, as well as the two gentlemen who replied in Friday's issue, overlooked the fact that reduction is not popular. What does it matter (except to the licensees) whether three or fourteen hotels be closed, when there are ■twenty or thirty left to supply thirsty Auckland with liquor? No man ever went without a drink yet because only one hotel remained in a street where there had formerly been three. In rural districts it is, of course, different. My particular grievance with "D.V.V.," however, is caused by the latter portion of his letter. He says, "There is a feeling of distrust, amounting almost to positive fear," that the people who voted Nb-license are going to run Auckland, banish everything in the way of amusement, and establish something like the old Scotch Sabbath here. What section of the community is in "positive fear" of this "D.V.V." does not say, but if they will look round the world a bit they will find their fears groundless. It is true that all the .Protestant churches of Auckland stood out r t>oldly for Nolicense at the last election, but I hope "D.V.V." does not imagine that all the members of the churches here are narrowminded ibigots. The Socialists and the labour party, who are popularly supposed to have no religion whatever, are advocates of No-license also. The leaders of these parties at Home—Jlohn Burns, Keir Hardie, Robert Blatchford, Ramsay Macdonald, and the rest —all say the same, "We must get rid of the drink before there can be any real progress." They are fighting it by every means in their power on the one hand; on the other they are opening picture galleries, museums, libraries, etc., on Sundays, and organising Sunday band concerts, excursions—everything in tne way of Tational amusement. It is not, fco be sure, only temperance men who are doing this; broad-minded men of all shades of opinion are helping them. But when objections to these Sunday amusements are raised, or any one tries to put obstacles in the way, the argument is always the same—and always unanswerable, "Give the workers some healthy amusement, some place to which they can take their sweethearts and wives, and they will keep out of the public houses." That is the idea ahvays—to combat the attractions of the saloons. Glasgow, which may be termed the citadel of Sabbatarianism, has recently opened its picture gallery on Sundays, most probably with the same idea. Thirty years ago the dulness of an English Sunday was a by-word among the other nations of Europe; to-day it is a day of rational a.nvusement and recreation for the workers, although the temperance bodies have more,: than doubled their membership in that time. A Sunday in Auckland ten years ago was much more deadly t/han it is now, though the Nolicense vote has trebled eince then. Wβ have no Sunday concerts here as yet, but had the hotels been allowed to keep open on Sundays we should have been obliged to have had them years ngo to counteract the fascinations of the !>;irs. The -best m«n ami women at Home and abroad are fighting the national curse, intemperance; and one of their most powerful methods is to provide rational, healthy amusement for all, both on .Sundays and week-days. And the flowing tide of education and enlightenment is with them.. "D.V.V." and his friends, therefore,.can ibanish their feaTs, and rest assured that they will not be forced to give up any of their ch-erished little Sunday amusements when the voice of democratic New Zealand says the hotels must go. —I am, etc., EMILY -GIBSON. MR NAPIER AND THE NAVAL CRISIS. (To the Editor.) Sir, —I notice in your issue of the 22nd that Mr W. J. Napier writes suggesting that we should promptly and spontaneously offer a Dreadnought to England to strengthen her position in the present crisis. I feel some diffidence in criticising Mr Napier's attitude, especially as I am not an expert in naval or military matters; but I cannot grasp how Mr Napier reconciles his present attitude with his action on the question of British or German cranes for the Harbour Board. Then Mr Napier was a. violent pro-Ger-man, and fought bitterly for the German goods as against British workmen and British capital. I know, of course, that gentlemen of Mr Napier's profession are gifted with a facility for arguing from both sides almost simultaneously; but, as a public man and speaking as such, it is hard ta see how Mr Napier could do his utmost at the Harbour Board to assist the "world domination of a strong and enterprising Power" like Germany and yet now endeavour to argue against it. It is unfortunate that the Cabinet should have shown such an intelligent anticipation of Mr Napier's demand, and that the response should have been so prompt and spontaneous as to appear in your columns on the same day as Mr Napier's letter is dated—uncharitable persons might regard it as more than a coincidence. Anyhow, the point I wish to draw your attention to is, Why is Mr Napier so friendly to Germany commercially, and so bitterly hostile Surely, to be consistent, patriotism should be applied in a practical manner when the occasion offers; but, then, who ever accused Mr Napier of being consistent?—l am, etc., JAS. NICHOL, Sailors' Home, Albert-street. THE HOUSING PROBLEM. (To the Editor.} Sir, —'I noticed in your columns of the 23rd inst. a letter under the above heading by Arthur Rosser, who, having pi"- , viously made certain, rash assertions to : the Premier as to the rentals of four and five-roomed cottages ruling in Auckland from 18/- to £'l per week, now seeks to wriggle out of his false position by insinuating that the houses specified by Mr. Hannan, let at 10/- per week, ajre either dilapidated or undesirable properties. As "facts are stubborn : things" will you kindly allow mc to state that although I retired from business some eighteen months since, I am still interested in the collection of about 30 renta 4 few my ©urn, ' and the re-
mainder owned by old and esteemed clients? In OTder to chow that Arthur Rosser's statements are altogether incorrect, I would desire to give.a lietter. and fuller idea of the real rentals paid in Auckland at the present time by tabulating a little list as follows:—'For 4-roomed cottages, all in good repair, situated in Upper Queen, Haydn, Cook, Summer, and other streets, 0 cottages let at 10/- and 10/6; for 5-roomed cottages in Glenmore, Mt. Roskill, Mt. Eden, and Ponsontoy, 11 properties let from 12/6 to 14/-; for 6-roomed houses, with conveniences such as gas, ba-th-room, w»h. and copper, 10 houses let from 15/- to 21/- per week. It seems a pity, therefore, that a man in Mr. Rosser's position should attempt to misinform and mislead, not only the Premier but also the inhabitants of Auckland in general. As Mr. Rosser seems to be an incredulous kind of gentleman, if he should entertain any doubts as to the accuracy of fche above, I can only sa.y in conclusion that if lie cares to call upon mc I shall be pleased to show him my books and verify my figures.—l am, etc., K. BURROW. Leamington-road, Mt. Ed«?ft, March 24th.
CORRESPONDENCE., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 71, 24 March 1909
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