LIQUOR IN CLUBS
THREE CASES FAIL MAXIMUM FINE IN FOURTH Interesting observations concerning the activities of social clubs in Auckland and the supply of liquor to members, were made by Mr. J. H. Luxford, S.M., in the Magistrate's Court this morning when he delivered four reserved judgments. On June 12 he heard a case in which the New Zealand All Gold Old Boys' Association was prosecuted en a charge of keeping liquor for sale at its premises on March 31, in breach of Regulation 6 of the Licensing Act Emergency Regulations, 1942, and on a charge of selling liquor on the same date, while William Opie, secretary-manager of the association, was charged with aiding and assisting the association in its unlawful sale. Mr. J. Terry appeared for both defendants, who denied the charges. On June 29 the United Club was charged with keeping liquor for sale and with selling liquor without a license. Mr. Trevor Henry appeared for the club, which denied the charge. On the same date the Central Sporesmen's Club (Dr. A. M. Finlay) and the Auckland Watersiders' Silver Band (Dr. A. M. Finlay) were similarly charged. In each case a plea of not guilty was entered. Dealing first with the case of the United Club, Mr. Luxford said there was no direct evidence of selling liquor in the ordinary way, but the prosecutor contended that he should draw the inference that the liquor found by the police was either kept for sale or was sold to members. Well-conducted Clubs After discussing the facts and making- a reference to several legal opinions and judgments, Mr. Luxford said that he was not called upon to determine in the present proceedings whether the practice adopted by the defendant club amounted to an illegal evasion within the meaning of Section 267. "Before formally dismissing these informations," Mr. Luxford went on, "I wish to draw attention to the fact that the number of cases brought before me recently indicates that this form of social club is establishing itself in different parts of the city. Although, according to this judgment, it may be possible for such a club to operate within the law, it will be apparent from the judgment I am about to deliver in the case against the All Gold Old Boys' Club, that it is simple to operate such a club in seeming conformity with the law, but in reality as an unlicensed public house.
"Up to the present all the clubs whose activities have been the subject of Court proceedings have been well conducted, and supply entertainment and recreation to a number of men in a form and at a time when a similar happening in licensed premises or a chartered club would be unlawful. It is possible that many new clubs may be formed in the city in charge of persons unfitted for the purpose and to the detriment of the community. All of this goes to show the necessity of considering ways and means properly to regulate such institutions. However, that is not a matter for this Court. For reasons I have given both informations will be dismissed."
Dealing with the prosecution against the Central Sportsmen's ■ Club and the Auckland Watersiders' ; Silver Band Club, Mr. Luxford said his finding meant that the proved circumstances did not justify him in holding that the locker fee was a mere device. For these reasons and the reasons given in the United Club case, all the informations against both clubs would be dismissed. In his consideration of the cases of the New Zealand All Gold Old Boys' Association and William Opie, the magistrate covered in detail the facts of the case and the history and objects of the club, which had a membership of over 3000. Its members were still determined, apparently, to enjoy alcoholic refreshment, but since a previous prosecution which went to appeal in 1943, a new scheme had been devised, ostensibly to enable members' wishes to be fulfilled within the four corners of the law. The weaknesses of the former scheme from a legal point of view had been disclosed in Mr. Justice Callan's judgment, which held that in operating the former scheme the secretary of the club" was selling liquor without a license, and should be punished accordingly. Seliing Must Stop Mr. Luxford said that in his opinion the prosecution had proved that liquor had been sold on the club's premises on March 31. The sales were made in the ordinary course of the club's activities and as part of a scheme for supplying liquor to members and thereby supplementing the funds of the club. "It is true that the club is well conducted and provides pleasant entertainment for many men," continued Mr. ' Luxford. "There is nothing to prevent it from continuing to do so, but the present practice of selling liquor must stop. The law permits members to leave their own liquor on the premises and to consume it there. It permits the purchase of liquor by a member's agent, but it prohibits the practice now being carried on.. As the position was clearly defined by Mr. Justice Callan in the previous case and the same course of conduct has continued since then in apparent defiance of the law, I propose to inflict the maximum penalty in each case." The association was convicted for selling liquor and fined £50, while Opie was convicted of aiding and assisting in such sale and also fined £50. J
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LIQUOR IN CLUBS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 167, 17 July 1945
LIQUOR IN CLUBS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 167, 17 July 1945
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