THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT IN AUSTRALIA.
REV. J. DAWSON'B IMPRESSIONS. The Chaiinun of the Executive of the New Zealand Alliance for the Suppre-.-Rion of the Liquor Traflie (the ltcv. J. D.iuhou) leturned yebterduy from a special mission in Aubtralia. Mr. Dawson, who is to be welcomed homo this evening by the members and adherents of the Webb-sticet Primitive- Methodist Church, was invited by the P.ichinond and Tweed Rivers District Lodge, 1.0. G.T., to visit Listnore for the purpose of telling the people the btory of Prohibition in New Zealand, the effect of the movement, and particularly tho inlluence of the women's franchise on the local option poll. Prior to visiting Li.smore, Mr. Dawson, at tho invitation of the Victorian Alliance, attended the annual mtctiug of that body at Melbourne, at which he made a .speech on the Bubject. Then he went on to Goulburn, wheie he attended ir temperance conference, over which tho Bishop of Goulburn presided. Mr. Dawson, vith whom a representative of the Post had a conversation this morning, said ho found that in the three States visited — Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland — the clergy of tho Anglican Church took a far more prominent part in tho Temperance movement than did their biethren of New Zealand. From Goulburn Mr. Daw son went to the Northern Kivers district, which ho found fully justified its popular name of " tho garden of New South Wales." Tho country is given over to dairying, with fortune-making results 'for ita people. Tho people of Li&moro were well organised for Temperance work, and making ready with much eagerness for tho coming political campaign. During tho three weeks spent in the district, mi, Dawson gave addresses nightly, and nearly every afternoon there. were meetings for women. A Bectiou of the women was very keen upon matters relating to thefr political franchise, which they aro to exeiciso for the first time at the coming Federal elections, and they wore eager for New Zealand experiences. On tie conclusion of his Lismore visit, tho mihsioner went to Brisbane as the guest of the Queensland Temperance Alliance, nnd uddiessed two meetings uh well us a conference of workers. Here, again, the women's phnae of the question was gone into, at the instance of the leaders of tho Women's Electoral League. Tho leadois of the Temperance movement wero keen for New Zealand experience on licensing mutters, as the people of the State had before them such issues as State and municipal control and compensation, agitation in favour of each being actively lat work. Conferences with clcrgymon and leading workout followed at Newcastle nnd at Sydney, Canon Boyce presiding over the fatter meeting. Canon Boyco ia under promiso to tho Alliance to visit New Zealand iv soon a» his engagements permit. Mr. Dawson wa« surprised at the strength and koenncks of tho temperance movement in the State* visited. If any of the three' States had a licensing ♦law as democratic as that which Now Zealand has, he feels convinced that great result* would follow. None of tho States had a law which enabled the pooplo to deal with tho liquor question in a democratio spirit. They bad to provide compensation fur loss of license in Victoria, the 'Magistrate had tho controlling powor in New South, Wales, and in Queensland .only ratepayers could vote out license, and then thero must bo a two-thirds majority for tho poll to have effect. In Queensland (v very strong move hai been inado during tho past six weeks in tho direction of enforcing the closFng of ho- j tels cm Sundays. Throughout, his tour j Mr. Dawson found tho Australian* had tt very great regard for New Zealand, j which wns looked upon ai leading thy colonies in securing social and other icforms. He was also struck with the rapid development of tho movement fur union of the churches, And had como to the conclusion that the union of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational Churches w^s much nearer attainment than it wo* generally believed to, be. Tho union of tho Wcsleyan and Primitive Methodist, bodies of Australia hud already proved highly satisfactory, and this re« milt paved tho way for the broader nmnlgamatioti In New South Wales a strong and bitter fight was under way between the Protestant Defence Ahsociution' nnd the Roman Catholic Church, and it ap^ea-rod to the New Zea kinder that tiio coming elections were going to be fought out between these two parties. Tho "P.D.A.." as it wits popularly called, intended to contest every teat.