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DUNEDIN CITY. The annual meeting of the Dunedin Licensing Bench was held at the Police Court at noon to-day. There were present—Messrs R. L. Stanford (chairman), S. Myers, J. B. Callan, R. S. Sparrow, and A. R. Forrest. chairman's address. Mr R. L. Stanford: I do not know that the report on the licensed houses of the district —the report furnished by the policerequires any lengthened comment on our part. It is a source of satisfaction to the Committee to find that the convictions for drunkenness in the district have been almost the same as last year. During the past three years the number of convictions has been: in 1886, 598 ; in 1887, 451; and in 1888, 513-a slight increase for the past year, but not to such an extent as to call for remark of any kind. The abstract of the report by the police with which the Committee have been furnished by the courtesy of the inspector deals with the eighty licensed houses in groups. One or two things in that report call for a few words of comment. The number of houses in which no effort is made to supply accommodation for lodgers is four, the number that have a bar and liquor traffic is thirty-one, and the number doing a regular hotel business forty-five. There is also another matter noted for pur information, and that is that the number of houses frequented by prostitutes is six. On that matter I shall have a word to say presently. Generally, with regard to the action of the Committee, I may say that eleven o'clock licenses will be granted to all who may see fit to apply for them. With regard to bottle licenses, no objection is made to any application. I have received a letter to-day calling the attention of the Committee to the conduct of one holder of a bottle license. That letter is anonymous, and in consequence of that fact the Committee decline to take any action upon it whatever, even to the extent of mentioning the name of the person referred to or the street in which he carries on business. The Committee propone to treat anonymous letters of this kind as so much waste paper, and desire to express their opinion that if any complaint is made it must be vouched for by the signature of the complainant, or else it will be treated with scorn by the Committee. There is one other matter in the report which demands observation : I refer to the matter of fire escapes. The provision for escape in case of fire in a considerable number of hotels consists only of the ordinary doors and windows, which we do not

think at all sufficient in the case of twostorey buildings, whether built of wood or brick. I deoire to point oat, therefore, that the Committee will in future insist upon some, fire escape, other than the doors and windows, being provided by every licenseholder in respect to all two-storey buildings without any exception. They must all beprovidedwithsomefire escape. We trust that the police will inquire into the provision made in regard to this matter, aud report to the Committee at next meetiqg. I have said that six of the licensed houses are noted in the police report as beiDg used by prostitutes. The Committee have given to this question some little consideration. No doubt it is against the spirit of the Act that women of the town should be harbored or allowed to remain in a licensed house for a longer time than may reasonably be required for them to get refreshment. Section 147 of the Act says:—" If any innkeeper permits his premises to be the habitual resort of or place of meeting of reputed prostitutes, whether the object of their so resorting or meeting is or is not prostitution, he shall, if he allow them to remain thereon loDger than is necessary for the purpose of obtaining reasonable refreshment, be liable to a penalty not exceeding, for the first offence, LlO, and for the second and any subsequent offence L 20." That of course points to the fact that the offender should be brought into Court by the police, and that the offence should be ' proved. The Committee do not propose to take any action themselves in this matter. The only penalty which they could inflict would be to refuse to renew the license, and this punishment they think would be too severe, in the first instance, at any rate. But we would ask the police to take the necessary action in su:h cases to have the offenders brought up and the penalty prescribed by law inflicted. The Committee will then be prepared to take action. In some instances especially the Committee regard the matter complained of as a very grave offence, and in two instances as a perfect scandal to the public. I think that is the gist of what I am desired to say. THE EXHIBITION. Douglas Harris Hastings applied for a license for the Exhibition buildings. Mr Sinclair : I am instructed to ask that this application be allowed to stand over for thirty days. Mr A. S. Adams said that on behalf of those who opposed the granting of a license he objected to the application, and would contend that it was beyond the jurisdiction of the Committee. There was no shadow of pretence that the applicant was a person to whom a license should be granted, and it was a matter of notorious knowledge that there were as yet no premises to be licensed. Further, the provision of section 56 had not been complied with. This provision hadformed the basis of a judgment in the Supreme Court, and the Judge had ruled that compliance with it was a necessary antecedent to any application, and that anyone not doiDg as that section required was out of Court. One of the provisions in the section referred to said that twenty-one days before an application is made the applicant should affix on the outer side or front of the principal entrance door a written n jtice, signed by the applicant, Betting forth certain particulars. Mr Sinc'air &aid that he might shorten the proceedings by pointing out that he was not applying for a license at all. His learned friend was only wasting time by raising his questions now, because he (Mr Sinclair) was not making an application. Mr Adams was arguing the question on its merits. It was quite out of place to enter on that now. Mr Adams thanked his friend for the courteous objection that he (Mr Adams) was wasting time, but perhaps he might be allowed to suggest that as he was conducting the case for the objectors it was scarcely right that he should put the caEe into Mr Sinclair's hands.

Mr Solomon interposed with the remark that it was the invariable practice of the Court that unopposed applications should be taken before opposed applications, so as to let people away as soon as possible, Mr Adams replied that the Act expressly provided that new applications should be taken first. As to the question before the Bench, he would call the attention of the Committee to the decision in the Newmarket case, and also to the fact that the local option vote showed that there were five to one against any increase of licenses in the district. If the Bench granted the application they would be over-riding the vote of the citizens and the decision requiring the premises to be in existence at the time the application was made. Mr Sinclair said that Mr Adams's remarks were clearly an invitation to the Court to decide the issuing of the license on the merits of the case, which was a question he had not raised. He simply asked for an adjournment.

Mr Adams : On the score of extra expense I object to the adjournment. The Chairman: The adjournment will be granted. We do not propose to enter into the merits of the application for the present. The adjournment will be until Saturday, the 29th. NEW APPLICATIONS FOR OLD HOUSES. Mr Solomon said that he was instructed to appear in support of about fifty applications, but he did not propose to say anything unless the Committee called his attention to any objection. That was the course he always followed. Mr Adams said that he had no instructions to oppose any of the applications, but as affecting a number of them where married women were the applicants, he was instructed to call attention to the case of Roche, in which such licenses were declared void. In connection with that case it was objected that the Committee's attention had not been drawn to the question before the application was decided on. He would therefore now call attention to the fact that in the Court of Appeal it had been decided that a married woman could not hold a license. The following were granted:—George L. Seath, Peacock Hotel, Princes street; William Heffernan, Pier, Jetty street; James M'Donald, London, Princes street (extra bar); James Morkane, Gladstone, Maclaggan street; Ann Pavletich, Universal, Maclaggan street; John Roche, Gridiron, Princes street; Nancy Murphy, Excelsior, Princes street; Thomas Cornish, Baldwin, Princes street; Patrick Dwyer, Southern, Princes street; John Wells, Provincial, Stafford street; Mary Black, Stafford, Stafford street; Roderick M'Kenzie, Rising Sun, Walker street ; John Harold, Maitland, Maitland street; George W. Geddes, Salutation, Rattray street; Wm. Imrie, Panama, Stuart street; John Dwyer, British, George street; John Patterson, Scotia, Dundas street; John Asher, Adelaide, Hanover street; James Kerr, North Dunedin, George street; Alex. Graham, National, King street; Thomas Chapman, Robert Burns, George street, John Thomson, Royal George, George street; Sarah Sinclair, Prince Alfred, King street; David O'Connor, Pacific, King street; John M. Shearer, Caledonia, King street; George Nelson, Empire, George street. The application of Joseph F. Mills for the Commercial Hotel, Frederick street, was withdrawn on the application of Mr D. D. Macdonald. In granting the applications above specified, the Committee remarked that the London Hotel was frequented by prostitutes, who, however, conducted themselves fairly well, and the house was properly kept. The Provincial was one of the hotels in which prostitutes assembled and became a nuisance, and the business was confined to a liquor trade only. Mr Stanford said that his attention had been drawn to the congregating of crowds outside this house of an eveuing, thus causing trouble to persons passing by. Complaints had been very frequent during the past year. The Gladstone, Universal, Excelsior, Stafford, British, Robert Burns, and Prince Alfred Hotels were mentioned as houses in which there was not escape from fire except by the doors and windows. That would have to be attended to before next meeting There was an objection to G. L. Seath's application for the Peacock, on the ground that while Mr Seath was the applicant, Mrs Mee was the owner and conducted the business. The Committee said, however, that the objection did not go to the extent of justifying them in refusing the license. RENEWALS OF PUBLICANS' LICENSES. Those gratiterl were as follow:—James Knox, Farmers' Arms Hotel, Princes street; Joseph Reany, Globe, Princes street; David Scott, Newmarket, Princes Btreet; Mary Orton, Imperial, Princes street; Alfred

Short, Prince of Wales, Princes street, Johanna M'Lean, Queen's Arms, Princes street; Joseph F. Nixson, City, Princes street; William H. Skitch, West Coast, Princes street; John Toomey, Glasgow, Dowling street; Thomas M'Namara, Caledonian, Walker street; Patrick O'Brien, Royal, Walker street; John Walker, Red Lion, Stafford street; Alexander Owen, Ship Inn, Princes street; James Watson, Grand, Princes street; John Watson, Watson's, High street; Job Wain, Jan., Wain's, Manse street; Kathleen E. Carmalt, Bayley's, High street; Henry J. Walter, Occidental, Manse street; Godfrey Jacobs, Bull and Mouth, Maclaggan street; Joseph Davies, Albion, Maclaggan street; Gerald F. Eager, Anchor, Maclaggan street; Dugald M'Leod, Austrulasian, Maclaggan street; Patrick Keligher, Crown, Rattray street; Samuel Porter, Britannia, Rattray street; Janet Gebbie, Shamrock, Rattray street; Louis Court, Otago, Rattray street; W. L. Philp, Philp's, Rattray street; Benjamin Bern, Wharf, Kattray street; W. H. Haydon, Criterion, Princes street; Joshua Eccles, Duke of Edinburgh, Russell street; Alfred Low, Canongate, Brown street; Andrew Smith, Auld Scotland, Stuart street; W. Sachtler, Supreme Court, Stuart street; Emma Williamson, Waverley, Moray place; Edward Holmes, Bowling Green, Frederick street; Archibald M'Master, Oban, Octagon ; John Carroll, Carroll's, George street; Catherine Carroll, York, George street; Patrick Fagan, Rainbow, George street; Robert Allen, Royal Albert, George street; Elizabeth Bastings, Victoria, Cumberland street; Francis M'Grath, Harp of Erin, King street; Michael Fagan, Sußsex, George street; James Liston, Douglas, George street; Alfred H. O'Keefe, Liverpool Arms, Filleul street; Catherine Mills, Commercial, Frederick street; George Bateman, Pelichet Bay, Forth street; James Scanlan, Shamrock and Thistle, King street; John E. Haydon, Captain Cook, King street; George Atkins, Annandale Arms, King street; James Cummings, Great Northern, King street; Joseph Toomey, White Horse, George street; Maurice Coghlan, Grange, Hanover street; Daniel White, Queen's, Albany street. In granting the above, the Committee made observations to the following effect: — The Imperial had no fire escape. The Queen's Arms was objected to on the ground that it was a resort for prostitutes, but the report said that the house was fairly well kept. There was no fire escape in the City Hotel, the only exit being by doors and windows. Mr J. Toomey, licensee of the Glasgow, had been fined LlO and costs for allowing gambling. The house was fairly well kept, but complaints had been made as to the conduct of it. The Red Lion was frequented by prostitutes in the evening and at night. The house was fairly well kept. It was one of those houses that contributed to the public inconvenience every night. There were no fire escapes at the Grand. They would have to be supplied before next quarterly meeting. The same remarks applied to Watson's. Complaints had been made as to Wain's Hotel, and also that prostitutes assembled there.—Mr Solomon : That can hardly be. I think you are laboring under a misapprehension.— The Chairman: The complaints are that prostitutes assemble in the Manse street portion. They conduct themselves fairly well. It was noted that the Britannia and Shamrock Hotels were not provided with fire escapes. Complaints were made that Court's Hotel was frequented by prostitutes, who, however, conducted themselves fairly well. Complaint had been made during the last two years. The Committee would leave the matter to the police. The Canongate Hotel was not provided with fire escape.

BOTTLE LICENSES. The following applications were granted: John Mulrooney, Stafford street; A. B. Mercer, Princes street; Thomas Brown, Princes street; A. M'Farlane, Maclaggan street; John Barron, Rattray street; George Dryden, Russell street; H. Friedlich, Stuart street; James Peterson, Walker street; William T. Gilmour, Walker street; D. M'Leod, Princes street; J. M. Lomas, Octagon; A. Allen, King street; John Bowie, Albany street; David Comrie, King street; F. W. Eggers, Albany street; Michael Meenan, Hanover street; David Mason, King street; John Peterson, George street; William Stevenson, George street; William D. Sutherland, George street; D. G. Shepherd, Albany street; William Wright, King street"; James Watson, Albany street; William M'Grath, Hanover street; Robert Wilson, George street; James D. Wilson.JKing street. TRANSFERS. The following transfers were approved of: —Thomas Cornish to James M'Donald ; London Hotel, Princes street; J. D. Hatton to Thomas Cornish, Baldwin, Princes street, Annie Edmonds to William Heffernan, Pier, Jetty street; Ellen Moloney to Thomas Chapman, Robert Burns, George street; Thomas Chapman to John Thomson, Royal George, George street; William Corraack to Sarah Sinclair, Prince Alfred, King street; John Lawson to David O'Connor, Pacific, King street: Patrick Cotter to John M. Shearer, Caledonia, King street; J. M. Campbell to Robert Wilson, bottle license, George street; Robert Wilson to James D. Wilson, bottle license, King street. THE AULD SCOTLAND. Mr Thornton appeared in support of the application in regard to this house. He understood that applicant had received notice of objection on two grounds—first, that the hotel was not conducted in a proper manner; and secondly, that it was not required. In order thattheir Worships might have some idea of the opinion of the surrounding inhabitants, applicant had a memorial signed by a number of the most respectable citizens in Dunedin, amongst whom were Messrs Findlay and Ziele, whose premises were close by. He asked the Bench to take that fact into consideration, and also to remember that applicant's previous character was a good one, he having reformed the Queen's Arms, and banished prostitutes altogether from his present house. Further, Smith had already been three times convicted, and would therefore be exceedingly careful, knowing that a fresh conviction would dis> qualify him. The Chairman asked the police as to applicant's record. Inspector Weldon replied that it was a fairly good one, with the exception of those charges that had been before the Court. His character was good, and he was sober and steady.

The Chairman : The Committee have confidered tuis question of the granting of the license before notice wrs given of the objection, and have also considered it since. After hearing that urged, and the character given to the licensee (Smith) by the police, the Committee are prepared to grant the license. They feel that they cannot quite accept Smith as the moral reformer he has been described to be, but at the same time his character is such as to warrant us in granting him a license. If any complaint is made while the present Committee are in office it will disqualify Smith. Bat in the meantime the application is granted. POLICE REPORTS. Inspector Weldon presented the following report relative to the sale of intoxicating liquors in Dunedin licensing district for the year ended 31st May:— Population of the district: 23,331. Number of licensed places: 80 publicans' licensee, 26 bottle licenses, 31 wholesale licenses. Number of public-houses hiving ten o'clock licenses, 6 ; hiving eleven o'c ock licences, 75. Number and nature of conviotions against licensees: Two for permitting gambling and one for Sunday iradinir. No complaints were made or faults found with licensees, except those above stated. Number of arrests for drunkenness during the year, 456. of which number 326 were convicted once 78 twice, 21 thrie times, 20 four times, 6 Ave times! and 6 six times The ca«s of drunkenness before 10 p.n>., number 208; and between that hour and 6 p.m. 248. Most arrests have been made iu Princes street and that portion of King and George streets in Bell Ward. Drunkenness is not traced to any particular licet sid house. The houses that keep closed on Sundays are the Provincial, Excelsior, and Liverpool Arms. Tim arrests for drunkenness for the previous year were 4f.6, or nine mure than for the year just ended. Before 10 p m. the previim year iher.- were 210 arrest?, and after 10 i-.m. 2:!7 arrets; fr.r the Irst year the numhers ate 208 before 10 p.m. and 218 after that hour. Inspector Weldon also reported as to the classification of accommodation, etc., provided by publicans tor the public, Number of houses wheieln no pretention is nude for lodgers or travellers- 4. Number which provide for such custom, but either do not get it or do not cue for it—doing but» bar and liquor traffic—3l. Number dting a regular hotel businew, and Moord-

lngly keeping nceommoiUtton for lodgers and travellers— 40. Number of houses frequented tuote or lees by pros-titutes-6 The Committee rose at 1.5 p.m. TIMARU. At the annual licensing meeting to-day the Committee refused to renew the license to Twentyman Wilson for the Melville Hotel on the facts disclosed by the police that he made a statement at the police station implicating a constable in a row in the house, and afterwards at an inquiry by the inspector signed a statement that the former one was untrue and made to injure the constable; and that he also swore in the Resident Magistrate's Court that the first statement was untrue. The Committee, accepting the admission that the statement was made to injure the constable, considered it a bad case, and granted an adjournment for twenty-one days to allow the licensee to sell out aud a new applicant to be put forward. The Committee had previously notified the holders of two hotels that new buildings must be erected or the licenses would be refused. This threat was withdrawn today, the Committee admitting that business would not justify such an expenditure. REEFTON. At the annual meeting of the Licensing Committee an application was made for a new license. Counsel, in support, pointed out that though the local option poll was adverse to an increase, there was no provision in the Act making it obligatory on the Committee to observe the verdict of that poll.

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LICENSING COMMITTEES., Issue 7925, 5 June 1889

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LICENSING COMMITTEES. Issue 7925, 5 June 1889

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