OUR LICENSING BENCHES.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,— With what complacency some who sit on our Licensing Benches discuss tho granting of removals as though it was of no moment to tho licensee ; and some refuse on tho plea “not wanted,” although tho party seeks and is ready to pay L4O or more for it. Does it ever occur to them how an hotel comes into existence? Evidently no person can run an hotel without the permit of the Bench (I may here observe that if he had twenty permits and no public patronage he would close shop without an order from the Bench), whoso duty it is to investigate to see if the house is wanted, and the license is granted accordingly. Now, who are tho Licensing Bench hut the chosen servants of the public? and surely their successors must endorse their acta and not condemn them, or else it lands us in a pretty mess, being responsible for tho acts of our servants (according to law and justice) who make ducks and drakes of other people’s property. Observe, other persons’ property, not their own. One is almost inclined to ask How would they like it ? What a glorious thing it would be if we could run our Parliaments on the same lines (“ What is sauce for the goose,” etc.): Repudiate the acta of their predecessors ! Wo could soon clear ourselves of debt. There would be no injustice done if the house is not built and the license is refused. Are wo too wise to learn from our Victorian cousins, who adopt ■ the sensible method of submitting the plans instead of building the house, and then bare to move heaven and earth to get the license granted. This has been one of the fruitful causes of too many hotels. The Lord helps those that help themselves (so it is said), and in despite of the Lord Chief Justice of England’s ruling on the Congleton case; judicial discretion, not your will, etc. Some Benches take it upon themselves, through ignorance of their functions, to say the house is not wanted, and will do so until the hotelkeepers assert themselves and put us in for damages. There are laws more poteut than tho hash we call the New Zealand Licensing Act of 1881, There is not a new license granted since the passing of this Act, nor likely to be under such a one-sided contract, or even applied for, unless the house was unfortunately already in existence. There are three less whom the public have told, without the aid of the Bench, that they are not wanted; so we have but little to answer for in Dunedin,— I am, etc., Common Gumption. Dunedin, June 17.
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OUR LICENSING BENCHES., Evening Star, Issue 7935, 17 June 1889
OUR LICENSING BENCHES. Evening Star, Issue 7935, 17 June 1889
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