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The Licensing Bench for the City of Dunedin met at tho Police Court at noon to-day tohear the adjourned application by I>. Harris Hastings for a license for the Exhibition Buildings. All the members were present ; Mr R, L. Stanford in the chair.

Mr Sinclair, on behalf of tho applicant, said he had been instructed to ask that this matter be further adjourned till the 27th July. Mr A. S. Adams, as representing those who object to the granting of a license to the building, asked whether the Committee did not propose to follow tho usual course and ask for some reason for making the application. It wass a most extraordinary alfair altogether. No reason for adjournment was given when the last application was made, and now that the application was renewed there was still no reason given. Mr Sinclair submitted that he was not called on to give any reasons at all. Mr Adams could only say that it was an unheard-of thing that in an application of this sort successive adjournments should be granted, in spite of opposition which no one could say was not sound. He must say that he was in a dilemma as to how to act, for there were no reasons for hiir to contend against. But he would say this : that the Committee bad no power to adjourn until the 27th July, as the Act expressly limited the power to adjourn to one calendar month ; and further, there wero reasons against granting the license which he had urged at the previous meeting, and which would no doubt be fresh in the minds of the Committee. Me also wished to remark that prior to tho last meeting ho was informed that the Committee huddetermiucd to adjourn tlieapplication for a license, and it was adjourned ; while prior to this meeting ho had been told that the Committee would entertain a similar application for adjournment. lie simply mentioned the thing as ho had heard it, and must tay that it would bo a very startling thing if the application were granted. If the Committee granted this application they would be guilty of this absurdity: that without having any reasons before them —in fact, without any sense at all they adjourned a matter for a longer period than their statutory power enabled them to do. Further, these adjournments caused extra expense to those who opposed the granting of the license, and if a second adjournment were granted he did not know whether the Committee should not grant costs to those who, in order to prosecute their rights, wero compelled to come again and again to the Court. It was the universal custom that when the opponent of a public matter was forced to come again to tho Court to state his case he should be allowed his costs.

The Chairman : The Bsnch would like to know, Mr Sinclair, whether, if the adjournment be granted, the applicant will bo in a position on the next occasion to give reasons and go into the merits of the question ? We aro not willing to put Mr Adams to any inconvenience in the matter. Mr Sinclair: I am instructed that on the date to which the applicant wishes tho application adjourned the Court will be fully informed of the grounds on which the application is based. Mr Adams asked why the merits of the question could not bo gone into at once, as !ar as posbiblc. If the application had any merits, surely some of the grounds at least could be opened today. Let the applicant open his case and show that there was some merit about it; and then, if he did so, the Committee would not bo doing a wrong thin" in granting an adjournment. That would be the proper step to tako. At present there were no grounds before the Committee, whereas there were strong reasons on the other side. All knew that the building proposed to be licensed was not in existence, and that that in itself was a fatal objection. Let the applicant meet that objection at once, and mako out a prima facia case why the license should 1)3 granted. The Chairman asked Mr Sinclair whether he was prepared to do as suggested. Mr Sinclair replied in the negative. The Chairman : Tho Committee so far request me to state that they agree with Mr Adams that, perhaps, it would be better to give some evidence of the merits; but certainly the matter must be determined in somo more definite manner on the next occasion. The Committee are prepared to grant the adjournment, as requested today, for the last time. Aud the Committee also wish me to say that there is no ground whatever for any assertion that this matter was in any way arranged or determined beforehand. Such a statement is quite unwarranted by facts. An adjournment is granted until the 26th July Mr Adams: Then I give uotico that 1 shall probably move, between now ami the "26th, for an injunction to prevent this Court from hearing tho matter. Tho proceedings thou terminated.

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THE LICENSING BENCH., Issue 7946, 29 June 1889

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THE LICENSING BENCH. Issue 7946, 29 June 1889

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