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THE EXHIBITION LICENSE DIFFICULTY., Issue 7955, 10 July 1889
THE EXHIBITION LICENSE DIFFICULTY.
TO THE EDITOB. Sir, —Oar member for Dunedin East cannot be correctly reported in his remarks in Parliament on this question. He snrely does not mean that the Licensing Bench should take away a license from a house for the benefit of our Exhibition without compensation ? That would indeed be an exhibition of gross injustice. The Licensing Bench could grant the license to the Exhibition without infringing tho local option vote, which was against the increase of licenses. The railway refreshment rooms have not this year applied for a license, as the new Railway Act renders this course unnecessary. The Bench have therefore this year granted one license less, through the same not having been applied for, and therefore can grant another license without disturbing the vote.—l am, etc,, Common Gumption. Dunedin, July 9.
TO THE EDITOR. Sib, —A great deal of parleying has been going on of late regarding the sale of intoxicating drinks at oar forthcoming Exhi bition, and I notice it has occupied a con siderable amount of time in the House, which I consider, has been utterly wasted, That time could have been put to better use discussing questions of more importance to the colony. Who ever heard of a House of Representatives being turned into a licensing committee. It is simply absurd; and the Bill should have been thrown out at once. While I cannot but admire Mr Fulton’s strenuous efforts to stamp out the drinking curse, I think he should have left it to tbe Licensing Committee of Dunedin, and brought his best influences to bear on them, and I am sure he would have been more successful in the cause he is now pleading for. Granting a license to the Exhibition is much the same as granting a license to a new public house, therefore the matter should have been left entirely to the local committee. However, if that be not sufficient, a poll taken of the citizens would be a very fair way of settling the question. If the Exhibition is to be financially benefited by the sale of intoxicants, by all means have it. It is far better to have the money spent in the Exhibition than oat of it. Persons habituated to the use of strong drink will have it whether in or out pf the
Exhibition, and therefore prohibition therein will not benefit the temperance cause iu the slightest degree. The closing up of about a dozen low drinking dens in and around Dunedin would be of more benefit to the cause and to the general public. Again, allowing drink to be sold in the Exhibition would go a long way to prevent drunkenness in the building. The moving mass of people, and the vast amount of sight-seeing that will be theie, will prevent a man from getting what you would call drunk, unless he be a notorious beer drinker, In my opinion it would be doing a great injustice to the majority of patrons of our Exhibition to deprive them of a glass of sparkling ale on a hot summer’s day, or any other beverages they may think fit to partake of, 1 can understand a temperance shareholder kicking against it, because, I believe, it is contrary to bis vows to have anything to do with the sale of drink, therefore the holding of shares by such a person in the Exhibition is assisting in the sale of drink, But I would let these men off. I do not suppose that there are many of them ; and as they do not bold a great amount of shares they never will be missed. Their defection would be more than compensated for by the returns from the whisky bar, which would be more beneficial to the Exhibition.—l am, etc., Old Tom. Dunedin, July 8. TO THE BDITOB. Sir,— All your readers of last night’s issue must have been pleased with the letter of your correspondent “A, C. Broad.” It is indeed refreshing, in these times of trimming and suiting opinions to circumstances, to come across one who has the courage to boldly avow himself prepared to follow the right at whatever cost of loss or discomfort. If only a few more of our prominent temperance friends would take the same stand our cause would progress by leaps and bounds; but now that total abstinence is becoming the general rule instead of the exception, its professors are becoming indifferent, vacillating, and careless of their duty to their principles and their unfortunate fellow men and women who are too weak to help themselves. Such a letter as “ A. C, Broad’s ” elevates us to the purer, nobler platform occupied by the “fanatic” or the “crank,” who thinks first of all of his responsibility to his cause and his fellows, and last of all of the results to himself. 1 sincerely hope that many other ehareholders will follow the manly course adopted by Mr Broad. I am, etc., Light. Dunediu, July 5. TO THE EDITOR. Sir,— l cordially sympathise with Mr Broad with reference to the Bill for licensing the sale of drink in the Exhibition, and consider that the Committee have most unfairly stolen a march on the advocates of temperance. Should this infamous measure be carried, I trust that the latter will withdraw their support, and not even allow their children to sing at the concerts; and, further, would suggest that while the Exhibition is open these women who have suffered, directly or indirectly, from the drink curse, will agree to form a procession, clothed in black, as a protest against the cause of that misery which some of our legislators are not ashamed to perpetuate.— I am, etc., A Sufferer, Dunedin, July 9.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —The letter from the L.V.A. to Mr Pulton re the desire of the hotelkeepers that bars for the sale of intoxicating liquor should be opened at the Exhibition should surprise no one, for all know it is not policy on their part to appear to oppose, however much they might wish eo to do. At the local option election for or against an increase of licenses very few hotelkeepers vote—not that they are indifferent to the result of such an election, but they know (as is the case with the Exhibition bars) that the temperance party are doing what they (the hotelkeepers) desire done. But, sir, is there not another side to this question ? Is it not likely that, supposing these bars are opened, many will there be induced to drink that would not think of going into a hotel? Will it not pay the hotelkeepers to tolerate these bars, for eventually it will pay them in a like manner to the grocers’ bottle licenses, which eventually produce them many a good and constant customer which they would never have had without these respectable but pernicious bottle licenses ? So, with the Exhibition bar I am constrained to believe that because of its apparent respectability the more danger to our sons and daughters. I am, etc , A Mother. Dunedin, July 9.
TO THE EDITOB. Sib, —Mr Fulton’s speech has given a rare opportunity for the display of libeia’ feeling by some Dunedin publicans. But between him and them it has now become “ six of one and half a dozen of the other,” for no one will credit these liquor dealers with such obtuseness at not to know that tho more liquor that is drunk inside the Exhibition the greater will be the thirst forit outside. If the Exhibition is to become a new big “ pub ” to increase “ the extent and volume of the trade and tho many important indnstries connected with it and fostered by it,” which thrive by the ruin and wretchedness they produce, it will become a question to what extent a large section of the community, including men, women, and children who have suffered by “ the trade,” or who sympathise with the sufferers, will see their way to patronise it. “Great is Diana of tho Ephesians.”—l am, etc., Seqditur. Dunedin, July 9.
THE EXHIBITION LICENSE DIFFICULTY., Issue 7955, 10 July 1889
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