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[Feom Oob Parliamentary Rki’ortee. J WELLINGTON, July 12. There was a strong fight iu committee over the Bill introduced by the Colonial Secretary, which provides, infer alia, for the granting of a license for sale of intoxicants at the Dunedin Exhibition. At the outset Mr Mills gave a meed of encouragement to the opponents of the measure by presenting a petition, signed by one thousand settlers at Pott Chalmers, praying the House not to pass the Bill, The first clauses of the measure which provide tor the closing of Cumberland and Castle streets having been patsed without any discussion, Mr Bruce said that the Bill had passed its second reading without a division on account of its dual nature. On clause 4he wished to take up a very decided attitude. He did not speak from a teetotaller’s point of view, because ho eould drink a glass of whisky as well as any member of the House when it suited him to do so, but the attitude he took up was because wherever possible he would oppose the extension of the facilities in every case where people would ruin themselves by the sale of intoxicants. The present Bill was an infraction of the local option law, and an attempt to override th«' expressed will of the people. The petition just presented showed how strong the feeling at Fort Chalmers against the proposal was.

Mr Fish : It is signed by women and chil dies.

Mr Bbooe said that although he had always been opposed to female suffrage, he did not know any class who bad a better right to object to such a proposal as this than women. Mr' Fish said it appeared to him that an exhibition such as the Dunedin one without a bar where people oould got refreshments in the shape of a glass of beer or wine would be like playing ‘ Hamlet ’ with the principal character left ont. That was his opinion anyhow. Exhibitions were not new things, and except with regard to the very small Exhibition which was held in Wellington —a puny, poor thing altogether—a few years ago, there bad not been one held iu tbe civilised world where such an attempt had been made as was now being done. Was it reasonable to say, except from a narrow-minded point of view, that people going to an exhibition and remaining there for lunch eould not obtain a glass of beer, or any refreshment they might require. It was said or hinted that the granting of this license would lead to a great deal of drinking. The experience of exhibitions was, however, of a contrary nature, and he instanced that recently held in Melbourne as a case in point. He asked why was this exceptional legislation to be attempted to be carried out with regard to the City of Dunedin? He informed hon. members that it would be no breach of the law, inasmuch as since the last local option poll was taken one license had been vacated in Dunedin, Had the Exhibition Commissioners chosen to obtain tbe transfer of one licensed house to the Exhibition they oould have done so despite the vote of this House, but they did not wish to take that course, believing that Parliament would pass the present Bill without hesitation. He found the temperance people opposing the Bill. It had been said over and over again that tbe Devil could quote Bcripture for his purposes, and so could the Good Templars. To them the hotelkeeper was a thing of horror in their eyes. Tbe hotelkeeper was, according to them, a man whose soul was bound to go to perdition; yet two hon. members of the House opposed the granting of this license on asoount, they said, of the wrong it would da to hotelkeepers. Snob was the sincerity of their faith. But the hotelkeepers of Dunedin knew their friends, and bad sent a letter to tbe member for Talerl thanking him for his consideration for their interests, adding that they did not look at the matter in the same narrow light, and that, notwithstanding any loss they might incur, they were willing that a license should be granted. He appealed to the House to look at the matter iu a reasonable way, and asked what harm oould result from the sale of intoxicants at the Dunedin Exhibition. Sir Robert Stont had taken up a logical position. At the meeting of the Exhibition Commissioners he had said); “ If no liquors were sold outside of the Exhibition Building, I should decidedly not allow liquors to be sold inside; but while they are sold outside 1 can see no reason whatever for the objection to their sale inside the building,” He hoped that those opposed to the clause would merely give their vote without offering any factious opposition, Mr Bbddon argued that the Licensing Act was ample for all the requirements of the Exhibition, and that the Legislature should not interfere with an existing statute of general application. Any Dnnedln publican coaid get a apodal permit, and renew it from time to time, to enable him to sell liquor* in the Exhibition Buildings, and this should be sufficient to meet the ease. If the Dunedin licensees wanted drink to be sold inside for the purpose of causing a craving for farther indulgence outside, that was a farther ground for opposition to the Bill. Mr Monk moved that the fourth clause be entirely struck out. He denied that intoxicating liquors were a necessary part of rebre-h----ments. It would be traversing the verdict of the people of Dunedin if thelExhlbition Building were licensed. The Bill sought to deprive the local publicans of pecuniary rights for which they had {raid, and to which they were entitled. Mr Ii NODES moved as a further amendment that a lieense should not be allowed till a further poll of tire ratepayers was taken. Special circumstances had arisen since the local option poll was taken, and the matter should be relegated to tbe people of Dnnedin. It was impossible to tell what the feeling there was. though counter petitions numerously signed bad been received.

Major Steward said the last suggestion was the most reasonable course to take. Mr Tanner thought that the member for Kamara had viewed the matter from a proper standpoint, but he conld not understand the unbecoming attitude of the Government in trying to convert the House into a licensing bench. He hoped the Committee would altogether reject this clause and the amendments. Members should uphold the dignity of this Hopse and refuse the special legislation asked for.

Mr Saunders appealed to Mr Rhodes to withdraw his amendment, so that a vote on the direct question might be obtained. To grant the application of the Exhibition Commissioners would be to contravene the local option poll. The people of Dunedin, actuated only by patriotic motives, and not by private reifish ends, bad decided against any increase of licenses there, and bad defeated the votes of a most powerful and a most active body. He trusted that the vote that night would show the inhabitants of this country that, whenever they were prepared by their action to protect themselves as far as possible from the temptations of drink, this House would not step in and say: "Ton shall have the temptation whether you want it or not.” Mr Downie Stewart said that many persons would vote for the elanse with the amendment propoted by Mr Rhodes who would not vote for it as introduced. Be objected that it was scarcely fair to oir one’s extreme views on a question of this kind. There was a great deal of local jealousy in connection with this Exhibition, and undbr the pise of local option sn attempt was being made to give a slap to the Exhibition. (Mr Pish : And to Dunedin.) Furthermore, he wished to point out that this eoncession was not asked for the purpose of gain, but for the purpose of public convenience. Mr Fish pointed out that as the licence of one hotel in Dnnodin had lapsed since tbo last poll wds taken there would he no increase. The Licensing Committee eonld have granted the licence ftr the EjHibijiion, and would do so if this Bill did not pass, but the Exhibition Commissioners would be put to the expense of a couple of hundred pounds in order to get the necessary bedrooms, etc., put np. Mr Rhodes's amendment for adding the following words to tta clause was agreed to op the voices Provided always that snph license stall not take effect until the ratepayers have determined by a poll takpn in the manner provided by the Licensing Act, 1881, that such license shall bo allowed ”

Major Steward! thought that the Commissioners should have to pay for the cost of taking the poll, and moved the addition of the following words to the clause—“ And provided further that the cost of taking such poll shall be chargeable on the New Zealand Exhibition Company, and may be recovered by the Licensing Committee from the said Company.” The clause as amended was agreed to by 27 to 18.

The Bill was reported with amendments which will be considered on Tuesday. Following is the division list; —

Arss : Messrs Allen, Ballanea. Barron, Buchanan, Carroll, Duncan, Fergus, fish, Hall, bislop’ Humphreys, Kelly, Larnaob, M'Arthur, M'Oregor* M'Eenzie, J. Mills, Ormond, O’Rorke, Parata, Rhodes, Riobardsoo (6. F.), Russell, Steward, Stewart, StuartMenteath, Wilson. Noes: Messrs Brace, Buxton, Gadman, Goldie, Harknese, Hobbs, Lawry, Marchant, Moat, Monk, Saunders. Seddon, Smith, Taipua, Taiwhanga, Tanner, Thompson (R.), Ward, Withy. Pims.-r-For: Messrs Valentine, Jackson, Feldwiok, Atk|h?pn, B’ake, Lougbrey, Jones, Cowan, Dodson, Seymour, Isrimip6n4> Lance. Kerr, Reeves (R), Anderson. Against: Messrs Richardson (R), Reeves (W. P.). Grey. Fulton, Guinness. Whyte, O'Gongr, Ross, Turnbull, Perceval, Hodgkinson, Thompson (T.), Newman, Walker, Mitohelson.

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THE DUNEDIN EXHIBITION., Issue 7958, 13 July 1889

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THE DUNEDIN EXHIBITION. Issue 7958, 13 July 1889

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