THE NIGHT SIDE OP AUCKLAND.
A TERRIBLE PICTURE.
AUCKLAND, September 24. A sensation has been caused to-day by the publicity of a letter by the Rev. G. B. Monro, the well-known Presbyterian clergyman and one of the prominent advocates for the repeal of theC.D. Act, giving an account of a reoentnight visit tohousesof questionable repute in the company of the police. He says : “ Our visits round the city were not confined to what may be called the ‘ slums,’ where the criminal and depraved are expected to congregate, for we entered places of questionable repute in some of the most respectable localities, and certainly I could not have believed that there were such large and magnificently-furnished ‘houses’ in a comparatively small city like Auckland with its present commercial depression. We entered twenty-four houses, and called at about thirty. In these houses we found over sixty girls, many of them intelligent, and well educated; and, j edging from appearances, they must have once moved in respectable circles. During the time that the C.D. Act was in force there were seventy-five professional prostitutes known to the police, but there are now at least 400, not speaking of about other 400 who are suspected. The majority of the girls I saw were between the ages of ; fifteen and twenty, and lam safe in stating that there are scores living lives of vice who ; are very much under fifteen years of age. When the C. D. Act was in existence juvenile . prostitution was almost driven from our streets, but now you could not walk from t top to bottom of Queen street on Saturday j evening without meeting at least fifty young ; girls who are living a life of vice. It is ■ usual to argue that vice was driven into j secrecy by the C.D. Act, but 1 learned ■ from my visits that such was not the [ case, for women under the surveillance . of the police were only too ready to . inform upon others. They were then, in j fact, driven out of the city ; but now they , are coming in every day, and if something is ) not done soon to stem the increasing tide of ’ vice it will be simply impossible to keep . our youths pure. I also learned from my visits that the Christian church in all her i branches is only working on the surface, and that there is a muss of corruption beneath our present religious and benevolent machinery. But how such is to be reached I cannot say. It may be said that the Salvation Army reach and save some of c these unfortunates, and I do not dispute “ this; but lam confident that they could 6 not reach the class I refer to.” ) —. ...
Permanent link to this item
THE NIGHT SIDE OP AUCKLAND., Evening Star, Issue 8020, 24 September 1889