THE REV. MR WALKER AND THE TEMPERANCE CAUSE.
TO THE EDITOB. Sir, —I see in Friday's Stab a characteristic letter from the Rev. Mr Walker. I think it will open the eyes of the Temperance people to where Mr Walker is on this question. I suppose it is an example of what he calls " Dutch courage*" that he should attack the Isitt brothers when he knows they arc absent from New Zealand. There are only two points on which I wish to make any remark. I pass by the pun on my name. I suppose it is a sample of Mr Walker's wit. If he had known much of the history of the temperance movement in the past, and before he came to New Zealand, I doubt if he would have made the statements he has made. I assume he has been misguided by the influence of sime Seddonianr.
The poiuts I wish to refer to are :—(1) Clause 21 of the Alcoholic Liquor Act, and (2) Mr Seddon's attitude to' temperance legislation. 1. Mr Walker says about clause 21 that the charge remains unproved, and that some such provisions were contained in my Direct Veto Bill. I publicly made in the House the charge which I now repeat: that the clause was not drawn by the Government draftsman, and that it was concocted by those interested in the houses refused licenses by the Sydenham Licensing Committee.Further, it was introduced in committee by Mr Seddon secretly and surreptitiously, and the House was led to believe it was an ordinary machinery clause, while in effee's it was a clause to set aside a decision of the Supreme Court in a case which was appealed against, and was then pending in the Appeal Court. I asked for a committee of "inquiry and offered to prove my charge. The members 1 named as a committee were all, except myself, Mr Seddon's supporters. Mr Seddon refused to allow the committee m *2 6 Set Up t0 in( i uire iuto m y charge. Well he knew its truth. And Mr Walker appears to see no impropriety in the clause, the way it was passed, nor in the refusal to allow a committee to investigate the charge. There was no such clause in my Direct Veto Bill.
2. As to Mr Seddon's attitude towards temperance reform. He has ever opposed any reform. It is true he has said that he was in favor of local option and of national option, but he has clogged or attempted to clog both by sush conditions that he believed they would be made ineffective. It is true that if Mr Seddon believed the Temperance party were in a majority he would be in the majority with them. At present he is allied with the brewers and publicans, and ho has been so for some time. Who were his allies in Wellington at the last election ? Who provided the funds for the Wellington Political Association ? Doe 3 Mr Walker not know ? If not, let him read the evidence given in the Election Court some months ago. Ido not intend to refer to what took place in the King Country, but I have not yet seen any denial by Mr Seddon that he and his party had alcoholic liquor in a prohibited district, and gave it to the Maoris. Is this true or false ? I am afraid the good cause of Prohibition is not being much served by Mr Walker through his animosity towards the Messrs laitt.—l am, etc., Robert Stout.
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THE REV. MR WALKER AND THE TEMPERANCE CAUSE., Evening Star, Issue 10419, 14 September 1897
THE REV. MR WALKER AND THE TEMPERANCE CAUSE. Evening Star, Issue 10419, 14 September 1897
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