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PROHIBITION

ADDRESS BY REV. R, B. S. HAMMOND. The Garrison Hall was fairlv well filled last night when the Rev. R. B. S. Hammond, of New South Wales, delivered an address in support of the Prohibition campaign. The Rev. E. Drake (president of the Council of Churches) presided. Several local clergymen occupied seats on the platform, and the Hanover Street Baptist Church choir rendered several pleasing 6elections.

The Chairman suitably welcomed Mr and said the -rev., gentleman was one they had learned to esteem, especially for the excellent work he had accomplished in the cause <?f No-license. Mr Hammond, in opening, said he had no desire but to be perfectly sane and moderate in his remarks. It *wae not his wish to lay undue stress on any of the evils associated with the liquor traffic. He wished his hearers to remember that in the great conflict in which they were engaed all arguments and facts were not of the same value. There might be victories on the one side, and there were victories as a matter of fact. Recently there had been one in the New Zealand Parliament, when sundry members had proved themselves unworthy of their seats by their action on a certain question. This, however, need only be regarded as a temporary get back. The party were going on to victory, and there need be no doubt about it. (Applause.) It has been said sometimes that he should have remained in New South Wales, where the liquor problem was &; serious one. His wish, however, was toVfamiliarise himself with the conditions existing in this, country, and thus be the better equipped to fight the liquor traffic in his own country. Of the four chief cities of the Dominion, Dunedin, which was proud of its designation as the city of learning, was the only one of the four to show an increase in the number of convictions for drunkenness. Last year there were 934 convictions, which was 174 more than the previous year. In the other three cities there was a decrease. The decreases in Wellington and Auckland were doubtless largely due to the closing of the bars during the strike. (Applause.) This in itself was a strong argument in favor of the permanent closing of the bars, for it showed that their absence decreased the liquor consumption. The increase, in convictions for drunkenness in Dunedin was a serious matter to contemplate. There was certaiidy nothing in it to be proud of, and anyone who voted for the continuance of the liquor traffic was a party to the convictions for drunkenness. Since he had last stood before a Dunedin audience there had been 35,000 convictions for drunkenness. Such a record -warranted tn«> "Prohibition party in holding meetings and drawing the attention of the public to the iniquities of the liquor traffic. By comparing the drunkenness conviction returns with similar towns under No-license and under License, it was found that whilst there were 3, fairly large number under No-license they were infinitely higher under License. It wa6 found that comparatively few young men were convicted of drunkenness" in No-license districts, showing that those who broke the law were men who had acquired the drinking habit prior to the closing of the public-hdhses in what were now Prohibition areas. Any legislation that could protect our growing manhood could not but be regarded as beneficial, and the people should vote for it. In Australia New Zealand was regarded as the pulse of the liquor movement among English-speaking people, and the progress of the movement was therefore watched with great interest. The information at their disposal showed that New Zealand was progressing in the aggregate. It was necessary, therefore, to have a wider outlook. If one's own particular town were a sober town, and the liquor evil were not very apparent, it was necessary to keep at work in order to encourage those in other places where the problem was more difficult to conquer. They must not be discouraged. Interest in the work was difficult to maintain it was true. It was so difficult to sustain a fight that had continued for 30 years, and there was always the possibility of being stagnant. If the enthusiasm was not maintained there must be an element of stagnation present which was not conducive to progress. The traffic would, under these conditions, reach out, and get into its clutches many young boys and girls, and the work of humanity would be set back. He was aware that those engaged in the liquor trade said that Prohibition was non-effective, and argued that No-license did not achieve its aim seeing that drinking still continued. He (the speaker) was sceptical of these protestations on the part of the liquor people, and he did not think that they believed them themselves. He urged them to go on in the fight and not to rest satisfied " until they had killed the whole damnable business in the Dominion by your vote."' (Applause.) Some time ago there was an organisation, which called itself a Liberty League, but he was told that it had changed its name and they now called themselves moderates. He was suspicious of these moderates. His own opinion was that they were one and the same people. He preferred to know his enemies. There might be wolves in sheep% clothing in this moderate league and there might be good men, but there was just a possibility of their being used as tools of the trade (Applause.) The Prohibitionist's vote should obviously be of the same value as a vote cast on the other side, and the member of Parliament who thought otherwise should be released from his responsibilities. He denied that Prohibition had been a failure in Maine, Kansas, and other States in the United States. The law which at one time had permitted the Federal law to overrule State law in its reference to

the liquor traffic had now been altered. He asked his audience to be preparer! to make some sacrifice in the cause of Prohibition. Prohibition at its worst, had proved better than License at it best. He concluded with an earnest appeal to sweep away liquor traffic at the. forthcoming poll. In reply to a question by Mr Stew Boreham as to what the Prohibition party were prepared to put in place of the hotels and in the event of Prohibition being carried, Mr Hammond said the Y;M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A. were institutions which existed for the spreading of social intercourse of a healthy nature. The Rev. C. Dallaston proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the speaker, which was carried by acclamation. Mr Hammond will lecture at the Garrison Hall to-night on the subject of 'Derelicts.' His work in the slums of Sydney has brought him in close touch w'ith the derelicts of the drink traffic. The slides are taken from scenes he has witnessed and persons he has met, and he draws upon both pathos and humor in this interesting lecture. To-morrow evening he will speak at the Town Hall, Port Chalmers, as well as conduct an open-air meeting at the Band Rotunda at 12.30 p.m. ■

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141020.2.20

Bibliographic details

PROHIBITION, Evening Star, Issue 15628, 20 October 1914

Word Count
1,191

PROHIBITION Evening Star, Issue 15628, 20 October 1914

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