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PROHIBITION CAMPAIGN, Issue 15631, 23 October 1914
MEETING AT SOUTH DUNEDIN. There was an attendance of about a hundred persons at the South Dunedin Town Mall last night, when addresses on the Prohibition question were given by Mr A. S. Adams and the Rev. E. T. Head. Cx J. Wilson presided, and apologised for the absence through indisposition of the Rev. K. tj. Gray, who was to have been one of the speakers of the evening. Mr A. S. Adams commenced, his address by quoting an Americanism which "aid that a saloon could no more be run without boys than a saw-milt could be run without logs. No right-trunking man would atop at any sacrifice in order that his children nught have an equal or better chance than he had had himself in starting life. They had realised that from the moment a- young man crossed tti<? threshold of his father's house he was subject to the same temptations and difficulties which hud brought others to dishonor. Who was it that was responsible for this legalised traffic that produced such results? During the short period <>f the lust three years there had been 35,000 convictions for drunkenness. Last year there had ben 11.000 convictions and 2,750 prohibition orders had been issued. These, however, did not represent move than onefourth of the amount of drunkenness, for there were many cases which never came to light. The blame did not lie with the people who took the liquor. Neither did it lie with the publican, who had the license to sell liquor, nor with members of Parliament who granted that license, because they could not legislate above the level of public opinion. The guiltv parties were those who voted against Xo-iicen&e and National Prohibition, and they were responsible for the whole evils of the traffic. Judges and gaolers had computed that between 70 to 80 per cent, of serious crime was the result of drink. Accepting the basis of computation which had been taken in this Dominion for the last quarter of a century, the amount spent in liquor in New Zealand last year was £4,137,653. That sum would build two .Dreadnoughts : it would pay for the upkeep of the New Zealand Navy ; it would keep an army of 10,000 men in the Held ; it would pay the whole cost of the carriage of passengers and of goods and the repairs to the whole railway system, and in addition would pav the interest on the capital cost —something like £30,000,0 C0 —and leave something to provide pensions for retired railway servants. ["here were 56.000 employees in the principal industries of the Dominion, male and female, as given officially in 1915. and the wayes paid to those industries amounted to £4,457,619. The year's drink bill wae therefore equal to 90" per cent, of the wages paid to the principal industries of the Dominion. It was said that the Tevcnne from the liquor traffic was needed. Supposing it was true that £1.000.000 was taken off the Treasury. If the money were not spent on liquor it would be spent on the necessaries of life and in providing comforts for the home. Wasn't it right that we should pay our taxes through whisky and beer? The Minister of Customs, Speaking recently, said that the brewing industry was a monopoly which should be taxed. The number of breweries in 1906 was -72. and in 1911 was 60. In 1906 the 72 breweries employed 751 hand* (not 2,000, as had been stated], and paid in wages £92.505. In 1911 the 60 breweries employed 741 hands, and paid in wages £109,544. The subscribed capital of the 60 breweries was £477,000, and the annua,] profit' £250,000. £250,000, with a wage list of £109.544, and on a capital of £477.000! The medical and scientific worlds had condemned liquor. Mr Adams concluded with a strong appeal to the audience, and stated that ho was prepared to debate on the public platform with any reputable member of the Moderate or any other Anti-Prohibition society.
Mr Reid *aid that their attitude on the liquor question should be one of earnest determination. Last year there had been 6,000 first convictions for drunkenness in the Dominion. Mr Gladstone had said that drink caused more distress than war, pestilence, or famine. Votes of thanks to the chairman and the speaker", carried unanimously, concluded the meeting.
PROHIBITION CAMPAIGN, Issue 15631, 23 October 1914
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