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SOCIAL REFORMS

-MR AND MRS SNOWDEN IN DUNEDIN.

Mr Philip Snowden, M.P., and Mrs Snowden arrived in Dunedin on Saturday afternoon from the north, and last evening, in the Garrison Hall, Mr Snwdee addressed a public meeting, his subject being ‘No-license and Prohibition.’

Mr A. S. Adams, who presided, and introduced Mr and Mrs Snowden to the audience, remarked that it had been said that while tho shadow of this dreadful war was over them and tho Homeland was in the depths of a tremendous struggle they should sink all differences and say nothing that might inflame tho public mind or produce differences between individuals. But moral reform could not be stayed because of war.

Mr Snowden said he hud not always been so interested in temperance reform as he was now. It was his association with industrial and social reform which had made him an ardent temperance reformer. Whenever he had approached industrial or social problems He huff found his work made more difficult by th© association of the drink evil. There was no | industrial or social question in the Old Land which was not closely associated with the liquor evil. Ho proceeded to describe the position of matters 20 years ago in Great Britain, when there was not a friendly feeling between social reform and the temperance movement. It was said that drinking was not. responsible for poverty, but now it was admitted that there wae a close connection between drinking and poverty. There had been within tho last 20 years a change in public opinion in Great Britain which could hardly bo described by any other but revolutionary. Public opinion in Great Britain no longer accepted the old individualistic theories as to the causes o> individual poverty, and tbi.s had changed tho opinions of politicians and statesmen on social questions. And there was no political party in Great Britain to-dn.y that did not make the social condition of tho people the main plank in tho political platform. Any difference that existed was a difference as to methods, plans, and the nature of remedies, and that wae not so 20 years ago. To-day the State recognised its responsibilities towards those who were unable 'to earn an honest living. In.no direction had the change been more striking than in tho change of opinion of the Temperance party on the question of social reform, and not only the Temperance party, but also the labor and trade unions. In recent years a conference had been held in Great Britain representative of organised thought, and a resolution had been passed declaring that tho existence of the drink evil demanded Government legislation which would enable the people themselves to deal with it. At. a conference of the British Labor party, representing more than two millions of tho very flower of tho British artisan class, a very etronglyworded resolution had been passed upon this question. That resolution stated that tho conference recognised that the drink traffic was responsible foi a large amount of poverty ; that it cause-1 crime, murder, suicide, insanity, misery, ruin, and economic waste; and that therefore the conference demanded that the Government, should, at as early a date as possible, pass legislation conferring upon the people the right by their votes to deal drastically with Hie liquor traffic. That represented not only tho British Labor movement., but it represented the atuuidu of tho great democratic movement of the Continent of Europe. In concluding his address, Mr •Snowden said tho liquor traffic wan the greatest obstacle to social reform, and the greatest and most pernicious influence in political reform. He urged them to strike out the liquor traffic now while it was comparatively weak, and to take a warning from the Old Land. Mrs Snowden then briefly addressed tho meeting. To-night, at the Garrison Hall, Mr and Mrs Snowden will give an address on "'The Industrial and Economic Aspect of the Liquor Question.’

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141109.2.3

Bibliographic details

SOCIAL REFORMS, Issue 15645, 9 November 1914

Word Count
651

SOCIAL REFORMS Issue 15645, 9 November 1914

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