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REGULATION, NOT SUPPRESSION. J The average citizen does not want to j persecute the publican. Nor has_ ha I any desire to outlaw “ the trade. J But ho is convinced of tho need fon licensing reform. Mr Arthur Shorwelli M.P., in the course of a speech at thd. National Liberal Club delivered during} the Licensing Bill agitation, said:— \ The traffic in alcohol liquors may Wo evil in the estimation of some; bmt it is a legal traffic, and its legality ns based upon tho fact that public} opinion as a whole refuses to brandy the consumption of alcoholic liquors •. as wrong. If the consumption of \ alcoholic liquors be not wrong, then / the sale of those liquors must be j justifiable. To attempt an arbitrary / distinction between sale and con- ( sumption is as foolish as it is mis- / leading. f The point of view which would out- ) law the traffic, and therefore drive it ) into tho least worthy hands, is a / point of view which in my judgment I would imperil and not advance the/ moral progress of the community. JtJ is true that I am here opposing a/ view widely- current in the advance}! Temperance party, and a view, moreover, that has determined to a larpe extent the licensing legislation of the United States of America; but a close 1 study of the laws and experience/of that great country has convinced (me that the attempt to degrade and outlaw- tho liquor traffic there/has aggravated the evils that are Associated with the trade, and has.' not secured the ends sincerely aimed at by the promoters of that legislation. So long ns drink is sold it ikhould l>e sold under decent conditions, and the sale should be in tho hands of the most worthy, rather than the least worthy, members of the community. i What is wanted is reform, hot proi hibition ; regulation, not suppression. ; Above all things, it is necessary that the State should recover tbafi full, unfettered control over licenses/which the lax administration of bygone years nnd tho unwisdom of recent legislation lias done so much to imppir. The indispensable first step to the recovery of that control is a “time-limit.” WHAT MR W, T. STEAL APPROVED The late Mr W. T. Stead, speaking on one occasion at Southport at a meeting in connection with the Free Church Congress, said that in the Licensing Bill tho Government had undertaken a heroic task, but he was very much afraid it was not business. He would say why: it was because those he was addressing would applaud at a meeting, but were not worth a row of pins when the time for hard fighting came. If ho were a politician he would take publicans every time as his allies. They would “shell out” for tho fighting funds, and work like tho very devil to carry their man. Mo hopod thev would provide something to take tho place of the 30,000 public-houses that would be closed. Tin' public-house was the centre of social life, where people could chatwith their neighbors, and if they did not provide a substitute, the last state of this land would he worse than th« first. It was said that if 30.000 publichonsos were suppressed 30,000 clubs would spring up. He hoped they would, but h<> should like them all run by the Free Churches.
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NATIONAL PROHIBITION, Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914