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THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE (MR HERDMAN) DEFENDS HIS ATTITUDE ON THE LICENCING QUESTION

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NEW PROPOSALS OUTLINED. Turning to the liquor question, lie said that at every election ho had contested there had always been a quarrel between 55 per cent, and 60 per cent. A Voice : So there should be. Mr llerdmau: No doubt. I have been a 60 per center ever since I entered politics, and 1 am a 60 per center to-day. The. view I take is that if there is to b.i any alteration in the existing conditions it should be carried by conic substantial majority. ]am not at all certain that the existing law is satisfactory. If one was a cynic be could see how both sides on this question have been made the football of political parties during the last 20 year?. No Government has ever brought down a Licensing Bill and made it a. party measure. Ido not, think that any satisfactory attempt has ever been made, to settle this much-vexed question. I am certain of this: that the legislation we have oil our Statute Book is hot going to finally settlw tl'.e liquor question. lam satisfied that if you carried National Prohibition in New Zealand that that would not be the end of it. A Voice: The end of the country. Mr Herdman: It might bo the end of the country. Just imagine the stale of affairs if the goal of the Prohibitionist was to be reached. They are wellmeaning people, but I think they are mistaken. If National Prohibition were carried no liquor could be in New Zealand except for medicinal, religious, or scientific, purposes. What , a ridiculous condition of affairs you would have in New Zealand if such a law were to operate I have spoken to prominent Prohibitionists, and thev have admitted that they do not think that such a condition of affairs would be practicable. They could see that liquor would come into the country, but they wanted to start with a dean sheet. I should prefer to deal with existing conditions. You carry National Prohibition and New Zealand will be a, plaguestricken spot. People wouldn't come here. (Applause.) The present legislation, which was supposed to be temperance legislation, started in 1894. Since then the convictions for drunkenness have increased, and the quantity of liquor consumed per head of the population has increased. There is no inducement at the present time f<n people to observe the law. A man who takes a hotel has to struggle and fight to get his money before the three years are over. He has the election staring him in the face and the possibility of No-license being carried, and he takes every copper ho can out of the people who go into his hotel. It was possible to devise new legislation, which ‘will place the Liquor Trade on a better footing, 1 continued the speaker. He was a6O per center until ho could see a. better way out, and he believed them is a better way out. He believed there should be a State licensing authority which would control the, licensing of hotels, which would sen that none but the best liquors were sold, which would see that no licensee was allowed to retain a drunken man on his premises, and which would make the penalty for drunkenness greater than it ever was. Such a board of control should consist of throe reputable, trustworthy men, whose business it would be to see that every place in which drink was sold should be run under the best possible conditions, and who would be responsible not only for the proper sale of liquor but for the provision of proper accommodation. .Such a hoard should in responsible to Parliament, and therefore In the people. (Applause.)

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141205.2.13

Bibliographic details

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE (MR HERDMAN) DEFENDS HIS ATTITUDE ON THE LICENCING QUESTION, Issue 15668, 5 December 1914

Word Count
632

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE (MR HERDMAN) DEFENDS HIS ATTITUDE ON THE LICENCING QUESTION Issue 15668, 5 December 1914

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