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A MANIFESTO, Issue 15671, 9 December 1914
I [PUBLISHED BY AeEANOEMENT.]
■ -»■ THE NATIONAL COUNCIL'S DELIVERANCE. . At a meeting of the executive of the National Council of the Licensing Defence League, held yesterday afternoon, it was resolved to issue tho following manifesto : 1. We consider that the attempt to force Prohibition upon a people, even a considerable minority, is fraught with danger to the cause of democracy and an unwarrantable interference with personal liberty and taste of their neighbors to attempt by force of numbers to compel them to become total abstainers. The aim should be rather to extend than curtail the liberties of the people. Tho object of Prohibition—namely, to prohibit tho manufacture, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages—is a distinct interference with personal liberty, which ought to be discountenanced and opposed hy the inhabitants of New Zealand. 2. It ought to be noted that taxation is contributed by the peopie of the Dominion through, tho liquor industry aggregating approximately one and a-quarter million sterling, and whereas the advocates of its abolition have in no way suggested how this taxation is to bo made up if their cause is carried, then sensible electors must realise that what Prohibitionists propose is a leap in the dark—a dangerous experiment to make at a time when the maintenance of a sound financial position in the. country's affairs is preeminently desirable. 3. Nor is it proposed how tho 12,000 adult persons employed in the liquor industry and allied trades, with 30,000 to 40,000 dependents, arc to bo re-employed if Prohibition obtains. This council would warn electors against thowing thousands out of work 'at a time when many industries are threatened with distressful conditions, and everyone should remember that injury to one industry means injury to all. The contiguous industries to bo most affected by Prohibition are barley growing (which absorbs about three-quar-ters of a million sterling annually), tho hop growing of Nelson (which brings many thousands of pounds to that district every year), the vino growing of tho North. Island (where succeeding Governments have encouraged the industry of many enterprising vignerons, whose products are earning a high reputation for New Zealand wines). 4. It is one- of the purposes of Prohibition to destroy all these and other industries contiguous to the liquor industry and tho hotelkeeping occupation. Surely, | when the majority of electors realise that tho welfare of the country and tho existence and livings of many thousands dependent upon tho prcservtaion of existing industrial relationships are affected, they will not support a proposal that would mean, if carried, their ultimate and irremediablo destruction. In tho interests of the Dominion, its industrial, commercial, and social well-being, Prohibition should not be encouraged. 5. The conclusion of the matter is that all Prohibition threatens to curtail personal liberty, to destroy industrial concerns, to create unemployment, to embarrass the finances of tho country, and to coerce men and women to total abstinence when moderation has been their lifelong habit. Prohibition ought not to be encouraged or countenanced by tho serious and sensible electors of New Zealand. Just as temperance should and must bo encouraged, and just as drunkenness should and must be discouraged, so Prohibition and No-license, as they violate the principle of temperance and the honest practice of that virtue, must be denounced and voted against, and it is the hope that the electors will so act at this crisis in the Empire's existence that has prompted the National Council to make this pronouncement.
A MANIFESTO, Issue 15671, 9 December 1914
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