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MR JUDKINS AT CARLTON

FACES AT THE WINDOW

A Thousand  persons packed themselves into the Carlton-Hall, Princes’s-street, yesterday evening to join in a demonstration (Under the auspices of the Order of Rechabites) against intemperance and gambling. The four back benches were occupied by youths and men, who, while waiting for proceedings to begin, gave spasmodic cheers for “Jack Wren.” Two or three hundred more stood in the street outside, listening to an impromptu speaker, who said that the meeting inside was organised by “Dirty Orangemen.” Groups of lads gathered in the lane beside the hall and clambered on the window-sills, to peer inward between the bars. Other groups, from time to time, kicked energetically at the doors.

The Rev FJ Nance (chairman) introduced Mr WH Judkins, who moved -
 “ That this meeting congratulates the Premier upon the introduction of the Licensing Bill, and trusts that he will include in it the amendments suggested by the temperance party.”

Mr Judkins said that the kind of argument used at the Gaiety theatre on Sunday only made his party more determined.  When those eggs were thrown, it was a divine service which was interrupted. (Cheers)

There was a commotion at a side window, and three of four faces appeared in its frame.
A Voice at the window. - Is there a collection?
A man in a Rechabite sash ran to the window, and began to push vigorously through the bars.
A Desperate Voice. - Here, let go my collar. (Thud outside.)

Mr Judkins - They are all right. They are behind bars, like a good many others. (Laughter and cheers)
The man in the Rachabite sash sat down and wiped his forehead. Suddenly the window was raised and the end of a pole slid through the space. A lady in a heliotrope hat seized the pole-end, and was see-sawed up and down. There were loud cheers from the back seats.
A lady on the Platform - Oh, my dear, be careful!

A man in the hall jumped to the sill, and stood on the lower piece of the window-frame. The pole moved up and won, and the window and the man moved with it. A police constable, two other men, and a lady succeeded in pushing the pole out.

Mr Judkins, (continuing) - That incident showed that existing evils required to be put down. (Cheers and howls)

Amid varied noises from the back of the hall, Mr Judkins said that the three-years time limit, without compensation, was a reasonable offer to the liquor trade. A proposal had been made that a large institution should manage a compensation fund to be provided by the trade itself. The temperance party did not object to the trade compensating itself, by the means or by insurance, but the would not surrender local option - (cheers) -  and would not consent to the payment of compensation by the community. (Cheers)  Local option should permit the closing of all the hotels in a district. Moreover, no more barmaids should be employed. Public opinion forbade them in America. Were we behind America in ethics?

A Voice at the back - Yes.
Another voice - They’ve got Jack O’Brien. (Noisy cheers)
A third Voice - What price Miss---   (Howls)
Mr Judkins (Hotly) - I don’t care how much you attack me, but when you drag in the names of respectable women, whose names should be sacred, I protest. (Cheers) You may slander me or plaster  me with eggs, but the man who tries to injure me, by trying to injure the reputation of a decent woman, is a coward and a cur. In the name of honourable womanhood I protest against such tactics. And the public of Victoria will support me in this. (Great cheering) The man who does that sort of work is lower that the brutes.

The cheering inside aroused disorder outside, and doors and windows were kicked and thumped. A constable went outside to clear the lane. Men near the windows jumped to them and locked them.
A Plaintive Voice. - Now we wont have any air.

The police were reinforced, and, with four or five constables in the lane outside, the noises gradually died away. Mr Judkins moved his resolution in comparative silence.

Mr Harry Bright seconded the resolution. He said:- “I passed down Lygon-street today, and I saw fair women of our Carlton suburb going into yonder tote shop.” (Cheers, groans and moans)
The resolution was agreed to, and a second resolution, moved by the Rev H Kelly, and expressing a hope that the Anti Gambling Bill would be passes in a stringent form, was agreed to. Mr Kelly was subjected to no interruption beyond prolonged groans of “A-a-a-men!” in mockery of the drop in his voice at the end of each sentence. It was then announced that a collection would be taken up.
An Alarmed Voice. - Open the door!  (Laughter)

After the collection a musical programme was performed.
 

From: THE ARGUS  October 1906

 

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