LABOUR AND GAMBLING
At a meeting in connection with the Gipps-street
yesterday afternoon Mr WH Judkins attacked the Victorian Labour
party on its
connection with the liquor trade and the gambling evil. The
church was well filled,
and the Labour Party had amongst the audience several defenders, who
questioned some of
the comments of Mr Judkins, interjections at times coming from
different parts of the
Mr Judkins moved:-
“That this meeting congratulate the Government upon its intention to make certain amendments of the Licensing Act, but draws attention to the following necessary reforms:- Immediate local option, the abolition of art unions and other forms of gambling, prohibition of prize-fighting and cigarette-smoking by juveniles, charity reform, legislation to purify our streets , and especially urges that the conscience of the community should not be hurt by the request of the Trades-hall Council for the extension of the art union being granted.”
He said that the party that asked for the extension of the art union made a loud song about uplifting the community. That meant more than increased wages; it meant uplifting the morals of people. It looked as if the Labour party in Victoria was out to get good wages and plenty of facilities to spend those wages in gambling and strong drink. When the anti-gambling and liquor bills were before the Victorian Parliament in 1906 their greatest opponents were in the Victorian Labour party. The natural sequence of this art union to build the Trades-hall would be a national art union to provide money for the public needs. One would be just as immoral as the other. The Labour Party in Victoria was unfortunate in the choice of its representative men. The South Australian Labour party was different. The Labour Premier in that state would stop all gambling and give local option tomorrow, if he could.
After a cross-fire of interjections, Mr Judkins appealed to the Labour party to repudiate this thing that there leaders had done, and if necessary to say they would not have men who would so compromise them. The gambling evil and liquor traffic had got hold of the Labour party. The working men should not support those supported by the liquor trade and gambling. Then there was the dreadful prize-fight, which was paralysing the conscience of thousands. Did they know a place was being erected in Melbourne for the same sort of thing? But for the gambling element there would be no prize-fighting. It was allied to the cursed thing the Victorian Labour Party wished to bring under the guise of charity. (Hear, Hear)
The motion was seconded by the Rev. R Ditterich and agreed to.
From THE ARGUS 4th July 1910 Page 7