MR JUDKINS DISGUISED
"SOUL SHUDDERING IMMORALITY"
More was said by Mr WH Judkins at Wesley
Lonsdale-street, yesterday about the administration of our laws,
relating to gambling. When the administration was lax the
criminal was helped.
Members of the police force were set to do all sorts of small things -
to catch boys
playing football in the streets and to hunt after people with no
lights at the back
of their motor-cars, but the big things, the great social sins of
neglected by the Police department. The gambler, the sly
grog-seller, the licensed
victualler who sold after hours, and the keeper of the house of
ill-fame were all
helped. Gambling, Sunday trading, and immorality were rife, and
those who should be
sweeping these things away were kept at little fiddling things.
The chiefs of the department, continued Mr Judkins, said, “Where is the wrong? Show us.” That was the work of the department. He could take the chief commissioner down the street and show him place after place where the law was being flagrantly disregarded. Mr Graham, one of the State Ministers, had been putting his oar in. It would have been a great deal better if he had kept it out. What would Mr Graham call a man who was in a position to administer the law, and knew of the existence of wrong, but did not enforce the law? What Mr Graham said did not matter a fig. But if the government were to insist upon wrong being cleared out, they, private individuals, would not have to speak out as they were doing here. Our laws make it illegal for people to keep gaming houses. There were in Melbourne Chinese lottery shops, fan-tan shops, and shops where lottery tickets were sold to Europeans too. Did the police know of it?
A Voice - Of course they do.
Mr Judkins - If so, why were the keepers not prosecuted? If the police did not know, they ought to be ashamed of themselves, and our detective force did not know the A B C of detective work. (Applause) Last Sunday night he had gone in disguise so complete that not even his own father would have known him, into two Chinese gambling dens right in the heart of Melbourne. He had taken the precaution of being able to get in, and he passed the guards at the door without question. He stood with the gamblers at the tables, saw the men playing and saw all that went on. He could have gone into 14 other places of the same character. So if he, a private citizen, of no great physical strength and without any great force of the law behind, had been able to do that, why could not the Police department do it? If he had had with him two men of only the same size as himself he could have raided the whole of the places. (applause) He had every reason to believe the departmental heads did know of the things he spoke of. Yet the places were not raided. He wondered what the chief police commissioner would have to say about this. They saw that the work was grossly neglected. From the gambling shops he and a friend had gone elsewhere, and there had seen so much open immorality that it had made their souls shudder; immorality of so fearful a character as to make one wonder whether, in comparison with modern Melbourne, Sodom and Gomorrah had not been highly moral places. If the police did their duty they could put a stop to most of this. At any rate, they could arrest hundreds of men and women on a charge of offensive behaviour, if on no other charge. In this campaign they were not saying anything against the individual members of the police force, who had to subordinate themselves to a system. At the door of the chief police commissioner lay the blame. In some respects our law was as badly administered as in any civilised country in the word. (Applause)
From THE ARGUS 15th August 1910 page 6