MR JUDKINS PROPHETIC
“Police Administration, Purity, Reformers, and
Critics,” was the subject to which Mr Judkins addressed
himself at the
Collingwood Mission yesterday.
Mr Judkins was received with applause. He said that it seemed to him that a new crisis was approaching in our national life similar to that of four years ago. A fact that showed that headway was being made was when opposition was aroused. Evil was not accustomed to making a disturbance unless it was hurt. Social Reformers were attacking some social evils, the trinity of evils, drink, gambling and impurity, that existed everywhere in civilised communities. Some of the churches had become interested in social reform of late years, because they could not help it if they did not want to fall behind. It was rather amusing that the head of the police department should say that there was no gambling school in Melbourne, and then get information a day or two later that certain people had to “move on.” Private citizens ought not to be called on to inspect the gambling dens of the city, but if a huge department insisted there was nothing wrong, and would not do its work, private citizens had to make investigations. In one of the gambling dens he had visited in disguise, two or three Sundays ago, there were a hundred men in a room crowded with tables that were loaded with money. In another den there were 60 men, and he could have gone to 14 other places. That could not be called a small scale, surely! Yet they were told that there was nothing of the kind going on, but these people must be very dense, or were keeping there eyes closed.
It was a serious thing when charges were made against a responsible officer, and he held his tongue. Social reformers were going on. With a friend he went to another place, and saw things that he was not going to talk about that afternoon. One minister had said that he had not seen this sort of thing and it did not exist. A friend of Mr Judknis’s had a remedy for this state of affairs that was like putting a sticking-plaster on a volcano. This friend considered that the trouble was due to economic causes. The idea that impurity was caused by economic conditions was ridiculous. It had been said that he wanted all the people arrested who were found in the parks after 9 o’clock. (Laughter) That was too ridiculous to contradict. The parks should not be shut up, but ought to be made fine respectable places, to which anybody would be glad to take his wife and children. (Applause)
Remarkable testimony to the lax administration of the Police department had been given that week by the liquor trade itself. It was reported that at the last meeting of the hotelkeepers, Mr Opitz had said that if the Police did their duty, they would find 30 or 40 women coming out of sly grog shops, and that Mr Judkins had told the truth for once. Now he did not say that, and not know that such an awful state of things existed. He had heard that there was a room attached to hotels called “the morgue,” where drunken men were put to sleep off their debauch. The only way a publican could put down drunkenness was to shut up shop. (Applause) Legislation was necessary to cure drunkenness. Another important thing in furthering social reform was that referred to in “The Argus” of Saturday, the building-up of character and the influence of the home spirit.
From THE ARGUS 29th August 1910 page 7