LIQUOR AND THE LAW
Mr WH Judkins, in an address at the Wesley Church
Afternoon gathering, yesterday dealt with the attitude of Parliament
towards the liquor
Mr Judkins said that in New Zealand, as elsewhere, the vote of respectable men and women was not equal to the vote of drunkards and dissolute men and women, owing to the provision of the iniquitous three-fifths majority demand by Parliament. That was why New Zealand and New South Wales had not closed more hotels. If the liquor traffic had any pluck it would say to parliament, “Let us win by simply majorities.” But it was afraid. Some day change must come. The people had the power in their hands now, but they resembled a sleeping giant. It would have been better for Victoria if the 1906 bill had never been passed; better if they had had to wait 20 years for a proper measure. It might be said that hotels had been closed in Victoria. They would only be satisfied, however, with the entire abolition of hotels. An effort had been made to laud the Licenses Reduction Board at the expense of local option. Whether the former was considered a better machine than the latter depended on whether people believed that the liquor traffic could be restricted and regulated, or whether they were of opinion that it should be stamped out of existence. His objection to the Licenses Reduction Board was that it recognised the drink trade as a desirable thing, up to a certain point.
The following resolution, moved by Mr Judkins, and seconded by Mr A Moody was unanimously passed: -
“That this meeting affirms the necessity of amending the Licensing Act so as to provide for the question of the continuance of the liquor trade being decided by a simple instead of a three-fifths majority rule, the latter being undemocratic and unjust. It also affirms its belief that the liquor question can only be settled satisfactorily by a direct vote of the people, and protests against any constituted body being given the right of decision, which ought to belong to the people alone.”
From THE ARGUS 3rd July 1911 page 6