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1 correction by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

I SOTHIESSION OF INTEMPERANCE. j

THE Political Association for the Suppression of Intern pera.co held a meeting yesterday evening in tho School of Art«, Newtown. On the platform were tho Rov. Messrs. Voller, Kent, Donald, Langford, Fletcher, and Mr. C. i Rolleston, and Mi. Goold.

' The chair was taken by Mr, ROLLESTON-, who said his

sympathies were with tho society, and that ho wished it success. That success would, however, require united and

well sustained effort.

Mr. GOOLD explained the objects and design of tho asso- ciation. Without disparaging the efforts of total abstainers ho said that this, strictly speaking, was not a total abstinence society. Its ultimate object was the suppression of ¡ntempcranco by securing from tho Legislature an Act pcrinittinc tho peoplo of any district to determine by their

volo whether individuals should or should not bo licensed to retail intoxicating liquors in their midst.

Tho Rev. S. C. KENT moved tho first resolution, "That this meeting regards with profound grief tho drunkenness which prevails throughout the colony, with the crime, disease, and prematuro death which result therefrom ; and believing that such a state of things is greatly influenced by tho facilities legalised for tho supply of intoxicating liquor, resolves to UBe overy legitimate moans to produce such a chango in tho laws affecting the liquor traffic as is necessary to secure the social and sanitary well-being of the country.

Instead of making a ppeech tho rev. gentleman road tho following paper, which had been handed to him by a mem- ber of his congregation who knew the " bush " welt :

A vzvr FACTS DELATING TO DIUNKINO AND INTBVI

l'BBANCE IN TUB BUSH AND COUNTIIY DläTMClS, WITH SOME SUGGESTIONS FOB AUUESTINO THESE EVILS.

Vost quantities of intoxicating drinks are consumed in the bush and country districts ; and, although intemperance is chiefly prevalent among workmen and scrvnnts, still many of the smaller settlers and farmers aro also addicted to this vice.

Among the single shepherd», hut-kcepcrs, fencers, shearers, ¡.beepwashers, and generally useful men OB stations, as well as among a migratory claes of farming men, it is the rufo for them to spend or spree their earnings In ¿trink and debauchery, and the exception to save it.

Among the causes which lead to this lamentable state of matters the following may be mentioned, namely:

I 1HE OllEAT NUMBER OP l'UIILIC-HOUSES.

It may be questioned by some, whether it be that the habits of these unfortunates have called into existence the class of inns no« so common in the pastoral and country districts; or whether tbc«o bouses have not, to a very great extent, been the nieons of bringing about tho wide-spread custom of treating and drinking KO prev aient In these districts. Ono thing, however, is certain, that not only is there now every convenience for spending money

in drink throughout the colonies, but in most cases e\ cry induce- ment is held out both in what may be termed by some a fair and unfair way to do so, and tho temptation is BO very thick and strong that few working men can resist it.

In determining whether or not a public-house ii to be erected in any of the bush or country districts, the calculation is of courso made as to whether it will pay, and in doing so, there is little or nothing expected from the custom of travellers-the principal question being as to the number of scrv ants and workmen in the neighbourhood ; and so certain is it that the men will snood their earnings that public-house« are now thickly planted in every district, and frequently where none arc required for the accom- modation of travellers! Ono-hulf of these houses could not ctist w ero the owner» to confine thcrasch cs to what is commonly termed fair and legitimate trade.

The fact is that many of the inna in the bush arc more " sprec ing" shops, wuoro tho innkeepers do not care to seo respectable customers, and with such certainty do they count upon the work-

ing men's cheque that they speak of him when ho leaves tho I district without spending it as if ho bad committed an offence 1 against the law, and done thom an unwarrantable injury.

In not a few of these placet, too, ino mott vilo and poisonous dm Its aro retailed, and not seldom, too, with the view of render- ing Uieir Tictlms powerless tn Uicir hands. Indeed, it is a common occurrence for the labouring min tn going Into a publio-houso of this description and Inking a singlo glass of liquor, to remember ' no more Uli ho tinda himself in tho " horrors," and hi« money all

spent, or at any rite salt! to bo so

It is true that some of the inns have good accommodation for respectable travellers, but there, also, provision is made for the reception and entertainment of the infatuated spreer and drunkard by having the bar well removed from the other apartments, and a "dead house" attached for the regular "topers" while having     their spree out, and although "hocussing " may not be practised   in these inns, as it is in some of the low-class houses, still their victim, once he begins to drink, is as surely in their power as if he had been "hocusscd" at first, for he is, in the expressive phraseology of the bush, carefully "shepherded" and "lambed down," till his money is all spent, by some of these "droughty" individuals who are always to be found hanging about every public-house, and who may or may not be acting under the direc-

tions of the innkeeper

The cheques that are yearly spent in this way, at even so called rcspccUMe houses, whilo their owner« arc in a auto of thorough helplessness, may bo reckoned by thousands, and their amount by tens of thousand« of pounds; whilo our lnflnnarlc«, hospital», lunatio uylums, and gaols aro Hooded with tho victim» of Ihl« most unrighteous law, which allows publicans frequently for day« together to «apply drunken men, in a state of helpless- ness or madness, w iib strong spirit«, and frequently with some-

thing worse.

Thero arc «thcr wivs, too, in which more publio-housca aro supported in the bush than arc required. Thus, as navvies and roadmen, in the bush at least, arc nearly as intemperate as tho station hands, it is no uncommon thing for a publican, counting upon tho propensity of this class of men to spend their earnings in drink, to take an interest in a contract, and sometimes take contracts altogether at low rates, and the men bcirg paid in the public-house, iho publican secure« their earnings, for ho merely pays the mosey over to receive it all, or nearly all, back In tho course of a few dvys, frequently of a ftw hours, after tho men aro settled with Indeed, in these cases, It not unfrcqucnllj happens that the men have nothing to receive, tbo grog scoro amounting to more (according to the publican's reckoning), than what is due

for work.

II. SltOLTtVO OH TP.Ev.TINO.

The custom of shouting o' trcitlng la no» especially among the middle and lower cla»sei lu the bush and country districts an established one throughout the colonies-it being Considered by ihcm the height of good manners among friend« and casual acquaintances, and even imong strangers, meeting at a public house to shout or ask one another te drink

This most ruinous custom is all the more to he deplored, as it not onlj inducts grown up men to waste their time, money, and htalth in this way, but it leads our vouths and young men to become drunkards being reckoned the fashion, and a min!) one, to shout, tbo young lads as soon a« the) have gol a few shillings in their pocket«, ape the practices of their elders in lounging it the bar of tho public bouse, and calling for nobblers round, and perhaps drinking their own " Uko men, ' while the ftiblican, who takes their mont), and the old hand whom they

trial, Hatter and encourage them

To such an extern do these Influences prevail in the bush, that 1 young man who doea not shout hko the rest is considered not only unncighbourly but unmanly , a»d the result is that lie tithcr changes hi« companions or becomes a shoutcr like the rest It is easily seen which of these course« he is generally likelj to

adopt,

lo say that it is fashionable in tht bush to shout is not going far ci ough, for it amounts almost to a crime not to tin so. There Is, tor some uniccountahle reason, a fctllng, or rather i tacit sort of rule prevalent among the middle and lower classes there,-and I am sorry to siv as much among the lounger as the older port on of them,-thit the publican must bo supported, and that when they ire « It hin cooey of tho public bouse ihey should shout whether they require refreshment or not lo refuse to conform to this cuitom, or what li consider«! worse to refuse t» drink when asked by any one whomiy choose lo offir .a shout, ii said to be robbing the publican, or, as it \i termed in the bush, " taking a shingle otf his house "

V, oung reen and vouth« are by this nefarious custom and device of the Dev ii led to drink a« the opportunity otrirs, and a« a milter of course hnbituil tast'ng li »di mmy of them to take a liking for drinl, and to beeomt drunkards in course o( time, the company and amusements to be nut with at the public-house alluring ibem there 1 ro long thev have an occasional spree or spell of debauchtry, ind ii last become poor miserable drunkards, through tills ruinous practice of shouting.

In tht«- Incentive« to shouting and drinking mmy of the publicans hold out other» such as towing diet, cards, bagatelle, and iiuoit plajing,"and all sorts of betting and gambling And it mav be scarcely credited but it is nevertheless mu that, in some houses In the interior, It 1» so well understood that the lo lgcrs or visitors are lo shout, thit meals arc not charged for.

HI. VAM- OF HOMB ASSOCIATION AM) OF IVVOCPM

AM191.M1 NTS

If the Mies were more equal thsn thev arc, there Is no doubt hut many men, who now spend their earning» in drink, would be Heady ind mirry, for drunkennww ii much mort provalent among the single men than the married There are, no doubt, not i few married men drunkards, but generally speaking thej had becenu so prior to marriage, and after attaining an agc when

habit« become continued

The majority of the wotking men being unablo to marry, and being generally speaking far removed from home and friend», have (as they think) no Immediate object to lil e for , and, us shouting u the fashion, and snroclng reckoned among a large portion of the c ass the'r highest possible enjoyment, the working man falls an easy victim to the lirsl publican he cones across alter re- ceiving h's cheque

Indeed it is io uncommon thing to meet with men in the bush who consider themstl» is so thoroughly isolated from over) thing in the shape of home associations, a« to tell > ou while in their sober senses that «prccing is thelronly available enjoyment, and when taxtd with Uie sin and folly of »uoh a course, they retaliate b) asking " why Uiey should not be allowed to enjoy themselves in the onlj w ay in their power, when their masters and others of the same standing have their parties and rout« "

Again, when remonstrated with for spending their money in drink, they reply that they can get a " feed " whercstr they go, and while they are in health they can alwaj s earn a cheque, and that when slea, or unablo from old age to get a living, they can go to the intiitaary or asylum

J hen, a« regard« amusement« with tho prevalence of public houses, and the constant and thorough connection of publicans w th every amusement got up in tho country districts, no cn'tr talnmcnt take« place without drinking, and Instead of being a bcon md blesstng to the vi orklng classes, the<e gathering« ure generally a snari and a curse This is especially the case with country races, which, li not the only, are by far the most general of country amusement«, and ate but too often scenes of gambling, fiihilng, and drunkenness among tht. working men attending

them.

IV THE WANT Ol' CLEUOVMEV.

In the bush there la a great lack of e'ergrmen They have, as jtt, tcircilj ] etictritcd the outlying districts-such as the Dar- ling, tin Warrego, and the Paroo In districts nearer Sydnoy such as the Lower Lachlan, Lower Bogin, the >arran, and lía-van, clcrgvrucn may, perhaps, be met with onco or twice a visr, but it the) do MSII those dittrlcts, the vl«its «re very hurried ones, and must be of exceedingly tittie utilttv to ttie residents in those parts 1-vcn in the mort settled district« elf rg) men arc far from plentiful, and if they arc too fow in these eUtricti to do much good among the working men, whit possible auv image can tho'e of them who reside in trie outlying districts dfrltc trom the Hying vltita ot tht clergymen then A fiw children may be bapti«cd-some subscriptions may be obtained, and a good deal of hard work may be done hy tho clergymen who g3 these rounds, but very littio good u accomplished in this wav, tien with tho owners of the places at which the clergymen call, or with their families, while the working men mav just htar that acltrgyman had vii neil the station

V.-THF HINT Of SAVINGS' IIV.Nh.8

In lho«c part« of ihe bush where there Is the greatest amount of intemperance, and where that vice is, so to speak, so privaient i mong the working classes, there are no branches of the saving*' Bank, and there cannot be a doubt but tatt the nant of them, ii those parts, tends v cry much to lead men to spend money in ta- nk which thej might eave were the Barings' bank within their

reach

V\ iih somo men the master might take it upon him at settling to urgo them te allow him to place a portion of their wages in tho sav lugs'bank, and they may in «onie fow cases do s», butgtncrally speaking, the men, suspecting toe mister of nine Interested motives, ii not of kcep'ng the tnoncv for his own use, would refuse to allow thilr mcrae} to 0t deposited If, how- ever, branche« of the having«' Bank vero established in all the eounlry towns of any imiwrtance, aud if the few steady and hrifty hands were to be seen by those who ire now leckies« and Improv dent, taking their savings regu lirly to the bank, some of the latter would be induced, by the example of their steady acquaintances, to nike a beginning at deptxtlisg ; and if once tbcv made a begin Ling, howcv cr smill the deposit, tho desire of increasing the amount would grow upon the depositor, and tbe result would be at last that the gtcittr part of his wiges would go regularly to the bank, and little or nothing to the publican

Then, again, the example of one reformed chancier would in- duce others to amend abo, and bj-and-bjewe would have the working man referring among his comndts to the amount at his creuit in the bank, Instead of boasting, as he now too frequently doe«, of the large sum be knocked down at a spree, in an iu crcdiWy short time As things now are, neither the example of the fiw sober and saving men operate upon the spendthrift, nor docs the sign of tho savings' bank meet his eye in the township to which he resorts after being settled with, and the consequence is thal he " deposits" his earnings with the publican

VI-THE V\Ot OF A GOOD INDE'-STAS^DINO llETVV EEX

MASTFKS AMI MFN.

This evil is commun throughout the colonies lo u creator extent than in other parts of the world, and especially so in New bouth \\ ales-servants doing just as much work as they are obliged and no more, and the masters paying the wages they promise, and (ccmingly caring nothing fur the wclt-bcingof the servant beyond ibe point where their own immediate interest« end.

There is certain!} this to be said for the masters, that good ser- vants art very scarce, and that it very frequently happens that men engage for work which they are quite unqualified to carry through, v, hile fe » of them have that regard for their master«' nterest which sen ants ought to Larc

There is, thertfore, blaruo on both sides, but is the masters jught to take the first step towards eflcctlng an improvement, by rylng the effect ot kindness and consideration for the welfare and tJmfort of their servants-the responsibility of the present un

ortunatc state of matters must rest with the masters,

VII,-THF «UH CUSTOM 01 SUTLIING All, TKAVELtERS

WITH FOOIl AND THE EMPLOYMENT OF MEN WITHOUT TESTlMOMALb. ,

It is an established rule In the bush-and a necessary ona so fa- as it is not ubusci-to supply men in quest of employment with food, and this custom has no doubt considerable otTcct in rendering men improvident and drunken ; for, having thus the assurance of subsistence, they generally spend cv cry farthing of their w age« at the first public-house they como to alter receiving them.whlth they would not doit they had to pay for their food or starve The probability is, too, if thty had to save a portion of Ihtlr wages to keep thiin from hunger and perhaps starvation, that tiley would save the whole, as they know well that they have tot the strength of resolution to spend a part and save tho rest They would, thcrcfori, generally Keep clear of the public

bouse altogether.

As things now arc in the pastoral districts, the working m»n may spend every penny of his earnings, and run no risk of star- vation or even of hunger, for he is sure of rations at every «tallen at which he may call, and «orno mon, or rather somo " loafers," tak Dg adv antago of this, walk the country ov cr, from j ear's end to year's end, and onlj take a job when wages arc higa at sbctp shtaring, shcepwashlng, or some other light and remunerative

employment

then, again, as there is not, tia there ought to be, an under stinding among masters, to tmploy only such men as can pro- duce characters, they have to biro any mon that otftr themselves, although the) may be thoroughly tntcmpcralo and untrust-

worthy.

SUGGESTIONS,

1. To pass a Pcrmissiv c Licensing Act

1 bis would greatly lessen the number of public-houses, and thereby rcmovo a vast deal of temptation. If the number of ktiusce was greatly reduced, tho Hccnst fee should be increased so as that the publicans whose houses were left open should not reap all the benefit of tho increased trade thus turned their way.

2. To strictly enforce all existing laws respecting the sale of fer- mented and intoxicating liquor, and especially that which forbids the publican to glv c drink to any one the worse of It

3. To appoint inspectors of public-houses, and of fermented and spirituous liquors, for the purpose of inspecting the inns and test- ing the liquors regularly, und heavv fines to bo Inflicted where the hoU6«aronot properly kept, or whero on) thing deleterious, or anything for the purpose of bocusslng, is found.

4. No hilliard or bagatelle tables, or games of any description, tobo allowed in public-houses, or in any building connected with

a public-bouse:

J, To pass an Act

I I-mpowotuig any one who spent moro than, «ay, £2 in

twenty four hours to sue. fur, and recover, the money from the publican with whom it la said to have been spent 2, Prohibiting tile manufacture or distillation of brand) or any

other »pirita in the colony, and increasing the duty on all descriptions of spirit» imported into the colony

3 hmpowcring J I' '« to deal with awagmen ind tramp« of

every description begging their victuits, as vagr.nts.

4 Fnabling the wife, ran, or daughterof any person proved to

be a drunkard to go to the nearest bench and get tho magistrate« to appoint trustee« to whom tho property »ad means of such drunkard would be handod over in trust for bia wife, or wife and family, and In the cue of drunkards earning wages, that the wage« be paid to the trustees for tho same purpose

0 That non- 'shouting" associations be farmed

7 That sari ogs' banks be established at all money-order

office«

H Thal the masters should take the initiative in obtaining a

better understanding than now exists between them and their

servants

9 That temperance societies should und out lecturers to tho bush and country districts, who should lecture in the countrj towns, and visit all the diggings and stations th<y could

19 That asylums be built and maintained for the Incurable drunkard, and reformatories for the curable

The Rev. J VOLLHII seconded tbo resolution. Ho agrood with (ho chairman that there did not seem to bo much prospect of immediate success. Ho had an impression that they would havo a tough job Thoy had not onl) to onlist tho sympathie« of the virtuous, but to overcome the preju- dices of thoso who aro lees so There wore largo vested interests in the way, and perhaps they might moot with not a little vigorous opposition from tho Houso of Assembly itself. (Hear, hear ) Ho did not soo that it would bo very much to their disadvantage to oppose a matter of this kind, for although they derived so largo a revonuo from the manufacturo and salo of intoxicating liquors, It would bo worth their whilo to remoraba how much of

fhst they had to spend in police and gaols (Cheers ) It appeorcd to him that this was pro-ominontly a question to bo Bottled in tho way proposed by tho association-by tho voice of the people If public-houses wore really houses of accommcdation, tho public surely wore the best judges of tho quantity of this accommodation thoy required Thoy had far too many public-houses in Newtown and throughout the colon) If this association were successful thon would ba cloBod thousands of places wUch wore now tho channols of misery, destruction, and death

Tho resolution was earned unanimous!).

IhcRev Mr rihTCurnsaidho waa not afraid to toko part in a mov erneut like that promoted bv thisnssociation, although it was a political ono Tho resolution ho had to movo was -" That this mooting, regarding tho existing liccnso laws eminently unsatisfactory and inefficient ia pou or to protect tho peoplo, colls upon tho Government to introduce a general measure dooling with tbo Balo of intoxicating liquors, and providing that in each district power should be given to veto licensee when two thirds of the population oro opposed to tho traffic in tho district " This was not a questionnf protection or an interference willi tho liberty of the subject, but it was simply whother tho people Bhould govern themselves or not (Hear, boar ) Tho dutvof tho Govern- ment was very much the sanio in principio as tho duty of tho father of n fami)) A father, however, did not consider it his dut) to bleed his children ho sought rather to pro- mote their mental and bodilv vigour , and it was the dut) of tho Government to do eomothtng of tho samo kind. But there vv as on tho part of the Gov crnmont a tendonc) to make and tear to pieces by turns The) created an ovil in order to «ubduo an evil. Surely Ibis waa not econoai) ' Tbo number of members of our Farlinmont dirctl) and indirectly interested in public houses and tho traffic in drink was so great that, witl a few without any direct interest, the) could slwajs get a majority Ibero were plenty of mon who owel their position entirely to successful tradn in rum and otb_r such Uko nasty things Mow their first dut) was to go thoso men out (Laughter and cheers ) Ho thought it A<sirablo i bat plodgee should bo takon from members of tho usocia tion that »hey would withhold their volo from as) mau who would not, upon this BUbject, faithfully roproseit their feeling, and vote against the present etato and increase of tho liquor traffic (Cheers )

The Rev. J L^NOFOUD seconded tho resolution, quos

Honing, how over, its fairness, inasmuch as while in other instances a simple majorit) only was required, in thu c\so a majority of two-tbirdi was required.

I ho resolution wa» agreed to without dissont

The ßov Mr DONALD moved the third resolution, " That this meeting strongly reprobates tho existence of dancing saloons and billiard tables in connection with public-bouse», and recommends that immediate steps bo taken towards their suppression " Ho had not read very extensively from modom temperance litera- ture, but he had studied tho Book of Fro verb» pretty closely, and ho know that Solomon said many hard things about drink He found from tho records of coroners' inquests in this colon) that from about tbo beginning of tho year eight persons bad been declaro! bv juries to have died from the effects of drink If tho) dealt with druggists in regard to the sale of poisons, wh) should not they do something to mako public-house keepers moro careful m tho salo of intoxicating liquore * He was told, and he believed, that tho dancing saloons and billiard rooms of this colon) were of a bigbl) dangerous nature to tho morals of tho community. Ho thought tho resolution was not ono whit too strone in its languages

The resolution was seconded by Mr. LVAOLEV, and carried unanimously

A person in tho body of tho hall thought it would bo «eli to begin at Newtown, where, on Sunday mornings, liquor was supplied in somo instances to persons during tho

hours of divino service.

Tho Bcv. S. C. KENT said the) had no power to begin at Newtown until thoy obtained tho Permisaivo Bill

When that was obtained ho hoped Nowtown would bo the first to obtain a msjont) of two thirds (Cheers )

A vote of thanks waa awarded to the chairman, and tho meeting clo«cd at 10 o clock.

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