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(From Our Own Correspondent.)
ALL ABOUT WOMEN.
Quite a flutter has been caused, it feminine and clerical circles at least by an address delivered in the Ration alist Association rooms last week bj a lady who, according to her owi showing, is also a Sydney Domair orator.; ''Woman and religion" was her text, and her contention was that every religion in the world, everj superstitious - religion, enslaved ' th< woman and proclaimed > her in feriority to man. Here are some ol her very :best efforts: "The God ol the Bible, is : man-made. . . . Th« God of the Bible is a he-man. . . . When we turn to the Bible we find that It definitely proclaims womar to be inferior. . . . We 'find in the Bible that woman is looked upon as a necessary evil. . . .. The Christian religion has dragged woman down to the gutter. . . . Religion being a male priesthood, men learned to enjoy the monopoly of power; consequently we find that religion sees to it that no woman enters into it. . . ... Woman has always been a mystery to mat:. When we find that even now in th:s era-of 1933 man. does not understand woman, so what must he have thought a thousand years ago. . . . There is no one so foolish to-day to defend the Church at to-its degradation of women." <r";/:
Archbishop Duhig subsequently made-reference to the subject when addressing the Catholic. Daughters of Australia. , Far . from enslaving women,' he . contended, Christianity had given her real freedom, and liberated her. from being the slave of man. It was the looseness of -the morals of the age. he said, that was spoiling women. Hundreds of young women were being degraded through men taking strong drink to dances and inducing them to drink.^ The
amount bf drinking now being done in motor cars, places where drink was being-sold illicitly, and at dance halls and other places of amusement, he suggested, was appalling. ' Hund- reds of young women were being de- stroyed bjr young men who brought strong drink into dance halls, and if he were challenged to do so he could prove his statement by first-
"Thc Archbishop has received both support and criticism of his utter- ances. The State Superintendent of the Prohibition League looks at. the subject through tinted prohibition spectacles. Drink, he says, is some- times sold at .dances illegally;by pro- moters of dances, or nearby publicans, and he suggests legal measures to prevent the practice. The Brigadier of the Salvation-Army , endorses what the Archbishop says, "especially with regard to country places." A lot of th's sort of thing, he adds, goes on ,at picnic races. Generally speaking, according to the Army head, there is better control in the city, but' it . is quite common for parties to motor out as far as 50 miles for an orgy at a dance in some- country centre. The Lady Mayoress recalls her "much criticised reference, when she first assumed her official position, to young girls smoking and drinking'at dances, and adds that she has not noticed any irriprcvement since. The secretary of the Young Women's Christian As
sociat'on : admita that in the course of her work she has had experiences which confirm the Archbishop's state- ment'concerning the temptations to young women and girls to drink dangers and temptations which were the more deplorable because of the splendid characteristics of the young people of to-day.
Other v'ews than those already mentioned have also found expres- sion. For instance, the executive of Health of the City Council mentions that no complaints of the practices tb which Archbishop Duhig referred had been brought under his. not ce. The president of the National Coun- cil of Women does not think the young people to-day are any worse than they were in the past, though we are more critical of them. Things, she says, are done more openly and frankly and "if there is. any loosening of moral restraint trie Church is partly to blame for haying to a cer-
tain extent lost its influence over the community." Mrs; Irene Long- man, former M.L.A., mellowed and broadened by her political associa- tions and experiences, very definitely asserts that the majority of' young people are good living, and more in- terested in "sport than' in smoking and cocktails. She disagrees with the Archbishop's, suggestion ' that the morals of the. age are- loose, and thinks there has been a good deal Of
exaggeration in regard, to: the drink question.- ..The lady principal of one of Brisbane's leading secondary girls' school gave; it as .her testimony that in. the young .girls with.; whom she canie in. contact she found a serious- ness and sense of responsibility that was' highly commendable. She . had never received any [ impression pf looseness bf morals, though she .had heard such, criticism before. The president of the Country Women's Association says the girls with whom she comes closely in contact had high: ideals, and a very earnest, desire to do right;* as well as a 'strong idea of service.
Meántime, Miss Brisbane is, not bothering very much what the critics say about her, one Way or another; her principal mental occupât'on at the moment is what she shall do at Easter.
WHO IS TO RULE?
Greater .Brisbane ratepayers elected a Lord Mayor and 20 aldermen to rule the city. As a matter of fact, however, the city has been ruled by the Lord Mayor and the Executive.« of Finance, Health, Transit and Works. This , is the ''civic executive" system, a creation of the Greater Brisbane Act, in practical operation.
The 15 aldermen on".; the "outer
outer" -have, however, become more and more restive. It is true they haye a field'day once a week, to talk, blow off steam, and pct their names in the papers, but th:s, to them, Sancho Panza .sort of 'existence has become irksome and revolt is,in the air. Labor aldermen particularly; are up in arms against the executive''sys- tem, and more especially since their overtures to the Labor Government to bring back the committee system ?were not- favorably received. As ap; parently the executive system is not to be ended-until if has had a fair trial at any rate-efforts are now ber ing made to mend it 'As a first move the powers and status of the
executive are ta be called into ques- tion, and with that object in view a special meeting of the council IE to be held this week. Just where the powers of the executive end and those of the council commença is a somewhat moot legal point, and even the lawyers differ in th s regard in interpreting the Greater Brisbane Act. Just how seriously the powers of the council and executive conflict was exemplified recently when the executive (in this instance the Lord
Mayor) promised to loan the ser- vices of the chief engineer for Water and Sewerage to the Government to report on the Mackay Harbor Scheme. When the matter came before the council a majority vote was cast against loaning the engineer, but the executive over-ruled that vote and the engineer went io Mackay. A little time back the Civic Executive, off its own bat, granted the Tram- ways manager six months leave of absence on full pay, and the council as a whole was apparently powerless to Over-ride the action, of the execu- tive if it happened to want to. It is i now. suggested that the council had
power to define the authority of the executive by ordinance. . The Home Secretary, possibly inspired by thc opinion of the Crown Law Authori- ties, "thinks it both can and should, but if it cannot, he has foreshadowed the introduction of legislation to en- able it to do so. The special meet ing/'this week,' at which there will be a full-dress debate, and which will be asserted by the considered opinion bf various, counsel, 'should at least clarify the position. . .
THE ILLICIT DRUG TRAFFIC.
Smart work by a Customs inspector last week resulted in the apprehen- sion and _ conviction of a dealer in cocaine, in whose possession ten ounces of the drug were found. The Customs authorities and the Criminal Investigation Department wage a continual warfare aga:nst illicit traffic in drugs, but convictions are" rare, as the authorities .are up against par- ticularly astute " people who have strong financial -backing. Certain premises in the city frequented' by members of both sixes are suspected of being the headquarters of a well organised gang of drug dealers, but the police So far have failed to obtain
any tangible evidence to secure a j
conviction. On at least half-a dosen' occasions unofficial searches have been made of suspected partes, but without result The. illicit "snow" trade in Brisbane is probably more widely spread than is generally sus- pected, 'and the heads of the gangs are by no means over-scrupulous as to their methods. Vessels from the East are' the. chief source of supply, and Customs officers .wage a never ending war against the importation of prohibited drugs.
MARCH WOOL SALES.
The vigorous, well-sustained and general nature of the competition at the Brisbane March series of wool sales disclosed à very buoyant market which, though showing no improve- ment on prices ruling at the February series, maintained a very ? firm tone throughout. "The offering was rarely up . to average standard, the selection containing a lower percentage of well grown, stylish wools from Southern Queensland and à correspondingly
higher proportion. of dusty, lean stapled wools than was available at the February sales. ; Central-western, Northern and many of the Western clips were well below their best stand- ard, the dry conditions in these areas having deprived the wool of much of its normal body and caused it to carry,, to its detriment, more or less earth. In many of the Central-western 'clips also, seed was apparent in the wool,
often to an extent which had a seri- ous effect on its value. The offering of scoureds was considerably heavier than usual, the selection in this sec- tion being of average standard, but embodying few lots of outstanding quality and style. Japanese, German, French and English buyers were par- ticularly active» the first-mentioned section being the most important from the point of view" of volume of pur- chases. English, buyers, as was to be expected, found much of. the offering unsuited for their, orders,_ but the I French and German sections pur-
chased freely of the earth affected and hunger-fine wools previously referred |to. Scoureds met with all the keen demand which characterised the sale of the greasy wool, the result being that practically full clearances were effected "and the market closed with a cheerful and-confident tone.