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Temperance and Prohibition in New Zealand



At the 1912 Annual Convention which was held in Wellington, the Rev. J. Cocker introduced the subject of ‘Political Organization.’ A long and vigorous discussion ensued, after which the following resolution was carried unanimously and with great enthusiasm:

‘That No-License Leagues be requested to take steps to secure at least 1,000 voters in each electorate to pledge themselves, regardless of party, not to vote for any Parliamentary candidate who will not pledge himself to support a measure to reduce the three-fifths majority required to carry No-License and Dominion Prohibition.’

This Democratic Vote Campaign which was based upon the principle contained in the above page 111 resolution was conducted with vigour and enthusiasm. The report to the 1913 Convention stated that the president, Mr. Wesley Spragg, and the secretary, the Rev. John Dawson, had held meetings in fifty electorates and at a number of them Dr. H. D. Bedford had also been a speaker. The campaign proved a helpful method for securing justice at the ballot box. Mr. J. McCombs wrote a pamphlet on Justice Demanded. Miss Henderson and co-workers issued The Reformer, which had a monthly circulation of 30,000. In the cities, workers had tables in the streets and persons thus had opportunities of signing the pledge in connexion with the Democratic Vote Campaign. At the 1913 Annual Convention, which was held in Christchurch, the decision of the 1912 Convention was re-affirmed with unanimity and enthusiasm, and it was determined to continue the fight for the removal of the three-fifths handicap.