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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

Temperance Report, 1872

page 31

Temperance Report, 1872.

Your Committee in presenting their report have to state that their attention was mainly directed to cooperation with the "Otago Temperance Alliance," in getting petitions signed in favour of the Permissive Bill which was before Parliament. That there is need for vigorous efforts being put forth in this direction will appear when it is known that public houses are increasing to an alarming extent. In 1869 their number was 463; while in 1872 they have increased to 571, an increase of 108. There are in this Province, including Southland—
  • 72 Wholesale Licenses, or 1 for every 722 persons above 15 years.
  • 144 Bottle Licenses, or 1 for every 361 persons above 15 years.
  • 571 Hotel and Accommodation 92 persons above 15 years.
  • 715 Hotel and Bottle or 1 for every 74 persons above 15 years.
  • 787 Licenses of all kinds or 1 for every 67 persons above 15 years.

Your Committee find from returns furnished, that 1077 arrests took place for drunkenness during the past year, while in 1869 there were 1091 convictions; showing a decrease of open drunkenness.

In view of the number of places for selling intoxicating drinks, and prevalence of drunkenness, your Committee would respectfully yet earnestly urge this Church to bestir herself, and endeavour to create a healthy public opinion on the subject, and seek to help in getting a legislative enactment passed embodying the principles of the Permissive Bill. As an encouragement to greater effort in this direction, the gratifying fact was stated by the late Premier, "That never before had so many people in the Colony united to petition for any one object."

Your Committee are glad in being able to inform this court that Total Abstinence Societies and Bands of Hope have been formed in various districts during the year; also that considerable efforts were put forth by the Sons and Daughters of Temperance and Good Templars for the suppression of intemperance.

Your Committee have seen with pleasure the efforts made by the Justices in Dunedin to reduce the number of public houses within the city at last Licensing Court, and they hope that the public generally, and this Church in particular, will give the approval and moral support which such efforts deserve.

Your Committee would again suggest that the Synod recommend Ministers to preach on the subject during the year, and encourage the establishment of Temperance Societies and Bands of Hope in the districts where they do not exist.

James Clark

, Convener.