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THE RAID ON BOGUS CLUBS. IMPORTANT CASE AT CARDIFF. HEAVY FINE. At Cardiff Police-court on Wednesday (before Dr. Paine, Mr. J. W. Vacbell, and Mr. W. Sanders) John Evans, the manager of the Cathays Working Men's Club, 35, Cathays-terrace, was summoned for selling baer without a licence. Mr. Collingwood, deputy town-clerk, prosecuted for the police, and Mr. Lancaster, barrister, London, defended the case. Inspector Cox said that on the 13th of last month he, in company with Police-Sergeant Damm, went to 35, Cathays-terrace. The premises were used as a club. He found there four men in the back room, four biues, and two glasses on the mantelpiece containing beer. He saw the defen- dant-, who said he was the manager. There was a bagatelle table and boards for draughts, and a box of dominoes. In the front room there was an eighteen gallon cask, in front of the counter, and five eighteen gallon casks behind, with one on tap. There was a large number of blues and glasses and spirit measures. He asked defendant if the men present were mem- bers, and he said they were. He spoke to the men present, and they said that they were members. He seized all the beer, spirits, measures, &c., under the warrant. When cross-examined by Mr. Lancaster, the Inspector said that he bad known that the house was opened as a club over two years ago, but he did not take any steps against it until the 13th of November. He seized all the beer, a jar of whisky, and 40 blues and pints. He had been a member of the police force for over 24 years. Mr. Lancaster: Then, what right had you to seize the blues and glasses when the law only allows you to seize the beer and vessels containing beer or liquor ?—I don't know. Will you say upon your oath that all these vessels contained liquol" ?-No, I won't. Then you went in and seized everything that you could lay your hands on.—I took all. Mr. Lancaster said that, first of all, his friend, in opening his case having stated that the place was a club, the onus was diverted from him to Mr. Colling- wood, who had now to show that the club was not what it pretended to be, a bona fide club, and that the property of tha drinks sold and the articles seized was not in the club, but in the defendant or someone else, and in this way bring the case under the Act. If the property was vested in the club, then there was no sale under the Act. Besides, there was no sale bv Evans proved. The evidence rf the inspector showed no sale by Evans. If the police found on entering persons drinking beer and a person serving them, that would be evidence to bring the case within the meaning of the Act; but there was no evidence to show that Evans sold one farthing's worth of beer as the manager of the club, and, if so, any sale by a servant of a club was not a sale by retail contemplated by the Act. It had not been shown that the defendant was the owner or occupier of the premises, and his friend had not even troubled himself to show whether the defendant had a licence or not. { Mr. Collingwood: It has not been usual, but it can be done. Mr. Lancaster said that that only showed the high-handed manner in which the proceedings had been previously carried on. In this case there was no evidence of sale of beer, kc., by Evans, and it had not been shown that he was either the occu- pier or the owner of the premises. The only evi- dence was that beer had been supplied by some- body to somebody. He asked the bench if his objections were allowed, as, if eo, the case was at an end. Dr. Paine said that the bench would not allow the objections to over-ride the case, which must go on. Mr. Lancaster said that he hoped the bench would make a note of his objection, as it might be necessary iu future proceedings upon the present case. The defendant, John Evans, was then called by Mr. Lancaster. He said in the beginning of the year 1883 lie was with some of the members of the Working Men's Club at the Mackintosh Hotel. They theu determined to start a club, and he was appointed manager, at a salary of one guinea a week, with house, coal, and gas. The secretary hired the house, and he was handed £6 5s, by the members, and directed to procure the necessary furniture. There were about 180 or 200 members belonging to the club. There was a committee, secre- tarv, and treasurer, and he purchased goods by the direction of the committee. The front room was utilised as a bar. In the back room there was a bagatelle table and boirds for chess and draughts, and upstairs there was a reading room supplied with newspapers, books, He did not open the door to Inspector Cox. A member of the club did so. Every person present was a member of the club. Ali the beer, liquors, &c., belonged to the cJub. Nothing belonged to him, and everything seized by Inspector Cox was tha property of the club. They had a box for fines, which i were hand.'d to the Infirmary, and tliey subscribed as a club one guinea to the Infirmary from the funds. The next witness, the secretary of the club, then haiidud in a number of books—members' proposition book, subscription book, &e. The manager received subscriptions and entered them wit.ii his weekly receipts and expenditure. A minute book was handed in showing the name of everv member, who proposed him and who juoo-Jcii him, and aiso resolutions passed at committee meetings. Copies of the original rules were handed in and the alterations in them,S' owing i that ail She alterations had been duly certified and approved at. a subsequent meeting of the committee, The manager was then re-called and cross-ex- amine. by Mr. Collingwood. Tho first sum handed to him, £6 5s ,w;is subscribed by the original members, and wiUI ihis he purchased chairs, tables, &e. At the second meeting he was directed to order the liquors, &e. He also admitted that the rules were only revised on the 4-th of the last month. A special meeting of the members of the club was con- vened lor the purpose. The rent paid was 12s. a week for the first three months and 16s. per week afterwards. Mr. Collingwood proceeded to question the witness respecting the object in view when starl ing the club. Mr. Lancaster objected, on the ground that the object of the club was not at all relevant to the present proceedings. The oniy questions that could he asked related to the ownevsuip of the beer and liquor seized. Tho question was as to the co-ownership of the liquor, &c., in the members. There was no sale of beer to the memhers if they had a co-ownership in it, and the only ques- tion that could be asked was whether this was a bona fide affair or not. Ha objected to any ques- tion not relevant to this point. The Clerk thought that Mr. Collingwood's quest ions wero admissible. The witness was then examined as to the object of the club and the refreshments supplied and amusements provided, the object of the club being to provide rational recreation, and means of social intercourse among the members." Mr. T. Rees, the former secretary of the club, was called, and also Mrs. Martin, the owner of the premises, who let the premises to the club, not to the defendant Evans. The present secretary was also called, and gave evidence respecting the manner in which mem- bers were admitted and the formation of a com- mittee and the orders they gave to the manager, who ordered everything, but only according to the directions of the committee. Mr. Lancaster then addressed the bench for the defence. He said th.1t it was a prosecution under the Licensing Act of 1872, the 3rd Section of which dealt with the illicit sale of beer. But this clause was only applicable to persons who sold their own liquor, and could not he applied to persons selling the beer of another person. If the manager had sold beer to a man not a member of a club that sale would not be a sale within the meaning of the Act, for it was their beer, not his beer. There was a prima facie case that beer had been sold, but there was no evidence that Evans sold It, even if he wis the owner of it. If I'.vans sold beer as the manager of the club, then he might be acting under the orders he had re- ceived but, as there was a rule against, this, then the club would not be liable, as he was acting against orders. The first thing necessary to prove was that there was a sale of beer, and that Evans sold the beer as owner, not as manager. If he sold us manager, then the same charger might be brought against every club1 in the country, the Cardiff and County Club among them, and such clubs ought to b" visited by the police, and the managers, secre- tat ies, treasurers, and committees dragged to the police-court and subjected to a longcross-examina-1 tion to show t hat a man who had not, perhaps,; paid his subscription at th« proper time had beon supplied with liquor. Ttie whole question in this case for the bench to decide was the bona fides of the club. Some remarks or comments had been made in one of the local newspapers (the H'e'ieni Mail) by a magistrate of a neighbouring town respecting certain tests to he applied as to the lona fides of a club; but his suggestions on these points tfere the most extraordinary he had ever read. If persons consumed beer in which they had a co- ownership there was no sale. They must find that the owner of the beer who sold it was another person than he who consumed it. There would be no sale if there was co-ownership. Sir John Hcrschell had hold that to be tho case. If tWO or more persons clubbed together to buy a cask of beer, and hired a room in which to drink it, no matter if fitey had no other object in view, j the law couid not prevent them, even if, as bad been alleged in some of these cases, it was done to avoid the Sunday Closing Act. They could buy the beer, hire the room, pay for it hack as they consumed it glass by glass, and the law could not reach them. This was the law of the land, and the bench were bound to administer the law as it stood, and not the law of Local Option. There was no evidence to prove that this was not a bona fide club, and the bench, under the circumstances, were bound to dismiss the case. It was, in his opinion, a monstrous thing that the police should break into working men's clubs. They would not do so with other clubs, and as loDg as they confined themselves to the working men's clubs it would give a kind of foundation to an oft- repeated remark, that there was one law for the rich and another for the poor. Mr. Lancaster's address was much applauded at I the close. The Bench retired, and after an ahsence of a quarter of an hour returned into court, and Dr. Paine stated that the bench considered the case proved, and fined the defendant £ 25 and costs. Mr. Lancaster asked for judgment to be stayed,, and in the meantime a case would be prepared on the points raised for the judgment of a superior court. The Court consented to stay judgment for the purpose.