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I LEDBURY TEMPERANCE MISSIONS. I I Opening Night Last Night (Thursday). I Last (Thursday) night the Temperence Mission promoted by the Ledbury Temperance Council, which concludes on Monday night, was opened at the Town Hall, Ledbury, when there was only a moderate attendance, doubtless owing to the wild weather. The missioner for the first two nights is Mr G A Neal, of Plymouth, representative of the Western League, and from Saturday to Monday (inclu- sive) the missioner will be Mr George Blaiklock, barrister-at-law, of London, a well-known temperence advocate. Last (Thursday) night the Rev H A Barnes (chairman of the Ledbury Temperance Council), presided and was supported by Mr Neal. The Council choir occupied a position on the platform, but apart from those on the platform there were not more than 40 in the hall when the meeting was opened. It was in the fitness of things that the opening hymn should be Fierce and wild the storm is raging," for certainly it was outside. After this hymn the Chairman offered up prayer, and further hymns were sung, and the Chair- man read a portion of scripture. THE CHAIRMAN'S REMARKS. I The Chairman, in his opening remarks, said that the results of a mission of that kind were very far reaching, and however small the result, yet it was worth the labour, and the good done was very difficult to estimate. Even a change of views on the part of one individual might have very far-reaching results. Alcohol taken into the body deadened physical feeling, and it acted as a physical anasthetic. It also acted as a moral anasthetic, and deadened moral feeling. Alcohol not only disturbed the physical sensibilities, but also destroyed the moral sensibilities. There were many reasons why men should not take alcohol, as it might lead to physical and moral ruin it set a bad example, on the part of people who might be of strong will, before their weaker brethren and sisters. He went on to speak of the terrible effects of excessive drinking, and said as Christian men and women they should set an example of self- denial, which was for the good of themselves and the good of others. (Applause). THE PROBLEM OF INTEMPERANCE.' I Mr Neal, in the course of a lengthy and interesting address, said no one 40 years of age could possibly say that there was no problem of intemperance, as all of them must have seen someone cursed with the indulgence in strong drink. Last year they spent 161i- millions on strong drink, and 100 millions of that came from the working classes, so their experts told them. He saw in a paper that they were spending £ 1 to 30s per head of the population on armaments, and that was an ex- travagant expenditure. But what about the £3 10s 9d per head of the population spent on strong drink, so somebody had something- to drink, as everybody did not spend their B5 10s 9d. And what had they got for it ? Increased pauperism, over- crowded goals, well-filled lunatic asylums and others qualifying, disease multiplied enormously, unemployment aggravated, and worse still, a large number of people made unemployable. The problem of intemperance was political, religious and social. Every party, irrespective of party politics, were agreed on the question that there was a problem. Mr Balfour would not have a licensed house on his estate, Mr Bonar Law, Mr Asquith, Mr Lloyd George and other members of the House of Commons were teetotallers, as were 38 members of the Labour Party. The liquor traffic was established by law. He was sorry to see that the Hereford- shire Licensing Justices would not make the full levy under Mr Balfour's Licensing Act, and their justices could not do what the Act provided they should do. This matter would have to be dealt with through Parliament. They got the children prevented from going to public-houses by Act of Parliament, when no amount of moral suasion would effect it. Why should they not have Sunday closing of liquor shops? They would have to work on legislative lines to get Sunday Closing, and why should the devil's worst business be done on God's best day ? (Applause.) They must have Local Option so that they would have the right to say what number of pubs they should have and whether they should have any at all. The liquor traffic was a legalised trade and they could only fight it by legislative acts. They must also educate, before they could legislate. He defied any man to find him alchohol in nature under healthy conditions. Alchohol was the third most precious liquid in the world, but not in the living organism of man, because it was a nerve and brain poison. Legislation would have to be called into being to fight it, and people must be educated on the matter. The whole weight of influence of the liquor traffic was anti-Christian, and that they had to fight. As Christians how could they com- pomise with a thing the first effect of which was to rob a man of the power of self-control ? (Applause.) During the course of his address Mr Neal related many anecdotes of personal experiences, humourous and pathetic, and con- cluded with a telling appeal on the religious side of the question. (Applause.) The usual devotional exercises concluded the proceedings.



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