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DRINK AND PAUPERISM. CHESTER GUARDIANS' VIEWS. At a meeting of the Chester Board of Guardians, on Tuesday, Mr. Rowe Morris presiding, tho following resolution was :ecnved from the Hits -M ice i ve d from the Ha.s lingden Union: at this- Board of Guardians desires to place on record the fact that the accom- modation of the hou-o is taxed to its utmost capacity by reason of the great increase in the number of children und." the care of the Board and regrets to find that, in the great majority of cases children get here in consequence of the in- temperance of one or both parents, and that in view of tliese facte the Board desire to urge upon the licensing magistrates throughout the union the desirability of carefuliy considering the necessi- ties of each neighbourhood and of exercising to the utmost their powers in the interest, not only of tlie ratepayers, but. of the poor children who are sent here in consequence of the innumerable temptations. It was a!so added that copies of the resolution wow Id be sent to the Prime Minister Home Secretary, boards of guardians, and others with the observation that in the opinion of the Board drastic legislation was desirable to diminish or put down drinking in clubs. The Rev. m. Jones moved the adoption of this resolution. He did not think they had had a more important resolution be for- them for a long time because it really touched the mainspring of pauper- ism. Every member of the Board was really in. terostod in this question. Last year a gentleman who was on his way home met a drunken man on the road. The man asked if he was going the way to the workhouse., and the gentleman replied, "Oh. yes, you aro oil the way to the workhouse; every drunken man is." As guardians. they could say that drink pivod the way to the workhouse, th? prison and the asylum. Every licence was a temp- tat on to drink. and wherever there was an increase of drunkenness there was also an increase of pauperism. He was sorry to see. in a Manchester paper .a statement as to the increase in pauperism in Y» rexhani. He thought he was correct, in say ing that ther? were more facilities for drinking in Wrexham than in any town in North Wales. If they increased the facilities for dl inking they increased the drunkenness and eventually pauper ism. They were asked in the resolution to urge the magistrates to reduce the number of licences. He believed the magistrates in most town3 were wilimg to do that. provided there was strong public. opinion at their back, and he thought the Board could do something that day to stiengthen the hands of tho Chester magistrates. At the last brewster sessions he ventured to appear before the magistrates to protest agamst the granting of c full licence in the city. He did not wish to do harm to anyone. A great manv publicans were very decent men—{hear, hear)—tut he felt, as a minister of the Gospel and as a citizen, that he was bound to do -i ll in his power to curtail the tre mendous cvtl arising from drink, and to remove the temptations from the people- Every new iicenco was a legalised tc-.inptat.on in the way of the weak. It also toucned the question of the unemployed which affected boards of guardians. He thought any student of polit cal economy could prove that if, say, £ 100,000,000 of the money now spent in drink were spent on othf-r branches of trade there would ba no unemployed in our midst. Allu- ding to tho question .of ilubs, Mr. Jones urged that drinking clubs were a source of much mis chief, especially to young men. Personally, he would be very giad if clubs were given the same restrictions as publice-houses and hotels Mr. R. Dobson seconded the resolution. Tho question appealed to all the interests which were dear to them. It touched their pockets, and that was a very important interest. It also affected tbe interests of the children and he was sure they were all interested in the moral and material welfare of the community. Nine cases out of ten of poverty and distress among children were brought about by drink. He liked the-, resolution bccause it ap pealed to the fountain-heed of power. The chair- man of the Chester licensing magistrates had said there were 220 licensed houses in the city, giving 171 of the population to each licence and ex- pressed the opinion that the licences were far too many. The Bench made a very heroic attempt to reduce the number of public-houses last yoir, and they were all sorry that it failed. He. believed that an expression from a public body like the guardians would strengthen tJB hands of tlie I magistrates. It was an economic question, and not one as to whether they were all total abstainers. It was a question that affected the moral and material well-being of the community. The pro- portion of licensed houses in Chester was per- haps higher than in any other borough in the county, and. strange to say. the Cheater Union was ptying for pauperism 2s. 3d, per head of the population—the highest rate of any union in tho county. It would be seen from the figures in poor-law statements that the excessive cost of pauperism in every case went side by side with the excessive number of public-houses. Mr. M. Kennedy thought the resolution re- ferred more particularly to the question of clubs. He believed that a man who was carrying on a publie-houfo was deserving of a cert?,in protection against the competition of the drinking clubs, be- cause the latter paid no licence and was practically unrestricted. A publican in a tied house had to pay 42s a barrel for his beer, whereas the club by going into the open market, could piobtbly buy the same commodity for 38s. Clubs ought to be subject to the same police and magisterial super- vision as ordinary licensed houses. Mr. W. Vernon, in supporting the resolution, said he had come to the conclusion that no persons suffered more than children from tho great- preva- lence of public-houses. The average cost of tho drink bill in this country was JB4 per head. In Chester alone this meant an expenditure of £ 160 000 a year in drink. With regard to clubs, nothing would delight him more than a. law pro- hibiting the serving of drink in any club. (Hear, hear.) Tho Chairman said he did not like it to be in- ferred that the guardians thought. the licensing justices had not tried to do their duty. Mr. E. T. Hallmark I don't think they have. The Chairman Well, we differ there Mr. Hallmark said that considering there was ona public-house to every 173 men. women and children in Chester, the justices had not done their duty. The Chairman: I would hardlv say that. Mr. Halhna.ik replied thai. ho was prepared to say it. Anybody who travers.ed the streets of Chester must know that the number of public- house thnein were not for the benefit of the com- munity, and were not required. Did Frodsham- street, for instance, require seven or eight public- houses to supply the necessities of the neighbour- hood. He had occasion once to appear in a police court in opposition to a licence. There weie eight public-houses in the yicinity. and in spite of the fact that that particular house was at the time soiling half-a barrel a week the justices granted it a full licence. In consequence tho owners spent H500 or £ 600 upon the house, and by granting the full licence the magistrates practically made them a present of £ 1.000. He was prepared to say that the Chester magistrates had not done their duty in the past, and that the licences in Chester ought to be reduced by at least one-half. Mr. H. Preston thought they ought to be fair to the magistrates and bear in mind the dimcuities which confronted them in endeavouring to reduce the number of licences. After further discussion the resolution of the ILuslingden Union was adopted in the form of two separate resolutions.

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