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Friday, 3 November 1905

In Committee(Consideration of House of Representatives' message) :

Clause 21 (Restrictions on intoxicants and opium).

Senate's Amendment.- Leave out clause, and insert the following new clause in lieu thereof : - " Intoxicants may be purchased imported into manufactured and sold in the Territory only by the Lieutenant-Governor or by officers duly appointed in that behalf and under regulations and conditions to be prescribed by the LieutenantGovernor relating to the purchase importation manufacture and sale thereof.

No person other than as provided in the immediately preceding paragraph shall import into manufacture or sell in the Territory any intoxicants.

Penalty : One hundred pounds.

Intoxicants for the purposes of this section shall mean any wine spirits ale beer porter cider perry or other spirituous or fermented liquor of an intoxicating nature."

House of Representatives' Message.- Amendment to leave out clause 21 agreed to, but the proposed new clause disagreed to, and the following clause agreed to in place thereof, viz. : -

21.   - (1) After the commencement of this Act, licences shall not be granted in the Territory in excess of the number of licences in existence at the commencement of this Act.

(2)   'The number of licences in the Territory may be reduced or licences may be abolished in the Territory in accordance with this section.

(3)   A poll may be taken in the whole Territory or in any Division thereof, once in each year, for the purpose of obtaining the vote of the people on the question whether the number of licences for the sale of intoxicating liquors shall be reduced by any and what number.

(4)   Subject to sub-section (3), a poll under this section shall be taken in the Territory or a Division thereof when requested by petition to the Lieutenant-Governor, signed by one-fourth of the people in the Territory or Division. Provided that the first poll under this section shall be taken at a period not later than nine months from the proclamation of this Act.

(5)   The adult white people shall for the purposes of this section be deemed to be the people of the Territory or Division, as the case requires.

(6)   The times and manner of taking a poll and the manner of giving effect to the decision arrived at by the poll taken shall be as directed by Ordinance.

(7)   No person shall supply to any native by sale gift or in any other way either directly or indirectly any intoxicating liquor and any person offending against the provisions of this sub-section shall be liable on conviction in a summary manner to a fine of not less than Twenty pounds and not exceeding Two hundred pounds and to imprisonment for any term not less than one month and not exceeding two years

Provided that it shall not be an offence under this sub-section for any person, for any urgent cause or necessity (the burden of proof whereof shall rest upon him) to administer intoxicating liquor to a native for purely medical purposes and without recompense or remuneration.

(8)   It shall not be lawful for any native To have in his possession any intoxicating liquor, in any Division in which licences have been abolished or (except for the sole purpose of carriage the burden of proof whereof for the purpose only of confiscation shall rest , upon the owner of the liquor) in any Division in which a licence exists. If this sub-section is contravened the liquor may be seized by any officer exercising judicial functions, who shall in a summary manner direct that it be confiscated, and that it be disposed of according to his discretion, and the native shall be liable on conviction in a summary manner to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months.

(9)   In this section -

(a)   " licence " means a licence for the sale of intoxicating liquor ;

(b)   "intoxicating liquor " means any spiritu ous or fermented liquor of an intoxicating nature used or intended to be used as a beverage ;

(c)   "native " means any person in the Terri tory not of European descent.

Senator PLAYFORD (South AustraliaMinister of Defence). - This Billhas had a very unusual history. It was introduced in the first place on the 23rd July, 1903, by Sir Edmund Barton. On that occasion the second reading was carried, but the Bill was not passed by the House of Representatives. On the 13th July, 1904, Mr. Hughes, as Minister of External Affairs in the Watson Government, introduced the Bill, but the Government of which he was. a member went out of office before it was carried through. Then it was taken up by Mr. Reid, and was passed through the House of Representatives. The second reading of the Bill was moved in the Senate in 1904 by Senator Symon. There has been no trouble between the two Housesin connexion with the Bill, except on one point. As passed by the House of Representatives the Bill contained a provision for the total prohibition of the sale or disposal of intoxicants and opium. It provided that intoxicants should not be imported, manufactured or sold, or otherwise disposed of, in the Territory except practically for medicinal purpose. The Senate struck out that provision, and inserted a clause for Government control of the liquor traffic. The prorogation took place before the Bill could be finally passed, and it has since been revived in the House of Representatives at the stage which it had reached last session when the prorogation took place. A further alteration has been made in connexion with intoxicants, the House of Representatives having provided for local option. Three stages have been gone through during the time the Bill has been before Parliament. It has successively provided for prohibition, Government control, and local option.

Senator Millen - The variation has been in respect to the white population, and the Bill has provided all through for prohibition, so far as the natives of the Territory are concerned.

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