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Temperance and Prohibition in New Zealand

(1) The Anglican Church

(1) The Anglican Church

In the Church of England there were divided counsels from the first in regard to No-License. In 1896 the Bishop of Dunedin and certain of his clergy opposed the reform in Diocesan Synod. In subsequent years the Auckland Church Gazette protested against lax enforcement of licensing laws, the page 156 Christchurch Synod reported favourably on the Gothenburgh System. Bishop Julius of Christchurch, in 1899, advocated No-License, as did the Waiapu Synod. The Otago Synod in 1901 declared Prohibition ‘irrational.’ In 1903, at Wellington, one clergyman was found defending the existing liquor traffic. In 1904, the Bishop of Auckland (Dr. Neligan) expressed himself as unable to approve Prohibition. In 1905 the Nelson Synod expressed its sympathy with efforts to remedy the evil from drink, and the Auckland Synod carried unanimously a resolution in favour of Local Option. In 1908 the Anglican Synod carried unanimously a resolution supporting No-License and Local Option, and at Napier in 1911, Synod again urged members of the church to do all in their power ‘to cope with what cannot but be regarded as a national curse.’ In 1922 the General Synod at Auckland adopted the following resolution:

‘That this Synod expresses its strong conviction, that it is the bounden duty of Christian people, unless they are prepared to vote for total Prohibition, to find some other drastic remedy for an evil which is sapping the morals and efficiency of the community.

The Corporate Control proposals were evolved as ‘some other drastic remedy,’ but despite very vigorous efforts, not a single Synod endorsed these proposals; Archbishop Julius described them as likely to ‘advantage the Trade,’ and ‘do serious harm to the community,’ so that these proposals were not acceptable as a ‘drastic remedy.’ The position, therefore, is that the 1922 resolution stands as the attitude of General Synod on the liquor question.