Analysis of alcohol's effects

Portion of a crop of 9000 tomato plants on Mr Phil Miller's orchard, Cromwell Gorge. - Otago Witness, 21.5.1919
Portion of a crop of 9000 tomato plants on Mr Phil Miller's orchard, Cromwell Gorge. - Otago Witness, 21.5.1919
The community will enjoy only a short respite before it is again involved in a heated controversy over the prohibition issue. It is of some interest to turn to the report of a committee, appointed by the Central Control Board, which purports to contain a scientific and judicial pronouncement respecting the nature of alcohol and its effects on the human system.

To suggest that the verdict of the committee on the subject is final would be idle. The genuine scientist never claims to have reached finality or infallibility, and is ever seeking the fresh light that may come to him as a result of his laboratory experiments and physiological researches.

It was the object of the Central Control Board, representing those possessing the highest theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject, to ascertain the physiological action of alcohol, and more particularly the effects on health and industrial efficiency of those who are in the habit of consuming beverages of various alcoholic strengths.

Movies' questionable influence

Speaking at the Boy's Institute in Wellington, the Hon. J. A. Hanan expressed strong disapproval of certain pictures being shown in cinema theatres and of the too frequent attendance of children at such shows. ''I regret to say,'' said the Minister, ''that I am receiving complaints against some of the pictures being shown in certain parts of this country.

These pictures are of a debasing character. There is no doubt that such pictures exercise a baneful influence on juvenile minds.'' But Mr Hanan said he had drawn the attention of the Minister of Internal Affairs to the need for more effective control.

The Minister expressed the hope that the legislation dealing with juvenile labour, to be brought down next session, would also deal with the too frequent attendance of young children at picture shows.

The Hon. G. W. Russell informed a reporter that reports were being obtained. ''As Minister in charge of the censorship of films I have never contemplated that it was possible to reduce the standard of films shown to the level of school children, any more than it would be possible to reduce the level of current newspapers or general literature to the same standard. If there are pictures being shown which are not quite suitable for children of tender years to see, the responsibility is on the parents to restrain the children from going to see them.''

Small-bird problem

Small birds are reported to be very numerous in various parts of Ashburton County, and the rapidity with which the pest is increasing has been causing grain-growers some anxiety. In the Lauriston and Lyndhurst districts sparrows are to be seen in myriads, and it is reported that they are creating havoc in some instances amongst bags of wheat stacks in the paddock awaiting transport.

Hotels open for returning troops

An overseas ship landed a draft of returning soldiers at Wellington on Saturday, but the Government did not order as usual that the hotels be closed, and they remained open for the sale of liquor for the whole day. The Acting Prime Minister (Sir James Allen), when asked about the matter, said that on advice he had received he determined not to close the hotels on Saturday to see what the effect would be.

- ODT, 15.5.1919


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