23 FEBRUARY 1901, Page 2

On Tuesday and Wednesday the temperance question vras debated at

great length, and the Government were urged to deal with the matter. Mr; Ritchie, who spoke for the Government, repudiated the notion that the Bill to stop drunkenness promiped in the King's Speech was a trifling police measure. The new Bill was- not merely a 'chucking-out" Bill, but embodied the recommendations of the Commission as to habitual drunkards, and would make license-holders liable to a special penalty for supplying men who, to their knowledge, had been several times punished for drunken- ness. Special officers would also be appointed to supply licensing authorities with information as to the way in which publie-hotwee were conducted. Other recommendations of the Commission would also be adopted. Till we have seen the Bill we cannot, of course, pronounce on its provisions, but Mr. Ritchie's forecast seems promising. It is pleasant to turn from the wranglings of the Parliamentary teetotalers to the excellent work done by the People's Refreshment House Association, described elsewhere. While others have been declaiming, they have been. doing something, though, no doubt, at present only a small thing, to deal practically with the real question, how to induce the liquor-consuming popula- tion of this country—for liquor-consuming they will remain— to be decent and sober as well as liquor-consuming.