[Editor: This letter from Norman L. Beurle was published in The Argus (Melbourne), 23 October 1920. The Rev. Beurle was a campaigner in the temperance movement; this letter was written regarding the “local option” referenda held in Victoria on 21 October 1920.]
To the Editor of the Argus.
Sir, — I write with the “no-license” figures before me to say these things. We who have striven disinterestedly against priests (R.C. and otherwise), press, and publicans, are disappointed, but not disheartened.
We are democrats, and the vote of the people, for the most part, is against us. But we remember that, if democracy had held sway, not two, but 31, licensing districts would be “dry.” That degree of victory, which we have fairly earned, has been filched from us by traitors to democracy.
“By the will of the people,” as expressed in a simple majority vote, these men sit in Parliament; by the same will 31 districts have rejected the liquor trade, though only two can effect their wish. By what possible logic can men hold their seats on a simple majority vote, and continue a situation that the same simple majority has discredited and repudiated?
I wish to say, further, that the fight is only begun. Thirteen licensed traders have received “notice to quit.” This is only the first ripple of the tide, and all over the world the tide is on the turn.
— Yours, &c.,
NORMAN L. BEURLE,
President Baptist Union of Victoria.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 23 October 1920, p. 21
Also published in:
The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), 25 October 1920, p. 8
filch = to take something in a furtive manner, especially something of small value
R.C. = an abbreviation of “Roman Catholic”
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]