Asian Studies Program

Chinese Australia

Digital Documents Record

56 Resident complains that Chinese are selling liquor without a license in Darwin, 1902

Full Document Caption:
A resident of Darwin complains that Chinese fruit shops are selling liquor without a liquor license and that this is being overlooked by the police force.

Source: ‘Illegal grog “shanties”’, Northern Territory Times , 18/7/1902

Region: Date From: 1902 To: 1902
Northern Territory    

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Illegal Grog "Shanties."


SIR - It is about time the attention of the public was drawn to the disgraceful and illegal way in which drink is dispensed on Sunday by some of the Chinese since our police appear to have too much to occupy their attention at other parts of the town on that day. But Sunday is not the only time the law is infringed by these aliens. Any night of the week - particularly Saturday night, - these dens present a more flourishing appearance than any of the hotels in the town. Whether they keepers of these foul dens pay any license I know not, but judging by the cheap and nasty way in which liquor is served out I should be inclined to think they do not.

As far as I can learn these are frequented by some of the working classes whose occupation keeps them employed on be [sic] outskirts of the town, and drink is so much cheaper at the Chinese than it is at the hotels. The most prominent feature about the frequenters of these frouzy fruit shops, is their persistent howl about Chinese cheap labour, which was most apparent at the recent elections.

One night last week a report was current to the effect that a man was missing. On a search being made, however, the missing one was found, with three other men, one of these dens, each with a long glass of beer beside him.

That this sort of thing is allowed to go unchecked reflects great credit of our present police force. I have often noticed with what zeal the police watch the white publicans, with the hope of catching them supplying [one line not clear] open after hours.

Do the police ever enter these dens and ascertain if the occupants hold a storekeepers license! or any license for the sale of liquor! If not, why not.

Trusting these few remarks will have the effect of lessening, if not abolishing this disgraceful traffic.

I am, Sir, etc.,

Port Darwin, 15th July 1902.