Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

No Free Ride For Soccer Players

Responding to Vince Rugari's request to investigate soccer in Griffith/Riverina, I came across this doozy. It's a bit of fun but it also speaks to a number of important issues: 

  • the Depression and sport, 
  • social class and soccer, 
  • the supposed unfair treatment of soccer, 
  • and Australian bureacratic idiocy.

Murrumbidgee Irrigator, Friday 7 July 1933, page 1

'Scotty' Campbell made a passionate appeal to the police magistrate at the Leeton Petty Sessions Court yesterday, when John W. Staines was charged with carrying players to a football match on his lorry.
Why pick on the poor soccer boys and not the rich Rugby club. There were dozens of Rugby enthusiasts travelled in motor cars that day, was the text of his appeal. 
Railway Inspector Stanley, who laid the information, said that on April 30, the defendant conveyed 12 passengers from Leeton to Griffith to a football match, when on that day a special train also ran.
The defendant; John W. Staines, said that he had to go to Griffith on that day and he offered to take the Soccer players, who were in low financial circumstances, over on his lorry free of charge. He was not aware of the Road Transport Act. 
Inspector Stanley drew attention to the fact that the lorry driver for carrying passengers on a vehicle constructed for carrying goods, was liable to pay one penny per mile per passenger. Reckoning at 30 miles to Griffith, that was 5/ per passenger to Griffith and back, whereas the fare on the special train that ran under the guarantee of the Rugby club, was only 3/3. 
Sergeant Thomson said that this was the first case of its kind in Leeton, although others were pending. A civilian had approached him for permission to speak to the court. Mr. Parker agreed to let him have his say, and 'Scotty' said his piece. 
Mr. Campbell also added that travelling on lorries had been going on for years. All the Soccer boys were poor, most of them out of work, and if it hadn't been for the generosity of Mr. Staines, the team couldn't have travelled anywhere.
Mr. Parker said he could only observe the law. Being the first case he would only inflict a nominal penalty; of £1, with 8/ costs and £3 road compensation. A month was allowed to pay. 
Approached after the above case, Mr. Stanley informed our representative that the carrying of passengers on vehicles primarily constructed for carrying goods is prohibited, unless a special permit is applied for from the police. Only 1/ is charged for such permit, and a permit must be secured for each trip. The Railway Authorities then deal with each case on its merits. If the trip is not made in competition with the trains, then the charge of one penny per mile per passenger may not be imposed.

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