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PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY’S REPORT
Every Constructive Proposal Has Been Advocated by Prohibition Unit; Legislation Designed to Put These Proposals Into Effect Killed in Senate by Filibuster; Penn Legislature Derelict in Duty A special federal grand jury of Phila delphia after an investigation begun last November into the law enforcement sit uation in the Philadelphia area and after holding more than 24 sessions and exam ining more than 150 witnesses, failed to return any indictments. The grand jury, however, made certain specific recom mendations that have attracted nation wide attention. Among its recommenda tions are the following: Civil service appointments for dry agents and employees. Change of prohibition enforcement from Treasury Department to the Department of Justice. Prohibit sale of alcohol from one distillery to another distillery. If alcohol is to be denatured re quire that that be done where it is manufactured. Strangely enough this grand jury made no reference whatever to the fact that Philadelphia did not give a vote in the Legislature to enact the United Dry Bill which was designed to remedy among other things the industrial alcohol evil. Certain newspapers unfriendly to prohi bition have hailed this grand jury’s find ings as evidence that the national prohi bition unit is falling down on its law en forcement program. It must be remembered that the states have responsibilities as well as the federal government in the enforcement of the prohibition law, and Pennsylvania is one of the states in the Union where state re sponsibility has been shirked. Governor Pinchot did his utmost and the various temperance organizations of the state did their best to secure legislation that would give state officers more authority in con trolling the brewery and industrial alco hol situation. The jury’s recommenda tion that the prohibition enforcement unit be transferred from the treasury de partment to the department of justice is not in accord with the judgment of the prohibition enforcement chiefs who, be cause of their experience, are better qual ified to speak on this matter than anyone ' else. This question was thoroughly dis cussed and considered from all angles when the matter of reorganization of the prohibition unit was before Congress and those most interested in bringing about more effective enforcement of the law were convinced that it is not the practi cal plan. The fact is, in Philadelphia one of the chief reasons for lax enforcement is the failure of the courts and the United States district attorney to use the full power of the law in suppressing lawless ness. Therefore Wayne B. Wheeler’s statement is fully justified in comment ing upon this grand jury’s recommenda tions, that the communities where the justice department’s agents are least ac tive are loudest in their demands for turning the prohibition department over to the justice department. Mr. Wheeler said: Justice Dept. Not Doing Its Duty The Philadelphia grand jury centers its criticism on the federal prohibition offi cials and ignores r.11 the failures of state officials and of federal officers within the city of Philadelphia. Every constructive recommendation made by the grand jury has been advo cated by the prohibition forces and the prohibition unit, such as denaturing alco hol at the manufacturing plant, Civil Ser vice, reorganization of the department, re vision of regulations, control of industrial alcohol, and a better control of the whole alcohol supply to prevent its diversion. The bills introduced into Congress to remedy this were defeated by a filibuster. The grand jury ignored the fact that Philadelphia did not give a vote in the Legislature to enact a code to remedy the situation. The state is just as much re sponsible for the existing lawlessness as the federal government. The federal government has few officers, while Phila delphia alone has 7,500 policemen and many other city and county officers. The greatest weakness of prohibition enforcement in Philadelphia is the failure of the courts and the United States dis trict attorney to use the law to suppress lawlessness. There is enough evidence available but too few prosecutions. At first the courts unexpectedly re fused to permit injunctions until crimi nal cases were prosecuted. Then the representative of the justice department at Washington and the prohibition unit insisted upon libel cases against breweries because of this unprecedented ruling. This plan was started but is not being followed up. They now refuse to start injunction proceedings where libel cases have been prosecuted. Should Use Injunction If the justice department representative and courts in Philadelphia will use the in junction process there will be better en forcement. The recommendation to give the state prohibition director full control will not help. This was practically done in Pennsylvania at the beginning of na tional prohibition and two directors were indicted. If there were no check from the outside there would be worse conditions in these states that want full control. Another significant fact is that the communities where the justice department representatives are least active are loud est in their demands for turning the pro hibition department over to the justice department. There is nothing in Phila delphia to indicate that this would im prove law enforcement. IRISH TRADE DISAPPOINTED Indignant That No Representatives of Their Organization Appointed on Liquor Commission The liquor trade in Ireland has pro tested to the government that the trade has not been treated fairly in the appoint ment of the intoxicating liquor commis sion. The secretary of the Licensed Grocers and Vintners Association, speaking for that association, has made- known the surprise and indignation of the trade at the failure of the government to appoint two or more members of that organiza tion on the personnel of the commission. The association says that the majority of the members were appointed because they were biased against the trade as made known by the views to which they had in dividually given utterance from time to time. In reply to the protest the Minister of Justice said that after due consideration he came to the conclusion that it would be inadvisable to give direct representa tion to the licensed trade or to organized temperance bodies. Both these sides will have every opportunity of putting their views before the commission, hovrever, he said. CURRAN DEFIES WET ENEMIES Rev. J. J. Curran, of Wilkes-barre Not Intimidated by Threats of Boot leggers; Will Continue Fight Rev. J. J. Curran, of Wilkesbarre, Pa., has received letters threatening his life and threatening to blow up his house if he docs not cease his prohibition enforce ment activities. In a statement issued March 21 Father Curran defies his ene mies, branding them as cowards. He furthermore says that he has no inten tion of ceasing his law enforcement ac tivities. He says; If there is any lion’s blood in me it has now been stirred to the boiling point. It would be foolhardy for me to do anything unless the prohibition officials make an honest effort at law enforcement, but if conditions are not ' changed I intend to resort to all the powers at my command to curb this wholesale violation of law. With honest cooperation on the part of government officials 1 am willing to carry this proposition through to tiie end, with a conference with Presi dent Coolidge regarding the situa ' tion as my ultimate goal. A guard is being maintained around Father Curran’s house. UNITED DRYS OF ENGLAND Meet the United Distillers and Contest is on Which Has for Goal Prohibition Following the news that the big dis tilling interests of Great Britain have merged into the greatest liquor corpora tion the world has ever seen, comes the announcement that the 37 temperance or ganizations of Great Britain have joined forces for a forward movement, the final goal of which is prohibition. "If prohi bition is a failure in America that is the sort of a failure we want over here,” is the slogan of the amalgamated dry forces. At the head of the forces are such men as former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philips Nodin, Lord Astor, conservist, Isaac Foot, liberalist, and Sydney Webb, laborite. The temperance forces are steadily gathering strength and plan o popularize the idea of prohibition and then intrbduce legislation in Parliament. Judge E. S. Farrington of the United States district court, Carson City, Nevada, ordered closed under abatement proceed ings for the period of one year, 24 places where liquor wa3 being sold contrary to law. WOULD PAY GERMAN WAR DEBT Drink Bill for Individual is Ten Dollars Annually; Teaching Children Temperance ’ Prohibition would pay the German war debt and have millions of gold marks to subsidize a grape juice industry, accord ing to the Germany's National Commit tee for Prohibition. The committee an nounces that Germany is the wettest country in the world, and has published results of a survey which discloses Ger mans drink just a sip or two less than two quarts of alcoholic beverage for every quart consumed in France. The annual German consumption is 500.000.000 quarts, of which 132,000,000 quarts arc of hard liquor, brandy, liquors and the like. France consumes 300,000, 000 quarts of intoxicating beverages an nually, if the red wine as served in every French home as estimated can he called intoxicating. More than two billion gold marks, or approximately $500,000,000, is the bill for hard liquor that Germany digs deep to pay each year. For his wine, beers and liquors each German is said by the’ committee to spend 40 gold marks, or $10, annually. “Since the burden imposed on Germany by the Dawes plan amounts to 40 mark* per capita,” the committee sets forth, “Germany may win her freedom t>y cut ting out booze.” Leaflets are being distributed to arrest the national thirst. Considerable atten tion is being devoted to winning German children away from the tastes of their* elders. One such contains nursery rhymes extolling temperance and expos ing the evils of drink. Another pro claims: “This leaflet I am going to show to my playmates and I shall tell them, that alcohol neither strengthens nor warms nor heals nor nourishes. Alcohol neither makes riches nor health. There fore we must never drink alcohol.” The committee pictures the prohibition policy in the United States as a goal to be emulated by Germany. BOOTLEGGER DRUGGISTS Liquor dispensing druggists must go, declared R. J. Liggett, head of the Retail Drug Association, speaking to 500 drug gists at the Hotel Sherman last week. The bootlegging druggist must be put out of business, he said, by removing the sale of liquor from the hands of all drug gists. The Worker Now Stockholder in Dry U. S. (From the report of the sub-committee of the Alcoholic J.iquor Traffic Com mittee of the House of Representatives) With the saloon no longer affordiing an outlet for much of his wage, the worker today has become a part of the investing power of the nation. Labor is becoming a capitalist. This is not alone through the many great labor banks which are today plaj'ing a prominent part in financ ing industry, but also through individual purchases of corporation stock by em ployees, many of whom, under the license system, had no marginal funds to invest in anything. The number of holders of stocks and bonds has doubled since the Eighteenth Amendment was adopted. In February, 1925, over 41,000 employees of the New York Central Lines subscribed for 96,900 shares of that road’s stock, thus over-subscribing the offering of 35,-vf 000 shares by 176 per cent. This sub- *' scription means that over one-half of the ttockholders of the road are employees. The per capita liquor bill of the license states before prohibition was over $00. The actual per capita expenditure of drinkers naturally was many times that sum. Each patron of the saloon con sumed the value of several "baby” bonds each year. Much of that sum is now available for the investment market. There are approximately six million more holders of the capital stock of cor porations today than there were when prohibition was adopted. Per capita holdings of the $66,584,420,424 of such stock in 1917 averaged 77.3 shares. At the close of 1923, the last year reported, the total capital stock amounted to $71, 479,464,925, held by 14,400,000 persons who average 49.7 shares each. This means a wider distribution of ownership and the development of a new class from whom capital for industry may be drawn.