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WHAT THE CURRENT MAGAZINES ARE SAYING ABOUT
PROHIBITION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT (Reviewed by Emma L. Transeau) PROHIBITION, THE LAW AND THE FACTS By Ernest W. Mandcville If newspapers and magazines would publish more of such facts as Mr. Mande ville presents in this article, there would soon be less to publlish about violations of the law. Prohibition came because enough people to bring it about under stood the nature and workings of alco holic beverages. Those who have not this knowledge arc making the trouble, fur nishing the market which tempts the bootlegger. Many of the old false prophe sies and slogans still doing duty against prohibition arc here corrected: The pres ent booming of hotel business, instead of the destruction foretold; the slow growth of prohibition, showing that it was not "slipped over"; the illicit distilling, boot legging, graft and corruption that were a part of the liquor traffic for long years before it was outlawed; the shrinking number of jobs open to the man who "is in the throes of the liquor habit.” Manual laborers of twenty years ago could consume a considerable quantity of booze and still do their work; but with the advent of electrical appliances and delicate mechanisms, soberness becomes absolutely necessary to the worker’s safety and to the well-being of the em ployer’s machinery. . . . With over fif teen million automobiles on our highways and with the popular knowledge of what havoc to life and property can be caused by an intoxicated driver, many are seeing the necessity of soberness for common social welfare, for the safety of one’s fel low human beings. Encouraging glimpses arc given of public opinidn: A growing portion of public opinion is frowning upon illegal drinking more, I believe, than before prohibition—and the weight of this opinion is bound to have its effect. . . . Almost every one agrees that prohibition at its worst is better than the old licensed saloon system. Those who declare there is more drink ing now than before prohibition ha\e to wrestle with facts like these: Surely a small portion of the men [in manufacturing plants] who used to flock to the saloons can now do business with the "speakeasies” and "blind pigs.” . . . There can hardly be as great a volume of lliquor transported or consumed today, under existing conditions (bad as they are) as there was previous to 1920. . . . I was taken through at least twenty cheap lodging-houses where the hoboes and the out-of-work buy the privilege of lying on the floor for ten cents a night. Ten years ago most of these men would be in va rious stages of drunkenness. Among the five or six hundred unfortunates that I viewed early this year on these Chicago floors, I saw only three who appeared to have been drinking. . . . Ten years ago it was certianly not a novel thing to see a drunken man staggering up the street or reclining on a bank. Today in the Middle West the sight of a drunkard is so rare that when there is one he usually attracts a crowd of onlookers. . . . In the old days there would have been scores of drunken men on board [of train on Christmas day] and probably a number of fights [now, not a drunken man, nor any liquor was seen, nor the odor of liq uor smelled from end to end of a long train]. WHY I DON’T DRINK By John D. Clark THE MERITS(?) OF PROHIBITION By Arnold Janies This paper’s parallel page method of dealing with controversial subjects has its advantages. Practically all readers who have opinions on the matter are pleased, with either one page or the other. In this case the abstainer—on principle—can get a real pleasure from this drinker’s reasons for drinking, he demonstrates so unwittingly the co ercion, the infringement of personal lib erty, involved in the alcoholic drinking custom. For example: Most of my friends drink and expect it of their friends. ... If one attends an evening party, one is expected to drink with the rest. ... A refusal is con strued as a reproof, in these days of sharp feeling over prohibition. [It was • in the pioneer days of the western fron tier when “the tenderfoot” was forced at the point of a revolver to accept an in vitation to drink.] . . . The most im portant men in the business community, as a rule, drink moderately; they offer you a highball, and they are likely to think there is something queer about you if you don’t accept it. . . . The same feeling that you are reproving him if you do not drink at a party may in fluence him in his dealings with you. And yet he defies the prohibition law because he does not like to be dictated to. If he lived in the South and did not happen to know that mosquitoes breed in a rainwater barrel, he would probably leave his uncovered if the health authori ties ordered him to cover it. He has the same reason for not obey ing the prohibition law. He does not be lieve that alcohol taken moderately is harmful, in fact thinks it “distintcly ben eficial.” Obviously he has not assimi lated Dr. Lyman Fisk’s point of view, that one of the harmful effects of mod erate drinking is immoderate drinking. Not necessarily in all cases. Not every one who lives near an anopheles mo squito infested rainwater barrel has ma laria or yellow fever. Of course we must recognize Mr. James as representing a class, the class that still thinks, as he does, that prohi bition was “put across,” because they did not happen to have their ear-phones on during the half century when facts about alcohol were being broadcast through this land of ours. Whether this class is as large as it thinks it is, and whether its opinions will become “hard shelled” before saving knowledge reaches it, is the question. Mr. Clark is an abstainer from prin ciple, and the principle is original and interesting: It is my belief that the average man drinks for exactly the same reason—be cause he wants to get away from the facts of life, its perplexities or its mo notony—for a longer or a shorter period. Therefore it seems to me a wholly un necessary and essentially cowardly prac tice ; for life ought ■ to be enjoyable to any intelligent person, particularly if a sense of humor goes with intelligence, as in most cases it does. Why run away from worry? If one could do it effectively there might be a reason. But it can’t be done by going to “cheerful” motion pictures, or by danc ing all night, or by drinking all night. Your troubles are there just the same, BOOZELESS BOATS ARE POPULAR Despite prophecies that dimin ished patronage would follow Rob ert Dollar’s order six months ago making his round-the-world liners bone dry, those vessels not only continue to book heavy listings but appear more popular than before, officials of the line say, says the Los Angeles Times of recent date. after the movie, or the dance, or the drinking bout. Half the energy that is wasted in the efforts to escape, put into thought with the idea of solving the problem, would elliminate it for all time. The use of drink, the use of drugs, the practice of “killing time”—which means, of course, only killing one's self—all come, 1 think, in the same category, they constitute a reaction inspired by fear. I feel that I have been much happier in the effort to face facts than I ever was in trying to evade them. The article, “Present Loss in Life and Health Due to Alcohol,” by Cora Frances Stoddard, reviewed in this column on April 18, should have been credited to THE NATION’S HEALTH. REPORT FIFTY RUM BOATS According to reports brought ashore April 10 by commanders of patrol boats in the government navy yard at Atlantic City, a fleet of about 50 schooners is an chored along rum row\ The officers reported the row of ships extending from Montauk Point almost to Cape May and all of the vessels are flying the British flag with the exception of a few of French registry. The dispatch says that it is extremely difficult at pres ent to land large cargoes of liquor along the Atlantic City coast area, owing to the number and watchfulness of the patrol. HOMES AND HOME FURNISHINGS IN DRY UNITED STATES Scrutator, special writer for Chicago Tribune’s financial page, in the Tribune of April 8 says: The data on home building do not disclose any slackening in the march toward home ownership. The last available census reports show a steady gain. People do not seem to have been mortgaging their homes to buy autos as per the popular legend to that effect. The people also have been making rapid progress in furnishing their houses and despite the outcry of some branches of the clothing trade, they have more invested in clothes and jewelry. The census estimate of an increase in such items of from $12,000,000,000 to $39,000,000,000 from 1912 to 1922 is obviously too high; but an increase of 150 per cent in that decade while population was gaining 15 per cent, is certainly a most substantial gain. H. W. Lockett, research engineer, estimates the increase at 150 per cent after an interesting analysis: “This factor of our national wealth is desig nated by the Census Bureau as ‘cloth ing, personal adornment, furniture, etc.’ ” For 1912 the bureau gives the factor a value of $12,758,000,000, and for 1922 $39,816,000,000. These figures show that prohibition at least has not retarded the purchasing of homes and home furnishings. NEW YORK HAS PADLOCK COURT Will Deal Exclusively With Liquor Cases Involving Padlock Proceedings The padlock court, New York City, a new phase in the federal administration of justice, will open on May 4, according to announcement by United States Attor ney Buckner. The calendar has been completed and there are between 150 and 200 cases on it ready for trial. A designation of a court to deal exclu sively with prohibition cases involving padlock proceedings is an experiment which was necessitated in the New York district by the piling up of cases and the need of speedy trial while the evidence is fresh and the witnesses still within call. Judge John C. Knox will preside in the new court. The operation of the padlock court will be watched with interest by those in other cities on whom falls the duty of prosecuting under the Eighteenth Amendment. District Attorney Buckner, commenting upon this new departure in liquor case prosecutions, said: The establishment of a padlock court to deal exclusively with liquor cases was an absolute necessity to prevent the courts from becoming so clogged as practically to stop the ad vancement of offenders of justice. This class of cases is not one for criminal action but civil action, and the regular civil calendar is now about three years behind. I do not want to make any threats but it is well to Lear in mind the criminal prosecution is not a dead letter. In cases where flagrant offense is shown there may he criminal action against offenders. Criminal prosecution is not at an end. PADLOCK 27 SALOONS Judge Harry S. McDcvitt’s drive on Philadelphia saloons that have been vio lating the liquor laws resulted last week in a total of 27 padlocks and a number of injunctions restraining proprietors from further offenses, which will automatically place them in contempt of court if ignored. JUNK TWO MORE BREWERIES Illinois Continues to Apply Torch and Sledge Hammer to Law Defying Breweries Destruction of two more brewing plant# has been ordered in Chicago by the fed eral court, with authority to sell the ma chinery as junk and confiscate the pro ceeds. This brings the total of Illinois brew eries which the government has either padlocked for a year or wiped out, to an even 25. Application for destruction of brewery machinery of a number of breweries now under padlock has been made but is not being pushed and no further action will be taken unless there are further viola tions by these offending breweries, ac cording to Assistant United States Attor ney Grossman. The first two breweries of the state to feel the full weight of the law by having the machinery destroyed were the Elgin Ice & Beverage Company of Elgin, and the E. Forter Products Company of Joliet. The last two breweries to suffer the su preme penalty are breweries at Frankfort and Dundee.