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EDITORIAL DISCUSSIONS ON ENFORCEMENT PROBLEMS
Illinois Editors Write About Various Phases of the Prohibition Question WET PROPAGANDA (Wheaton Ulinoian) The Chicago Tribune bewails the fact that a first-class drinker and business man of Chicago got drunk along with a po liceman, and burned his home, falling a victim to the flames. Their blatant wet propaganda is a crime against the U. S. government, and should be treated as such. _ LOCAL OFFICERS CAN ENFORCE (Moline Dispatch) It is possible for local officers to entorcc the law if they will. In Rock Island county is plenty of evidence of what can be done to eliminate the stills and to put the “blind pigs” out of business. It took a murder to bring the issue to a crisis, but once the issue was faced the sheriffs, police and prosecutors showed what can be done. Always there will be those who attempt to evade the law, as always we have criminals facing the bar of justice for all other crimes on the calendar, but energetic officers make a great difference in the number of violations. CANADIAN BEER (Freeport Journal-Standard) Some authority on alcoholic beverages is said to have made a discovery about the new Canadian “4.4 per cent” beer. Can ada measures alcoholic content by weight. This country measures it by volume. Also the 4.4 appears to be “proof” rather than actual proportion of alcoholic content. The difference is about one-half. So the beer now on sale in Ontario would be called only about 2.2 per cent beer in this country. There seems to be a joke on somebody. Time only will tell whether it is on thirsty Americans who vainly cross the border to quench their alcoholic thirst or on those on the other side who plan to sell the beer. If it really lacks the much-discussed “kick” its saic may not be so lucrative as. has been antici pated. Probably a good many gallons will have to be swallowed before this little point is settled. ALCOHOLIC DEATHS DECREASE (Champaign Gazette) Deaths from bad booze have gone up in California some 400 per cent above the minimum of the first days of prohibition, before bootlegging was organized. But even that 400 per cent is 300 per cent less than the deaths from “good" liquor before prohibition. So prohibition must do a lot of prohibiting, after all. It will be conceded that the stuff that is peddled now is far more fatal than the “pre-war” beverages. It would take much less than one-third as much of it to kill one-third as many people. And California meantime has grown rapidly in population, so that whatever booze there is has to be divided among many more people. Allowing nothing for the greater killing of the present bootleg stuff, there are lit tle more than one-fifth as many people killed by it, in proportion to population, than there were in the “old days." ENEMIES OR PIRATES (Elgin Courier) Bootlegging is one thing. Rum-running is another. And rum-running in armed and armored ships, as now threatened, is still another. Bootlegging is law-break ing. In this, the most lawless country in the w'orld, there w’ill doubtles always be some of it. Rum-running is lawr defiance, plus smuggling. No self-respecting gov eminent could overlook that. But armed rum-running is war, which no government dares meet with anything less than war. If the armed vessels are foreign, they are enemies, to be swept from the seas. If American, they are pirates, to be de stroyed at all costs. Friendly foreign gov ernments should forbid their ships to arm, and outlaw them if they do. Then any unlicensed privateer coming with arms to make war on America will have no rights, except to be blown out of the sea on sight. Cherish, if you must, such sneaking sym pathy for the sneaking bootlegger as your personal self-respect admits. But not for the armed national enemy, who makes open war on your country, even if it is in the cause of smuggling in your booze. WHAT HENRY FORD THINKS ‘ OF PROHIBITION (Prom Mr. Ford’s page in the Dearborn Independent) “We believe that if the opposition to prohibition were analyzed it would be found that it was mainly alien. We be lieve that every true American is for it heart and soul. We believe that if prohi bition were to be put before the nation to morrow there would again be an over whelming flood of public opinion in its favor. Although the friends of prohibi tion may not be so aggressive as its ene mies, they are firmer in their convictions. “It is not in the wide open spaces that the defiance of the prohibition laws is the most prevalent, but in the crowded urban centers where alien influence and alien eagerness for money-getting arc at work. “After its five years of trial, prohibition is not a failure. It is the people who have neglected to correspond with it who arc the failures. If it took Christianity hun dreds of years to obtain a footing, why should anyone consider five years suf ficient for a tryout of the greatest reform since the introduction of Christianity itself? The good that has already come from it infinitely outweighs the evil, and the evils that are, do not arise from prohibition, but the failure to practice it.” THE DUTY OF OFFICIALS (Springfield Journal) Judge George T. l’age, holding court in the federal building in this city, scored the mayor of Madison, Illinois, for ap pearing as a character witness in defense of a bootlegger, a violator of both state and national laws. Mr. Garesche has been mayor of that town twenty years. He has served in the General Assembly and, last November, was the Democratic candidate for lieu tenant governor. The rebuke by Judge Page, therefore, will attract wide atten tion. The court made it plain that his re marks were not personal. Directed at Garesche, they were intended, he said, for all public officials who pervert their duty by shielding lawbreakers. Judge Page’s remarks were timely. They were severe but none the less nec essary. While they may appear sensa tional, they are in line with prevailing be lief and practice in federal courts. Other members of the national judiciary have taken and arc taking the same attitude. Some even go further by refusing to per mit to practice before them any official of a state or local government who ap pears in behalf of men charged with vio lation of laws. These judges take the po sition that it is the duty of public officials of every class to uphold the law. Judge FitzHeury not loag ago excluded from the U. S. court a state court judge who appeared as attorney for bootleggers. Some state’s attorneys have aroused the wrath of federal judges by tryii\g to rep resent in the federal court, men who had been indicted by federal grand juries for violation of federal statutes. It is impossible to understand the men tal operation of such officials who take an oath to uphold all the laws and the next hour lend their encouragement to the vio lation of federal statutes, of which state laws often are duplicates. The accused has the right to defense, to trial by jury and to attorneys to repre sent him, but he has no right to the moral, or political, or professional support of any public official. Th is man’s duty lies in the other direction. Judge Page’s re marks, however much they may have lacerated the feelings of the mayor of Madison, will have a salutary effect throughout the state. THE BREAKDOWN OF LAWS AGAINST LIQUOR (Northwestern Christian Advocate) The headlines here quoted from a great Chicago newspaper arc, we regret to say, literally and unhappilly true. “Back Bar rooms Trap 14,(MX) Girls.” “Saloons Con tribute Daily to Delinquency of Vast Number.” The facts printed under the headlines are appalling in their revelation of ruin wrought by the law-defying liquor trade. The investigator whose article bore these headlines reported that “most of the wo men drinkers in the saloons covered were amateurs who might have been the daugh ters of almost anybody. Out of 267 cor ner saloons, all but twenty-eight have back rooms for women, and of these, eighteen have other agencies for demor alizing the sex such as questionable hotels or rooming houses, so that only ten are conducted for men only.” Jt is evident that a law so openly and defiantly flouted must be hopeless of en forcement. Only the blindest partisan could insist on its retention on the statute books. No matter how well-intentioned the lawmakers may have been, these facts and many others just as frightful'which could be produced are proof positive that their work was in vain. In spite of all preference or prejudice, even in the face of positive conviction, the effort to keep alive such a body of impo tent legislation is foolish and even dan gerous. The particular laws, state and national, whose breakdown is so vividly shown in the quotations here given, might better be wiped off the slate entirely. Note: To avoid misunderstanding, let it be explained that the date of the condi tions above described is 1914, not 1925. These were the good old days for which so many people are said to be sighing. In those days the “sensible” plan of reg ulating tiic saloons was in full possession of the field. The persistent wet propaganda may make some people forget the facts, so that . they say “The former days were better than these.” In point of fact the former days were days when the open saloon broke every law' intended to control it, days when beer and whisky were used to debauch and de stroy, and no possible victim was safe. “The girls might have been the daughters of almost anybody.” Prohibition has not yet succeeded; but, even with law-breakers high and low do ing their utmo.V to make it inoperative, and with the inheritors of a great jour nalistic tradition prostituting their birth right in encouragement and connivance, prohibition is infinitely tetter than the conditions which obtained in the days when the saloon was in the saddle, and a man could raise a thirst. PROHIBITION LAW UPHELD (Continued From Page 2) The chief justice smiled broadly, and told the voting attorney: “It will be a novel case indeed, if it does what you say.” In the term of court starting last No vember and ended this week, more than 100 liquor law violators appealed unsuc cessfully to the court for reviews of their cases. A bare half-dozen succeeded in convincing the court their cases were worth an argument. Considerable attention was attracted to the court’s refusal to grant reviews to more than a dozen of the 55 men con victed in the Gary, I ml., liquor conspiracy case, in which the mayor and other promi nent officials arc now serving terms in Atlanta federal prison. Every angle of prohibition enforcement is attacked in the suits brought before the court. Decisions affecting policy of pro hibition enforcement made by the court tins term included: 1. Approved the stopping and search ing of automobiles for liquor upon reason able belief without warrants. 2. Approved a New Jersey law requir ing procurement of a license to sell liquor, over the argument that the Volstead Act rendered void all licensing acts. 3. Commended the tactics of Izzy Ein stein and Moe Smith, famous New York liquor-sleuths, in conducting raids, in the course of an opinion validating a convic tion and seizure of liquor made by them. 4. Denied a review of the conviction of a man whose person was searched without a warrant for liquor. 5. Upheld the “stronger than Volstead” Georgia state prohibition enforcement code, which forbids even the possession of liquor in the home. 6. Denied two former prohibition agents reviews of their convictions for ex tortion of money from an illicit liquor seller. 7. Upheld a conviction made under the 1922 tariff act for attempting to smuggle liquor into the country. In addition to these there were many cases charging that the men convicted had been deprived of their constitutional rights, cither by allegedly illegal search and seizure, improper indictments, defects in court procedure, hut every one failed. WANT CLASS REUNIONS DRY Booze Restrictions Put on Yale Class Reunion by Yale Corporation and Class Committees Matters concerning the use of liquor at Yale class commencement dinners led to a controversy between President Angell of the university and Newell Marten of the class of 1875. Mr. Marten wrote to the New York Times that he and others would celebrate their semi-centennial at Montreal with discreet and well ordered dinners instead of at New Haven because of what he regarded as a hint by Presi dent Angell that old graduates were not wanted at reunions if they intended to set a bad example to undergraduates by drinking. In a reply May 26 President Angell is reported in the press as denying that he has made any restrictions on class din ners, but says that the Yrale corporation indorsed a recommendation by class re union committees that there be strict compliance with the law on the liquor question. Thirteen more Philadelphia saloons were padlocked last week by Judge Harry McDcvitt. Judga McDcvitt has earned a reputation as a strict justice in dealing with liquor law ollcndera.