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THE LIQUOR TRAFFIC AN ENEMY TO ITS FRIENDS
Record Shows That the Traffic Is Inflicting Untold Damage Upon One of Its Most Loyal Friends—the City of Chicago; That the Church Mem ber Who Befriends It Is the Object of Its Bitterest Wrath By John F. Cunneen Chicago has always been a friend of the liquor traffic. Chicago had at one time seven thousand and two hundred saloons. Yearly every drug store sold whisky, no permit to buy being necessary. Depart ment stores, wholesale liquor stores, many grocery stores, sold liquor in original packages over counters and delivered to homes of the buyers. Many social clubs had bars where members could buy all the liquor they wanted. Fifty-two brew eries delivered beer to homes of people as well as to 7.200 saloons. Upon pay ment of a small fee societies and social clubs running picnics or dances could get permit to sell intoxicating liquor from 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon and until 3:00 o’clock the next morning. There was no restriction from getting liquor from mail order houses and from agencies outside the city. Also, 2,000 Blind Pigs You might think with all of these agencies for the getting of liquor, there would not be need of any other, but please read on. The Chicago Law and Order League checked all places having a United States government permit to sell liquor at retail and all city permits or licenses to sell liquor, and found over two thousand places with a U. S. government permit to sell liquor, but no city permit or right. That meant over 2,000 blind pigs in Chicago when Chicago had 7,200 saloons and thousands of other places selling liquor by permission of the city. But there was further provision for ob taining booze. Thousands of Home Stills There were hundreds of stores in Chi cago selling feed for animals, chickens, pigeons, etc. Any feed dealer who waited on customers in the days before prohibi tion could tell you an interesting story. A man would get a quantity of corn and barley. This man would have no animal or fowl to feed it to. He would buy it to make booze. In the old country he learned to make booze and he kept on making it after he got here, and did it in defiance of United States laws. In those saloon days there was no notice taken of thousands of scofflaws who made booze. There was very little notice taken of drunkenness, unless the drunkard en dangered other people. Defied License Laws Tn 1906 the state’s attorney tried to en force the Illinois state law closing the sa loons on Sunday. Of the men called for jury service, ninety-five to ninety-seven of each hundred testified that they drank in toxicating liquor. All saloonkeepers were let go free. The saloons remained open on Sunday. " The wet press of Chicago tell us that not many drank intoxicating liquor until after prohibition went into efifect. Prohi bition made them drink. The total absti nence workers of Chicago know better. Chicago a Friend of the Liquor Traffic The daily papers of Chicago are friends of the liquor traffic (one possible excep tion). The city council is a friend of the liquor traffic. The county board is a friend of the liquor traffic. In 1923 the man who was at that time chief of police of Chicago estimated that one-half of the Chicago police force were bootleggers and nearly all of the same men arc still on the force, but there is less bootlegging. Both of the political parties in Chicago are friends of the liquor traffic. Church Members Who Are Outlaws A condition prevails in Chicago prob ably without parallel in the history of the world. It is the state of mind of men who consider it consistent to be an out law, even a murderer and a church mem-* ber at the same time. The Chicago po lice captured a murderer who told re porters after he was behind prison bars that he “said his prayers’” every day and he injured no one unless they resisted and if they resisted it was their fault, not his. The police estimated that he had murdered fifteen people. He lived as a highway robber and shot dead any one who failed to comply with his demands. He was executed by hanging. A Church Member in Good Standing A Chicago policeman came upon a rob ber in the act of holding up a man. The robber turned on the policeman to kill him, but the policeman killed the robber. The policeman was cited for bravery. In the same paper telling the story of the death of the robber and would-be mur derer, was a funeral notice informing the people that the dead man was a church member in good standing. In a Chicago paper one day will be an account of a man dying of alcoholism and the next day the funeral notice tells of his church membership. A man is killed in a drunk en brawl and the funeral notice tells of him church membership. More than five thousand people have turned out to a murderer’s funeral in Chicago. Official Church Paper Blind to Facts A Chicago paper that advertises itself in every issue as an official religious or gan had this to say of reformers in one of its 1924 issues: ‘‘The excitable, angry, scalding reform er, who even if his blood pressure is low, his gorge is high. Busybodies have a way of discovering depravity where it does not exist. They would destroy what they may not enjoy. What a solace to thing that heaven is without them.” A few weeks after this reference to re formers, a Chicago bootlegger was shot dead by supposed rival bootleggers. The police estimated that this bootlegger had caused twenty-five murders. The paper that claims to be an official religious or gan had this comment: “The murderer, shot down in his sin, may not be a pleasant figure, but still one exclamation of sorrow, one desire of re conciliation, and there is reconciliation.” But there is no hint in the Chicago of ficial religious organ of extending this charitable viewpoint to reformers. The Chicago Tribune The Chicago Tribune claims to be the world’s greatest newspaper. Some refer to it as the world’s wettest newspaper. Since prohibition the Chicago Tribune erected one of the world’s highest and finest buildings. It is a boast of the Tribune that the building is of cathedral design. The paper that calls upon of ficials to disregard the oatli they take when inducted into office, houses itself in a building of religious design. Some refer to Chicago as the crime capital of the world. The murders, rob beries and other crimes arc used as argu ments for nullification of the Eighteenth Amendment. The people of the country are called upon to follow the lead of Chi cago in the war against prohibition. They are called upon to he friends of the liquor traffic. The first thing for them to do according to the Chicago plan, is to turn their backs on God, but keep on a cloak of religion. They arc to play the part of the hypocrite in the temple and to use religion as a Trojan horse to deliver America to the liquor traffic. 1,500 Churches in Chicago The American people will not do it. They know that the liquor traffic is an enemy to its friends. They will stand back of the people in Chicago who are working to save Chicago. Chicago has 1,500 churches. They can redeem Chicago, but to do so they must get the people back to God. FEARLESS MEN FOR PULPITS ARE NEEDED To the Editor. Dear Sir: Great bodies move slowly, and that is why the Catholic Church has not declared herself on the subject of prohibition, though she has spoken against the saloon and has refused the gin-mill keeper who violates the civil law absolu tion, and denies him the Sacraments of his church. The church, itself, since her foundation, has always been on the right side of every moral question, but her preachers often have failed. We need great leaders, not political priests in our church like those who are bringing in the Klan issue and trying to elect saloon politicians to office and backing up a man like A1 Smith, who is responsible"tor the return of the speak easies and the overthrow of the state pro hibition enforcement law. Wc need fearless men in our pulpits ■who will denounce the liquor traffic, as the Plenary Council of Baltimore did, and uphold the hands of the government in trying to bring about real total absti nence through prohibition. It is a public scandal and a source of great discdification for the Holy Name Society to go to Communion in a body and then repair to a hotel for breakfast and listen to a tirade against this great law of our country which has been of in estimable benefit to Irish Catholics. When wre consider that drink is the cause of oaths, blasphemy and abuse of God and His creatures, how can they as Catholics fail to help bring about the total abolition of liquor—as it can only be brought about —through prohibition? Yours truly, (Signed) Anna Marriott Kane. 856 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn, N. Y. NO WET COUNTRY CAN EQUAL IT The Savings Bank Journal announces that during 1925 the people of dry United States increased their savings to more than $24,000,000,000, and of the estimated population of 112,000,000 men, women and children, more than one third maintained savings accounts. The average of the savings is $529, THE GREATEST IN HISTORY. The people spend money, too. Dry America had 3,000,000 more passenger automobiles in 1925 than in 1924, while more homes were built in 1925 than in any previous year. What wet country in the world can make such a showing? “WHAT PRICE PROHIBITION?” Figures Showing Cost of Enforce ment and Income from Fines Come Back to People United States Attorney Buckner of New York City, is quoted in the public press as saying that he believes that “perfectly well-intentioned people, strong for prohibition,” are afraid to have it known “what price prohibition.” Dr. Wayne B. Wheclcf, general counsel of the Anti-Saloon League of America, in reply says that drys arc not afraid to make public the cost of prohibition en forcement, and gives the following fig ures: The total expenditure through the pro hibition enforcement unit last year was $9,203,384.45. The total income from fines and forfeitures under the federal act was $5,769,091.16. The total tines imposed were approximately $8,000,0001 More of this will be collected. However, these figures do not repre sent all the money that was collected in fines and penalties for violation of the prohibition law. In many states 80 to 90 per cent of the cases are tried in state courts and the fines collected there even though the cases arc brouj-ilit by federal agents. The tax penalties imposed and collected last year were small because the revenue department has weakened at this point. The maintenance cost of the coast guard is difficult to estimate. Last year it was $7,,642,,1,00 and this covered three items, prohibition, narcotics and alien smuggling. Of course the coast guard would have to be kept up whether there is a prohibition law or not. It had de teriorated and the rehabilitation cost would have been practically the same without the prohibition law. The additional cost of the Justice De partment is not lar«re. A provision fur $ 150,000 for special counsel for trying prohibition cases was provided by the last Congress. This was not wholly u-ed as the department has adopted the plan of having all these cases tried by the district attorney and his regular assistant,-.. It would not be reduced much if the prohi bition law were repealed. State Cooperation Gets Best Results In the states with prohibition enforce ment codes a better test of the u-al cost of prohibition enforcement is given. In Ohio, for instance, the annual cost is $105,702, for the state enforcement, divi sion. The fines and forfeitures returned last year amounted to $2,202,764. Many of these cases were brought by federal agents. Pays Back Billions in Increased Productivity It will be seen by the above figures showing expenditures and income by the prohibition enforcement unit, that pro hibition enforcement has not co't tluy^ov ernment as much as the appropriation for enforcement would indicate. In other words, considerably more than half of the appropriation has been recovered in lines and forfeitures, but after all. the cost is of small importance, for as Mr. Wheeler says, even if it cost fifty million a year it would be a good investment to have this part of the Constitution, adopted by the largest majority of any part of that instrument, fully enforced. Again, it must be remembered that prohibits now pays back billions in increased efficiency and productivity and this would be still further increased it the law were better enforced. The prohibition policy is making progress and lias the support of the majority of the people.