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(Ey L. J. TABER, Master of the National Grange)
Whatever farm relief may be needed, it is certainly not relief from prohibition. Foes of prohibition vociferously assert that the American farmer has lost millions of dollars through the ousting of its liquor trailic. The contrary is true, as studies of the publications of the United States De partment of Agriculture disclose. Further more, great farmer organizations, such as the Grange, for instance, which are deep ly concerned over the financial, social, moral and economic welfare of the farmer, declare that prohibition has been a boon to the farmer and to his industry. A re cent statement of the executive committee of the National Grange appeals to the 890,000 members to uphold prohibition. Nearly ten years’ experience with a sa loonless nation has convinced the Ameri can farmer that economically, socially, financially and morally our country is much improved under the operation of prohibition legislation. The fact that has impressed the farmer is the increased pur chasing power that has come to tne American workman as the result of the proper enforcement of our dry laws. Men who used to spend their money for drink, now have the money for shoes, bread, meat and comforts of life. The millions and millions that used to be spent for drink are now passing through clmnnels of trade benefiting the nation, and agriculture is getting its proportionate return. According to reports of the Department of Agriculture, and statistics of the Treas ury Department, only an infinitesimal part of the corn crop of the United States ever vrn- used in the manufacture of potable alcoholic liquors. In 1917, the last fully wrt year, the corn yield was 3,996,233.000 bushels. Of that amount 33,973,208 bushels or about 1 per cent, was used in the pro duction of alcoholic liquor and alcohol for all purposes. In 1927 the crop was 2,786, JgC.000 bushels, and 8,383 bushels were used for Industrial, medicinal and other legal alcohol. The decrease of oom used for distillation, therefore, was approxi mately 25,000.000 bushels, considerably less than 1 p r cent of the crop, and this amount was otherwise consumed. In pre-prohibition days the surplus, al ways a problem as it is now. was a greater problem than now. The year book of the Department of Agriculture shows that in 1917 the net export of corn was 1.5 per cent of the crop. In 1926 it was .7 per cent. In the liquor making years the sur plus went as high as 9.9 per cent, and the average for the last eight wet years was mucli higher than for the past eight dry years. Average price per bushel of corn in the heyday of distilling was 59 cents. The average price since prohibition has been 72 cents. Therefore the farmer is getting an average of 1$ cents a bushel more than he did in wet years. The great increase in the use of breakfast foods vastly more than takes care of the com and other grains that used to go into liquors. It does not appear, from agricultural reports, that farmers feel prohibition has ruined the grain market, tor the record is that corn acreage, yield per acre and total yield, are increasing. , The record shows that the rye market was at first curtailed by prohibition, but found immediate relief In increased use of rye for non-intoxicating beverages, food stuffs and export. In wet days rye was heavily imported. Now the imports are almost nil, figures showing that 94 per cent of the rye produced in America is used here at home. In the wet years, war period excluded, prices ran from 39 to 86 cents a bushel, but prices since prohibition have run from 65 cents to $1.25. Acreage planted to rye, average yield and total crops have all increased. As a matter of fact, less than one-eighth of the rye pro duced in the United States ever went into intoxicants. An extremely small amount of rye is now used in the manufacture of alcohol, but the farm value of rye is great er than in the wet days. Farm values of rye now average $50,000,000 a year; in wet years, the war period excluded, they aver aged $30,000,000. There is now nearly twice as much rye produced as formerly. If prohibition were ruinous, the farmers would suffer from the cessation of beer manufacture, in discontinued use of bar ley. But Dr. T. C. Atkeson, former Wash ington representative of the Grange, said that the barley market curtailed by pro hibition found immediate relief in in creased uses of barley for cattle and swine and in the demand for non-alcoholic bev erages which followed prohibition.” The Department of Agriculture reports that the 1915 barley crop was 228,851 bushels, for which the farmers received 51.6 cents a bushel. The 1927 yield was 26S.577.000 bushels, selling at 67.8 cents. The 1915 net export was 13.5 per cent; that of 1927 was 14.6. Agricultural reports say that the acreage planted to barley is increasing. Hops production was never, relatively, an important industry. Government figures, however, show that the hop farmer re ceived 11.7 cents a pound in wet days, but he got 22.9 cents in 1927. The yield in wet years ran as high as 52,986,000 pounds in 1915, was cut to 29,794,000 in 1927. But if domestic hops were curtailed, so, also, was the importation of hops, which has practically stopped. Moreover, the acreage which was cut down when prohibition came, began to rise in 1925, and the trend is toward increased production for use in non-alcoholic beverages and medicines. Sugar farmers nave gained in dry years over wet ones. In 1917 the United States produced 765,000 tons of beet sugar, and in 1927 the crop was 1,062,000 tons. Cane sugar also had an increase. Per capita consumption of sugar and syrups in 1915 was 87.9 pounds. In 1926 is was 116 pounds. Government reports and declarations of manufacturers show that America is now using more than 12,000,000 bottles of soft drinks annually, and manufacturers say a large part of that use is due to prohibition. American farmers supply much of the ma terial that goes into these beverages. Per capita of beef consumption increased from 56 pounds in 1916 to 58.4 pounds in 1927. Per capita use of pork also increased. Consumption of lard in 1916 was 11.7 pounds per person; in 1927 it was 13.5 pounds. There were corresponding in creases in the consumption of other meats, with a phenomenal increase in the eating of poultry and eggs. It is in the dairy industry that the ben efit of prohibition to the farmer looms. In 1917 per capita consumption of milk was 42.4 pounds. In 1926 it was 55.3 pounds, and is now almost 60 pounds. Consump tion of butter in 1919 was 15.5 pounds; 1926 it was 17.4 pounds. Cheese was eaten at the per capita rate of 2.89 pounds in 1917; in 1927 it was 4.14 pounds. In 1917 the average American ate 2.07 gallons of ice cream; in 1928 the average eating was 2.90 gallons. Butter production in 1918 was 1,667,511.000 pounds. In 1926 it was 2,069,638.000 pounds. The wholesale farm price for milk in 1917 was 5.68 a quart; that of 1926 was 6.68 cents. Crops taken at random, such as oats, potatoes, hay, wheat, beets, peas, buck wheat, rice, honey, garden vegetables, cit rous fruits, etc., all show increased pro duction and use. Foes of prohibition clamorously declared that legal ban on wines would be a death blow to grape farmers. Developments prove these dire forebodings have not been substantiated. Reports a few days ago from California say that the growers have the most profitable season in years. Grape juice manufacturers in western New York say that before prohibition they paid $16 to $20 a ton for grapes; they are now pay ing $90 to $130. The late Dr. Welch said he paid twice as much for his grapes after the country went dry as he did before pro hibition. Ohio grape growers state that before prohibition their crops sold as low as $12 and never higher than $25, but that they have been getting $100 and upward since prohibition. Acreage has increased, with a noticeable shift toward table varie ties. What is true of grapes is true, also, of all other fruits. Indices of grain prices, 1910-1916, aver aged 105 5-7; for 1921-1927 the average in dex was 124 5-7. Similar increases are in dicated for other farm products. The war period is omitted because it is never in cluded in any analysis of industries, agri cultural or otherwise, being abnormal. Gross values of all farm products, 1910 1916, totaled $70,000,000,000, based on prices received at the faim. For the period 1921 1927 it was, in round numbers, $110,000,000, 000, a gain of $40,000,000,000. In all the above, figures of 1927, last available ones, are used. fn view of all this, has prohibition ruined the farmer? Having discussed this problem in prac tically every state in the Union, I find that thinking farmers everywhere recognize that, the Eighteenth Amendment has been of substantial financial assistance during these years of agricultural depression. The farmer has problems and difficulties. He is entitled to a larger share of the con sumer’s dollar. He must have a better marketing system. He must have equality in tariff and other legislation, but he does not want the return of the saloon. It means loss in dollars to him as well as loss in social, moral and spiritual values. RESULT OF PROHIBITION Child abuse in Massachusetts due to liquor has dropped from 47.7 per cent in wet 1916 to 20.8 per cent in dry 1928, ac cording to figures taken in over 5.000 fam ilies by observations of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. These figures take note of in stances of intemperance so serious as to figure as an unmistakable factor in child abuse and neglect. At no time since the adoption of national prohibition has the percentage equaled one-half of what it was before. The most unsatisfactory condition which prevails in any community in regard to dry enforcement is preferable to condi tions which prevailed prior to prohibition. SOME DIFFERENCE (Walt Mason) The Rum Holes, in the good old days, were thick in every busy town, inviting dry and thirsty jays to purchase drinks and pour them down. As men went forth to do their chores, to earn their bread and pie and meat, they saw the swinging slatted doors all up and down the village street. Perhaps they were resolved to shun the customary forty drops, from all temptation dire to run, avoiding all things brewed from hops. But they’ll be sure to meet a friend, who’d say, “Let’s go and have a snort; this most unseemly drouth should end—we’ll all feel better for a quart.” This friend would' treat and then they’d treat, and then the friend would treat again, till they were wobbly on their feet, and anchored to that boozing ken. Thus ever day a host of men got lighted up against their will, be cause at hand there was a den that sold the product of the still. A host of men with purpose high went forth each day to saw their wood, and then fell victims to old rye, because saloons before them stood. And now a man may walk a mile, or he may journey twice as far, and no one with a thirsty smile will say, “Let’s line up at the bar.” There is no bar of polished oak on which a well-dressed gent may lean, and take his tot of liquid smoke and wash it down with pure benzine. If he would buy illicit drinks he has to seek a bootleg nest, infested by a thousand stinks, and each one worse than all the rest. In some foul cellar he may find the liquor that is not allowed, and it may haply knock him blind, or fit him for a bier and shroud. And so the nation sobers up, it grows more sober every day; for who would want a brimming cup so bad he’d go for it that way? DRY FORCES MERGE Central Agency at Washington to Coordinate Activities of Many Dry Organizations A new organization known as the Co operative Committee for Prohibition En forcement was formed at a conference of a score of prohibition leaders held in Washington recently. This new central agency will coordinate the activities of the country’s many prohibition organizations, and expects to have the support of all leading dry agencies, including the Anti Saloon League. Tire headquarters will be in Washington and the chairman is Patrick H. Callahan, a well-known manufacturer of Louisville, Kentucky, who long lias been prominent nationally as an official of the Association of Catholics favoring Prohibition. As outlined by those who organized the program of the new committee, it is to represent in Washington all the prohibi tion agencies ana to be piepared to meet any attack either upon the prohibition laws or their enforcement. To that end, it is planned to lay a scientific ground well for a campaign of education as to the benefits of prohibi tion. An outstanding economist will be asked to report the reaction of the dry law on industry. Another investigation will be made into the effect of health and hygiene, and a third will complete data on the relation of liquor to crime. De tailed plans will be announced shortly by Mr. Callahan. Those attending today’s conference in cluded Bishop Thomas Nicholson, Presi dent, and F. Scott McBride, General Su perintendent of the Anti Saloon League; ~ Mrs. Ella A. Boole, President of the Wom an’s Christian Temperance Union; Bishop James Cannon, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Temperance and Social Service, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and Bishop William F. McDowell, President of the Methodist Board of Temperance. In addition to Mr. Callahan, the officers of the new agency are: Dr. Arthur J. Bar ton, head of the Southern Baptist Social Service Commission, First Vice Chairman; E C. Dinwiddie, for years an Anti-Saloon League official, Second Vice Chairman; Mrs. Lenna Lowe Yost, for 10 years Presi dent of the West Virginia Woman’s Chris tian Temperance Union, Secretary; and Winslow Russell, a Hartford Connecticut, insurance company official, Treasurer, NO PRESCRIPTIONS PERMITTED There are 22 States in which the law prohibits the prescribing of intoxicating liquor, as follows: In 12 States, Arizona, Idaho, Maine, New Mexico, North Dakota, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, Utah, Washing ton, West Virginia, no intoxicating liquor of any kind may be prescribed, while in 10 States, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana. Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, pure alcohol only may be prescribed. CHRISTIAN ENDEAVORERS HELP Enlisting the aid of 3,000,000 young Americans to bring about a more proper observance of the Eighteenth Amendment will be a feature of the ducational program of the International Society of Christian Endeavor for the ensuing year. This was disclosed at a meeting of the administra tive committee of the organization recent ly held at Atlantic City. Emphasis will be placed upon the condition of the nation prior to the enactment of prohibition. In connection with the educational program being mapped out, it was stated that the plan would include each member of the Christian Endeavor renewing a pledge of strict observance of the National Prohibi tion act, and to support in every way pos sible a campaign for strict enforcement within their respective communities.