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The American issue. [volume] (Westerville, Ohio) 1912-19??, March 01, 1930, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn2008060406/1930-03-01/ed-1/seq-2/

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Not a Vote Against Changing Pro
hibition Unit to Department
of Justice
Wet Leaders are Long on Noise
and Proposals But are Short
When it Comes to Votes
in Congress
The lower House of Congress passed,
without a record vote and without oppo
sition, the administration measure to take
the Federal Prohibition Department from
the control of the Secretary of Treasury
and place it under the Attorney General.
The public and the enforcement officers
have felt for some time the change should
be made, and Attorney General Mitchell,
a firm friend of prohibition, will now re
organize the department and make it
more effective.
The measure will now go to the Senate
where action will be delayed until that
body has threshed out the tariff question.
The House Judiciary Committee is now
holding hearings on some of the numerous
measures introduced by the wets. It
seems to be the general impression in
Washington that aside from the bill
changing the Prohibition Department to
the Department of Justice, about the only
action which will be taken on any of the
wet measures will be on one of the nu
merous proposals of the wets to repeal the
Eighteenth Amendment. Drys, it is said,
will bring the proposal to repeal to a vote
—something wets did not forsee, as the in
troduction was just to show the wets of
the country that wet leaders in Congress
are doing something. These leaders
thought the proposal would be smothered
in committee.
The repeal proposal must have a two
thirds vote in both Senate and House and
then it must be concurred in by three
fourths of the states. No dry or wet be
lieves such a majority possible, but drys
in Congress are ready to vote on the reso
lution and administer a smashing defeat.
The following Joint House resolutions
are before the Judiciary Committee of
that body and will be considered, and
there will be enough oratory at the hear
ings to relieve the lungs and feelings of
wet leaders.
By La Guardia, of New York—A con
stitutional amendment giving Congress
control of the liquor traffic, the states the
right to fix the alcoholic content of bev
By Cochran, of Missouri—"The Eight
eenth Amendment to the Constitution of
the United States is hereby repealed.”
By Sabath, of Iliinois—Giving Congress
power to govern the manufacture, trans
portation. and sale of liquors under gov
ernment permits and in packages.
By Clancy, of Michigan—“The Eight
eenth Amendment to the Constitution of
the United States is hereby repealed.”
By Igoe, of Illinois—"That on and after
the date of the passage of this resolution
the national prohibition act, as amended,
is hereby repealed.”
By Mrs. Mary T. Norton, New Jersey
Providing for a national referendum on
the question of repealing the Eighteenth
Another proposal which will bring out a
lot of wet oratory is that of Congressman
Dyer, of Missouri, who has introduced a
measure to legalize 2.75 per cent beer.
Dyer will have an array of wets back of
this proposal who will try to make the
members and the country believe that 2.75
per cent beer Is not intoxicating. Of
course, this measure will be defeated If It
ever comes to a vote in Congress.
Congressman T. A. Doyle, of Chicago,
has introduced a bill to allow beer with
alcoholic content up to 5 per cent In those
states which, by referendum, so defined
intoxicating liquor. Doyle's bill is en
titled: "An act to prevent open conflict
petweeen state and Federal officers and to
the present unrest of labor in every
ftate of the Union."
Proof That Bootleggers are the
Product of Booze, Not of
How often is the claim made that pro
hibition causes speakeasies and bootleg
gers and that bootleggers are friends of
the dry law? The uninformed is given
the impression that bootleggers and blind
tigers were unknown before prohibition.
Right here in Ohio, there are persons who
recall that a few years ago when the late
Frank B. Willis was governor, he wras
waited on by a delegation of Cleveland
saloonkeepers asking protection from the
illicit seller of liquor.
At that time, Cleveland had 1,800 to
2,000 saloons and the committee of sa
loonkeepers declared that city had as
many speakeasies as saloons paying the
one thousand dollar yearly tax. They
wanted protection from these speakeasies
as well as from a horde of bootleggers.
So there were illicit sellers then as now
and there were buyers of illicit booze then
as now. What was true of Cleveland was
true of every other city and town in Ohio
and other states as well. Note the follow
ing from a Pennsylvania paper, quoted
from a newspaper in that state 30 years
“According to a statement made No
vember 15, 1900, by the Retail Liquor
Dealers Association of Pittsburgh, there
were 2,300 speakeasies in that city at that
time. There were also 1,047 lcensed
dealers, making 3,300 in all.”
Some of Them Are Noticeable Even
in New York City
O. O. McIntyre, the well-known New
York newspaper columnist and who for
merly lived in Gallipolis, tells in the fol
lowing humorous paragraph the great
changes in New York caused by prohibi
Where the Knickerbocker Hotel bar
stood fifteen years ago is a drug store.
In the old bar one thirsty noontime I
recall receiving a bartender’s scowl
for asking for a lemonade. The other
day in about the same spot I asked
for a lemonade and received a soda
jerker’s smile. And yet there are
those who say prohibition has made
no changes.
Federal enforcement officers and Fed
eral courts in the West and Southwest are
busy these days in bringing to justice dry
law violators. In Oklahoma City, the Fed
eral Court is faced by 102 persons while
300 more are under indictment in sections
of Idaho, Texas and Wyoming. These de
fendants include a number of local officials
and ex-officials. In Idaho, one Federal
court assessed fines totaling $18,500 and
prison sentences aggregating 29 years.
You know the sale and consumption of
liquor in your neighborhood is less now
than ever before, and this is true in near
ly every other community.
Recent Meeting in Detroit Calls Out Some Complimentary Comment From
the Country’s Leading Religious Daily Newspapers
(The Christian Science Monitor)
The members and supporters of the An
ti-Saloon League, which has just con
cluded its convention at Detroit, have
every reason for satisfaction with the
work accomplished by that body and for
confidence in its future activities. In the
savage assault of the forces of liquor upon
the prohibition law, this League has had
to bear the brunt of the conflict. During
the struggle to assure the adoption of the
prohibition amendment it was the political
arm of the temperance movement in the
United States, and as such was exposed
to the slings and arrows of all the forces
that rallied to the support of the saloon.
There have been bitter things said about
the Anti-Saloon League, and they are still
being said. There have been on occasions
errors committed by individuals associated
with that organization which have seemed
to justify criticism and which have been
only too eagerly seized upon by its foes.
But as matters now stand, the Anti-Sa
loon League holds the proud position of
having been the organization which led
the campaign for prohibition in the United
States, and which has been its unfailing
and militant defender since that policy
was enacted.
Perhaps the best phrase relative to the
purposes of the League was that used by
its attorney, Edward B. Dunford, at De
troit, last Saturday:
“The Anti-Saloon League is neither dic
tator nor detective, but is the organized
determination of millions of Americans to
solve social problems growing out of bev
erage intoxicants. It does not attempt to
usurp governmental functions, but oper
ates by the formation of public opinion to
achieve the enforcement of law through
constituted authorities.”
No political issue can receive form and
effect, and status as law, without Its sys
tematic advocacy by acme organization
This duty has fallen to the Anti-Saloon
League. Many of its best and most loyal
members believed that its end was fully
attained when prohibition was written into
the Constitution of the United States, and
its method of administration fixed by law.
They underestimated the tremendous pow
er of the foes arrayed against them. They
failed to make allowance for the per
sistence of a depraved appetite, and for
the determination of individuals seeking
profit to find it in catering to that appe
tite. They did not recognize the fact that
Just precisely as American prohibition
through methods of local option failed,
because distillers and brewers In wet states
of the Union corruptly and criminally in
vaded neighboring states, the citizens of
which desired to keep them dry, so na
tional prohibition in the United States
now suffers from the attacks of the dis
tillers and brewers and wine makers of
foreign lands.
It is an evidence both of the devotion
and of the intelligence of the managers of
the Anti-Saloon League that at their De
troit meeting much stress was laid upon
the necessity for taking up again the work
of education in the evils of the liquor traf
fic and of intemperance. It was a long,
vigorous and devoted campaign along edu
cational lines that brought the people of
the United States to the point of demand
ing prohibition. Since the Eighteenth
Amendment was enacted a new generation
has come upon the field, and youth is
pressing forward, recognizing existing evils,
but wholly uninformed as to the greater
measure of poverty, dissipation, and vice
that attended the license system to which
prohibition put an end. It was rightly said
at Detroit that this work of education
must be begun de novo; that these young
minds must be educated as were the minds
of their parents, and their grandparents.
It it no slight task, but those who under
stand how it is to be discharged are ready
for the undertaking. They have put their
shoulders to the wheel, their hands to the
plow, and there will be no turning back.
They deserve the support of an American
people determined to maintain the so
briety of their nation against the assault
Of the friends of liquor, whether domestic
ir alien.
Hearings on Before the Judiciary
Committee of the Lower
House of Congress
Usual Clamor, But Arguing on
Nothing Except That They Want
Booze and are as Certain as
Drys They Will Fail
to Get it
Congressional hearings on proposed wet
measures pending in Congress are now on
before the House Judiciary Committee,
presided over by Congressman Graham,
a Pennsylvania wet. For the first time in
ten years, the bars are down and both
wets and drys will be heard. Wets have
the first inning and they are crowding the
committee room with their usual clamor
and noise, demanding either straight-out
repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment or
the modification of the Volstead act—any
thing which will destroy prohibition and
bring back booze.
And most of the wets say they do not
want saloons back, but at the same time
they argue for the sale of liquor in some
form. They declare the dry law a failure
and that it cannot be enforced. They
complain about what they call ‘‘intoler
able conditions,” and point to the number
of arrests and the cost of enforcement.
They want state option, government, con
trol or anything under which liquor may
be secured. There is much talk about
personal liberty and the rights of the peo
ple to secure and consume liquor.
One witness, a writer for a magazine as
wet as the Brewers’ Journal, told what he
claimed he found in his trip over the
country. Liquor for sale everywhere—in
the driest sections and easily procured.
He told the "exact” number of bootleg
lers and speakeasies in Washington, De
troit and other cities, the "exact” amount
of liquor -consumed and the “exact” cost.
He discovered liquor parties attended by
mayors, commissioners and judges and
the corruption among officials.
The story told the committee was on a '
par with wet tales published in wet news
papers, but without any proofs of their
truthfulness. It was the usual wet rant
ing, nothing more.
He was followed by former Senator
Bruce, of Maryland, Congresswoman Nor
ton, of New Jersey, Mrs. Sabin, of New
York, head of the Woman’s Committee
for Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment,
and others. All of them want modifica
tion or repeal and the legalizing of liquor
in some form. They are not agreed on
the form, but are running about in circles
as wets have been doing for the past ten
Drys will be heard later by the com
mittee and then the committee, which is
dry, will reject all the wet measures ex
cept perhaps a measure for the repeal of
the Eighteenth Amendment. That may
be reported out and voted on AND
KILLED. The committee hearing was
merely an opportunity for wets to blow
off steam. It will not get them anything.
Methods of wets in seeking a change
in the Eighteenth Amendment and the
Volstead act are, for the most part, “dis
loyal and un-American,” so says the ex
ecutive committee of the national confer
ence of organizations supporting the
Eighteenth Amendment.
The charge was part of a "statement
of facts and principles” issued by the exe
cutive committee of 29 dry organizations,
including the Anti-Saloon League, after
a conference In Washington. They 'said
they had “just begun to fight.”
Pointing to recent modification pro
posals, the statement said:
“We cheerfully concur in the sentiment
expressed by the President that every
citizen has a perfect right to agitate and
move for repeal of any part of the Con
stitution in a frank and open maimer.
“But to seek the repeal of laws enacted
to make the Constitution operative, or to
seek so to modify such laws that they
would allow what the Constitution Itself
forbids, is nullification by indirection
Which no loyal American win tolerate.”

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