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The labor advocate. (Cincinnati, Ohio) 1912-1937, June 30, 1917, Image 5

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Patriotism and Prohibition
Leading American Editors Decry the Turning of the War Food Bill
Into a National Bone -Dry Measure.
KimmI mill Drink Control.
Even the most ardent of advocates of
prohibition of the liquor curse will not,
provided thoy have not wholly lost all
sense of proportion in this world crisis,'
become unduly exultant over the "dry"
amendment which the House added to
the food control bill before its final pas
sage on Saturday. And the general feel
ing of dissatisfaction throughout the
country at what on its surface at least
is a sign of "more do and less talk" on
the part of Congress will be somewhat
tempered by the suspicion that the House'
lias no more idea that the food control
bill will go on the statute books in its
present form than it believed in the
finality of its war revenue bill when it
passed it.
The vital problem confronting the
country today is the conservation of
food the: increase of production and
the prevention of waste to the end that
the grave menace of starvation may he
averted. Of course, the amount of food
material that goes into the making of
distilled and fermented beverages is a
considerable factor in the problem.
That will be admitted without debate.
But it will also be admitted, save by fan
atics, that opinion in the nation is sharp
ly divided upon the subject of total pro
hibition, and it is of more than doubtful
expediency to force the issue at a mo
ment when a great national emergency
calls for unity in every avenue of hu
man endeavor, industrial, commercial,
and military. Moreover, the vote in the
House of Representatives is, unfortun
ately, not an accurate index of the con
victions of the members who voted by
such unexpected majorities for drastic
prohibitory clauses, as amendments to
the Administration's food control bill.
Union Made Shoee
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Corner Vine and Green Streets !
Telephone Canal 1178-L.
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Under New Management
Restaurant and Cafe
Special Inducements to Street Car Boys
Central Aye., opp. Freeman Ave., Cincinnati, 0.
142 and 144 East McMicken Avenue
Phone, Canal 472 CINCINNATI, O.
Union Made Shoes
Repairing; Done
H. H. Tiettmeyer
1033 Freeman Ave. Cincinnati. O.
Phone North 721
Corner Hackberry and Dexter Ave.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Fish and Game in Season
headquarters or THE Phone Aron 3966
Rough Riders Fishing and Outing Club
Holllster Benevolent Association
Starlight Base Ball and Outing Club
Corner Cafe
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Imported and Domestic Groceries
Telephone Canal 1713-X 1114 BROADWAY
Hat Manufacturers
Also Experts in Remodeling
1013 Freeman Ave.
Cincinnati, O.
Too many of them voted as they did
with an eye to political effect, knowing,
or at any rate hoping, that the Senate
would come to the relief of a situation
which they realize in their hearts to he
There is such a thing as making haste
too rapidly. It is perfectly true that daily
the acreage of the great American des
ert is increasing. Industry has read the
riot act to thousands, and has announced
that it refuses an allegiance divided
with John Barleycorn. The economist
has his innings, with the proof of the
waste large and sheer due to "booze."
Right and left one reads of banquets
and other ceremonies that in other days
would have meant a fusillade of popping
corks now peaceful as a noiseless Fourth,
and denatured to complete sobriety. From
one commencement center after another
comes the description of a festival with
out the bar sinister. The returns from
the military camps go to show that the
army in the making forswears the false
courage born of fermentation. It is not
on record that America, by and large,
is the loser by the dwindling consump
tion of strong drink.
Much of this progress is a natural de
velopment, the effect of education, the
voluntary acceptance of the better way.
It is more than doubtful whether the
progress is greater where abstention is
made compulsory by drastic laws that
fail to command the respect of a large
proportion of the population than where
sobriety results from an appeal to the
common sense of the people. At all
events, the introduction of so far-reaching
and radical a prohibition into a food
control measure is unwise, because it is
bound to create dissensions where har
mony is so essential and because it
would be certain to divert the attention
of the nation from a need that is of far
greater urgency, namely, tlic increase of
food for the millions at home and
abroad who arc looking to this country
to make up the deficiencies in food caus
ed by the ravages of war.
It was no idle phrase of Mr. Hoov
er's when he declared that unless we act
instantly "by this time next year the
food problem will be absolutely unsolv-
ablc and the world will face absolute
starvation." For this fundamental rea
son the nation has looked with increas
ing anxiety and impatience upon the dil
atory actions of Congress, and that feel
ing will not be assuaged by the knowl
edge that the House in its amendments
to the food control bill has been playing
an insincere game with a problem of
life and death! From the Philadelphia
A Perilous Volley.
The action of the House in passing
the Food-Control Bill with a bone-dry
amendment forbidding the brewing and
distilling of alcoholic beverages again
casts upon thci Senate the responsibility
of perfecting crude and ill-advised legis
lation from the other end of the Capi
tol. The B.irklcy Amendment was forced
upon a House almost evenly divided.
The vote was 1112 to 114. Even closer
was the division, 324 to 134, upon the
Lenroot proposal to advance modera
tion by permitting the making of beer
and light wines while banning spirits.
That this measure is one so vital to
the' instant need of democracy, and so
sharp a break from the precedent of
easier-going times as to demand the Na
tion's best thought for its own sake,
makes the trick resort to an ungermane
"rider" unforcivablc. The method is
always unfair. But when extremist ad
vocates imperil the Republic to advance
their hobby at any cost or any risk;
when they play into the hands of food
extortionists and the German autocracy
by jeopardizing an imperative national
precaution, they arc acting not for the
American people but for Berlin, and
thev merit severe condemnation.
That the House passed the misshapen
bill by an almost unanimous vote proves
nothing except that its members wcr"
unwilling to appear finally in the role
of obstructionists. Prohibition is a de
batable policy. It may come. But it
should stand or fall on its own merits,
in fair and open discission and vote,
not seek a stranglc-hold upon a measure
which may mean our defeat or our vic
tory in the world war.
Endangering the country abroad to
further r. dubious domestic policy by an
unfair trick can serve only our enemies.
We look tn the ccnate to reverse tliis
perilous policy. From the Xcw York
Untimely Zi-nl fi' Prohibition.
The food administration bill has pass
ed the House of Renrcscntativcs with
an amendment that, if finally accented,
would cost the country $330,000,000
yearly. Anart from any other objection
to the attachment of an out-and-out nro
hibition measure to a 'bill designed to
conserve the nation's food supn'v in a
time of great peril, the prospective loss
to the revenues of the entire sum de
rived annually from linuor taxes is open
to serious objection. The Senate should
keep the provisions of the bill restrict
ing the use of foodstuffs in the manu
facture of alcoholic liquors within rea
sonable bounds.
In the House of Representatives :iG3
members, after a bitter contest, have
chosen to go on record as favoring abso
jute prohibition of the manufacture of
intoxicating liquors during the war. It
is probable that many of those who
voted for the drastic liquor amendment
Saturday night did so in order to get
the bill through on time, confident that
the Senate would reasonably modify it.
Kcsiricuon oi tnc use ot looclstults in
distilleries may be necessary. It is well
for the law to recognize the essential
fact that our food supplies must be pro
tected at whatever cost. Hut to turn the
food administration bill, at the last mo
ment of the House debate upon it, into
a strict prohibition measure without
counting the cost at all is going too far.
It is utterly unreasonable. The pending
revenue' bill is already large enough
without the addition of another huge
sum to make up for the elimination of
$830,000,000 of present taxes. The effect
ot the liquor amendment is to change
the character of the food lull, to make
its main provisions practically subor
dinate to the prohibition of liquors.
All this distraction of legislative en
ergy from the main business of the hour,
this continuous attempt to make a sub
sidiary question principal, seriously in
terferes with war measures. Senator
Wadsworth has proposed an amendment
to the food control bill which gives the
President power to prohibit the use of
food materials in the manufacture of
distilled liquors, beers and ales. That is
the proper method. I he plain duty of
the Senate is to eliminate the prohibitive
amendment and substitute for it one
based on an inteljigcnt consideration of
the situation. From the Xcw York
Patriotism mid Ituci.
"The deprivation of beer," writes the
irrepressible Horatio Bottomlev." plus
the exploitation by the brewers, who
arc diamine chanmanne nrices for stuff
not distinguishable from 'swipes,' will
cause serious and calamitous trouble
unless the Prime Minister has the com
mon sense and courage to turn a deaf
car to Ingots and concede to the man
who works the right to food and drink
that arc good in quality and reasonable
in price."
Mr. Arthur Draper, in the course of
an inquiry into the causes of the indus
trial unrest in Great Britain, seems to
have found some evidence to justify
Mr. Bottomlcy's apprehension. He tells
us in a recent dispatch to The. Tribune
of a conversation he had with the man
ager of p. great munitions plant in the
north. "In his opinion," says Mr. Dra
per, "the greatest causes of unrest were
the beer sbortage and restrictions, and
his judgment is worth something, for
he is an employer of 230,000 people."
Nor can it be doubted that the "ovem
ment is conscious of the danger of pre
cipitating an issue on the question of
beer, for only the other day it was ad
mitted officially that the reduction in the
annual output, as decreed last February,
had proved to be too drastic, According
ly, an increase in the barrclagc has been
authorized, but with a reduction in the
snecific nravitv of draft beers.
It is difficult to persuade the British
workingman that beer is not one of the
necessities of life. Objection to prohibi
tion, or to any radical measures aiming
at prohibition, is not conlmed to muni
tion workers. Quite recently a strong
protest against the campaign of the tee
totallers was made by a Welsh collier,
a churchwarden of Rhondda, in a letter
to "The Times" of London. "If," he
wrote, "you cut down our supply of
liquid, so vitally necessary . . . you
will as a corolarry lessen the supply of
ccal available for the allied cause. I
know the fact, and if the armchair crit
ics of tlic Principality will please note,
they arc doing their utmost to prevent
the continuation of the present inade
quate supply."
It may be answered that no one
ever proposed to cut down the miner's
"supply of liquid," and that, if he finds
plain water unpalatable, ginger beer or
barley water with a dash of lemon juice
might perhaps serve his turn. But the
miner would not accept such insipid sub
stitutes as adequate. It is his belief that
beer is an indispensable beverage, and
that on it his well-being largely depends.
When he comes uj out of the colliery
a pint of beer is what he wants and
nothing else will do.
Strange to say, some medical men
back the miners in their belief. One
whom "The Times" describes as "a well
known Welsh doctor with an extensive
practice in the mining areas," insists on
the "unquestionable physiological vir
tues" of beer, and holds it to be "the
best possible thing for workhnjmcn to
drink." An official of the Yorkshire
Miners' Association is no less certain of
its value. "The great majority of them
want beer," he says, "and, what is more,
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Seibel in Albany Knickerbocker Press.
they will have it or trouble will result.
Good beer, good work, is an old saying,
and I know it is true."
Here and there some are found who
hold more modern views. A colliers'
doctor of Sheffield admitted that drink
was essential, but would by no means
allow that it must be beer, or, indeed.
any other drink containing alcohol. He
had, in fact, persuaded a number of men
at one pit to take non-alcoholic drink,
"and the results obtained in working," he
says "were better than when beer was
the beverage taken. But that is not the
opinion of the average miner, nor of
the average worker in the munition fac
tory. He can, indeed, sec nothing in
the recent movement toward enforced
abstinence but a conspiracy to deprive
him of a physiological necessity; and he
is prepared to fight it with might and
main. It is this traditional state of mind
that the government has found it impos
sible to contend with. From the X. V.
Washington. Government agents
have discovered that some war muni
tions makers arc not satisfied with ex
traordinary profits and have been dodg
ing the 12J per cent tax on their profits.
It is stated that these evasions run into
the millions of dollars. One of the
methods adopted to reduce profits was
to charge off as expenses large portions
of the profits on the ground that the
plants will be worthless when the war
ends. Internal revenue agents say that
after the war the factories can be util
ized in other ways and will by no means
be a total loss.
Procter Enemy of Labor
Statement Signed By a Committee of Leading Trade
The following statement by the undersigned was sent to this office for
"William Cooper Procter has elevated himself in the minds of the peo
ple of Cincinnati and vicinity as the champion of freedom and humanity.
"We, members of organized labor of Cincinnati and vicinity, submit
the following facts concerning Mr. Procter:
"That he has always favored non-union firms and has never been known
to give any contracts pertaining to printing to union houses, but on the
contrary, has always given the printing of the Procter & Gamble Company
to one of the most implacable enemies of organized labor in Cincinnati
the McDonald Publishing Company, located on Opera place, Cincinnati.
This firm has fought union labor at all times, and we. believe the truth
should be known concerning this great humanitarian.
"lie has always been identified with the National Guard, for the same
reason as other millionaires as their personal body guard.
"Frank Schwab,
"Harry Brocker,
"Harry V. Dill,
"Louis F. Edcerto.v,
"Board of Business Representatives Printing Trades Unions, Rooms 1
and 2, Bavaria Bldg., Court and Walnut Streets, Cincinnati, O."
Washington. In response to an in
quiry as to present day living costs in
England, Sir Cecil Arthur Spring-Rice,
English ambassador to this country,
wrote Congressman Graham that his
best information to date was that pota
toes (old crop) were selling at a maxi
mum of $2.10 a bushel; cured bacon
about JS cents a pound, and flour, $8.20
a barrel. This means that the cost of
potatoes and flour in America are about
twice the cost in England.
In commenting on these figures, Con
gressman Graham said :
"Imacinc. if vou can, the position of
a man who has a family of three or four
growing children to support and educate
and a salary of $2 a day to keep them
on. Do you say that there are not many
such cases? There are millions of
Washington. The following trade
unionists have been added to the com
mittee on coal production, council of
national defense: President White,
Vice President Haves, Secretary-Treasurer
Green and Chief Statistician Lewis
of the United Mine Workers; President
Lord of the mining department, A. F.
of L. ; John Mitchell, chairman Xew
York State Industrial Commission, and
James Kerwin, secretary to Secretary
Wilson of the Federal Department of
Labor. 'The United Mine Workers pro
tested against the one-sided make-up of
the committee on coal production and
certain rules of the committee which, it
is now believed will be modified.

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