« AnteriorContinuar »
Temperance and Prohibition.
A Reference Book of Facts, Statistics, and General Information
Movement and the Prohibition Agitation.
The growing prominence of the drink question is one of the undoubted, indeed, one of the most conspicuous, facts of our time. Both the observer of affairs and the student of tendencies must testify to this, and the understanding of it is strengthened by comprehensiveness and dispassionateness of view. Throughout Continental Europe the ablest writers are discussing the evils of alcoholism and devising remedies. Organized effort is being developed, even in these most conservative nations. The International Conferences "against the abuse of alcoholic liquors” attract many of the leaders of thought and reform. The Brussels AntiSlavery Conference, representing countries in which the liquor traffic is practically unrestricted, has taken American legislation as a pattern and incorporated in its general act for Africa a chapter prohibiting the furnishing of spirits to native races. And this action is not without Continental precedents: for five years the fishermen of the North Sea have been forbidden to purchase or carry distilled drink, and for a longer time Prohibition of the entire liquor business has been the normal policy of the Swedish and Norwegian rural communities. In England and all Englishspeaking countries total abstinence is no longer a "fad” but a mark of discretion and intelligence; the Prohibitory doctrine is no longer a preposterous creed but an economic programme that begins to fairly divide public sentiment, parties, Legislatures and constituencies. Organizations having annual incomes of tens of thousands of pounds are urging advanced measures in the United Kingdom. The people of Scotland, voting by the plebiscite system, have declared by overwhelming majorities in favor of clothing the citizens with power to outlaw public houses at the ballot-box. Twice the yeomanry of Great Britain, with signal earnestness and enthusiasm, have rejected the proposition to bestow compensation for cancelled licenses, giving the weight of popular indorsement to the decree of the highest Courts of England, that there exists no such thing as a “vested right” in the liquor trade-a significant repetition of those solemn words of our own Supreme Court: