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PROHIBITION ISSUE.

WORLD-WIDE MOVEMENT.

COMPREHENSIVE ADDRESS.

PRESIDENT OF THE W.C.T.U,

A comprehensive address dealing with a number of aspects of the "'liquor traffic" was given by Mrs Don, Dominion president of the W.C.T.U., m her presidential address at the Convention now being held m Ashburton. In the course of her re>marks Mrs Don said: — " A great deal has happened since \\e last met m convention. I have not seen you since our last campaign, ivhen we were only 3262 votes short of victory; and I congratulate you that, m spite of defeat, you have gone steadily on with the work and accomplished much during the year, new branches having been organised and new members added to the ranks. At the welcome social so hurriedly arranged on our arrival by the Wellington tJnion, the Rev. J. Dawson, speaking for the Alliance, told us that during the year £17,000 had been collected and every penny of the campaign debt paid. We heartily congratulate pur kindred society on such an achievement. The fact that so many have given money m princely fashion on a scale that this Dominion (has never known shows a determination to win victory at any cost. In the same speech Mr Dawson informed us that the Government had at last decided to have scientific temperance taught m the schools. This is one more illustration that agitation means education and often legislation for the good of the people. For over a quarter of a pontury we have appealed and demanded the teaching of the science of nlcohol m our schools. Now we are to have definite up-to-date teaching on the subject, and we congratulate the Hon. C. J. Parr for his part m securing this great advance m tHe teaching of our young people. I have seen a ?opy of the Education Department's special report ' Alcohol m Relation to .the Human Body and Mind,' which is to be the text-bonk for teachers, and find that the facts our organisation have been teaching for years are all embodied m it. An eminent English leader is quoted as saying : 'If temperance had 'been taught m our schools 50 years ago we would be a better nation to-day.' The liquor traffic m America was doomed when the Women's Christian Temperance TJnion secured State laws requiring scientific temperance instruction m the public schools. The motto inscribed on, their banners and used as their slogan. ' Tremble, " King Alcohol " ; we ; shall ■2row up,' has literally come true; and, as Anna Gordon says, ' the teaching for nearly 40 years of the nature and effect of alcohol on the human system lias been the chief factor m giving u.s Hip present Federal prohibition law.' We must . see to it that educational work with children and " young people of all classes is attractively and vigorously pushed. We must make it our business to give the teachers our sympathy and close co-operation, for they are protecting; our children when they «lio\v them the evils which lurk m alcohol. "When elected president seven years ago I referred to the fact that America had taken for its slogan 'Statewide prohibition m 1920, world-wide prohibition m 1930.' State-wide prohibition is now an establshed fact and it seems as/ if the world is moving on to the goal set it m 1930. A wonderful movement among abstaining students is spreading throughout Europe. In July of last, year a conference was held at Karlstad, Sweden, attended by delegates from eight countries. The resolutions passed show that they are accepting the opportunities for service and leadership m the growing world revolt against alcohol, and when the students focus the attention 'of the universities of the world upon this problem, a complete solution should be the result. Position m America. "Sensational stories have been published m our papers of an unprecedented crime wave m America, of unemployed and industrial unrest of the saie and use of injurious drug and narcotics, as the result of prohibition,, but m spite of these allegations prohibition is triumphantly vindicated. The National Republican Convention, though it failed to adopt a "dry" plank m the party platform, chose' Mr W. G. Harding as its candidate, a man who m Congress had voted 'for the prohibition amendment and the Volstead Act, and pledged himself to a strict enforcement of the law.' This is the candidate elected by a majority of nearly 6,000,000 to be President. The Republican Party has secured an unparalleled victory. A host of new "dry" candidates have also been elected, thus securing a . "dry" Congress and State Legislatures. Never m the history of the United States has such a complete victory been obtained. America is certainly giving the world a practical lesson m prohibition. Police business is falling off, gaols are being emptied and workhouses depleted, and children are being better fed, better clothed and better cared for m general." :• Mrs Don proceeded to quote instances of the benefits of prohibition m the various American States. In Scotland. "The local option elections m Scotland on November 2 culminated a bitter campaign. * The liquor interests hired every available .aid and spent huge sums of money. Speakers from America, Australia, New Zealand, and from other parts of Britain spoke on behalf of prohibition measures. _ The unfairness of the law under which* the vote is taken is demonstrated m the. fact that m 11 wards m Glasgow a clear majority of 6830 votes was secured for ' No-license ' over the total votes for ' Limitation * and 'No Change ', combined. Yet m only four wards will ' no-license ' go into effect. The heavy handicap m the Act requiring 35 per cent, of the voters on the roll to poll for no-license before it caiar be carried has prevented success m sparsely-populated parts of the couniry. Even a greater handicap has been the provision that there must be a 55 per cent, majority of those voting. In other words, it means that 45 'No change ' voters are equal m voting power to 55 ' no-license.' Many people are disappointed with the vote, T»ut as this was the first polling of the Local Option Bill passed m 1913, and Scotland is just entering on a course of reform, the result is encouraging. . The vote has won victories and has shown a solidarity and promise that augurs well for the future. The gains are substantial, the progress of education has been valuable, and. no-license areas will be their own best advocates. The temperance leaders were never more hopeful and the liquor interests know that the 30 ' no-license ' i areas and the wiping out of 355 licenses at the first attack is but a beginning of the end.

Progress m England.

"In the past 12 months the British nation has spent on the purchase of strong drink a sum beyond all precedent. Last year the iSTational Drink Bill of the United Kingdom was not less than £410,000,000. In order to maintain the liquor traffic as it now exists, Great Britain is now consuming annually at least 50,000,000 bushels of grain m her distilleries and breweries, 200,000,0001 b. of sugar,' and coal enough to keep 5000 men digging the entire year, to say nothing of the 5000 able-bodied persons engaged m the manufacture, distribution and sale of liquors. Hence it becomes apparent at once that the liquor traffic m Great Britain is a great economic problem, as well as one which involves sentiment for .the home, love of the family, and patriotism for the country. There is a strong and influential party m England to-day that favours State purchase, but while sympathising with their desire to have reform at any cost, the W.C.T.U. knows that it is the duty of the State to prevent crime and disease, to prevent drunkenness and to promote morality, to protect the children and the homes of the people, therefore they cannot,, see how the State can license evil and expect good. In Canada. "Eight of the nine provinces m Canada prohibited the sale of liquor; but the prohibition of the manufacture, exportation and importation had to be accomplished through the Dominion Parliament. During the last years of the war the Dominion Parliament did prohibit the manufacture, export and import, by Order-in-Council for the duration of the war and one year thereafter. That period is passed and these privileges are renewed, which renders it difficult to enforce the provincial law against the sale while the manufacture is permitted. Plebiscites were' taken recently, and though I have not heard the final results, present conditions show that Canada is likely to remain dry, for Alberta shows a majority m favour of prohibition of 28,763, Manitoba a majority of 9,618, Nova Scotia 40,000, Saskatchewan 27,850, and British .Columbia a majority of 20,000 for Government control, which means no liquor saloons or bars are to be permitted, but liquor may be sold m sealed packages under Government control. Eight provinces have now women's suffrage. r Iceland and Finlan^j Both Dry. " Finland twice a prohibition vote, but was riotrajjo^ed to pu^ it into effect because of the veto of despotic Russia during pre-war days and drink-sodden conditions. At the earliest moment possible after Finland had national independence she put m force her national ideal of sobriety by prohibiting the-^manufacture and sale of alcohol for beverage purposes on June 1, 191(9. Even the remote Faroe Islands testify eioquently to the unqualified success of no-license. In 1908 the islanders decided to try prohibition, and the result is a wave of material prosperity. Between 1908 and 1918 the savings of this hardy people f increased from £03,573 to £.116,973. | "Turn where we wijl, no-license . is' proving itself one of the most valuable assets of the human race. A policy which reduces crime and poverty, increases prosperity and happiness, and raises the moral tone of the people, is bound to be a safe and a sound policy. " Despite Ireland's interest m other problems, jnuch attention has been given to prohibition agitation. The street meetings of the Irish Temperance League have been featured by large crowds and keen questioning. Not Wanted m China. " While at the Anti-Alcoholic t Congress at Washington m September, 1920, "the representative from China said : <* You can give us your religion, , your methods of education and science, but we do not want your breweries. Alcoholic liquors are not desirable m America, nor are they desirable m China. They should be rooted out of the world.' " In Norway the Conservative Party m Parliament has so large a majority , for prohibition that it has been able to maintain war-time prohibition since the war ended, although as yet there is no act m effect making it permanent. The very latest report froni Sweden tells us that the Netherlands, at a Hague gathering attended by more than 1000 representatives from all parts of the country, and accompanied by more than 2000 women and men, demanded the passage of the Local Veto Bill. Referenda m Australia. "Tb.e liquor referendum which was taken m Queensland m October, 1920, is reported to have resulted m a victory for the ' wets.' The first local option vote m Victoria took place the same month, and it was, too, m favour of the traffic ; but, though both places have to suffer, from the liquor trade a little longer, our forces are not discouraged, for one result of the poll shows an enormous body of electors who desire the abolition of the drink traffic, and who voted m favour of nolicense, and these will not decrease but increase. A World Movement. " And so the world moves on toward prohibition. Individuals, - churches, societies of every description, political parties, and Governments are considering the question, and world prohibition is becoming a world-wide vision. Regularly every year I remind you that our organisation had its birth, was cradled, and raised m the atmosphere of prayer. I have travelled far, met many of our world leaders, heard thrilling stories of drink's thraldom and of victories won, have had great experiences, and come back to you with- a conviction stronger than ever that prayer must be our chief fighting force. We can only win as we take up our right position with Christ, and stand with Him until the powers of darkness are beaten down. I trust at this convention to concentrate our faith and prayer m determined aggressiveness against the drink traffic. "Then we must have'new members and more money. America has set herself, to win 1,000,000 new members by 1924. Surely we can double our membership before next convention. If each member would set herself to win one, what a force we should have next year ! Then we must have money. The time is ripe for a headquarters office with an officer m charge. Wo want more organisers m both Islands, greater facilities for travelling, moriterature for circulation, and everimaginable kind of new work that wiT lead on to victory. Then we must ' do.' "

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Bibliographic details

PROHIBITION ISSUE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XLI, Issue 9465, 12 March 1921

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2,145

PROHIBITION ISSUE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XLI, Issue 9465, 12 March 1921

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