HOW ANTI-PROHIBITION "FACTS" ARE MANUFACTURED.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir,— Every now and again we are taken all abaok by statements, said to come from men in a position to know, to the effect that Prohibition in Kansas, lowa, Maine, etc., is a failure; that under the Prohibition law; drinkbg and drunkenness are worse than under license, It is not often that the origin of these statements can be traced, and so utterly refuted as in the following case, particulars of which I take from the New York ' Voice' of May 23 : " While the prohibitory constitutional amendment campaign was on in New! Hampshire and Massachusetts, a Mr W. P. Tomlinson, editor of the ' Democrat,' published in Topeka, Kansas, went East, and entered into an agreement with the liquor
men to lecture against the amendment. It was something for these opponents of Prohibition to have a journalist from "Kansas to denounce the law with which they were threatened, and show how drunkenness with all its horrors flourished under the prohibitory law of Kansas. The statements made by Mr Tomlinson were broad enough and strong enough to satisfy those who paid him, Among other things was the following statement regarding Topeka, the city in which he resided :•—' The liquor cases have completely choked up the Courts. We have been obliged to establish the grand jury. Within the past thirty days Topeka has been obliged to establish the Metropolitan Police system to enforce the liquor law, and still it is not enforced. Dives and joints flourish, and all the iniquities of secret Belling are added to the lesser evils of the open traffic'" This and like statements were taken up by the anti-Prohibition papers and wafted on the wings of the Press to the ends of the earth, some of them reaching even to these remote regions. In course of time, however, Mr Tomlinson returned to his native State and to his home in that city of Topeka, which he had gone abroad to defame. Then he found himself in difficulties, and had to accede to an interview not quite so agreeable as those he had enjoyed with representatives of the Press in Boston and elsewhere. " Acting under the authority of the State law, County Attorney Welch promptly called upon him (says the • Voice' reporter), took him up to the Court-house, put him under oath, and there had an interview with him which has since been spread upon the official records of Shawnee County, and rivals in interest and piquancy anything printed upon his authority by the Boston 'Globe' or * Transcript' or the New York ' Sun.' This interview, it is true, would not yield Tomlinson very large returns at ' space' rates. It is short. It reads as follows:
County Attorney Welch: State your name, age, and residence. Tomlinson:, Willum P. yTomlinaon ; fifty; Topeka, Kan. Do you know of the existence of an open saloon in Shawnee County (in whioh Topeka is situated) at the present time ? T.: Ido not;.
W.: Do Kyou know of any open saloon inShawnee County within the past two years? T.: No, Ido not. W.: Do you know of any secret place in Shawnee County where liquor can be bought by the drink? T.: Ido not.
W.: Do you know of any drug store where intoxicating liquors are sold contrary to law ? T.: Of my own personal knowledge I do not. I wish to say that, being a practical temperance man and a teetotaller from principle. I have never been a patron or frequenter of drinking place* in this or any other city, and therefore I do not know of any violations of the Prohibitory laws in Topeka. "At the end of this interview, standing boldly out upon the official page, is the name * Wm. P. Tomlinson' in the gentleman's own handwriting. All of the answers to the County Attorney's questions are also in romlinson's handwriting. " ' The Capital,' speaking of this affidavit, says :-
Every reader of 'The Capital' in Kansas knew he tTomlinaon) was a liar, and thU morning we proved him as such by his own words. What must be said of a man vrao will thus deliberately slander his city and the people with whom be lives for the sole and only purpose of aiding the damnablo liquor traffic ? It will be in order now for this man to go to Pennsylvania in the interest of the brewers and saloon-keepers with the above record staring him in the face.
"The stories about Kansas told by this wretched, self-confessed liar (continues the ' Voice') have been accepted and printed for truth by the reputable newspapers of the East, The Boston 'Transcript'permitted him to publish a column article, impudently abusing the 'Voice,' and questioning the accuracy of evidence about Prohibition in Kansas produced by the 'Voice'—evidence that every Kansas man and woman knows is true. The New York ' Evening Post' gave circulation to Tomliaeon's infamous false statistics, pretending to show the growth of the liquor traffic in Kansas." And thus it is we get so many testimonies to the failure of Prohibition ; but although these are shown to be utterly unreliable (as Tomlinson's statements about Topeka) we rarely find the counter-statements published outside the pages of temperance journals.— I am, etc., St. Mrwao. Dunedin, July 1.
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HOW ANTI-PROHIBITION "FACTS" ARE MANUFACTURED., Evening Star, Issue 7948, 2 July 1889
HOW ANTI-PROHIBITION "FACTS" ARE MANUFACTURED. Evening Star, Issue 7948, 2 July 1889
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