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NATIONAL PROHIBITION

fPublished bt AnmANRKMF.NT.j

ITS DISASTROUS HISTORY. The Rev. W. A. Wasson, of Now York, writes in part as follows :— *' No legislative system has ever been more extensively nor fairly tested than that of Prohibition. During the last 60 years it has been tried on tho State-wide scale in many different sections of the country ami under the most diverse social and political conditions, the periods of trial ranging from three years, in Nebraska, to 53 years, in Vermont. By its record, by what it has done, and by what it has not done Prohibition must be judged. On every page of that record, from beginning to end, are written the words failure, folly, farce. . Nowhere .and at no time in all its history has Prohibition accomplished u single one of its avowed objects. Nowhere- has it abolished the liquor traffic; nowhere has it prevented the consumption of liquor nor lessened the evil of intemperance. Neither as a State-wide system nor under local option has Prohibition ever nuidc tho slightest contribution towards the solution of the liquor problem. The one solitary service that it has rendered to society is that of furnishing a warning example of tho supreme follv of ATTEMPTING TO LEGISLATE VIRTUE INTO MEN'S LIVES. "There could be no stronger evidence of tho failure of Prohibition than the, fact that seven of the eight States that adopted the system 50 years ago afterwards abandoned it and went bark to the, policy of license and regulation. The people of these States adopted Prohibition in goo:l faith. They honestly and earnestly desired to wipe ont intemperance. They realised that intemperance was <lirectly or indirectly the cause, of much crime, poverty, and disease; that it was a fmancal burden on the State: and that- it was a. hindranco to material nrosperity und to moral progress. They thought it was a better policy to abolish than to license and regulate a traffic that seemed to them to be the root and source of this evil. Now. to claim that Prohibition was even measurably successful in thes.3 States, that it accomplished even u little good, is to insult the intelligence of tho people of New England. No sensiblo person can believe that theso seven States would have deliberately repudiated a system that they had adopted in high hopes ami with high moral purpose if they had found that that system was mnkirig for sobriety, prosperity, and good citizenship." In view of the fact that it is always easier to securo the enactment than the repe.U of laws of a reputed moral purpose, the repudiation of Prohibition by these States is all the more significant. The only conclusion consistent with reason and common sense is that the people, after years of bitter experience, found that they had built on false hopes, and that conditions were not only no better, but far worse, under Prohibition than they had been under the license system.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141118.2.17

Bibliographic details

NATIONAL PROHIBITION, Evening Star, Issue 15653, 18 November 1914

Word Count
489

NATIONAL PROHIBITION Evening Star, Issue 15653, 18 November 1914

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