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NATIONAL PROHIBITION, Issue 15655, 20 November 1914
[Published by Arrangement.]
SOMETHING A ROUT MAINE. THE ISSUE IN THE 1910 ELECTION. When the State of Maine.'after being continuously Republican in State matters | for 30 years and in national elections for more than 50 years, went Democratic at the election of September 12, 1910, the strongest deciding factor was the Prohibi-, tion issue. This was largely the issue on which tho Democratic party made its fight. The Republican party in Maine stood for strict laws preventing the sale of liquor and other rigid laws for their enforcement over the heads of local officials. The Democratic party asserted that Prohibition was both a iailure and a farce; that under it the surreptitious sale of liquor had increased to an enormous degree; that arrests for selling liquor and for drunkenness- had continuously increased; that "blind tigers" and dives had multiplied; that a large share of the traffic had been driven from the saloon into the home, and that Prohibition was productive of corruption and hypocrisy. 'Statistics gathered by an administration favorable to Prohibition was presented to tho voters, and a majority of tho voters decided that they wotdd have no more of Prohibition. These statistics showed : That in 27 of tho large centres of i Maine there were for years 903 saloons | doing an open liquor business. ' That when the State administration sent deputies to close up these saloons the sale of liquor was driven into private homes ' —and has gone on there to a great exLent. That in 1909 thero were 707 persons, joth men and women, committed for run- ! ling saloons, "kitchen bars," or othor•vise selling liquor. That in the same year 3,609 persons were committed for intoxication. That these arrests were only a fraction of the total extent of liquor selling and intoxication, and that a large proportion 1 of tho arrests for liquor selling were of those selling liquor in private homes. That of the total of • 6,646 persons committed to gaol in Maine in 1909 for all offences, not less than one-half, or 3,069. were sentenced for intoxication. That nearly all the liquor sold was the worst kind of whisky, brandy, and gin, adulterated and misbranded, and often poisoned. The records of tho Supreme Judicial Court of Maine proved this. That there are 18 express companies organised and run for the sole purpose of transporting and selling whisky. That enormous quantities of liquor came into the State by express and freight. In tho city of Portland from 600 to 800 gallons of whisky arrived by freight every morning, and even in cities of only 1,500 inhabitants 50 quarts of whisky came by express every day. That the rural regions wero likewise filled with liquor-selling by "pocket pedlars," tho ordering of liquor by express, and an enormous consumption of hard cider. That there was scarcely a drug store in the State which did not sell liquor. Of tho total number of arrests, a considerable proportion were those .of druggists. That tho cocaine, morphine, and opium 'laibits had spread to an appalling extent. The records of the chiefs of police showed this- conclusively. That 12.8 per cent, of tho whole number of divorces decreed were granted on specific grounds of intoxication; that of 'he 28.6 per cent, of divorces granted on grounds of cruel and abusive treatment a large number wero directly traceable to intoxication, as also a large proportion of the 4.4 per cent, granted "on the grounds of non-support. That a largo_ proportion of the inmates of the State insane asylums were alcoholics or were suffering from derangements caused indirectly by excess of alcoholism. These wero some of tho facts that influenced tho majority of Maine's voters to vote for an administration which is pledged to resubmit tho wholo Prohibition question to the people and repeal the laws prevailing in Maine for moro than 50 years.
NATIONAL PROHIBITION, Issue 15655, 20 November 1914
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