[Published by Aeiungemekt.] NATIONAL "PROHIBITION IS IT A GOOD THING? MEN OF LTGH~AND LEADING SAY "NO.” Someone liar, defined history as philosophy teaching by example. Surely there Ims been no lack of such teaching as to tho effects and consequences of Prohibition wherever tried in this country (United States). Among tho States which have made a more or less disastrous trial of Prohibition and have abandoned it for License we may name Vermont, Connecticut, IMiode Island, New Hampshire, Michigan, lowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. These members of our Commonwealth have at different times, but with almost eijlitil emphasis, answered. the Question propounded_ above; they have replied that Prohibition was not good for them. But why was Prohibition not good for them? Prohibition did not benefit the States named, and cannot benefit any State, for certain moral and material reasons. On the contrary, it did them great and positive harm. Lot us barely glance, at the moral evils wrought' by Prohibition—evils which it must always produce, as the. tree bearcth fruit according to its kind. Prohibition refuses to recognise natural laws, and it has therefore failed even where every condition and circumstance seemed to favor it. Prohibition is the parent of illicit traffic, which enormously aggravates the drink evil. It is a violation of the American spirit and a contradiction of our theory of government. It is an axiom that laws which are not founded in right and reason can never be enforced. Tho habitual disregard for prohibitory statutes wherever they are presumed to be in force tends to create and foster disrespect for all law. On this point the Committee of Fifty (headed by such men as President Eliot of Harvard, Bishop Potter, Seth Low Hon. Carroll D. Wright, Hon. Charles J. Bomvparte, Dr Felix Adler, Pro fessor W. O. Atwater, and Richard Watson Gilder) have made a searching report, in which they say; There has been concurrent evil of prohibitory legislation. The efforts to enforce it during forty years havt had some unlooked-for effects on public respect for courts, judicial proceedings, oaths, and laws ill general, and for officers of tho law, legislators, and public servants. The committee point out that "the public have seen law defied, a whole generation of habitual law-breakers schooled in evasion and shamelessness, courts ineffective through fluctuations of policy, delays, perjuries, negligences, and other miscarriages of justice, officers of the law double-faced and mercenary, legislators timid and insincere, candidates for office hypocritical and truckling, and officeholders unfaithful to pledges and reasonable public expectation. Through an agitation which has always had a moral end. these immoralities have been developed and made conspicuous.” Finally, this committee reaches these conclusions, which would seem to settle tho moral side of the question ; Almost- every sort of liquor legislation creates some specific evil in polities. Legislation to secure the end of Prohibition intensifies political dissensions, incites to social strife, and abridges the. public sense of selfrespecting liberty. It cannot be positively affirmed that any one kind of liquor legislation has been more successful than any other in promoting real tempera nee. The ‘North American Review,’ a conservative, authority, says : The States of the Union, without exception, which have adopted pro hihitory laws, either in whole or in part, h.ave either experienced : material decrease in population o: have, fallen very far behind the othoi States in their growth. In 90(5 towns located in 33 different- Slates, fi-1-1 of them nmlei Prohibition or Local Option laws, and, of course, legally permitting no liquor to bo sold in them, the average tax rate on each lOOdol of valuation in 1902 was i’.43d0l in tho Prohibition towns and l.oOdol in the towns where liquor was permitted. The average, therefore, was o9 per cent, higher in the Prohibition than in the, licensed towns. A similar investigation gives like results as to rents and real estate values in such localities.
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Page 8 Advertisements Column 2, Evening Star, Issue 15657, 23 November 1914
Page 8 Advertisements Column 2 Evening Star, Issue 15657, 23 November 1914
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