SHOULD PROHIBITORY LAWS BE ABOLISHED?.
|SHOULD PROHIBITORY LAWS BE ABOLISHED?|
By T. D. CROTHERS, M.D.
MR. APPLETON MORGAN, in the March number of The Popular Science Monthly, affirms that all prohibitory liquor laws should be abolished. Naturally, the reader inquires for what reasons and upon what evidence, and expects to find a grouping of facts that will at least give some support to these claims. If, on the contrary, the author assumes that the reader will credulously accept his confident statements as facts, it is to be supposed that such statements will be in accord with common observation, historical facts, and experience; if they fail in this, and are not sustained by any general examination, it is safe to conclude that the purpose of the paper is not to present the truth, and the author is a partisan, having some other object to accomplish not apparent in his writings.
The magnitude and intensely practical character of the question of prohibitory laws seem to demand some examination of the author's assertions. He begins with this: "The absolute, unqualified, and distinguished failure of all laws for the abolishment of the traffic in liquors is speedily convincing even the most sanguine prohibitionists of the expediency of wiping them from every statute book in the land."
In the failure to refer to authority for this statement the reader must examine for himself. Political records in yearly volumes, and histories of political reform, give no evidence or names of sanguine or other prohibitionists who are convinced of the failure of such laws.
Governors of States where prohibition laws are in force have without exception declared in their favor. Some have suggested modifications and changes from the present form, but all have affirmed their great value in securing better observance of law and order.
In 1889 a canvass was made of the opinions of judges. Congressmen, mayors of cities, superintendents of schools, journalists, manufacturers, postmasters, and others in the State of Maine, asking their opinion of the practical value of the existing prohibitory laws. In one hundred and forty replies only seven expressed any doubt, the others were confident and enthusiastic. Similar canvasses made in Vermont, Rhode Island, Kansas, Iowa, and in States where prohibition had been tried, brought out the same unanimous replies from equally eminent men, who were not in any way identified with the party of prohibition.
These and other systematic inquiries have been published in the New York Voice, a leading prohibition paper, and are cer-