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at the present are much better than they were,” he adds: “The peasant class of later years has abused tea or taken to ether as a stimulant.” In Scotland he finds that whiskey "is a curse which is only beginning to lift"-thanks to the measure of temperance reform passed by the present government a year ago. He finds that
. "Scandinavia, like Scotland, has now been wrested from the tyranny of alcohol, so convinced have its governments become of the unmitigated harm produced by strong drink.”
“France," he says, “lies more under the tyranny of alcohol than any other nation in the world; even our own is less dictated to by the great distillers.” Ile quotes Joseph Reinsch as saying that the chief harm arises from the complete liberty in the sale of spirits. In France the ratio of licensed houses in which all forms of alcohol, including the worst, can be sold, is one to 82 inhabitants, as contrasted with one to 430 in England, one to 5,000 in Sweden and one 10 9,000 in Norway. What is true of France is beginning to be true of her colonies. French administrators in North Africa have been forced to waive their personal objections and allow brandy of a very unwholesome nature to be sold broadcast among the Mohammedan population of North Africa and the negro populations of French West Africa. ... The same mischief is going on in French Indo-China and in Madagascar.'
And the reason for this is that the average French administrator and the government under whom he works “are unable to shake themselves free of the tyranny of alcohol, of the odious tyranny exercised over this splendid nation by the French winegrowers and distillers.” It is a tyranny which makes itself felt also in England where there exists "in the mind of our Foreign Office at the present day a great dislike to opposing French policy in any direction. Consequently, to save our face, we continue to maintain the vicious policy of allowing our West African colonies (all but Northern Nigeria) to be the dumping-ground of distilled alcohol, from the taxation of which we raise the greater part of our West African colonial revenues. Yet anyone who knows the coast regions of West Africa and is not afraid to tell the truth, know's that distilled alcohol of European manufacture is working great harm among the indigenous peoples, a fact which, by the way, is noted and stated by all French explorers of independent outlook in regard to the littoral of French Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Dahomey and Gaboon." In this connection the author notes that the negro) did not require the modern white man to teach him the attractiveness of fermented drinks—beer from corn and wine from the sap of the palm tree. “He gets drunk, quarrelsome and murderous on his native beverages, where no white man penetrates with whiskey, brandy, rum or gin. But though his alcoholic excesses lead to crimes of violence and disorder, they do not affect his physical soundness or his reproductive powers; whereas in Negro Africa distilled alcohol (whether native or European) leads to diseases of the liver and kidneys and to infertility.”
The writer refers to “a marked increase in alcoholism in Italy, due partly to spirit drinking, partly to abuse of wine." He does not add, what seems to be well established, that the whiskey habit is something largely imported into Italy by returning immigrants who have contracted it chiefly in the United States. Among the tyrants in the world of alcohol he enumerates the California winegrowers who are pushing their wares in Italy and Great Britain "by advertisements, garnished with the opinions of foreign consuls residing in California as to the wholesomeness of California wines ---opinions which may pass current without objection in California itself, but cannot be held to apply to wines that are prepared for the export trade.” For wines which may be comparatively harmless in California are harmful when doctored for export, and like the wines of Australia and the Cape, they will not stand oversea travel unless fortified with a proportion of distilled alcohol.
The tyranny of alcohol he finds to be flagrant under the Gov. ernment of the Cape of Good Hope. It is also noticeable in the Union of South Africa. In Portuguese East or West Africa practically no measures are taken to restrict either the manufacture or sale of alcohol. In regard to the Mohammedans he says: “It is quite a mistake to go on repeating the worn-out falsehood that Mohammedanism does away with all alcohol dangers. . . . Theoretically all Mohammedans are teetotalers, but practically, not so." Reference is made to the "shocking abuse of spirit-drinking which affects large sections of the Indian population, more especially amongst the Mohammedans." The Turks of Asia Minor are a fairly sober race, also some of the Tuaregs. "But elsewhere throughout the Mohammedan world drunkenness is as great a bane as in Christendom. . . . Buddhism is even more strongly ‘anti-alcoholic' than the faith of Islam; and the Buddhists of Ceylon resent very strongly the opposition of their present government, supported by
the Colonial Office, to prohibitionist legislation.” He asserts that drunkenness is now "very prevalent in Egypt, due to the introduction of British whiskey; in Cyrenaica and the Tripolitana, Tunis, Algeria, and Morocco (French, Spanish, British and German forms of alcohol).” The Soudan, Northern Nigeria, and much of the Belgian Congo suffer also from the introduction of distilled liquors. In certain other colonies, German, British and Belgian, the authorities are doing their best to prevent the importation of alcohol.
Sir Johnston, “putting aside as much less serious in their effects, less easily accused of poisonous qualities, the wholesome beers and light wines,” finds that “the real tyranny of alcohol consists in the manufacture of distilled spirits of forty degrees or more of alcohol, or the concocting of heavy wines and liqueurs which also exhibit a dangerous proportion of alcohol.” But he holds that so much has been achieved during the last sixty years in freeing the world from this tyranny that he looks forward to the time when “throughout the wide world alcohol—at any rate, above the strength of light wines and beers-will be universally prohibited as an article of human consumption." The brewers will then have to use much of their plant and capital in turning out soft drinks. The distillers need not stop production, for alcohol as a chemical agent, as fuel, or motive power, can be put to an almost unlimited number of uses. “But-if the opinion of the leading physicians be a true one—the voting masses of the people must be roused to force measures of virtual prohibition on all governments in regard to the consumption of distilled alcohol as a food."
But he declares that if it is necessary to fight with determination the spread of alcohol poisoning, “prohibitionists and teetotalers must also apply their energies to finding some substituted stimulant, for the use of exhausted humanity which is liable to be overworked, temporarily weakened by shock; in fact, in a condition which calls aloud for a stimulant; and for something more palatable to the taste, more rapid in its restoration of vigor than smelling salts, sal-volatile or even of beef tea." He notes that "many of the pick-me-ups which are sold by chemists at home and abroad, and of which doctors do not seem to disapprove, contain an obvious proportion of ether. Yet we are told that ether drinking has been a serious vice in Ireland, as it is also in India and parts of Africa."
Turning to available drinks for daily use, he finds pure cold
water attractive to taste, “a very difficult drink to obtain.” The water supply of a large proportion of the United Kingdom as well as of most countries abroad, he says, is tainted by sewage. “Most temperance drinks are unwholesome, because they contain too much sugar or on account of their fizziness. The taste and smell of beer are undoubtedly attractive to millions among us." He closes with the plea, which many voice with him: "We want substitutes—at any rate in some degree-in attractiveness of taste or in stimulating qualities for the various dilutions of alcohol which are inferentially declared to be so deleterious in their effect on mind and body.”
WHOM NOT TO BELIEVE
There is reason for cautioning against implicit faith in Captain Hobson so far as his utterances on the drink question are concerned. His Merrimac halo has lately been dimmed by his exploits as a speaker and letter writer. Volubility and voluminosity proclaim him everywhere, but above all a peculiar disregard for temperate statements. Here is the proof.
In a speech before Congress opposing the increase in the Federal tax on beer, Captain Hobson ventured into the field of statistics (always dangerous to the inexperienced) in search of supporting evidence. It has been found "by exact scientific investigation," he asserts, that drink causes 2,000 premature deaths every day in the year, or 730,000 annually. Just how illuminating this is becomes clear when one consults the mortality reports of the United States Bureau of the Census.
Within the so-called registration area, now containing about two-thirds of the entire population, the deaths in 1912 numbered 838,251. Of those who died no less than 171,692 were seventy years of age or over, while nearly 9,000 had passed the ninetieth year, and 204,639 died while under the age of five, prematurely, of course, but would the Captain say that drink was the general cause? It seems reasonable to consider further that the 28,710 children who died at the ages of nine to fourteen years were not brought prematurely to their graves by drink. There would then remain 423,210 deaths within the registration area which, according to Hobson's method of “exact investigation,” could be imagined to have come to an untimely end through alcohol.
Now we must assume that deaths occur in about the same. proportion outside of the registration area as within it, and that we should make the same relative allowances for the numbers who died under the age of fourteen and over the age of seventy years. The resulting number (139.708) added to that for the registration area gives a total of 572,918 deaths for the whole country between the ages of fourteen and sixty-nine. And yet Captain Hobson asserts that 730,000 persons die annually in these United States, prematurely on account of the drink habit! What a hair-raising statement if true! Observe that one can make still more liberal allow