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ST. NIHAL SINGH is the political interpreter. He shows East to West and West to East. In this book he interprets for Ceylon and India the Western temperance movement with which the name of Mr. " Pussyfoot" Johnson will always be associated.

Temperance or prohibition is of ancient stock in the East. It is at home there, and has been there at home since the dawn of history. And yet it needs interpretation in its Western garb. For in the East it is religion. In the West it is business.

To go without, to simplify your wants, to be abstemious in all things, is only accepted reluctantly in the West. A middle-eastern Christianity has held up an ideal, but Christian ethics and ideals have been carefully segregated in Church and Chapel. In the East the religious teachings of Brahmins, of Gautama Buddha, of Mahomet and of Mahatma Gandhi


have made the real life of the people. Temperance is ordered and temperance lives.

The more materialistic West requires interpretation to the Eastern understanding.

America, the great Western Republic, has rejected alcohol and become prohibitionist. Why?

The Christian religion, humane emotionalism, have played their part in the change. So have the discomfort and ruin of children and dependant women (the latter with votes). But over and over again the argument has been "Drink does not pay". "It is bad business."

If the workers as a whole waste money on drink, they require more wages to live and rear a family. If they drink they do less efficient work. If they drink they are less amenable. It is said of some Duke of Argyll that he objected to having a drinking house on one of his islands for the sufficient reason that if the crofters spent money on drink they would be less able to pay their rent.

When the working class are working for masters the drink habit is bad for the masters, bad for profits, bad for trade. Property then, when it understands, votes for prohibition.

The class-conscious worker does the same, for drink destroys class and all roots of conscience. The struggle between capital and labour requires the cleanest wits on both sides.

In Singh's book there is made clear too, that the dominant Europeans knew of old how to use drink for business, just as now they use temperance.

Before the alien workers worked for masters the exploiting European came upon the red Indian and the African native and helped them to drink. So best could they acquire their land and enslave their bodies. Having acquired both land and service, the native worker was then deprived of drink—as witness the "compounds on the Johannesburg Rand. Only while the subject race is free and working for themselves does "the trade" go on merrily; Once they are servants, servants should be sober.

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The West has ruled Asia as well as American Indians, and Africans, but in Asia drink played a smaller part. An old civilisation, with an old religion of abstinence held up and restrained the curse of drink. Save in the seaports and at certain festivals drink has

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