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Legislatures are passing pure food laws, and laws regarding weights and measures which conflict with each other and with the provisions of the Federal Law. There is as pressing a need for uniform State Legislation in respect to these matters as there is for a uniform divorce law.
As Dr. Alsberg has himself pointed out recently:
"There are many instances where the incongruities of conflicting State statutes in several neighboring States have seriously impeded manufacturing interests of those States. Add to these several differing State statutes the Federal restriction in inter-State commerce, and we find the manufacturer frequently under the necessity of preparing or labeling his products differently for shipment into each of the several States and for sale in his own home State.
"It certainly would seem possible for the States and the United States to agree on a set of requirements that would be stringent enough to secure pure food and drugs, and yet entirely just to the producers and flexible enough for the peculiar conditions in different geographical sections. This does not necessarily mean that each State must adopt identical statutes, as many States will probably need additional regulations covering peculiar products. But at least those statutes could be fully intersustaining and free from contradictory provisions. One result of such uniformity would be to relieve the several States from duplication of costly analysis. If the Federal laws could impose the same restrictions as the States, proceedings in inter-State commerce might well save the State departments the very costly duplication of legal procedure in territories where Federal seizure has been made and penalty secured by enforcement of the Federal law. It probably will be some time before the States have agreed among themselves as to food and drug standards, but the matter is so important that it should be carefully considered at this time."
NATIONAL LEGISLATION IN RELATION TO
The amendment to the National Pure Food and Drugs Act, which provides that "packages are misbranded if the quantity of the contents be not plainly and conspicuously marked on the outside of the package in terms of weight, measure or numerical count,' was signed on March 3, 1913, but no penalty for violation thereof is to be enforced until 18 months after the date of the signing of the
Act. Meanwhile a Commission has been appointed, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Alsberg, to make rules and regulations to provide for reasonable variations. Your Committee has employed Special Counsel on behalf of the brewing industry, whose brief was presented at the hearing of the Commission on September 30th, and we are now awaiting a decision in the matter. The brief summarizes the opinions expressed by the members of this Association in response to our special letter of inquiry, together with the result of a number of practical tests made to establish the variations in beer containers.
STANDARDIZING THE BOTTLED BEER BUSINESS
The great expansion in the bottled beer business is the feature of the brewing industry in the United States at this time, but it is still, we believe, in its infancy. The result of prohibitory legislation, and of ordinances restricting the hours of business for the saloons, together with the enforcement of Sunday closing laws, is to stimulate the family demand for bottled beer. Good advertising is also having its effect, and with the improvement of distribution facilities, and economies in the selling cost, it is probable that bottled beer will soon be placed within the reach of the masses of the people. Your Committee believes that there is great and unnecessary waste in the loss of bottles themselves, which can best be prevented by adopting a system of charging for the bottles, both to the middleman and to the consumer, and by the adoption of uniform bottles which are inter-changeable. In several States the brewers have such a system in operation, and it has worked simply and advantageously. We recommend it to the careful consideration of brewers everywhere.
WOOD ALCOHOL VARNISH
The New York Committee for the Prevention of Blindness has accepted gratefully our offer to co-operate in the campaign against the unrestricted use of Wood Alcohol, and we have warned all members of the brewing industry of the danger of using Wood Alcohol Varnish for their vats.
THE PRESIDENT:-Gentlemen, you have heard the report of the Advisory Committee; what is your pleasure?
MR. HUPFEL:-I move that it be received, placed on file, and the recommendations be acted upon. Carried.
THE PRESIDENT:-The next is the report of the Vigilance Committee, Mr. Gardiner, Chairman.
MR. GARDINER:-Mr. President, in view of the fact that the contents are made a matter of record, I move that the reading of the report be dispensed with.
The motion was carried.
REPORT OF THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE.
GENTLEMEN:-There have been no happenings of great importance affecting our industry in the political field since our last Convention, or rather since the issuance of our Year Book for 1912, which included mention of the State-wide prohibition contests in Colorada and Arkansas. Both these States repudiated the "Maine Doctrine," the former in an especially decisive fashion, while West Virginia, unfortunately for herself, succumbed to it and is already by anticipation tasting the evils thereof.
Taking a nation-wide view of the contest in which we are engaged, it is proper, we think, to cherish a sentiment of optimism. We are assuredly holding our own-perhaps doing a little better than that. More and more we have reason to feel that the sober second thought of the American people is coming to our side; that the revival of puritanism and prohibition is meeting a strong counter-check. We feel then that some cheerfulness is justified, while never forgetting that eternal vigilance is the price of safety! Indeed there faces us constantly a host of powerful, unscrupulous and ever freshly recruited enemies who will not suffer us to forget.
Subjoined will be found a review of legislative events and matters concerning our interests generally in the different States. Thanks are due to those zealous members who have collaborated with us in preparing this report.
Arizona:-In Phoenix, with women voting for the first time at a local option election, six of seven precincts in the city limits recorded substantial majorities for continuance of saloons, while in the seventh a tie vote was recorded. Two years ago three of the
precincts voted "dry," and it was predicted this year that there would be no reversal. Forty-four hundred votes were cast, more than half being those of women.
Arkansas: The Legislature adjourning March 13th, 1913, passed a law providing that before an application for license could be filed before the County Judge a petition signed by a majority of the white adults residing in the said city or town asking that the said license be granted, be filed with the County Judge; the said petition first having been published for two weeks in some reputable paper in the said town or city. This case is now in the courts and will be argued before the Supreme Court of this State, which convenes the first week in October, at which time it will be determined whether the bill can be referred under the "initiative and referendum" amendment to the State Constitution.
If not, it will mean, practically, prohibition over the entire State. If the case is lost in the Supreme Court it will be taken into the United States Court, on the ground that it confiscates the property rights of the negroes and allows them no voice in the matter.
These important measures failed to pass in the Legislature: Statutory State-wide Prohibition and an increase in the State and county license.
The Little Rock City Council, at a meeting last December, raised the City License for Retail Liquor Dealers from $1,000 per year to $1,200, and are now trying to cut down the number of saloons for the year 1914 in the city of Little Rock by one-half and raise the license to $2,400.
There will be no vote upon the license question until 1914; at that time each county votes as a unit, "for license" and "against license." This is a general election for State and county officers.
In September, 1912, the license party carried the State against State-wide prohibition, under an initiative petition presented by the Prohibitionists, by a majority of 16,000
The prohibition laws are not enforced as a rule in "dry" territory; "blind tigers" existing in all communities.
California: The Supervisors of Los Angeles county, Calif., have refused to renew licenses to the wineries of the county. This action will have the effect of prohibiting the sale of winery products
in the "dry" zones of the county, and will not permit the delivery of "wet" goods to common carriers if their sale in the "dry" zones is contemplated. Wineries may henceforth manufacture and deliver only to the "wet" districts.
In recent elections Santa Cruz rejected anti-saloon ordinance by 500 majority. Auburn, Watsonville and Colfax voted "wet" by good majorities, as did three supervisorial districts. Santa Barbara, one of the best known resorts in the west, practically went "dry." Saloons were eliminated and liquor selling in restaurants also was abolished. It still will be possible to procure liquor at a few places, however, as a proposition to prohibit table licenses in hotels was defeated.
There was an election on charter amendments in San Francisco December 10 (1912). The result tended further to upset predictions made more than a year ago as to what attitude the women of California would assume toward excise measures. The principal proposed amendment provided for the creation of local option units in the residential districts of San Francisco. It was defeated by
a vote of four to one.
In a recent municipal election in Los Angeles, where the percentage of women voters exceeds that of the men, a drastic saloon ordinance was beaten by more than three to one. harbor district of Los Angeles voted "dry."
Since then the
A proposed amendment to a Constitution of the Associated Students of the University of California, providing for the elimination of liquor from functions given by the student body, was voted down at a meeting of the association by a vote of practically 25 to 1.
On November 5th (1912) four cities and forty-two supervisorial districts in fifteen counties of California voted on the question of "license or no license," under the Wyllie Local Option Law. Two of the cities voted "wet" and two "dry," while twenty-eight supervisorial districts decided in favor of local option and fourteen rejected it. The total vote was 30,388, of which 16,928 voted "dry" and 13,460 "wet." The "dry" majorities reached 4,890 votes and the "wet" 1,422, leaving a total "dry" majority of 3,468 votes in the forty-six elections covering four cities and forty-two supervisorial districts.
Under the county initiative, Lake county adopted a "no license" ordinance by a majority of 25, and Sonoma county approved a county initiative anti-roadhouse ordinance by a majority of 1,732.