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BREWERS AND WOMAN SUFFRAGE
Ta national conference of brewers in Chicago, in February last, President Ruppert made the following explicit declaration as to woman suffrage:
The charge is constantly being made that "the liquor interests" are offering the only organized opposition to Woman Suffrage. The Saturday Evening Post, of Philadelphia, made such a statement recently in its editorial columns, and I replied to it as follows:
"The editorial in your issue of Dec. 21st seems to take it for granted that the brewing industry is against woman suffrage, and implies that brewers are directing an active and organized opposition to it. The United States Brewers' Association, which comprises in its membership over two-thirds of the brewers of the country, has taken no part or position in this matter. In 1900 Miss Susan B. Anthony sent a letter to the Association at its annual convention, charging that the Association had 'from year to year adopted resolutions declaring against woman suffrage,' and appealed to us to reverse our action. Thereupon Mr. Obermann, of Milwaukee, made the following statement: 'Miss Susan B. Anthony is entitled to the respect of every man and woman in this country, whether we agree with her theories or not. I think it but fair and courteous to Miss Anthony that the Secretary be instructed to answer that letter and to inform Miss Anthony that this is a body of business men; that we meet for business purposes and not for politics. Furthermore, that she is mistaken and misinformed regarding her statement that we have passed resolutions opposing woman suffrage. We have never taken such action at any of our conventions or on any other occasion. I submit this as a motion.' The same was unanimously carried.
"Our Association has studiously refrained from taking any position in the matter, both because it is not within its province and also because its own members are divided in their personal opinions regarding it, just as they are about other political questions. It is, I believe, true that the liberal interests in Ohio cast their weight against woman suffrage. Indeed, Mr. Percy Andreae, who is connected with the brewing industry, made the following public statement after the election:
"Woman suffrage owes its defeat to the Anti-Saloon League, which made of it a 'wet' and 'dry' issue, and thus alienated from it
the sympathy of the liberal forces of the State, which stand sternly opposed to prohibition, no matter what guise it may masquerade in.'
"In Wisconsin the opposition appears to have been due to a combination of racial, religious and other prejudices.
"Michigan, by the way, appears to have defeated woman suffrage, but an analysis of the vote shows that nearly all the 'dry' counties voted against it; while most of the 'wet' counties voted in favor of it. Incidentally, we may say that the large vote cast by the women of Colorado against prohibition, and by the women of San Francisco and Los Angeles in favor of the continuance of the license policy, indicates that woman can be trusted to use good judgment on such issues when they are discussed fairly upon their merits."
The editors of the Post courteously acknowledged receipt of this statement, but failed to publish the same.
I do not believe that this is a subject with which we should concern ourselves as a trade. It is a political question and one in regard to which every man is entitled to his own individual opinion.
Commenting on the charge that the liquor interests have worked against woman suffrage, especially in Michigan, the New York Times says, editorially:
"Of the seventeen counties in Michigan which voted in favor of equal suffrage, twelve are 'wet' counties. That is to say, 70 per cent. of the counties favoring suffrage permit the manufacture and sale of liquor, and only 30 per cent. of those counties are 'dry'. Of the thirty-three counties in the State in which the sale of liquor is prohibited, twenty-eight voted against woman suffrage. On the other hand, thirty-eight of the fifty unregenerate counties, in which the use of intoxicants is still tolerated, voted against woman suffrage. In other words, 76 per cent. of the 'wet' counties refused to grant the right to vote to woman, while 84 per cent. of the prohibition counties were of the same opinion.
"The very day on which the vote for or against woman suffrage was cast, April 7, this year, twelve Michigan counties voted on the liquor question. Every one of these counties opposed woman suffrage. In six of them, Genesee, Ionia, Sanilac, Lenawee, Clinton and Montcalm, the aggregate majority in favor of prohibition was 2,519, while the aggregate majority against votes for women was 7,026."
"This disposes of the case of Michigan," concludes the Times, and it observes that no gain to the suffragists can be secured by assertions so reckless and mendacious. . . .
The Public Ledger, of Philadelphia, has the following eminently sane remarks on the subject of woman suffrage:
"In view of the contention that the participation of women in elections would be morally elevating and so strengthen the forces of righteousness that the 'demon rum' would everywhere be driven to its lair, an examination of election results in Colorado and Nebraska is instructive. In Nebraska, where the women do not vote, the 'wets' and the 'drys' fought a drawn battle. In Colorado, where the women do vote, the Prohibitionists were decisively defeated all along the line. In Boise, Idaho, where women have had the ballot for seventeen years, a proposal to decrease the number of saloons was overwhelmingly defeated.
"It is evident that there is no such thing as solidarity in the female vote, any more than there is in the male vote. Those who confidently predicted that women would rush en masse to the polls in support of 'sentimental legislation' will be shocked and disappointed. Those, on the other hand, who feared woman suffrage for that very reason, will be correspondingly elated. But if the entrance of women into politics is not alleviatory, where is there any gain, either for them or for the nation, in a grant of the franchise? They are entitled to the vote if they vote as men do, runs the argument, but if they cannot vote from a higher ethical standard than men, what is the use of their voting at all?
"That is specious, but if the women have stripped themselves of a fictitious precisianism, which was forced on them, have not they vindicated their intellectual integrity by assuming a perfectly sane attitude on sumptuary legislation which the best masculine political thought of the country has vigorously condemned? Certainly nothing can contribute so much to political progress as.intellectual honesty in elections. It is fair to assume, therefore, that the women have not weakened their cause, except among sentimentalists, by their use of the ballot in Colorado. They have not reformed politics, it is true, for reform is evolutionary in character and must be gradual, but they have partially exposed the fiction that women in the aggregate are without judgment and use their franchise heedlessly and emotionally....
AIMING AT NATIONAL PROHIBITION.
E have time and again pointed out to our members that the Anti-Saloon League was aiming at National Prohibition under the make-shift of local option. Elated over the passage of the Webb bill, it has at length frankly declared its purpose. That such program meets with full sympathy in the general body of temperance extremists is clearly evident from the following editorial expressions in the Michigan Christian Advocate. Under the caption "AMEND THE CONSTITUTION ONCE MORE," this paper states:
"Whether the Webb-Kenyon anti-shipment liquor bill, which is now federal law, be found constitutional or not, and whether, in its present form, it will be effectively enforced or not, it may be well for the temperance people of the United States immediately to inaugurate a movement to amend their Constitution prohibiting utterly the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors throughout the nation.
"We understand that the Anti-Saloon League of America has already declared itself in sympathy with this idea, and no doubt other temperance organizations would gladly do so.
"The fight to secure an amendment to the constitution would, however, not be an easy one. Liquor is no longer a necessity, but millions of people consider it a very desirable luxury, and they would contend with bloody vehemence against any measure to prohibit it as effectively as a federal constitutional law would do.
"But even though years, or decades, or even whole generations, should be required to carry the measure through, the educational influence of such a campaign would be wholesome from the start, and the mere possibility of reaching such a goal would be a constant inspiration to every temperance worker in the country."
Dr. Purley A. Baker, president of the Anti-Saloon League of America, has made the following official statement with regard to the "campaign for national prohibition”:
"The league confines its efforts to law enforcement and sentiment-building where that is the only policy public sentiment will sustain. It is for local prohibition where that policy meets the requirements of the most advanced public demand. It always has favored the adoption of State and national prohibition just as
quickly as an enlightened public conscience warrants. We believe the time is fully ripe for the launching of a campaign for national prohibition-not by any party or parties, but by the people. This does not mean we are to relax our efforts one iota for law enforcement, local prohibition, and prohibition by States, but it is a recognition of the fact that the task begun more than a hundred years ago should speedily be completed.
The time for a nation-wide movement to outlaw the drink traffic is auspicious. Organization is now established and in operation in all parts of the country. The forces that definitely oppose the traffic are in accord as at no time in the past. The moral, scientific and commercial aspects of the problem are being more intelligently put before the public than hitherto. The narrow, acrimonious and emotional appeal is giving way to a rational, determined conviction that the traffic being the source of so much evil and economic waste and the enemy of so much good, has no rightful place in our modern civilization.
"We appeal to every church, to all organized philanthropies and to every individual of every race and color, who loves his country and his kind, to join in this crusade for a saloonless nation. We depend for success upon the same leader who commanded Moses to 'speak to the Children of Israel that they go forward.''
The Anti-Saloon League of America has called a national convention to meet at Columbus, Ohio, next November, whose object is to inaugurate a new campaign for the prohibition of liquor and the liquor business in the United States by means of a "dry" amendment to the Constitution.
An amendment to the Federal Constitution prohibiting the sale of liquors is now the plan of the Anti-Saloon League of America, according to a statement issued by the League of Illinois. The statement in part follows:
"A résumé of the 'wet' and 'dry' situation after municipal elections of the entire nation, April 17, 1913, shows that of the 2,973,890 square miles, the saloon is now outlawed in 2,132,746 square miles. There are thirty-two States in which the combined number of saloons is less than the number in Chicago alone. 46,029,750 people are now living under no license. There are more than 500 cities having a population of 5,000 or more, and almost 200 cities having a population of 10,000 or more, in which saloons have been abolished.