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certainly a debatable question and is a political issue in many communities. A paper which advocates prohibition does not stultify itself by printing paid advertisements of arguments against prohibition or of the alleged merits of certain liquors, as long as it does not accept them as pay for changing or suppressing its own views on the subject.
As these criticisms of the advertising policy of the daily papers come from the official organs of certain churches, these churches lay themselves open to the retort of the Toronto Globe, which is engaged in a controversy on this subject, that "they accept free of cost the public services for which the saloon, the brewery, and the distillery have to pay special taxes. Every church in Toronto— in so far as it sits tax-free and lets the drink traffic pay a part of the cost of its fire protection and other public services-is a beneficiary of and a partner in the drink traffic."
THE GOTHENBERG SYSTEM.
American advocates of prohibition are much given to citing the Gothenberg system of handling the liquor traffic, which has long been in force throughout Norway and Sweden. Few of them have any accurate knowledge of it, and generally they fall into the error of supposing it to be a means of almost absolute suppression of the traffic. Of course it is nothing of the sort, while it has been unquestionably successful in abating some of the evils of drink among people whose preference has always been for ardent spirits.
To what extent the Gothenberg system fails in its avowed purpose to reduce drinking to a minimum, may be estimated from an article recently published in the Nineteenth Century. The writer, Miss Edith Sellers, describes her observations in the Scandinavian countries during a tour specially undertaken in order to study the practical operation of the celebrated and much discussed Gothenberg system.
"Drink," she says, "is easily obtainable by all who know the ropes." Never in her whole life, she declares, had she seen such steady-going hard drinking as in a steamer that plies between two prohibition towns. And she proceeds to arraign the system in the following emphatic style:
"Nowhere have so many Acts of Parliament been passed for the purpose of making man sober as in Scandinavia; nowhere have so many State, municipal and communal decrees been issued;
nowhere has so much thought been given, so much trouble taken. None the less, curiously enough, nowhere where I have ever stayed have I seen so much drunkenness as there; and I have stayed in Russia-in every country in Europe, in fact, excepting Greece, Portugal and Scotland. I saw so much drunkenness, indeed, while in urban Norway and rural Sewden, that I was tempted sometimes to doubt the evidence of my own eyes and ears, and to think that those who seemed to me drunk were in reality sober. Unfortunately, however, so far as urban Norway is concerned, official statistics are dead against this view of the case. For in Christiania no fewer than 15,115 persons were arrested in 1911; that is 41.4 persons a day on a average, or 62.5 per thousand of the whole population in the year; and one must be drunk indeed to be arrested, although not so drunk in Norway as in England. In Bergen, where spirit is sold only by the bottle, the arrests for drunkenness are about 30 per thousand, while in Stavanger, a prohibition town, they averaged in 1899-1905, 33 per thousand. Now English towns can hardly claim sobriety as one of their special virtues; yet in Christiania there are twenty more arrests for drunkenness per thousand inhabitants than in London town; fifty-four more than in London county; fifty-six more than in Birmingham; and fortynine more, even than in black Liverpool. For the arrests for drunkenness to be in the same ratio to population in Greater London, as they actually were in Christiania in 1911, 1,241 persons would have to be arrested every day, on an average."
Miss Sellers allows that the regulations intended by the Gothenberg system would undoubtedly make for temperance; they would render it impossible, indeed, for a man to drink to excess excepting in private houses, were the drink trade entirely in the hands of the Samlag. But that it never is anywhere, either in Norway or Sweden. In Stockholm the Bolag is only one of the many agencies through which spirit may be bought, and it can be bought there as easily as in London. Even in Christiania the Samlag sells hardly half the spirit that is sold, the other half being sold by privileged license-holders, who are free to push their sales, and whose interest it is to push them. Nor is this all; there are hotels and restaurants, as well as clubs, where spirit is sold for onconsumption, even when the Samlag's own shops are closed; and there are nearly 300 houses which sell wine and beer under municipal license, and there even boys of sixteen are served.
She notes as remarkable the fact that while more persons in proportion to the population are arrested for drunkenness in the towns of Norway than in the towns of any other country, the consumption of spirit per head of the population is now actually smaller than in any other country in Northern Europe, with the single exception of Finland. Even in Sweden it is lower than in Denmark, Holland, Germany, Austria, or France, although higher than in eight other countries, including Russia and England. Thus, although legislation has failed to make men sober in Scandinavia, it has undoubtedly succeeded in reducing considerably the amount of alcohol they drink. In 1871 the consumption of spirit per head of the population was in Norway 4.92 litres, and in Sweden in 1875 it was 12.4. In 1909 it was in Norway only 2.94 litres, and in Sweden 5 litres. But whereas, when free trade in spirit prevailed, the average Scandinavian took seven days in which to drink his week's supply, he now often drinks it all at one sitting, with the result that he becomes very drunk. Whether it is better for the community that a man be very drunk one day in seven, or a little drunk every day in the seven, is a point which the writer says she should be sorry to be called upon to decide.
Here is the author's sane conclusion: The united experiences of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia go far towards proving, surely, that it is useless to try to make men sober by passing Acts of Parliament, unless people's kitchens be provided, people's theatres too, and even in little villages something in the way of pleasure resorts as rivals to inn-parlors.
SWEDISH DOCTORS OPPOSE PROHIBITION.
The Swedish Medical Society has recently concluded a fiveyears' investigation of the liquor problem in its social relations. The Society had the assistance of the government in its work and has just published a voluminous report.
There is small comfort for American prohibitionists and antialcoholists generally in the conclusions of this Swedish Society. It is clearly opposed to total prohibition. The report points out that where prohibition has been tried, as in some of our States, the results are by no means reassuring, while in Swedish Lapland a similar experiment proved so manifestly futile that it was soon abandoned. One of the great difficulties in the enforcement of prohibitory laws is due to the ease with which alcoholic beverages
may be prepared for home consumption. A saturated solution of sugar will yield a liquor containing as much as 14 per cent. of alcohol, and agreeable beverages can readily be prepared from fruit, which is abundant and at everyone's disposal. This fact, together with the possibilities of an illicit traffic, is, in the opinion of the committee, a powerful argument against the practicability of total prohibition, quite apart from the question whether a less drastic course would not be sufficient to meet the evil of alcoholism. The recommendations put forward in the report include the elimination of private interests in the liquor traffic, restriction of the sale of alcohol for home consumption, the use of stringent measures against drunkenness, and the regulation of the trade by central and local authorities.
The medical committee has grave doubts about some of the arguments used by total abstainers and apparently regrets the carelessness with which the opinions of certain medical men and others have been suffered to pass unchallenged. It attributes this uncritical attitude on the part of the profession to a common belief in the good intentions of the extremists, but points out the danger of founding a policy on a prejudiced and unsound basis. As the inquiry lately concluded is one of the few ever conducted upon a sound scientific plan, it is interesting to note that the work of the Galton Eugenics Laboratory is referred to favorably in the report as free from the defects of earlier inquiries of the kind. The rage which this work aroused at the time suggests that the report of the Swedish Medical Society will be denounced with no less vehemence by reformers of a type only too prominent in this country.
(The work of the Swedish Medical Society is treated more extensively in the second part of this book.)
SEES NO GOOD IN PROHIBITION.
Dr. Axel Holst, of Norway, who came to this country to attend the recent International Conference of Hygiene at Washington, seized the opportunity to visit some of the prohibition territory of this country in order to see for himself how matters stand.
In an interview, which appears in the Portland (Me.) Eastern Argus, Prof. Holst said he was led to investigate the prohibition he had heard so much about for the purpose, if possible, of finding a system of regulating the liquor traffic that would be an improve
ment over what they have in Norway.
But what he had seen
led him to the conclusion that it is no improvement.
The conditions as to drunkenness in some of the cities of Norway are such as to lead Dr. Holst to the conclusion that some other system, if it could be found, would be more satisfactory. And it is in his efforts to find that system that he has undertaken this trip. But he said that after cruising about to a considerable extent and observing things as they are, he is of the opinion that the so-called prohibition system, as seen in Maine and elsewhere, is no improvement in the cities. He finds abundant evidence that the traffic in liquor is flourishing in cheap dives, low cellars and stables, and other places where it is not possible to have sanitary or moral conditions. He also finds by observation that the quality of liquor dispensed is far below the commercial standards.
Dr. Holst is convinced that in the boasted prohibition system of Maine there is nothing that can be adopted to advantage in his country.
PROHIBITION A PROVEN FAILURE.
A man of average logical faculty reading that the people of this country drank up some 64,500,000 barrels of beer in the past year, an increase of a million barrels over the previous year, will be moved to doubt the reality of so-called prohibition. His doubt will be strengthened on learning further that the people, not content with this Gargantuan draught of beer, also stayed themselves with 143,309,000 gallons of whisky and brandy, exceeding the previous year's record by 7,500,000 gallons. In face of these facts he is unable to solve the meaning of prohibition, and the much heralded purpose of the Prohibitionists to "dry up the whole country" appeals to his sense of humor. Finally, he is apt to conclude that the prohibition "cause" is one which seems as miraculously independent of practical results as of logical processes.
The average man will be confirmed in his view upon reading an article entitled “The Campaign Against the Saloon," recently published in a popular magazine. The writer is Dr. F. C. Iglehart, a prominent member of the Anti-Saloon League, and presumably one who should be well grounded in his facts and conclusions. The trouble with him, as with all who are concerned to defend the theory of prohibition, is that his conclusions are not properly and logically deducible from his facts. Thus he points out that "the United