Page images
PDF
EPUB

jury has been called to try a criminal case in ten years; fifty-three Kansas jails have no inmates; thirty-eight Kansas counties have empty poorhouses.” Yet on June 1, 1914, Kansas had 892 penitentiary inmates; 3,427 insane in hospitals in the State; the county jail population on that date was 4,883. These are the figures given by the Kansas State Board of Control-only totals furnished; not enumerated by counties.

But some Kansas counties have practically no population. Five have less than two persons to the square mile, and thirty-four show a decrease in population, between 1900 and 1910, of from 6 to 15.9 per cent. It is easy to see why some counties are not represented in State institutions. Incidentally, is it not rather fatuous to cite empty jails in proof of prohibition as a reducer of crime? On January 1, 1910, there were forty-seven empty county jails out of a possible ninety-one in Nebraska, a license State.

8—Mr. White states that Kansas' annual death rate is 7.5 to a thousand inhabitants. Once more official figures do not exist. Deaths from all causes in twelve Kansas cities in the registration area were covered for the first time in 1912. See page 56, United States Census Bureau Mortality Statistics, just issued. The total population of these twelve cities, according to census of 1910, was 303,443; the total deaths from all causes in 1912 was 4,796–15.8 to a thousand inhabitants, instead of 7.5.

9-Mr. White states: "Bank deposits in Kansas have increased in ten years from $100,000,000 to $220,000,000"—yet the 1913 Report of the Comptroller of Currency, page 58, shows the total bank deposits of Kansas on June 4, 1913, to amount to $179,424,502.44, and not $220,000,000.

10—Mr. White states: "The average holding of taxable property is $1,666.92"---yet Financial Statistics for 1912, just issued by the Census Bureau-see page 334—show that Kansas is assessed on from ninety to one hundred per cent of the full, true value of the property of the State. Page 44 of the Census Bureau Bulletin, on Wealth, Debt and Taxation, credits Kansas with $1,468 a head, and not $1,666.92.

Mr. White quotes the Wall Street Journal as stating the average property holding per capita in Kansas to be the largest in America; but the Census Bureau Bulletin credits Nevada with $5,214 per capita, and lists twenty-three States higher than Kansas.

II-Mr. White states that Census Bureau reports show that

the Kansas death rate decreased faster than that of any other State. As already explained, only a small part of Kansas is included in the registration area, and Census Bureau reports have no comparisons whatever as to increase or decrease in the Kansas death rate.

12—Mr. White states: "Kansas has more students in colleges, according to population, than any other State in the Union.” Here, again, his claims are wholly at variance with official figures. Kansas, according to 1910 population, had one student in college for every 272.5 persons; Iowa had one for every 202.6 personsdifference of thirty per cent. in Iowa's favor. See page 123, Abstract Census, 1912.

Perhaps these corrections are sufficient to show that Mr. White's conclusions, however interesting in themselves, are not based on accurate figures.

For evidence that the prohibitory law is not successfully enforced, Mr. White is respectfully referred to articles published in his own paper on January 14th, 16th, 31st; February 30, 7th, ioth, 11th, 14th ; March 2d, 3d, 4th ; July 8th, 9th, and other dates in 1914.

All that Mr. White has shown is that for thirty-four years Kansas has been struggling—perhaps more sincerely than any other State—with prohibitory laws; and that her success is still open to question. He has also proved that Kansas is mightily pleased with herself; that she modestly concedes her own superiority and patronizingly invites less fortunate states to imitate her.

Hugh F. Fox, Secretary of the United States Brewers' Association.

MR. WHITE'S REJOINDER On November 14th, Mr. White came back with an additional statement—which begins as follows:

The opportunity to reply to Mr. Hugh F. Fox, Secretary of the United States Brewers' Association, gives me great pleasure; and much of the pleasure is derived from the fact that it gives me an opportunity to correct a mistake in my original article. Mr. Fox properly calls attention to the mistake in what we may call indictment number four of his reply. That statement is incorrect and should not have been made; it was taken from figures furnished by the Kansas State Board of Control of Charitable Institutions; and, though it was exactly correct at the time it was made, several years ago, the shifting of the population of the paupers and insane in the Cook County and the Illinois State asylums has rendered the figures incorrect for use to-day. This I did not know when I wrote the article to which Mr. Fox so ably replied. The remaining eleven of his twelve indictments, however, are utterly worthless and will not bear investigation.

For instance, indictment number one declares that an article headed “Plenty of Booze in Emporia” appeared in the Emporia Gazette of February 7, 1914. No such article appeared; but one did appear headed "Bootleggers Confess and Draw a Fine and a Jail Sentence.” Mr. Fox charges that on March 2d an article appeared in the Gazette headed “Emporia, Kansas, Not a Dry Town! Prohibition Only Keeps Liquor Out About a Month at a Time.” No heading of that kind, or any heading like it, appeared in the Gazette of that date or of any other date. The charge is without the slightest substantiation in fact.

He declares that on March 4th an editorial appeared, written by me, headed “Booze and Cards for Kansas Women ; Society in Prohibition State Mix Bridge and Booze." The only editorials in the paper on March 4, 1914, written by me or by anyone else are these three: One praising President Wilson, one about using vacant lots for gardens, and one on Kansas Bull-Moose politics. But, assuming that Mr. Fox may have his dates mixed, I will say that no editorial under that heading ever appeared in the Gazette, nor did tha' heading ever appear on any page of the Emporia Gazette. The files of the Gazette are in the Kansas State Historical Society, open to everyone.

MR. FOX'S REPLY

.

Part of Mr. White's rejoinder is a deliberate attempt to fool the public, and the balance is merely a repetition, backed up by documents, of his belief that figures supplied by local favorites are more reliable than those in the Bulletins of the United States Census. Mr. White's answer to “Indictment No. 1” is simply buncombe; it is unworthy of him. I sought to prove by Mr. White's own paper, the Emporia Gazette, that liquor law violations were common in Emporia. I referred to various articles and editorials published from January to July, 1914, but I was in error in quoting as headings to these articles the titles under which they were indexed among the clippings preserved by the United States Brewers' Association. The articles did appear; Mr. White knows perfectly well they appeared; they prove conclusively what was claimed, and yet Mr. White wilfully tries to mislead his readers. For instance: he was charged with printing an editorial headed : “Booze and Cards for Kansas Women; Society in Prohibition State Mixes Bridge and Booze.” This should have read, an editorial on “Booze and Cards, etc.Mr. White states that “no editorial under that heading ever appeared in the Gasette, nor did that heading ever appear on any page of the Emporia Gazette." This is literally true as to the heading, but readers may judge for themselves as to the editorial:

WHY NOT COME CLEAN? While we are cleaning up the pool halls, which is all right, why not come clean, and abolish society gambling for prizes, and polite drinking? · Every week the columns of the Gazette contain news of bridge parties where the prizes are of more or less value, and every month or so a story is whispered around about some woman who takes too much bridge and booze together and loses what sense she has.

In a prohibition State, where the poor man is deprived of his bar, rich women, who claim to be respectable, have no moral right to drink at bridge parties, and to play for valuable prizes. It is a bad example to children; it's a horrible example to those who can't afford it, and it's a filthy habit beside.

Just roll this in your cigarette and smoke it."

This is merely an evidence of Mr. White's method of dodging the issue. He easily recognized the editorial by its description, but took refuge in quibbling about the heading.

Mr. White states that "The whole charge that the files of the Gazette showed that Emporia is wet, or even reasonably moist, is

a

without any foundation, other than the desire of some defender of the liquor traffic to make a point for his employers” and that “the whole grist," from the columns of the Emporia Gazette, "does not show enough liquor sold by bootleggers in six months to much more than make up the morning's business of a quiet little saloon, on a quiet corner of a country village on a busy day.” Yet, on September 23, 1914, an article in the Emporia Gazette, entitled : “The Irony of Folly,” states that "In the Kansas jail the other day were fourteen men on the rock pile working out fines for drunkenness," and the man in charge of them was a 'trusty,' who was serving a long term for booze-selling. Here are fourteen drunkards and a dealer gathered together, according to the columns of Mr. White's own paper; and yet in six months there was not enough liquor sold to equal the morning's business of “a quiet little saloon.”

Emporia, Kan., according to the Census of 1910 (which, of course, may not be convincing to Mr. White), had a population of 9,058. I have before me nineteen clippings from the Emporia Gazette regarding drunkenness or booze-selling. They are all of recent date, but Mr. White states that the charge that Emporia is even "reasonably moist," is without foundation,

Mr. White ought to admit the error of his ways. He has the hardihood to make it appear that the figures he cites for Kansas can be brought into comparison with those for the rest of the country. That Kansas does not have a place in the latest reports of the United States Government, because it was not, at the time of their publication, admitted to the registration area, does not worry him in the least. He even pretends to knowledge concerning States for which no official figures whatsoever are published. Besides, he stands convicted of having stated things which are untrue. Instead of explaining how this happened, or apologizing, he is content to produce a statement, made under oath by Dr. S. J. Crumbine, Secretary of the Kansas State Board of Health, which is much more likely to mislead than to enlighten.

Mr. White made the astounding assertion that "Kansas has fewer deaths from kidney diseases than any other State." As about one-half of the States are outside of the registration area, and do not publish reports about deaths of this kind, it is perfectly obvious that Mr. White's statement is not entitled to serious consideration; but to bolster up his case, he cites figures provided him by the Kansas Board of Health. It should be noted that these figures are

« PreviousContinue »