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land, Judge Brewer went on to affirm that “when a lawful use is by statute made unlawful and forbidden and its value destroyed, the public shall make compensation to the individual." And, finally, he re-affirmed his position in this boldest declaration of all:
"We must recast some of our judicial decisions; and if that be not possible, we must rewrite into our Constitution the affirmations of the Declaration of Independence, in language so clear and peremptory that no judge can doubt or hesitate and no man, not even a legislator, misunderstand. I emphasize the words clear and peremptory, for many of those who wrought into the Constitution the Fourteenth Amendment believed that they were placing therein a National guarantee against future State invasion of private rights, but judicial decisions have shorn it of strength, and left it nothing but a figure of speech.'
BRITISH VIEW OF COMPENSATION.
The difference between the American and British attitude toward this question of compensating persons engaged in the liquor traffic, in the event of the legal extinction of their business, is marked and extraordinary. We are often accused of playing the "sedulous ape" to the Englishman in matters of fashion, etc., and it seems that we might profitably take an occasional lesson from him in the province of government. Certainly the British position on this question of compensation is in accord with simple justice and reflects credit on the national sense of honor and equity. Look at the contrast. In this country immense property interests are wiped out by prohibitory laws and not a dollar allowed for compensation, the highest Court in the land having affirmed the legality and justice of such virtual confiscation. In England, on the contrary, public sentiment favors the principle of compensation—the measure of such compensation was about the only question at issue regarding the Licensing Bill lately rejected by the Lords, both parties being agreed as to the principle of indemnification.
When the bill was introduced in February last (1908), Chancellor Asquith called attention to the fact that licenses were extinguished without compensation in the United States and in some of the British Colonies, and that legally such an enactment would not be wrong. But he added, “We think, and rightly in my opinion, that not only policy but equity demands a fair recognition
of the expectations upon which this industry has so long been conducted."
It may be needful to point out that nothing like the American idea or system of prohibition prevails in England. The bill rejected by the Lords simply gave to each community the right to say that there should be no increase in the number of licenses and it provided for a gradual reduction of the number of public houses, allowing a certain compensation to the holders of extinguished li
Moderate as this proposal was, being strictly in the line of regulation, it failed to find favor with the English people whose reverence for property and vested rights has often figured in the making of history. It is conceded that the Peers would not have dared to reject the bill had they not felt that the overwhelming mass of public sentiment was behind them.
But what would the British public think of such wholesale measures of spoliation and confiscation as are calmly proposed and as calmly executed in our liberty-loving country? For in England the liquor business is not regarded as outlawed, nor as the legitimate prey of venal agitators, and no such decision as that of our Supreme Court mentioned above, has ever emanated from the Woolsack. English Peers are heavily interested in brewing, as well as many clergymen of the Established Church, and nobody has to apologize for his connection with a trade which is recognized as a great source of the National wealth.
BRITISH STATESMEN ON COMPENSATION.
We append the views of some eminent British authorities on the question of compensation:
(Dalkeith, November 26, 1879.)
"But I must also add that I think, if it be necessary, if Parliament should think it wise to introduce any radical change in the working of the liquor law in such a way as to break down the fair expectations of persons who have grown up, whether rightly or wrongly, it is not their fault-it is our faultunder the shadows of those laws, their fair claim to compensation ought, if they can make good their case, to be considered, as all such claims have been considered, by the wisdom and liberality of a British Parliament.”
(In House of Commons, March 5, 1880.)
"As to compensation, the Licensed Victuallers ought to be dealt with exactly on the same principle as every other class in regard to which a vested interest has been permitted to grow up."
(In House of Commons, June 18, 1880.)
"I should have been better pleased with the matter of the resolution if my honorable friend had included in it some reference to the principle of equitable compensation. I want nothing more than this—a frank recognition of the principle that we are not to deny to publicans, as a class, perfectly equal treatment."
LORD SELBORNE (Late Lord Chancellor):
(Letter to Mr. Ellaby, June 10, 1890.)
"If I rightly understand the views and objects of those who in the name of temperance object to any payment being made for the purpose of such agreements as this bill would authorize, what they want is to take away from a large number of persons who have lawfully invested money in licensed public-houses, and against whom no case of misconduct, which might be a just cause for refusing to renew the license, can be alleged, their property and means of livelihood, and to do this without compensation. This, in my opinion, would be very unjust."
MR. JOHN BRIGHT:
(House of Commons, June 14, 1881.)
"I think the honorable baronet should further consider the question of compensation, and not think it absolutely wrong if Parliament, under those circumstances, did provide some mode by which men who are engaged in a lawful business should not be deprived of their business without some sort of compensation.'
MR. JOHN MORLEY:
(Letter to Mr. D. Gupwell, February 10, 1880.)
"I should strongly oppose any legislation which should overlook the fact that immense capital has been embarked in your trade, in the ordinary expectation that the trade would not be interfered with."
(House of Commons, April 12, 1888.)
"I do not see any way to dispute the equitable claim to compensation which the publicans have. The publicans hold a property which has a marketable value, and in which they have invested a considerable sum. They are, at all events, conducting a legal traffic over which the Legislature has, to a certain extent, thrown its shield and protection, and they cannot be fairly and properly deprived of their means of livelihood without giving them compensation. All precedent would be against our adopting such a course. *** LORD CHIEF JUSTICE COLERIDGE:
(At the annual Meeting of the Church of England Temperance Society, April, 1888.)
"If they (the Temperance Party) desired to gradually diminish the number of Houses, nothing would help them more than proceeding on the lines of equity and justice, and nothing would defeat their ends more than taking the opposite course. Whatever might be the extent of the legal rights of publicans, they had no right to ruin them because the mind of England had changed on the drink question."
SIR WILFRED LAWSON:
(House of Commons, June 18, 1880.)
"Honorable members tell me that there ought to be something about compensation in my resolution. If I would only do that they could find it in their hearts to vote for me. Now, I do not want to condemn compensation. * * * I am quite sure, if ever my resolution is crystallized into an Act of Parliament, this House will never refuse a fair demand from any body of men."
MR. ARTHUR ARNOLD:
(House of Commons, June 18, 1880.)
"Now, I can only say for myself that I regard a license possessed by the man who has the privilege of holding that license for the sale of wine and spirits as a very substantial property, and I will tell the House why-because there is in regard to that license every feature of property."
Hon. Arthur BALFOUR (Speaking as Prime Minister, 1903):
'Surely it must stand to reason that if you make property in licenses absolutely insecure no man of position or substance will engage in the trade *** I, therefore, look with the utmost alarm to anything which would absolutely drive out all the good men and leave the work which has to be done, and will be done by somebody, legislate how you will, to men who have neither character, nor money, nor position to lose.”▲
The publications of the United States Brewers' Association have a distinct educational aim and purpose. Their candor and impartiality, their accuracy and thoroughness, their absolute honesty in presenting the facts, whatever conclusions may be deduced therefrom, have been admitted by many of the foremost scholars and sociologists in this country and in Europe. As we have pointed out elsewhere, the growing liberality of the public mind in this country regarding the varied aspects of the liquor problem is, and has been for many years, in great part due to the influence exerted by these publications.
In the future our work along lines of popular education and publicity will be greatly extended and, even more than in the past, will command the attention and confidence of all honest investigators.
We append a partial list of our publications, including reprints of pamphlets and articles in magazines, etc., which we have purchased and distributed.
Bibliography of Alcohol by Dr. Nathan Oppenheim. unique compilation, the most complete and comprehensive work on the subject ever published in any language. An extensive list of books, treatises, etc., in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian, that will be found invaluable by students of the liquor question, especially in its scientific phases.
International Temperance Congress (Held at Zurich) .
Effects of Beer Upon those Who Make and Drink It.