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COMMENT

The "Republican" Protests.

Mr. Wilson has taken a wrong course in recommending that Congress remove the statutory ban on the manufacture and sale of wine and beer, which is to go into effect in accordance with law on July 1. To be sure, a technical case of some strength can be presented in support of the recommendation, in view of the fact that the war prohibition act to which the President refers was designed "for the national security and defense by stimulating agriculture and facilitating the distribution of agricultural products."

The Republican was inclined to deprecate the passage of this act in the first place on the ground that it was not what it pretended to be and that constitutional prohibition was due only a few months later. Yet, inasmuch as the bill was enacted, even after the signing of the armistice, the present situation is very different from the earlier one.

By this law, Congress in effect 'anticipated by about six months a nation-wide prohibition under the Federal amendment. The amendment cannot be repealed; it must be enforced, beginning next winter. So far as any individual is concerned, it may make little difference whether wine and beer can be bought and sold for beverage purposes in the second half of this year, so long as they must go under the ban within a few months at the latest. But something more important than that is now involved. Having determined upon its policy, the Government should adhere to it for the sake of its own dignity and prestige. --Springfield Republican.