ANTI - PROHIBITIONISTS HURL DEFI AT HOOVER
AGREES WITH YALE ECONOMIST'S STAND ON DRINKING
"One reason why the advocates of the repeal of the Volstead Act are so agitated at the present time is because they have hurled a definite challenge at President Hoover," said Thomas Nixon Carver, David A. Wells Professor of Political Economy, when asked to comment on statements made in behalf of Prohibition by Professor Irving Fisher, Yale economist, in a recent address. "If he succeeds in improving conditions as they are, and materially cutting down the evil as it now exists, the main argument of the wets will be gone. They have been hurling the lack of enforcement into the faces of their opponents for so long that it would be a death knell to their hopes if Hoover can show a marked improvement in enforcement conditions."
Alcohol Like a Drug
A pertinent point of the Yale Professor's lecture was that "Alcohol is a poison and a nareotic just like morphine, and a single glass of beer is sufficient to render some men incapable of driving an automobile safely." Professor Carver agreed heartily with this argument, and added that, in the matter of drunken driving, there is more danger to a community from the actions of a moderate drinker than from a habitual drunkard. "A man" completely intoxicated is not likely to go out and drive a car, whereas a person who has but a few drinks, maybe one or two, will be allowed to drive his car, in doing which he endangers the lives of citizens. The fact that a man who has had but a small amount of intoxicating liquor does not realize the gravity of the situation is one of the definite evils of the whole affair. The ill that may result to oneself from excess drinking, is not half so bad as that which may happen to sober members of society. The world needs fool-killers, and if the drinker injured himself alone we need not interfere.
Attitude of Press Wrong
"One of the important blocks to the carrying out of liquor prevention enforcement is the attitude of the press. If the majority of the newspapers should tell the truth, the attitude of a great proportion of the people would be greatly changed. If more sheets such as the Christian Science Monitor and a few others should stick to facts, this problem could be far more successfully attacked.
"With regard to the improvement already shown from Prohibition: the following statistics are of interest: from the passage of the law until 1921, deaths from liquor declined definitely: then, there was a slow increase until the winter of 1926-1927; but now the deaths caused either directly or indirectly from excessive (or even moderate) consumption of alcohol have been checked by the law. The number has never been so high as in pre-prohibition days, and never will as long as the present law is in existence.
"The argument often advanced in favor of drinking, that there should be no harm in drinking, and that there is great pleasure therefrom can easily be answered. Professor Fisher's statement as to the drugging effect of liquors is in itself a valid refutation of the facts of the point; and furthermore, the argument is on the face of it a fanatical one. Drinking as a personal pleasure should never be used as an argument in advocating the use of liquors when there are so many dangers involved.