From no less an authority than Dr. Clarence True Wilson, executive secretary of the Methodist board of temperance, prohibition, and public morals comes the revealing statement that prohibition is not designed to prevent drinking. Defending his unique interpretation of the eighteenth amendment Dr. Wilson says. "The prohibition laws were enacted to regulate public matters like the licensed sale of intoxicants. Prohibition was not designed to prevent you or me from drinking. That is a matter for our personal tastes."
While these sentiments will undoubtedly appeal to convivial Methodists, the reasoning by which Dr. Wilson reaches his remarkable conclusion, despite its pleasantness is unconvincing, for it is substantially an assertion that once assured that it is impossible to secure anything to drink, it is a matter of little concern to the government and the drys whether people drink or not. Stated in balder terms then these unusually liberal sentiments issuing from a temperance leader are seen to be based on a substantial foundation of sophistry.
If however, Dr. Wilson is really sincere in his attempt to conciliate prohibition with unrestricted drinking by individuals, it would appear that the bootlegging industry is indispensable to his scheme of things, for if an individual has the right to take a drink when he feels like it, a privilege which Dr. Wilson would not for the world deny anyone, the only way of obtaining that drink when licensed sale of liquor is prohibited is through the medium of bootleggers. Under these circumstances the more pertinent question arises as to just what features Dr. Wilson considers less objectionable in the unlicensed sale of dangerous liquors than in the licensed sale of reliable liquors.