A large audience gathered last night in Sever 11, on the occasion of the Union debate. After the minutes of the last meeting had been read and approved, the subject of the next debate was taken up and the following resolution was selected: "Resolved, That European immigration should be further restricted."
Mr. E. E. Shoemaker, '89, opened the debate for the affirmative, the question being: Resolved, That the prohibitory amendment to the Massachusetts constitution ought to be adopted.
He said that there are two methods, persuasion and legislation, which can rid us of the evil of intemperance. The evil has three elements, viz., the brewery and distillery, the saloon, and the drinker; and if the first one can be overthrown, the overthrow of the two others will follow. Now what is the best means of overthrowing the distillery and the brewery? Surely not persuasion. Should then high or low license, local option or a constitutional amendment be the means? The latter is the best means owing to its superior principle.
Mr. R. W. Hale, '92, opened the debate for the negative. The alternative, he said, is between prohibition and nine-tenths prohibition, for nine-tenths prohibition is the present condition of Massachusetts. There are numerous objections to the adoption of the prohibitory amendment, viz, it would be unconstitutional and degrading, and a prohibitory law could not work where there is no local option. Such an amendment would then be a farce, as Rhode Island and many other states can testify.
Mr. J. L. Dodge, '91, second on the affirmative, said that prohibition is the only right method, as drinking tends to crime; therefore, intemperance must dealt with in the same manner as crime, by prohibition, not by license. Prohibition will prohibit, but it will take time, as is always the case with great reforms. High license will merely connive at the evil, prohibition will stifle it.
F. B. Wiliams, L. S., second on the negative said that it is not right to make a prohibitory amendment part and parcel of the Massachusetts constitution, for a constitution is not a code of law or of morality. The principles of every constitution have all been proved successes. The same cannot be said of prohibition. Again, the theory of governments is to leave as much as possible to local bodies; hence if the people of Massacnusetts want prohibition let each separate city council voth for prohibition.
The following men spoke from the floor; on the affirmative: W. A. Lane, C. C. Ramsay, Morton '92, Perkins '92, Reisner '89, D. Harp. P. G.; on the negative: G. H. Beach, '89, Friend L. S,, Tileston '91, Savary L. S., Hudson '89.
Vote on the merits of the question: affirmative 37, negative 38; vote on the merits of the principal disputants: affirmative 37, negative 44; vote on the debate as a whole: affirmative 15, negative 18.