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Debate of Oct. 3, 1895.Question: Resolved, That the present Sunday-closing law in New York should be repealed.
Brief for the Affirmative.H. E. ADDISON and S. P. DELANY.
Best general references: Nation LX, 67 (Jan. 24, 1895); Public Opinion XVIII, 59, 65 (Jan. 17, 1895), 101 (Jan. 31, 1895); Forum XX, 1, 211 (Sept., Oct., 1895), Louis Windmuller, On the Resuscitation of the Blue Laws; Cyclopedia of Temperance and Prohibition, Articles Excise and Sunday-closing; New York Evening Post, Sept. 19, 1895 (Interview with Dr. Parkhurst); New York Evening Post, Sept. 24, 1895 (Speech of Mr. Perry Belmont); Editorials in N. Y. dailies Sept. 19-28, and in the Boston Herald Sept. 28, 29, 30.
I. The present law is difficult of execution.- (a) Against the wishes of the majority of the New York voters: Forum XX, 211 (Oct., 1895); Nat. LX, 67; Boston Herald, Sept. 29, Editorial.- (b) No police equal to the task: Nat. LX. 67; Forum XX, 211.- (c) Needless expense of time and money.
II. It leads to class discrimination.- (a) The rich man's club.- (b) The rich man's side board: New York Tribune, Tuesday, Sept. 17.
III. It is an impediment in the way of municipal reform: Dr. Parkhurst in New York Evening Post, Sept. 19.- (a) Arouses the lower classes against sound government: Nat. XL, 67.- (b) Throws the vote of the drinking population into the bands of Tammany, Nat. XL, 67.- (c) The law was passed for purposes of blackmail: Roosevelt, in Forum XX, 1.- (d) Destroys public respect for law: Nat. XL, 67.
IV, It vitiates the conscience of the indivdual by encouraging deceit and evasion.
V. The exigencies of the case can be better met by other methods.- (a) Local Option, Parkhurst: N. Y. Post, Sept. 19; Nat. XL, 67; Boston Herald, Sept. 28, 29, Editorials.- (b) More liberal legislation, Mayor Strong in Public Opinion XVIII, 101; Forum XX, 211.
Brief for the Negative.C. E. BRYAN and A. C. TRAIN.
Best general references: Theo. Roosevelt, in Forum, XX. 1 (Sept. 1895); McClure's Magazine, Vol. V. 475-480 (Oct. 1895); N. Y. Evening Post, Sept. 1, 2, 3; Public Opinion, 11 July '95, p. 51, July 25.
I. The present law is a good and desirable law.- (a) For religious reasons: Pub. Opinion, July 11, '95.- (1) Those who desire to use Sunday for purposes of worship are entitled to protection from disorders or disturbances.- (2) Those who desire Sunday for proper recreation should be protected against coercion. Pub. Opin. July 11, '95.- (b) For economic reasons.- (1) $184, 000 which was spent every Sunday for beer alone before the enforcement of the law would be diverted to better channcls: Pub. Opin., July 25, '95.- (2) Workingmen, instead of spending their wages in drink, and so injuring their powers for work, would save the money, or take their family for an outing: Roosevelt in Forum, Sept., '91.- (c) On the score of good order: Pub. Opin., Aug. 1, '95.- (1) Improves public morals: Pub. Opin., July 23, '95.- (2) Number of Sunday arrests for drukenness diminished one-half: Roosevelt in Forum, Sept., '95.- (3) Work of hospitals on Monday as a result of drunken brawls diminished one-half: Ibid.- (4) Work of city magistrates correspondingly decreased in Monday sessions: Ibid.- (5) Felonies decreased one a day during Roosevelt administration: Ibid.- (6) Enforcement of the law would drive a large number of the saloon keepers out of business: Independent, Aug. 29, '95, p. 11. McClure's Oct. '95, p. 479- (d) A similar law is in successful operation in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington: Outlook, 14 Sept., '95.
II. The law is practicable in New York: N. Y. daily papers-(a) Roosevelt has enfored the law: McClure's, Oct., '95,p. 477.- (1) Number of arrests for violation of Sunday-closing law has greatly decreased: N. Y. Tribune, Sept. 2, 9, '95.- (2) He has compelled the Liquor Dealers' Association to support the law: N. Y. Post, Sept. 3, '95.- (b) The law has the support of the people: N. Y. Post, Aug. 12, '95.- (1) Testimony of Warner Miller and D. B. Hill: Wine and Spirit Gazette, 18 July, '95.- (2) Roman Catholics favor the law: Letters in N. Y. papers signed A Catholic Pastor; Procl. of Plenary Council, Balto., 1884.
III. The present law is preferable to local option.- (a) Judgment of New York City is not so safe as that of the State.- (1) The population of N. Y. City being 80 per cent. foreign-born or children of foreign-born, is unfit to decide American excise questions: N. Y. Post, 9 Aug., '95.- (2) Saloons control the primaries, and local option would put the city government in the hands of saloon keepers entirely: Independent, 29 Aug., '95.- (b) Local Option is liable to grave abuse.- (1) In Wisconsin the town goes so far as to determine the rate of licenses: N. Y. Post, 25 Sept., '95.
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