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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 3, 1910)
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JUNE 3; 1910-
BEFORE THE CATHOLIC TOTAL ABSTIN
The following appeared In the Chicago
Record-Herald of May 19:
William Jennings Bryan took the platform
as a temperance orator at the Auditorium
theater -last night under the auspices of tho
Catholic Total Abstinence Union. His address
attracted an "audience of two thousand persons,
who enthused as much as ever over his political
utterances in times past.
v Mr. Bryan discussed the term "personal lib
erty" in a manner that seemed to please his
" 'Personal liberty' is a phrase which is used
a great deal by those who oppose legislation on t
the liquor question," said Mr. Bryan. "It is
time that we had a definition of 'personal lib
erty.' We are all opposed to any unnecessary
restrictions upon personal liberty, and yet wo
are all in favor of such restrictidns as may be
necessary. The question is, what is necessary?
"The individual surrenders a certain amount
of his personal liberty when he enters society.
Ho makes this surrender in return for the ad
vantages derived from society. For instance:
"If a' man is living on a desert he can ride
his horse as fast as he pleases. But he can' not
run his horse on a public highway. He can not
gratify his love for horse racing at the risk of
the lives of others.
"Every city fixes a speed limit. Even the
liberty of the automobilist is restricted at times,
and he is compelled to reduce the speed of his
machine to a point that is considered safe. And
so with the restriction upon the sale and use of
liquor. No individual can claim a right to use
liquor in such a way as to infringe upon the
equal rights of other people.
"I would not favor legislation forbidding use
of liquor at any time or under any circum
stances. I would, consider this an unnecessary
limitation upon the liberty of the individual, but
I am in favor of such restriction as may seem
necessary for the protection ef society.
' - "There is a good deal of discussion at this
time over the unit. That is, as to whether the
power to regulate the liquor traffic shall be vest
ed in the town, in the precinct, in the 'county,
in, the.: state, or In the ndtion. .
' ' "I 'holdrf that .every ujalt ought to have au
thority to act on this subject, except as it is
restrained by a larger unit. That is, that the
block, the ward, the city, the precinct, the
county, the state arid the nation should have
the undisputed right to exclude the sale of
liquor within its limits, or to fix such restric
tions upon the sale of liquor as the people of
the unit may deem necessary for their protec
tion and welfare. I believe, also, that the larger
unit has a right to control the smaller one on
this, as on other subjects.
"It is sometimes objected that this rule 'does
not work both ways. That is, that while a
county has the right to, .close all the saloons
' within its borders in case the county goes dry,
that a victory for the wets -does not' give au
thority to open saloons anywhere and evry
where within the county. But this is not a
"The saloon differs from all other businesses
In that no one regards it as a blessing. It is
not defended as a good thing. It is v not -an
educational center. It is not an economic or
moral asset to a' community. It is a nuisance,
and only tolerated when it is believed to be
necessary. It can not be defended at all if the
community does not want it.
"No one would be willing to stand sponsor
for the doctrine that a saloon ought to be forced
Into a town against the wishes of the people of
the town. But the right of the people of the
community to protest is so well recognized and
bo firmly established that I need not discuss
"What I want to emphasize is that there ought
to be no objection to the exercise of authority
by any unit The 'liquor dealer ought to be
content to sell where his services are desired,
and the nianufacturer of liquor ought to be
content to dispose of his products among those
jwho desire them. He is entirely outside of his
sphere when he attempts, to force his business
upon a community or to Interfere in decisions
upon the liquor question.
"Whether liquor should be sold or -not in
any community is a question which Jhe com
munity can determine better than outsiders, and
jit have no disposition to lay down rules upon this
fiubject. I content myself with asserting the
fright of the community to control, and am wil
ling that the community shall decide this ques
tion upon its own judgment. It the people of
v4fc block object to having a saloon in the block
I think they ought to have a right to exclude it.
"If the people of a ward object to having a
saloon in tho ward, I think thoy ought to have
a right to exclude it. If the people of a town
object to having a saloon in tho town, I think
they ought to have tho right to exclude it. If
the people of a county object-to having a saloon
in the county, I think they, ought to have tho
right to exclude it, and so with tho state and
with tho nation.
"If, on tho other hand, the people of any unit
desire a, saloon, they ought to have it, provided
the people of the larger unit consent. It can
not bo argued with justice that people of any
ward or town or county shall have tho right to
open saloons without consulting a largor unit,
because the saloon at its best is a menace and
a' demoralizing influence. Moreover, it increases
taxes and jeopardizes both property and life.
All who are in a position to suffer from tho ex
istence of a saloon have a right to a voice in de
ciding whether it should be permitted to exist."
Discussing proposed federal legislation on the
liquor question, Mr. Bryan said ho favored an
act recognizing the right of a state to control
shipments of liquor immediately upon its en
trance into the state. He criticised tho govern
ment for issuing federal lipenses where no. local
licenso has been issued.
".The interstate commerce clause of tho con
stitution has been used in the nullifying of state
laws on the liquor question," ho said. "I be
lieve that we ought to have an act of congress
recognizing the right of a state to control ship
ments of liquor the moment the liquor enters
"If the state can bo Intrusted with the enact
ment of laws for tho protection of the homo,
for the protection of property and for the pro
tection of life, It ought to be intrusted with the
enactment ' of liquor laws. If tho state 'can be
trusted with the imprisonment of the Individual
and even with the taking of human life, surely
it can be Intrusted with the'contrpl of tho use,
sale and transportation of liquor within its
"There Is another congressional act needed.
You will find that there are a great many more
federal licenses issued in every state than there
are licensed saloons. This seems that in every
state- liquor is sold contrary -to local laws. '
. "The federal government ought not to be'fn
partnership with lawbreakers. I believe that
we should have a congressional statute prohibit
ing the issuance of a federal license except where
a local license haB been issued. Objection has
been made to this on the ground that the con
stitution would prohibit such partiality In the
issuance of federal licenses.
"Without attempting to decide this constitu
tional question I venture to suggest that the
same end might be reached in another way. Tho
law might require every applicant for a federal
license to furnish proof that ho has published
notice of his application for a federal licenso
and has served written notice upon tho local
authorities; in this way the local authorities
would be put upon their guard. Certainly no
objection can be made to such a measure.
"If the federal government can not withhold
a license in dry territory, it certainly can not
do less than require that the local authorities
shall be notified of the intention of the local
dealers to sell liquor in violation of liquor
Turning to the individual aspect of the prob
lem, Mr. Bryan said ho would not call it sinful
to take an occasional drink, but believed it to
be folly to driuk even in moderation.
"I am a teetotaler, and have been all my life;"
he said. "I do not use intoxicating liquor as a
beverage, and wherever opportunity offers for
the giving of advice, I advise others to abstain.
I would not say that it Is a sin to take an
occasional drink, but I am willing to indorse
the opinion expressed by Solomon, more than
twenty centuries ago, and say, with him, that
'wine Is a mocker, strong drink Is raging, and
whosoever is deceived thereby, is not wise!'
"I hold that it is not wiso to drink even in
moderation. First, because drinking is an ex
pensive habit. It is not wise to spend on a thing
that Is useless money which would yield a .re
turn in benefits If expended In some other way.
The least that can be said of money spent for
liquor is that it Is wasted, and no one can afford
to waste money, no matter how much" of it he
may have. I might go farther, and add that a
vast sum is spent on liquor which, in equity,
belongs to parent, to wife, to children or to
society." . ;
Previous to tho Auditorium meeting Mr. Bryan
was banqueted at the Hotel LaSalle. From tho
hotel to the Auditorium theater went a proces
sion headed by tho Panlist and Hibernian divi
sions of tho Illinois" temperance cadets and tho
Paulist flfo and drum corps. Along tho lino of
march on LaSallo streot, Jackson boulevard and
Michigan avenuo great crowds gatherod and gavo
tho famous commoner a big ovation.
ON THE VERDI ;
It is a long rido from Rio to BarbadoB-7-3187
miles and tho trip is made in cloven days,
but a great deal depends on tho boat and tho
passongers. I am making tho journey on tho
Verdi, a two-year-old ship belonging to t.b.
Lamport and Holt Lino, which makes tho round
trip from Now York to Buenos Aires ovory tlir.90
months. Captain J. Byrno Is in charge of t.)jo
vessel and ho is ono of tho most genial and ac
commodating captains I havo mot. When ho
is not on duty ho spends his time trying to ad1
to tho comfort and pleasure of tho passengers.
There aro about ono hundred passengers on ,tlo
upper dock, representing several nationalities
and all havo taken part in tho games and social
gatherings that havo relieved tho monotony of
Wo havo had tho ordinary religious services,
a meeting at which addresses woro made and
several national hymns woro sung by the pas
sengers representing those nations. One .even
ing was given up to a' program furnished by a
wild west show which is returning from Ar
gentina, and another to a minstrol show In
which tho different parts were taken by mem
bers of the crow. Two afternoons havo been
occupied with games on tho deck. Tho.follow
ing is a partial program:
Sports To bo held on. board Thursday, March
24 and Saturday, March 26, 1910, commencing
at 2:15 p. m. each day.
President Captain J. Byrno.
Chairman Mr. T. Blumenthal. n ,
Treasurer Mr. H. Baynes. ' '
Secretary Mr. R. A. Hulso.
Committee Mrs. Porter, Miss J. Buhtar, Mr.
Juan de Bertodano. - ' '
Potato Race Gents.
Potato Race Children'.
Sack Race. , r
Egg and Spoon Race. '
Whistling Race. : "
Tug of War Gents. ?t
Nail Driving Compotition-
PIllow Fight on Sparr
Chalking Pigs Eye Ladies
' Tug of War Ladles.
"Are You Tljere?" Pillow Contest.
As will bo seen, men, women and childron
take part. The most spirited contest was what
is generally known as tho "spar fight." Two
men sit astride a spar or pole and fight with
pillows. As they are not allowed to put their
hands on the pole they soon lose their balance
and fall on the mats below the one who keeps
his balance longest wins. There were many
entries and the winners in the different con
tests were matched against each other until all
had been eliminated but two Mr. Peterson, a
big Swedish-American from Minneapolis, and
Trent Stormi, a tall Argentine with some Swiss
blood in his veins. They were well matched and
each one won a fall from the other. Then
Peterson went down a second time, an it looked
like Stormi had won, but he, having a high
gense of honor told the judges that he was not
entitled to tho decision because ho had invol
untarily put his hand on the pole and thus
kept his balance. Then they went at it again
and after a few pillow blows were exchanged
Stormi went down and left Peterson the victor.
Another pillow contest which afforded a great
deal of amusement was the game called "Aro you
there?" Two men are blind-folded and then
armed with pillows and placed a few feet apart.
They alternately ask "Are you there?" When
one asks tho question the other answers yes
and tries to dodge. As may bo imagined, the
efforts to strike where the sound cdmes from
and the efforts to escape keep the onlookers in
a' state of hilarity.
There are fourteen Argentine officers on board
on their way to the United States to superintend
the Construction of the two battleships for the
building of which contracts were recently award
ed to American firms. They are a fine lot of
men, most of them young, and they have taken
an active part in -the games. The Americans
'outnumber any other nationality on the passen
ger list. Most of them afe young business men
or represent American houses. Tho next group
in number is composed of missionaries and
t -..fofrtrfcy r -w &.,Wim
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