The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 71
New York (population 5,082,871 at date of report)
New York (population 5,082,871 at date of report).
In the State of New York the local option law is in force. Under it excise matters are regulated by the people of each town and municipality. Any city, town, or village can, by a majority, vote for local prohibition, but there are no statistics available to show to what extent the option has been exercised in the direction of prohibition. On the whole the prohibition party in this State cannot be held to be largely on the increase. The tendency is rather in favour of the high license system, which, while not injuring the revenue, is looked upon as the surer means of diminishing the evils of the liquor traffic' Under the auspices of the high license party, the "Crosby Bill" was introduced into the Legislature last January, and after undergoing certain amendments was passed by both houses.
The text of salient parts of the Bill is here given in extenso, as being a very good specimen of a high license Bill:—
An Act to further amend chapter 628 of the Laws of 1857, entitled "An Act to Suppress Intemperance, and to Regulate the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors"
The people of the State of New York represented in Senate and Assembly do
enact as follows:—
Section 1.—Section 4 of chapter 628 of the Laws of 1857 is hereby further amended so as to read as follows:—
|1.||Liquor license.—To sell liquors of any kind, to be drunk on the premises|
|2.||Wine and beer license.—To sell malt liquors and wine, to be drunk on the premises.|
|3.||Storekeeper's liquor license.—To sell liquors of any kind, not to be drunk on the premises.|
|4.||Storekeeper's beer license.—To sell malt liquors and wine, not to be drunk on the premises.|
|5.||Druggist's license.—Licenses to druggists and apothecaries to sell liquors of any kind for medicinal, mechanical, and chemical purposes only to such persons as may certify in writing for what use they want it.|
- For a license of the first class, not less than £200.
- For a license of the second class, not less than £20.
- For a license of the third class, not less than £20.
- For a license of the fourth class, not less than £20.
- For a license of the fifth class, not less than £20.
Such licenses shall only be granted on written application to the said Board, signed by the applicant or applicants, specifying the place for which license is asked, and the name or names of the applicant or applicants, and of every person interested, or to he interested, in the business, to authorise which the license shall be used; and the license shall be kept posted by the person or persons licensed in a conspicuous position in the room or place where his or their sales are made, and page 12 shall be exhibited at all times by the person or persons so licensed, and by all persons acting under such license, on demand, to every sheriff, constable, or [unclear: officer], or member of police. Any omission so to display and exhibit such certificate shall be presumptive evidence that any person or persons so omitting to display and exhibit the same has and have no license.
The said Board of Excise shall keep a complete record of the names of all persons licensed as herein provided, with a statement of the place licensed and the license fee imposed and paid in each case, which record they shall at all time permit to be seen in a convenient place at their principal office in the city, or at the clerk's office in any town or village. Persons not licensed may keep, and is quantities not less than five gallons at a time, sell and dispose of strong and spirituous liquors, wines, ale, and beer, provided that no part thereof shall be drunk or used in the building, garden, or inclosure communicating with or in any [unclear: public] street or place contiguous to the building in which the same is to be kept, disposed of, or sold. If any person having a license in the 2nd or 4th class shall keep on hand on the premises licensed any intoxicating liquors other than those permitted in his license, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and his license shall be forfeited.
Note.—As will be seen, this Bill was inteuded to apply only to towns whose population was over 400,000—that is to say, only to the cities of New York and Brooklyn. The promoters of the Bill believed that Prohibition could only succeed [unclear: in] rural districts, and was impracticable in large towns and cities.