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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 36



I think it is apparent that there can be no permanent temperance reform in this country so long as the manufacture is free.

page 29

I am not aware of the existence of any law in any State which interferes with the unrestricted manufacture of distilled spirits for every purpose. Whatever is made will be sold; and if it is right to regulate or prohibit the sale for any use, it must be right to regulate or prohibit the manufacture for the same use; and if it is possible to regulate or prevent the sale after the article has been distributed into a million localities all over the country, it is comparatively easy to control the manufacture, which necessarily must be carried on where large masses of capital are concentrated. Granted that individuals will manufacture their own poison, yet they must do it in secret and under such difficulties and public reprobation that comparatively small injury could result. And if it is possible to regulate the sale, and successfully or even with approximate success to restrict the sale to legitimate and necessary uses in detached States, as has been so largely done even under all the embarrassments of existing laws and a public sentiment none too sensitive, and never hereafter to be less so than now, how much easier will it be to regulate and control the manufacture by licenses from the States or from the General Government, as should be found best in practice. Especially would this be so when by the control of transportation every particle made could be traced to the pi operand authorized dealers or custodians throughout the country. It would be impossible to conceal the manufacture if carried on to any injurious extent. Nothing can reach the manufacturer but a constitutional amendment, for two reasons: first, as before observed, the Constitution now recognizes ardent spirits, for all uses, to be property; and, second, no matter how strictly any State law might provide for its suppression, capital could locate in some other jurisdiction, in some other State or Territory, or in some foreign State, and create the supply which the drinking appetite of the consumer demands.

Again it will be observed that the proposed prohibition by the nation