Imatges de pÓgina

but that is far from being all. If the licensee is a tenant or a manager for a brewery company, he probably has to leave, as a second conviction against him might eventually involve the forfeiture of the licence and the loss to the company of thousands of pounds. Should he go he may find great difficulty in obtaining another house, owing to the record against him. In any case the matter is inquired into again at the annual licensing sessions, when the question will arise as to whether or not the licence shall be renewed ; and it may come up a third time, on an application being made for a transfer. There are thus three trials for one and the same offence, and that offence in itself may have been nothing more than an act of inadvertence. May it not fairly be said that in these conditions it is not to the interest of the licence-holder to cause or to encourage drunkenness for the sake of an extra twopence, and that no one has a greater practical interest in the prevention of drunkenness than himself? Can one not better understand, also, the difficulty that is experienced, in these circumstances, in inducing really desirable men to enter into the trade at all, whether as tenants or managers ?

Then the licence-holder has now practically to fight his own battles. Prior to the Licensing Act of 1902 it was quite usual, when a man who was already 'the worse for liquor ' entered a public-house, refused to leave, and seemed likely to become noisy, for the landlord to call a policeman and have him taken out, the man being arrested if he gave further trouble. But Section 4 of the Act in question says:

Where a licensed person is charged with permitting drunkenness on his premises, and it is proved that any person was drunk on his premises, it shall lie on the licensed person to prove that he and the persons employed by him took all reasonable steps for preventing drunkenness on the premises.

This enactment has completely changed the situation. Since it came into force a licence-holder no longer calls in the police to help him to eject a drunken man unless it is necessary that actual physical force should be used. The risk to the licensee of police intervention is now too great. Consequently the drunkard, instead of being taken in charge by a policeman, locked up, and punished in a way that might act as a warning to him,.is simply turned out into the streets and left there. As a drunkard who has been refused liquor in one place generally takes a pride in trying elsewhere, he may enter another house, “pull himself together,' and get drink there, bringing trouble on the landlord of that place, should the police observe what has happened. The new Conditions are thus worse than the old, alike for the drunkard, the trade, and the public peace; but the traders are bound to follow the line of least resistance, and the responsibility must rest with the law-makers.

These facts may serve to indicate the sympathy which every prudent publican, while carrying on a lawful trade for the supply

of the lawful wants of the community, must feel towards any just and reasonable efforts to promote a genuine temperance—that is, moderation in drinking-among those who patronise his establishment. They also throw light on the difficulties of his position, while incidentally they further show what a much greater check against drunkenness is offered by a very vigorous control of the licensed house than is provided for by the Licensing Bill proposals in respect to clubs.

Supplementing the suggestions already made as to the improvement of the public-house rather than its supersession by the club, and the desirability of accepting the help of the publican himself as a temperance reformer, I would further observe that it is a matter for serious consideration whether the whole attitude of legislators and of society in general towards the drunkard has not hitherto been an erroneous one, and whether there has not been far too great a disposition to make a scapegoat of the publican. If the diagnosis of the drunkard's condition given alike by Dr. Branthwaite and the British Medical Journal be a correct one, then it is clear that the * disease' of inebriety cannot be cured either by suppressing the licensed trader or by holding him responsible for such inebriety and inflicting the most drastic punishments upon him should he—amid whatever pressure of business—fail to distinguish at once between the normally and the abnormally constituted person, knowing exactly and instinctively how each should be served.

Not only has injustice thus been inflicted on the licensed trader, but the repeated committals to prison of poor creatures whose habitual drunkenness has been far more due to defective physical or mental conditions than to the liquor they had consumed have been little short of positive cruelty, such persons being far more fit for medical care or for reformatory treatment (especially in the early stages of their trouble) than for repeated imprisonments. It is these poor degenerates, again, who have provided the teetotal extremists with their most vigorous arguments in the attacks they have made, not only on the licensed trade itself, but also on the individual liberty of the preponderating majority of the community able to use stimulating beverages without either abusing or being injured by them. It is the same class of degenerates who, with their crimes (due much more to mental or moral defects than to drink), their lunacy, and their inevitable poverty, have formed the chief excuse for pushing one licensing law after another through the Legislature ; and their stories and statistics are now being served up afresh at countless temperance meetings throughout the country in order to assist the Government to pass still more enactments as harassing to the trader as they will prove meddlesome to the average citizen.

As to drunkards who do not come under the head of actual 'degenerates,' and should be perfectly well able to keep sober if they feel so

disposed, these persons have been so much patted on the back by the teetotal agitators, and so much encouraged to think they are

poor weak creatures, unwilling victims of the publican,' that they may well have lost the self-control they ought to exercise. The punishment of such persons as these is not only justified, but should be strictly enforced, especially before their bad habits take too strong a hold upon them; and this punishment should aim at compelling them to exercise self-control in regard to alcoholic beverages, as all of us have to do in regard to many other phases of our daily life which may offer temptation to us. Provocation may sometimes be an extenuating circumstance in wrong-doing ; but the plea of 'temptation' seems to be acknowledged in the case of drinking habits only, the punishment for drunkenness falling far more on the one who merely supplies what most people can use without abuse than on the person who has never been taught effectively the need of placing due restraint on his inclinations. Men and women are full of desires, instincts, or passions which need to be kept under due restraint; and if, instead of learning so to restrain ourselves, everything that suggests ' temptation' is to be removed from our path lest we yield thereto, we shall indeed become a feeble set of creatures. The need of selfcontrol should be impressed, and rigidly impressed, on responsible drunkards as well as on other classes of the community, the sins they commit being visited on their own heads, and not upon those of the people at large.

Genuine temperance reform would much more certainly be secured by operating along such practical lines as those here indicated than by passing a Licensing Bill which is obviously not a temperance measure at all, but one aimed mainly at despoiling the licensed trade and breaking down the political power it has dared to exercise in defence of its legitimate interests.





If the Commercial Intelligence Committee of the Board of Trade follows up the report of its Special Commissioner on the conditions and prospects of British trade in Canada, it may accomplish more than the cloud of publicists who discourse about Imperial relations upon an abundant lack of first-hand knowledge of the business relations out of which political changes are evolved. For Mr. Grigg's report to the Board of Trade tells of the things he has seen and handled, and blazes the way to action that may amount to something. He is a good Britisher, and almost as good a Canadian. The men who really understand both British and Canadian points of view are so scarce that the most should be made of them. If this work is allowed to be interned in a Blue-book, the Board of Trade will belie that newness of life which has begun to distinguish its latter-day career.

In fine, there is not much to say about the report, which speaks for itself. It is what those who met the Commissioner in Canada expected it would be—and even more. It has plenty of body, blood, and brains. It is what it professes to be. A reporter to a Government department cannot declare the whole gospel that is in him. He can only be half an evangelist. Mr. Grigg could not say whether his investigations illuminated for him the issue between Tariff Reform and Free Trade. Nothing could have saved him from deadly criticism, if he had approached two steps nearer to an exposition of whatever views he may have gathered on the relation of British and Canadian ledgers to British and Canadian statute books. You could not have a case presented by an investigator, with the politician intervening. Grigg, politician, may not exist; and, anyway, the whole truth lies with politicians as seldom as politicians lie with the whole truth.

The extent of knowledge of the subject and soundness of judgment exhibited in this report should lead to the writer being given opportunities of opening his mouth in the United Kingdom, where other than official ears can hear him. the Foreign Office appointed trade representatives in Europe and the United States. After two years they were brought to Britain

Some years ago

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to give business men the benefit of their experience. The officer who had the United States and Canada for his parish had not journeyed outside Chicago. When he came to Manchester he had so little to say, of his own volition, that two old-established morning papers and the evening journals each devoted only about a sixth of a column to a repetition of what he had to say.

Happily, we have travelled considerably since then. When the Board of Trade's standing Commissioner in Canada is at work, he must have a habit of turning up in unlikely places, at unlikely times—in Britain, as well as in Canada. For there is much to learn and much to teach. What is said here is by one who was neither a Free Trader nor a Tariff Reformer in England, and is neither a Liberal nor a Conservative in Canada. Which is another way of saying that, with regard to Canada and her place in the Imperial housekeeping, it is not safe to dogmatise, and it is very necessary to inquire, to observe, to sift, and to make sure of one thing at a time.

Mr. Grigg is a safe guide for the student of the British-Canadian trade situation. His implied criticisms of British methods are not novel. But they are terribly pertinent. They apply to British trade everywhere. They could be amplified without limit. Canadian methods are not perfect. We export chiefly food that Britain must have. We buy many things which Britain may supply; but which are also made by a seller next door to us, whose effort to cut out the original firm is tremendously advantaged by geography, and by similarity of social and commercial tendencies. Criticisms due to us are rather associated with our painful approximation to the nobler aspects of public life in Britain. But, even in this, the chances of our improvement depend rather on our ability to admonish ourselves than on the vigour of the criticisms of our relatives from overseasan exercise in which they are often uncommonly efficient, and are occasionally useful.

In one particular only does it seem necessary to try to readjust the point of view of the report. In advising British manufacturers to acquire first-hand knowledge of Canada—this cannot be urged too often—it says they have relied too much on merchants and agents on the spot. That is only partially true. To judge by one's own experience, some British firms employ agents chiefly for the purpose of telling them that they know nothing about the conditions in which they operate. The perfect agent is as scarce as the perfect principal. But the best agent is made to be less than the least of a principal's servants if he is treated like a disagreeable encumbrance. Some firms must depend on agents, if they are to do any business. . If they cannot trust their agents they should not employ them. The difficulty applies, of course, to firms' own representatives. It seems a part of the English make-up to act towards our countrymen who have widened their English experience by experi

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