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the sole cause--the nature of the trade in strong drink. The publican has a strong personal interest adverse to the public interest. That which is mischievous to society is profitable to him. It is true that every trade has a similar interest in the excessive use of its goods; but it is clear that no other trade has the same power of making its own interest prevail over that of society. No other article is liable to be used to so great an excess; no other tradesman has equal power of inducing his customers to purchase to excess; no excess in any other article is half so dangerous to the common weal. The peculiarity of the retail trade in intoxicating drink, the trade of the alehousekeeper and the licensed victualler, is this, that it is in the hands of a large and influential class, with an interest strongly adverse to the interest of the country at large, and with tremendous opportunities for advancing their own interest at the cost of the country: Against such a class society has a right to take what precautions it will, even to the extent of suppressing them altogether, were not their existence necessary to the legitimate use by others of the article in which they deal.

“ Almost every article,” says Mr. Mill, “ which is bought and sold may be used in excess, and the sellers have a pecuniary interest in encouraging that excess; but no argument can be founded on this in favour, for instance, of the Maine Law, because the class of dealers in strong drinks, though interested in their abuse, are indispensably required for the sake of their legitimate use. The interest, however, of these dealers in promoting intemperance is a real evil, and justifies the State in imposing restrictions and requiring guarantees which but for that justification would be infringements of legitimate liberty."

We are not, then, according to this high authority, to interfere directly or indirectly with the use of strong drinks; we have a right, subject to this condition, to check the vendors in any way that may be found necessary. And the same would hold good of any other trade. We should deal in similar fashion with the dealer in opium, if opium were similarly sold and used, and if its use produced mischiefs great enough to induce parliamentary interference. Nay, we should deal similarly with the vendor of female finery, if the love of finery became a serious danger to our material interests, and if the dealers therein had equal opportunities of promoting excess. The man whose trade is one which, if carried on with a sole regard to his own profit, is dangerous to society, must expect to find society on its guard to prevent that trade from being so carried on; and, human nature being what it is, he must not expect society to trust him implicitly to protect the public interests against his own. Without desiring to cast any imputation on the publican, we avow our conviction that he is eminently unfit to be trusted with any such self-denying charge; and without yielding in any degree to the advocates of a Maine Law, we confess that, in our opinion, the present license law is insufficient to meet the requirements of the case, and the Beer-house Act--which practically allows the establishment of places licensed to sell ale without any effective control at all, except through the right of visitation reserved to the police - - a terrible legislative blunder. The suggestion made before the Committee of 1853—that the trade should be thrown entirely open, and the license be converted into a mere annual tax—is in our opinion a greater blunder still

. The number of persons in England and Wales licensed to sell either beer or spirits, or both, amounted in 1857 to 118,000. If we deduct from this number as many as 18,000 for wholesale dealers licensed to sell liquor not to be drunk on the premises wine-merchants, brewers, &c.,—and this number is probably above the mark, -we have still 100,000 persons licensed to sell beer and spirits to be drunk on the premises; about 60,000 licensed victuallers, and 40,000 beer-house keepers. The male population of England and Wales was in that year estimated at 9,357,000, of whom not above 7,000,000 could be adults. According to this, we have one tavern or beershop to every 70 adult males; of which 70 probably as many as 20 never enter such a place. Fifty customers to each liquor-seller is then the average of England and Wales: there are districts and places in which the average would seem to be twenty to one. sible, then, that the publican should live if his customers were not intemperate? is it possible that he should habitually refrain from encouraging a vice which is necessary to the maintenance of his house? These figures alone are sufficient to render it nearly certain that the trade must, as a rule, live, not by the use, but by the abuse of the liquors they sell.

We have, then, different coöperating causes of intemperance, requiring different antidotes. To class these causes in their ascending scale of influence, we have

1. The interest of the publican in intemperance.
2. Social usages that promote intemperance.

3. Circumstances, wants, defects of character and tastes, disposing the lower orders to intemperance.

The first must be met effectually-as it is now met inadequately – by legislative action; the organised control of society over a class whose interest directly conflicts with those of the people at large. The second probably by some degree of legislative interference, and by strong social reprobation brought to upon

offenders. The third wholly by social influences; by difficulties, supplying wants, improving the circum

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stances, and purifying the tastes of the labouring classes generally: above all, by education-moral, intellectual, and practical.

Of course, such agencies and methods as we propose to apply operate less violently and less immediately than a forcible suppression by law of the usual means of intemperance. We do not aspire to change in a day the habits and character of a class, nay, of a nation. More than one generation may pass away before the full effect of education, enlightenment, and social improvement is visible. But it will be felt; will be gradual, lasting, and radical: it is slow, but sure. It excites no desperate and powerful resistance; it provokes no vindictive reaction. Not such is the operation of a prohibitory law; which may be a short cut to a desirable end, but which, like other short cuts, is not a safe one. The reign of Puritanism ended in, and probably promoted, a reign of shameless and extravagant license during a whole generation. The reign of Prohibition would probably work its way to a similar termination. It is wiser to trust to slower, more regular, and, we will add, more legitimate influences, which operate without disturbing society, without compelling a strong counter-agitation, and ensuring the permanence of reactionary desires and conspiracies.

(1.) As to the legislative measures required, we express our opinion with much doubt and diffidence, especially as it differs in some respects from that of the Committee of the House of Commons, which reported on this subject in 1854. That Committee inclined to favour the plan-suggested by Mr. Robertson Gladstone, and some other gentlemen—of placing the publicans' trade on the same footing as that of the beer-shops,—allowing any one, on certain conditions, to demand a license from the magistrates. We think this undesirable, and wholly needless; the appeal to quarter-sessions appearing to afford a sufficient remedy in all well-grounded cases of complaint against the caprice or partiality of the licensing sessions. And the power of not renewing the license is far more likely to be exercisedthough even this is far too rarely exercised—in cases of misconduct than that of withdrawing it, applicable only after legal proof of a species of misconduct most difficult to prove by legal evidence.

We think that that suggestion which has reference to the assimilation of all retail licenses-the abolition of all distinction between beer-shops and public-houses—is shown by ample evidence to be necessary both for the protection of the revenue from illicit dealing, and for the proper maintenance of police regulations; but we would accomplish the object by repealing the Beer-house Act, and placing the granting of licenses entirely under the jurisdiction of the local magistracy, subject to appeal as at present. We would remove from wholesale


dealers all those troublesome restrictions, which cannot be obeyed, and only lead to demoralisation by inducing breaches of the law; we would make the only distinction between the merchant and the publican the permission to sell liquor “to be drunk on the premises," and make the evasion of this rule punishable by heavy penalties on both vendor and purchaser. If any thing be wanting to complete the power of police entrance and supervision, the defect should be amended, and every precaution taken to oblige the publican to carry on his business under the eye of a vigilant authority.

Following out a recommendation of the Committee, we would compel every publican, at the granting or renewal of his license, to produce two - or better, four — responsible sureties, not

— being brewers, or wine or spirit merchants, who should enter into recognisances for his good behaviour; to be forfeited in the event of any violation of the law by the publican himself, or, at the discretion of the bench, in case of the commission of certain specific offences within the house itself. Thus, in the first place, we should have the strongest possible guarantee for the observance of rules made by the law for the regulation of the trade; and in the second place, we should have obtained an important security against the establishment of what are known as

disorderly houses.” No one would consent to risk the forfeiture of his money by entering into recognisances for the conduct of a house whose master he did not well know to be respectable. Receivers and returned convicts could only open their houses by a violation of the law, and would thus be absolutely at the mercy of the police; a large class of houses, occupying a position above theirs, but below that of the respectable publican, would be closed at once, and the honest part of the trade thrown into the hands of a better class of men. *

Much mischief is done by the music-saloons, dancing-rooms, and other places of amusement, attached to public-houses. They are admittedly of the lowest character; are nests of immorality

• Ample evidence has been given to show that all places of public refreshment -eating-houses, oyster-shops, coffee-houses, and the rest-ought to be subject to control similar to that exercised over public-houses especially so called ; and the Committee of 1854 reported to this effect. Sir R. Mayne and Mr. D. W. Harvey concur in testifying, that “we find more violations of the law taking place in coffee-houses, which are not under the cognisance of the police, than in publichouses." These coffee shops remain open in some cases the whole night ; receive those whom the public-houses are obliged to turn out when the law compels them to close, and not unfrequently prove to be places for the illicit sale of spirits, exempt from the restrictions imposed on the lawful trade of their rivals. It is clear that they should be placed on a similar footing as to license and supervision ; the license-fee being of course small, as we do not wish to discourage this kind of establishment, and the sureties demanded being for a less amount, and subject to less severe conditions, than in the case of houses where intoxicating liquors are to be sold.

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themselves, and form a back-door through which lads and young girls, too respectable or too young to walk into the bar, are enticed into the public-house, and introduced to habits of secret drinking, to bad company, and to ultimate ruin. These allurements to a bad habit should be suppressed at once. We have no right to prevent people from drinking; but we have a right to forbid the publican to allure them by such devices as these. We demand no restriction on the use of liquors, no hindrance on those who desire to go and buy them, when we say that all places of this kind should be brought under the act which subjects theatres to the control of the Lord Chamberlain; and that officer should make it a rule to grant no license for any

such establishment to the owner or occupier of a public-house, or in any place next-door to a public-house. We do not propose that this rule should be enforced by law, as such a law would inevitably prevent refreshments, such as beer or wine, from being sold in any place of entertainment; we merely wish that the Lord Chamberlain should use his discretion, by refusing to license such places as appendages to the regular business of the publican, who is sure to regard them as means of increasing the sale of his wares, and attracting customers who would otherwise be sober enough, but who, having come to see or to listen, remain to drink and to get drunk.

Sunday is the publican's harvest-day; the day on which the people have most leisure to go to him, and least liberty to go any where else. We would restrict his opportunities, and deprive him of his monopoly. There is no reason why he should enjoy a special privilege without paying for it; and we would exact an extra license-fee, and if necessary an increased amount of security, from the tavern-keepers who desired to be allowed to open on Sunday. The ordinary license should, as in the case of the (now abolished) six-day cab-licenses, be available only from Monday morning to Saturday night; a new permission should be necessary for Sunday opening, and a new pay; ment required. This would, we believe, lead to a very general closing on Sunday, as most of the better sort of publicans would be glad to enjoy a day of rest, and many of the others would not care to pay for the right of losing it. At the same time, the man who really wanted a glass of beer or of brandy would not find it very difficult to get it; and those who did not, finding their usual resort closed, would not care to go and seek another, especially if better places were opened to them.

In keeping closed against the people all places of rational recreation, whether public or private property, on the people's own day, the Sabbatarians are doing the work of their Master's adversary in the most effectual manner--are aiding incalcula

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