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BABSON'S REPORTS, INC.
Devoted to protecting capital and increasing income
WELLESLEY HILLS, MASB., May 7, 1947.
STATEMENT OF ROGER W. BABSON, OF BABSON PARK, MASS., IN SUPPORT OF BENATOR
CAPPER'S BILL, S. 265, TO PROHIBIT THE TRANSPORTATION IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE OF ADVERTISEMENTS OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
To the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the United States
Senate: I regret that I cannot appear personally, as it is impossible for me to be in Washington on May 12, but I present this statement in behalf of the proposed legislation, S. 265.
Both as an economist of national reputation and as a citizen with rather wide and varied business interests, I strongly urge enactment of the bill, S. 265, introduced by Senator Capper, to prohibit transportation in interstate commerce of advertisements of alcoholic beverages, and for other purposes.
Since the repeal of the National Prohibition Act, practically all the evils inherent in the liquor traffic have reappeared—with some new ones added.
I doubt that there ever was a time previously when so much money was expended on the advertising of alcoholic liquors. The result is a constant flaunting of temperance, sobriety—and of the purpose of the laws of these States which have banned the liquor traffic.
The great volume of liquor advertising constitutes a constant appeal for alcoholic indulgence, not only to men but to growing boys and girls, and women. Drinking is depicted, by masters of the art of advertising, as something smart, sophisticated, and desirable socially. It is even depicted as something desirable from a business standpoint-as witness the advertisements of "Men of Distinction."
This constant stimulation by advertising of "drinking for drinking's sake" has, I am convinced, resulted in a large increase of intemperance and of all the evils that flow from overindulgence in alcoholic liquors. The whisky makers of America, and their associates, are pandering as never before to the craving of those unfortunate in their appetite for liquor. I am thoroughly convinced that the tremendous volume of liquor advertising has increased the amount of intemperance and the vice, crime, accidents, injuries, damage to industry and property, as well as moral degradation, attributable to drinking of alcoholics.
It is advertising, I believe, that has pushed up the sales, particularly of whiskies and other distilled spirits, 15 percent in the single year from 1945 to 1946. The Commerce Department has reported that Americans spent the unprecedented sum of 8.7 billions dollars on whisky, beer, and wine last year—an average of nearly $90 for each person over 18 years old. The total was nearly a billion dollars more than the previous record in 1945.
The advertising, in my opinion, is destructive of restraint or temperance and of public morals. Certainly there is no legal or valid justification for permitting the transmittal into so-called dry States of publications that are loaded with liquor advertisements.
As a matter of fact, some publishers of high character have voluntarily barred liquor advertising from their papers and magazines. They are naturally handicapped from the standpoint of revenue in competing with other publications that are jammed with liquor advertisements.
I do not believe that there are any insuperable obstacles to the practical enforcement of the proposed law, S. 265. Those publishers, for example, who desire to continue liquor advertising can do so while withholding circulation of the matter in and transportation to other States. This is a reasonable restriction, in my opinion, and particularly when it is consideerd that the advertised liquor is an illegal and prohibited commodity in many communities. If necessary, publishers could group the liquor advertising in “supplements” not to be distributed across State lines, for comparatively easy compliance with the proposed act. The other provisions of the bill are also desirable and practicable of enforcement or compliance.
In these perilous times, the need for a sober, morally sound America is paramount to the profits of whisy makers and those who derive revenue from liquor advertising. I heartily endorse the Capper bill, and ask that it be enacted.
ROGER W. BABSON, Babson Park, Mass.
Mr. Chairman, I do not desire to consume more of the valuable time of this committee. I believe in the bill. I believe it is sound legislation, in the public interest. Not being a lawyer, I leave it to others who will discuss the constitutional features of the bill. Also I will leave to the many better informed witnesses who will follow me the making of more detailed statements why the legislation should be enacted.
I want to call your attention to the thousands and thousands of letters and petitions supporting this bill, S. 265, and ask permission to file these as exhibits. I hope the committee reports the bill favorably. That completes my statement. Thank you.
Senator REED. Senator Langer?
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM LANGER, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA
Senator LANGER. Mr. Chairman, I wish to endorse everything Senator Capper has said, and I also wish to personally endorse S. 265. I hope that you will report it out favorably, and that it becomes a law.
I wish to file, Mr. Chairman, petitions in favor of this bill from every section of the State of North Dakota.
I particularly call your attention to the fact that these petitions are, most of them, drawn up with different headings, showing that the people in every section of the State were personally interested, and that it is not a drive on the part of anybody to impress this committee, but a spontaneous feeling on the part of the rank and file of the people.
I ask your permission to file these.
Senator REED. The petitions will be received and filed as a part of the documents before the committee. We will not undertake to print them in the record.
Senator LANGER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
BOARD OF TEMPERANCE, DENVER, COLO. Bishop HAMMAKER, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I have a statement which has been filed with the clerk of the committee, and at least part of which I will read.
I count it an honor and a privilege to present a few of many reasons why I believe the advertising of alcoholic beverages to be against the public interest.
The greatest damage is done to impressionable youth and young people. They lack the wisdom to analyze in a discriminating way the fine declarations made on behalf of drinking. They naturally infer that the use of alcoholic beverages will make them successful and desirable citizens.
They read that men of distinction are all devoted to this brand or that brand of liquor. So seductive, so misleading, so false are these bewitchingly appealing liquor ads that it is easy for the inexperienced to believe that you cannot "keep up with the Joneses” unless you imbibe alcoholic beverages.
The clear intent of all this advertising is to increase sales. Sales to those who are not yet drinkers-larger sales to those who have started to drink socially.
Have you ever noticed this, gentlemen, that no pictured man or woman drinker is ever disheveled or silly in appearance! There is never a sign of boisterous gaiety. No stagger-no. Not even a swagger. Poised, masterful men, beautifully gowned well behaved women. No unseemingly coarseness in the relations of men and women in high priced lounges or low priced taverns. No fights, no brawls, no murders. No such pictures. The men who create the ads
. seem to know nothing about such awkward scenes. Yet, in magazines, newspapers, and on the air our youth, our young people, even our children are being beguiled with such fragmentary and befuddling allurements to become drinkers as a means and method of social
In these misleading advertisements, there is not even a hint that drinking may be dangerous. And remember, your sons, your daughters, the sons and daughters of your constituents cannot barricade themselves against these ads. They invade every home, no matter howsoever defended. They come in as irresistibly as the light comes in with the rising of the sun. But make no mistake. They are like light only in that one respect.
And nobody can know whether he is allergic to alcohol or not. Worse, nobody can know whether his son, his daughter is allergic. No individual is wise enough to know himself in this matter; no doctor can tell him; no scientist has dug deep enough to find the answer. Persons-loved persons all of them—only learn for themselves—the hard way.
Reasonable estimates, made by scientific observers, place the figure of alcoholics at a half million people in this country. These victims learned too late their allergy to alcohol. But there are 10 times that many—maybe many times more habitual heavy drinkers who are sliding down into the abyss to take the places, year by year, of those who die frightful deaths. In the case of tuberculosis, we take every precaution against that dread disease. Right now, we are being aroused as a Nation in a mighty new assault on cancer. Is it not time that we bestirred ourselves on behalf of the innocent multitude of children, youth, and young people who cannot learn to handle their liquor as "a social accomplishment”?
I know that the argument is made that you cannot do anything about elimination of these pernicious ads, because the traffic is legalized. Many declarations are being made concerning the fact that the liquor business has a firm foundation in the statutes of the land. Why does it have such a position? How come? Is it because of its
? dangerons nature? Is that why it is hedged about by “licenses, “permits,” “high taxes," and all kinds of limitations and restrictions? I suspect so. The courts of the land have so held in innumerable decisions. Our judges all the way up through the Supreme Court have decided again and again that the liquor business is hurtful to life, is an enemy of the well-being of society, and lives only by sufferance. Because of what it does, so the judges have ruled, it has no inherent or inalienable rights.
Yes, it does have "legal standing,” but that very fact is its shame and its “Achilles heel." For a hundred years our legislators have proceeded on the basis that its curtailment is a sound procedure and in the interest of the welfare of the people.
I hope, members of this committee, that you weigh carefully the whole truth which I have time only to indicate by these sketchy references to the legal status of beverage alcohol. The story-judicially, legislatively, and humanly—is a long one. It is full of sadness and sorrow. Tragedy stalks and has stalked the liquor business. Needing law-specific law-in order that it may live, it is constantly violating the very laws that guarantee its continuing presence in our midst. Its record is a black one. Its history is sordid, shameful,
. slimy, scrofulous, rather than glad, noble, and fine as the ads try to
And in countless instances their trying is not in vain. Perfidy prevails. Evil seems to be good. Too late a great company finds out that once again Satan has decked himself in the radiant raiment of angels.
As legislators you have dedicated your lives to the bettering of human conditions. Sincerely you have sought ways and means of bringing about conditions that shall help your fellow countrymen to have larger and finer experiences. Not only are you under the inner compulsion of enacting laws that shall help life, you are also inescapably charged from within your own minds and consciences to do away with all pitfalls that may be in the pathway of the unwary. Few snares in modern society are more filled with jeopardy for the inexperienced than are the amazing liquor advertisements that confront us all on every hand. My hope, my trust, my prayer is that you gentlemen of the Interstate Commerce Committee shall count it a joy and a high privilege to protect childhood, youth, and young people, especially, by reporting favorably this bill, numbered Š. 265, and pressing for its enactment by your colleagues of the Senate.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I have a resolution that was adopted a week ago by the Council of Bishops of the Methodist Church. They were in annual session at Riverside, Calif., and unanimously and enthusiastically adopted this resolution, which is duly signed by the president and the secretary of the Council of Bishops of the Methodist Church.
It reads: The Council of Bishops of The Methodist Church, meeting in Riverside, Calif., on May 3, 1947, considered a report from its committee on temperance in which was a statement concerning Senate bill 265, which was introduced by Senator Arthur Capper.
The bishops of the Methodist Church, which has a membership of more than 8,000,000 communicants, are most heartily in favor of the enactment of the provisions of the Capper bill into law, as a step toward the protection of the homes of this land against the insidious invasions of beverage alcohol. Childhood and youths should not be subjected to the seductive, misleading, and ofttimes utterly false statements contained in liquor advertisements. The plain intent and purpose of most of these ads is to widen the use and increase the consumption of beverage alcohol. This is against the public interest; which fact is attested to by the history of our legislative and judicial attitudes toward the traffic in alcoholic beverages. The business lives on suffrance, and when its legal reentrance into American life was being asked and plead for in the late twenties and early thirties of this century, its proponents insisted that there would be no efforts put forth to induce our people to become customers. On the contrary, the influence of Government would be used to educate the people, 80 that they would realize the hazards and dangers involved in the use of In view of such an attitude then, and in view of what is going on now, we, the bishops of the Methodist Church respectfully petition and urge the Interstate Commerce Committee of the United States Senate to report favorably on bill S. 265.'
We further petition and urge the Senators to consider carefully the fair and just provisions of this bill and to enact the same as the law of the land.
Mr. Chairman, if I may reserve a part of the time which your committee has graciously allotted to me for a few words later on, I will appreciate that courtesy on the part of the committee.
I want now, Mr. Chairman, to ask Dr. Christgau to bring a word concerning this matter of liquor advertising.
Senator REED. Will you please identify yourself for the reporter, Mr. Christgau?
STATEMENT OF O. G. CHRISTGAU, DES MOINES, IOWA Mr. CHRISTGAU. My name is 0. G. Christgau. My home address is Wells, inn., R. F. D. 3. I am at present the State superintendent of the Iowa Anti-Saloon League.
In his proclamation of the repeal of the eighteenth amendment to the Constitution, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then President of the United States, declared :
The objective we seek through the national policy is the education of every citizen toward a greater temperance throughout the Nation.
Certainly the flood of advertising in the press and over the radio is public education toward a greater intemperance throughout the Nation.
Another proponent of the repeal of the eighteenth amendment, Mr. P. S. du Pont, who was president of the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, expressed the view 2 years prior to repeal that if and when the eighteenth amendment should be repealed, sales promotion by means of advertising should not be permitted.
On May 15, 1931, at Westchester, Pa., I took part in a debate with Mr. P. S. du Pont. Several days previous to the debate, he sent me an advance script of the text of his debate presentation.
In addition to the material covering his main address, Mr. du Pont propounded a series of questions, to each of which he gave his answer. Among these questions, on page 37 of his advance script, is the following:
Should advertising of intoxicating liquors be permitted ?
The answer to this question, as stated by Mr. du Pont in his advance script, is as follows:
Advertising is one of the most fruitful means of increasing business and of promoting sales. As it is the policy of this country to reduce sales of liquor, no advertising of any kind should be permitted to manufacturers or to sellers. The United States mail should be closed to such advertising. Places where liquor is sold should be indicated by a simple sign over the door with the words, "State Liquor Corporation."
Before the year 1914, when advertising was permitted without restraint, the sale of beer increased about 2 percent annually and sale of spirits less than 1 percent annually. Without advertising a decreasing sale might be expected.
That ends the statement from Mr. du Pont.
Gentlemen of the committee, the policy of government under which the advertising of intoxicants is permitted is contrary to the policy