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It is inconceivable that a bill of this type would be considered in view of the fact that our National Congress has already pointed a scornful finger at other nations for their censorship methods applied to their press and commerce.
Up to this date we have had free speech and a free press under the terms of our National Constitution. I cannot conceive of any group of American citizens wishing to take this right away from the American people, so I can arrive at only one conclusion, that the professional drys, a minority group, are using this means as a step to national prohibition with all its attendant evils, such as uncontrolled sale of alcoholic beverages to any person who has the right word or sign, irrespective of age, which encourages juvenile delinquency, as no age limit or hour is recognized.
Under the prohibition era, alcoholic beverages were made under conditions which have no regard for health and sanitation. Today alcoholic beverages are made and sold under legal control, giving employment to many thousands of persons who enjoy living in a free country which has been a right enjoyed since the days of George Washington.
I sincerely believe that, being one of the many persons legally employed in the alcoholic industry, that there should be no further restrictions placed on an industry which today is contributing a very large amount of money in Federal and State taxes and thereby reducing the tax load of the many citizens whose taxes would be greatly increased without the revenue from the alcoholic industries.
Honorable Senators of this committee, I submit these statements to you in the hope that you will consider the welfare and jobs of several hundred thousand workers in the United States who are directly and indirectly employed in the alcoholic beverage industry and vote against reporting this bill out of committee.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the privilege of appearing.
Mr. Brady. Mr. Chairman, at this time I would like to call upon James J. Simonelli, from the State of Connecticut.
STATEMENT OF JAMES J. SIMONELLI, SECRETARY, CONNECTICUT
STATE COUNCIL OF BREWERY AND SOFT DRINK WORKERS, BRIDGEPORT, CONN.
Mr. SIMONELLI. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is James J. Simonelli, Bridgeport, Conn., and I am secretary of Connecticut State Council of Brewery and Soft Drink Workers.
I have been delegated to appear before you and voice the protest of 1,500 members of our organization opposing Senate bill 265 and I have been listening to the various speakers who are proponents of this bill.
They have all started out condemning radio, newspapers, and magazine advertising in the beverage industry and then condemning the abuses of alcoholic beverages and going into their regular prohibition speech making.
It is our belief that this is a misleading and camouflaged bill. The sole purpose and intent of the proponents of this Senate bill 265 is prohibition in scope and is the first step in that direction. I wonder, Mr. Chairman, if you and your committee have not surmised this so far in listening to various speakers who are proponents of this bill.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, all the proponents and speakers who make such eloquent presentations in pleading for this Senate bill 265 to become a law are all old enough and they gave us to believe that because they refrain from using any of these beverages that they have such alert and clear minds. They seem to forget that we had an experiment called prohibition which lasted for 13 terrible years, not so long ago, and some of its sting is still with us at this late date. I believe that the proponents' intent of this bill is the first step in this direction again and it is our belief that if this Senate bill 265 is enacted into law, such will be the case.
I have heard various speakers state all the advertisements on the radio and in the various newspapers and magazines are misleading and false in advertising their various products, and for that reason and purpose want to discontinue this kind of advertising.
Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, if the proponents of this bill wish us to believe this to be true then we are all being misled and kidded every day of our lives. You need only listen to your radios and read any of the advertisements and no matter what is wrong with you, why, for a few pennies there isn't any ailment that you have that cannot be cured, but we don't believe this to be true and we are all broad-minded enough to use our own imagination and intelligence.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I could go on criticizing and making repetitious remarks, but I feel sure that the committee has heard enough and knows the different hardships and the ones who will directly be affected by this bill.
Again let me strongly emphasize the protest of our entire membership against voting this bill out of committee.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I wish to thank you for the privilege of having been heard and appearing before you in opposing this bill.
Mr. Brady. Mr. Martin Gross, Jr., of the State of Pennsylvania. STATEMENT OF MARTIN GROSS, JR., SECRETARY, PENNSYLVANIA
STATE COUNCIL OF BREWERY WORKERS, HARRISBURG, PA. Mr. Gross. As you know, this country has prospered and become great under a Constitution which, year after year, since December 15, 1791, has borne witness to the profound understanding and sagacity of the founding fathers who wrote it.
Under the Constitution, there are certain rights which may not be tampered with by any branch of this Government.
Article 1 of the Bill of Rights reads in part:
Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press
To suppress a religion in this country would lead to disaster-possibly civil war.
To abridge freedom of speech or of the press would arouse violent passions with who knows what result?
Freedom of religion and speech are two of our most precious and cherished possessions and anyone who even attempts to destroy them should be regarded as an active enemy of the people.
I thank you.
Yet you have before you a proposed law which would prohibit advertising in the press and over the radio a perfectly legal and widely used product.
This is a monstrous attempt by various groups to curtail the freedom of the people and if the attempt is successful, who knows what other constitutional freedom will be next attacked.
During the period 1920 to 1933, we, in this great country, became the laughingstock of the civilized world, due to the enactment of that vicious piece of legislation, the prohibition law.
All of you must remember that Nation-wide corruption which began with prohibition and quickly grew to frightful proportions.
All of you must remember the countless acts of violence and the long list of murders which occurred during the existence of that futile attempt to interfere with the freedom of the people to drink such liquids as they desired.
This attempt, now before you, to deny freedom of speech, the press, the radio, and all other mediums of advertising of a product legalized and controlled by the Federal Government, has been fostered by the same groups who fostered the prohibition law and is but a forerunner of another prohibition law; but this present attempt is even worse than the one which gave us prohibition, due to the fact that it strikes directly and ruthlessly at what I believe to be your and my most important freedom—the freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech, liberty dies.
I love my country and so do you. Therefore, I earnestly urge you to oppose this outrageous attack on our liberty.
Thank you, gentlemen.
STATEMENT OF MEL GREENTHAL, SECRETARY, WISCONSIN STATE
COUNCIL OF BREWERY, SOFT DRINK AND DISTILLERY WORKERS, MILWAUKEE, WIS.
Mr. GREENTHAL. My name is Mel Greenthal. I am secretary of the Wisconsin State Council of Brewery, Soft Drink, and Distillery Workers.
I am speaking on behalf of the brewery and distillery workers in opposition to Senate bill 265.
The purpose and object of this bill is to abolish all advertising of alcoholic beverages in newspapers, billboards, magazines, or over the radio.
It is our opinion that this bill, if passed into law, will actually increase the consumption of alcoholic beverages, because it will entirely abolish all of the present-day advertising by distilleries and by breweries. The present-day advertising policy of the United States Brewers Foundation and the National Distillers Institute is constructive, intelligent advertising, teaching the people of this country in the moderate use of alcoholic beverages. The present-day advertising preaches temperance, moderation, and sobriety.
The alcoholic beverage industry today is strictly controlled and regulated by various State alcoholic-control boards and the manufacture, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages are
legalized in these States. The abnormal use of alcoholic beverages by certain individuals should not prevent the use or consumption of alcoholic beverages by the large majority of people who use it in moderation. The abuse of a thing should never destroy its use. Even food or
a any other article that may be conducive to the well-being of an individual can be abused by excessive consumption and since alcoholic beverages are legalized today by State and Federal law, advertisement that is directed toward the proper, normal, and fit use of the article should not be abolished. The object of the proponents of this bill is to destroy the manufacture and consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is a bill taking a quick step toward prohibition. If you abolish the present-day intelligent advertising that is now utilized in newspapers and magazines, and over the radio, you are only legislating toward excessive use and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
We would also like to call to the attention of the committee that a phrase is inserted in this bill, more particularly on line 1 of page 2 of Senate bill 265, the following phrase:
or containing the solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages."
The bill makes it unlawful for any distillery, brewery, or manufacturer or retailer; for an agent, broker, or factor of any kind, to engage in the sale of alcoholic beverages or cause to be transported in the mails any paper, or writing “containing the solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages."
If it is meant by these words that an agent for a brewery, to illustrate, that an agent of the shipping brewery in Milwaukee could not have an agent solicit an order here in the city of Washington for 1,000 or 500 cases of beer to be shipped into Washington and that such an order could not be placed in the mails; this is nothing then but a prohibition bill to prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages in interstate commerce.
Most of the salesmen soliciting orders for beer or hard liquors solicit the order, place it in the mail, and the final order is accepted by the home office of the brewer or of the distiller.
A beer distributor of the shipping brewery in the city of Washington places his orders with a salesman of the shipping brewery and in turn that salesman places the order in the mail.
It is in a sense, the "solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages.” Is it the intent and purpose of this bill to prevent the mails being used for the solicitation of such order?
To go a step further: Wines are used by Catholic priests, Episcopal and Lutheran ministers and Jewish rabbis in performing their religious rites and services.
If a Catholic priest, an Episcopal or Lutheran minister, or a Jewish rabbi would write and solicit such an order, for wines either to a winery or a wine distributor and use the mails to solicit such an order, would he not be guilty of and violate the provisions of this proposed bill?
Are you not also violating the constitutional provisions on the exercise of freedom of religion by the wording of the present bill?
To go a step further, is there not also an abridgement of the right of iree speech; and are not the proponents attempting to control ana regulate the press of this country by attempting indirectly to control advertising; and are the proponents not thereby infringing
on the right of a publisher of a newspaper or of a magazine to solicit and publish whatever advertising he deems advisable in the conduct of his newspaper?
Above and beyond these contentions, the people of this country by ballot have repudiated the very efforts of the proponents of this bill to secure prohibition, and this bill is indirectly nothing but an effort on the part of the dry forces of this country to put again upon the statute books a law that has been overwhelmingly rejected by the voters of this country.
We would request the committee that we be given the right to submit a written brief within the next 10 days further extending our remarks.
Mr. Brady. Mr. Arthur P. Gildea, executive secretary of the Massachusetts State Council of Brewery Workers.
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR P. GILDEA, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
MASSACHUSETTS STATE COUNCIL OF BREWERY WORKERS, BOSTON, MASS.
Mr. GILDEA. My name is Arthur P. Gildea, and I am executive secretary of the Massachusetts State Council of Brewery Workers. I appear before you in protest to a report of any kind resulting from your committee's study of Senate bill S. 265.
I, as a citizen from New England representing thousands directly and many more thousands indirectly, appeal to the common sense and judgment that your committee will render on this sweeping prohibition petition of Hon. Senator Capper.
If such a bill were to be enacted into law, what would be the result?
Your committee would be victimized by hundreds of various groups and organizations who could make appeals against the advertising of smoking for pleasure, driving a car for pleasure, riding an airplane, trains, et cetera, for pleasure, when they could very well point out that the pleasure derived from seeking enjoyment of this nature has resulted in fatalities of enormous numbers.
What would happen to the women of today, young and old, if the advertising of cosmetic companies were opposed. I am referring to glorified advertisements relating how beautiful a woman can be made by using so and so's alluring lipstick, last word in rouge, aromatic powder or perfume that is advertised to send you where I don't know-unless it is meant that when women of today fall for such advertisements, even though they have the advantage of looking in a mirror to find out that they have made no improvements, they have invoked in themselves an air of self-confidence that they have that something which will seduce mankind of today.
Such arguments may sound ridiculous—yes; and I admit they may be ridiculous, but no more senseless than arguments sponsored by proponents of the bill S. 265 before your committee.
It is an appalling fact to find that representatives of so many church denominations would appear here and publicly confess that they are powerless to teach their followers right from wrong without calling on our democratic Government for assistance to make theirs an easier job through prohibition.