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MONDAY, MAY 12, 1947
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to call, in the Senate caucus room, Senate Office Building, Senator Clyde M. Reed presiding.
Present: Senators Reed (presiding), Moore, Stewart, and McFarland.
Present also: Senators Capper, Langer, Taylor; Representatives Bryson and Philipps.
Senator REED. The hearing will please come to order.
This is a hearing of the full Interstate Commerce Committee of the Senate, upon Senate bill 265, introduced by Senator Capper of Kansas.
The bill will be inserted in the record at this point. (S. 265 is as follows:)
[S. 265, 80th Cong., 1st sess.)
A BILL To prohibit the transportation in interstate commerce of advertisements of
alcoholic beverages, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be unlawful for any distiller, brewer, vintner, manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer or for the agent, broker, or factor of any of them, engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages to cause to be transported in the mails or otherwise from any State or Territory or the District of Columbia to any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia any newspaper, periodical, news reel, photographic film, or record for mechanical reproduction advertising alcoholic ages or containing the solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages.
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful for any publisher or for the agent of any publisher to cause to be transported in the mails or otherwise from any State or Territory or the District of Columbia to any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia any newspaper, periodical, news reel, photographic film, or record for mechanical reproduction advertising alcoholic beverages or containing the solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages.
Sec. 3. It shall be unlawful for any common carrier or for any private carrier for hire to transport from any State or Territory or the District of Columbia to any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia any newspaper, periodical, news reel, photographic film, or record for mechanical reproduction advertising alcoholic beverages or containing the solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages.
Sec. 4. It shall be unlawful to broadcast by means of any radio station for which a license is required by any law of the United States, or for any person operating any such station, to permit the broadcasting of any advertisement of alcoholic beverages or the solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages.
SEC. 5. No letter, postal card, circular, or pamphlet of any kind containing any advertisement of alcoholic beverages or a solicitation of an order for alcuholic beverages shall be deposited in or carried by the mails of the United States, or be delivered by any postmaster or letter carrier, when addressed or directed to any place in any State or Territory of the United States, or the District of
Columbia, at which it is by the law in force in the State or Territory or the District of Columbia at the time unlawful to advertise or solicit vrders for such beverages.
SEC. 6. When applied to any advertisement or solicitation of an order, the term "alcoholic beverages”, as used in this Act, shall be construed to include any spirituous, vinous, malted, or other fermented liquor, or any compound containing any spirituous, vinous, malted, or other fermented liquor fit for use for beverage purposes as defined by the law of the State or Territory or Distirct of Columbia into which such advertisement or solicitation of an (rder may be transported. The Postmaster General is authorized and directed to issue annual bulletins or notices giving the names of the States in which it is unlawful to advertise or solicit orders for alcoholic beverages.
SEC. 7. Any person knowingly violating any of the provisions of this Act shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned not less than six months nor more than one year, or both; and for any subsequent offense shall be imprisoned not less than one year.
Senator REED. The procedure will be that the proponents of the bill will appear first. Preliminary to that, there are some members of the Senate who desire to make statements.
Now, here will be the rule governing appearances of witnesses. The rule of the Senate is that all witnesses appearing before it will file in advance written statements of their proposed testimony, and limit their oral presentations to brief summaries of their arguments. That rule will be applied against all witnesses, except that on each side three persons appearing will be allowed more than the usual 5 minutes. The persons who receive that time will be ingreed upon or designated by the side they represent.
Bishop Hammaker will appear and will be allowed as much time as he desires up to 30 minutes, and he will call the witnesses in the order that the proponents of the bill desire to appear.
First we will hear from Senator Capper, the author of the bill, for a brief verbal statement, and then he may file his written statement if he desires.
STATEMENT OF HON. ARTHUR CAPPER, A UNITED STATES SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF KANSAS
Senator CAPPER. Mr. Chairman, I thank you and the committee for affording us this hearing opportunity to present reasons why we believe S. 265, a bill to prohibit the transportation in interstate commerce advertisements of alcoholic beverages, and for other purposes, should be enacted.
If it has not been done, I request that a copy of S. 265 be printed in the hearings at this point, as part of my remarks.
I will not take up much of the time of the committee, as there are a number of witnesses who desire to be heard in support of the measure, and I feel you will be more interested in hearing them than you will be hearing me. Some of you have had to listen to me for as long as a quarter of a century, from time to time.
First I desire to state briefly the purpose of the bill, and what is provided in it. Section 1 would make it unlawful for any distiller, brewer, vintner, manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer; or for the agent, broker, or factor for any of these, engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages to cause to be transported by mail or otherwise, in interstate commerce, any newspaper, periodical, news reel, photographic film, or
record for mechanical production advertising alcoholic beverages or containing the solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages.
Sections 2, 3, and 4 carry similar prohibitions against publishers and their agents; against common carriers and private carriers; and against broadcasting stations carrying or transporting or broadcasting such advertising in interstate commerce. Section 5 provides that no letter, postal card, circular, or pamphlet of any kind containing any advertisement of alcoholic beverages or a solicitation of an order for alcoholic beverages shall be deposited in or carried by the mails of the United States, or be delivered
when addressed to any place in any State or Territory or District of Columbia at which it is unlawful by the law in force to advertise or solicit orders for alcoholic beverages.
Section 6 defines alcoholic beverages, for the purpose of this legislation, to include any spirituous, vinous, malted, or other fermented liquor, or any compound containing any of these fit for use for beverage purposes. The Postmaster General is authorized to publish annually the names of States in which it is unlawful to advertise or solicit orders for alcoholic beverages. Section 7 is the penalty clauses—first offense, from $100 to $1,000 fine and/or imprisonment from 6 months to 1 year; for any subsequent offense, imprisonment for not less than 1 year.
Mr. Chairman, the growth and extent of the liquor habit in the United States in the past few years alarms me. We were told preceding repeal, by the advocates of repeal, that if national prohibition was repealed that these advocates and the manufacturers and dealers would discourage excessive drinking; they wanted only the freedom of the individual to indulge in moderate drinking; they opposed drunkenness.
Yet I note in a recent press release from the Department of Commerce that last year (1946) the national drink bill totaled $8,770,000,000, nearly $9,000,000,000. That is an average expenditure for alcoholic drinks of $89 for every person over 18 years old in the entire Nation. It is nearly one-fourth as much as the budget estimate for Federal expenditures for the coming fiscal year.
Mr. Chairman, I will not read the press release (Department of Commerce, No. 647, for April 30, 1947) but I ask that it be inserted in the record of the hearings at this point.
(The matter referred to is as follows:)
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
(Advance release, No. 647, for Wednesday afternoon, April 30, 1947)
Consumer expenditures for alcoholic beverages in 1946 amounted to $8,800,000,000 according to estimates of the Department of Commerce.
This total represents consumer expenditures for distilled spirits, wine, and beer bought either packaged form or by the drink.
Of the total outlay in 1946, about $3,500,000,000, or 40 percent, was collected in taxes by the Federal, State, and local Governments, compared to $3,000,000,000 taxes in 1945. Federal taxes alone amounted to $2,700,000,000 in 1946.
Nearly 60 percent of total expenditures, or $5,000,000,000 was spent for distilled spirits, both for packaged goods and for mixed drinks, the cost of the latter including part of the expense of entertainment and other service charges in establishments where a separate charge is not made for such items.
Expenditures on distilled spirits, either in packaged form or by the drink were about 15 percent above 1945. Expenditures for wines were up 48 percent while those for beer rose about 2 percent above the previous year.
In terms of physical volume, consumption of distilled spirits increased by onefifth and that of wine by one-half. Beer consumption on the other hand dropped slightly, reflecting the effect of the grain shortage that occurred during the year.
Many factors contributed to the increased expenditures for alcoholic beverages. Increased supplies of distilled spirits and wines were available; the adult population increased as the result of the return of 3,000,000 servicemen from abroad, and individual incomes were at an unusually high level.
Another factor that helped divert expenditures to luxury goods, at least during the early part of the year, was the continued absence of some durable and nondurable goods on which consumers normally spend their income. Throughout the war period the proportion of consumer expenditures for alcoholic beverages increased steadily, reaching a peak of 7.4 percent in 1945. In 1946, however, as more consumer goods became available, this proportion declined to 6.9 percent.
The following tables show the amounts spent for alcoholic beverages and the volume consumed since 1934 :
1 Apparent consumption data compiled by Distilled Spirits Institute.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I believe that the tremendous amount of advertising, seeking to whet the appetite for drinking; seeking to create new customers, especially among women and children, have much to do with increased liquor consumption—from 91,000,000 gallons of spirits and wines in 1934 to 371,000,000 gallons of spirits and wines and 78,000,000 barrels of beer in 1946 (Department of Commerce report which I have just placed in the record).
In this connection, Mr. Chairman, I want to read to you a telegram I received last Saturday from Mr. G. A. Nichols, editor of Printers Ink, as follows:
In 358 daily and Sunday newspapers in 108 cities 1946 wine advertising amounted to $1,936,113. Liquor advertising $3,639,420. Beer, $4,957,361. Magazine: 1946 wine and liquor advertising combined, $23,964,882, and beer, $2,568,842. All of above refers to firms spending more than $5,000.
Here is the telegram, Mr. Chairman:
That makes a total for advertising (not including advertisers spending less than $5,000 during the year) of approximately 391/2 million dollars in newspapers and magazines, as reported by Printers Ink. It does not include radio advertising and other advertising.
Mr. Chairman, the support for this legislation is not confined to those of us who are known as drys and who also believe in prohibition of the liquor traffic to the extent possible.
I want to read to you at this time a letter I received dated May 3, 1947, from Mr. James J. Devine, attorney for the Capital District Liquor Stores Association, Inc., 435 Central Avenue, Albany, N. Y. The letterhead shows the membership (retail liquor store proprietors) in Albany and more than two score other cities and towns in eastern New York. I read Mr. Devine's letter: CAPITAL DISTRICT LIQUOR STORES ASSOCIATION, INO.,
Albany, N. Y., May 3, 1947. HON. ARTHUR CAPPER,
United States Senate Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CAPPER : The members of our association, which includes practically all retail liquor store properietors in eastern New York, are unanimously in favor of your bill, which would prohibit the advertising of intoxicating liquors.
Although we are engaged in the direct sale of bottled wines and liquors to the consuming public, we are also pledged to the principle of moderation, and after approximately 14 years of repeal, we are completely satisfied that the highpressure advertising of today is not conducive to temperance. We are further convinced that such advertising is detrimental to the interest of young people whom the law makes every effort to protect by restrictions against tavern keeper and package store proprietor.
We sincerely trust that you will be successful in obtaining passage of this commendable piece of legislation. Very truly yours,
CAPITAL DISTRICT LIQUOR STORES ASSOCIATION, INC.,
By JAYES J. DEVINE, Attorney. Now, Mr. Chairman, I wish to read a statement from Mr. Roger W. Babson, of Wellesley Hills, Mass., and Eureka, Kans. By the way,
in a penned postscript to the covering letter of Mr. Babson, dated May 7, 1946, Mr. Babson wrote me this: Have just returned from 4 weeks in Kansas, the heart of America's magic circle.
If I had time there is an interesting story about Mr. Babson and his "magic circle" in the center of the United States, but that has nothing to do with this hearing. Just a little splurge of State pride on my part.
With the Chair's permission, I will read Mr. Babson's statement and make it my main argument for enactment of this bill, S. 265.