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Having never really looked at the history of prohibition at all, it's not something I know a lot about and I certainly never knew anything about the UK moves towards prohibition at the same time.

I've just been looking through some of the old Harper's archives looking for a few headlines and found this:

The State Purchase Lure - Harper's Wine & Spirit Gazette 26 May 1917

Sir J. Compton-Rickett, M.P., by special request of the Prime Minister, delivered an address on Sunday afternoon at Whitefield's Men's Meeting, Tottenham Court Road, on "The Government's Plan of State Purchase and Local Option." He said their basal principle should be that prohibition ought not to be enforced until the country was ready to receive it and had given Parliament a mandate. There were a large number of people who would accept prohibition, but there were a very large number who had so accustomed themselves to the use of beer and spirits that to stop suddenly would be a very serious matter for them. The authorities believed it would lead to an increase in labour problems. He did not think any Government would introduce State purchase right away at the present moment. The Government had enough to do at present, but under the Defence of the Realm Act there were great powers of controlling the liquor traffic, and he thought that if it were controlled on the lines that they saw at Carlisle they might be able to decide the subject at the close of the war. He thought a referendum, a direct appeal to the country, would not be an unwise thing. If htey had the trade under control of Parliament and permanent officials drink would be sent out in a prescribed condition, so that a man would have to take a hogshead to get drunk. (Laughter.) Speaking upon the financial aspect, he said there would be no large sum raised. The brewers would be paid probably by a Commission appointed by Parliament to estimate the value of their business, which was not likely to be worth more but less in the future.

Interesting to see where our alcohol laws have derived from.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
23rd May, 2007 01:58 (UTC)
I thought you'd find this article from the New Statesman interesting in relation to this... Also from the archives. http://www.newstatesman.com/200609250062
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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