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MR. TENNYSON SMITH AND HIS METHODS, i A REPLY TO MR. VALENTIN. t TO THE IDITOR. ( Sir,—I am extremely surprised to find that Mr. Basil Valentin's letter has been allowed to pass by unchallenged, not as regards his reference to Mr. Smith, as probably that gentleman has no knowledge thereof, but on account of his somewhat sarcastic remarks conceruiug the "so-called temperance party." His letter is a curious blend of personality and bombastic assertion from beginning to end. The per- sonalities I leave to Mr. Tennyson Smith, as I know nothing of the interyiew or of Mr. Smith's lectures at Llanelly, and moreover, I agree with Mr. Valentin, assuming the truth of his statement that Mr. Smith said that "if the trade could get a man of equal ability with himself to present their case, the temper- ance cause womel be ruined," that he (Mr. Smith) is the most bombastic coxcomb in Christendom, and deserves all he received at the hands of Mr. Valentin. No Sir, the temperance cause does not depend upon ability, although it has that item,but upon principle the cause is a just one, and as such cannot but succeed. Thrice armed is he whose cause is just." The agitation will go on without us, if not with us. If we are silent J the very stones would cry out If there is in the drink business any single encouraging feature it is to be found in the growing impatience of the people at the burden they are forced to bear, and their growing iudignation and sense of shame and disgrace which it imposes upon them." Mr. Valentin assures us that any effort he (Mr. Smith) or his followers would make to reform the drunkard and teach him his responsibilities to his family and society would have the heartiest support of the trade." Now Mr. Valentin does not really believe this at any rate, I do not,as the experience ot the past has only too truly proved the contrary. Moreover, we have the testimony of men as experienced and as inter- ested in the trade as Mr. Valentin himself, viz., Mr. Charles Burton, M.P., the brewer who says:—"The struggle of the school, the library and the church against the gin palace and the beer shop is but one development of the war between heaven and hell." Mr. Valentin says" the so-called party has not a single argument against the trade which could bear the calm consideration of common sense "—this is, to say the least, a little after the mountebank style he so much deprecates in his friend Mr. Smith. What of the testimony of the following against the trade ? Are we to assume they are devoid of common sense ? Let the reader decide for himself. Sir Henry Hawkins—"As for public houses, be looked upon them as one of the greatest curses and pests of the country. Eighty per cent. of what he had to do was prepared by the public house. and if he had his way he would sweep them away to-morrow without one penny of compensation." Lord Beaconsfield-" I have generally found the higher the wages, the worse the workman. They only spend their money in beer shops. They, the beer shopT, are the curse of the country. The people who kept beer shops away from localities had solved the problem of the working classes." Earl Cairns-" Gin shops and public houses were so many allurements and ambushes, so many traps, and pitfalls in the path of the working-man." Judge Whiteman-" In almost all cases of personal violence and injury, the scene is a public-house or beer- shop." Justice Groves-" Men go into public houses re- spectable and come out felons." Lord Chesterfield-" Vice, my lords, is not properly to be taxed, but to be suppressed. If these liquors are so delicious that the people are tempted to their destruction, let us at least, my lords, secure them from these fatal draughts by bursting the vials that contain them. Let as check these artists in human slaughter, who have reconciled their country-men to sickness and ruin, and spread over the pitfalls of debauchery such baits as cannot be resisted. When I consider the tendency of this bill (the Gin Act), I find it calculated only for the propagation of disease, the suppression of industry and the destruction of mankind." Times—" The public house system is a monstrous evil, there is not a vice, a disease, a disorder, or a calamity of any kind that has not its frequent rise in the public house. The public-house degrades, ruins, and brutalises a large fraction of the British people." Daily Telegraph—"Our revenue may derive some unholy benefit from the sale of alcohol, but the entire trade is, nevertheless, a covenant with sin and death." Col. R. G. Ingersoll (who is not a fanatical teetotaller)—"I am aware that there is a prejudice against any man engaged in the manufacture of alcohol. I believe that from the time it issues from the coiled and poisonous worm—in the distillery- until it empties into the hell of death, dishonour, and crime, it demoralises every body that touches it, from its source to where it ends. I do not believe anybody can contemplate the subject without becoming prej u- diced to the liquor crime." Mr. Valentin's assertion that all arguments had been analysed and annihilated (a contradiction in terms) in the various trade journals must be taken cum grano magno saiis, i.e., for what it is worth. I deny that the arguments have even been fairly discussed in the trade journals and that they have been annihilated is but the vain dream of an anti-tem- perance enthusiast. Mr. Valentin next tells us the idea of abolishing the drink traffic altogether was too absurd to discuss, yet immediately proceeds to do so by giving two reasons against abolishing it, viz. (1) the number that, would be thrown out of employment—several millions- (a very indefinite statement). (2) the enormous sum of 27 millions sterliug which the revenue annually derives from the liquor trades. Let us aualyse these state- ments. (1) the number of unemployed-this is simply a straw man put up to be as soon knocked down of course to refute this by proofs would simply take up more than the space at my disposal, but if Mr. Valentin will be a little more definite as regards his several millions, perhaps the editor would allow the economic question to be thrashed out in his columns. The ratio of the wages paid to the profits gained in the trade is such as to convince any ordinary conscience of its illegality. Well has Professor Hopkins said the liquor traffic stands alone the monumental robber of every other industry on the face of the earth." Take the following illustration of Professor Hopkins from the history of Ireland. He says" The years of 1809- 1810 and 1813-1814 saw great scarcity in Ireland. By wise forecast and as wise authority the distilleries were stopped and note the result. In the better years of 1811-1812 and 1815-1816, better but for distillation and unchecked drinking, the average consumption of spirits was 1 millions of gallons in those years ef want and prohibition of distilieries, the consumption fell below 4t millions of gallons." What was the consequence? In these 4 years of famine, free from drink in a fair degree because the distilleries were closed, the Irish pee-ple bought and paid for haberdashery, iron, hardware, and cotton goods to the amount 1253,657 more than in the 4 years of plenty naned of tea and sugar 773,911 Ibs. more were bought by them than in those good years. They used 1,356,700 more yards of drapery and they slept under 33,401 more woollen blankets." Those years of want became years of prosperity because an illegitimate industry was in part prohibited, and could not feed as a parasite on the legitimate industries." Revenue 27 milliotis-I-las Mr. Valentin forgotten the testimony of the judges of our courts that two- thirds of the crime of the country is due to the trade ? Consequently, two-thirds of the total cost of keeping the whole legal paraphernalia of police force, court officials &c., is to be deducted from this comparatively insignificant sum of 27 millions. Then there is the lunacy item, and the pauper item, not to mention the 60,000 lives annually lost to the country, and the doctors' and undertakers' bills occasioned thereby. Against this 27 millions so-called revenue we have to place at least 100 millions. So in order to get Mr. Valentin's 27 millions sterling we have, as a country, to pay 140 millions directly for drink, and a further 100 millions to look after the filthy offspring of the trade, making a total cf 240 millions roughly. William III. of Prussia once said that he would prefer that no such tax (driuk tax) should come into the treasury, since the xiodey was employed chiefly in the keeping up of prisons and hospitals, which would be much less froqueut if his people gave up alcohol. It requires no claptrap oraUry or maudlin senti- mentaliam to perceive the absurdity of paying a grand total of 240 millions in order to obtain the comparatively insignificant sum of 24 millions sterling. Mr. Valentin's statement that every food or drink, however, harmless in itself was poison to the aniicai system" is absolutely incorrect; and his next state- ment—" It would be perfectly possible to poison or kill a man by overcrowding bis system with bread and water" at once proves his inability to discuss the ques- tion at issue—the words to kill and to poison are not synonymous as Mr. Valentin assumes, and for proof therof I refer Mr. Valentin to a shilling dictionary. Alcohol is a poison, Mr. Valentin notwithstanding. Even the framers of the law have acknowledged this, as Mr. Valentin can see this testimony on any sigu- board on any publichouse iu Llanelly licensed to sell intoxicating drinks" licensed to sell poisonous drinks. Alcohol is a poison and belongs to the most deadly clast; of poisons called Narcotics. There are few medical men of any staHding now who advocate the indiscriminate use of Alcohol even as a medicine, and not a few have discarded its use entirely even as a- medicine, and have gone so far as to advocate its entire expulsion (except as a solvent) from the British Pharmacoposia. Mr. Valentin very considerately volunteers to enlighten Mr. Smith and his followers on this doubt- ful point, viz.: Since the introduction of the Sunday Closing Act, there is far more illegal drinking and drutikeHesss in Sheebeens &c., on the Sabbath than before the introduction of the Act, and the repeal of the Act would tend to diminish drunkenness. I must say this proof Ar explanation is somewhat hazy What has locality of purchase of the beer to do with diminution or increase of drunkenness, assuming that the beer is as universally pure as he would have us believe it is. It is quite true. yea self-evident, that if the beer were purchased at Cardiff, the trade at that town would benefit thereby, but for the life of me, I fail to perceive how that can in any way affect the amount of drunkenness, assuming that the same quantity is con- sumed, and Mr. Valentin states nothing to the con- trary. The only evident difference is that in one case I we get illegal drunkennesss or drunkenness on unlicensed premises during prohibited hours-and in the other legal drUflkenness (if I might so call it) or drunkenness on licensed premises during legal hours- but we acknowledge no difference, our fight is against drunkenness and drunkard manufacturers. But I assert and have proofs at hand that instead of an increase in cases of convictions at Cardiff since the introduction of the Act, there has been an actual decrease and this I will substantiate -if Mr. Valentin doubts the truth thereof. How Mr. Valentin can so lightly talk of the sad de- tails, however, portrayed as claptrap oratory and maudlin sentimentalism, is beyond conception. The daily horrors of the drink doings are enough to make "heaven weap and earth amazed." The baptism of blood for one day in London alone, the record of which I have before me, is enough to astound the most callous and indifferent. The murderer who slays his victim in the depth of night is pursued, and when caught, pays the penalty of his crime upon the gallows, but the wholesale murderers who gloat over the wealth of their unholy gain by foul deeds done in broad-day- light and under the very eyes of the law, are still at large, and are feasted and banqnetted, sit in high places with garters round their legs instead of ropes round their necks. Away with the cant about this ungodly business. JOHN H. WILLIAMS. London Hospital, London, E.