DR. HAVEN EMERSON: I believe the lesson that these medical observations give us is that alcohol is more damaging to social relationships than it is to any pathological injury to the person himself. It interferes with human relations ; it spoils the pattern of decent human conduct; it makes the person irresponsible, incapable of his best, and forces him into a position of inferiority with relation to himself and to other conditions.
There are times when physicians must use depressants. But there are other depressants we have now which are better than alcohol, and it is unfortunate when physicians lead people into alcoholism by the injudicious administration of alcohol.
Alcohol is a poisonous substance, and it is so because it interferes with the normal growth, development, and function of the various tissues and organs of the human body, particularly that one system of organs comprising the brain and spinal cord, which determines all our actions.
[Dr. Emerson is professor of Public health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University School of Medicine. He has served as President of the New York City Board of Health, and as president of the American Public Health Association.]
DR. GEORGE W. CRANE: The trouble with much of our moral training, even in the churches and Sunday schools, is faulty education. We need to change our strategy. Abstract teaching of the golden rule is not sufficient. Your daughter may know the golden rule and yet go to that gushy party, and take that proffered glass of wine or cigarette simply because to her the golden rule is an ethical faraway principle which has no particular bearing on the current situation. Unfortunately no one had pointed out to her this specific situation, when as a member of a sorority she would face the social pressure of the drinking habits of older girls setting the pace for her to follow.
What a difference it would have made could someone have said to her : "Mary, what are you going to do a year from now when you go to college? Are you going to stampede like sheep, or are you going to be able to resist the terrific pressure of mob psychology which you will have to face ?" To have anticipated that specific moral situation would have helped her to arrive at a sensible decision, when for the first time she faced stampede action so common to drinking parties. She would be able to recognize the social situation, tabulate its implications, and protect herself from the mob psychology that inevitably operates in such environment.
[Dr. Crane, of Chicago, is an outstanding psychologist, lecturer, and radio commentator. He is author of the widely read newspaper column, "The Worry Clinic," and the well-known textbook "Psychology Applied," adopted as a text by 317 college and university instructors.]
JUDGE JOSEPH T. ZOTTOLI: I was attorney for twenty-two homicides before I went on the bench, and nineteen of them were under the influence of liquor when they committed their crimes. I am very strongly of the belief that you do get a damaged gene in alcoholic parents, and consequently an inferior child.
A survey of 730 cases heard in the domestic relations session of the Boston Municipal Court, involving complaints in behalf of 628 wives and 1,082 minor children, disclosed that 42 per cent of the complaints were directly due to inebriety. A total of 89 per cent of the broken homes were directly or indirectly due to drunkenness on the part of one or both parents. Here lies the chief cause of underprivileged and delinquent children. Inebriety is the cause of 50 per cent of the felonies, and 85 per cent of the misdemeanors in Massachusetts.
[Judge Joseph T. Zottoli is associate justice of the Boston Municipal Court.]
MRS. CAROLYN BROOKS: Modern science no longer supports the theory that "it doesn't hurt as long as you do not get drunk." We now know that drunkenness, as we commonly know the term, is no longer the measure of injury done by alcohol. The issues are the effects of alcohol that precede obvious drunkenness. We now know that a mental intoxication precedes the usual physical signs, and is caused by amounts of alcohol too small to cause visible or obvious drunkenness.
The hidden danger in drinking lies in the small quantity of alcohol in a person's blood stream. We now know that it takes only a small amount of alcohol to lessen a person's power to control his behavior and his action, and to impair efficiency.
We believe that priceless as is the power to cure, the power to prevent is more priceless. Alcohol education fits into this preventive pattern.
[Mrs. Brooks is chairman of the Alcohol Education Committee of Greater New York. Author of "Beverage Alcohol."]
O. G. CHRISTGAU: The National Safety Council Committee, consisting of sixteen or seventeen men from all parts of the country, after carefully studying the available facts and statistics, and the methods of reporting traffic accidents, give it as their opinion that not one in four, but from 40 to 6o per cent of the highway accidents that cripple or kill are caused by alcohol.
[Mr. Christgau, for years convention manager, publicity director, associate superintendent, and national field secretary of the Anti-Saloon League of America.]
SAM MORRIS: The liquor industry is too economical to waste $15o,000,000,000 in advertising without getting it back with some profits besides.
The advocates of repeal fifteen years ago said the old saloon would not come back, and it didn't. It's not a saloon today. It's a filling station, drug store, package store, department store, grocery store, meat market, hardware, beerateria, cafeteria, first chance, last chance, "Bloody Bucket," "Brown Derby," "Tip Top," "Blue Moon," "Pale Moon," "Quarter Moon," "Half Moon," "Full Moon," "Silver Spoon," "Silver Slipper," and a thousand and one other names, but you never see the word saloon. They changed the name on the front of the building, but they did not change the product on the inside of the bottle.
At Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Japs stabbed us in the back and killed 3,500 people. Congress the next day declared war on Japan, spent billions, killed off thousands of our choice young men, to conquer an enemy that would have the audacity to kill 3,500 of our citizens and threaten the life of our nation. Pearl Harbor happened but once, but every year for fifteen years the liquor traffic in America under repeal has killed twice as many people, and injured a quarter of a million more than were killed and injured at Pearl Harbor.
If Russia were to send a bombing squadron to America tonight, and those bombers were to fly over, drop bombs, kill 6,400 of our people, and wound a quarter of a million other people (alcohol's traffic casualties in 1947), Congress would meet in joint session tomorrow, and before tomorrow night would declare war on Russia. Our planes would begin to roll, and our rights and regulations would be re-established. If necessary, Congress would sink us in debt $5oo,000,000,000, and kill off 5,000,000 of our young men to conquer the enemy. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time the God-fearing, Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, humanity-loving, home-espousing people of America got interested in conquering this internal evil at home. It is a bigger danger to America tonight than is Russia.
[Sam Morris has conducted the "Voice of Temperance" broadcasts on American and Mexican radio stations and networks since 1935. He is the foremost dry campaigner in America today.]
J. L. McELHANY [President, General Conference] : You all know, I am sure, what the Seventh-day Adventist position has always been. From the very foundation of our church organization we stood on the grounds of total abstinence. And anyone who manufactures, sells, or consumes alcoholic beverages is not deemed a proper candidate for church admission. I hope we will never change that stand,' that we will maintain it right through to the very end of time. And, my friends, let me tell you that as conditions are now, and as they will be in the future, unless under God we do something about it, we will need that standard in the church to protect the church's integrity and purity. We must not lower the standard.
We consistently maintain that total abstinence is the only platform upon which we can stand. Why? Because, my friends, there is only one drink between you or me in becoming a drunkard. That's all—just one drink. You never saw a man yet, however degraded he may have become, or how much he may have defaced the moral image of God in himself through his habits of intoxication, who in the beginning deliberately decided that he would be a drunkard. In all the cases of this kind that I have seen, I have yet to hear the first one of them confess that he deliberately chose to be a drunkard, and set out to defile and to debase himself. Ah, my friends, the only thing that protects you and me from that sort of an experience is the first drink. And that it why it is so essential that we should stand on the platform of total abstinence.
The emergency of the situation demands united action, and, I say, we must buckle on the armor and do our utmost to rescue those who are perishing as a result of this wicked device of the devil. And so, dear delegates, go back to your communities and do your utmost to enlist people in this fight against intemperance, against the use of alcoholic beverages.