Thursday, 23 January 2014



“Throw out the life line, someone is drifting away!” Mother, it may be your husband, your son, your father or your brother; or it may be some other mother’s loved ones. On Monday next, you can answer that question, and may your mother’s heart send back the glad response. “By the help of God, here goes my ballot as the life line that will help some weak husband, father or son from drifting down to a drunkard’s grave.” The Liberty league and the men who are interested in the open bar and the sale of intoxicating liquors say that there is as much liquor sold in Hamilton today as when every saloon in town was running wide open: but they camouflage this statement by saying that it is all sold and drunk after night, and that is the reason Chief Whatley is able to present such glowing reports of the decreasing number of arrests for drunkenness in the streets.
Don’t believe a word of it! Use your own eyes and common sense, and ask yourself the question, “What has become of the large number f men and boys that I used to meet in the streets staggering drunk?” In the year 1918, Chief Whatley reports that there were 1,667 arrests for drunkenness; and in the first nine months of 1916, while the city was still under the licence system, and three months under partial prohibition, there were 1,368 arrests, showing a falling off to the credit of prohibition of 299. In 1917, when every drunken man in the streets was liable to arrest, there were but 469 arrests for drunkenness. What better proof is needed of the efficacy of the Ontario Temperance act than the honest report made by Chief Whatley ? Cut off the bootleggers from their accursed violation of the law, and the doctors from their assistance as bartenders by their prescriptions, and Hamilton would have made even a better showing as to the power of prohibition to prohibit.
Vote four NO’S when you mark your referendum ballot on Monday, and you will at least have done your part toward making a sober Canada. If the partial prohibition that has been in force in the years 1917 and 1918 has decreased drunkenness in the streets of Hamilton down to 469 in 1917 and 414 in 1918, what glorious results may be accomplished when a new act is enacted, backed by the legislation of the Dominion parliament! The unfortunate drunkard is not altogether responsible for the gratification of his appetite for strong liquor; the responsibility must rest on the moderate drinker who demands his beer and wine, and has control of his appetite. They ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Are we still not all depending upon one another for our happiness and comfort in this life? The old-timer who laughed when anybody suggested that some day Canada would have woman suffrage and prohibition, now is willing to believe we will dry up the ocean or go visiting to the moon in the next few years. If prohibition does come next Monday, and there is every indication that it will, Premier Hearst and his cabinet will deserve a large share of the credit for the stand taken by the party in giving to the women of Ontario the right to vote. We are not going to rob the Dominion parliament of its part, nor take from Sir Robert Borden the most important share in progressive legislation. But let us get down to bedrock and give the acclaim of victory to the wives, mothers and daughters of Canada who, by their votes next Monday, will throw out the life line to this grand old Canada that will save some poor unfortunate from drifting away.
Only here and there can be found an Ontario newspaper that is defending the stand taken by the so-called Liberty league, though they all publish its advertisements. There are a few of the leading papers that will not publish the advertisement of the sale of liquor under any circumstances, and they are doing stalwart work for prohibition. We call to mind one leading Canadian paper whose owner and manager was killed by one of his employees while the latter was under the influence of liquor. The murdered editor and owner was kind and generous to the men under his employ, but during a strike in the general trade for an increase of wages, the unfortunate drunkard could not discriminate between his employer who was ready to pay the scale demanded, and those inclined toward arbitration. Since that time, the influence of that paper has been on the side of prohibition, and is today doing grand service in its advocacy of the referendum that is to be voted on next Monday.
Talk about personal liberty and the taking away the rights of a man to use intoxicating liquors. The history of self-governing freemen abounds in the denial of just such privileges as are now pronounced inalienable by the leaders of the Liberty league. They speak feelingly of enslavement and the taking away of their rights, but nobody is going to enslave them. If Chief Whatley’s guardians of the city find a drunken man in the street and arrest him, they promptly take away his liberty by marching him down to the police station, and hailing him the next morning before Magistrate Jelfs for trial for his drunkenness. No person who may walk the streets without infringing the rights of others is interfered with by the police. The enforcement of law guarantees the liberty of peaceful citizens; while at the same time it deprives the law-breakers of his liberty. Every constitution, every contract, every law, every police regulation, involves the relinquishment by sections, interests or individuals of some assumed right once enjoyed. If that is taking away the rights of a man to have his beer, then we are all in bondage – only to law and order and the best interests of society as a whole. The law is right in preventing a man from bringing poverty and unhappiness to his wife and children, and the persistent use of intoxicating liquors is sure to bring such results.
That was an interesting topic the New York Evening Mail selected for one of its bright editorials the other day, especially to the writer of these musings, who has just passed his eighty-fifth birthday. It is the story of an eminent surgeon in Paris, who as been enabled to make a man eighty years old – and pretty far gone on the road to senile decrepitude – young again, and comparatively frisky, by grafting into his system an interstitial gland from a young and vigorous chimpanzee. Webster tells us that an “interstitial gland is a gland situated between the tissues of an organ or part,” and is, therefore, a very small affair. We give our authority for the gland, and leave it to the doctors of Hamilton to thresh it out when next they meet in solemn conclave. In reporting the results of his experiments before the French congress of surgery the other day, Dr. Voronoff thus describes the effects of the grafting upon his venerable and decrepit patient : “After several moths convalescence, the patient showed a complete change. His shoulders became upright, he walked straighter, and seemed to enjoy the physical and mental powers of a man only thirty years old.” The transmission of the chimpanzee’s ebullient youth to the old man of eighty is explained in the theory that the intestinal gland used in the grafting appears to contain a chemical secretion like strychnine, and is a veritable reservoir of energy, which, when placed in the old, extends life.
You remember Ponce de Leon, who once started for the source of perpetual youth. The old boy was disappointed, although he persevered faithfully, but it is probable he had not learned of the effects of the incorporation of a monkey’s gland into the system. The editorial writer in the New York Evening Mail suggests that if the chimpanzee’s youth had been communicated to the old man by the operation, why should not some of the other characteristics of the simian tribe be communicated to him along with the element of youth? Now, would it not jar you if some day you happened out in Dundurn park, over where the monkeys are all the time cutting up their cute pranks, and some old man should suddenly develop a desire to shin up the nearest tree adjoining the monkey cages and evince a sudden desire to perch on a swinging bar and go through the regular monkey exercises. When Hamilton’s learned sawbones get monkeying with the transmission of the interstitial gland, who is going to be responsible for the results? Dr. Roberts should give this subject his prayerful consideration, and if there is any hope in the discovery of the French surgeon, let him try it gently upon a few of Hamilton’s grand old men. Then, if success follows the experiments, Hamilton can add the monkey to other inducements in inviting Yankee manufacturing industries to settle in this blessed city. In the meantime, the average man and woman who do well not to rely upon any chance of surgical renewal of youth, but to conserve it carefully by right living, by voting for prohibition of the liquor traffic on next Monday, taking plenty of exercise, and as sunny and youthful an outlook upon life may be possible. We may fool nature part of the time, but, as President Lincoln used to tell the people, you can’t fool her all the time.
Canada has not forgotten the heroism of the grand army of brave boys who fought during the past four years as men never fought before. Hamilton will never forget its twelve or fifteen thousand young and old patriots who answered the bugle call to arms. Take a walk along King street almost any hour of the day and see the stalwart young heroes, with heads erect, shoulders thrown back and proudly wearing the button denoting that they have been across the seas when it would have been much pleasanter to be back here in the old home with father and mother, or with wife and children. The young men who were deaf to the bugle call will never know the inspiration that fired the hearts and souls of the boys who carried a musket, stood for hours in the trenches, or of the long and weary marches by day and by night. The writer of these musings passed through it all in the days of the American civil war, and we never see that button that we don’t look with pride on the young fellow who proudly sports it. You can tell a soldier boy as far as you can see him, for he steps out erect and as proudly as if he owned the earth.
There is a comradeship existing between old soldiers that will never be forgotten be forgotten? Did they not tent together for four long years, and fight shoulder to shoulder the same common enemy? That button they so proudly wear is their countersign of recognition and wherever they meet a warm clasp of the hand is the comrade’s greeting. Next Monday this will be put to the test when the soldiers candidates are to be voted for in nearly every constituency in Ontario. Let politics stand aside for the time being and give your old comrades the benefit of your vote and influence. Here in Hamilton there are two soldier candidates for the legislature, which is unfortunate for both of them, for a divided vote always helps the opposition. The soldier cannot vote for both of them, but he can make choice and help the soldier candidate who has the best prospects for election. Captain Fitzgerald and Lieutenant Landers both heard the bugle call, and they promptly answered “Here!” They left home and family and did their bit, and now that the war is over, they have answered the roll call of their friends and next Monday they are in the hands of their comrades. Which shall it be, Sam Landers or Comrade Fitzgerald? It is a mighty ticklish question to decide, but if they divide the soldier vote and the vote of all the dear mothers and wives and sisters of the soldier boys, is there not a danger of the man who stayed at home enjoying the emoluments of office while they were in the trenches, being elected?
The writer does not know Comrade Fitzgerald, but has known Sam Landers for the past twenty years, and remembers Sam’s soapbox oratory in the interests of labor. We have always found him true to principle. When he came to Hamilton, he had a cash capital of thirty-two cents, which a kind-hearted boarding house lady refused to take after she had filled his empty stomach with a hot dinner. There was not a lazy bone in Sam’s body, for he started into work that afternoon on a city stone pile, finding nothing better to tackle. Later he got a job in the W. E. Sanford clothing factory, and held it for seventeen years, when he became a representative of labor in the garment workers’ union. But what is the use of going over over the history? Sam has made good in everything he has been called to. The best thing he ever did was to marry a native girl of Hamilton, and she has been a tower of strength to Sam. Now he is a candidate for office, and hunt as they may his opponents cannot find anything real mean to say about him, although some of them are trying hard to knock him. The soldier boys and a majority of the labor union men, and every woman in the east end will vote for Sam Landers next Monday, and mark their ballots with four No's ’n the referendum question.

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