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Temperance Resolution

By H.J. Hall


      Luna Park, Tuesday Night, October 12.

      We desire to assist in advancing the cause of sobriety and temperance throughout the land. In common with all thoughtful friends of this cause we have long recognized as one of the series of stumbling-blocks in its path, the Federal system of whisky, beer and wine taxes. At the same time we have realized that the Government's needs for revenue seemed to compel the continuance of that system. Now, however, and suddenly, as if in a night, the chance for relief and remedy has been presented. Another source of revenue sufficient to enable the Federal Government to forego the income from such internal revenues is pointed out in the form of taxes upon the net incomes of individuals and corporations. We note with pleasure and pride the practically unanimous vote in Congress, entirely unanimous in the Senate and lacking but fourteen in the House of Representatives, by which the resolution for a constitutional amendment upon the subject was recorded. This justifies us in assuming that the amendment will be passed and the law be authorized. Such a law, justly graduated, will in time release to the Government an annual revenue equal to the amounts now accruing in the form of taxes upon whisky, beer and wine, and the Government will be free to abandon such taxes. This will leave to the various States the control of the liquor traffic. Uncle Sam will go out of the business. This is as it should be, and the sober patriotism of each State will provide the best law upon the subject that it is capable of enforcing. The accomplishment of such a purpose should be aided by patriotic citizens of all parties, of all churches, and of all beliefs respecting the wet and dry question as well. We favor such constitutional amendments as will secure a Federal tax upon the incomes of individuals and corporations, and as candidly avow that one of the chief reasons is to enable the Federal Government to abandon all whisky, beer and wine taxes, and thus leave the sovereign States free and untrammeled in their control of the liquor traffic. We invite the churches of all denominations to join in the declaration and the work. We invite all legislative and Congressional candidates to publicly affirm their sympathy with such declaration and purpose. We invite the nominating conventions of all parties to instruct and commit their candidates in favor of such declaration and purpose. We invite those who are all-powerful, who can make or break the progress of every cause, the people, the voters, to make this issue their very own. With peculiar and special concern we invite the press to give its aid. No good cause can go far without that in this land. No good cause that receives it can fail. We hereby appoint and create a special committee of three to make effective the purposes as above expressed, conferring upon such committee full power to act, and upon its labors we invoke the blessing and guidance of that Divine Providence which has helped the people of this favored land to solve all questions aright. We shall not hamper such committee with instruction further than to urge it to make sure that no political partisan tinge or color be given to this movement by it, to promptly and in the very beginning invite other religious bodies to take similar action, appointing similar committees with full power to act and co-operate with our said committee, and to publicly invite the support of the press and all citizens who desire the advancement of the cause of sobriety and temperance in their beloved country. We request the following members to constitute such committee, and undertake and perform its patriotic and important duties, to-wit: United States Senator George T. Oliver, of Pennsylvania; Congressman William H. Graham, of Pennsylvania; Congressman Champ Clark, of Missouri.

      Centennial Convention Report (1910)

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