Schaffer Online Library of Drug Policy

Sign the Resolution
Contents | Feedback | Search
DRCNet Home
| Join DRCNet
DRCNet Library | Schaffer Library

Historical References
1926 Senate Prohibition Hearings

General Histories | Ancient History | 1800-1850 | 1860 | 1870 | 1880 | 1890
1900 | 1910 | 1920 | 1930 | 1940 | 1950 | 1960 | 1970 | 1980 | 1990


April 5 to 24, 1926


250 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *


Mr. RUSSELL. Gentlemen, I am not going to take up much of your time. I am going to be brief. I have come here to-day to make a statement regarding the experiences we have had of prohibition in western Canada, the prairie Provinces of western Canada; the evils that came into those Provinces as the result of prohibition, and what success we have had in attempting to correct those evils.

In 1916 the people of Manitoba passed a prohibition law by a very large popular majority, in a referendum vote--- a very large popular majority. In 1919 the people of Manitoba began very much to regret what they had done in 1916, and they were filled with a feeling of dismay at the havoc that prohibition was making of the social, the moral, and the economic interests of the country. And yet they did not see how they were going to relieve themselves of these evils.

We found all those evils that have been so graphically described as existing in this country, during the last two or three days at this hearing, existing in our own country. We found that more than half the people were in avowed revolt, unblushing revolt, against this law. They were not obeying it. We found that the Province of Manitoba was covered with a network of stills. We did not have a still in the Province of Manitoba in 1916 when prohibition came in. The first evidence we have in our courts of any stills was in 1918, after two years of prohibition. There were 40 convictions for illicit stills in the Province of Manitoba. And the convictions for illicit stills grew every year until 1923, the last year of prohibition, they numbered about 300. And the convictions for illicit stills did not cover the fringe of the still business. And the output of these stills we found was debauching our towns and villages and hamlets.

And in addition to that there was the distribution of all kinds of obnoxious liquor in attractive bottles and good labels, which was going on under an organization of men who were getting rich at the business.

Well, as the result of this our psychopatic wards at the hospitals, instead of doing the work that they were intended for, to look after the naturally defective, were filled with the wrecks of humanity caused by drinking this liquor. The young people of the Province had simply gone?wild. They seemed to take a special pride in lawlessness of this kind. Liquor parties, the hip pocket flask menace--- well, it is true it became absolutely the despair of the parents of the city of Winnipeg.

Crime: We were told that prohibition would remove crime, would decrease crime, We never had such crime waves in western Canada, especially western Manitoba, as we had during the last two years of prohibition. We had the very same crime that is complained of so much in this country to-day. We never had it before in western Canada. There were bandits shooting up villiages and robbing people and banks. We never had it before, and thank God, we have gotten rid of it now, but it was the result of the rum runner and the bootlegger in Western Manitoba.

And our assizes: We used to have before prohibition two assizes a year in Winnipeg, the spring and the fall of the year assizes, and one

251 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

judge could handle the two assizes. In the last two years of prohibition we had to have four assizes, and at each assize there were always two and some times three judges sitting in court to handle the big increase in the work resulting from the increase of crime in Manitoba as the result of prohibition.

Now the financial side: The municipalities were all hard up. They lost all the revenue from licenses, and they had a very largely increased expenditure for law enforcement. Hundreds of thousands of dollars more for law enforcement. Well now, that was the condition. And we formed an organization which we call the Moderation League, in 1921, to try to crystallize public sentiment on this matter, temperance sentiment, not prohibition sentiment, but temperance sentiment in the Province Manitoba, to remedy these evils, to save our Province.

We went to the politicians, we went to the legislature, and we begged them to pass remedial legislation. We told them the people of Manitoba were in favor of remedial legislation. They laughed at us; but in 1922 we had a general election in the Province of Manitoba, and we begged the people of Manitoba to forget all their party affiliations--- and we are pretty strong party men up there to forget all their party affiliations in that election, and to vote only for those candidates who would support a referendum of the people on this question within six months of the meeting of the house, and our request was so well received by the people that the politicians had to climb down, had to make those promises, those pledges, and we got a house unanimously elected to give us this referendum.

In January, 1923, we presented our bill to the local legislature with a petition for the Government to take a vote on it, and they took the vote in June, 1923, with the result that prohibition was snowed under. For instance, take the city of Winnipeg. The city of Winnipeg in 1916 voted 10,000 majority for prohibition. In 1923 the city of Winnipeg voted 26,000 majority against prohibition. The total vote in the city of Winnipeg in 1923 was 66,000. Forty-six thousand voted against prohibition and only 20,000 voted for prohibition, after seven years of experience, a complete change.

Senator WALSH. What was the form of the referendum?

Mr. RUSSELL. The referendum was: "Are you in favor of the Government control of liquor act proposed by the moderation league?" That was the question. Yes or no. And they voted yes; 46,000 out of 66 000 in Winnipeg voted "Yes"

Senator WALSH. The legislature submitted the bill?

Mr. RUSSELL. The legislature submitted the bill to the people in a referendum vote.

Here is a singular thing about that, that since 1916 the women had been given the vote. They did not have the vote in 1916 when prohibition was passed, and the prohibitionists rather chuckled over that, and they said that they would keep prohibition for all time to come in Manitoba. But as a matter of fact 70 per cent of the women voted against prohibition in 1923 in Winnipeg. The mothers of Winnipeg, to save their families and their sisters voted against prohibition in 1923, as the mothers and sisters will in any community, I am quite sure, as they have done all over Canada in every province where they have got the chance.

252 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

Well, the act came into force in 1923. It has been in force now for two and a half years, and every one worth while in the province of Manitoba is perfectly satisfied with the working of the act. The only people not satisfied with it are the irreconcilable fanatics who can not see anything good when the question of liquor is concerned. Outside of that the business element, the financial element, the working classes are satisfied.

We had that same condition in our province that was described here yesterday, of the working classes being jealous of the richer classes under prohibition. They saw their cellars filled full of wines and liquors which they held for entertainment purposes, and the working man could not get his glass of beer, which he needed, legally, and there was a great cleavage caused in our province, which we never had before, between the classes of people.

Everybody is satisfied now. We have no revolt against the act. We have apparently no stills now in the province of Manitoba. I told you that in 1923 we had 300 convictions for illicit stills. In 1925 the convictions did not average one a month. There is no output from the stills going into the villages. There is no distribution of impure liquor. That has vanished entirely. That has gone. That has disappeared.

Senator HARRELD. Has the saloon business been restored?


Senator HARRELD. How do you sell it?

Mr. RUSSELL. The government sells it through three commissioners, sir.

Senator HARRELD. Do these commissioners have charge of the distilling of it?

Mr. RUSSELL. Oh, no; they buy it.

Senator HARRELD. Buy it from the distilleries?

Mr. RUSSELL. Buy it from the breweries and the distilleries, yes.

Senator HARRELD. And resell it?

Mr. RUSSELL. Resell it and make a profit. They make a profit. The first year's profit of the commission in Manitoba turned in $3,000,000 to the relief of taxation of the people.

Senator HARRELD. Well, do they have open stores where they sell it?

Mr. RUSSELL. No, they do not have open stores. I will describe it a little later, if you will permit me.

Senator HARRELD. All right.

Mr. RUSSELL. Now the young people have come to their senses, apparently. They have returned to the preprohibition habits. I am the resident of the Moderation League in Manitoba, and have been for five years, practically ever since it existed. And I can assure you, gentlemen, the parents of the city of Winnipeg are the most grateful people in the world for the miracle that has been worked in connection with their boys and girls.

The question was asked of the last witness as to the class of boys and girls. The class of boys and girls that were being ruined under prohibition in Manitoba we realize were the very class who should be the future hope of the country, the young professional and the young business class of people. They had their liquor parties. Their B. Y. 0. L. parties, as they call them up there, their "Bring

253 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

your own liquor" on the card. So we have the gratitude of the parents of Manitoba, especially of Winnipeg, which I know.

Then, with reference to crime, I told you about the increase in the assizes, four assizes a year, with two and three judges sitting at each assize. In the last three assizes in the cities of Portage la Prairie and Brandon, west of Winnipeg, the judges going up there have been presented with white gloves, which is the symbol in our country of there being no cases at all on the docket. And in Winnipeg in January at our assizes there were only five cases, the smallest assize in 15 years in Manitoba. Now, that is the change that has come over things.

And then there is the financial result. As I have said, the financial result has brought in $3,000,000 for the relief of taxation.

Senator REED of Missouri. In Winnipeg?


Senator REED of Missouri. In Manitoba?

Mr. RUSSELL. About $1,500,000 has come into Manitoba and $1,500,000 has gone to the Federal Government.

Senator REED of Missouri. I was wanting to know whether you were speaking of the Province or speaking of the city of Winnipeg?

Mr. RUSSELL. No; the Province, sir, $1,500,000. Our act provides that the profits of the sales by the Government go half to the Government, to the consolidated revenue of the Province, and one half is divided among the municipalities according to their assessed value. And the municipalities look forward now every year, every six months, to this check. And municipalities that voted against our act in 1916 are now the most consistent supporters of our act, because they find they get the profits, which help them to build roads and things, that the bootleggers used to get.

Senator GOFF. Have you any statistics as to the number of people in Winnipeg who are drinking since your referendum went into effect, as compared with the number who drank before it went in?

You have made the statement that the assizes do not have as many cases on the records of the court. I think that might follow from the fact that what was illegal before has now become a legalized traffic.

Mr. RUSSELL. Oh, there are none of our prohibition cases that come before the assizes. They are all disposed of summarily in our country. They do not deal with them in that way. That was not the case.

Senator GOFF. Well, what were the cases that came before the assizes?

Mr. RUSSELL. Cases that could not be dealt with summarily. That is, cases of burglary, larceny, manslaughter, murder, which have a preliminary trial in the magistrate's court, and are then committed to a jury at the assizes.

Senator GOFF. Well, now, will you explain to me, because I want some constructive information on this question, why the prohibition of the sale of liquor produced these crimes?

Mr. RUSSELL. Well, I will tell you why. All the drinking under prohibition is more or less under cover. It produces orgies of drinking which set people crazy. They do not go and get a glass of beer and go home. They do not drink beer. They drink all kinds of concoctions, wild, vicious things, and they sit around a bottle until it is all gone, and they go out to drive their car wild. And the fact of the

254 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

matter is that the blocks and the tenements of the city of Winnipeg were filled full of parties every night. It was the favorite, popular indoor amusement to defy the law. That is what it becomes, the favorite amusement. The popular indoor amusement. Because the great majority of the people of our country did not think and do not think it is a crime to take a drink. They do not think it should be made a crime.

Senator GOFF. Well, have you studied the question whether this great increase in crime was due entirely to prohibition or to the aftermath of the World War?

Mr. RUSSELL. Well, sir, we did study that, and we do not say we are not unreasonable, we do not say that the whole of it came from prohibition. But we do say that after four or five or six or seven years of prohibition, after six or seven years after the war closed, we should have had much better conditions in our country if it had not been for the fantastic legislation which had been put on the statute .books during the war period.

Senator REED of Missouri. You did get a better result, did you not?

Mr. RUSSELL. Immediately after, yes,.

Senator REED of Missouri. Immediately after changing the law?


Senator GOFF. Did you take into consideration that immediately after the signing of the armistice and in the few years following thereafter there was a great increase in crime in the European countries where prohibition did not prevail?

Mr. RUSSELL. No, we only took into consideration our own country. We have enough to look after there, sir.

Senator GOFF. Well, I do not doubt that.

Mr. RUSSELL. We wanted to know what our own trouble was.

Senator GOFF. Well, I wanted to know if you took into consideration those general factors that might possibly enter into this question.

Mr. RUSSELL. No, we did not approach it mathematically at all.

Senator GOFF. I am not asking these questions to embarrass you. I want some light for my own personal consideration upon this question.

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, sir. We did not take into consideration Europe; no.

Senator GOFF. Do you recognize as a fact that history records that after every great war where nations seek their rights by force, that the reaction on society generally is that the individual members try to achieve certain rights by force?

Mr. RUSSELL. No, sir; that is not my reading of history. That has not been the experience of England.

Senator GOFF. It was the experience, of England immediately following the World War. Have you considered the question?

Mr. RUSSELL. No.; not very much, not very much, sir. England is to-day the most sober and most law-abiding country on the face of the earth. And it has a well-regulated license system. Fifty per cent of their jails have been closed since the World War.

Senator GOFF. At what time?

Mr. RUSSELL. Closed completely. And the police commissioners are wonderiag what to do with them. They are turning them into tenements to relieve the house shortage.

255 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

Senator GOFF. Well, that was not the condition, to my own personal knowledge, in England within three years after the armistice.

Mr. RUSSELL. Oh, no; but we are seven years after the armistice now, Sir. Here is a clipping telling about that situation.

Senator GOFF. Yes; but three years after the adoption, as I understand it, of the licensing that you refer to.

Senator WALSH. Perhaps We had better put this article into the record.

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes; that article was about the conditions in England.

Senator GOFF. Would you like to put this in?


Senator GOFF. That is about the closing of the jails?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, I just mention that because the question was asked.

Senator WALSH. (reading):

LONDON, April 3 (Canadian Press cable).--- In consequence of a decrease in the prison population, nearly half the prisons in Great Britain have been closed in the last 12 years. Since the war 25 jails have been converted for other purposes.

The prison commissioners are at a loss as to what profitable use the disused prisons can be put. Several of them are being used as temporary dwellings for victims of the housing shortage.

Mr. Russell, you told about these summary proceedings for the trial for violation of the prohibition law.


Senator WALSH. There was no trial by jury?

Mr. RUSSELL. There was no trial by jury at all in those cases.

Senator WALSH. What was the limit of the sentence that might be imposed?

Mr. RUSSELL. Well, the first, for illegal selling or illegal buying, is a fine of $200 and costs. For the second offense there is no fine. It is an imprisonment.

Senator WALSH. For what period?

Mr. RUSSELL. Six months they give. Limited to a year, I think.

Senator WALSH. Limited to a year?


Senator WALSH. Well, do not your people regard that as a violation of the Anglo-Saxon right of trial by jury?

Mr. RUSSELL. No, because we think that we give every reasonable .opportunity to our people to get liquor under law now.

Senator WALSH. No; I Was speaking about under the prohibition law.

Mr. RUSSELL. Under the prohibition law?

Senator WALSH. Yes.

Mr. RUSSELL. What was it? To send people to jail?

Senator WALSH. Yes; I was asking you about---

Mr. RUSSELL (interposing). Yes; we did think it was a violation. That is why we objected to it, Sir.

Senator WALSH. Well, perhaps you did not quite understand my question. Under the prohibition law offenders were tried summarily without a jury.


Senator WALSH. And might be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of a year.

256 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *


Senator WALSH. Now you have abandoned that system, and you have the regulatory system. Now are offenders under the regulatory system tried in the same summary magistrates courts?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes; in the same way; yes.

Senator WALSH. And what is the limit of the penalty that may be imposed?

Mr. RUSSELL. The same thing.

Senator WALSH. The same thing. So that if it is a violation of the Anglo-Saxon right of trial by jury you have disregarded that principle?

Mr. RUSSELL. We never had it, Sir, in Canada. We never had trial by jury for that class of cases in Canada. We never thought we needed it.

Senator WALSH. Well, the point was that you never did try that class of cases before a jury in Canada?

Mr. RUSSELL. Never.

Senator WALSH. All right.

Mr. RUSSELL. We never thought we needed it. We never felt any loss of liberty by not having it. We have the British system, that is, trial by the magistrate.

Senator WALSH. Well, do you understand that that same system obtains in Great Britain?


Senator WALSH. That magistrates try offenders and sentence them to imprisonment for a period of at least a year?

Mr. RUSSELL. Up to two years; yes.

Senator WALSH. Up to two years without trial by jury?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, sir; sure, absolutely. I was a court reporter for many years in England.

Senator REED of Missouri. Now you were going to tell us, were you not, the method of distribution of liquors under the present law of Canada?

Mr. RUSSELL. Under the present law of Canada; yes.

Senator WALSH. Let him proceed in his own order.

Senator REED of Missouri. I thought you had reached that.

Mr. RUSSELL. I am pretty nearly there.

Senator REED of Missouri. I do not want to take you off of your theme.

Mr. RUSSELL. Well, I have nothing much more to say, except that I would like to call attention to the fact that there is an increasing purchase in our country of beer and wine as opposed to the purchase of hard liquor. My freind, Sir William Stavert is here from Quebec. He could tell you, if necessary, about the habits of the people of the Province of Quebec. They drink practically nothing but beer and wine. All the hard liquor is purchased by visitors; about 90 per cent by American visitors.

And it is the same in our Province. We are getting a very large tourist trade up there. Special trains run every week end. Our city is full of tourists. And our commission is doing a very large business with tourists from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the rest of those countries up there. But our people are drinking beer and wine more and more every year.

257 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

Manitoba was not a wine-drinking country. We were not a wine-drinking people, like Quebec might be supposed to be, French Canadian, but the biggest seller of Manitoba to-day is a wine that is made down in the Niagara peninsula of Canada. And then the French wines under the French treaty come in under very low duty, and they are becoming wine drinkers up there in preference to anything harder.

Now we have not got rid of the evils of prohibition yet. There is still an illicit sale of liquor retailed in what I think are referred to as "speak-easies" here. Is that the word used down here?

Senator WALSH. That is a good term here.

Senator GOFF. "Blind pigs" down here.

Mr. RUSSELL. Blind pigs we call them. Well, we have not been able in the two and a half years since the change thoroughly to get rid of that evil, which grew up to enormous proportions under seven years of prohibition, with thousands and tens of thousands of dollars invested in the business. But we are getting rid of it, and one difference to-day is that all the liquor that is sold there is good liquor; that is, it is first purchased from the commission and then retailed, and there are not the evil results from that that there is from the stuff they used to sell. And all of it pays a tax to the Government. But we are gradually wiping that out. That is the only remaining evil, I think, that we have in the Province of Manitoba from prohibition.

I might say that the western Provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta have the same experience. They passed a prohibition provision in the same year 1916. They rejected it again, after we did ours, in 1924, by equally large majorities, equal turnover of the voters, and they are both very well pleased with the result.

I dare say most people have heard of the Royal Canadian Mounted police. You have seen them in the pictures if you have not heard of them otherwise. Here is the last report of Maj. A. B. Allard, superintendent of the southern division of Saskatchewan. The enforcement officers investigated 557 cases of illicit manufacture of liquor, a decrease of 80 per cent in comparison with the 1924 figures. He says:


This, in my opinion, is largely due to the passing of the new liquor laws of this Province, which came into effect in the early part of the year.


Eighty per cent reduction in Saskatchewan. Next year we will clean that right up.

Superintendent G. L. Jennings, of the northern division of Saskatchewan, reports regarding the illicit manufacture of liquor:


There is no doubt, however, that the illicit manufacture of spirits for the purpose of sale is decidedly on the decrease, especially since the new provincial liquor act came into force. It has now become a hard matter for the illegal distiller to dispense of his concoctions at a price which makes this nefarious practice profitable.

Now that is the experience. And mind you, we claim that ours is the best temperance legislation ever introduced into any legislature. We say it is temperance legislation, not total abstinence legislation, but temperance legislation of the highest grade. And we found, and our conclusion was after investigating the whole situation in western Canada, from all classes of people, from all parts of Europe, in a great territory stretching from the international boundary to Hudson

258 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

Bay, that as long as human nature exists, and that will be to the end of the world, there is going to be a demand for liquor for beverage purposes, and as long as the law of fermentation lasts the means of supplying that demand will be there illegally, and we had to meet the situation. We met it by reasonable laws, sane liquor laws. And we have accomplished a wonderful reform in western Canada.

The other two Provinces have a little advance on our act. They have public drinking. We have no public drinking in Manitoba, but they have gone a little further.

Senator WALSH. Just what do you mean by "public drinking," Mr. Russell?

Mr. RUSSELL. Under our act the liquor Ordered is delivered by the commission at the place registered, that is, in my house, my order, and it is drank in my house. There are no bars and no places to sit down.

Senator GOFF. Your commission delivers the liquor directly to the house of the people?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, sir; in Manitoba. And in Saskatchewan and Alberta they do not. The people fetch it themselves. And I think that our act will be changed a little in that regard, Senator. I think there will be public drinking again of beer and wine at meals.

Senator REED of Missouri. Will you. tall us what your system of regulation is? How you distribute the liquor?

Mr. RUSSELL. First of all, you must have a permit. There are three classes of permits. A permanent resident of Manitoba can get a permit for one year for $1. Or he can get a permit for a single purchase--- a lot of people want to buy & bottle of brandy--- he can get a permit for a singe purchase by the payment Of 50 cents. Or a visitor who has not been in the Province a mouth can get a permit for a month for $1. Now on the permit is the residence of the permittee. Anyone wishing to purchase liquor goes into a government liquor-order office and signs an order, and the government delivers it to the address on the permit, where it can be consumed.

Senator WALSH. How many of those offices are there?

Mr. RUSSELL. There are eight order offices in Winnipeg. Only one central place from which it is delivered. There are offices all over the province in the principal towns. Where they can not deliver it in any other way, the commission delivers it by express or by mail. The price is the same to the purchaser living in the northern part of the province as it is to the man living next door to the liquor commission. The cost of delivery is absorbed in the price charged.

Senator REED of Missouri. But you first must get a permit?

Mr. RUSSELL. You first must get a permit.

Senator REED of Missouri. Now do you issue those permits to minors at all?

Mr. RUSSELL. No, sir. Twenty-one years of age. The act provides for that.

Senator REED of Missouri. And does the man when he gets his permit have to make any kind of showing that he is a law-abiding citizen?

Mr. RUSSELL. He has to have a proposer. Just as you do when you go to a public library. He has to have a rate payer to propose it.

Senator REED of Missouri. A voucher; somebody that vouches for him?

259 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *


Senator REED of Missouri. So that there is a check on the character of people who can get liquor at all?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes., sir.

Senator REED Of Missouri. Then he is limited as to a period of time, is he not? He has to get his license renewed every year?

Mr. RUSSELL. Every year.

Senator REED of Missouri. If he is a resident. And if he is a nonresident he has to get it renewed from month to month?


Senator REED of Missouri. And then is there a limit on the amount that he can buy?

Mr. RUSSELL. There is. You can not buy more than one case of hard liquor a week.

Senator REED of Missouri. A case?


Senator REED Of Missouri. That is not much of a limit. How is it in the other provinces?

Mr. RUSSELL. No limit, I don't believe.

Senator REED Of Missouri. I understood there was a limit.

Mr. RUSSELL. But you must bear in mind, Sir, that we find limits--- now take my house, what would be the good of a limit? I have a permit. My two boys might have permits. Well, we could each get a case. But there is the provision in our act for the commission to watch the orders, and if they find any one whom they think is giving way to over-indulgence in liquor it is the duty of the commission to give him a talking to, to try to urge him to more temperance, temperate habits, and they do it. You can get up to one case a week. Very few people get that. Very few people. You would not get that unless you were going to have a banquet or something like that at your house. You would not get that for personal use.

Senator REED of Missouri. That, while it is entirely too much for any one person to use under any ordinary circumstances, does place some limit upon the fellow who might want to sell it again, does it not? ?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes; that is the reason. That is the only object of it,. And we can got two cases of beer a week.

Senator GOFF. Could the domestic servants of your house obtain a permit and also order beer or liquor?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, sir. It is a democratic country. The domestic servant has the same privilege as I have.

Senator GOFF. Well then, does that democracy extend to the head of the house using the liquor so obtained?

Mr. RUSSELL. By stealing it, do you mean?

Senator GOFF. No, no; having it given away or purchase it from the servant?

Mr. RUSSELL. Oh, well, yes.; you could do it. Yes, you can do it, but they do not do it.

Senator GOFF. Well then, your democracy goes from the top down, and from the bottom up.

Mr. RUSSELL. All the way.

Senator GOFF. I See.




262 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

Mr. RUSSELL. That is not our---

Senator WALSH. But the actual transportation of liquor by anybody is a crime under your law?

Mr. RUSSELL. A crime under our law; yes.

Senator REED of Missouri. I want to get at this. Does your law permit the withdrawing of liquor to be exported without any limit upon it?

Mr. RUSSELL. No, Sir.

Senator REED Of Missouri. It does not?

Mr. RUSSELL. No, Sir.

Senator REED of Missouri. Do you know how it is in other provinces with respect to that matter?

Mr. RUSSELL. I do not know about the eastern distilleries. We have not got any distilleries in the west, you know. I do not know how it is with the distilleries. The eastern distilleries seem to export a lot of liquor.

Senator REED of Missouri. So far as you know the laws of other provinces where the distilleries exist may permit the withdrawal of liquor. for export purposes?

Mr. RUSSELL. Oh, I should think naturally they would, Sir, because no government would protect other countries against their own manufacturers, would they?

Senator REED of Missouri. It does not seem to be customary.

Mr. RUSSELL. It does not seem reasonable; no.

Senator HARRELD. Let me ask you this: Are these breweries in the East allowed under the law to send in to your province, Manitoba, liquor without limitation?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, Sir.

Senator HARRELD. Well, how do you keep the bootlegger from selling?

Mr. RUSSELL. Well, the railways of Canada can not carry liquor except consigned to the liquor commission of the Province.

Senator HARRELD. Then there are limitations on it?

Mr. RUSSELL. Well, there is no limitation on the amount the liquor commission buys.

Senator HARRELD. No; but the railroads are not allowed to ship from the eastern Provinces into Manitoba to any individual at all?

Mr. RUSSELL. No, Sir.

Senator HARRELD. Then if a bootlegger brings liquor into Montana, as the Senator from Montana said, how does he get his supply?

Mr. RUSSELL. He buys them legitimately from the liquor commission of Manitoba.

Senator HARRELD. But if you carry out the rigid rules of your commission he could not get enough to amount to anything in the way of a stock to sell illicitly could he?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes; I think he could. I think anybody can break a law. I do not think it is done very much. I do not think there is very much of it.

Senator WALSH. It is the one problem we have had in Montana.

Mr. RUSSELL. Well, it may be in Alberta. They may not have made the regulation about the one case. But I will tell you, it is not very much done in Manitoba.

Senator REED Of Missouri. Is it not true, Mr. Russell, that these distilleries in other Provinces where they are run, and where your

263 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

present Impression is that there is no law prohibiting exportation, might export to the United States over a Canadian railroad up to Manitoba with an ultimate consignment to somebody in the United States, and that in that way the liquor would get from the eastern Province into your Province legally for the purpose of being shipped across the line?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, Sir.

Senator REED of Missouri. Is that not possible?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, sir--- no, sir; I don't think that is possible. I don't think that is possible. I don't think any liquor can be transported on the Canadian railroads unless it is consigned to the liquor commission of the Province. And it is all consigned to the King, you see, the Crown, the State.

Senator REED of Missouri. I have you a copy of your laws here?

Mr. RUSSELL. Yes, Sir.

Senator GOFF. Do you not think those ought to go in in connection with your testimony?


Senator WALSH. They ought to go into the record.

Senator GOFF. Well, have that go in in connection with his testimony.

Mr. CODMAN. Yes; I think we ought to have that all go in in connection with his testimony.

Mr. RUSSELL. Here is the government liquor control act of 1923, with amendment of 1924.

Senator WALSH. That may be placed in the record.

(The government liquor control act of 1923 of Manitoba was marked "Exhibit I" and is printed in full in the record at the close of to-day's hearing.)

Senator REED of Missouri. Have you some tables or figures?

Mr. RUSSELL. These are the various referenda that were taken on prohibition, if that will be of any value.

Senator WALSH. That may be placed in the record.

(The tables of referenda were marked "Exhibit 2," and are as follows:)



Results of liquor referenda

Alberta: Prohibition---
Continuance of existing liquor legislation    
Sales of beer In hotels    
Sale of beer by government vendors    
Sale of beer and liquor on licensed premises    
Majority of government control over prohibition    
British Columbia:
1924, sale of beer by glass on licensed premises under government control    

( 1 )

1916, prohibition
Government control
Amendment to M. T. A. proposed by beer and wine league---


1 13 ridings in favor.

264 * * * * * THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW * * * * *

Results of liquor referenda-Continued
New Brunswick:
20 769
Sale of beer and wine
Repeal of 0. T. A
Government sale of beer
338 921
Hotel sale of beer
Government sale of liquor
Government control   
1916, prohibition
Government control
Control and beer license  

Results of voting for and against importation of liquor
55, 065
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Prince Edward Island
1 1923

1 Dry majority in all but four polls.


Mr. RUSSELL. Here are the first and second annual reports of the Government Liquor Control Commission, if they would be of any value.

Senator WALSH. I think so.

Mr. CODMAN. I would like to have them all go in.

Senator WALSH. Very well.

(The first and second annual reports of the Government Liquor Control Commission for the years 1924 and 1925 were marked respectively, "Exhibits 3 and 4," and are printed in full in the record at the close of to-day's hearing.)

Mr. CODMAN. Have you finished with Mr. Russell?

Senator WALSH. Yes.

Mr. CODMAN. Mr. Chairman, in order to save time, Representative Mead, of New York, is here. He can not be here next week when we are going to hear Members of the Lower House, and he simply wishes permission to file his statement now, without commenting upon it. Senator REED Of Missouri. Let us have it filed under oath. (The witness was duly sworn by Senator Walsh.)