JANUARY 23, 1918
Prohibition that Prohibits.
First class Legislation with enforcement by competent officials, ensures satisfactory prohibition.
The regulations to carry into effect the War Measures Act prohibiting importation, manufacture and interprovincial shipments of liquor, should provide adequate penalties and thorough enforcement. Even with the best possible regulations and the most efficient enforcement there will be infractions of the Act, and for some time the Province will suffer on account of surreptitious importation and manufacture.
In view of this, and for other reasons, the Nova Scotia Temperance Act should be improved. One of its serious defects is to be seen in the penalties for violation. When in 1916 the Ontario and Manitoba Acts were framed the penalty for illicit selling or keeping for sale, was fixed at not less than $200, or more than $1000 for first offence, and imprisonment for not less than six, or more than twelve months for second offence. In 1912 our Alliance requested the government to make the penalty for first offence instead of $50 not less than $250. This request was, at that time, considered unreasonable. In the light of Manitoba and Ontario Legislation we hope that our government will at the coming session of the Legislature provide adequate penalties, and in other respects make the law more effective.
In the matter of enforcement it is gratifying to say that in parts of the province we have officials who make the best possible use of the Act as it stands. With a satisfactory law we would, under these officials, have ideal conditions. But we have officials who are by no means energetic or capable and on this account prohibition is, in some places, without reasons, of course, being discredited. With a defective law, and incapable officials prohibition is simply not having a fair chance.
If our Government, besides making the necessary improvements in the Act, provides for proper enforcement Nova Scotia will in a short time enjoy the moral and material benefits that result from the kind of prohibition that prohibits.
H. R. GRANT.
General Secretary Temperance Alliance.
New Glasgow, N.S.