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Full text of "A statement by the distillers of Canada [microform]"

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(I 



A 

Statement 

by 

the 

Distillers 

of 
Canada 



i 




, B^gyv*-a>.*t -fi* 



A STATEMENT BY 
THE DISTILLERS OF CANADA 



THE Government of Canada having; an- 
nounced its intention to submit to the 
forthcoming session of Parliament legis- 
lation dealing with the manufacture, 
transportation and sale of alcoholic bever- 
ages, and there appearing in the daily press paid 
advertisements, published by those interested in the 
passage of prohibitory laws, the distillers feel that in 
justice, not only to themselves, but to that large body 
of people throughout the whole Dominion who have 
legitimately and temperately used their products, 
they should place their position before tlie public : for 
the business of the distillers of (Canada has existed 
only in response to demand fiom the people of Can- 
ada without which it could not have been croated and 
maintained. 

For years there has been spreading over the 
Amei'ican Continent a strong sentiment in favor of 
temperance. This sentiment is by no means the mono- 
poly of the total abstainer, but is shared by the vast 
majority of those who use alcoholic beverages, 
and is directed almost wholly at the public drinking 
bar and saloon. There has been very little popular 
agitation that went beyond the abolition of public 
drinking. It was felt that the public bar with its 
ever-ready invitation to enter, its customs of "treat- 
ing," its pernicious record of political activity, and 
in too many cases its dubious management, could only 
be dealt with by extinction. 



It 18 true that the i;oo(h of the distillers were sold 
in bars, but it should be remembered t lat the bar was 
then a legitimate channel through which diatiUed 
liquors could be purchased, and that the distillers 
were neither responsible for them, nor did they 
establish them, or supi)ort them as a part of the 
machinery of their business. They made no demur 
when bars were abolished, and have made absolutely 
no effort to have them restoicd; indeed, thcv ^^o fur- 
ther, and the distillers r ' Canada put themselves on 
record as hemg absolutely opposed to any legislation 
which has for it,^ object, directly or indirectly, the 
restoration of the public drinking bar. 

The sentiment against the bar was crystallis.^d 
by the'Grcat War. In response to the call for mcri- 
hee and economy, the Provinces of (Canada, one after 
the othei', enacted legislation which, as well as placing 
restriction on the consumption and sale of a' oholic 
beverages, ^^^at prior to the war would probably not 
have been passed, abolished the bar. In some Prov- 
inces a popular vote was taken, while in others the 
necessary Acts of Parliament were passed on the in- 
itiative of the vespective Provincial legislative 

These Provincial Acts are all similar in their 
leading f natures and are based on the "Macdonald 
Act, " drafted by Sir J. A. M. Aikins, now Lieutenant- 
Governor of Manitoba. 

ux.7^^^^ ^cts are so far from being completely pro- 
hibitory in their nature that they even expressly stale 
the conditions under which liquor mav be kept and 
consumed, and provide machinery for the iir'>orta- 
tion of liquor for consumption in private dwelling 
houses. Manifestly nothing furthe- was intended 
than restriction and the abolition of the -lar 



It is Bometinies Ktated by the professional pro- 
hibition agitator that these Provincial Acta are not 
compl'^^'^'v Proiiibition A'^ta by virtue only of the 
fact ■ 'vas cowHidered to be beyond the powers 

of a Pi . . xi..e to enact legiHlation interfering with im- 
portations of liquor from other Provinces and for- 
eign couiu. es, the impression sought to be made 
being that had these A<'ts been «'oinpi«'t«'ly proliibi- 
tory they wuuld have been just as acceptable TIerc is 
little 10 support this. In those Provinces where con- 
tests were waged, it was opeidy urged by the advo- 
cates of the Temperance Acts that one reason why 
people should vote for them was that they were not 
absolutely prohibitory ; but in that they abolished the 
bar they were evidently considered sufficiently so, for 
in Manitoba they even went the length of debat ng 
in ;)ublic with an. extreme prohibitionist whose ob- 
jection to the Manitoba Act was that it did not even 
pretend to be prohibitory ! 

Inconsistently enough in view of their present 
statements, but with truth, it was openly declared by 
the advocates of the Temperance Acts after these 
Provincial contests that the Acts had been voted into 
law by men who used ahioholic beverages. These 
men had no intention of voting themselve? into com- 
pulsory total abstinence, nor did they think ihey were 
doing so. They voted agairst the bar — not for pro- 
hibition, '.there are thousands of people, from every 
class of society, who voted for Temperance Acts and 
who after doing so, obtained and usea liquor in their 
private dwelling )>ouses. Surely even +he most reck- 
less, prohibitionist will pause before branding these 
people as being eit ler weak-minded or h}T)ocrites. 

The rapidity \a ith which these Temperance Acts 
were adopted by the Provinces of Canada one after 



the other concentrated attention on the oft-repeated 
Rtatement of the prohibitionists that the wishes of the 
people had only been partially met and that the Pro- 
vinces desired to have the power to enact complete 
prohibition within their boundaries. The matter was 
taken up in the Dominion Parliament, and an Act 
giving the necessary powers to the Provinces was 
passed. This Act, often referred to as the "Doherty 
Act," was assented to on 18th Mav, 1916, and has the 
following title: "An Act in aid of Provincial legisla- 
tion prohibiting and restricting the sale or use of in- 
toxicating liquors." .^mong other provisions this 
Act forbade under heavy penalties the sending, ship- 
ping, taking, bringing or carrying into a Province 
liquor v'hich was to be used contrary to the Provin- 
cial lawt and the onus of proving that he had good 
reason for believing that the liquor was not to be used 
illegally was placed on any person accused. The effect 
of tbid was that had any Province passed legislation 
prohibiting the use of alcohol for beverage purposes 
none could legally have been imported into that Pro- 
vince. It was stated by the Minister of Justice ir 
the House of Commons that it was for the purpose 
of enabling Provincial Legislatures to enact complete 
prohibition that the Act was passed. 

Since then each Province of Canada has had two 
legislative sessions, and not one ha^ availed itself of 
this power. 

The Provinces of Canada which have adopted 
these Temperance Acts have had time, by practical 
experience, to test whether they were of public bene- 
fit or otherwise, and the published statements of rep- 
resentative men and of the press of the country are 
almost unanimous that when compared with the state 
of affairs which existed prior to the passing of these 



Acts, the situation created by these Acts is infinitely 
superior, tlic point in which it is superior being un- 
questionably centered in the abolition of the bar, or 
public drinkinK place. There have, however, develop- 
e<l defects in the operation of these lawH, hut the«e 
defects are >iot of an insuperable nature, and only 
time and consideration are required to ovcrc-ome 
them. The practical working of these Acts wa> that 
while no one could buy liquor within tl.c bouiularics 
of his own Province, he co\ild send to a dealer outside 
of his Province and have shipped to his private dwell- 
ing house whatever liquore he desired. There was 
thus created a system of liquoi* stores in each J'ro- 
vince whose business it was, not to supply the de- 
mands for liquor within the Province in which the 
store was situated, but to export from that Province 
to other Provinces. It has been felt by tho- brouj^ht 
into practical and intimate touch with the state of 
affairs thus created that this inter-provincial trading 
did not give the extent of control or regulation which 
was desired, but with the powers conferred by the 
Doherty Act, it was only a question of time before 
this would be righted. In Ontario a system of per- 
mits was established regulating the number and locus 
of these export liquor warehouses, but in other Pro- 
vinces no such attempt at regulation was made, and 
a pernicious element was allowed to be introduced 
into inter-provincial trading. 

On the whole, however, it is imquestionable that 
in their correction of manifest abuses these Pro- 
vincial Temperance Acts have the support of a ma- 
jority of the people, and that in their abolishing of 
the bar, and in the control of the trade in alcoholic 
stimulants they afforded, they are considered to 
have been of signal benefit to the Provinces which 
adopted them. 



On lith March, 1918, the position was that each 
Province of Canada, with the exception of Quebec, 
had enacted and had in operation a Temperance Act 
prohibiting the consumption of liquor in bars or 
public places, but allowing it to be brought into and 
consumed in private d'^elling houses. On that date, 
however, there was issuvid an Order-in-Council under 
the War Measures Act, which after 1st April, 1918, 
prohibited the transportation of alcoholic liquors in- 
to prohibited areas, and there had been issued previ- 
ously, Orders-in-Council prohibiting the manufac- 
ture and importation of liquor. These Orders-in- 
Council only affected districts which had enacted so- 
called prohibitory laws, and for the time being ex- 
cluded the Province of Quebec, the effect being that, 
with this exception, the whole of Canada was placed 
under complete prohibition. 

The distillers of Canada, who were seriously af- 
fected by this Order-in-Council, made representa- 
tions to the Dominion Government stating their posi- 
on. By law they had been compelled to mature 
their wares for at least two years before sale, which 
meant that there was at least two years' stock in 
hand. There was, however, a very much greater stock 
than this, because it had not been the practice of the 
Canadian Distillers to sell their goods at the earliest 
possible moment that they were legally entitled to 
do so, but, on the contrary, to retain them, and 
through the influence of ageing and maturing, to let 
the Canadian public have the highest class of distilled 
products. Nothing was done by the Dominion Gov- 
ernment to ameliorate the position of the distillers, 
but the Orders-in-Council being war measures, and 
being in the opinion of the Government, measures 
which would help this country in the conduct of the 



c 



war, were so accepted and acquiesced in by the dis- 
tillers. Actuated by similar motives, the public of 
Canada submitted to these measures without open 
murmur or protest, as they did to others imposing 
unusual restrictions on their liberty. 

At the time there was no statement made by the 
Government that these Orders-in-Council were any- 
thing more than measures calculated to help in the 
winniiig of the war, and this was the understanding 
of the general public who were aii'ected by them. 

'ivn months of experience have shown the inher- 
ent defects of measures purporting to be completely 
prohibitory, and have demonstrated how lukewarm 
and lacking in heartiness is the support accorded 
them by the public. It is a matter of common knowl- 
edge that those who could afford to do so made pro- 
vision which will enable them to escape the effects of 
the law for an indefinite time, and that the offices of 
physicians have been so besieged by applicants for 
prescriptions for liquor as to cause uneasiness and 
annoyance to the profession upon whom this method 
of dispensing has been thrust. In noting the effects 
of these Orders-in-Council, it should be borne in 
mind that the duty of observing them was imposed 
upon the public by patriotic motives, and that had 
these motives not been present they would not have 
been as well observed. To-day we have in Canada 
more bootlegging and more illicit making of intoxi- 
cating liquors than has been the case for a quarter of 
a century, and the corrupting and blighting influence 
of prohibitory Acts has been too painfully mani- 
fested in the ease of one great Province of Canada. 

It is, therefore, contended by the Canadian dis- 
tillers that while the people of this Dominion are 



steadfastly opposed to the bar and public drinking, 
there has been no mandate to the Dominion Govera- 
ment to go beyond the legislation which has already 
been enacted by the Provinces, and which, in conjunc- 
tion with the Doherty Act, gives the Provinces the 
right of self-determination in this matter. 

So far as the distillers of Canada are concerned, 
they have no desire to have the matter of distribution 
and consumption of alcoholic beverages made a mat- 
ter of political partisan interest, and they intend, as 
they always have done, to carry out, not merely the 
letter, but also the spirit of any Act placed upon the 
statute books of the Provinces of the Dominion. In 
this connection they hold themselves ready to confer 
and advise regarding the technical aspects of this 
question, and it has been a matter of regret to them 
that in recent years, when great and far-reaching 
changes were being made in legislation, that their 
services were not more fully taken advantage of. 

It is as much in the interests of those who manu- 
facture alcoholic beverages as it is of the general 
public that the opportunities for excessive indulgence 
should be removed, and the distillers will gladly co- 
operate in any movement which, while sanctioning 
the legitimate and moderate use of alcoholic bever- 
ages, will eliminate, as far as possible, the opportun- 
ity to abuse them. As a means of accomplishing this 
they have prepared a plan of legislation for which 
they ask unprejudiced and careful consideration. 

It is felt that legislation on the subject of alco- 
holic beverages should come from the Provinces, and 
the legislative proposals of the distillers are based 
on the various Temperance Acts. As has been stated, 
the distillers are opposed to any restoration of public 
drinking bars, and the main feature of their legis- 



8 



lative proposals is that they not only perpetuate the 
prohibition of the bar, or public drinking place, but 
also make it possible to withhold alcoholic stimulants 
from those who abuse their use, and confer greater 
powers of regulation and control on those responsible 
for the administration of the law. 

It is only possible at the present stage to give a 
brief outline of these legislative proposals. While 
many of the existing provisions of the various Tem- 
perance Acts will be retained, the principal new fea- 
tures of the proposals are : 

1. The division of the Province into areas or 
zones. 

2. The issuance of dealers' and factors' licenses. 

3. Regulation governing shipment and delivery 
of liquor. 

4. The prohibition of private inter-provincial 
transactions in liquor and of export warehouses. 

1.— AREAS. 

The reason for dividing a Province into areas is 
to provide the authorities with means of controlling 
liquor transactions. In each area there should be 
established an office conducted by a Government-ap- 
pointed official, designated as a "Factor", It would 
be the duty of this Factor to receive orders for liquor 
from parties having private dwelling houses within 
the boundaries of his area, and to refuse orders from 
all other parties. Having satisfied himself that the 
order is from a bona fide resident within his area, the 
Factor would then forward the ord6r to the dealer, 
specified by the purchaser. 

There would, of course, require to be a sufficient 
number of Factors, and in some cities more than 
one would be necessary. 



2.— LICENSES. 

(a) Dealers' Licenses. Each Province of Can- 
ada should grant licenses to distillers, brewers or 
other persons licensed by the Dominion of Canada to 
manufacture liquor, and also to any person who pro- 
duced evidence to the satisfaction of the proper au- 
thorities, that he is the properly constituted agent ot 
a manufacturer of liquor in a foreign country, and 
that such manufacturer has for a period of not less 
than five years preceding been importing such liquor 
manufactured by him into the Dominion of Canada. 
It will be seen that the intention here is to elmi- 
inate the middleman and to place the responsibdity 
for the sale of liquor and its distribution on the Pro- 
vincial Government and those who are directly inter- 
ested in its manufacture. This would result m the 
elimination of the adulteration of liquor and would 
insure that the purchaser would receive exactly the 
goods he ordered. , . ^, i j 

A dealer's license should authorize the sale and 
delivery within the Province of liquor for beverage 
purposes, but only upon an order received from a 
Factor. It Mould therefore be impossible for any 
person whose order the Factor had been authorized 
to reject to obtain liquor within the Province, and 
bv making a straight prohibition against the importa- 
tion of liquor into the Province for private use, such 
interdicted person would be effectively restrained 
from securing liquor. 

A dealer's license should state, in addition to the 
name of the licensee, and the warehouse in respect 
of which a license is granted, the name and address 
of the manufacturer of the liquor authorized to be 
sold, and should confer on the licensee the right to 
sell only the liquor made by that manufacturer. This 



TO 



would prevent the possibility of admixtures or ad- 
ulterations. As there are certain beverages the sale 
of which is small, it should be lawful for a person to 
possess more than one dealer's license. 

It should be an offence for any dealer to sell for 
human consumption any distilled liquor, or any blend 
thereof, the whole or component parts of which have 
not been matured for two years. 

There should be provision for keeping records of 
transactions and for making regulations for govern- 
ing hours of business, construction of warehouses, 
etc. ( See O.T. A. as to distiller 's premises and export 
warehouses.) 

(b) Factor's Licenses. A facior's license should 
not authorize the sale of liquor, but should only au- 
thorize the holder thereof, or his emplovees employed 
by him in the premises mentioned in the license, to re- 
ceive orders for liquor. 

Orders for liquor should be received from the 
purchaser personally or by mail, anr^ subject to 
regulations as to inspection of orders to be made by 
the proper authority, should be forwarded to the 
licensed dealer entitled to sell the liquor mentioned 
in the order. 

There should be prominently displayed in the 
Factor's oflSce a list of persons holding dealers' 
licenses, the names of the manufacturers of liquors 
entitled to be sold, and the brand of such liquors 
with the prices thereof. ' 

No Factor's license should be granted to a person 
who directly or indirectly is beneficially interested 
m the sale of liquor. 

There should be regulations as to hours of sale, 
location of office, and keeping records. 



II 



3.-INTERPR0VINCIAL TRADING. 

While the proposed legislation, aided by the 
Doherty Act, would effectually prevent parties out- 
side the Produce shipping into the Province, it may 
be necessary to obtain Dominion legislation to pre- 
vent unlicensed parties within the Province opening 
export warehouses for the purposes of conductaiig 
transactions in liquor with residents i^^ other Pr(^ 
vinces or foreign countries which have no* Prohibited 
the iniDortation of liquor There shouW be m the 
Act a prohibition against the keeping of hquor for 
export except by licensed dealers, who may Keep for 
export liquor ii. respect of which they have been 
licensed. 

4.-PR0HIBITI0NS AND REGULATIONS. 

There should be a complete prohibition against 
selling liquor for beverage purposes except by tne 
holder of a dealer's license, and except as specially 
provided, no person might have keep, or give liquor 
in any place other than his private dwelling house, 
and then only if the liquor had been lawfully ob- 
tained either prior to the commencement of the Act 
or within the area in which he resided, through the 

^^'*No licensed dealer should allow liquor to ^e con- 
sumed for beverage purposes on his licensed prem- 

''""• There should be provisions similar to those in the 
Ontario Temperance Act allowing liquor, to be kept 
and sold for Lchanical and scientific and medicinal 
purposes. (See Sees. 41, 51, 51a,p.T.A.) 
^Societies, clubs, etc., should be prohioited from 
hflvinff liauor in their premises. 

Power should be given to the admimstrative au- 



12 



thorities to issue instructions to the licensed Factor 
not to receive, and to licensed dealers not to fill, 
orders from persons adjudged to be inebriates, or 
who for any good reason should not be supplied with 
liquor. 

5.— SHIPMENTS AND DELIVERIES. 

In order to conform to the spirit of existing 
legislation provision should be made for prohibiting 
deliveries of liqu r to the purchaser at the licensed 
dealers' warehouses. In the city or town where the 
warehouse is situated the dealer could easily provide 
his own vehicle for making delivery at private dwell- 
ing houses. In other cities or towns liquor could be 
sent by boat or rail and then delivered at the private 
dwelling house by express wagon. In places where 
there was no express delivery the purchaser, or some 
one ha-ving written authority fi-om liim, could call 
at the railway depot or wharf to which the goods had 
been consigned and there get delivery. In every case 
the package containing the liquor shou.d be distinctly 
marked as to its contents, and should not be broken 
until it is received in the private dwelling house of 
the purchaser. 

6.— MISCELLANEOUS. 

It is intended to apply the provisions of the On- 
tario Temperance Act in so far as these are consist- 
ent with the presen proposals, and special attention 
should be given to the defi'iitions contained in that 
Act to the provisions governing applications for 
licenses, transfer and removal of licenses, to the en- 
forcement of the Act and prosecutions thereunder, 
and to the constitution of License Boards and the 
power of inspectors appointed to administer the Act. 

13 



The practical operation of this proposed legisla- 
tion would be that any person desiring to purchase 
liquor would go to the Factor's office ir whose area 
he resides. In the Factor's office he would find dis- 
played a list of manufacturers licensed to sell liquors, 
together with the names of these liquors and their 
prices. He would then fill the order for whatever 
goods he wished and hand same with the price thereof 
to the Factor. The Factor having satisfied himself 
that the address on the order was that of a dwelling 
house within his area, and that the party ordering 
had not been interdicted, would forward the order to 
the dealer, or dealers, whose goods were purchased. 
In due course the goods would be delivered at the 
private dwelling house of the purchaser. 

It is here pointed out that u it is thought desir- 
able to impose a lapse of time between the receipt of 
order and its delivery, this could be readily done, or if 
it is thought advisable to limit the quantity of liquor 
which a person may have, this method provides the 
means of doing so. It is suggested that where any 
person uses liquor to excess, or where by the use of 
liquor those dependent upon him are neglected, or 
even where a person wilfully fails to pay his debts, 
that person's name should be listed with the Factor, 
and so prevent hi»^i from obtaining liquor until he has 
puri^ed himself of his default. The present system 
of interprovincial trade allows of no such control, and 
as will be readily seen, this proposed plan of legisla- 
tion gives opportunities for imposing regulations and 
exercising control that no legislation in this country 
has ever had previously. 

By licensing dealers and confining them to those 
interested in the manufacture, the possibility of adul- 
teration of liquor is removed, while, dealing as he 



14 



would be with the manufacturer, the purchaser would 
be assured of a pure article at a . casmmWrprire 

The contertioi. if the -listillors of Canac a s th«f 
J\Z ?r ^'"° "^ breakdown in the ?eVis'atTon enact 
ed by the Provincial Legislatures, andthat no re" son 
has been given why, except for p, relv war purposes 
the right to legislate in the matter of the sale X 
ho^lnr ^'f «o"«'""T>tion of alcohol rbevcmg^s 
should be taken out of tlu, hand^ of the ProvincLTau 
thorities by the Dominion (Joveri.ment On he con 
trary, it is submitted that the oxpenence of tl e IclHs" 
lation enacted by the Provincial autCrities has ?S ." 
fied 1 , and that it should be left to the Provincla au- 

nf On;':-^' ;^"^^ ^^^^ *^^« "^^^t^^. in the Province 
of Ontario he present Provincial Act provides for a 
referendum being taken to enable the people of tlmt 
Province to vote on whether they wish to continue 
the operation of the Ontario Act, oi whether thev 

Sf Th?sT.V' '^/ '^^ ^^t^" of'public bar Sr nk"^ 
ing. This referenc^.um would be rendered unneces- 

f &o"4t/Z%^^^ •^^"i"^^^ Governm~nd 
IT tne people of the Province desired to continue the 

Ontario Temperance Act thev would be prevented 
from doing so. This would be a clear intSence 
jnth the enacted intention of the people of Onta^o 
It IS sought by those in favor of complete proMbition 
to make the issue be one as between public drnkZ 
and prohibition. As has been shown on the previouf 
pages, th^ IS not the issue at all. The issue ?sreaTlv 
between Provincial Governmental control and com 
P^te prohibition with this to be kep? in mind th^t" 
any Province which wishes to do so can enact com 
tteS*r • ^^^^^ ^^' *^^refore,T reason why 
o^thev^T^fTlT'''^ «f C^^^da should enforce 
on ine people of the Provinces something which thev 
can voluntarily enact for themselves. ^ 

15 



Those interested in the enactment of complete 
proiiibition are resorting to paid advertisements m 
the public press, and are making statements which, 
so far as the distillers of Canada are concerned, are 
without foundation. The distillers are not desirous 
of reviving inter-provincial trading. They recognize 
its defects, and tlieir proposed legislative plan pro- 
vides for its abolition. They have not adopted anv 
method, insidious or otherwise, of discrediting the ad- 
ministration of Provincial Acts. So far from doing 
so, they have at all times co-operated in the most 
sympathetic spirit with those entrusted with the ad- 
ministration of these Acts, and they feel that were 
the authorities consulted in this matter they would 
acknowledge their services. They have not had let- 
ters sent to the newspapers in fictitious names, nor 
are they behind any movement which cannot stand 
the fullest public scrutiny. Their business is one 
which has been legitimized from the earliest times in 
the history of this Dominion, and they feel that it is 
one which is sanctioned by the responsible and tem- 
perate opinion of the whole people. They feel that 
if legislation on the lines which they suggest, pro- 
viding for the right of the citizen to have and con- 
sume liquor in his private dwelling house and pro- 
viding barriers from doing so to those who cannot use 
liquor properly, were adopted, the distilling industry 
and the brewing industry of Canada would be put on 
a stable and acceptable basis, and that the private 
rights of the individual and the public rights of 
society would be adequately conserved. 

Communications regarding this booklet may be addressed to 
R. 7. Ftrguion, Chateau Laurier, Ottaiva, Ont. 



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