Copyright
J. Frank (James Frank) Hanly.

Speeches of the Flying squadron online

. (page 8 of 27)
Online LibraryJ. Frank (James Frank) HanlySpeeches of the Flying squadron → online text (page 8 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ernment or administration favorable to the saloon, we
know those who went to the ballot box during the day
must have put it in there.

There is no escaping the conclusion, good, well-mean-
ing men, who would rejoice in the triumph of right, have,
partly from indifference and largely from ignorance, given

[115]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

their consent that the liquor traffic enjoy the protection
of the law.

What is the remedy? What is to be done?

There must be a campaign of education. The facts must
be brought to the people and men must be called to duty
and be made to realize their responsibility.

The liquor traffic has many defenders but no defense.
Its flimsy claims to consideration would be pathetic were
they not so wicked.

It is claimed that the saloon must be licensed because
under prohibition the drinker would not find it possible to
procure his desired beverage. Therefore, it is urged that
he is robbed of his personal liberty, as though the crav-
ings of a diseased body and a crazed brain could by any
possibility measure his rights and his liberty.

No man can claim the liberty to do that which harms
his fellow men. The right of women to walk the streets
unmolested is greater than the personal liberty of any man
to make himself a disgusting drunkard.

No man has the right by means of drink to turn his wife
and children over to other men to support while he spends
his money to appease an appetite.

The personal liberty argument is on the side of prohi-
bition.

There is no greater question demanding consideration.
It is sometimes urged that the solution of the liquor prob-
lem be permitted to wait on more important matters.
Questions of government and administrative detail and
policy need not be held back because the larger question
of prohibition is pending. While it is being considered
the people and their government need not come to a stand-
still.

It is a favorite trick of those who wish to delay con-
sideration of this greatest question to offer to help solve
it as soon as some other subject is out of the way when

[116]



that other subject is one on which there is no substantial
agreement and never will be.

For example: What folly it is to talk about settling
the tariff question before we consider the problem of the
saloon ! The tariff question never has been settled and
from the nature of the case never will be settled. If we
could agree finally and for all time to come that this is
to be a high tariff country we would until the end of time
be forever discussing that high tariff. Were we to make
a permanent decision to the effect that forever after, this
is to be a low tariff country, the details of that low tariff
would remain for constant consideration and discussion.

The tariff will be with us to the end of time in all prob-
ability. We will deal with it the better if we consider it
as a sober nation.

We are urged by some to desist from the agitation of
the saloon question until the fight for good government
is won. The answer is that the forces battling for better
government need nothing so much as a high, moral, con-
crete idea around which to rally their forces. A campaign
which has no other object than to elect one 'man because
he is supposed to be a little better than another man
when neither stands for any vital principle does not stir
the depth of feeling in the hearts of the people, that can
be aroused once the appeal is made for something which
touches their higher natures. In American politics we
need now, more than anything else, a great moral revival.
A discussion of the saloon problem would bring us to that
quickly.

We are approaching the time when candidates for office
and public men generally must make some avowal of their
position with reference to the liquor traffic. There was
a time when it was sufficient for a candidate to tell how
he had promised his sainted mother never to touch the
stuff, to get the votes of right minded people, while of

[117]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

course he did not lose the votes of those who wished the
liquor traffic protected. But that day has passed.

The patriotic citizen of today, determined to see the gov-
ernment oppose the saloon, would rather vote for a man
who drinks, much as he dislikes so to do, provided that
man, notwithstanding his drinking habit, is against the
law-protected saloon and in favor of its overthrow, than
to vote for some smooth citizen who makes loud protesta-
tions as to his sobriety and the fact that he never goes
into a saloon, but stands for the license system and in
favor of the protection of the liquor traffic. Ordinarily
the decent citizen will not have to vote for a drinking
man in order to express his righteous conviction but it is
well to remember that it is better to vote for what we
want and fail to get it than to vote for what we do not
want and get a lot of it.

It has been the mission of the Flying Squadron of
America to put the acute accent on this syllable. Our
position is expressed in a single sentence written by our
leader, J. Frank Hanly, and adopted by the Convention of
the Anti-Saloon League to which he submitted it:

"Whenever a politician or an executive officer or a politi-
cal party prefers the liquor traffic above the public morals,
such men must be set aside and such parties abandoned."

To the accomplishment of this high purpose and of the
creation of the power to make it effective let us solemnly
dedicate ourselves, covenanting with each other and with
the Father that there shall be no turning back, no wavering.



[118]



THE SALOON VERSUS BUSINESS.

1AM to speak to you on the business side of the prob-
lem of the saloon. What we call business grows out of
humanity's effort to make a living for itself. Humanity's
effort to get food, clothing and shelter gives us business
as we now have it. If these things came down upon us
like rain from heaven there would be no such thing as
business. But the things of life come from the application
of our strength and power to the natural agents with which
God has provided us. A farmer goes into the field, pre-
pares the soil, sows the seed and reaps the harvest. It is
plain that the food which he produces grows out of the
application of his mind and strength to the natural re-
sources in the form of the soil. Another goes into the
forest, cuts down the trees, saws them up into lumber and
builds himself a home. The shelter which he provides
grows out of the application of his mind and strength to
the natural resources in the form of the forest. All the
blessings of life come to us as the result of similar effort.
Business has to do with the production and the exchange,
the transportation and distribution of the things of life.
If the saloon helps in those things it is a benefit to business.
If not, it is not a benefit to business, and the strongest
claim it makes for itself falls to the ground from lack of
support.

Let us suppose we were founding a new State, and we
have decided that no one may have a place with us in our
Commonwealth unless he bears his share of humanity's
burden. Every applicant for membership must stand or
fall by that test. Let us suppose also that we are here,
sitting as charter members, ready to pass upon the claims
of those who wish to join with us. The first man to apply
is a blacksmith, and we take him in, for it is clear that he
will be a benefit and a help to the producing forces of our

[119]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

new State. He will shoe our horses, repair broken machin-
ery, sharpen tools and be otherwise helpful. For these
reasons we accept him. The next man to apply is a doctor.
And we take the doctor in, for he will help us to health
and strength, which are strong industrial factors. The
next man to apply is a thief, and him we reject, because he
will not add anything to the productive forces of our com-
munity. The last applicant we consider at this moment
is a saloon keeper. He asks to be taken into the com-
munity, or State, to operate saloons. Assuming that we
were passing on the applicant free from bias and preju-
dice, it would take but a few minutes to decide our course.
He would be rejected. We accept the blacksmith and doc-
tor for obvious reasons, and we would reject the thief and
saloon keeper for reasons equally plain.

Underneath the entire matter of business is the market.
That interests everyone. The merchant is interested in
the market for the goods on his shelf, the manufacturer
for the product of his factory, the laboring man for his
labor, and the professional man for his skill. The market
depends, in part, upon our needs, but only in small part.
Needs are insistent. They demand instant attention. But
our wants and desires have vastly more to do with busi-
ness than our needs. We do not clothe ourselves accord-
ing to our needs, but according to our wants and desires.
The savage dresses according to his needs, but he never
develops clothing factories. We do not set our tables
according to our need for food, but according to our wants
and desires. The savage lives on the lower plane of needs,
and the civilized man on the higher plane of desires. Busi-
ness is vitally interested in the wants and desires of men,
for nine-tenths of the volume of business depends upon
these higher calls. The saloon, instead of leading men
into the higher sphere, drags them down to the lower.
The drunkard, like the savage, lives close to the line of his

[120]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

actual needs, and oftentimes goes below it, starving wife
and children. Anything which tends to produce drunken-
ness lowers the level upon which the Nation lives, and that
which lowers the level of a Nation's life decreases its
volume of business.

It is true enough that the saloon looks like a business,
acts like a business and conducts itself like a business.
But it is not a business. It is a counterfeit. There are
three proofs to that effect which can be given quickly.
The first has been covered already, so one sentence will
restate it. The genuine business helps and benefits its
customer. The saloon harms and injures its customer.
"But," says some one, "if the saloon harms its customer,
how does it happen to have a customer?" That brings us
to the second proof. The saloon has customers by virtue
of the unfair grip that it gets upon men. Men do not buy
drink as they buy other things. Men do not get drunk
as they do other things. There is a world of difference
among men in that respect. If a man were to go into a
furniture store to buy some household furniture, three
things would settle for him how much he would buy:
What does he need in the way of furniture? What does
he want in the way of furniture? And how much money
has he to spend that way? Those three things will settle
it every time. But a man does not get drunk that way.
No man needs to get drunk; no man desires to get drunk.
It is appetite instead of desire that leads one to get drunk,
and no man can afford it. If he had all the wealth in the
world he couldn't afford to spend five cents for a thing
that does him physical harm and damage. Men buy drink
in direct violation of the fixed principles that are under-
neath legitimate trade.

I had to thrash that out years ago in a debate in my own
home city with a lawyer, who insisted that my mind didn't
work on the saloon question as it would on any other. He

[121]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

told people that I believed that drink and drunkenness did
harm, and that therefore I was against all drinking. And
because some saloons did harm, that I was in favor of
closing all saloons. And he was right about it. "Now,"
said he, "there are unhealthy barber shops in Chicago,
which spread disease and death, but no one ever heard of
Mr. Stewart starting a campaign to close all the barber
shops and to prevent men from shaving." My short-cut
answer to that was that there is this difference between a
barber shop and a saloon : "When a man goes into a bar-
ber shop to get a shave he is not seized at once with an
uncontrollable desire to get another shave." If barber
shops had that effect upon people they would be closed
quickly enough. Men buy drink in direct violation of the
principles of legitimate trade. It is for that reason that a
saloon keeper can station a friend on the front side of his
bar, furnish him with a pocketful of change, and by treat-
ing men from time to time, this friend can largely increase
the sales for the saloon keeper. And that practice is fol-
lowed in more than one saloon throughout the country.
Suppose a baker undertook to sell goods in that way, and
stationed a man in front of the bakery with instructions
to bring friends in and treat them to doughnuts or cookies.
Instead of going on to success, the bakery would go into
bankruptcy. The saloon is not a business. It is a coun-
terfeit.

The third proof is found in the fact that all legitimate
business is proud of its product. No one is ever ashamed
of the good thing he produces, and every fair and expo-
sition will have on exhibition the best products of the busi-
ness world. But who ever saw on exhibition at a county
fair or state fair one poor, old, ragged drunkard in a glass
case with a tag on him explaining whose whisky made
him a drunkard, or what saloon brought him to his
wretched condition?

[122]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

It will be admitted that the saloon falls short of being
a legitimate business, but the claim will be made for it
that it is a revenue producer, and that as such it deserves
some favorable consideration. The truth is, the saloon
never produced a dollar of revenue, and never will.

All revenue comes from the wealth that some one pro-
duces. It is not possible to get a dollar of revenue in any
other way. But the saloon is not a wealth producer. It
is a wealth destroyer. A farmer creates wealth. He goes
out into the field and produces the harvest, and adds his
harvest to the world's wealth. The watch-maker will take,
let us suppose, five dollars' worth of raw material and turn
out a watch worth ten dollars. In that event he adds five
dollars to the world's wealth.

But the saloon does exactly the opposite. Instead of
taking raw material and turning out a finished product,
he takes the valuable finished product and turns it out
worthless and ruined. The saloon is not a producer of
revenue. It is a collector. The honest citizen is the pro-
ducer. The toiler and the business man produce wealth.
The saloon collects it by means of the appetites of men,
and but a small fraction of what it collects ever finds its
way to the public treasury. The far greater part of it is
kept by the liquor traffic as a commission for collecting the
smaller part.

Nor is it true that we get benefit from the saloon by its
indirect help to industry. The farmer who finds a market
for a small per cent, of his grain because that amount is
used in the so-called liquor industry would have a far
larger market in the form of the hungry women and chil-
dren who would be properly fed if husbands and fathers
did not waste their money for drink. The men in the glass
industry who are manufacturing bottles, glasses, etc., for
the liquor trade would find a far greater demand for glass-

[123]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

ware for the home if money that ought to be so spent were
not being wasted for drink.

There is no defense on the industrial side for the saloon.
It spells waste, and only waste, and the great business
world is co'ming to see it. I do not believe that the indus-
trial argument is the greatest one. I think the moral side
of the case is as much above the industrial as the soul is
above the body. But if we gave up every line of argument
but the economic one, the business world, guided by the
principles of industrial development, would make a speedy
end to the saloon.



[124]



A POLITICAL PROPHECY.

IT is not my purpose to make an argument. This is
to be a prophecy. Prophecies are always more or less
interesting. Next to saying, "I told you so," after the
event, is the joy of telling in advance how the event is to
transpire. That pleasure is to be mine.

I recall the high degree of interest with which as a boy
I heard for the first time of the old lady in the community
who could tell by the coffee grounds in the cup what was
to happen the next day. I had heard of the President of
the United States, and entertained considerable respect for
him, but it was small as compared with my feelings toward
her. Of course, I learned later that nothing of the kind
can be done.

No one can tell me what may or may not happen to me
in the next twenty-four hours or seconds of time. But,
while that cannot be done for the individual, strange to
say, it may be done for men in the mass.

A life insurance company will tell us that out of a cer-
tain number of men, whose names appear upon the records
of the company during the year, so many will die. Some-
times the number dying will agree almost absolutely with
the figures given in advance by the company; that is not
because any one knows what man will die or what man
will live, but because there is a certain law of life, or of
death, if one prefers a law of chances or averages which
works its way out unerringly on the large group of men
over a protracted period of time.

The figures of the life insurance company are based not
on guess-work, but on law.

That gets me around to the first statement upon which
the prophecy I am to make will rest. It is based upon four
statements which can be made quickly.

The first is that we are part of a universe governed by

[125]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

law. We are part of a great material creation under the
sway of law. During a certain part of the year the planet
Jupiter hangs a lambent flame in our southern skies. He
appears four minutes earlier each evening and moves
across the heavens in majestic splendor. One with a mere
smattering knowledge of the heavens can tell us that
Jupiter flung five times as far out into space from the Sun
as we, and more than a thousand times as large as this
Earth of ours, moves about his appointed orbit according
to the same law of motion which applies to us.

Neptune, so far distant that the unaided eye is not able
to detect him, swings about the Sun according to the same
laws of motion and gravitation that apply to us.

Astronomers are a unit in believing that if some more
powerful telescope should some day bring to 'ight a still
more distant planet than any nov r known to us it, too,
would revolve about the Sun according to the everlasting
law of planetary motion that the cube of the distance of
a planet from the Sun will be in direct proportion to the
square of the time in which it makes its revolution about
the Sun.

It is not doubted that the utmost star in the depths of
space responds to gravitation by the same law that gov-
erns the Moon as it moves about the Earth.

The flower which blossoms forth in beauty does so in
obedience to law, so does the stream that comes tumbling
down the mountainside; they are part of a great physical
universe governed by law.

My second statement is like unto the first. We are part
of a moral and spiritual empire under the reign of law.
It may be said, "You cannot prove that." My answer is,
I do not have to prove it. I content myself by saying it.
I am not required to prove it for the reason the objector
himself believes it.

We know so little of the heart and soul of man that we

[126]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

are not able to read the law in express terms, but the objec-
tor and I alike believe in it.

If we knew all that there is to be known about human-
ity we could predict the presence of mankind upon the
battlefield of the future winning a victory for God and
man with the same certainty by which an astronomer pre-
dicts a coming eclipse.

Humanity has moved onward and upward in obedience
to God-given impulses which are working their way out in
us and for us, in obedience to divinely ordained law.

My third statement is that the truth is immortal. At
once I will be urged to proceed, giving no more attention
to that statement, on the ground that it is accepted by
everybody doubted by none. But the contrary is true;
there are those who deny it. As great a man as John
Stuart Mill said: "There is no more immortality about
truth than there is about error. .If you stamp cut every
one who believes in error, your error is gone. Were you
to stamp out every one who believes the truth, the truth
would be gone. There is no more immortality about truth
than error."

He then added: "Of course, the truth, being the truth,
is liable to be rediscovered by another generation after
you have stamped out every one who believes it." That
is only another way of saying it is immortal. Its liability
to rediscovery constitutes its immortality.

If every one who knows the multiplication table were
to forget it, a new generation would begin the discovery
of it tomorrow. The multiplication table would not be
lost by losing every one who knew it. As the essence of
mathematical truth, its rediscovery would begin at once.
Therein we find the glorious difference between truth and
error. The truth may go down in a fight, but it goes down
always to rise again, while error goes down without one
star of hope shining over its grave.

[127]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

There is no resurrection for error. The truth, which
is immortal, frees men ; it is the only thing which has, and
the one thing which always will, free humanity. Truth
is immortal.

My fourth and last statement is that ours is the genera-
tion of childhood. I did not say children. Every gen-
eration has known children. It remained for our gener-
ation to discover childhood. The proof of that will be
found in the fact that only recently has Congress awak-
ened to the duty we owe to childhood. The same is true
of state legislatures. Only lately have we had child wel-
fare exhibits and medical inspection in our public schools.
In a hundred ways it could be shown that ours is the gen-
eration of childhood.

It may not be out of place for me to say that the one
thing in my own life of which I am proudest (I mean that
part of my life in which the public has any interest) is that
some years since, as a member of the Illinois Legislature,
I was made a member of a special committee to draw up
a child labor bill for the consideration of the Illinois House
of Representatives, and my hand helped to write the bill,
and my vote helped to make it a law, that closed the fac-
tories of Illinois to the little children of the State and
opened the schools to their willing feet. I am more proud
of that than any other service it has ever been my pleasure
to render.

And now my prophecy :

Because we are a part of a universe governed by law;
because we are a part of a moral and spiritual empire under
the reign of law; because the truth is immortal and never
can be lost, and because our generation has determined
to protect the childhood of the race, the "liquor traffic has
to die. It runs contrary to the deep and abiding things
which make for human progress.

No nation can deserve the respect of the world, cer-

[128]



SPEECHES OF THE FLYING SQUADRON

tainly not of its own citizenship, if it willfully determines
to forsake its childhood and womanhood, leaving them to
the mercies of the liquor traffic.

The saloon has grown in power and influence in this
country during the last half century, but there has never
been a day of that time when it has been the deliberate
purpose of the American people to foster the saloon. It
will go whenever we can make the people think about it.
The Flying Squadron came into the field to help bring
about that result.

The futile objections offered by the liquor traffic to pro-
hibition in State and Nation are strong proofs of the weak-
ness of its position. They claim that our policy will violate
the principles of personal liberty, whereas no such principle
is at stake in the solution of the liquor problem. Each of
us is entitled to as much personal liberty as he can enjoy
without interfering with the rights of others. A child has
a far better right to be well fed and clothed than his father
has to get drunk. A wife has a better right to a home
properly furnished than her husband has to spend for drink
the money to which she is entitled.

No man has a right to spread disease. No man has a
right to place in jeopardy the lives and health of the people



Online LibraryJ. Frank (James Frank) HanlySpeeches of the Flying squadron → online text (page 8 of 27)