Association Against the Prohibition Amendment

The following are excerpts from speeches and writings by officials and members of the AAPA:

"Excessive drinking among young people is a natural consequence of our prohibition laws. This is not evidence of depravity on their part, but a youthful reaction against the challenge of restraint. It is smart to drink. It is smart to carry a flask. Before prohibition the lad who took liquor on the hip to a party was almost unknown. Today he is a common figure."
[from Henry H. Curran, "The Wet Side of Prohibition," New York Herald Tribune, 12 January 1926.]

"If ninety per cent of our people must be protected against their own personal desires and inclinations by . . . the remaining ten per cent, the United States has ceased to be a Republic. The people do not govern themselves but are in the hands of dictators whose self-assumed superiority decide personal as well as public affairs."
[from Pierre Du Pont, AAPA pamphlet, A Business Man's View of Prohibition, 1929.]

"[Prohibition] discriminates between the rich and the poor. The former may . . . have stored away . . . an abundance of liquors, which the poor man was summarily denied by reason of his lack of money. Why should he be more a slave to . . . censorship . . . than his wealthy employer? Slavery was abolished . . . at the end of a bloody Civil War. Men were then taught the right to think and act as they might choose, so long as they invaded no other's rights, was a divine gift . . . . The poor man, as well as the rich, has the right to spend his own money as he pleases, and to choose his own diversions . . . . Slavery is the subjection to another's will or control. Must wage earners be groomed as oxen in the stall by their employers?"
[from Henry S. Priest, AAPA spokesman, testimony at Congressional Hearings, 1926]

"The Constitution inherited from our Fathers has been amended and mutilated . . . . Our Constitutional guarantees . . . have been violated. Sumptuary law (such as national prohibition) grants and withholds privileges upon a difference of religious belief. The right to govern ourselves in local affairs -- a right won by our ancestors in three generations of struggle -- is ignored."
[from AAPA pamphlet, Some Existing Conditions and Their Causes 1922]

"Not only have the American people done nothing to sustain the Bill of Rights and pass on to posterity a glorious heritage of self-dependence and manly action; not only have they witnessed without concern the progressive destruction, clause by clause, of the constitution; but, forgetting that a bill of rights is essentially a body of limitations imposed in justified distrust of power, they have . . . permitted their rulers . . . to confer upon themselves from the reserved mass of powers such accessions of authority as are fatal to any conception of limited government."
[from Sterling E. Edmunds, "Mining and Sapping Our Bill of Rights," Virginia Law Review November 1929 (reprinted and distributed in pamphlet form).]

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