Wm. Sheafe Chase, D.D. Superintendent International Reform Federation Washington, D. C.
This statement, expanded, was presented to the 70th Congress with the endorsement of the National Temperance Society, National Civic League, National Division of the Sons of Temperance and the Social Service Commission of the Northern Baptist Convention.
THE Volstead Act is full of loopholes. The wets know the loopholes. The drys generally do not know them. They have accepted the wet propaganda that the Volstead Act is very drastic and despotic and that the experience of the dry states in enforcing prohibition was incorporated into the National Prohibition Act.
On the contrary, all penalties for violations of the Volstead Act, instead of being made stronger and more severe to prevent evasions, which have been stimulated by temptations and inducements a thousand times greater than before, were radically reduced and the restrictions loosened; competent evidence of violations was limited; and evidence that was competent and admissible under the old federal liquor law is declared incompetent and inadmissible under the Volstead Act. This has resulted in encouraging violations of the Act and endangering the 18th Amendment itself.
Under the old federal law a person who violated the conditions of his permit and was convicted or compromised by paying certain penalties could not again be given a permit. Instead of this the Volstead law provides for first, second and subsequent offenses.
Not one of the following powers and penalties, that are back of state prohibition laws in 14 to 39 states, are given in the Volstead Act: