PROHIBITION: Real Sentiments

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The contradiction between political avowal and personal habits in the House and Senate reaches its climax in the drinking Dry. To find out precisely what Congress thinks about Prohibition, as distinguished from what it does, became the journalistic assignment of William H. Crawford, free lance. Selecting at random 200 Senators and Congressmen, half Republican, half Democratic, he wormed out of each in confidence his "real senti-ments." In the April Cosmopolitan ap- peared last week the results (but with no names mentioned) of Mr. Crawford's Prohibition poll. Major findings:

Of the 200 queried, 157 are politically Dry, 43 Wet. If free to vote as they believed, 61 would stay Dry, 70 would favor modification of the Volstead Act, 69 would support repeal of the 18th Amendment. If Modification were eliminated, 120 would privately favor Repeal. As- suming an actual vote in Congress, however, with political considerations controlling, Repeal would get only 64 out of 200 votes and Modification 96.

Consolidating the personal opposition to present-day Prohibition among the 200 men polled, and stepping its ratio up to the full membership of Congress (531), it is found that, politics aside, 369 members would favor a Change as opposed to 162 standpat Drys. But the same method of calculation shows that Modification in a real test would poll less than 225 votes. Therefore among the 369 privately for a Change there are more than 150 Senators and Representatives who vote Dry and think, if not drink, Wet.

Onetime (1915-31) Republican Congressman Edward Everett Denison of Illinois was last week put on trial in the District of Columbia Supreme Court for liquor possession. In December 1928 heavy-jowled Mr. Denison returned to New York from a junket to Panama. Under his freedom-of-the-port privilege he brought in much luggage without inspection. Several weeks later Prohibition agents visited his quarters in the House Office Building, found an Army locker trunk marked "B. B. Dawson." "E. D. Denison" might easily be altered to "B. B. Dawson," but Congressman Denison in- sisted the trunk was not his. The agents opened it, found 18 bottles of Royal Sprey Whiskey, six bottles of Gilbey's dry gin. When Mr. Denison, a consistent Dry voter in Congress, was indicted; Wets pointed to his case as the kind of thing that made Prohibition hateful to them. Last November Illinois voters retired him from Congress.

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