Prohibition (24 June 1914)

When the discussion over prohibition was being revisited in Ontario in mid-1914, the Berliner Journal tried to give an objective view, but clearly the paper was against it. The Catholic Church in general was against it, because  the Bible did not ban it, but rather gave the advice of moderation. Furthermore, the liturgy required “wine with alcohol”. The article stated that German Protestants and Lutherans were also against prohibition. They too argued that moderation was a virtue, whereas abstinence was just self-sacrifice.

These articles then mentioned a report prepared about prohibition in Canada, which showed that it had not been a successful policy. The money spent on alcohol had actually increased and instead of beer, people tended to drink homemade whiskey instead. In Great Britain, there was less consumption of alcohol without prohibition. A Canadian bishop said that it would be a restriction of the personal liberty to force him into this situation. A human being could not become a better person because of restrictions.

Even in Germany the issue received press coverage. In a speech from Kaiser Wilhelm to soldiers of the marine, he asked them to be abstinent because then they would be stronger and win battles. He thought that encouraging an ideal was more useful than legislation to get rid of alcohol. Drinking was a hereditary defect of the Germans according to the emperor, and not worth trying to stamp out.



(“Prohibition, der Feind von Temperenz”, Berliner Journal, 24 June 1914; „Prohibition in Canada“, Berliner Journal, 24 June 1914; „Der Deutsche Kaiser über Trinken“, Berliner Journal, 24 June 1914)