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tant changes being asked in another class of petitions, and enforced upon our consideration by the order of February 4th; we have reverted to the principles of this law, and to first principles, the basis of all law, the teachings of nature and of God. We have asked,—What is truth Q What is right 4 And believing, that whatever is wrong in itself, cannot be made right by any legislation, we have concluded that what is true and right is expedient, and should receive, not only our sanction and support, but that also of the people whom we here represent. The attributes or conditions of a right action, as we view it, are, that it shall not injure the actor himself, nor his neighbor, nor violate any divine law. That drinking to drunkenness does this, violates all these conditions, and that the inebriate, therefore, commits an individual, social, and moral wrong, is too obvious to require from us, in this place, any proof. If it be wrong thus to drink, it is not right to be in any way accessory thereto : it is wrong to buy or sell, or provide the intoxicating draught. If it be wrong to sell fourteen, or twenty-seven gallons, it is equally wrong to sell fifteen, or twenty-eight gallons. If it be wrong to retail in a county where the county commissioners withhold a license ; it is equally so, in a county where they grant one. But the wrong consists not in the quantity, nor in any contingency of the granting or withholding of licenses; but in the purpose and use for which alcohol, rum, brandy, gin, wine, and all other liquors spirituous and intoxicating, are sold. And the drunkard, the moderate drinker, who drinks, the retailer and the wholesale dealer who sells, any of these intoxicating liquors, to be used as a beverage, violate the conditions of a right action alike; and all are alike involved in its guilt. To strike at the root of the evil, therefore, the law, in our judgment, should be so framed as to permit only of sales for useful purposes. It should be just in itself, uniform in its operation, and furnish the means of convicting and punishing the guilty. The sale of alcohol in its various forms, pure, mixed and combined, is, we believe, proper in itself, and necessary for the public convenience; but, to be used as a beverage, it is never necessary, it is ever wrong, corrupting to the morals of the community, and tending to poverty, misery, and crime. Alcohol is good ; intoxicating drink is ruinous. This distinction, we think, should fully appear on the face of every statute. But in the law of the Revised Statutes, and in the acts supplementary thereto, it does not appear,<-they permitting the granting to innholders and common victuallers licenses, to retail alcohol to be used as a beverage, “for the public good.” Public opinion, we are happy to know, is in advance of this law; which appears from the fact that, during the last year, no licenses have been granted under it, in thirteen out of the fourteen counties in this Commonwealth. By permitting a traffic, which is manifestly injurious; and by giving to this injurious traffic, by licensing it, a respectability which belongs only to the useful and the right; and thus fostering in the minds of the unthinking and vicious, the false idea, that for “travellers” and “genteel folks” intoxicating drinks are good, and may be lawfully sold and used, “in and about the houses of innholders and common victuallers, as a beverage;” the present license law, in our judgment, has done, and is still doing, incalculable mischief, and is to be charged with very many of the sins of its own violation. We consider it to be of the first importance that the principles of every statute be true, and right, and just. Taking this view of the matter, which, if we mistake not, is that of a large majority of our constituents; and believing that the prayers of their petitions, and the orders of this House, may be better answered in a new bill, based upon these principles, its language conforming, as nearly as possible, to that of previous statutes which have received a judicial construction,-than by any or by every amendment which has been asked, attached to, and incorporated with, the license law, as it now stands, the Committee very respectfully, and unanimously, (with one exception,”) submit, for consideration, the accompanying bill.
* Mr. Howes, of Dennis, is of opinion that the sale of alcohol should not be licensed for any purposes whatever.
In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and FortyEight.
Regulating the Sale of Alcohol, and Prohibiting Intoxi- cating Drink.
BE it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
1 SECT. 1. Alcohol, pure, mixed, and combined, to 2 be used in the arts, and for medicinal and sacramental 3 purposes, may be sold in any quantities, by suitable 4 persons, who shall be licensed therefor, but not other5 wise.
1 SECT. 2. The selectmen of the several towns, 2 and the mayor and aldermen of the several cities, 3 shall, on application, grant licenses to as many dis4 creet persons, of good moral character, not innholders, common victuallers, sellers of oysters, or keepers of boarding-houses, as, in their judgment, the public good may require, to be sellers of alcohol, for the purposes specified in the foregoing section, such licenses not to extend over one month beyond the term of office of said selectmen or mayor and aldermen ; and for every such license, the licensed shall pay one dollar for the use of the Commonwealth.
SECT. 3. Every person, on applying for a license, under this act, before receiving the same, shall subscribe the following declaration:—
“I, [here insert the name, being licensed to be a seller of alcohol in [here insert the town or city] in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby promise, that I will not purchase, nor knowingly sell, nor permit to be sold under me, any alcohol, rum, brandy, gin, wine, or other spirituous or intoxicating liquors, to be used as a beverage, or for other purposes than permitted by the laws of this Commonwealth;”—which subscribed declaration shall be kept on file by the said selectmen, or mayor and aldermen, granting the
SECT. 4. Every licensed seller of alcohol shall put up in or about his premises, in some conspicuous place, the words :—
LICENSED To SELI, ALcohol,
and shall keep a book, open to public inspection, in which he shall record all sales by him made, with the date, name of the purchaser, and whether for himself or another, and whether a minor or not ; the quan9 tity and kind of each, in six distinct columns, as 10 follows:
I 1 Date Name of the Pur- Quantity || To be used | For Medici-
12 And the purchaser shall write, or, by his mark, sub13 scribe his name, in the column under the words desig14 nating the purpose for which the purchase is made. 15 When the purchase is by one person as agent for 16 another, the names of both principal and agent shall 17 be so written, as to show who is principal and who is 18 agent. And licensed dealers shall subscribe their 19 names as such.
SECT. 5. Every licensed seller of alcohol, who shall knowingly offend against any of the foregoing provisions, shall forfeit one hundred dollars and his license, which shall not be renewed ; but no person, whose license shall be so forfeited, shall thereby be discharged from any other indictment or complaint, under this section, pending against him.
1 SECT. 6. If any person, without license, shall be 2 a common seller of intoxicating liquor, or have any 3 quantity of the same in his possession, with intent to 4 be a common seller thereof, he shall forfeit one hun5 dred dollars.
1 SECT. 7. If any person, not being a common sell2 er, and not intending to be a common seller, shall, 3 without license, sell, or offer for sale, or have in his 4 possession with intent to sell, any intoxicating liquor, 5 he shall forfeit, for each offence, twenty dollars.