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|Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings on National Prohibition - 1926|
THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAW
HEARINGS before the SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY UNITED STATES SENATE - SIXTY-NINTH CONGRESS
April 5 to 24, 1926
MONDAY, APRIL 5,1926
Present: Senators Means (chairman), Goff, Harreld, Reed of Missouri, and Walsh.
Present also: Senators Edge, Edwards, and Bruce, and Representatives Hill of Maryland, MacGregor, Jacobstein, and Mead of New York.
Senator MEANS (chairman). The subcommittee will please come to order. I should like to ask that all will be as quiet as possible considering the great number of people present in the room.
This subcommittee, created by the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate, has been authorized to investigate, consider, and report to the full Judiciary Committee on Senate Joint Resolution 34, Senate Joint Resolution 85, Senate bill 33, Senate bill 34, an amendment proposed to Senate bill 34, Senate bill 591, Senate bill 592, Senate bill 3118, an amendment proposed to Senate bill 3118, Senate Joint Resolution 81, an amendment, proposed to Senate Joint Resolution 81, and Senate bill 3823, which are here printed in full:
[S. J. Res. 34, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
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The Congress shall be empowered to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
[S.J. Res. 85 Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
"The Congress shall be empowered to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
[S. 33, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
A BILL To amend the national prohibition act, as supplemented, in respect of the definition, of intoxicating liquor.
(a) By striking out the words "one-half of 1 per centum or more" wherever they appear in such act, and inserting in lieu thereof the words "more than 2.75 per centum by weight."
(b) By striking out the words "less than one-half of 1 per centum" wherever they appear in such act, and inserting in lieu thereof the words "not more than 2.75 per centum, by weight."
(c) By striking out the words "more than one-half of 1 per centum" wherever appear in such act, and inserting in lieu thereof the words "more than 2.75 per centum by weight."
Sec. 2. Any offense in violation of, or any right, obligation, or penalty or any seizure or forfeiture, based upon any provision of the national prohibition act, as supplemented, or upon any regulation permit issued thereunder, committed, accruing, or incurred, respectively, prior to the time this act takes effect, may be prosecuted or enforced in the manner and with the effect as if this act, had not been passed.
SEC. 3. All permits issued under the national prohibition act, as supplemented, before this act takes effect, shall be valid with respect to intoxicating liquor as
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Sec. 4. This act shall take effect at the end of the thirtieth day after its passage.
"No one but a physician holding a permit to prescribe liquor shall issue any prescription for liquor, and no physician shall prescribe liquor unless after careful physical examination of the person for whose use such medicine is sought, or if such examination is found impracticable, then upon the best information obtainable, he, in good faith, believes that the use of such liquor as a medicine by such person is necessary and will afford relief to him from some known ailment. Any pharmacist filling a prescription shall at the time indorse upon it over his own signature the word 'canceled,' together with the date when the liquor was delivered, and then make the same a part of the record that he is required to keep as herein provided."
SEC. 2. The first paragraph of section 2 of the act entitled "An act supplemental to the national prohibition act," approved November 23, 1921, is repealed.
[S. 34, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
"'SEC. 7. (a) No one but a physician holding a permit to prescribe liquor shall issue any prescription for liquor. No physician shall prescribe liquor unless after careful physical examination of the person for whose use such prescription is sought, or if such examination is impracticable, then upon the best information obtainable, he in good faith believes that the use of such liquor as a medicine by such person is necessary and will afford him relief from some known ailment. No person shall obtain or seek to obtain liquor for medicinal purposes by false representation or concealment of material fact.
"' (b) No physician shall prescribe and no pharmacist sell, and no person shall induce or attempt to induce any physician to prescribe or any pharmacist to sell, for medicinal use by any one person within thirty consecutive days, (1) alcohol (C2O5OH) in excess of one-half pint, (2) spirituous liquor in excess of one pint, (3) vinous liquor in excess of one quart, or (4) alcohol (C2O5OH), spirituous liquor and vinous liquor that separately or in the aggregate contain in excess of one-half pint of alcohol, (C2O5OH), except under the following conditions:
"'A. If a physician believes or has reason to believe, or can by reasonable diligence ascertain, that a prescription he is about to issue for liquor will provide the patient for whom the prescription is issued with liquor for medicinal use in excess of the limits named in this section, then said physician shall issue a certificate to accompany the prescription, certifying that the amount prescribed in excess of said limit is in his judgment necessary and will afford the patient relief from some known ailment. Any prescription calling for liquor in excess of the limits stated in this section and not accompanied by such a certificate shall be void and of no effect. Any physician issuing any such certificate shall forthwith deliver or send a copy thereof to the prohibition administrator of the district in which the prescription is to be filled or to such other officer as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue may direct.
"'B. A pharmacist who knows or can by reasonable diligence ascertain that a prescription for liquor will, If filled, provide the patient named in it with liquor in excess of the maximum amount named in this section shall not fill such prescription unless it be accompanied by the certificate required by paragraph A of this subdivision.
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"'D. No pharmacist shall fill any prescription calling for liquor alone of a kind and in a quantity contained in any bottled-in-bond package authorized by law, otherwise than by delivering a bottled-in-bond package of that kind and quantity, with the Government stamp unbroken: Provided, that if no such package be available bottled-in-bond packages of a smaller size or sizes may be delivered in such numbers as may be necessary to supply the total amount prescribed. In prescribing liquor not compounded with any other substance, a physician shall, if such liquor be of a kind that is bottled in bond, prescribe it in so far as may be practicable in quantities that will render it possible to dispense it in bottled-in-bond packages with the Government stamps unbroken.
"'E. No person shall counterfeit, forge, or materially alter any prescription blank or any prescription for liquor. No person shall knowingly have in his possession any counterfeit, forged, or altered prescription blank or any prescription for liquor.
"'F. Every physician who issues a prescription for liquor shall keep a record alphabetically arranged in a book prescribed by the commissioner which shall show the date of issue, amount prescribed, to whom issued, and directions for use, stating the amount and frequency of the dose: Provided, That no physician shall be called on to disclose the nature of the disease or disability for which he has prescribed liquor or to keep his records in such a way as to lead to such disclosure, to any person, whether or not engaged in the execution and enforcement of this act or of any act supplementary hereto, except as he may be lawfully required to make such disclosure under subpoena in a court of law or in the course of a hearing under authority of section 9, Title II, of this act.'
"Sec. 2. That the first paragraph of section 2 of the act entitled 'An act supplemental to the national prohibition act," approved November 23, 1921, is amended to read as follows:
"Sec. 2. That only alcohol and spirituous and vinous liquor may be prescribed for medicinal purposes. All prescriptions for any other liquor shall be void. But this provision shall not be construed to limit the sale of any article the manufacture of which is authorized under section 4, Title II, of the national prohibition act.'"
(S. 591, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
[S. 592, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
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[S. 3118, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
(a) By striking out the words "containing one-half of 1 per centum or more of alcohol by volume" and the words "containing more than one-half of 1 per centum of alcohol by volume" wherever they appear in such act and inserting in lieu thereof the words "intoxicating in fact.
(b) By striking out the words "contains less than one-half of 1 per centum of alcohol by volume" wherever they appear in such act and inserting in lieu thereof the words "is not intoxicating in fact."
(c) By striking out the words "containing less than one-half of 1 per centum of alcohol by volume" wherever they appear in such act and inserting in lieu thereof the words "not intoxicating in fact."
(d) By striking out the words "below such one-half of 1 per centum of alcohol" and the words "below such one-half of 1 per centum " wherever they appear in such act and inserting in lieu thereof the words "to a point where such liquid is not intoxicating in fact."
Sec. 2. Any offense in violation of, or any right, obligation, or penalty, or any seizure or forfeiture, based upon any provision of the national prohibition act, as supplemented, or any regulation or permit issued thereunder, committed, accruing, or incurred, respectively, prior to the time this act takes effect, may be prosecuted or enforced in the same manner and with the same effect as if this act had not been passed.
Sec. 3. All permits issued under the national prohibition act, as supplemented, before this act takes effect, shall, after this act takes effect, be valid with respect to intoxicating liquor as defined in section I of Title II of such act, as amended by section I of this act, to the same extent as such permits are, at the time this act takes effect, valid with respect to intoxicating liquor as defined by section 1 of Title II of the national prohibition act prior to its amendment by section 1 of this act.
Sec. 4. This act shall take effect at the end of the thirtieth day after its passage.
[S. 3118, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
" ' The foregoing definition of the terms "liquor" and "intoxicating liquor" shall not apply in the administration of this act or any act supplementary thereto within the territorial limits of any State which has in effect a prohibition enforcement law defining intoxicating liquor otherwise than as liquor intoxicating in fact. In the case of any such State the definition of "liquor" and "intoxicating liquor" to be applied in the administration of this act or any act supplementary thereto within the territorial limits of such State shall be the definition of intoxicating liquor provided in the prohibition enforcement law of such State. There upon this act and any act supplementary thereto shall apply to beverages and liquids subject to the prohibitions of such State law to the same extent as this act and such supplementary acts theretofore applied to beverages and liquids intoxicating in fact. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph it shall be unlawful to sell or barter any liquor containing one-half of 1 per centum or more of alcohol by volume fit for use for beverage purposes to be drunk upon the premises where sold or bartered."
Page 3, line 4, strike out "Sec. 4," and insert in lieu thereof "Sec. 5."
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[S. J. Res. 81, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
"Shall the Congress amend the national prohibition act (commonly known as the Volstead Act) so as to allow the manufacture, sale, transportation, and possession of beverages containing as great an amount of alcohol as is lawful under the Constitution, provided that such amendments shall not interfere with the constitutional powers of the several States to legislate with respect to intoxicating liquors as each State may deem proper?"
Sec. 2. The several States are hereby authorized to conduct the referendum provided by this resolution at the general election held by the State for Representatives in the Seventy-first Congress of the United States. Such referendum shall be held in accordance with the provisions of this resolution and, except as provided in section 3, in accordance with such election and referendum laws of the State not in conflict with the provisions of this resolution, as the legislature thereof may provide. The question specified in section I shall be stated upon the ballots without alteration or explanation, and any individual qualified by law as an elector for a Representative in the Congress of the United States in such year, and none other, shall be qualified to vote upon such question. The governor of the State shall certify the referendum results in the State to the Senate and the House of Representatives on the first day of the first regular session of the Congress commencing after the referendum.
SEC. 3. In the case of any State (1) which has not through a duly constituted authority, notified the Postmaster General and the Secretary of commerce on or before July 1 of the year in which the referendum is to be held that such State has by law adequately provided for the conduct of the referendum in that State, or (2) which Postmaster General and the Secretary of Commerce each find has not so provided, the Postmaster General and the Secretary of Commerce shall provide for the conduct of the referendum in such State through the post offices, the Bureau of the Census, or such other agencies within their respective jurisdictions and control as they may jointly select and in accordance with such regulations, including penalties for violation thereof, as they may jointly prescribe.
Sec. 4. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated a sum sufficient for the administration of this resolution and out of any appropriation for the administration of this resolution the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized (1), in accordance with regulations to be prescribed by him, to reimburse each State for the actual cost incurred by the State in conducting the referendum in accordance with the provisions of this resolution, and (2) upon vouchers approved by the Postmaster General and the Secretary of Commerce to pay any expenditures made by such officers in executing the provisions of section 3.
SEC. 5. As used in this resolution, the term "State" includes "Territory," and the term "Representative" includes "Delegate."
[S. J Res. 81. Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
"Second: If you favor amending the Volstead Act, is it your desire, notwithstanding such amendments, that the law remain so as to prohibit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages in the United States?
"Third: If you favor amending the Volstead Act so as to permit the manufacture and sale of light wines and beer, is it your understanding that such light wines and beer are to be so limited in their alcoholic content as to be nonintoxicating?"
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[S. 3823 Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
Sec. 2. No manufacturer shall produce any beverage made from malted cereals or substitutes therefor, authorized by section 37, Title II, of the national prohibition act, or manufactured by the so-called arrested fermentation process or by any other method or process by which the alcoholic content developed in such beverage is reduced below or prevented from developing as much as one-half of 1 per centum of alcohol by volume without first giving a bond and securing a permit therefor. Any apparatus designed for or specially adapted to or fit for the manufacture of any intoxicating malt or cereal beverage, when not in operation or when under suspension, may be placed under lock and seal by the commissioner or his agents; and the place where any such beverage is manufactured or apparatus is set up shall at all times be open to the inspection of the commissioner and his agents: Provided, That any building and apparatus designed and set up for the manufacture of cereal beverage, when not so used, shall be registered under such rules and regulations as may be made therefor.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this section or unlock or break any such lock or seal, except as regulations may authorize, shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $5,000, or be imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Any building where any such beverage is manufactured or withdrawn in violation of this section, or in violation of any permit authorized herein, is declared to be a common nuisance, and such place and the person maintaining such nuisance may be proceeded against, as provided for in sections 21 and 22, Title II, of the national prohibition act, for the abatement of nuisances, and such nuisance may be so abated.
Sec. 3. Any liquor, denatured alcohol, denatured rum, or article in part manufactured therefrom, intended or designed for the manufacture of liquor intended to be used in violation of the national prohibition act or that has been so used shall be subject to forfeiture and no property rights shall exist in such property; and such denatured alcohol, denatured rum, and other article containing alcohol, as does not substantially comply with the formula under which it is authorized to be manufactured, or that is used in willful violation of law, shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture, and the commissioner may by regulation determine what variation from such formula shall be deemed a substantial variation. Any person who shall remove the denaturants from any denatured alcohol or denatured rum, or who shall redistill any denatured alcohol or denatured rum for beverage purposes, or who shall make, sell, remove, or transport any intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes made from such alcohol or rum, shall be imprisoned not less than two years and fined not more than $25,000.
Sec. 4. That section 29 of the act of March 4, 1909 known as the "Federal Penal Code," be, and it hereby is, amended by placing a semicolon after the last word thereof and adding the following:
"And a like penalty shall be imposed upon any person who shall falsely make, forge, or counterfeit, or cause or procure to be falsely made, forged, or counterfeited, or who shall willingly aid or assist in falsely making, forging, or counterfeiting, or who shall have in his possession with intention unlawfully to use, any application, permit, permit form, physician's prescription, physician's prescription blank, physician's prescription book, physician's prescription blank book, letter of confirmation, or other writing or instrument whereby any intoxicating liquor may be unlawfully withdrawn in violation of the national prohibition act or any act amendatory thereof, or under any other law of the United States regulating the liquor traffic, or under any regulation made thereunder."
Sec. 5. Whenever property is seized as subject to forfeiture under any of the provisions of the national prohibition act or under any act supplemental or amendatory thereof, a notice of such seizure and that It is subject to forfeiture may forthwith be advertised once in each week for two successive weeks in some newspaper published or of general circulation in the county where the seizure occurred, and also in a newspaper in the county where it appears from the registration of the vehicle the owner thereof resides. Such notice shall be signed by the com-
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When a claim is filed as above provided it shall be reported to the United States attorney for the judicial district in which the property is seized or in which it is subject to forfeiture for appropriate proceedings in court. The district court of such district shall have power to determine the claims so presented and to condemn and declare forfeited to the United States the property subject thereto and make such disposition thereof as may he provided by law. In any action or proceeding involving the forfeiture of any vehicle released after seizure under bond, as provided in section 26 of Title II of the national prohibition act, such vehicle shall be deemed to be in the custody and control of the court and subject to its jurisdiction for the condemnation thereof. If the vehicle so released on bond is not surrendered to the custody of the court at the hearing or trial for the forfeiture thereof, the bond shall be declared forfeited and the court may thereupon issue an order directed to the principal and sureties therein to show cause why a judgment should not be entered against them for the penalty therein specified.
In establishing any lien on any property subject to seizure under section 26, Title II, of the national prohibition act, it shall be necessary to show in addition to the requirements of that section that the instrument evidencing such lien was at the time of the seizure on file or of record as required by the laws of the State, Territory, or district in regard to notice thereof to innocent creditors and purchasers.
Any vehicle in which liquor is illegally transported or possessed, whether such conveyance be moving or stationary at the time of seizure, shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture under the provisions of section 26, Title II, of the national prohibition act.
Bonds given under section 26 Title II, of the national prohibition act, shall be conditioned for the return of the vehicle to the custody of the court at the hearing or trial under the forfeiture proceedings, and there to abide the determination of the court; and conditioned further that in the event that the court should order a sale of the vehicle, and it shall sell for a sum less than the value thereof, as such value was estimated in fixing the penalty of the bond, the owner will pay the difference between such value and the proceeds of such sale, plus any lien against the vehicle, together with the expense and cost of the sale. The vehicle released under bond as provided in said section 26 shall not, if seized for illegal transportation or possession within one year thereafter, be again released. No property shall be released under bond under section 26, Title II, of the national prohibition act, until the one seeking to secure the release thereof shall have filed a claim for the property as above provided.
Sec. 6. A search warrant may issue as provided in the national prohibition act to search any private dwelling as such dwelling is defined in that act, if any still or any distilling apparatus is used or set up for use therein for the unlawful manufacture of intoxicating liquor,
Sec. 7. The judges of the police court of the District of Columbia and the United States Commissioners of said District shall have authority to issue warrants, as provided in section 2 of Title II of the national prohibition act, as amended by the act of Congress approved November 23, 1921; and such war-
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Sec. 8. The provisions of this act shall not be construed to repeal or limit any law now in force under which liquor or property designed for the manufacture of liquor may be destroyed at the time of seizure, nor shall it be held to repeal any law or any provision of any law not directly in conflict therewith, and the commissioner may, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, make regulations to carry this act into effect.
[S. 3411, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session]
Sec. 2. The United States Border Patrol shall consist of such border patrol police as is now or may hereafter be authorized: Provided, That any existing border police, to whatever department or establishment accredited, together with their existing appropriations, equipment, and appurtenances, may at the discretion of the President be transferred to the United States Border Patrol.
Sec. 3. The United States Border Patrol, under such regulations as the President may prescribe, shall perform such patrol and police duties for all departments and Federal establishments as may be necessary in connection with the enforcement of all laws applicable to the international and maritime borders of the United States, its Territories, and possessions subject to its jurisdiction.
Sec. 4. Property of any kind which is seized for violation of the laws of the United States, together with a report of the facts of seizure, shall be immediately delivered to the chief officer of the district charged with the enforcement of the law for the violation of which the property was seized. Upon delivery of the property and receipt of such report the said chief officer shall proceed to forfeiture in accordance with the law and regulations of his department.
When the said property is forfeited it may, in lieu of sale, be used for any Government purpose by any agency of the United States and when surplus to the needs of one agency may be transferred to any other agency of the Government requiring its use. The United States Border Patrol shall have priority of claim over any other Government agency to the possession and use of such property as may have been originally seized by it. The Government agency to which the property is allocated shall pay all expenses incident to seizure and forfeiture.
Sec. 5. The appropriation of any Government agency which acquires hereunder any
vehicle, vessel, or other property, including motor propelled passenger-carrying vehicles,
shall hereafter be available for payment of expenses of maintenance, repair, and operation
of said vessels, vehicles, and other property. Said appropriations shall also be available
for the payment of the actual costs incident to seizure and forfeiture, and if the seizure
is made under any section of law under which liens are recognized for the payment of the
amount of such lien allowed by the court: Provided, That any property Which has
been forfeited or allocated and is found unserviceable or surplus to the needs of any
Government agency shall be disposed of in the same manner as other surplus property.
Sec. 7. In the discharge of their duties members of the Border Patrol shall be regarded as peace officers and shall be accorded all protection and immunities accorded to other Federal officers of similar character by any Federal statutes now existing or hereafter enacted.
92101*-26--VOL. 1 1-2
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Sec. 9. For the purposes of administration the United States Border Patrol shall be established within the Department of Labor, and the Secretary of Labor, except as herein otherwise provided, is hereby authorized to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.
[S. 3891, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session.]
"Section 1. Each State shall for itself define the meaning of the words 'intoxicating liquors' as used in section 1 of Article XVIII of the amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
"Sec. 2. Any person who transports or causes to be transported into any State any beverage prohibited by such State as being an 'intoxicating liquor' shall be punished by the United States by imprisonment for not more than ten years or by a fine of not less than $10,000 nor more than $100,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment."
Sec. 2. All portions of the National Prohibition Act inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
The subcommittee will first consider Senate Joint Resolutions 34 and 85, by Senator Bruce, and accordingly will now recognize Senator Bruce to make a statement.
Senator REED of Missouri. I should like to mention, Mr. Chairman, that we are starting late, at 10.20 a. m., and that credit should be given accordingly on the time allowed.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; we are starting at 10.15 a. m., I believe.
Senator REED of Missouri. Furthermore, Mr. Chairman, inasmuch as a question of the highest privilege is to be taken up at 2 o'clock this afternoon I suggest that we will be unable to hold an afternoon session.
Senator MEANS. Then we might sit until 1 o'clock.
Senator REED of Missouri. Unless there is something of great importance to come up at 12 o'clock, in which event I should like to be there.
Senator MEANS. We will proceed with the idea of sitting until 1 o'clock unless the state of business will prevent.
Senator BRUCE. I will state to the subcommittee that the second resolution called attention to by the chairman is simply a resolution amendatory of the first in some limited particulars.
Senator REED. You are going to take up the second one, then?
Senator BRUCE. Yes; Senate Joint Resolution No. 85.
Senator MEANS. You may proceed.
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