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1857.

No. 13.

[ No. 13. ] REPORT of the committee on State Affairs upon "a bill to repeal an

act entitled an act to prevent the manufacture and sale of spirituous or intoxicating liquors as a beverage." The committee on State Affairs, to whom was referred

A bill to repeal an act entitled an act to prevent the manufacture and sale of spirituous or intoxicating liquors as a beverage.

Also the petitions of M. Lederer and 60 others, and of Joseph Wier and 22 others, praying for the repeal of the same, ask leave respectfully to submit the following report :

The act to prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors now in force was passed by the last Legislature in accordance with the prayers of a large number of petitioners, and what was evidently the sentiment of a decided majority of all parties. A similar act had been passed by the preceding Legislature and submitted to the people: they approved it by a majority of 20,000 notes. Acting upon the significant indication of public sentiment, and what they knew to be the existing wishes of their constituents, our predecessors of both parties, with few exceptions, gave their support for the present prohibitory law. Though it has been in force nearly two years, giving the people a full opportunity to observe its operations and to give utterance to their opinions, very few petitions have been received asking its repeal, and so far as your committee are aware there has been no general expression of any kind, either through the public press or by public meetings, in favor of a repeal of the law. Having been pronounced constitutional by the bighest judicial tribunal of the State, with the exception of that provision which constitutes its most obnoxious feature, all classes now seem to acquiesce in it, though all may not comply with its requirements. But there is another consideration which your committee will submit to the House~a select committee on the Constitution, have now under consideration, and will probably soon report sundry amendments to that instrument for the action of this House. Amongst them will undoubtedly be one submitting the question to the people at an early day, whether a general license system, or the present prohibitory law, with such amendments as may be necessary, shall remain as the future policy of the State or not,

Whatever may be the decision of the people upon this question, your committee are already of the opinion, that it is unwise and inexpedient to repeal the present law, thus removing all restraint upon the liquor traffic, or at least not until the people shall have clothed the Legislature with power to regulate and restrain, if not to prohibit the same. In view or these facts, and without assuming to express any opinion as to the merits or defects of the present law, or whether it has accomplished all the good its friends had hoped, your committee report back the bill to the House, and recommend that it do not pass, and ask to be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.

F. W. KELLOGG,

Chairman.

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