Wants Pictures of Inebriates

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 11, 1906

Wants Pictures of Inebriates

Saloonkeepers to Ask for Changes in State Black List Laws.

They Seek For Protection

Want Several Holidays Cut Out of Closing List – Secretary J.J. Klein Goes to Des Moines to Join Other Members of the Legislative Committee.

Photographs as a means of enabling saloonkeepers to identify parties to whom they have been notified not to sell liquors are to be one of the requirements of the state law governing the conduct of saloons, if the efforts of the Iowa Retail Liquor Dealers’ association during the present session of the legislature is successful. J.J. Klein, secretary of the association, left yesterday for Des Moines to join the other members of a committee now at work there with the object of bringing about this and other changes in the state liquor law. The other members of the committee are: President, C.A. Stephens, Cedar Rapids; Margin Ingwersen, Clinton; and L.C. Stevens of Sioux City. All four of the men are members of the executive committee of the association and were appointed to the task of framing bills for the legislature at a meeting held last December in Davenport.

Changes Wanted.

It is understood that the changes in the present law which are desired are mainly these: The elimination of New Years, Washington’s birthday and Labor day as days on which the saloons must close; a provision that the friends of inebriates shall furnish saloon keepers with photographs and descriptions of those to whom they are forbidden to sell liquor, and the reduction of the number of signers to saloon petitions in small towns from 80 to 65 per cent, besides making it necessary to obtain the consent only of property owners residing upon the street where the saloon is located.

The saloon men also want the law amended so that they will not be held responsible for selling to minors and inebriates unless they do so knowingly.

A suit is now being waged against four Council Bluffs saloon men in which a woman is seeking to get $10,000 of the saloonists’ hard earnings for selling liquor to her husband, after being notified not to do so. Similar cases have occurred elsewhere and it (sic) such cases that have aroused the saloonkeepers to an effort to protect themselves.

Would Give Protection.

“A bartender may see a man on the street and speak to him for years without knowing his name,” said one of the fraternity yesterday. “If the man’s wife or mother notified the bartender not to sell him liquor, how would he know to whom the notification referred? It is utterly impossible as the law now stands, for us to have any safety whatever, and the photograph scheme would give us just the protection we need.”

The Iowa Retail Liquor Dealers’ association comprises probably two-thirds of the dealers in Council Bluffs and throughout Iowa. Back of it stand the big brewing and distilling firms, which own a large proportion of the saloons now in operation. The association is not merely a picnic organization, but is for working purposes. When suits are started against saloonists for apparent blackmail the association takes a hand and fights them to a finish.

That the liquor business is feeling the sort of strength that comes from union is shown by the fact that arrangements are now being made for the building of a large brewery at Le Mars. A few years ago anyone that embarked in a business of that sort in Iowa would have been thought a candidate for the commissioners of insanity, declared one dealer yesterday but the work of the association has put the liquor business on so firm a footing as to make a large expansion seem likely all over the state.

No one seems to doubt, say well informed liquor dealers, that a fight of large proportions is about to be waged in the direction of securing a more lenient liquor law than the one now in force, as plenty of capital, energy and other useful resources are on hand.

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