Friday, 1 April 2011

Propaganda war

The temperance killjoys didn't have it all their own. The brewing trade weren't shy of publishing their own propaganda. I'm wondering which side makes me more uneasy. See what you think after reading this lot:




"The food value of beer is more than half that of the brewing materials used, whereas the food value of the pig meat (fed on those materials) is less than one-fifth of that of the same materials."
Professor A. D. Waller, University College,
London, 1940.

"To-day the beer drinking community obviously does not resent the additional beer tax as an injustice. It is happy enough to contribute what it can. And there is a good reason for that. A good deal of the enduring life of our country has been built up round the places in which this noble community holds its meetings. Here, with talk and song and good comradeship, with darts and shove-ha'penny and devil-among-the-tailors. the spirit has been maintained which makes our people go into war as friends who know and trust one another."
Daily Sketch, May, 1940.

"A willing and happy worker will get more work done, and do it better, than an unwilling and discontented worker. It is in this direction that alcoholic beverages like beer make their chief contribution to economic efficiency."
Lord Horder. K.C.V.O., M.D.

"Alcohol is an uplift for the mind. Under the conditions of modern civilisation and in these days of concentration - the constant endeavour to put twelve hours into six — it is obvious that at the end of such a day the mind of man girts into) one track. He has no uplift. There alcohol comes in very well. Alcohol, in moderation, gets that man out of the track. It lightens
his mental touch."
Lord Dawson of Penn, K.C.B., M.D.

"Hampstead Heath has long heen a favourite Bank Holiday resort of Londoners. When I was young it was littered with men - and women, too — in various stages of intoxication. The streets in all our cities resounded to the tipsy hauling of unsteady roysterers. The magistrates  used to  spend the whole of the next day fining iIn in or indicting short terms of imprisonment. Hampstead especially had a formidable list of such cases. Now there are not any."
Hamilton  Fyfe,  writing to the  Press, on Easter Tuesday, 1940.

"The British soldier can always he trusted to take his glass of beer without any risk of giving away the small amount of knowledge about the war in his possession."
Major-General Sir John Kennedy, in the Weekly Scotsman, February, 1940.

"There is no man in this House who has fought the licensed trade harder than I have; but I am bound to say that they have met the appeals which I made to them in a patriotic spirit, in an attitude of mind which could leave nothing to be desired from the point of view of anybody who is trying to help this country along."
Mr. Lloyd George, in the House of Commons May 4th, 1915.

"After the church, the public-house ought to be the most sacred spot in town or village: and after the public house, the school."
The Very Rev. Edgar Rogers. Dean of Bocking, Essex, January, 1940.

"The statistical evidence at present available does not suggest that a strictly moderate use of alcohol unfavourably affects the mortality rates of the users."
From Suggestions on Health Education,' 1940 Edition. (Published by the Board of Education.)

"Alcohol's  general position in medicine has been established by clinical observation over long ages. To begin with, it is the most common vehicle in which standard drugs are prepared and is, of course, a valuable drug itself. It is likewise a food, and supplies energy faster than any other food there is. It is the only food known to medicine which has a drug action, and the only drug  known to medicine which  has food value. Thus it is a provider of energy and a sedative simultaneously. It furthermore provides the energy at a minimum cost to the body, since it does not have to be digested. The energy is liberated into the cells directly, without the work of conversion into another form. Still further, it leaves nothing which has to undergo the process of elimination. If diluted with water it acts as a detoxicant, ridding the body of poisons through the increased urination."
From "Liquor, the Servant of Man," by Dr. Ferdinand C. Helwig and Mr. Walton Hall Smith. Published in the USA, 1940.
"The Brewers' Journal 1940" page 654. (Published August 21st, 1940.)

Roysterer. That's the second time I've come across that word. Public drunkenness, as that little item about Hampstead Heath demonstrates, is nothing new. Talk of a massive increase in excessive boozing in modern Britain aren't so much an exaggeration as an invention.

"Liquor, the Servant of Man," It sounds like the title one of those documentaries presented by Troy Maclure. I'm not sure I share its rosy view of alcohol as both food and drug.

Propaganda. Ugly stuff, whoever's writing it.


Gary Gillman said...

There is also a fatherly ("we know best") tone to most of these quotations, redolent of an era past. It wouldn't be so bad if the leaders of society at the time - businessmen, politicians, academics - had created solid conditions for the people, but we know the opposite was often the case with the 1930's Depression being the proximate example, and Victorian poverty not long behind.

The Second World War really marks off the change temporally I think, after that, the old paternalism started to wither. Some may say that State now performs that function but it is not the same IMO.


Ron Pattinson said...

Gary, you should see the one quote I removed. Too racist for me to publish.

Craig said...

Let Lord Dawson know that I'd love to work a 6 hour day.