The Anti-Prohibition Congress was held in Brussels in 1922. Politicians from Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland attended. The Congress was viewed as a threat to National Prohibition in the U.S. which, at the time, had been in existence less than two years.
Roy A. Haynes
Commissioner Roy A. Haynes was head of the U.S. Prohibition Bureau. He was very critical of the Anti-Prohibition Congress, Haynes wrote that it was working with Count Albert de Mun. He said de Mun was “president of one of the largest champagne companies in France and formerly an extensive exporter to the U.S.” Supposedly, de Mun gave money and “the active support of a hundred million European advocates.” This was allegedly in an effort to repeal National Prohibition in the U.S. In spite of these assertions, neither he nor anyone else ever produced any evidence whatsoever.
With the passage of time it became increasingly clear in the U.S. that Prohibition was failing. But much worse, that it was counterproductive. That is. it was worse than no Prohibition. It was causing very serious problems.
- Promoted drinking in often dangerous illegal establishments.
- Led to the widespread production of moonshine that sometimes contained toxins that caused blindness, paralysis and even death.
- Contributed to the rapid growth of organized crime.
- Promoted violence.
- Led to corruption of public officials.
- Resulted in disrespect for law.
- Caused unemployment.
- Reduced tax revenue.
- Led to increased expenses for criminal justice administration,
- And caused many other serious problems.
The views of the Anti-Prohibition Congress ultimately found expression in Repeal. It ended National Prohibition in 1933.
Voters rejected Prohibition by three to one. However, many people and groups today support neo-prohibition ideas. They also defend the remainders of Prohibition that still exist. Indeed, almost one in five adults in the U.S. today favors making it illegal for anyone to drink alcohol. Of any age. For any purpose.
Yet not even Prohibition outlawed drinking. In fact, millions of people drank legally during Prohibition. Discover what Prohibition made illegal and what it didn’t. You’ll be surprised!
Resources for the Anti-Prohibition Congress
- Behr, E. Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America. NY: Arcade, 1996.
- Cashman, S. Prohibition: the Lie of the Land. NY: Free Press, 1981.
- Cherrington, E. (ed.) Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem. Westerville, OH: Am Issur, 1924-30 (6 v).
- Haynes, Roy A. Prohibition Inside Out. NY: Doubleday, 1926.