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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930


From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

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Prohibition is the tenth article of the series American Impressions by Miss Conan Doyle written by Mary Conan Doyle, the first daughter of Arthur Conan Doyle, in the Los Angeles Evening Express on 18 june 1920.


Los Angeles Evening Express
(18 june 1920, p. 22)

[Miss Doyle, daughter of the distinguished English novelist, has consented to write a series of articles for the Evening Express during her sojourn in Southern California. The tenth appears herewith.]

Its perhaps the most wonderful reform any country has ever brought off — a real splendid bid for the highest in community ideals and life.

Personally, I'm in favor of light wines and beers remaining, because it leaves some scope for the exercise of free will, which is a man's right, as an individual, but with this reservation I hope we shall have the same reform in England. From the woman's standpoint it is the whole difference between risk and security. I know this is so, because I worked in a canteen for overseas men during the war and, with all the thousands passing through, the only trouble we ever had with them was due to the drink which they got outside, as ours was a dry canteen. It's the same thing in the casualty wards of our great hospitals — the drink is the real evil in most cases.

We have indeed struck a very big idea in cutting out liquor altogether. It is interesting to note the effect prohibition has on the types one sees about. The chief result seems to be that the middle man drops out! By which I means that good and bad proclivities remain just the same, but the uncertain quantity — the good man gone wrong — has passed. Of course, you have an enormous ally in your climate over here. It is much easier to be cheery over a kickless gingerale in the sunny Southland than in our climate that specializes in fog and damp. But it will be a hard pull for them in the east, where they hate the bitter cold to contend with through the winter. I hope the rumor is not true that tobacco is going to be prohibited also, because then one fears the authorities may suddenly become alive to the fact that tea and coffee taken in excess are bad also, and try to do away with them too!

The stopping of strong liquor is such a good movement in itself one doesn't want to see it wrecked by extremists, and the danger is complete reaction, if the masses are driven too far.

This is indeed a pioneer country. All the thoughts and systems of mankind gravitate here to be "tried out," and when they are tested and found true they are passed on to help ease the world's burdens. It's great work!