20 DECEMBER 1935, Page 3

The Increase in Drunkenness The Home Office licensing statistics show

an increase of 3,463 convictions (or over 9 per cent.) for drunkenness in 1934 compared with 1933, which, in its turn, showed an increase of 20 per cent. over 1932, when the figure was the lowest on record for any year except 1918. The strenuous advertising compaign carried out by the brewers has, it will be observed, synchronised with an increase not only in drinking but in drunkenness, though how the responsibility for the latter should be appor- tioned as between 'beer and spirits there is no means of ascertaining. In any ease the deplorable fact remains that the upward tendency of the convictions is continued. In these days drunkenness must be considered in special relation to motor-cars. If pedestrians are under the influence of drink they tend to get themselves killed ; if drivers are, they tend to kill other people. In any case drunkenness is beastliness, and any arrest in its decrease is a grave matter. It is worth remembering that the report of the Royal Commission on the drink trade is still lying in a Whitehall pigeon-hole.

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