4 NOVEMBER 1916, Page 14

In the Commons on Thursday week Mr. Montagu defended the

Liquor Control Board with great effect against attacks upon its operations and composition. In answer to the criticism that the Board had exceeded its powers, he said that no area had been scheduled except on the representations of the Ministry of Munitions or the military authorities. if powers had been exceeded the Ministry of Munitions was responsible. The figures- as to the reduction of drunkenness which Mr. Montagu quoted were remark- able. The weekly average- of 'convictions for drunkenness in England from January to September, 1815, was 1,497 ; from- January to September, 1916, 830. - In-Seotland the corresponding figures were 722 and 406. As regards the consumption of beer, from April to September, 1915, 15,000,000 barrels were consemed ; in the corresponding, portion of 1916, 13,000;000 barrels. As for spirits, the 15,000;000 gallons drunk in- April to September, 1915, sank to 8,000,000 this year.- Why not press on to the obvious and logical conclusion ? Why not demand prohibition for the period of the war ? Will not our Labour leaders, who have always stood forth as representing the virtues of Labour, take a virtuous course now ? For it would be _virtuous in the best sense to stop during the war an industry which uses up man-power, blocks our railways and roads, consumes tonnage at sea, and devours industrial energy.