Prohibition After the 1932 Elections

August 11, 1932

Report Outline
Submission-Repeal Proposal of the Candidates and Platforms
The Prohibition Situation in the 72nd Congress
Mode of Ratification for a New Amendment
The Rural-Urban Division on Prohibition
Over-Representation of Rural Areas in Legislatures
Chances of Ratification of New Amendment
Special Focus

Submission-Repeal Proposal of the Candidates and Platforms

President Hoover, in his address of August 11, 1932, accepting a second nomination for the presidency, took a step in advance of his party's platform plank on prohibition by announcing his belief that “a change is necessary” and his conviction that all reasonable people could find common ground upon a new amendment, in substitute for the 18th amendment, which would return to each state the right to deal with the liquor problem as it might determine, “subject to absolute guarantees in the Constitution of the United States to protect each state from interference and invasion by its neighbors, and that in no part, of the United States shall there be a return of the saloon system.”

The Republican platform had gone no farther than to recommend submission of a new amendment to the states in order that the people themselves might determine whether they desired a change. The provisions of a qualified repeal amendment, corresponding to the one upon which the President believes “all reasonable people can find common ground,” were sketched in the Republican prohibition plank, but the platform did not recommend its adoption. The Chicago convention rejected, 472 to 681, a proposed repeal plank which began “We recommend that the Congress of the United States immediately propose an amendment to the federal Constitution repealing the 18th amendment thereto …” But, as the President pointed out in his acceptance address, the platform as finally adopted “does not dictate to the conscience of any member of the party.”

Of the Democratic plank, calling for unqualified repeal, the President said: “Our opponents pledge the members of their party to destroy every vestige of constitutional and effective federal control of the [liquor] traffic. That means over large areas the return of the saloon system. …I can not consent to the return of that system.” Under national prohibition, at the same time, there had developed in large sections “an increasing illegal traffic in liquor,” a disrespect for all laws, “grave dangers of practical nullification of the Constitution,” a degeneration of municipal government, and an increase in subsidized crime and violence. “I cannot consent to the continuation of this regime.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 21, 1984  America's New Temperance Movement
Nov. 03, 1943  Liquor Supply and Control
Oct. 04, 1933  Liquor Control after Repeal
Feb. 02, 1933  Preparations for Prohibition Repeal
Aug. 11, 1932  Prohibition After the 1932 Elections
May 16, 1932  Prohibition in the 1932 Conventions
Sep. 25, 1931  Economic Effects of Prohibition Repeal
Feb. 25, 1931  The States and the Prohibition Amendment
Jan. 26, 1931  Validity of the Eighteenth Amendment
Oct. 15, 1930  The Liquor Problem in Politics
Sep. 02, 1929  Reorganization of Prohibition Enforcement
Oct. 31, 1928  Social and Economic Effects of Prohibition
Aug. 07, 1928  Liquor Control in the United States
Apr. 23, 1927  The Prohibition Issue in National Politics
Jun. 05, 1926  Prohibition in the United States
Apr. 21, 1926  Prohibition in Foreign Countries
Jan. 15, 1924  Four Years Under the Eighteenth Amendment
Drug Abuse
U.S. Constitution