Preparations for Prohibition Repeal

February 2, 1933

Report Outline
Congress and Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment
Current Status of State Prohibition Legislation
Pre-Prohibition Systems of State Liquor Control
Proposals for Liquor Control After Repeal
Special Focus

Congress and Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment

Since submission to the states by the present Congress of a proposal for repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment seems improbable, this question is likely to be one of the first to engage the attention of the 73rd Congress at the special session now expected to convene in mid-April. The Blame resolution, favorably reported to the Senate by the Judiciary Committee, January 9, 1933, qualified repeal by reserving to Congress concurrent power to prohibit or regulate the saloon. It stipulated ratification by state legislatures rather than by the convention method favored in the 1932 platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties. The resolution in this form was opposed by the Democratic leaders of the House, who indicated that if it were adopted by the Senate, they would make no effort to bring it to a vote in the lower body at this session.

The Garner resolution, conforming with the Democratic platform demand for outright repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, which was taken up by the House on the first day of the current session, failed by six votes to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority. Favored by 168 Democrats, 103 Republicans, and one Farmer-Laborite, it was opposed by 44 Democrats and 100 Republicans. The latter group included 11 Democratic and 70 Republican “lame clucks.” Existence of large Democratic majorities in both houses of the new Congress furnishes ground for the contention that that body will adopt a repeal resolution in substantial agreement with Democratic pledges.

Consideration of Liquor Control Methods by the States

The prospect that the Eighteenth Amendment will be taken out of the Constitution in the comparatively near future has resulted in action by several states looking toward formulation of definite plans for regulation of the liquor traffic within their borders. Advisory commissions charged with such tasks have been appointed by the governors of Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Ohio, and the Rhode Island legislature has passed a bill providing for the creation of a similar body. Measures forbidding any future return of the saloon were approved by the people of three western states in referenda held at the November, 1932, election. In Michigan the voters approved an amendment to the state constitution authorizing establishment of a liquor control commission to have complete charge of the alcoholic beverage traffic within that state.

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