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The Nation's Drink-Bill, Economically Considered

The Nation's Drink-Bill, Economically Considered

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Excerpt from The Nation's Drink-Bill, Economically Considered: A Review of Col. Switzler's Report on the Subject

While it would be discourteous to doubt Col. Switzler sstatement as to the increasing demand for, information a statement, by the way, which his own personal experience may fully sustain it would surely not be in harmony with truth to admit the correctness of the inference as to a scarcity of supply. In fact, Col. Switzler sown report imperatively forbids such an admission, for the whole and every part of the succinct exhibit of the liquor product and consumption, contained in said report, is taken literally from official statements, periodically published for public use, and hence quite as accessible to everybody as to Col. Switzler. Furthermore, any one, who is as familiar with the bibliography of the drinkquestion as he should be, who, like Col. Switzler, pretends to write on it in a didactic strain, ought to know that, in addition to a score of books and innumerable sociological treatises, embodying the statistical data, which Col. Switzler hae simply copied, there is a standard statistical work of 936 duodecimo pages, the substance of which has but recently been reproduced, in a far more succinct and comprehensive form than Col. Switzler sreport, by almost every newspaper in nearly every civilized part of the globe. If Col. Switzler would or could have added to, or in any degree improved upon, this vast fund of readily accessible information instead of simply copying, in an imperfect and somewhat slovenly manner, from its constituent parts, the reason he gave for publishing his report might have a semblance of plausibility. But as matters stand, Col. Switzler would not have exposed himself to a reproach of dereliction of official duty (even if it be taken for granted that his office was overflooded with demands for information) if he had referred his correspondents to the very works from which he himself copied, and which are in every way quite as accessible as, and surely not less widely circulated than, the reports of the Treasury Departments Statistical Bureau.

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