Item FC 3213 L55 002.003 - Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament

Image - Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament 1 Image - Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament 2 Image - Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament 3 Image - Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament 4 Image - Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament 5 Image - Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament 6

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Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament

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FC 3213 L55 002.003

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  • 1888 (Creation)

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Typewritten extracts glued to six (6) sheets of paper. One of the documents attached to the memo 2011.002.001.

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(1840-1915)

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Commissioner, NWMP

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Typed header reads: “Extracts from reports of Officers of the N.W. Mounted Police for 1888 on the subject of the liquor laws. / 1888. / Commissioner L.W. Herchmer.” Officers include the Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner and Superintendents Cotton, McIllree, Neale, Deane, Steele, Perry, Griesbach, and Antrobus.

Commissioner Herchmer:
“There is a feeling, however, among the farmers, and naturally, that the sale of good beer should be allowed, and that it should be brewed in the country out of the home-grown barley, the present regulations allowing a wretched apology for beer to be brewed in the country out of grape sugar and other poisons, while the brewing from home-grown malt of an article of equal intoxicating power is strictly prohibited.”
“… I unhesitatingly affirm that under the permit system and the North-West Act, as then interpreted by our judges, there was less intoxication among the whites, according to population; and there can be no comparison between the quantity of liquor then supplied to Indians and the quantities they have obtained since that portion of the Province was, as certain people call it, emancipated.”
“In the days when the Act was first introduced there were no lawyers in the Territories and appeals were almost unheard of . . . Since the advent of lawyers everything has changed.”
“A saloon keeper of any experience keeps about enough liquor on his premises to fill his permits, and whenever ‘pulled’ by the Police he produces his permits, or those of his friends, and keeps his reserve stock of contraband liquor in hay stacks and manure heaps, closets and other hiding places of the same sort”
“The profits of the trade being enormous our men are all the time subject to the temptation of, to them, immense bribes, to pass a cargo, and who can wonder, under such conditions, that they sometimes fall.”
“I think it would be advisable to permit the establishment of breweries of sufficient capacity to support an Inland Revenue officer, as small concerns without much at stake are liable to be tempted to evade the law, particularly as regards Indians.”p.2
“In Calgary I may safely say we have captured more liquor consigned to two druggists than to any two saloon keepers in that town.”p.2

Assistant Commissioner:

“The liquor law is not working at all satisfactorily, and is no doubt being evaded, and would be, even if there were five times as many police as there are. The law is unpopular. This accounts for the great difficulty we experience in connection with it. It is almost impossible, under the existing state of the law, to get a conviction.” p.2

Superintendent Neale:

“Nearly all classes of the community in this district are antagonistic to the existing liquor laws, and there are very few indeed who will not assist in the smuggling of liquor.” p.4

Superintendent Steele

“The reason for passing the Act was to prevent the sale of intoxicants to Indians, and for that purpose answered very well, . . . . no serious trouble has been caused since from the drunkenness of the Indians; but when the same law is applied to the whites it is quite another thing.” p.5
“Under the system of smuggling, which prevails, the dealer brings in pure alcohol, and by the admixture of pernicious drugs and water makes it into an article resembling whiskey in color but most dangerous in its effects.” p.5

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2011.002.003 Box 15. Bruce Peel Special Collections is part of the University of Alberta Libraries.

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