Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 77 of 263
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features of the amendment adopted. The following general and
important problems must be considered by this Legislature:
1. It is your duty to define the term "open saloon" and enact laws
against such everywhere throughout the State.
I need not tell you that the people as a whole are intensely interested
in what this Legislature defines as the "open saloon." It has been on
every tongue both before and since the election. Frankly, I do not know
just what those who framed this amendment had in mind. I only know
that the vast majority of the people of this State, irrespective of how
they voted on the amendment, are agreed upon one proposition: they
do not want, indeed they will not abide, a return of the old saloon
system of liquor dispensing in this State.
In my humble judgment, the people want no subterfuge definition or
camouflaged saloon, whereby, even though the brass rail bar may be
outlawed, yet practically the same evils of open saloon sales will again
be upon us. I earnestly urge, therefore, a clear-cut, simple, understandable
definition and prohibition of the open saloon so as to carry out
the letter and the spirit of the constitutional amendment.
2. This Legislature has the power to regulate the manufacture, sale,
possession and transportation of intoxicating liquors for private profit.
It also has the power, if it sees fit, to establish a state monopoly on the
sale of distilled liquors.
3. If regulation of private traffic in the liquor business is determined
to be the proper policy, then this Legislature must intelligently determine
upon what basis liquor shall be taxed. The State needs revenues,
not only for the administration of the liquor laws you may pass, but
for the general treasury as well.
4. This Legislature must pass laws to preserve the absolute integrity
of dry territory.
This duty is of equal importance with the mandate to define and
outlaw the open saloon. By the adoption of the amendment on August
24th we are once more dedicated as a people to the principle of local
self-government. This means not only that the people in wet territory
are entitled to liquor under proper regulation, but that the community
which has voted dry has an equal right to expect that it shall not be
overrun by an outlawed traffic beyond its boundaries. Great care should
be exercised in this regard.
It will not be sufficient, in my judgment, to simply prohibit, for
instance, "the manufacture, sale, possession and transportation of intoxicating
liquors" in dry territory: Every other form of traffic in liquor
in such communities should be outlawed. In other words, all needful
legislation, such as prohibiting the taking of orders, giving, furnishing,
etc., of liquor within such communities, should be enacted.
5. This Legislature must make provision for the holding of local
option elections to determine whether the people of a particular county,
justice precinct, or incorporated town or city, now desire to permit or
prohibit the sale of liquors containing more than 3.2% alcohol.
Until this provision is made, the status of the district in 1919 (when
the prohibition amendment was adopted) will bind the people in such
district. It is, therefore, imperative that immediate provision be made
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Allred, James V. Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939, book, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3899/m1/77/: accessed June 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .