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286   DAYS OF PREPARATION

neighbouring towns and villages where the opportunity to purchase liquor presented itself. After careful consideration, General Alderson determined that it would be better to have a regular wet canteen, at which beer might be sold at certain hours and under careful super-vision; and canteens to be opened for one hour at noon and for three hours in the evening. Beer only is sold and non-commissioned officers are always on duty. The Government is assured by the War Office that the trouble in the neighbouring villages, which occasioned much concern at first, has practically ceased since the opening of these regulated and supervised canteens."

The following communication from Major-General S. B. Steele, G.O.C. Troops, Shorncliffe, read in the Canadian House of Commons on May 18th, 1917, is worthy of study in this regard :

"Regarding wet canteens, during the whole of my service I have been a strong advocate of dry canteens in camps in Canada and was the first officer to secure such; I have also made it a point to carefully watch the messes of any unit under my control to secure that moderation is observed at all times and that the iniquitous system of treating was not carried out. Dry canteens in camps removed from towns are practical and sound in Canada, but in camps—as in England—which are in close vicinity to towns where liquor can be obtained, wet canteens are, in my opinion, a safeguard and a help. These wet canteens are most strictly controlled, and sensible men can there secure good, wholesome beer. No man, even if he desired (and the great majority have no wish to do so), can secure more liquor than is good for him owing to disciplinary control, and intoxication through the medium of wet canteens is not therefore possible.

"Regarding public houses, these are also under the surveillance of the military police in addition to the civil police, and the town commandant watches these places very closely. The beer sold there is inspected by Government officials under the Pure Food and Drugs


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