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The "Dry" Years and the Eighteenth Amendment's Effect on Steamship Travel

The Eighteenth Amendment, proposed in December 1917, was ratified in January 1919 and went into effect one calendar year later.  In much the same way, the Taft Court disposed of suits brought by a number of steamship companies seeking to ...

Liquor Barred On Ships (1922)
Upsetting the decision made by Elmer Schlegtuger, formerly chief counsel of the Shipping Board, that sale of liquor on Shipping Board vessels was legal, Attorney-General Daugherty late October 6 submitted an opinion to the Secretary of the Treasury that the practice of selling liquor on American ships outside the three mile limit is not permissible, under the law, and that the eighteenth amendment and the Volstead act prohibit as unlawful the possession and transportation of liquor even on foreign ships while in American territorial waters, whether such liquor be sealed or open. President Harding immediately directed Chairman Lasker to stop the sale of liquor on all Shipping Board boats and requested Secretary Mellon to formulate regulations for the enforcement of the law.

Liquor on Ships (1922)
As the matter stands now, under the refusal of the federal court to declare the ruling of Attorney-General Daugherty invalid, and unless and until the United States Supreme Court overrules the federal court, foreign ships—barring the exceptions made temporarily by the federal court and the indulgence in the matter of time by the government authorities—may not enter United States ports with liquor on board, sealed or unsealed.

Mr. Daugherty’s Liquor Ruling (1922)
Full Text of Attorney-General's Opinion on Application of Eighteenth Amendment, with Comment by American Steamship Owners' Association. The American Steamship Owners' Association has issued the following statement regarding Attorney General Daugherty's ruling: The association has given careful consideration to the opinion of the attorney general and the effect which the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment and the National Prohibition Act will have upon American shipping and American foreign trade if they are enforced in accordance with the construction placed upon them by the attorney general. The association feels that the question of meeting the situation thus produced by the attorney general's opinion is one that should be left to the discretion of the individual companies.

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