This section is from the book "Amateur Work Magazine Vol6". Also available from Amazon: Amateur Work.
Representative E. J. Hill, of Connecticut, who assisted the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to formulate the rules under which the free alcohol law went into effect on October, spent most of the summer in Europe with Commissioner Yerkes in investigations on this subject. Mr. Hill states that Germany was the country in which the most progress was found to have been made in the direction of applying denatured alcohol for the development of industrial purposes. There are 70.000 farm distilleries in Germany, many of them being very small, and Mr. Hill was asked how the German Government could afford to furnish an inspector to each one of these distilleries. He re-plied:
"There is no difficulty in that respect. The stills have to be made in a certain way, which includes a tank that can be locked with a Government lock and sealed with a Government seal. The small farm distilleries do not operate all the year round. They operate in the winter when the farmer has leisure to do something other than straight farm work. The farmer has to give the Government thirty days notice as to the time he wants to begin to operate his still. Some time during the thirty days an inspector comes along and looks the still over to see that it is clean, etc., and then he locks and seals the tank, after which the still is ready for the farmer.
" He may go ahead and distill until the tank is full. Then he informs the person who is to buy the alcohol from him. after which he notifies the Government, and an inspector comes and removes the seal, measures the contents of the tank and collects the revenue. If the farmer wants to denature the alcohol on the spot he can do so in the presence of an inspector, when the amount of the tax will be returned to him. But gen-e ally the farmers sell through the great central selling agencies, which denature at a central point and in large quantities, and collect the rebate from the Government in considerable sums. Thus the Government agents are not required to spend any appreciable time on any one farm, and one inspector can cover a large territory. Meanwhile the central selling agency pays the farmer on the basis of beverage alcohol and re bates for all that is denatured. It is a good system and not very expensive to the Government."