Thus the insurance companies' rules touch only the confirmed drinker, whose physique is often irreparably injured. One company writes: "Men who have been intemperate and taken the Keeley or other cures are never accepted until five years have elapsed from the date of taking the cure, and only when it can be conclusively shown that during the whole period they have refrained entirely from the use of alcoholic liquor, and that their former excesses have not in any way impaired the physical risk."

Thus far American insurance companies are doing little preventive and educational work on the alcohol question, though they have the very best means at their command for so doing. According to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company nine tenths of the school children in New York City are insured by them, and an even greater proportion of workingmen. Even though this is done "at twice the normal cost," the most cursory medical examination is given and no attempt is made to instruct them in the relation of their physical condition to their working power, or in the evils of the alcohol and the smoking habits.

Naturally the moderate drinker is first rejected for positions where an occasional overindulgence would be most noticeable and most serious. The manager of a large factory tells his men: "You cannot work here unless you are sober. If you must drink at parties, stay at home if necessary until 12 o'clock the next day and sleep it off, but don't come here till you are straight. We cannot afford it." Occasionally his men stay at home and not a word is said, but the minute they are found at work in an unsteady condition they are summarily discharged. From this position it is but a step to that of an upholsterer in New York City, who prints on his order blanks, "No drinking man employed." His company recently discharged a man after twenty years of service because a customer for whom this man was working detected a whisky breath. Men reported to trade unions for frequent intoxication are blacklisted. A certain financial corporation permits no liquor on its grounds or in its lunch rooms. The head of one of its large branches was heard to say recently that he would discharge on the spot a man who showed evidences of drinking, even though he had previously worked faithfully for years.

Rejection of moderate drinkers by business houses is not done on moral grounds alone, but because experience has proved the danger of employing men who have not their faculties fully under control all the time they are at work. The rules are especially strict for men working for a railroad or street railway company. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company replied to my inquiry as to their custom of discriminating against drinking men in these words: "We have no printed rules in regard to this except in a general way,—that no employee is allowed to go into a saloon during his hours of work or wearing the company's uniform. Of course the men are promptly discharged or disciplined if they show the effects of liquor while on duty, and the whole tendency of the administration of the rules is to get rid of any men who are habitual drinkers, but the administration of the rules and discipline is left to the superintendent of each division." The Interborough Rapid Transit Company of New York has these printed rules for the physical standard required for applicants for employment:

1. Examination of heart and arteries. Rejection of candidates showing excessive or long-continued use of tobacco and alcohol, with explanation of condition, causes, and dangers of continued use. Warning to chiefs of departments regarding those accepted who show tendency to drink at times, but whose physical examination does not disclose sufficient evidence to warrant their disqualifications. Foremen and chiefs of departments to be notified and to carry out the policy of employing only men who are at all times sober and not under the influence of alcohol at all.

2. On reexamination of employees. Warning to or rejection of those showing, on physical examination, indulgence to excess of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Warning to chief of department of evidence of such habits on part of any employee examined for any reason, but retained in service of the company with injunction to chief of department to speak with such employee and have him under proper supervision.

The blacklisting of habitual drinkers by their union, and the growing tendency on the part of large corporations, factories, and business houses to take a decided stand against drinking, are having a marked effect in reducing drunkenness where it does most harm. This practice has been declared by John Bach McMasters, the noted American historian, to have exerted a stronger influence in promoting temperance and total abstinence than all the temperance crusades from Hartley's time to the prohibition wave of 1907. The school, by instructing children how the alcohol habit will affect their chances of business success, future usefulness as citizens, and enjoyment of life, will inevitably reduce the evils of alcohol. By teaching based on facts that intimately concern the life of the child, as well as by caring for his health and his environment, the schools can help supplant the desire for alcohol with other more healthy desires.

No truth about alcohol is more important than that the craving for alcohol or something just as bad will exist side by side with imperfect sanitation, too long hours of work, food that fails to nourish, lack of exercise, rest, and fresh air. Conditions that produce bounding vitality and offer freedom for its expression at work and at play will supplant the craving for stimulants. Finally, the great truth contained in the last chapter must be taught, that success in coping with alcoholism is a community task requiring efficient government above all else.