Wet Letter from Mr. F. C. Finkle
January 21, 1931
Hon. Herbert Hoover, President U.S.A.,
White House, Washington,, D.C.
Dear Mr. President:
The report of the Wickersham Commission on Prohibition is a great disappointment to the substantial element in the Republican Party here. Of course the dry element, which is constantly decreasing in numbers, is satisfied because no modification is proposed, although the more fanatical drys do not think the report is sufficiently radical.
It is regrettable that more money will be expended in times like these to attempt the enforcement of our foolish prohibition laws, when so much good could be accomplished with the money in other ways. It is equally sad to contemplate that the rule of bootleggers and the crime wave will continue, and no doubt increase in spite of anything done in the way of more strict prohibition enforcement [emphasis added].
But worse than all of these things is the conviction of a majority of our people that no prosperity is possible in this country until we modify the present prohibition laws. In this view I am certain the people are correct, and that no prosperity is possible under present conditions. There is no reason why we should not be as prosperous as the Republic of France, if we had as sane laws and practices affecting the liquor question as France.
Advocating the maintenance of prohibition without some sensible modification, the Republican Party is doomed to defeat in the next presidential election, regardless of who may be its candidate, for conditions will become so deplorable before 1932 that 75% of the people will demand a change. Attempts at more strict enforcement will only further enrage all except the ultra dry fanatics [emphasis added]. As an ardent Republican, I trust something can be done to change the present liquor laws and bring back confidence and prosperity.
With sincere feelings of the highest personal esteem, I am,
Yours very truly,
Source: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. Presidential Papers: Subject Files. Correspondence, Jan 16-Sept 1931.