As a preface to the remarks which I propose to submit for your consideration to-day, I wish to recall to your memory the substance of a paper which I had the honour to read before this Association some two years ago(1). In that paper I endeavoured to establish a distinction between two opposed types of drinking, which, having regard to the chief factor in each form, I referred to as convivial drinking and industrial drinking; and I pointed out that these two modes of drinking differed widely in their relations to drunkenness and to chronic alcoholism, convivial excess producing drunkenness but rarely tending to cause chronic intoxication, while industrial drinking, on the other hand, though not an immediate cause of drunkenness, led rapidly and fatally to chronic poisoning. And, as an illustration and proof of the reality of this distinction, I drew your attention to the remarkable differences in regional distribution which are apparent when drunkenness is compared with alcoholic mortality, with attempted suicide, or with the several varieties of crime that are known to be most intimately connected with chronic alcoholism. The accompanying diagram, which I have published elsewhere, will epitomise this statistical evidence. It shows the rate per 100,000 of the population in the agricultural districts, the manufacturing towns, the seaports, and the mining districts of arrests for drunkenness, homicidal crime, and assaults taken together, homicidal crime alone, and attempts to commit suicide calculated on the annual average during the years 1891–1900. The figures below the columns are the comparative mortality figures for a number of the occupational groups which are more or less representative of the industrial conditions in each of the composite areas, viz. for the agricultural districts the agriculturists, for the manufacturing towns the textile and iron workers, for the seaports the dockers, and for the mining districts the coal-miners. The fact which I wish to bring out by means of this table is, of course, that drunkenness and chronic alcoholism are largely independent of one another, and that the more serious evils due to alcohol are connected with the chronic intoxication and not with simple drunkenness. This is most clearly seen in the mining districts, where there is more drunkenness than in any other part of the country, but where, at the same time, there is little chronic alcoholism and, therefore, relatively low rates of alcoholic suicide (as measured by suicidal attempts) and of alcoholic crime. And the explanation which I desire to suggest is, as I have already indicated, that the chronic intoxication is, in the main, a result of industrial drinking and has nothing to do with the convivial excess which produces drunkenness.
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