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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  New England Road Builders' Association


The New York Times
December 17, 1922

Authorities Hear of Novelty at New England Road Builders' Dinner.

BOSTON, Dec. 16.—Two investigations of the dinner on Thursday night of the New England Road Builders' Association, at which Scotch whisky is alleged to have been served to the 1,000 guests in nursing bottles, were under way today, while Attorney General J. Weston Allen, speaking before a conference of District Attorneys of the State, was spurring his aids to action with the declaration that the "disgrace and scandal of public dinners where the law is openly violated must end."

Prohibition Agent James P. Roberts said today that several members of his staff had been assigned to the task of determining who was responsible for the alleged serving of liquor at the road builders' banquet, preliminary to a Grand Jury inquiry.  Superintendent of Police Michael J. Crowley admitted that he had received a partial report from Captain Neeland of the Black Bay Station concerning the affair, but declined to make known the result of the police inquiry.  He said information gained by the police would be turned over to the Federal authorities.

Harold Claverly, legal advisor to Prohibition Director Elmer C. Potter, called on United States Attorney Harris and requested him to take immediate action, but the latter refused to take any steps until prohibition agents had reported to him a violation of the liquor laws.

At the conference with district attorneys, Attorney General Allen said:
"I can do no greater service in the closing days of my administration than to join you in organizing this State for effective enforcement of the prohibition law, which is the battleground on which the fight for law and order is being waged at the present time."

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