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February 24, 1912

The Army Canteen

Author Affiliations

Camargo, Ill.

JAMA. 1912;LVIII(8):575. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260020259025

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To the Editor:  —As an alumnus of Jefferson Medical College, 1886, of which Dr. Keen is emeritus professor of surgery, I wish to register my protest against the stand he has taken in favor of the restoration of the so-called canteen to the army. Most of the points he has raised in favor of the restoration have been successfully answered already, but there are a few points which I wish to take up.Dr. Keen uses the argument that if the soldier is allowed beer in the canteen it will prevent him from going out to the low saloons and drinking and then frequenting houses of assignation, where he will contract venereal disease. He cannot establish this by logic. Alcohol lessens a man's self-restraint. It benumbs his higher sensibilities. It makes him more reckless. Now, where is the restraining influence of the canteen? I mean to say that the canteen

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