1 THE ALCOHOL PROBLEM alcohol for is not because they like the taste of it, nor because they are thirsty, but because it makes them feel jolly. It raises their spirits. It gives them a good conceit of themselves.” Professor Starling,* in his more persuasive and illuminating comments, points out that alcohol in small doses diminishes the control of the nervous system, and thereby lessens the shackles of self-interest and self-criticism. The individual feels himself more kin with his fellow-men . . . more susceptible to the operation of the spirit of charity. . .. The shy worker may be emboldened to un- burden himself and to interest others in his work. . . . A certain degree of self-satisfaction is a necessary element for successful activity, and a life that is not a joyous one can never attain its full powers of accom- plishment. So far as the moderate use of alcoholic drinks serves to further either of these ends it must be regarded as a distinct advantage to the community as a whole.” Again, Starling points out that the work of the community is carried out almost entirely by men with whom the moderate use of alcohol is habitual. f « The use of alcoholic drinks among such men is an addition to the amenities of existence and as a means of increasing the pleasure, joy, and profit in life. It is probable that in these cases the use of alcohol has a real physiological value, in relieving the strain on the human machine, in promoting a forget- fulness of the cares of the day’s work, and in assisting repose and the reintegration of the forces of the body.” On the other hand, every man must realise that though the great majority of his fellows observe strict * E. H. Starling, © The Action of Alcohol on Man,” 1923, p. 154. + Loc. cit., p. 156.