THE SHECKLETON EXPEDITION
AND ALCOHOL. (To the Editor).
In your issue of to-day you publish, in a position which almost forces one to read it, an advertise- ment which says "The Shackleton expedition sailed for the Antarctic from Buenos Ayres on September 28. Amongst their supply was a large consignment of Porter's Bull Dog Ale and Stout." As I was able to count
several members of the last expedi- tion under Lieutenant (now Sir Ern- est) Shackleton as personal friends, and further as I was the guest of the principal medical officer of that expedition for a week immediately after their return to Australia, I feel that l am in a position to know what value they put upon alcoholic drinks. (We discussed many things in connec tion with their sojourn in the Ant- arctic including the matter of food and drink, and as far as I remember now, I was told that only on one oc- casion did they indulge in any alco- holic drink, and that was to celebrate some festivity, but that they found the effect upon them in that cold
latitude so injurious that they never repeated it. And on this one occas ion the amount each man was allow- ed was a small glass. -(Recently I read that shortly before leaving Lon- don on this last expedition Sir Ern- est Shackleton publicly stated they were not taking any alcoholic liquors with them. How far this statement is true l cannot say, but seeing that I have some reason to doubt the ac- curacy of the advertisement referred to, may I beg the advertiser to in- form the public, through your col- umns. whether his statement in this morning's issue is strictly true. We often read that prominent men have spoken strongly against the use of alcoholic drinks and many have urg- ed that as they all contain poison they ought to be dispensed only by a qualified chemist like other poi- sons. It would however, be instruct- tive to learn that even those state- ments which appear to be in favor of them are fabrications, and that men with great names are quoted when it is almost impossible to have them verified or denied. If the adver- tisement referred to is true, then it is one of the finest testimonies ever paid to ale and stout by any living man, and no doubt the company con- cerned will make every use of it, if however, it is not true, then I think most people will agree with me that it is a piece of dangerous impertin-
Yours, etc., A.E.Saxon
Charter's Towers, 29/10/14.
(Impertinence is, we feel sure Canon Saxon will admit, a not uncommon human falling, but "Dangerous im pertinence" is really too serious to trifle with. So, full of contrition and in all humility, we cry 'Peccavi! Pec- cai, Peccavi!" and own up unreserv- edly, unashamedly and unintentionally that the paragraph referred to was a "mulga"—in fact it is as merely a play- ful flight of fancy of our advertise- ment writing fiend, who in—we blush
to admit—sometimes addicted to look- ing on the stout when it is black. Ed, "N.M.)