harmiess becomes doubly dangerous by the addition of the other. Dr. Fiebig, who was for many years a medical officer in the armyof theDutch East Indies, says: „it is a peculiarity of palm-wine (sagoweer), that it is extremely intoxicating, if a little quantity of gin is drunk after it. The drinker becomes mad. For that reason the European soldiers intheDutch Colonies are forbidden to drink palmwine.''
Several Governments have popularised the habit of drinking by providing the soldier with alcohol. The native soldiers who, by that means, have learnt to drink, do not put that custom aside with their arms; they persevere in it when they return home and the bad example is infectious.
It goes without saying, that the Colonial Powers must do all they can to defend the native population from the danger that menaces them. Nothing can be said in recommendation of the use of alcohol, the harm it does is obvious to every-one. In combatting alcoholism the Government finds an ally in the native himself. It is a matter of fact, observed everywhere, that the native only acquires a taste for our spirits very slowly. He begins to drink in imitation or because he believes spirits are a good medicine. If the Government prohibits its officials from offering strong drink to the natives and from using it themselves at public festivals; if the Government itself does not supply spirits for the soldiers, much will be won. Prohibitive laws and other restraints will render good service, because the native on account of his childlike nature has respect for authority and does not lightly venture to violate laws, which he knows are sternly enforced. Moreover the Government can make use of the religious commandments of the Koran, if the population under its guardianship profess Islamism. The Koran calls wine and play „dirt, the work of satan"; it commands faithful followers to abstain from them, because satan sows discord and hate by means of wine and gambling and tries to alienate believers from the remembrance of God and the commandments. It threatens with severe punishment those who commit these sins. There was a time when Islamism was flattered in order to keep it quiet, happily these tactics are being more and more changed. It is desirable that an excenption should be made with regard to the alcoholproblem and the Mohammedans forced to live in accordance with the express command of the Koran. This would be rendering an excellent service to the natives.