This was the title of a book Cole partly-wrote, edited and published against what he described as ‘The Greatest Curse of Humanity.’ In the Preface to the book Cole stated:

     It has been my endeavour to formulate with thoroughness and impartiality as to the evidence, and with conscientious care and clearness as to combination and deduction, all that is clearly known and proven regarding the grave problem of Alcohol and human life. It is my intention to lay before you the views and contentions of the highest Authorities and the foremost Social Reformers, based on their actual experiences. The time is now at hand, when our general efficiency will be tested to the fullest extent, and my earnest hope is that we will profit by the example set by Russia.


In a direct appeal to the reader, he goes on:


Does not this Book constitute a terrible indictment of the deadly Drink Traffic? Is it not your duty to help against it by every means in your power? Let there be no injustice to those whose livelihood depends upon the trade; let us fully compensate them for their losses, but let us continue our efforts until the evil has ceased to exist.

On Saturday July 24, 1915  on page 18, the Melbourne Argus reported:


We have received from Mr. E. W. Cole of the Book Arcade, a copy of his new book on “The Evils of the Drink Traffic,” published at a cost of £250. After distributing several thousand copies gratis, Mr. Cole has decided to sell copies at a penny each, and devote the entire proceeds to the fund for the Australian wounded. The books can be purchased at either the Bourke or Collins street entrance to the arcade.

The book has been digitised by the State Library of Victoria and the 2MB 62 page file is available here.

The subject was also included in Selected Works – Part II  as item 4 of 4 subjects:
1. Hobbies
2. Essay on Thought
3. Woman – Our Angel
4. Evils of the Drink Traffic.

This entire volume has been digitised by The National Library of Australia (cdc-10739074) and the 106MB 373 page file is available here. Topic 4 appears on pages 154 – 368.  This same topic has also been transcribed and the 118MB 83 page document is available here.

In a separate publication Cole wrote 144 quatrains In Praise of Books. He selected numbers 46 and 48 for inclusion in this publication:

BOOKS show narcotics, toxicants,
Of each and every kind;
Insidious destroyers all,
Of body and of mind.

BOOKS, like strong drink, will drown man’s cares,
But do not waste his wealth;
BOOKS leave him better, drink the worse,
In character and health.


A bar to joys that home imparts
A door to tears, and aching hearts;
A bar to manliness and wealth,
A door to want and broken health.

A bar to honour, pride and fame
A door to grief, and sin, and shame;
A bar to hope, a bar to prayer,
A door to darkness and despair.

A bar to honored, useful life,
A door to brawling, senseless strife;
A bar to all that’s good and brave,
A door to every drunkard’s grave.