Of all the moral questions that bothered politicians in the 1890s, none became so deeply embedded in the fabric of political life as the temperance question. The issue of liquor control dominated parliamentary time in the first half of the decade, and it cost the Liberal Party the election of 1895, resulting in their loss of power for the next ten years. Rather than being the anticipated vote winner, temperance turned out to be a social issue that turned round and bit the politicians. The wound was sufficiently painful for politicians to become immediately much more wary about incorporating sweeping drink reforms into their manifestos, although they could not let the issue go entirely, because so many questions relating to it remained unresolved.1 Late nineteenth-century Christians also had a complicated relationship with alcohol. They were far from united on what they should think about it. Moreover, the temperance infrastructure which all denominations had developed by the end of the century was consuming huge amounts of energy and resources, although it was not always clear to what purpose.