His one attempt at reform, the order forbidding the sale of intoxicants so as to stop the growing intemperance of the janissaries, broke down on the opposition of the soldiery.
A constitutional ordinance forbidding the manufacture, importation and sale of intoxicants was adopted on the 1st of October 1889 by a vote of 40,234 to 34,510.
The only excisable articles are intoxicants and drugs; and the avowed object of the state is to check consumption not less than to raise revenue.
The temperance movement has had its reward; the average of consumption of beer and spirits in Sweden is considerably lower than in Europe as a whole, though the effect of intoxicants is sometimes very apparent.
The transfer was marked by the removal of the prohibition of the sale of alcoholic liquors to the natives, and the free trade in intoxicants which followed had most deplorable results among the Kaffir tribes.
As a result of the first of these measures, in 1908 nineteen of the thirty-three counties of the state had prohibited the sale of intoxicants since 1905.
In 1914 he issued an order prohibiting the use of intoxicants on ship-board and within the limits of navy yards and stations.