« PreviousContinue »
Society took an active part in the agitation in favor of such alterations in the assessment of income tax as would make the burden of taxation fall less heavily on parents of families and more heavily on bachelors and the childless in the same stratum of society, the object being to increase the birth rate of a useful class of the community. As to legislation involving interference with individual liberty, here also unanimous support can be obtained if the racial advantages are sufficiently obvi
For example, there was no dissension whatever in my society when we moved in favor of the Mental Deficiency Bill, a bill which authorized the segregation of the feeble in mind, that is to say, their detention in comfort under carefully safeguarded conditions. But until unanimity in the ranks of a eugenical society in regard to such compulsory measures is obtainable, their discussion only is to be recommended. Personally I should like to see practical steps at once taken for lessening the fertility of habitual criminals, of hopeless wastrels, and of the grossly unfit generally, and others doubtless wish to advance in other directions; but we must have patience. object for the moment is not, however, to attempt to survey all the roads by which advances may be made in future, but rather to consider what should be the broad principles of strategy which should guide eugenical societies in the long fight before them in their attempts to promote racial progress.
Thus I have dealt with the objects which eugenical societies should strive to attain rather than with the methods of attaining the ends desired, the reason being that I have little novel to suggest in regard to methods. With the view to the advancement of scientific knowledge and the elucidation of eugenic problems, my society holds periodical meetings at which addresses are delivered or questions debated. In our Review these addresses are often published, and we there also try to give impartial accounts of current eugenic literature. We maintain a library, and give advice to readers. We keep in touch with foreign societies, and it has been an especial pleasure to us to give all the assistance in our power to the
American committee which has so admirably organized this Congress. As to activities definitely undertaken for the purposes of propaganda, the following may be mentioned: the delivery of lectures to audiences of various types, including social clubs, debating societies, educational conferences, summer schools for teachers, and, during war times, soldiers in camp and barracks; the organization of summer schools dealing largely with eugenics; the sending of deputations to government departments; and of letters to the press. To take one example in detail, after a thorough enquiry concerning the incidence of our income tax, a letter was written to all members of Parliament, and at a later stage amendments to the Finance Act were proposed by members at our suggestion, and were rejected! The next step, a direct result of this agitation, was the appointment by the government of a royal commission on the income tax before which I gave evidence on behalf of my society. Several of the recommendations of that commission, representing a step forward in the direction desired, were subsequently adopted and became law. Thus by steady persistence on well thought out lines a society may be able to produce material effects in many directions. As a last word about the doings of my own society, I must be allowed to mention a dinner followed by an address, held on February 16 in each year. In this way we yearly remind ourselves on the birthday of Sir Francis Galton that to him we owe the opening of the eugenics campaign in England.
What I have tried to do in my address today has been to give some indication of the difficulties likely to be encountered by youthful eugenical societies; difficulties which, we have seen, may come from many quarters and in many shapes. Questions connected with both sex and personal liberty have to be dealt with by eugenists, and these are topics especially liable to give rise to strong feelings. Even when the opposition thus aroused is quite unreasonable, we should, however, always remember that the sentiments underlying this opposition are often in many respects highly commendable, and that to openly
acknowledge where others are in the right is often the best way of getting a hearing for ourselves. The most formidable foe we have to meet is ignorance; and here again it is wise to admit that the ignorance is not all on one side. With every growth in our knowledge of biology and sociology we shall be able safely to enlarge our programme, and we should make it clear that our discussions of to-day are often tentative and do not always indicate the directions in which we shall advance to-morrow. As to the ignorance of our opponents, it can only be overcome by patience, perseverance and above all by never concealing such doubts as are still felt. Unfortunately it must be admitted that even perfect knowledge, however widely held, would not make our path quite smooth, human nature being what it is; for the want of attractiveness of our programme is largely due to the fact that we are looking to human welfare in the more or less distant future and not to present-day comforts. Most men in their march through life are hoping either for personal distinction as a reward for their exertions or for quick returns on their investments; and neither of these benefits is to be obtained in the eugenic market. You can easily enough get your forests cut down and the timber sold for an immediate profit; but the planting of slow growing trees, which will not be worth felling till most of us are dead, is a less attractive venture, though more beneficial to the nation. The reforms which the eugenist wishes to plant would certainly bear excellent fruit in due course, even though much of it would only be gathered by our children and our children's children. Then again your business men not seldom try to sell their goods by running down the wares produced by their rivals, an inexcusable proceeding in so far as merely an outcome of greed and jealousy. Now this same competitive spirit is far too much felt in social work, and I fear we eugenists have often aroused opposition by unnecessarily running down reforms dependent on changes in environment. Let us rather strive to show that there is plenty of open ground over which reformers of all kinds can
strive to advance simultaneously and harmoniously; and let us all recognize that jealousy is one of the commonest and probably the most insidious of all human failings. The claims of this generation and of posterity are doubtless sometimes antagonistic, and the genuine difficulties thus arising must be openly faced and often met in a spirit of wise compromise. The main obstacles to be overcome by eugenists are, however, dependent on moral failings, and what we have to show is that we are engaged in a moral campaign, with human welfare in the highest sense as the goal for which we are striving.
Eugenics aims at increasing the rate of multiplication of stocks above the average in heritable qualities, and at decreasing that rate in the case of stocks below the average. But if the banner under which we are to fight should only have inscribed on it some such arid definition of policy as this, our defeat would be certain. We must prove that we are under the guidance of a noble ideal. We of this generation are responsible for the production of the next generation and, therefore, of all mankind in the future; and all in whom this sense of racial responsibility acts as a deep-seated sentiment, greatly affecting their action and their policy, are in truth guided by the eugenic ideal. The belief that man has been slowly developed from some ape-like progenitor came towards the close of the last century to be nearly universally held by thoughtful persons; this belief gave rise to a new hope that this upward march of mankind might be continued in the future; and out of this new hope sprang the eugenic ideal. This growing understanding of the past history of the world has led us to see that, if we are to imitate Nature in her methods, we must be content to advance by means of a long succession of small steps; just as rain falling in drops on the earth has slowly carved out mighty valleys in the hardest rocks. Without constructing wild Utopias, we must be content if some little racial progress can be ensured as each generation succeeds another; for to work in this spirit is to work in harmony with the knowledge which gave birth to the eugenic ideal. Progress on eugenic lines will
make mankind become continually nobler, happier, and healthier; whilst those who imagine that our sole aim is to make man a stronger animal or a better beast of burden are utterly ignorant of the meaning of the eugenic ideal. But science, whilst giving us good grounds for hope, also issues a grave warning concerning the danger of national deterioration resulting from the unchecked multiplication of inferior types. In the past many nations of the first rank, when apparently advancing without check on the path of prosperity, have begun to decay from unseen causes, and have in time so fallen from their high estate as to cease to count as factors making for progress. A determination that such a downfall shall not be the fate of his nation is a sentiment felt by every man who is animated by the eugenic ideal, an ideal to be followed like a flag in battle without thought of personal gain.
FREDERICK MORTON CHAMBERLAIN FREDERICK MORTON CHAMBERLAIN died on August 17, 1921, in a hospital in Oakland, California, after a long and sometimes hopeful fight against tuberculosis. He became seriously ill in July, 1913, while on the Pribilof Islands, and although he partially regained his health for short periods, he was at no time thereafter able to resume his usual activity. The U. S. Bureau of Fisheries has thus lost one of its most faithful employees, one whose clear, keen mind and charming personality will long be mourned by his associates.
Mr. Chamberlain was born in Indiana, June 29, 1867. He graduated at the State Normal School at Terre Haute in 1894, the State University at Bloomington in 1896 and the George Washington School of Law in Washington, D. C., in 1913. A close friendship began at the Indiana colleges with (then) Professor Barton Warren Evermann with whom later he was associated in many scientific investigations.
In the fall of 1896 he followed Dr. Evermann to the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries (then the United States Fish Commission) with which he was connected throughout the re
mainder of his active career. In 1897 he and Dr. Evermann carried on fishery investigations in some of the southern states. Later in the same year he joined the Fisheries Steamer Albatross and accompanied her to Alaskan waters for a season of work in the fisheries. The two following years the investigation of salmon in the streams of California occupied his attention. In this he was associated with Cloudsley Rutter. In 1900 and 1901 he was back on the Albatross engaged on Alaska fishery problems, and in 1902 he worked in Hawaii.
During the summers of 1903, 1904 and 1905, a work on the life history and young stages of Alaskan salmon was completed. The report which was published in the Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries for 1906, marks the beginning of an epoch in the study of these important food fishes, and its importance has only lately come to be realized in fish-culture. The clear, concise language shows the hand of the master workman, and the thoroughness with which each problem was attacked is the chief mark of the true scientist. His health failed in 1905, while he was in the field on these investigations, but apparent full recovery was made after a short stay in Arizona.
The Albatross sailed on a winter cruise to the south Pacific for Alexander Agassiz during the winter of 1904 and 1905 and Mr. Chamberlain accompanied the vessel as naturalist. The summer of 1906 was spent with the ship in north Pacific and Japanese waters, while from 1907 to 1910 he was in the Philippines. The last cruise closed his connection with this famous vessel. During her most active period Mr. Chamberlain was aboard and attended to the preparation of a great many thousand specimens of marine animals for later examination of specialists. The impersonal manner in which the records of the Albatross must necessarily be kept is regrettable. Thus some pieces of iron, fastened together in the form of a ship and named after a bird will live for centuries in the annals of science but the guiding hand which caused the machinery to produce the treasures of the deep, passes to oblivion, unmourned except by his
circle of personal friends. Mr. Chamberlain was instrumental in the bringing to the surface many hundreds of strange new mollusks, crustaceans and echinoderms, yet apparently his name has not been bestowed upon a single one. Two fishes and an Alaskan bird, however, have been named for him.
During the seasons of 1911 and 1912, Mr. Chamberlain filled the position of Alaska salmon agent and worked in the northern territory. In 1913 he was appointed naturalist of the Fur-seal Service and reached the Pribilof Islands just three days before the severe attack from which he never fully recovered. He was conveyed to the states, desperately ill, and the climate of Arizona again helped to only a partial recovery.
DURING 1919 and 1920, according to data recently published by the government statistical bureau and quoted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of marriages in the German empire exceeded, by a considerable margin, the figures for the prewar period. In the five years from 1914 to 1918, inclusive, almost half a million marriages less were contracted than would normally have been the case. However, this notable falling off in marriages during the years of the war was compensated for, in the main, during 1919 and 1920; for in these two years the number of marriages reached the high figures of 842,787 and 851,508, respectively. Whereas in 1913 there were only 7.7 marriages to 1,000 inhabitants, in 1920 there were 14.8. Normally, forty marriages to 1,000 inhabitants could have been expected during the five years of the war, but, instead, only 25.1 marriages were entered upon. Eighty-two per cent. of the decrease has been made up during the last two years. In 1914, the number of children born was 1,830,892. In 1915 it had fallen to 1,040,209
and in 1917 to 939,938. In 1918 the number had risen again to 956,251. In place of the normal 8,950,000 births in the period from 1914 to 1918, we find only 4,550,000 recorded, which signifies a loss of 4,400,000 due to the war. In 1919 the total number of children born was still about 400,000 below normal. Not until 1920 was the number of births again about normal, the records showing 1,512,162 births, or 27.1 to every 1,000 inhabitants, as compared with 1,707,834 births, or 28.5 per thousand inhabitants in 1913. The number of deaths in 1920 was 888,795, 16.3 deaths to every 1,000 inhabitants, the mortality for 1919 having been 16.1 per thousand. The last year before the war (1913) showed a mortality of 924,919, or 15.8 per thousand inhabitants. Especially during the first three months of 1920 the mortality rate was very high. More particularly, diseases of the respiratory organs and influenza exacted many victims during this period. In Berlin, more than a third of all deaths, namely, 37.7 per cent., were due to diseases of the respiratory organs, whereas during the first quarter of 1913 only one seventh of all deaths in Berlin were ascribable to such causes. During the last three quarters of 1920, the mortality rate fell considerably, having been 14.9, 14.5 and 15.4 per thousand inhabitants, as against mortality rates of 19.9, 22.0, 19.7, 20.8 and 25.1 for the five-year period from 1914 to 1918, inclusive. The year 1919 showed a slight excess of births over deaths and the year 1920 a still greater excess.
ACCIDENTS DUE TO EYE DEFECTS
THE Committee on Elimination of Waste in Industry of the American Engineering Council has made public a report on accidents due to eye defects. The total number of industrial blind in the United States is given as 15,000 or 13.5 per cent. of the total blind population, this type of injury being the leading causative factor of blindness, according to the report, which was prepared by Earle B. Fowler. The eye is involved in 10.6 per cent. of all permanently disabling accidents.
The report stresses the importance of correcting subnormal vision among employees, saying that excess eye fatigue results in conditions which must produce a time labor loss from reduction in quantity and quality production. Substandard vision was found to be of great frequency. One investigation showed that out of 2,906 garment workers only 743 or a little over 25 per cent. had bilateral normal vision, 17 per cent. having normal vision in one eye, with the other defective. The highest percentage of defective vision was in the class of workers who made the greatest use of their eyes.
An examination of more than 10,000 employees in factories and commercial houses found 53 per cent. with uncorrected faulty vision. Of 675 employees in a typewriter company, 58 per cent. were found to be in need of correction by glasses. Of the rejections in the National Army, 21.7 per cent. were because of eye trouble. An examination of the vision of 3,000 employees in a paper box factory in Brooklyn, N. Y., showed that the percentage of normal was only 28. In every group of workers examined there were a large number who fell below the line and this number becomes appreciably greater if those who have subnormal vision are taken into account. The report continues:
As in the correcting of other factors of occupational hygiene, standards have been set, so, after further study, visual acuity standards will have to be determined for each grade of workers and readjustments made, with alterations in our methods of testing acuity to suit conditions, until these standards give us the necessary minimum for each kind of work. As examinations are made at present, any set level would exclude workers shown by practical test to be very efficient producers.
Many subnormal eyes will work well even for fairly trying work if conditions are good. Therefore, it is first of all urgent to bring the working conditions up to the best, on the basis now understood.
Even the most superficial survey of lighting conditions reveals that in the majority of plants there is much improvement possible, in spite of the actual increase in production quantity and quality when poor illumination is corrected to standards now con
sidered satisfactory. There seems to be no question of loss due to faulty conditions.
One estimate, the report stated, placed the loss due to faulty conditions in this country as above the entire cost of illumination. In 446 plants investigated only 8.7 per cent. were found to be in excellent condition, the other ratings being: Good, 32 per cent.; fair, 29.1 per cent.; poor, 18.8 per cent.; very poor, 3.5 per cent.; partly good, partly poor, 7.8 per cent.
THE YALE FOREST SCHOOL
STUDENTS from twenty-four universities and colleges, including four foreign countries, will attend the Yale Forest School at New Haven this year. Twenty-one men are candidates for the degree of Master of Forestry. The institutions represented in this attendance include the state universities at Cornell and Syracuse, N. Y., Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Washington, California, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Michigan. The foreign students come from the University of Christiania, Norway, Melbourne University, Australia, South African College, Capetown, South Africa, and University of Nanking, China. Yale continues to equip Chinese students to carry on the work started by former graduates this year two will be in attendance. The students from Australia and South Africa are sent by their respective gov
Owing to the growth of the school, new quarters were needed, and these will be secured through the recent gift of $300,000 from William H. Sage, B.A., Yale, '65, of Albany, N. Y., which will be devoted to the erection of a forest school building in memory of his deceased son, DeWitt Linn Sage, of the class of 1897.
During the fiscal year 1920-21, graduates of the Yale Forest School were chosen to fill 49 positions in forestry, including 10 in government work, 9 in state forestry departments, 11 as teachers in other schools of forestry, 11 as managers of forest estates or for corporations owning forest land, 5 with lumber companies, 2 in forest products and 1 in