17 FEBRUARY 1923, Page 13

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—In your review of Mr. Harold Cox's book, and in the correspondence in your columns, I do not find adequate recognition of the most important factor in the problem of population. Undoubtedly the United Kingdom now has a larger population than can ever be supported in comfort.

On the other hand, there are vast tracts in the Empire, well suited to the life of the white man, which remain derelict for want of settlers. In the best interests of the Dominions,

a large migration from the Mother Country is pre-eminently desirable ; but they most wisely object to receive new- comers unable or unwilling to work steadily on the land. In other words, they require immigrants with the grit and determination of character which come only by breeding froria a sound stock. We cannot in any case supply a fraction of the men and women who could make homes and conquer prosperity in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the immigration of children will succeed or fail in accordance with inherited qualities, moral and physical. The migration which is now in progress will make no appreciable impression upon our home population, but it will pro Canto reduce our best stock.

The fact is that, in considering all questions of population, quality is of crucial importance. In the same conditions a people soundly bred can exist and prosper in larger numbers than tl:e progeny of indifferent stock. In his most striking book, The Revolt Against Civilization, Mr.. Lothrop Stoddard explains the results of under-breeding and the grave dangers which he describes as " the Nemesis of the inferior." He points out that, " at present rates of production, 1,000 Harvard graduates of to-day would have only 50 descendants two centuries hence, whereas 1,000 Roumanians in Boston, at their present rate of breeding, would have 100,000 descend- ants in the same space of time." The multiplication of

inferior types, in America and elsewhere, is already leading to serious results.

In the animated controversy as to the use of contracep- tives, which found its way into the Law Courts, the most important consideration is ignored. Unless it can be clearly shown that restriction will be systematically practised by our own inferior stock and by the rapidly increasing Asiatic elements, the effect must be to accelerate the rate of decadence of our race.

It is easy to array facts tending to show that democracy is and must be a failure ; but this may be due to the increasing disproportion between the people who could make it a success and the inferior types who have always been dupes of the demagogue and the revolutionary. It was Rousseau who said that Republican institutions were not suited to ordinary