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HULL— 1922 







Officers and Council, 1922-23 v 

Local Officers, Hull, 1922 vii 

Sections and Sectional Officers, Hull, 1922 viii 

Annual Meetings : Places and Dates, Presidents, Attendances, 
Receipts, Sums paid on account of Grants for Scientific 
Purposes (1831-1922) x 

Report of the Council to the General Committee (1921-22) . . xiv 

British Association Exhibitions xix 

General Meetings at Hull xx 

Public Lectures at Hull xx 

Children's Lectures at Hull xx 

General Treasurer's Account (1921-22) xxi 

Research Committees (1922-23) xxvi 

Cairo Fund xxxi 

Resolutions and Recommendations (Hull Meeting) xxxii 

The Presidential Address : 

Some Aspects of Animal Mechanism. By Sir Charles Sherring- 
ton, G.B.E., Pres. R.S 1 

Sectional Presidents' Addresses : 

A.— The Theory of Numbers. By Prof. G. H. Hardy, F.R.S 16 

B. — The Organisation of Research, and Problems in the Carbo- 
hydrates. By Principal J. C. Irvine, C.B.E., F.R.S 25 

C. — The Physiography of the Coal Swamps. By Prof. P. F. 

Kendall 49 

D. — TheProgressionof Lifein theSea. By Dr. E.J. Allen, F.R.S. 79 
E. — Human Geography : First Principles and Some Applications. 

By Dr. Marion I. Newbigin 94. 

F. — Equal Pay to Men and Women for Equal Work. By Prof. 

F. Y. Edgewobth ] 06 

G. — Railway Problems of Australia. By Prof. T. Hudson Beare 133 




H.— The Study of Man. By H. J. E. Peake 150 

I. — The Efficiency of Man and the Factors which Influence it. By 

Prof. E. P. Cathcakt, F.R.S 164 

J. — The Influence of the late W. H. R. Rivers on the Development 

of Psychology in Great Britain. By Dr. C. S. Myers, F.R.S. 179 
K. — The Transport of Organic Substances in Plants. By Prof. 

H. H. Dixon, F.R.S 193 

L. — Educational and School Science. By Sir R. Gregory 204 

M. — The Proper Position of the Landowner in relation to the 

Agricultural Industry. By Rt. Hon. Lord Bledisloe, 

K.B.E 219 

Reports on the State of Science, &c 253 

Transactions of the Sections 351 

References to Publication of Commitnications to the Sections . . 408 

Sectional Communications in extenso : 

Prof. P. Weiss' Remarks in Discussion on the Origin of Magnetism 41 1 

Discussion on the Nitrogen Industry 415 

Imperial Citizenship. By Rt. Hon. Lord Meston 423 

Corresponding Societies Committee's Report 432 

Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies 433 

List of Papers, 1921, on Zoology, Botany, and Prehistoric 

Arcileology of the British Isles, by T. Shbppard 436 

Index 501 

^ritxslj |.ssoriati0ii for il^t g^bbancemcnl 

0f Science, 




Professor Sir C. S. Sherrington, G.B.E., M.D., Sc.D., LL.D., Pres.R.S. 


Professor Sir Ernest Rutherford, D.Sc, LL.D., F.R.S. 


The Righi Hon. the Lord Mayor of 
Hull (Councillor G. F. Wokes, J. P.). 

The Right Hon. Lord Nunburnholme, 
C.B., D.S.O., Lord-Lieutenant of the 
East Riding of Yorkshire. 

The Right Hon. T. R. Ferens, P.O., 
High Steward. 

The Worshipful the Sheriff (Coun- 
cillor T. McLeod). 

Sir James Reckitt, Bart., D.L. 

The Right Rev. Francis Gurdon, 
Bishop of Hull. 

Col. W. G. R. Chichester-Constadle, 

D.L., J.P. 
James Downs, O.B.E., J.P. 
Major A. J. Atkinson, O.B.E., J.P. 
Alderman F. Askew, J.P. 
C. H. Gore, M.A., Headmaster of 

Hymers College. 
.J. E. Forty, M.A., Headmaster of 

Hull Grammar School. 
Dr. E. TuRTON. 


The Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor of 

Liverpool (Frank C. Wilson). 
The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Derby. 

K.G., G.C.V.O., P.C. 
The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Sefton, 

The Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of 

The Rt. Hon. Lord Leverhulme, 


J. G. Adami, C.B.E., M.D., Sc.D., 
LL.D., F.R.S. 

Hugh Rathkone. 

Sir William Herdman, C.B.E., D.Sc, 
LL.D., F.R.S. 

Thomas Rome. 

The Rt. Hon. the Marquis of Salis- 
bury, K.G., G.C.V.O. 

The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Lathom. 



E. H. Griffiths, Sc.D., D.Sc, LL.D., F.R.S. 

Professor J. L. Myres, O.B.E., M.A., 
D.Sc, F.S.A. 


F. E. Smith, O.B.E., F.R.S. 


0. J. R. Hou.^HTH, O.B.E., :\r.A., Binlin,2;ton House, London, W. 1. 


Charles Booth. 


Alfred Holt, D.Sc. I Edwin Thompson. 


Dr. E. F. Armstrong. F.R.S. 

Dr. F. W. Aston, F.R.S. 

J. Barcroft, F.R.S. 

Rt. Hon. Lord Bledisloe, K.B.E. 

E. N. Fallaize. 

Professor H. J. Fletire. 

Professor A. Fowler, F.R.S. 

Sir R. A. Gregory. 

Sir Daniel Hall, K.C.B., F.R.S. 

Sir S. F. Harmer, K.B.E., F.R.S. 

Dr. W. E. Hoyle. 

J. H. Jeans, F.R.S. 

Sir A. Keith, F.R.S. 

Sir J. Scott Keltie. 

Professor A. W. Kirkaldy. 

Dr. P. Chalmers Mitchell, C.B.E., 

■p "ID Q 

Dr.'c! S. Myers, F.R.S. 

Sir J. E. Petavel, K.B.E., F.R.S. 

Sir W. J. Pope, F.R.S. 

Professor A. W. Porter, F.R.S. 

Professor A. C. Seward, 'F.R.S. 

Prof. A. Smithells, C.M.G., F.R.S. 

Sir Aubrey Strahan, F.R.S. 

A. G. Tansley, F.R.S. 

W. Whitaker, F.R.S. 


The Trustees, past Presidents of the Association, the President and Vice- 
Presidents for the year, the President and Vice-Presidents Elect, past and 
present General Treasurers and General Secretaries, past Assistant General 
Secretaries, and the Local Treasurers and Local Secretaries for the ensuing 
Annual Meeting. 

Major P. A. 
LL.D., F.R.S. 


MacMahon, D.Sc. 

Sir Arthur Evans. 
F.R.S., F.S.A. 

M.A., LL.D. 

Hon. Sir Charles A. Parsons, K.C.B., LL.D., D.Sc, F.R.S. 




Sir A. Geikik, K.C.B., O.M., F.R.S. 

Sir James Dewak, F.R.S. 

Rt. Hon. the Earl of Balfour, O.M., 

Sir E. Ray Lankester, K.C.B., F.R.S. 
Sir Francis Darwin, F.R.S. 
Sir J. J. Thompson, O.M., F.R.S. 
Professor T. G. Bonney, F.R.S. 
Sir E. Sharpey Schafer, F.R.S. 

Sir OrjvER Lodge, F.R.S. 

Professor W. Bateson, F.R.S. 

Sir Arthur Schuster, F.R.S. 

Sir Arthur Evans, F.R.S. 

Hon. Sir C. A. Parsons, K.C.B., 

Sir William A. Herdman, C.B.E., 

F R ^ 
Sir T. Edward Thorpe, C.B., 'F.R.S. 


Professor T. G. Bonney, F.R.S. 
Sir E. Sharpey Schafer, F.R.S. 
Dr. D. H. Scott, F.R.S. 

Professor H. H. Turner, F.R.S. 

Dr. J. G. Garson. 

Major P. A. MacMahon, F.R.S. 

Sir W. A. Herdman, C.B.E., F.R.S. 

Professor A. BowLEY. 


I Professor A. W. Kirkaldy. 


The Right Hon. the Lord Mayor (Councillor G. F. Wokes, J.P.). 


T. G. [NIiLNER, F.S.A.A., City Treasurer and Accountant, Guildhall, Hull. 


H. A. Learoyd, M.A., LL.B., Town 

T. Sheppaed, M.Sc, Museums Curator, 
Guildhall, Hull. 




President.— Troi. G. H. Hardy, F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents.— FioL S. E. IMilner, F.R.S. ; Piuf. A. W. Porter, F.R.S. ; 
Dr. G. C. Simpson, F.R.S.; Prof. R, Whiodington. 
Recorder. — Prof. A. O. Raxkine. 
Secretaries. — M. A. Giblett ; Prof. H. R. Hasse ; J. J.acksox ; Prof. A. M. 


Local Secretari/. — H. G. Fordeh. 


President. — Principal J. C. Irvine, C.B.E., F.R.S. 

Vice-Preside7its.—i'i-of. G. T. Morgan. O.B.E.. F.R.S.; Prof. A. Smithells, 
C.M.G., F.R.S.; Prof. W. P. Wynne, F.R.S. 
Becorder. — Prof. C. H. Desch. 
Secretaries. — Dr. H. McCombie ; Dr. E. H. Tripp. 
Local Secretary. — A. R, Tankard, F.I.C. 


President. — Prof. P. F. Kendall. 

Vice-Presidents. — Prof. A. P. Coleman, F.R.S.; Dr. J. S. Flett, O.B.E.. 
F.R.S. ; G. W. Lamplugh, F.R.S. ; Prof. A. C. Seward, F.R.S. ; Prof. W. j'. 
SoLLAS, F.R.S. ; J. W. Stather. 

Recorder. — Dr. A. R. Dwerryhouse, T.D. 

Secretaries.— Yxoi. W. T. CtORDon ; Prof. G. Hicklixg. 

Local Secretary. — A. Chaelesworth. 


President. — Dr. E. J. Allen, F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents. — Prof. W. Garstang ; Prof. E. S. Goodrich, F.R.S.; 
Dr. C. G. JoH. Petersen; C. Tate Regan, F.R.S.; Dr. J. Schmidt; Dr. J. 
Stephenson ; Prof. J. Arthur Thomson. 

Recorder. — Prof. R. D. Laurie. 

Secretaries. — F. Balfour Browne; J)r W. T. Calman, F.R.S. 

Local Secretary. — C. F. Procter. 


President. — Dr. Marion I. Newbigin. 

Vice-Presidents. — G. G. Chisholm ; Dr. Vaughan Cornish; Dr. D. G. 
Hogarth, C.M.G. ; Prof. L. W. Lvde; Councillor J. McLeod ; Miss E. C. 

Recorder. — Dr. R. N. Rudmose Brown. 

Secretaries. — W. H. Barker; F. Debenham, O.B.E. 

Local Secretary. — H. Vigrass. 

President. — Prof. F. Y. Edgeworth, D.C.L. 

Vice-Presidents. — Prof. E. Cannan ; Prof. A. W. KiRK.iLDV ; B. E. .M.4X6TED, 
J.P. ; E. RoBsoN; Sir H. Samman, Bart 
Recorder. — Prof. H. M. Hallsworth. 
Secretary. — A. Radford. 
Local Secretary. — J. E. Forty. 

President. — Prof. T. Hudson Beare. 

Vice-Presidents.— Froi. A. H. Gibson ; Prof. Sir J. B. Henderson ; W. S. 
Hide; Sir J. Nicholson. 

Recordrr.—Vroi. G. W. 0. Howe. 

Secretaries. — Prof. F. B.\cox ; Prof. F. C. Lea. 

Local Secretary. — C. Downs. 



Presidtnt. — H. J. E. Peake. 

Vicrl'rcs'ulents.—'V. A. Joyce, O.B.K. ; Piof. S. CIrant :>rAcCuRDY ; P. K. 
Newbf.rry, O.B.E. ; Prof. F. C!. Parsons; ^[. le Comic de St. Periku. 
Recorder. — E. N. Fallaize. 

S'^cTetiiric-''. — ^Miss R. M. Flemincj ; Dr. F. C. Shrubsall. 
Local Secretary. — Dr. Leslie Jeffcoat. 


President.— Prof. E. P. Cathcart, F.R.S. 

Vke-Pre.^idents.—^'n- Walter :\I. Fletcher, K.B.E., F.R.S. ; Prof. P. T. 
Herring; Prof. A. V. Hill, F.R.S.; Dr. J. Wright Mason; Prof. W. A. 
Osborne; Prof. H. S. Rarer. 

Recorder. — Prof. P. T. Herring (acting, vice Prof. C. Lovatt Evans). 

Secretarij. — Dr. J. H. Burn. 

Local Secretary. — Dr. J. Eraser. 


President.— Y>r. C. S. :Myers, F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents. — Prof. H. Wildon Carr ; Dr. J. Drever ; Dr. C. W. 
KiMMiNS; Prof. T. H. Pear; Dr. Strwart Peyton. 
Recorder. — C. Burt. 
Secretary. — Dr. Ll. Wynn Jones 
Local Secretary.— Miss C. T. Cumberbirch. 


President.— Prof. H. H. Dixon, F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents.— Dr. F. F. Blackman, F.R.S. ; Rt. Hon. Lord Lovat, K.T. ; 
Dr. D. H. ScOTi, F.R.S.; Dr. H. W. T. Wager, F.R.S. 
Recorder. — F. T. Brooks. 
Secretary. — Prof. J. iMcLean Thompson. 
Local Secretary. — J. F. Robinson. 


President. — Prof. Sir R. A. Gregory. 

Ftce-PreS!de?its.— Alderman F. Askew, J.P. ; C. H. Gore; Sir Henrt 
Hadow, C.B.E. ; Prof. T. P. Nunn. 
Recorder. — D. Berridge. 

Secretaries.— C. E. Browne ; Dr. Lilian J. Clarke. 
Local Secretary.— Ut. J. T. Riley. 


President. — Rt. Hon. Lord Bledisloe, K.B.E. 

Vice-Prcsidnits.—^h' Daniel Hall, K.C.B., F.R.S.; C. S. Orwin ; 
Christopher H. Turnor ; Rt. Hon. Lord Y'arborough. 
Recorder. — C. G. T. Morison. 
Secretary. — G. Scott Robertson. 
Local Secretary. — J. Strachan. 

President. — W. Whitaker, F.R.S. 



Date of Meeting 

1831, Sept. 27... 

1832, June 19... 

1833, June 25... 

1834, Sept. 8 ... 

1835, Aug. 10 ... 

1836, Aug. 22... 
i 1837, Sept. 11... 

1838, Aug. 10 ... 

1839, Aug. 26... 

1840, Sept. 17... 

1841, July 20 ... 

1842, June 23... 

1843, Aug. 17... 

1844, Sept. 26 ... 

1845, June 19... 

1846, Sept. 10... 

1847, June 23... 

1848, Aug. 9 ... 

1849, Sept. 12... 

1850, July 21 .., 

1851, July 2 

1852, Sept. 1 ... 

1853, Sept. 3 ... 

1854, Sept. 20... 

1855, Sept. 12 .. 

1856, Aug. 6 .. 

1857, Aug. 26 .. 

1858, Sept. 22 .. 

1859, Sept. 14.. 

1860, June 27 .. 

1861, Sept. 4 .. 

1862, Oct. 1 .. 

1863, Au2. 26 .. 

1864, Sept. 13 .. 

1865, Sept. 6 .. 

1866, Aug. 22 .. 

1867, Sept. 4 .. 

1868, Aug. 19.. 

1869, Aug. 18 .. 

1870, Sept. 14.. 

1871, Aug. 2 .. 

1872, Aug. 14.. 

1873, Sept. 17 .. 

1874, Aug. 19.. 

1875, Aug. 25 

1876, Sept. 6 .. 

1877, Aug. 15.. 

1878, Aug. 14.. 

1879, Aug. 20 .. 

1880, Aug. 25 

1881, Aug. 31 

1882, Aug. 23 . 

1883, Sept. 19., 

1884, Aug. 27.. 
385, Sept. 9 

1886, Sept. 1 ., 

1887, Aug. 31 

1888, Sept. 5 

1889, Sept. 11 . 

1890, Sept. 3 . 

1891, Aug. 19 . 

1892, Aug. 3 . 

1893, Sept. 13. 

1894, Aug. 8 . 

1895, Sept. 11 . 
1893, Sept. 16 

1897, Aug. 18 . 

1898, Sept. 7 . 

1899, Sept. 13. 

Where held 

York . 


Old Life 

Viscount Milton, D.O.L., F.R.S I 

The Rev. W. Buckland, F.R.S 

The Rev. A. Sedgwick, F.R.S 

Edinburgh ' Sir T. M. Brisbane, D.O.L., F.R.S. ...j 

Dublin j The Rev. Provost Lloyd,LL.D., F.R.S.> 

Bristol The Marquis of Lansdowne, F.R.S....! 

Liverpool ' The Earl of Burlington, F.R.S 

Newoastle-on-Tyne... The Duke of Northumberland, F.R.S. 
~ " " The Rev. W. Vernon Harcourt, F.R.S. 

The Marquis of Breadalbane, F.R.S. 

The Rev. "W. Whewell, F.R.S 

The Lord Francis Egerton, F.G.S. ... 

Cork I The Earl of Rosse, F.R.S 

York The Rev. G. Peacock, D.D., F.R.S. ... 

Cambridge I Sir John F. W.Herschel, Bart., F.R.S. 

Southampton I Sir Roderick I. Murchison, Bart., F.R.S. 

Oxford I Sir Robert H. Inglis, Bart., F.R.S. ... 

Swansea i TheMarquis of Northampton, Pres.R.S. 


Birmingham The Rev. T. R.Robinson, D.D., F.R.S 

Edinburgh Sir David Brewster, K.H., F.R.S 

Ipswich G. B. Airy , Astronomer Royal, F.R.S. 

Belfast Lieut.-General Sabine, F.RlS 

Hull William Hopkins, F.R.S 

Liverpool The Earl of Harrowby , F.R.S 

Glasgow The Duke of Argyll, F.R.S 

Cheltenham Prof. 0. G.B.Daubeny,M.D., F.R.S.... 

Dublin The Rev. H. Lloyd, D.D., F.R.S 

Leeds Richard Owen, M.D., D.C.L., F.R.S.... 

Aberdeen H.R.H. The Prince Consort 

Oxford The Lord Wrotte3ley,M.A., F.R.S. ... 

Manchester William Fairbairn, LL.D., F.R.S 

Cambridge The Rev. Professor WiUi3,M.A.,F.R.S. 

Newcastle-on-Tyne. . . Sir William G. Armstrong.O.B., F.R.S. 

Bath Sir Charles Lyell, Bart., M.A., F.R.S. 

Birmingham Prof. J. Phillips, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S. 

Nottingham William R. Grove, Q.O., F.R.S 

Dundee The DukeofBuocleuch, K.O.B.,F.R.S. 

Norwich 1 Dr. Joseph D. Hooker. F.R.S 

Exeter 1 Prof. G. (J. Stokes, D.O.L., F.R.S... 

Liverpool '■ Prof. T. H. Huxley, LL.D., F.R.S. 

Edinburgh j Prof. Sir W. Thomson. LL.D., F.R.S. 

Brighton ] Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S 

Bradford Prof. A. W. Williamson, F.R.S 

Belfast Prof. J. Tyndall. LL.D., F.R.S. 

Bristol [ Sir John Hawkshaw, F.R.S 

Glasgow ' Prof . T. Andrews, M.D., F.R.S. 

Plymouth i Prof . A. Thomson. M.D., F.R.S. ..., 

Dublin I W. Spottiswoode, M.A., F.R.S 

Sheffield Prof. G. J. AUman, M.D., F.R.S. ... 

Swansea A. 0. Ramsay, LL.D., F.R.S 

York ' Sir John Lubbock, Bart., F.R.S. ... 

Southampton i Dr. 0. W. Siemens, F.R.S 

Southport ' Prof. A. Oa.vley, D.C.L., F.R.S 

Montreal ' Prof. Lord Rayleigh, F.R.S 

Aberdeen Sir Lyon Playfair, K.C.B., F.R.S.... 

Birmingham Sir J. W. Dawson, C.M.G., F.R.S ' 

Manchester Sir H. E. Roscoe, D.G.L., F.R.S I 

Bath Sir F. J. Bram well, F.R.S ' 

Newcastle-on-Tyne... Prof. W. H. Flower. C.B., F.R.S i 

Leeds Sir F. A. Abel. C.B.. F.R.S I 

Cardiff Dr. W. Huggins, F.R.S I 

Edinburgh Sir A. Geikie, LL.D., F.R.S i 

Nottingham Prof . J. S. Burden Sanderson, F.R.S. 

Oxford The Marquis of Salisbury,K.G..F.R.S. 

Ipswich Sir Douglas Galton, K.C.B., F.R.S. ... 

I Liverpool Sir Joseph Lister, Bart., Pros. R.S. ... 

Toronto Sir John Evans, K.C.B., F.R.S 

Bristol Sir W. Crookes, F.R.S 

Dover Sir Michael Foster, K.C.B., Sec.R.S.... 

New Life 









































































































1 14 




, 21 










i 20 

* Ladies were not admitted by purchased tickets until 1843. f Tickets of Admission to Sections only. 

[ Continued on p. xii. 




Old ' 








Sums paid 
on account 





353 1 

'or Scientific 















- 1 



















— 1 
















■ — 


922 12 6 









932 2 2 









1595 11 









1546 16 4 








1235 10 11 









1449 17 8 









1565 10 2 








981 12 8 








831 9 9 








685 16 








208 5 4 









275 1 8 









159 19 C 









345 18 









391 9 7 









304 6 7 


















380 19 7 









480 16 4 









734 13 9 









507 15 4 









618 18 2 









684 11 I 









766 19 6 









1111 5 10 









1293 16 6 









1608 3 10 








2065 ( 1289 15 8 









1591 7 10 









1750 13 4 









1739 4 









1 940 



























1472 2 6 



























1151 16 


















1092 4 2 









1128 9 7 









725 16 6 









1080 11 11 









731 7 7 









476 8 1 





' 189 




1 1126 1 11 





, 841 




1083 3 3 









1173 4 


















995 6 








4336 (1 

1186 18 









1511 6 




1 1024 




2441 1417 11 








1776 789 16 8 








1664 1029 10 







' 2070 


864 10 









907 16 6 









583 IS 6 









977 15 6 









1 1104 6 1 









1059 10 8 
















i 1403 


1430 14 2 

1 1899 

t Including Ladies. § Fellows of the Amer'.oau Association were admitted as Hon. Itf embers for this Meeting 

IContinued on p. xiii. 



Table of 

Date of ileetiug 

1900, Sept. 6 .. 

1901, Sept. 11.. 

1902, Sept. 10.. 

1903, Sept. 9 .. 

1904, Aug. 17.. 

1905, Aug. 15.. 

1906, Aug. 1 .. 

1907, July 31 .. 

1908, Sept. 2 .. 

1909, Aug. 25.., 

1910, Aug. 31 .. 

1911, Aug. 30.. 

1912, Sept. 4 .. 

1913, Sept. 10 .. 

1914, July-Sept 

1915, Sept. 7 ... 

1916, Sept. 5 .. 


1919, Sept. 9 .. 

1920, Aug. 24 

1921, Sept. 7 

1922, Sept. 6 

Where held 






South Africa 











Newcastle-on Tyne, 

(So Meeting) 

(No Meeting) 


Cardiff .... 


Sir William Turner, D.C.L.. F.R.S, ... 
Prof. A. W. Rucker, D.Sc, SecJl.S... 

Prof. J. Dewar, LL.D., F.R.S 

Sir Norman Lockyer, K.C.B., F.R.S. 
Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour, M.P., F.R.S. 
Prof. G. H. Darwin, LL.D., F.R.S. ... 
Prof. E. Rav Lankester, LL.D., F.R.S 

Sir David Gill, K.O.B., F.R.S 

Dr. Francis Darwin, F.R.S 

Prof. Sir J. J. Thomson, F.R.S 

Rev. Prof. T. G. Bonney, F.R.S 

Prof. Sir W. Ramsay, K.C.B., F.R.S. 

Prof. E. A. Schafer. F.R.S 

Sir Oliver J. Lodge, F.R.S 

Prof. W. Bateson, F.R.S 

Prof. A. Schuster, F.R.S 

Sir Ai-thur Evans, F.R.S 

Hon. Sir C. Parsons, K.C.B., F.R.S ... 

OlQ Life 

New Life 





































Prof. W. A. Herdman, C.B.E., F.R.S. 

Sir T. E. Thorpe, C.B., F.R.S 

Sir C. S. Sherrington, G.B.E., 
Pres. R.S 







T Including 848 Members of the South African Association. 
XX Grants from the Oaird Fund are not included in this and subsequent sums. 



Annual Meetings — (continued). 











Sums paid 

on account 

of Grants 




for Scientific 

£1072 10 
















920 9 11 


















845 13 2 









887 18 11 









928 2 2 









882 9 









757 12 10 









1157 18 8 









1014 9 9 









963 17 


















845 7 6 









978 17 It: 




539 II 





1086 IS 4 









1159 2 8 









715 18 10 









427 17 2 


— — 






220 13 3 


254 102 






160 U 


Annual Members 






''VuT' *I'>«f'«'B 


Report ""'y 


192 571 





1272 10 

959 13 9 



410 1391 





2599 15 

418 1 10 



294 757 





I6£9 5 

257 7 


•* Including 137 Members of the American Association. 

II Special arrangements were made for Members and Associates joining locally in Australia, see 
Report, 1914, p. 686. The numbers include 80 Members who joined in order to attend the Meeting of 
L'Association Franpaise at Le Havre. 

* Including Students' Tickets, 10*. 

J Including Exhibitioners granted tickets without charge. 



I. Professor Sir Ernest Eutherford, F.E.S., has been unanimously 
nominated by the Council to fill the office of President of the Associa- 
tion for the year 1923-24 (Liverpool Meeting). 

II. The Council have to record their deep sense of the great 
generosity of the Hon, Sir Charles Parsons, K.C.B., F.E.S., ex- 
President, who has placed at their disposal a gift of £10,000 War 
Stock, for the general purposes of the Association. 

Sir Charles Parsons also generously undertook to bear the cost 
of producing and publishing The British Association: A Retrospect, 
1831-1921, which, at his suggestion, has been compiled by Mr. 0. J. E. 
Howarth. A copy of this work has been graciously accepted by His 
Majesty the King, Patron of the Association. 

The thanks of the Council have beeii conveyed to Mrs. Sidney 
Brown, for her gift of £75 as ' the John Perry's Guest Fund ' for use 
by the General Treasurer in case of emergency connected with guests 
of the Association, any remainder to be at the disposal of the Council 
after five years (December 1926). 

III. Eesolutions referred by the General Committee, at the Edin- 
burgh Meeting, to the Council for consideration and, if desirable, for 
action, were dealt with as follows: — 

'(a) The Council welcomed the General Committee's approval of 
their action in encouraging joint discussions between Sections. 

(b) The Council made a standing order under which research com- 
mittees are required to present their reports in duplicate fair copy by 
a date to be determined by the General Officers ; one copy is retained 
for consideration by the General Officers, and the other forwarded on 
receipt to the Eecorder of the Section concerned, who is desired, after 
consultation with the President of his Section, to inform the Secretary 
of the Association whether it is recommended to the General Officers 
that the report be set up in type in advance of the meeting. (Eesolu- 
tion of Section B.) 

(c) The Council ascertained that the special powers conferred by 
them upon the Fuel Economy Committee were no longer required, 
and the Committee therefore assumed the ordinary position and powers 
of research committees. (Eesolution of Section B.) 

(d) The Council obtained from the Board of Education a statement 
relating to Eevised Regulations for Secondary Schools, England, 1921, 
as follows : — 

(1) The effect of Article 7 is to make it necessary that the course of work 
s.hould be so arranged as to secure that every pupil who remains in the school 
till the age of IG shall during his school life have passed through an adequate 
course of graduated instruction in each one of the subjects named in the Article. 

(2) In a Circular issued in 1919 it was stated that Geography ' necessarily 
holds, as an essential part of all proper study of history, an important place 
in all courses belonging to Group B and Group C ; and that the definition of 
Group C embodied in the current Regulations affords special opportunity for 


increased attention to Geography in connection with the worlv in liistory.' This 
view is also applicable to the new Group D courses allowed under the recent 

(3) Geography is not accepted as a main subject in Group A (Science and 

The groups B, C, D, referred to in (2) above refer to main subjects of study 
in advanced courses, and, as defined in the Regulations, consist respectively of 
' (B) Classics, viz., the civilisation of the ancient world as embodied in the 
language, literature, and history of Greece and Rome ; (C) Modern Studies, 
viz., the language, literature and history of the countries of Western Europe 
in modern and mediteval times ; (D) the civilisation (i) of Greece or Rome, and 
(ii) of England or another country of Western Europe in modern times, as 
embodied in their language, literature, and history.' 

The correspondence embodying the above statement was published 
in the Press by order of the Council with the consent of the Board. 
(Eesolution of Sections E and L.) 

Tlie Council, after further correspondence with the Board, were 
gratified to learn from the Draft Regulations for Secondary Schools, 
1922, that the position of Geography in the curriculum was to be mate- 
rially strengthened, and that it was to be included as a principal subject 
in Advanced Courses (Group E). 

(e) The Council conveyed to the Census authorities of the United 
Kingdom a recommendation that the final census report should include 
the population not merely of municipal and other administrative areas, 
but also of urban aggregates. The recommendation was acknowledged 
by the Registrar-General. (Eesolution of Section E.) 

(/) The Council caused inquiry to be made as to the use of 
■Mercator's projection for the international series of aeronautical maps. 
(Resolution of Section E.) Further discussion is anticipated in Sec- 
tion E at the Hull Meeting. 

(g) The Council addressed universities, colleges, and a number of 
societies, chambers of commerce, etc., on the subject of the teaching 
of anthropology. A conference was then convened at Burlington House 
on May 23, 1922, and was attended by representatives of most of the 
bodies addressed, and a committee was nominated, and subsequently 
appointed by the Council, to confer with the Royal Anthropological 
Institute as to the possibility of its acting as a central institution for the 
encouragement of more general interest in anthropological studies, &c. 
(Resolution of Section H.) 

Further consideration was delayed owing to the death of Dr. 
W. H. R. Rivers, President of the Institute, whom the Council deeply 
deplore both as a valued colleague and as President-designate of Section J 
for the Hull Meeting. 

Qi) The Council, on inquiry, found it unnecessary to proceed in 
the matter of a resolution of Section L on the position of music in the 
curriculum of secondary schools. 

(J) The Council referred to the President of the Royal Society and, 
in his discretion, the Conjoint Board of Scientific Societies, the sub- 
stance of resolutions by Section L and the Conference of Delegates 
on the high cost of postage of societies' publications. 

IV. The Council took no action upon a resolution received from the 
Organising Committee of Section K (Botany) proposing that forestry 
should be regarded ns included in the work of that Section, and a 


resolution from the Organising Committee of Section M (Agriculture) 
in opposition to this proposal. 

V. Conference of Delegates and Corresponding Societies 
Committee. — The Council approved the following report and 
memorandum : — 

Corresponding Societies Committee. 

The Secretary of the Committee reported : — 

I brought your letter of March 9 before a meeting of the Corresponding 
Societies Committer (at which there were present Mr. Sheppard (in the chair), 
Mr. Ashton, Dr. Bather, Sir George Fordham, Dr. Garson, Mr. Whitalver, the 
General Secretaries of the Association, and the Secretary of. the Committee), 
and I have to report as follows : — 

(1) That Mr. Ashton and I asked leave to withdraw our names as nominees 
for the Secretaryship and Presidency respectively of the Conference of Delegates 
at Hull, which was granted. 

(2) That it was decided {a) that the suggestion with regard to payment by 
Corresponding Societies should be circulated in general terms among them all, 
so that it might be discussed, at Hull, and (b) that the Council should be 
informed of this action. (Proposed by Professor Myres and seconded by 
Dr. Garson.) 

(3) That all matters as to the Conference of Delegates at Hull should be 
left to the Council, and that the Committee would endeavour to carry out any 
suggestions that the Council might be pleased to make. (Proposed from the 
Chair and carried unanimously.) 

(4) That Mr. Sheppard announced that an Exhibition on the lines suggested 
at the Conference of Delegates at Edinburgh would be arranged at Hull, and 
it was left to the Council to determine whether this should come under the 
heading of the Conference or otherwise. 

{Signed) Wilfred Mark Webb. 

Memorandum by the General Officers. 

The matters referred to the Corresponding Societies Committee by Council 
were considered by the Committee at a meeting on March 17 (as reported above). 

After correspondence with the Chairman of the Committee, and with his 
entire concurrence, the General Officers submit the following suggestions : — 

1. That the Conference at Hull should consider, in the first place, what steps 
should be taken, in accordance with the recommendation of the Committee in 
1883, to induce local societies to group themselves round local [i.e. district) 
sub-centres for the interchange of information and for the more economical 
publication of the results of research. Such groups have been formed already 
in some districts (e.g. the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union, the Lincolnshire Union, 
and the South Eastern Union; and it is understood that a similar union is 
projected for the Scottish societies). 

2. That at Hull the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union should be invited to 
explain its own procedure ; and that in subsequent years it should be an 
instruction to the Conference to elicit similar co-operation within the district 
where the meeting is held. In this way all principal regions of the country 
will be dealt with in time. 

3. That, in future, to ensure such action by the Conference, there should be 
a local chairman and a local committee to assist in preoaring the programme ; 
and that the Corresponding Societies Committee should consist of a compara- 
tively small standing nucleus of members appointed by the Council and em- 
powered to co-opt the local chairman and committee for the time being. 

4. That at Hull the President of the Conference should be a well-known 
naturalist (not necessarily local) especially interested in efficient co-operation 
between local societies. The names of Sii' Sidney Harmer and Mr. W. Whitaker, 
the outgoing Chairman of the Corresponding Societies Committee, have been 
suggested. It would not seem to be necessary on this occasion to expect from 
the President a foimal address. 

5. That the routine work of the Committee should be conducted in future 
by the Office under the direction of the General Officers ; and the local secretarial 


work of each conference by a local secretary appointed by the Council on the 
recommendation of the Local Committee. 

C. That it be an instruction to the Corresponding Societies Committee to 
prepare a general survey of local scientific societies, including information as to 
existing federations and local unions, and as to the organisation of the Congress 
of Societies in union with the Society of Antiquaries, since many of these socii^tios 
undertake work in pliy.'fical and biological science also. 

7. That tl'C Connnittee and the Hull Conference be asked to consider wbetlicr 
the delegates sent to the Confere'ice might be authorised to act as the local 
representatives of the British Association in their respective districts. 

8. Tliat the suggestion made by the Corresponding Societies Committee as 
to a levy or subscription from the Societies be postponed until the Council lias 
received a report from the Confei'ence and considered in what respects the 
advantages derived by the Societies from their connection with the Association 
may be increased, or better understood, as for example in regard to improved 
facilities for publication, and to obtaining lecturers of recognised scientific 

9. That in addition to its work for the local societies, the Corresponding 
Societies Committee be asked to enter into correspondence with the principal 
societies concerned with special departments of science, so as to ensure that 
the British Association is in full touch with the more general needs of scientific 
workers throughout the country and in the Dominions. Some of the principal 
societies in the Dominions are already enrolled m this way, and have sent 
delegates from time to time to the Conferences. 

Mr. W. "Whitaker has been nominated as President of the Con- 
ference at the Hull Meeting. 

The Corresponding Societies Committee has' been nominated as 
follows : The President of the Association {Chairman ex-ojficio), Mr. T. 
Sheppard (Vice-Cliniriuayi), the General Secretaries, the General Trea- 
surer, Dr. P. A. Bather, Mr. O. G. S. Crawford, Prof. P. F. Kendall, 
Mr. Mark L. Sykes, Dr. C. Tierney, Prof. W. W. Watts, Mr. W. 
Whitaker ; with authority to co-opt representatives of the Scientific 
Societies of Liverpool and District. 

VI. The Council have received reports from the General Treasurer 
thi'oughout the year. His accounts have been audited, and are pre- 
sented to the General Committee. 

The Council made the following grants to researcli committees 
from the Caird Fund, additional to those approved by the General 
Committee at the Edinburgh Meeting : — 

Annual Tables of Constants ... ... ... £40 

Inheritance of Colour in Lepidoptera ... ... £25 

Naples Zoological Station ... ... ... £100 

The Council amended the condition attached to the grant to £30 
to the Stone Circles Committee, by resolving that the grant should be 
available if the excavations at Avebury were filled up under the direction 
of the Committee not later than May 15, 1922. 

The second grant of £250 from the Caird Gift for research in 
radio-activity (for the year ending March 24, 1923) has been made to 
Sir Ernest Eutherford. 

The Council decided to establish a series of ' British xAssociation 
Exhibitions ' for attendance at the Hull Meeting, offered to students, 
not above the standing of B.Sc, nominated by the senate of each of 
twenty universities and university colleges, and covei-ing the railway 
fares of such students and their membership if not nlreadj' regular 

1922 r. 

xviii REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1921-22. 

members. The Local Executive Committee at Hull kindly supple- 
mented the above proposal by an offer of financial support and 
hospitality for nominees. 

The Council resolved that life compositions received on and after 
January 1, 1922, shall be treated as capital and invested; subject that 
on the death of any member whose life composition has been thus placed 
to capital account, the amount of that composition shall be brought 
mto the income account of the year. 

The Council have inidertaken, under a suitable agreement, to pay 
the major proportion of the premiums for an endowment policy on the 
life of Mr. O. J. E. Howarth, in order to provide him with a capital 
sum by way of pension at age sixty-five, or his dependants with the 
same in the event of his earlier death, so long as he remains in the 
service of the Association. 

VII. The thanks of the Council have been conveyed to Miss A. 
Ashley, Miss L. Grier, and Mr. A. H. Gibson for their work in 
drawing up and preparing for publication reports on British Finance 
and British Labour (edited by Prof. A. W. Kirkaldy, and published 
by Messrs. Pitman). 

The Council have instituted a new series of British Association 
reprints of selected communications, in standard paper covers. 

The Council have decided to admit advertisements into the publica- 
tions of the Association, and arrangements have been made with an 
advertising agency to this end. 

VIII. The retiring Ordinary Members of the Council are: — 

By seniority: Prof. W. A. Bone, Dr. A. Smith Woodward, 

Prof. W.' E. Scott. 
By least attendance: Sir E. Hadfield, Prof. J. Stanley 
The Council nominated the following new members : — 
Et. Hon. Lord Bledisloe, Dr. W. E. Hoyle, Mr. A. G. Tansley, 
leaving two vacancies to be filled by the General Committee without 
nomination by the Council. 

A further vacancy is created by the lamented death of Dr. W. H. E. 
Elvers, to which I'eference has already been made. 

The full list of nominations of Ordinary Members is as follows: — 

Dr. E. F. Armstrong. 
Dr. F. W. Aston. 
Mr. J. Barcroft. 
Rt. Hon. Lord Bledisloe. 
Professor H. J. Fleure. 
Professor A. Fowler. 
Sir R. A. Gregory. 
Sir Daniel Hall. 
Sir S. F. Harmer. 
Dr. W. E. Hoyle. 
Mr. J. H. Jeans. 

Sir A. Keith. 
Sir J. Scott Keltie. 
Professor A. W. Kirkaldy. 
Dr. P. Chalmers Mitchell. 
Sir J. E. Petavel. 
Sir W. J. Pope. 
Professor A. W. Porter. 
Professor A. C. Seward. 
Sir Aubrey Strahan. 
Mr. A. G. Tanslev. 
Mr. W. Whitaken 

IX. Tlie General Officers have been nominated by the Council as 
follov/s : — 

General Treasurer, Dr. E. H. Griffiths. 

General Secretaries, Prof. J. L. Myres and Mr. F. E. Smith. 


The Council received with great regret Prof. H. H. Turner's intima- 
tion that he would not be able to attend a Meeting in Canada in 1924. 
Prof. Turner himself pointed out that it was desirable, on various 
grounds, that his successor should have experience of the working of 
an Annual Meeting at home before taking part in one overseas, and 
he therefore placed his office at the disposal of the General Committee 
as from the Hull Meeting. The Council are fortunate in securing the 
consent of Mr. F. E. Smith, Director of Scientific Research at the 
Admiralty, to nomination as Prof. Turner's successor. The Council and 
the Association owe a deep debt of gratitude to Prof. Turner for his 
unremitting care for the interests of the Association as General Secretary 
since 1913, and therefore during a time of exceptional difficulty, includ- 
ing as it has the Australian Meeting, the War, the revival of the annual 
meetings since the War, and the period when on the death of the late 
General Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer in 1920 he acted for some 
months as Treasurer in addition to his other work. 

X. Dr. E. H. Griffiths and Prof. J. L. Myres have continued to 
act as representatives of the Association on the Conjoint Board of 
Scientific Societies. 

XI. The following have been admitted as members of the General 
Committee : — 

Dr. R. N. Rudmose Brown. 

Dr. J. B. Firth. 

Mr. C. T. Gimingham. 

Mr. Wilfred Hall. 

Dr. J. W. Heslop-Harrison. 

Dr. H. S. Holden. 

Dr. A. Lauder. 
Prof. P. Marshall. 
Prof. W. H. Pearsall. 
Prof. H. C Plummer. 
Mr. F. E. Smith. 
Dr. T. W. Woodhead. 

XII. The Council have authorised Mr. O. J. R. Howarth to use 
the title of Secretary of the Association, in lieu of Assistant Secretary, 
as pertaining to his office ; and they recommend the amendment of the 
Rules accordingly wherever the latter title occurs (Chh. II., 2: 
TIL, 1;IV., 3; VI., 5; VIIT., 2; IX., 5; XI., 2, 3). 


The British Association Exhibitions, referred to in § VI. of the above 
report, were awarded to eighteen students nominated by the same 
number of universities and colleges, whose travelling expenses (railway 
fares) were met by the Association, which also issued complimentary 
students' tickets of membership to them ; they were entertained in Hull 
by the Local Executive Committee. Six of the universities or colleges 
allowed travelling expenses for eight additional exhibitioners, who also 
received the other facilities indicated above. The exhibitioners were 
enabled to meet the Pi'esident and genenil officers. One of their number 
(Mr. D. C. Ellis, of Loughborough College) was elected secretary for 
tlie purpose of communication by the exhibitioners as a body with the 

general officers and the Press. 




Inaugural General Meeting. 

On Wednesday, September 6, at 8.30 p.m., in the City Hall, Sir 
T. Edward Thorpe, C.B., F.E.S., resigned the office of President of 
the Association to Professor Sir C. S. Sherrington, G.B.E., Pres. E.S., 
who delivered an addi'ess on ' Some Aspects of Animal Mechanism ' 
(for which see p. 1). 

Evening Discourses. 

On Friday, September 8, at 8.30 p.m., in the Cdty Hall, Professor 
W. Garstang delivered a discourse on ' Fishing : Old Ways and New.' 

On Tuesday, September V2, at 8.30 p.m., in theY'ity Hall, Dr. 
F. W. Aston, F.E.S., delivered a discourse on ' The Atoms of Matter: 
their Size, Number, and Construction.' 

Concluding General Meeting. 

The concluding General Meeting was held in the Queen's Hall on 
Wednesday, September 13, at 12 noon, when, on the motion of the 
President, it was resolved by acclamation : — 

' That the British Association do thank the City of Hull.' 


Public or Citizens' Lectures were delivered as follows: — 

Tuesday, September 5, at 8 p.m., in the City Hall: Dr. E. H. 
Griffiths, F.E.S., on ' The Conservation and Dissipation of Energy.' 

Thursday, September 7, at 8 p.m., in the Ecyal Institution: Pro- 
fessor A. P. Coleman, F.E.S., on 'Labrador.' 

Saturday. September 9, at 8 p.m., in the City Hall: Eev. A. L. 
Cortie, S.J., on ' The Earth's Magnetism.' 

Monday, September 11, at 8 p.m., in the City Hall: Sir Westcott 
Abell, K.B.E., on ' The Story of the Ship.' 

Tuesday, Seiatember 12, at 8 p.m., in the Eoyal Institution: Dr. 
A. Smith 'Woodward, F.E.S., on 'The Ancestry of Man.' (The 
accommodation available proved insufficient for the numbers who desired 
to hear this lecture, and many of the public, who were unable to obtain 
entrance, were admitted to Dr. Aston's evening discourse, which was 
being given on the same evening at the City Hall.) 

Dr. Smith Woodward repeated his lecture to the citizens of Scai'- 
borough on Wednesday, September 13. 



Special lectures for children were given in the Majestic Hall, George 
Street (through the courtesy of the Management), upon the following 
dates, at 10.30 a.m. : — 

Thursday, September 7: Prof. J. Arthur Thomson, on ' Creatures of 
the Sea.' 

Friday, September 8: Mr. F. Debenham, O.B.E., on 'The 
Antarctic. ' 

Tuesday, September 12: Prof. H. H. Turner, F.E.S., on 'The 
Telescope and what it tells us. ' 

X \ 1 


July 1, 1921, to June 30, 1922. 

The General Treasurer is able to present a more satisfactory report 
than was possible last year. 

This is chiefly due to : — ■ 

(1) The great generosity of Sir Charles Parsons. 

(2) The legacy of £450 from Mr. T. W. Backhouse. 

(3) The success of the Edinburgh Meeting. 

(4) The economies effected. 

The appreciation in the capital value of our investments is also 
a matter for congratulation. 

We cannot, however, count on a recurrence of such favourable 
events. It should be borne in mind that our administrative, print- 
ing, and other expenses are certain to increase as the activities of 
the Association are extended. I trust, therefore, that the favourable 
report now presented will not banish from the minds of our members 
the need for economy. 


General Treasurer. 



Balance Sheet, 

£ s. 


£ s. 
210 15 

. 10.575 15 
. 9,582 16 


968 11 8 

To Sundry Creditors 

„ Capital Account — 

General Fund per contra 

Caird Fund do. 

Sir F. Bramwcll's Gift for Inquiry into 

Prime Movers, 1931 — 
f50 Consols accumulated to June 30, 1922, 

as per contra . . . . . 53 14 6 

„ Caird Fund Income and Expenditure Account- 
Balance at July 1, 1921 . . . , 
Less Transferred to ("eneral Account 
in accordance with Council Minutes 
dated September 7, 1921 ExcesR of Expenditure over 
Income for Year to June 30, 1922 . 

„ Caird Gift- 
Radio -Activity Investisfation, Balance at 

July 1, 1921 

Add Dividends on Treasury Bonds . 

,, Sir Charles Parsons' Gift .... 

,, John Perry Guest Fund — 

For cases of emersency connected with 
Guests of the Association . 

„ Life Compositions from January 1, 1922 

,, Legacy, T. \A'. Backhouse , . . . 

„ Income and Expenditure Account — 
Balance at July 1, 1921 

Jdd Excess ot Income over Expendi- 
ture for the year . . . ."ifi? 1 

20,212 5 11 



711 11 
137 19 


i73 1: 

n 19 3 

£ s. d. 


Fiuures, 1S21. 
2S2 3 7 

20,208 6 5 

1,008 8 
38 10 






4 5 


2,051 lit 


UfJS 11 


.054 19 

£35,271 10 11 £24,622 9 

I have examined the foregoing Account With the Books and Vouchers, and certify the 

ARTHUR L. BOWLEYl ,,,rf,-/„„ 

A. W. KIRKALDY ) -l"'*"'"^^- 

July 20, 1922. 



June 30, 1922. 





Sundrv Debtors ...... 

Investments on Capital Accounts — 

£4,651 10s. ud. Consolidated 2i per cent. 

Stock at cost ..... 
£3,600 India 3 per cent. Stock at cost 
£879 14s. 9d. £43 Great Indian Peninsula 

" B " Annuitj' at cost 
£810 10s. 3d. £52 12s. Id. War Stock, 

1929/47 at cost .... 

£1,400 War Bonds 5 per cent. 1929/47, 

at cost ...... 

£6,794 Ss. id. Value at date, £7,634 18s. id. 
Caird Fund — 

£2,627 Os. lOd. India 3i per cent. Stock at 

cost ...... 

£2,100 London and North Western Rly. 
Consolidated 4 per cent. Preference 
Stock at cost . . . • • 

£2,500 Canada 3i per cent. 1930/50 
Registered Stock at cost 

£2,500 London and Soutlr Western Rly. 
C;onsolidat«d 4 per cent. Preference 
Stock at cost ..... 

&0.SS9 J-Ss. •.'(Z. Value at datc,€7,3:i9 16s. 4d. 
Sir F. Bratuwell's Gift — 

£50 2i per cent Self-Cumulating Con- 
solidated Stock as per last Balance 
Slieet . . ■ . 103 13 3 

Add accumulations to 

June 30, 1922 . . 7 17 10 


111 11 1 
Caird Gift— ^ , 

£1,000 Registered Treasury Bonds, value 

at date, £1,105 

Sir (;liarles Parsons' Gift — 

£10,000 5 per cent. War Loan, value at 

date, £10,025 

John Perry Guest Fund — 

£96 National Savings Certificates at cost 
Investments out of Income — 

£2,098 Is. 9rf. Consolidated 2i per cent. 
Stock at cost ..... 
£1,500 Registered Treasury Bonds at cost, 
value at date, 4^:2,857 10s. . 


On Deposit 
At Bank 
In hand 

Viz. : — 

Caird Fund 

Caird Gift 

John Perry Guest Fund 

Life Compositions 

Legacy, T. W. Back- 
house . 

General Purposes 

573 12 
46 18 


165 14 

£1,281 16 9 

K. d. 

8. d. 

2 1 3 

3.942 3 3 

3,522 2 6 

827 15 

889 17 6 

1,393 16 11 

10,575 15 2 

2,400 13 3 

2.190 4 3 

2,397 1 6 

2.594 17 3 

49 15 
3 19 6 


657 18 1 

619 7 

4 11 8 

9,582 16 3 

53 14 6 



74 8 


1,281 16 9 

£35,271 10 11 

£ s. d. 

FiBures, 1921. 
259 2 5 

10.575 15 2 

9,-;S2 16 3 

49 15 



2,155 S 

£.24,522 9 6 

same to be correct. I have also verified the balances at the Bankers and the Investments 

W. B. KEEN, 

Chartered Accountant 



Income and 

FOH THE Year Ended 


To Heat and Tji;;htiug .... 

., Stationery ..... 

,, Adverfisintj ..... 

„ Rent 

,, Electric Light Installation , 

,, Postages ...... 

„ Refund re Australian Meeting, 1914 

„ Gift to Miss Sfcu-ardson . . - 

., Travelling Expenses ..... 

„ Recorders and Secretaries' Travelling Expenses 
and Postages ..... 

„ General Expenses .... 

Salaries ..... 
Pension Fund .... 
Printing, Binding, etc. 

Miss Stewardson, as per contra 
Grants to Research Committees, etc. — 

Stress Committee 

Bronze Implements Committee 

Citizenship Committee . 

Parthenogenesis Committee . 

(Colloid Chemistry Committee 

Mathematical Tables Committee 

Conjoint Board 

Zoology Organisation Committee 

Corresponding Societies Committee 

Credit Currency, etc., Comurittee 

Stone Circles Committee 

Kiltorcan Committee 

Malta Committee . 

Fuel Economy Committee 

International Language Committee 

Oenothera Committee . 

Gilbert White Memorial Committee 

Balance being excess of Income over Expend 
ture for the year 

770 19 

908 13 


1,974 13 

















10 17 3 

27 12 9 

8 5 

45 5 5(1) 

97 1 1 


50 G 5(2) 

331 4 7(2) 

124 17 3 



3,S19 G 9 

257 7 
567 1 
;1;4,658 7 5 

£ s. d. 

June HO, lil'21. 

7 13 7 
43 13 11 

■21 13 3 

8 2 6 
90 9 6 
53 12 5 


■5 11 

121 3 4 
171 5 2 

072 10 
l,47o 10 11 

US 1 10 


(1) Tlie electric lighting installation is complete, and the item will not recur. 

(2) The greater distance of Edinburgh than of Cardilf from the homes of most ot the 
Secretaries accounts for the increase. 

(3) The increase is accounted for by the larger issue of the Annual ]^?poit consequent \ipon 
the larger attendance of membeis at Edinburgli, by the incieased circulation of the ' .Advance- 
ment of Science,' and by the printing of the new series of • British Association Repiints.' 

To Grants paid — 

Marine Biological Association 
Seismology Comnuttee 
Table of Constants Committee 
Naples Table Committee 
Bronxe Implements Committee 

(additional grant) 
Lepidopteia Committee 

,, Balance beiny excess of Income over Expe 


s. d. 








s. d. 

s. d. 


100 n 

27i 1!) 


i'aii I'j 


Expenditure Account 

June 30, 1922. 



By Life Compositions to December 31. 1921 
,. Annual Jlcmbers' Subscriptions, Resular 

(Including £7o in advance, 1922/23 
and £2 „ 1023/24) 

,, Annual Mcmbeis' Subscriptions, Temporary 

(Including- tfil in advanci% 1922/23 
and rtl „ 1923/24) 

.. Annual Membeis' Subscript ons, with Report 

(luchidin? £30 in advance, 1922/23) 
.. Transferable Tickets .... 

(Including- £3 los. in advance, 1922'23) 
„ Students' Tickets .... 

,, Jjife Jlenibers' Additional Subscriptions 
,, Refund of Trui-elling Expenses re Australian 
Meeting, 10J4 .... 

,, Donations ...... 

» ,, (Miss Stewardson), as per contra 

„ Interest on Deposits .... 

„ Sales of Publications (including £100 Rovalties) 

„ Transfer from Caird Fund to meet grants as 

per contra ..... 

.. Unexpended Balance of grants returned 
.. Income Tax recovered 
., Dividends : — 

Consols ..... 

India 3 per cent. .... 

Great Indian Deuinsula " B " Annuitv 

War Stock " 

,, (Sir Charles Parsons' Gift) 

Treasury Bonds .... 

Legacy ....... 

By Balance heing excess of Exnenditurc over 
Income ...... 


S. s. d. 

SI 8 

75 12 

23 13 

93 18 


50 12 

£4,()o8 7 5 










Juneao. IB: 














































































(4) This figure represents the (probably) final response to the late General Treasurer's anneal 
to Old Life Members in 19] 9-20. t-e^ai 

(5) On the reduction of the Bank Rate and of interest upon deposits, the sums held on 
deposit have been reduced in favour of investment. 


(ML. jiave ueeii leuucen in javour OL investmenr. 

(j) The royalties were paid in advance upon Messrs. Pitman's publications, ' British Finance ' 
• British Labour.' The increase aptut from this item is due nuiinlv to sales of • The Advance- 
it of Science ' and the ' British Association Reprints.' 


By Dividends on Investments : — 

India 3 i per cent. .... 

Canada 3} per cent, (including extra 
i per cent.) ..... 

London & South Western Railway Con- 
solidated 4 per cent. Preference Stock . 

London & North AVestern Railway Con- 
solidated 4 per cent. Preference Stock 

Income Tax recovered . 
Balance being excess of 
Income for the year 

Expenditure over 






















K s. d. 

263 3 4 
112 IS S 

£375 19 




Grants of monerj, if any, from the Association for expenses connected 
with researches are indicated in heavy type. 

For Committees concerned with the Nucleus Catalogue for the Carnegie 
United Kingdom Trust, see end of this list. 


Seismological Investigations. — Prof. H. H. Turner (Chairman), Mr. J. J. Shaw 
{Secretary), Mr. C. Venion Boys, Dr. J. E. Crombie, Sir H. Danvin, Dr. C. Davison, 
Sir F. W. Dvson, Sir R. T. Glazebrook, Prof. C. G. Knott, Prof. H. Lamb, Sir 
J. Larmor, Prof. A. E. H. Love, Prof. H. M. Macdonald, Prof. H. C. Plummer, 
Mr. W. E. Plummer, Prof. R. A. Sampson, Sir A. Schuster, Sir Napier Shaw, 
Dr. G. T. Walker. £100 (Caird Fund grant). 

To assist work on the Tides. — Prof. H. Lamb {Chairman), Dr. A. T. Doodson (Secretary), 
Colonel Sir C. F. Close, Dr. P. H. Cowell, Sir H. Damin, Dr. G. H. Fowler, 
Admiral F. C. Learmonth, Prof. J. Proudman, Major G. I. Taylor, Prof. 
D'Arcy W. Thompson, Sir J. J. Thomson, Prof. H. H. Turner. £25 (for 

Annual Tables of Constants and Numerical Data, chemical, physical, and technological. 
—Sir E. Rutherford (Chairman), Prof. A. W. Porter (Secretary), Mr. A. E. G. 
Egerton. £40 from Caird Fund, to be applied for from Council. 

Calculation of Mathematical Tables. — Prof. J. W. Nicholson (Chairvian), Dr. J. R. 
Airey (Secretary). Mr. T. VV. Chaundy, Prof. L. N. G. Filon, Prof. E. W. Hobson, 
Mr. G. Kennedy, and Profs. Alfred Lodge, A. E. H. Love, H. M. Macdonald, 
G. B. Mathews", G. N. Watson, and A. G. Webster. £20 (for printing). 

Determination of Gravity at Sea. — Prof. A. E. H. Love (Chairman), Dr. W. G. Duffield 
(Secretary), Mr. T. W. Chaundy, Sir H. Darwin, Prof. A. S. Eddington, Major E. O. 
Henrici, Sir A. Schuster, Prof. H. H. Turner. 

Investigation of the Upper Atmosphere. — Sir Napier Shaw (Chairman), Mr. C. J. P. 
Cave (Secretary), Prof. S. Chapman, Mr. J. S. Dines, Mr. W. H. Dines, Sir R. T. 
Glazebrook, Col. E. Gold, Dr. H. Jeffreys, Sir J. Larmor, Mr. R. G. K. Lemp- 
fert, Prof. F. A. Lindemann, Dr. W. Makower, Sir J. E. Petavel, Sir A. Schuster, 
Dr. G. C. Simpson, Mr. F. J. W. Whipple, Prof. H. H. Turner. 

To aid the work of Establishing a Solar Observatory in Australia. — Prof. H. H. Turner 
(Chairman), Dr. W. G. Dufltield (Secretary), Rev. A. L. Cortie, Dr. W. J. S. Lockyer, 
Mr. F. McClean, Sir A. Schuster. 


Colloid Chemistry and its Industrial Apolications. — Prof. F. G. Donnan (Chairman), 
Dr. W. Clayton (Secretary), Mr. E. Ardem, Dr. E. F. Armstrong, Prof. Sir W. M. 
Bayliss, Prof. C. H. Desch, Dr. A. E. Dunstan, Mr. H. W. Greenwood, Mr. W. 
Harrison, Mr. E. Hatschek, Mr. G. King, Prof. AV. C. McC. Lewis, Prof. J. W. 
McBain, Dr. R. S. Morel!, Profs. H. R. Proctor and W. Ramsden, Sir E. J. 
Russell, Mr. A. B. Searle, Dr. S. A. Shorter, Dr. R. E. Slade, Mr. Sproxton, 
Dr. H. P. Stevens, Mr. H. B. Stocks, Mr. R. Whymper. £5. 

Abisorption Spectra and Chemical Constitution of Organic Compounds. — Prof. I. M. 
Heilbron (Chairmayi), Prof. E. E. C. Baly (Secretary), Prof. A. \Y. Stewart. £10. 



The Old Red Sandstone Rocks of Kiltorcan, Ireland. — Prof. Granville Cole (Chair- 
man), Prof. T. Johnson [Secretary), Dr. J. W. Evans, Dr. R. Kidston, Dr. A. 
Smith Woodward. £16. 

To excavate Critical Sections in the Paleozoic Rocks of England and Wales. — Prof. 
W. W. Watts (Chairman), Prof. W. G. Fearnsides (Secretary), Prof. W. S. Boulton, 
Mr. E. S. Cobbold, Prof. K. J. Garwood, Mr. V. C. Illing, Dr. J. E. Marr, 
Dr. W. K. Spencer. 

The Collection, Preservation, and Sj'steniatie Registration of Photograplis of Geo- 
logical Interest. — Prof. E. J. Garwood (Chairman), Prof. S. H. Reynolds (Secretary), 
Mr. G. Bingley, Dr. T. G. Bonnev, Messrs. C. V. Crook, R. Kidston. and A. S. 
Reid, Sir J. J. H. Teall, Prof. W.W' Watts, and Messrs. R. Welch and W. Whitaker. 

To consider the preparation of a List of Characteristic Fossils. — Prof. P. F. Kendall 
(Chairman), Mr. H. C. Versey (Secretary), Froi. W. S. Boulton, Dr. A, R. Dwerry- 
house. Profs. J. W. Gregorv, Sir T. H. Holland, and S. H. Rej'nolds, Dr. Marie 
C. Stopes, Dr. .J. E. Marr, Prof. W. W. Watts, Mr. H. Woods, and Dr. A. Smith 
Woodward. £5 . 

To investigate the Flora of Lower Carboniferous times as exemplified at a newly 
discovered locality at Gullane, Haddingtonshire. — Dr. R. Kidston (Chairman), 
Prof. W.T. Gordon (So.cretary), Dr. J. S. Flett, Prof. E. J. Garwood, Dr. J. Home, 
and Dr. B. N. Peach. 

To investigate the Stratigraphical Sequence and Paleontology of the Old Red Sand- 
stone of the Bristol district. — Dr. H. Bolton (Chair)niin), Mi-. F. 8. Wallis 
(Secretary), Miss Edith Bolton, Mr. D. E. I. Inne.s, Prof. C. Lloyd Morgan, Prof. 
S. H. Reynolds. £15. 


To aid competent Investigators selected by the Committee to carry on definite pieces 
of work at the Zoological Station at Naples. — Prof. E. S. Goodrich (Chairman), 
Prof. J. H. Ash worth (Secretary), Dr. G. P. Bidder, Prof. F. O. Bower, Dr. W. B. 
Hardy, Sir 8. F. Harmer, Prof. S. J. Hickson, Sir E. Ray Lankester, Prof. W. C. 
Mcintosh. £100 from Caird Fund, subject to approval of Council. 

To summon meetings in London or elsewhere for the consideration of matters affecting 
the intere,sts of Zoology, and to obtain by correspondence the opinion of Zoologists 
on matters of a similar kind, with power to raise by subscription from each 
Zoologist a sum of money for defraying current expenses cf the organisation. — 
Prof. S. J. Hickson (Chairman), Mr. R. A. Wardle (Secretary), Profs. G. C. 
Bourne, A. Dendy, J. Stanle}^ Gardiner, W. Garstang, Marcus Hartog, Sir W. A. 
Herdman, J. Graham Kerr, R. D. Laurie. E. W. MacBride, A. Meek, Dr. P. 
Chalmers Mitchell, Prof. E. B. Poulton, Prof. W. M. Tattersall. 

Zoological Bibliography and Publication. — Prof. E. B. Poulton (Chairman), Dr. F. A. 
Bather (Secretary), Mr. E. Heron-Allen, Dr. W. E. Hoyle, Dr. P. Chalmers 
Mitchell. £1. 

Parthenogenesis. — Prof. A. Meek (Chairman), Mr. A. D. Peacock (Secretary), Mr, 
R. S. Bagnall, Dr. J. W. Heslop-Harrison. £5. 

To nominate competent Naturalists to perform definite pieces of work at the Marine 
Laboratory, Plymouth. — Prof. A. Dendy (Chairman and Secretary), Prof. E. S. 
Goodrich, Prof. J. P. Hill, Prof. S. J. Hickson, Sir E. Ray Lankester. 

Experiments in Inheritance in Silkworms. — Prof. W. Bateson (Chairman), Mrs. Merritt 
Hawkes (Secretary), Dr. F. A. Dixey, Prof. E. B. Poulton, Prof. R. C. Punnett. 

Experiments in Inheritance of Colour in Lepidoptera. — Prof. W. Bateson (Chairman 
and Secretary), Dr. F. A. Dixey, Prof. E. B. Poulton. £2 17s. 


To consider the advisability of making a provisional Population Map of the British 
Isles, and to make recommendations as to the method of construction and 
reproduction. — Mr. H. O. Beckit (Chairman), Mr. F. Debenham (Secretary), 
Mr. J. Bartholomew, Prof. H. J. Fleure, Mr. R. H. Kinvig, Mr. A. G. Ogilvie, 
Mr. O. H. T. Rishbeth, Prof. P. M. Roxby. 



To formuLate sun;gestions for a syllabus for the teaching of Geographj^ both to Matricu- 
lation Standard and in Advanced Courses ; to report upon the present position 
of the geographical training of teachers, and to make recommendations thereon ; 
and to report, as occasion arises, to Council through the Organising Committee 
of Section E, upon the practical working of Regulations issued by the Board of 
Education affecting the position of Geography in Training Colleges and Secondary 
Schools.— Prof. T. P. Nunn {Chairman), Jlr. W. H. Barker (Secretary), Mr. L. 
Brooks, Prof. H. J. Fleure, Mr. 0. J. R. Howarth, Sir H. J. Mackinder, Prof. 
J. L. Myres, and Prof. J. F. Unstead (frum Section E) ; Mr. Adlam, Mr. D. Berridge, 
Mr. C. E. Browne, Sir R. Gregory, Mr. E. Sharwood Smith, Mr. E. R. Thomas, Miss 
0. Wright [Jrom Section L). £10. 


To report on certain of the more complex Stress Distributions in Engineering Materials. 
— Prof. E. G. Coker (C'/itt/rma't). Prof. L. N. G. Pilon and Prof. A. Robertson 
(Secretaries), Prof. A. Barr, Dr. Gilbert Cook, Prof. W. E. Dalby. Sir J. A. 
Ewing, Messrs. A. R. Fulton and -T. J. Guest. Dr. B. P. Haigh, Profs. 
Sir J. B. Henderson, C. E. Inglis, F. C. Lea, A. E. H. Love, and W. Mason, 
Sir J. E. Petavel, Dr. F. Rogers, Dr. W. A. Scoble, Mr. R. V. Southwell, 
Dr. T. E. Stanton, Mr. C. E. Stromeyer, Mr. J. S. Wilson. £25. 


To report on the Distribution of Bronze Age Implements. — Prof. J. L. Myres (Chair- 
man), Mr. H. Peake (Secretary), Dr. E. C. R. Armstrong, Mr. Leslie Armstrong, 
Dr. G. A. Auden, Mr. H. Balfour, Mr. L. H. D. Buxton, Mr. 0. G. S. Crawford, 
Sir W. Boyd Dawkins, Prof. H. J. Fleure, Mr. G. A. Garfitt, Prof. Sir W. Ridgeway. 
£100 (£20 from general funds ; £80 from Caird Fund to be applied for 
from Council.) 

To conduct Archaeological Investigations in Malta. — Prof. J. L. Myres (Chairman) , 
Sir A. Keith (Secretary), Dr. T. Ashby, Mr. H. Balfour, Dr. R. R. Marett, Mr. H. 
Peake. £25. 

To conduct Explorations with the object of ascertaining the Age of Stone Circles. — 
Sir C. H. Read {Chairman), Mr. H. Balfour (Secretary), Dr. G. A. Auden, Prof. 
Sir W. Ridgeway, Dr. J. G. Garson, Sir Arthur Evans, Sir W. Boyd Dawkins, 
Prof. J. L. Myres, Mr. H. J. E. Peake. 

To excavate Early Sites in Macedonia. — Prof. Sir W. Ridgeway (Chairman), Mr 
S. Casson (Secretary), Prof. R C. Bosanquet, Dr. W. L. H. Duckworth, Prof. 
J. L. M.yres. 

To report on the Classification and Distribution of Rude Stone Monuments. — Dr 
R. R. Marett (Chairman), Prof. H. J. Fleure (Secretary), Mr. 0. G. S. Crawford, 
Miss R. M. Fleming, Mr. G. Marshall, Prof. J. L. Myres, Mr. H. J. E. Peake. £5. 

The Collection, Preservation, and Systematic Registration of Photographs of Anthro- 
pological Interest. — Sir C. H. Read (Chairman), Mr. E. N. Fallaize (Secretary^, 
Dr. G. A. Auden, Dr. H. O. Forbes, Mr. E. Heawood, Prof. J. L. Myres, Mr. E. 

To conduct Archseological and Ethnological Researches in Crete. — Dr. D. G. Hogarth 
(Chairman), Prof. J. L. Myres (Secretary), Prof. R. C. Bosanquet, Dr. W. L. H. 
Duckworth, Sir A. Evans, Prof. Sir W. Ridgeway, Dr. F. C. Shrubsall. 

To co-operate with Local Committees in excavation on Roman Sites in Britain. — 
Prof. Sir W. Ridgeway (Chairman), Mr. H. J. E. Peake (Secretary), Dr. T. Ashby, 
Mr. Willoughby Gardner, Prof. J. L. Myres. 

To report on the present state of knowledge of the Ethnography and Anthropologj' 
of the Near and Middle East. — Dr. A. C. Haddon (Chairman), Mr. E. N. Fallaize 
(Secretary), Mr. S. Casson (Secretary), Prof. H. .). Fleure, Mr. H. J. E. Peake. £10. 


To report on tlie present state of knowledge of the relation of early Palaeolithic 
Implements to Glacial Deposits. — Mr. H. J. E. Peakc (Chairman), Mr. E. N. 
Fallaize (Secretary), Mr. H. Balfour, Mr. M. Burkitt. 

To investigate the Lake Villages in the neighbnurliood of CJiastonhury in connection 
with a Committee of the Somerset Arch.'eiilogical and Natural History Society. — 
Sir W. Boyd Dawkins (Chnirnnin^, Mr. VViiloiiiihln (iardner (Secretary), Mr. H. 
Balfour, Mr. A. Bulleid, Mr. F. S. Palmer, Mr.H. d. E. Pe.ike. 

To co-operate with a Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute in the explor- 
ation of Caves in the Derbyshire district. — Sir W. Boyd Dawkins (CJiairman), 
Mr. G. A. Garfitt (Secrctfiry), Mr. Leslie Armstrong, Mr. E. N. Fallaize. Dr. 
R. R. Marett, Mr. H. .1. R. Peake, Prof. W. M. Tattersall. £25. 

To investigate processes of Growth in Children, with a view to disruvering Differences 
due to Race and Sex. and further to study Racial Difference.s in Women. — Sir 
A. Keith (Chrnrmnn), Piof. H. ,(. Fleure '(Secretary), Dr. A. [^ow. Prof. F. G. 
Parsons, Dr. F. C. Shrubsall. £20. (A proportion not exceeding one-half 
of this grant may be expended on railway fares incurred in course of the 

To conduct Excavations and prepare a Survev of the C'oldrum Megalithic Monument. — 
Sir A. Keith (Chairman), Prof. H. J. Fleure (Secretnn/), Mr. O. G. S. Crawford, 
Mr. H. J. E. Peake. £20. 

To report on the existence and distribution of Megalithic Monuments in the Isle of 
Man.— Prof. H. J. Fleure (Chairman). Dr. Cyril Fox (Secretary). Mr. O. G. S. 
Crawford, Sir W. Herdman, Mr. P. M. C. Kermode, Rev. t'anon Quine. 

To report on proposals for an Anthropological and Arch.Tological Bibliography, with 
pjwer to co-operate with other bodies. — Dr. A. C. Haddon (Chairman), Mr. E. 
N. Fallaize (Secretary), Dr. T. Ashbv. Mr. W. H. Barker. Mr. (). G. S. Crawfonl, 
Prof. H. J. Fleure, Prof. J. L. Myres. Mr. H. .1. E. Peake. Dr. D. Randall-Maclver, 
Mr. T. Sheppard. 

To report on the best means of publishing a monograph by Dr. Fox on the Archaeology 
of the Cambridge Region. — Dr. A. C. Haddon (Chairman), Mr. H. J. E. Peake 
(Secretary), Prof. H. J. Fleure, Prof. J. L. Myres. 

To report on the progress of Anthrojjological Tea3hing in the present century — 
Dr. .A. C. Haddon {Chairman), Prof. J." L. Mvres (Secretary), Prof. H. J. Fleure, 
Dr. R. R. Marett, P. of. C. G. Seligman. 


Efficiency of Movement in Men equipped with Artificial Limbs. — Prof. E. P. Cathcart 
(Chairman), Prof. A. V. Hill (Secretary), Dr. Hort. £20> 

Muscular Stiffness in relation to Respiration. — Prof. A. V. Hill (Chairman), Dr. Ff. 
Roberts (Secretary), Mr. J. Barcroit. £15. 


The Place of Psychology in the Medical Curriculum. — Prof. G. Robertson (Chairman), 
Dr. W. Brown (Secretary), Dr. J. Drevcr, Dr. R. G. Gordon, Dr. C. S. ^Myers, Prof. 
T. H. Pear, Dr. F. C. Shrubsall. 

Vocational Tests. — Dr. C. S. Myers (Chairman), Dr. G. H. Miles (Secretary), Mr. C. 
Burt, Prof. T. H. Pear, Mr.F. Watts, Dr. L. Wynn-Jones. 


To continue Breeding Experiments on Oenothera and other Genera. — Dr. A. B. 
Rendle [Chairman^ Dr. R. R. Gates (Secretary), Prof. W. Batc.-on, Mr. W . 
Brierley, Prof. 0. V. Darbishire, Dr. M. C. Rayner. £2. 8s. 6d. 

Primary Botanical Survey in Wales. — Dr. E. N. Miles Thomas (Chairman), Prof. 
0."^^ Darbishire (Secretary), Miss A. J. Davey, Prof. McLean, Prof. F. W. Oliver, 
Prof. Stapledon, Mr. A. G. Tansley, .Miss E."Vachell, Miss Wortham. £10. (A 
proportion not exceeding three-cjuartcrs of this grant may be expended on railway 
fares incurred in course of the investigation.) 



Training in Citizenship. — Rt. Rev. J. E. C. Welldon {Chairman), Ladv Shaw (Secretary), 
Mr. C. H. Blakiston, Mr. G. D. Dunkerlev. Mr. W. D. Egsar, Mr. J. C. Maxwell 
Garnett, Sir R. A. Gregory, Mr. Spurley Hey, Miss E. P. Hughes, Sir T. Morison. 

To inquire into the Practicability of an International Auxiliary Language. — Dr. H. 
Foster Morley {Chairman), Dr. E. H. Tripp {Secretary). Mr. E. Bullough, Prof. 
J. J. Findlay, Sir Richard Gregory, Mr. W. B. Hardy, Dr. C. W. Kimmins, 
Sir E. Cooper Perry, Mr. Nowell Smith, Mr. A. E. Twentyman. 


Corresponding Societies Committee. — The President of the Association (Chairman 
ex-officio), Mr. T. Sheppard (V ice-Chairman), the General Secretaries, the General 
Treasurer, Dr. F. A. Bather, Mr. 0. G. S. Crawford, Prof. P. F. Kendall, Mr. 
Mark L. Sykes, Dr. C. Tiemey, Prof. W. \\. Watts, Mr. W. Whitaker ; with 
authority to co-opt representatives of the Scientific Societies of Liverpool and 
District. £40 for preparation of bibliography and report. 


Appomted by the General Committee to co-operate loith the Carnegie 
United Kingdom Trust in j^reiMring the Scientific Sections of a 
Nucleus Catalogue of Books for the use of Rural Libraries. 

Section B (Chemistry). — Prof. C. H. Deseh (Chairman), Dr. A. Holt (Secretary), 
Dr. C. H. Keane. 

Section C (Geology). — Dr. J. S. Flett (Chairman), Mr. W. Whitaker (Secretary), 
Dr. J. W. Evans. 

Section D (Zoology). — Sir S. F. Harmer (Chairman), Dr. W. T. Caiman (Secretary], 
Prof. J. H. Ashworth, Dr. P. Chalmers Mitchell. 

Section E (Geography). — Dr. H. R. Mill (Chairman), Dr. R. N. Rudmose Brown 
(Secretary), Mr. G. G. Chisholm, Mr. 0. J. R. Howarth, Dr. Marion Newbigin. 

.' ECTiON F (Economics). — Prof. E. Cannan (Gonrener), Prof. H. M. Hallsworth, 
Miss Jebb. 

Section H (Anthropology). — Dr. E. S. Hartland (Chairman), Mr. E. N. Fallaize 
(Secretary), Mr. W. Crooke, Prof. H. J. Fleure. 

Section I (Physiology). — Prof. H. E. Roaf (Chairman), Dr. C. Lovatt Evans 

Section J 'Psychology). — Dr. J. Drever (Chairman), Miss Bickersteth (Secretary), 
Dr. H. J. Watt. 

Section K (Botany). — Dr. H. W. T. Wager (Chairman), Mr. F. T. Brooks (Secretary), 
Prof. W. Neilson Jones, Prof. F. E. Weiss. 

Section L (Education). — Dr. A. Darroch (Chairman), Prof. T. P. Nunn. 



An unconditional gift of £10,000 was made to the Association at the 
Dundee Meeting, 1912, by Mv. (afterwards Sir) J. K. Caird, LL.D., of 

The Council, in its report to the General Committee at the Birming- 
ham Meeting, made certain recommendations as to the administration 
of this Fund. These recommendations were adopted, with the Report, 
by the General Committee at its meeting on September 10, 1913. 

The following allocations have been made from the Fund by the 
Council to September 1922. 

Naples Zoological Station Committee (p. xxvii). — jE50 (1912-13) ; £100 
(1913-14) ; £100 annually in future, subject to the adoption of the Committee's 
report (reduced to X'50 during war ; suspended, 1920-21, pending approval by 
Council of Committee's report on future control of the Station, etc.). 

Seis)nolo(jy Comniittec (p. xxvi). — £100 (1913-14) ; £100 annually in future, 
subject to the adoption of the Committee's report. 

Radiotelegrapliic Committee (p. 273).— £500 (1913-14). 

Magnetic Re-survey of the British Isles (in collaboration with the Eoyal 
Society).— £250. 

Committee on Determination of Gravity at Sea (p. xxvi). — £100 (1914-15)- 

Annual Tables of Constants (p. xxvi). — £40. 

Mr. F. Sargent, Bristol University, in connection with his Astronomical 
Work.~£10 (1914). 

Organising Committee of Section F (Economics), towards expenses of an 
Inquiry into Outlets for Labour after the War. — £100 (1915). 

Rev. T. E. R. Phillips, for aid in transjdanting his private observatory. — 
£20 (1915). 

Committee on Fuel Economy (p. 277).— £25 (1915-16), £10 (1919-20). 
Committee on Training in Citizenship (p. xxx). — £10 (1919-20). 
Geophysical Committee of Royal Astronomical Society. — £10 (1920). 
Conjoint Board of Scientific Societies. — £10 (1920) ; £10 (1921). 
Marine Biological Association, Plymouth. — £200 (1921). 

In and since 1921, the Council have authorised expenditure from 
acciuiiulated income of the fund upon grants to Research Committees 
approved by the General Committee by way of supplementing sums 
available from the general funds of the Association, and in addition to 
grants ordinarily made by, or applied for from, the Council. 

Sir J. K. Caird, on September 10, 1913, made a further gift of £1,000 
to the Association, to be devoted to the study of Radio-activity. In 
1920 the Council decided to devote the principal and interest of this gift 
at tlie rate of £250 jier annum for five years to purposes of the research 
intended. The grants for the year ending March 24, 1922 and 1923 
were made to Sir E. Rutherford, F.R.S. 



The following Eesolutions and Recommendations were referred to 
the Council (unless otherwise stated) by the General Committee at Hull 
for consideration and, if desirable, for action : — 

From Section I). 

That the Council bu ;u.ked to support Dr. Potts in an application tu the 
Committee on Sea Action of the Institution of Civil Engineers, for a grant in 
aid of his investigation upon the life-history of Teredo. 

From Section E. 

The Committee of Section E draws the attention of Council to the new 
Regulations for Secondary Schools issued by the Board of Education, and asks 
the Council to express to the Board its gratification at the inclusion of Group E 
(Advanced Courses) which allows Geography to be taken as an advanced study 
in combination with two other approved subjects. 

(The General Committee instructed the General Secretaries to take imme- 
diate action on the above resolution.) 

From Section G. 

Although making no definite suggestion to the Council as to the method 
of procedure, the Committee of Section G would view with favour a scheme 
for raising a fund for the relief of distinguished aged scientists who are in 
need as the result of the present conditions on the Continent of Europe. 

Fro)ii Section L. 

That Section L is cordially in favour of continuing the lectures for children, 
but hopes that in future such lectures may be arranged for the afternoons 
rather than the mornings in order that they may not clash with the meetings 
of the Sections. 

(The General Committee considered it unnecessary to refer the above resolu- 
tion to the Council, on receiving the General Officers' assurance that the matter 
would be borne in mind.) 

From the Conimiltee oj Recumiue)idatio)is. 

{a) That the Council be requested to consider the following resolution from 
the Museums Association : — That in the opinion of the ^Museums Association 
the time has arrived when it is desirable in the interest of the country to 
appoint a Royal Ccmmission to investigate and report upon the work of the 
Museums of the United Kingdom in relation to industries and general culture. 

{b) That if, in any application for a grant from the funds of the Association, 
any payment of travelling expenses (fares only) is contemplated, the amount to 
be so allocated must be stated in the application, and the payment of such 
expenses expressly sanctioned by the Committee of Recommendations and tiie 
General Committee, or, in the event of subsequent emergency, by the Council. 


From the Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies. 

{«) To invite the scientific societies of Liverpool and District, on the occasion 
of the British Association's visit in 1923, to consider what further provision, if 
any, is desirabla for co-operation between them in the advancement of Science, 
as, for example, for scientific researcli, for the discussion of regional problems, 
and for the publication of results. 

(b) To invite the Delegates sent to the Conference by the Corresponding 
Societies to render any assistance in their power in making known, in their 
respective districts, the objects and methods of the British Association, and 
to communicate to the .Secretary of the Association the names and addresses of 
scientific workers and others to whom the preliminary programme of the next 
meeting should be sent. 

(c) To call the attention of the Council to the inadequacy, discontinuity, 
and occasional overlap of scientific bibliographies already issued, and to 
request the Council to consider what steps may be taken, by the Association 
itself or otherwise, to make more systematic provision for the bibliography of 
the departments of science represented in the Sections of the Association. 

(d) To request the Council to make known to the principal Government 
Departments, in any way which may seem desirable, the assistance which may 
be obtained by them through the local societies in scientific inquiries involving 
regional distributions. 

(c) To call the attention of Scientific Societies to the necessity of retaining 
in all offprints from their publications the original numbering of the pages, and 
of providing full reference to the date, place, and title of the publication from 
which they are extracted. 

(/) To call the attention of the Council to the value of the Regional Exhibit 
arraliged for the Hull Jleeting by the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union, and to 
suggest that it is desirable that such an exhibit should, if possible, be included 
regularly in the programme of the Annual Meeting. 

(17) To inform the Conference of Delegates that the present practice of the 
Association is to present a copy of the Annual Report to each Society sending 
a Delegate to the Conference, recognising the practice by which one Delegate 
sometimes represents more than one Society, and to recommend that in future 
no Delegate be entitled to more than one copy, however many Societies he may 
represent; but that if any Society desires a copy of the Report it may be 
supplied at the reduced price of ten shillings. 

The General Committee also formulated the following resolution: — 
That in view of the material hardship imposed upon members attending the 
meetings of the British Association through the continuance of the unduly 
high railway charges, it is expedient that the Council should be requested to 
investigate the possibility of joint action being taken w'itli other kindred 
associations with a view to obtaining a restoration of the customary travelling 
facilities and concessions allowed to such organisations before the war. 



Section A. — Extended abstract of Prof. P. Weiss's remarks in the Discussion 
on the Origin of Magnetism. (See p. 411.) 

Section B. — Rerort of Discussion on the Nitiogen Industry. (See p. 415.) 

Section L.— Lord Meston's Address on Imperial Citizenship. (See p. 423.) 


[12 MAR 23 I 




Professor Sir C. S. SHEREINGTON, G.B.E., ScD., D.Sc, 

LL.D., Pres.E.S., 


It is sometimes said that Science lives too much to itself. Once a 
year it tries to remove that reproach. The British Association meeting 
is that annual occasion, with its opportunity of talking in wider gather- 
ings about scientific questions and findings. Often the answers are 
tentative. Commonly questions most difficult are those that can be 
quite briefly put. Thus, ' Is the living organism a machine?' 'Is 
life the running of a mechanism? ' The answer cannot certainly be 
as short as the question. But let us, in the hour before us, examine 
some of the points it raises. 

Of course for us the problem is not the why of the living organism 
but the how of its working. If we put before ourselves some aspects 
of this working we may judge for ourselves some at least of the 
contents of the question. It might be thought that the problem is 
presented at its simplest in the simplest forms of life. Yet it is in 
certain aspects more seizable in complex animals than it is in simpler 
forms. And so let us turn thither. 

Our own body is full of exquisite mechanism. Many exemplifica- 
tions could be chosen. There is the mechanism by which the general 
complex internal medium, the blood, is kept relatively constant in its 
chemical reaction, despite the variety of the food replenishing it and 
the fluctuating draft from and input into it from various organs and 
tissues. In this mechanism the kidney cells and the lung cells form 
two of the main sub-mechanisms. And one part of the latter is the 
delicate meclianism linking the condition of the air at the bottom of 
tliG lungs with tliat particular part of the nervous system which manages 
the ventilation of the lungs. On that ventilation depends the proper 
respiratory condition of the blood. The nervous centre which manages 
the rhythmic breathing of the chest is so responsive to the respiratory 

c 2 


state of the blood supplied to itself that, as shown by Drs. Haldane 
and Priestley some years ago, the very slightest increase in the partial 
pressure of carbon dioxide at the bottom of the lungs at once suitably 
increases the ventilation of the chest. And dovetailed in with this 
mechanism is a further one working for adjustment in the same 
direction. As the lung is stretched by each inbreath the respiratory 
condition of the nervous centre, already attuned to the respiratory 
quality of the air in the lungs, sets the degree to which inspiration 
shall fill them ere there ensue the opposite movement of outbreath. 
All this regulation, although the nervous system takes part in it, is a 
mechanism outside our consciousness. Part of it is operated chemi- 
cally ; part of it is reflex reaction to a stimulus of mechanical kind, 
though, as sucli unperceived. The example taken has been nervous 
mechanism. If in the short time at disposal we confine our examples 
to' the nervous system, to do so will have the advantage that in one 
respect that system presents our problem possibly at its fullest. 

To turn, therefore, to another instance, mainly nervous. Muscles 
execute our movements ; they also maintain our postures. This postural 
action of muscles is produced by nerve-centres which form a system 
more or less their own. One posture of great importance thus main- 
tained is that of standing, the erect posture. This involves due co- 
operation of many separate muscles in many parts. Even in absence 
of those portions of the brain to which consciousness is adjunct the 
lower nerve-centres successfully bring about and maintain all this 
co-operation of muscles which results in the erect posture. For 
instance, the animal in this condition, if set on its feet, stands. It 
stands reflexly. More than that, it adjusts its standing posture to 
required conditions. If the pose of one of the limbs be shifted that 
shift induces a compensatory shift in the other limbs, so that stability 
is retained. A turn of the creature's neck sidewise and the body and 
limbs of themselves take up a fresh attitude appropriate to the side- 
turned head. Each particular pose of the neck telegraphs off to the 
limbs and body a particular posture required from them, and that 
posture is then maintained so long as the neck posture is maintained. 
Stoop the creature's neck and the forelimbs bend down as if to seek 
something on the floor. Tilt the muzzle upward and the forelimbs 
straighten and the hind limbs crouch as if to look up at a shelf. Purely 
reflex mechanism provides most kinds of ordinary postures. 

Mere reflex action provides these harmonies of posture. The nerve- 
centres evoke for this purpose in the required muscles a mild, steady 
contraction, with tension largely independent of the muscle length and 
little susceptible to fatigue. Nerve-fibres run from muscle to nerve- 
centre. By these each change in tension or length of the muscle 
is reported to the activating nerve-centre. They say ' Tension rising, you 


must slacken,' or conversely. There also play a part organs whose 
stimulation changes with change of their relation to the line of gravity. 
Thus, a pair of tiny water-filled bags set one in each side of the skull. In 
each of these a patch of cells endowed with a special nerve. Attached 
to hairlets of these cells a tiny crystalline stone whose pi'essure acts as 
a stimulus through them to the nerve. The nerve of each gravity-bag 
connects, through chains of nerve-oentres, with the muscles of all the 
limbs and of one side of the neck. In the ordinary erect posture of the 
head the stimulation by the two bags right and left is equal, because the 
two gravity-stones then lie symmetrically. The result, then, is a 
symmetrical muscular effect on the two sides of the body, namely, the 
normal erect posture. But the right and left bags are mirror pictures 
of each other. If the head incline to one side the resulting slip, 
microscopic though it be, of the two stones on their nerve-patches makes 
the stimulation unequal. And fi'om that slip there results exactly the 
right unsymmetrical action of the muscles to give the unsymmetrical pose 
of limbs and neck required for stability. That is the mechanism dealing 
with limbs and trunk and neck. An additional one postures the head 
itself on the neck; a second pair of tiny gravity-bags, in which the 
stones hang rather than press. These, when any cause inchning the 
head has passed, bring the head back at once to the normal symmetry 
of the erect posture. And these same bags manage the posturing of 
the eyes. The eye contributes to our orientation in space; for instance, 
to perception of the vertical. And for this the eyeball, that is the 
retina, has to be postured normally. The pair of little gravity-bags 
in the skull, which act to restore the head posture, act also on the 
eyeball muscles. Whichever way the head turns, slopes, or is tilted, 
these adjust the eyeball's posture compensatingly, so that the retina 
still looks out upon its world from an approximately noi-mal posture, 
retaining its old verticals and horizontals. As the head tvsdsts to the 
right the eyeball's visual axis untwists from the right. These reactions 
of head and eyes and body unconsciously take place when a bird wheels 
or slants in flight or a pilot stalls or banks his aeroplane. And all 
this works itself involuntarily as a pure mechanism, whose analysis we 
owe mainly to Prol. Magnus and Dr. de Kleijn, of Utrecht. 

True, in such a glimpse of mechanism v/hat we see mainly 
is how the machinery starts and what finally comes out of it ; 
the intermediate elements of the process we know less of. Each 
insight into mechanism reveals more mechanism still to know. 
Thus, hardly was the animal's energy balance in its bearing 
upon food intake shown comfoi'tably to confomi with thermodynamics 
than came evidence of the so-called 'vitamines.' Unsuspected 
influence on nutrition by elements of diet taken in quantities so 
small as to make their mere calorie value quite negligible ; thus, for 


the growing rat, to quote Professor Harden, a quantity of vitamin A of 
the order of 5^0 milhgram a day. Again, as regards sex determination, 
the vahied discovery of a visible distinction betvi^een the nuclear threads 
of male and female brings the further complexity that in such cases 
sex extends throughout the whole body to every dividing cell. Again, 
the association of hereditary unit-factors, such as body colour or shape 
of wing, to visible details in the segmenting nucleus seemed to simplify 
by epitomising. But further insight tends to trace the inherited unit 
character not to the chromosome itself, but to balance of action between 
the chromosome group. As with the atom in this heroic age of 
physicists, the elementary unit assumed simple proves, under further 
analysis, to be itself complex. Analysis opens a vista of further 
analysis required. Knowledge of muscle contraction has, from the work 
of Fletcher and Ploipkins on to Hill, Hartree, Meyerhof, and others, 
advanced recently more than in many decades heretoifore. The engineer 
would find it difficult to make a motive machine out of white of egg, 
some dissolved salts, and thin membrane. Yet this practically is what 
Nature has done in muscle, and obtained a machine of high 
mechanical efficiency. Perhaps human ingenuity can learn from it. 
One feature in the device is alternate development and removal of 
acidity. The cycle of contraction and relaxation lies traced to the 
production of lactic acid from glycogen and its neutralisation chiefly by 
alkaline proteins ; and physically tO' an admirably direct transition from 
chemical to mechanical effect. What new steps of mechanism all this 
now opens ! To arrive at one goal is to start for others. 

But knowledge, while making for complexity, makes also for 
simplification. There seems promise of simiDlification as to the 
mechanism of reflex action. Reflex action with surprising nicety calls 
into play just the appropriate muscles, and adjusts them in time and in 
the suitable grading of their strength of pull. The moderating as well 
as the driving of muscles is involved. Also the muscles have to pass from 
the behest of one stimulus to that of another, even though the former 
stimulus still persist. For these gradings, coadjustments, restraints, 
and shifts various separate kinds of mechanism were assumed to exist 
in the nerve-centres, although of the nature of such mechanisms little 
could be said. Their processes were regarded as peculiar to the nerve- 
centres and different from anything that the simple fibres of nerve- 
trunks outside the centres can produce. We owe to Lucas and Adrian 
the demonstration that without any nerve-centre whatever an excised 
nerve-trunk with its muscle attached can be brought to yield, besides 
conduction of nerve impulses, the extinction or attenuation or augmenta- 
tion of them. That is remarkable, because the impulse is not gradable 
by grading the strength of the stimulus. Any stimulus of strength 
sufficient to excite the nerve-fibre at all, excites in it an impulse which 


is the fullest which the nerve-fibre can at the time give. The energy 
of the impulse comes not from the stimulus, but from the fibre itself. 
Lucas and Adrian have shown it gradahle in another way. Though the 
nerve impulse is a quite brief affair — it lasts about ^^i^^ second at any 
one point of the nerve — it leaves behind it in the nerve-fibre a short 
phase during which the fibre cannot develop a second impulse. Then 
follows rapid but gradual recovery of the strength of impulse obtainable 
from the fibre. That recovery may swing past normal to super-normal 
before final return to the old resting state. Hence, by appropriately 
timing the arrival of a second impulse after a first, that second impulse 
may be extinguished or reduced or increased or transmitted without 
alteration. This property oi grading impulses promises a. complete key 
to reflex action if taken along with one other. The nervous system, 
including its centres, consists ol nothing but chains of cells 
and fibres. In these chains the junctions of the links appear 
to be points across which a large impulse can pass, though a 
weak one will fail. At these points the grading of impulses by 
the interference process just outlined can lead, therefore, to narrow- 
ing or widening of their further distribution, much as in a railway 
system the traffic can be blocked or forv,'arded, condensed or scattered. 
Thus the distribution and quantity of the muscular effect can be regu- 
lated and shifted not only from one muscle to another, but in one and 
the same muscle can be graded by adding to or subtracting from the 
number of fibres activated within that muscle. As pointed out by 
Prof. Alexander Forbes, it may be, therefore, that the nerve impulse 
is the one and only reaction throughout the whole nervous system, 
central and peripheral, trains of impulses simply interfering, colliding 
and over-running as they travel along the inter-connected branches of 
the conductive network. In this may lie the secret of the co-ordination 
of reflexes. The nerve-centre seems nothing more than a meeting- 
place of nerve-fibres, its properties but those of impulses in combina- 
tion. Fuller knowledge of the mechanism of the nervous impulse, 
many of whose physical properties are now known, a reaction open to 
study in the simplest units of the nervous system, thus leads to a view 
of nervous function throughout that system much simpler than formerly 

Yet for some aspects of nervous mechanism the nerve impulse offers 
little or no clue. The fibres of nerve-trunks are perhaps of all nerve- 
structures those that are best known. They constitute, for instance, 
the motor nerves of muscle and the sensory nerves of the skin. When 
they are broken the muscle or skin is paralysed. They establish their 
ties with muscle and skin during embryonic life. These ties they then 
maintain practically unaltered throughout the individual's existence, 
and show no further growth. If severed, say, by a wound, they die 


for their whole length between the point of severance and the muscle 
or skin they go to. And then at once the cut ends of the nerve-fibres 
start re-growing from the point of severance, although for years they 
have given no sign of growth. The fibre, so to say, tries to grow out 
to reach to its old far-distant muscle. There are difficulties in its way. 
A multitude of non-nervous repair cells growing in the wound spin 
scar tissue across the new fibre's path. Between these alien cells the 
new nerve-fibre threads a tortuous way, avoiding and never joining any 
of them. This obstruction it may take many days to traverse. Then 
it reaches a region where the sheath-cells of the old dead nerve-fibres 
lie altered beyond ordinary recognition. But the growing fibre 
recognises them. Tunnelling through endless chains of them, it 
arrives finally, after weeks or months, at the wasted muscle-fibres which 
seem tO' have been its goal, for it connects with them at once. It 
pierces their covering membranes and re-forms with their substance 
junctions of characteristic pattern resembling the original that had died 
weeks or months before. Then its growth ceases, abruptly, as it 
began, and the wasted muscle recovers and the lost function is restored. 
Can we trace the causes of this beneficent yet so unaccountable 
reaction? How is it that severance can start the nerve re-growing? 
How does the nerve-fibre find its lost muscle microscopically miles 
away? What is the mechanism that drives and guides it? Is it a 
chemotaxis like that of the antherozooid in the botanical experiment 
drawn towards the focus of the dissolved malic acid? If so, there 
must be a marvellously arranged play of intricate sequences of chemi- 
cally attractive and repellent substances dissolved suitably point to 
point along the tissue. It has recently been reported that the nerve- 
fibre growing from a nerve-cell in a nutrient field of graded electrical 
potential grows strictly by the axis of the gradient. Some argue for 
the existence of such potential gradients in the growing organism. 
Certainly nerve regeneration seems a return to the original phase of 
growth, and pieces of adult tissue removed from the body to ai'tificial 
nutrient media in the laboratory take on vigorous growth. Professor 
Champy describes how epithelium that in the body is not growing when 
thus removed starts growing. If freed from all fibrous tissue its cells 
not only germinate, but, as they do so, lose their adult specialisation. 
In nerve regeneration the nerve-sheath cells, and to some extent the 
muscle-cells which have lost their nerve-fibre, lose likewise their 
specialised form, and regain it only after touch with the nerve-cell has 
been re-established. So similarly epithelium and its connective tissue 
cultivated outside the body together both grow and both retain their 
specialisation. All seems to argue that the mutual touch between the 
several cells of the body is decisive of much in their individual shaping 
and destiny The severance of a nerve-fibre is an instance of the disloca- 



tion of such atoucli. It recalls well-known experiments on the segment- 
ing egg. Destruction of one of the two halves produced by the first 
segmentation of the egg results in a whole embryo from the remaining 
half-egg. But if the two blastomeres, though ligated, be left side by side, 
each then produces a half-embryo. Each half-egg can yield a whole 
embryo, but is restrained by the presence of the twin cell to yielding but 
a half one. The nerve severance seems to break a mutual connection 
which restrained cell growth and maintained cell differentiation. 

It may be said that the nerve-sheath cells degrade because absence 
of transmission of nerve impulses leaves their fibre functionless. But 
they do not degi^ade in the central nerve-piece, although impulses no 
longer pass along its afferent fibres. This mechanism of reconstruction 
seems strangely detached from any direct performance of function. The 
sprouting nerve-fibres of a motor nerve with impulses for muscular con- 
traction can by misadventure take their way to denervated skin instead 
of muscle. They find the skin-cells whose nerve-fibres have been lost, 
and on these they bud out twigs, as true sensory fibres would do. Then, 
seemingly satisfied by so doing, they desist from further growth. The 
sense-cells, too, after this misunion, regain their normal features. But 
this joining of motor nerve-fibre with sense-cell is functionless, and 
must be so because the directions of functional conduction of the two 
are incompatible. 

So, similarly, a regenerating skin-nerve led down to muscle makes its 
union with muscle instead of skin, though the union is a functional 
misfit, and cannot subserve function. Marvellous though nerve re- 
generation be, its mechanism seems blind. Its vehemence is just as 
great after amputation, when the parts lost can of course never be re- 
reached. Its blindness is sadly evident in the suffering caused by the 
useless nerve-sprouts entangled in the scar of a healing or healed limb- 

But there is a great difference between the growth of such regenera- 
tion and the growth impulse in pieces of tissue isolated from the body 
and grown in media outside. With pure cultures of these latter 
Professor Champy says the growth recalls in several features that of 
malignant tumours — multiplication of cells unaccompanied by forma- 
tion of a specialised adult tissue. A piece of kidney cultivated outside 
the body de-differentiates, to use his temi, into a growing mass un- 
organised for renal function. But with connective-tissue cells added 
even breast-cancer epithelium will in cultivation grow in glandular 
form. New ground is being broken in the experimental control of 
tissue growth. The report of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund 
mentions that in cultivation outside the body malignant cells present 
a difficulty that normal cells do not. To the malignant cells the nutrient 
soil has to be more frequently renewed, because they seem rapidly to 


make the soil in which they grow poisonous to themselves, though not 
to normal cells. The following of all clues of difference between the 
mechanism of malignant growth and of normal is fraught with import- 
ance which may be practical as well as theoretical. 

The regenerating nerve rebuilds to a plan that spells for future 
function. But throughout all its steps prior to the actual reaching the 
muscle or skin no actual performance of nerve-function can take place. 
What is constructed is functionally useless until the whole is complete. 
So, similarly, with much of the const-ruction of the embryo in the womb 
for purposes of a different life after emergence from the womb; with 
the construction of the butterfly's wing within the chrysalis for future 
flight ; of the lung for air-breathing after birth ; of the reflex contraction 
in the foetal child of the eyelids to protect the eye long before the two 
eyelids have been separated, let alone ere hurt or even light can reach it. 
The nervous system in its repair, as in its original growth, shows us 
a mechanism working through phases of non- functioning preparation 
in order to forestall and meet a future function. It is a mechanism 
against whose seeming prescience is to be set its fallibility and its 
limitations. The how of its working is at present chiefly traceable to us 
in the steps of its results rather than in comprehension of its intimate 
reactions; as to its mechanism, perhaps the point of chief import for us 
here is that those who are closest students of it still regard it as a 
mechanism. But if to know be to know the causes we must confess 
to want of knowledge of how its mechanism is contrived. 

And if we knew the whole how of tlie production of the body from 
egg to adult, and if we admit that every item of its organic machinery 
runs on physical and chemical rules as completely ag do inorganic 
systems, will the living animal present no other problematical aspect? 
The dog, our household friend — do we exhaust its aspects if in assessing 
its sum-total we omit its mind? A merely reflex pet would please little 
even the fondest of us. True, our acquaintance with other mind than 
our own can only be by inference. We may even hold that mind as an 
object of study does not come under the rubric of Natural Science at all. 
But this Association has its Section of Psychology, and my theme of 
to-night was partly chosen at the instance of a late member of it. Dr. 
Eivers, the loss of whom we all deplore. As a biologist he viewed mind 
as a biological factor. The keeping of mind and body apart for certain 
analytic purposes must not allow us to forget their being set together 
when we assess as a whole even a single animal life. 

Taking as manifestations of mind those ordinarily received as such, 
mind does not seem to attach to life, however complex, where there is 
no nervous system, nor even where that system, though present, is 
quite scantily developed. Mind becoimes more recognisable the more 
developed the nerve-system. Hence the difficulty of the twilit emer- 


gence of mind from no' mind, whicli is repeated even in the individual 
life history. In the nervous system there is what is termed localisa- 
tion of function, relegation of different work to the system's different 
parts. This localisation shows mentality, in the usual acceptation of 
tliat term, noit distributed broadcast throughout the nervous system, but 
restricted to certain portions of it — thus, among vertebrates to what is 
called the forebrain, and in higher vertebrates to the relatively newer 
parts of that forebrain. Its chief, perhaps its sole, seat is a compara- 
tively modern nervous structure superposed on the non-mental and more 
ancient other nervous parts. The so'-to-say mental portion of the system 
is placed so that its commerce with the body and the external world 
occurs only through the archaic non-mental rest of the system. Simple 
nei*ve impulses, their summations and interferences, seem the one 
uniform office of the nerve-system in its non-mental aspect. To pass 
I'lom a nerve impulse to a. psychical event, a sense-impression, percept, 
or emotion is, as it were, to step from one world to another and incom- 
mensurable one. We might expect, then, that at the places oi transi- 
tion from its non-mental to its mental regions the brain would exhibit 
some striking change of structure. But no; in the mental parts of 
the brain still nothing ]3ut the same old structural elements, set end 
to end, suggesting the one function of the transmission and collision of 
nerve impulses. The structural inter-connections are licher, but that 
is a merely quantitative' change. 

I do not want, and do not need, to stress our inability at present 
to deal with mental actions in terms of nervous actions, or vice versa. 
But facing the relation borne in upon us as existent between them, may 
we not gain some further appreciation of it by reminding ourselves 
even biiefiy of certain points of contact between the two? Familiar as 
such are, I will merely mention rather than dwell upon them. 

One is the so-called expression of the emotions. The mental re- 
action of an emotion is accompanied by a nervous discharge which is 
more or less characteristic for each several type of emotion, so that 
the emotion can be read from its bodily expression. This nervous dis- 
charge is involuntary, and can affect organs, such as the heart, which 
the will cannot reach. Then there is the circumstance that the peculiar 
ways and tricks of the nervous machinery as revealed to us in the stud;v 
of pure reflex reactions repeat themselves obviously in the working of 
the machinery to which mental actions are adjunct. The phenomenon 
of fatigue is common to both, and imposes similar disabilities on both. 
Nervous exlianstion and mental exhaustion mingle. Then, as offset 
against this disability, there exists in both the amenability to habit 
formation, mere repetition within limits rendering a reaction easier 
and readier. Then, and akin to this, is the oft-remarked trend in both 
for a reaction to leave behind itself a. trace, an engi-am, a memory, the 
reflex engram, and the mental memory. 


How should inertia and momentum affect non-material reactions? 
Quick though nervous reactions are, there is always easily observed delay 
between delivery of stimulus and appearance of the nervous end effect; 
and there is always the character that a reaction once set in motion 
does not cease very promptly. Just the same order of lag and overran, 
of want of dead-beat character, is met in sense-reactions. The sensa- 
tion outlives the light which evoked it and for longer the stronger 
the reaction. Just so the reflex after-discharge persists after the 
stimulus is withdrawn, and subsides more slowly the stronger the 
reaction. The times in both are oi the same order. Again, a reflex 
act which contracts one muscle commonly relaxes another. Even so 
along with rise of sensation in one part of the visual field commonly 
occurs lapse of sensation in another. And the stoppage is in both by 
inhibition, that is to say, active. Then, again, two lights of opposite 
colour falling simultaneously and correspondingly on the two retinae 
will, according to their balance, fuse to an intermediate tint or see-saw 
back and forth between the one tint and the other. Just similarly a 
muscle impelled by two reflexes, one tending to contract it, the other 
to relax it, will according to the balance of these respond steadily with 
an intensity, a compromise between the two, or see-saw rhythmically 
from extreme to extreme of the two opposite influences. 

Reflex acts commonly predispose to their opposites. So, similarly, 
the visual impression of one colour predisposes to that of its opposite. 
Again, the 'position of the stimulated sensual point acts on the mind — 
hence the light seen or the pain felt is referred to some locus in the 
mind's space-system. Just similarly the reflex machinery directs, for 
instance, the limb it moves towards the particular spot stimulated. And 
such spots in the two processes, mental and non-mental, correspond. 

Characteristic of the nervous machinery is its arrangement in what 
Hughlings Jackson called ' levels,' the higher levels standing to the 
lower not only as drivers but also as restrainers. Hence in disease 
underaction of one sort is accompanied by overaction of another. Thus 
in the arm affected by a cerebral stroke, besides loss of willed — that 
is higher level — power in the finger muscles, there is in other muscles 
involuntary overaction owing to escape of lower centres from control 
by the higher wliich have been destroyed. So, similarly, with the sensory 
effects. Of skin sensations some are painful and some not, for instance 
touch. The seat of the latter is of higher level, cortical; of the 
former lower, sub-cortical. When cerebral disease breaks the path 
between the higher and the underlying level a result is impairment of 
touch sensation but heightening of pain sensation in the affected part. 
The sensation oi touch, as Dr. Head says, restrains that of pain. 

Thus features of nervous working resemble over and over again 
mental. Is it mere metaphor when we speak of mental attitudes as 


well as bodily? Is it mere analogy to liken the warped attitude of the 
mind in a psychoneurotic sufferer to the warped attitude of the body 
constrained by an internal potential pain? Again, some mental events 
seem spontaneous ; in the nervous system some impulses seem generated 
automatically from within. 

It may be said of all these similarities of time-relation and the rest 
between the ways of the nervous system and such simpler ways of 
mind as I here venture on, that they exist because the operations of 
the mental part of the nervous system communicate with the exterior 
only through the non-mental part as gateway — that there, then, the 
features of the nerve-machinery are impressed on the mind's working. 
But that suggestion forgets that the higher and more complex the mental 
process, the longer the time-lag, the more incident the fatigue, the 
more striking the memory character, and so on. 

Yet all this similarity does but render more succinct the old enigma 
as to the nexus between nerve impulse and mental event. In the 
proof that the working of the animal mechanism conforms with the 
first law of thermodynamics can one say that psychical events are 
evaluated in the balance sheet drawn up ? And, on the other hand, Mr. 
Barcro'ft and his fellow-observers in their recent physiological explora- 
tion of life on the Andes at 14,200 ft. noted that, as well as were their 
muscles, their arithmetic there was at a disadvantage. The low oxygen 
pressure militated against both. Indeed we all know that in any of 
us a few minutes without oxygen, or a few more with chloroform, and 
the psychical and the nervous events will lapse together. The nexus 
between the two sets of events is strict. But for comprehension of its 
nature we still require, it seems, comprehension of the unsolved mystery 
of the hov/ of hfe itself. A shadowy bridge between them may lie 
perhaps in the reflection that for the observer himself the physical 
phenomena he observes are in the last reso)'t psychical. 

The practical man has to accept nervous function as a condition 
for mental function without breaking his heart over ignorance of their 
connection. The doctor, the lawyer, and we all, accept it. We know 
that with structural derangement or destruction of certain parts of the 
brain goes mental derangement or defect, while derangement or 
destruction of other parts of the nervous system is not so accompanied. 
Decade by decade the connection becomes more ascertained between 
certain mental performances and certain cerebral regions. Certain 
impairments of ideation as shown by forms of incomprehension of 
language or of familiar objects can help to diagnose for the surgeon 
as to what part of the brain a tumour is compressing; and the tumour 
gone the mental disabilities pass. So, similarly, those who, as Professor 
Elliott Smith and Sir Arthur Keith, recast the shape of the cerebrum 
from the cranial remains of prehistoric man can outline for us something 


of his mentality from examination of the relative development of the 
several brain regions, using a true and scientific phrenology. 

Could we look quite naively at the question of a seat for the mind 
within the body we might perhaps suppose it diffused there, not localised 
in any one particular part at all. That it is localised and that its locali- 
sation is in the nei-vous system — can we attach meaning to that fact? 
The nervous system is that bodily system whose special office from its 
earliest appearance onward throughout evolutionary history has been 
more and more to weld together the body's component parts into one 
consolidated mechanism reacting as a unity to the changeful world about 
it. It more than any other system has constructed out of a collection 
of organs an individual of unified act and experience. It represents the 
acme of accomplishment of the integration of the animal organism. 
That it is in this system that mind, as we know it, has had its begin- 
ning, and with the progi'essivo development of the system has step for 
step developed, is surely significant. So is it that in this system the 
portion to which mind transcendcntly attaches is exactly that where are 
carried to their highest pitch the nei-ve-actions which manage the indi- 
vidual as a whole, especially in his reactions to the external world. 
There, in the brain, the integrating nervous centres are themselves 
further compounded, inter-connected, and re-combined for unitary func- 
tions. The cortex of the forebrain is the main seat of mind. That cortex 
with its twin halves con'esponding to the two side-halves of the body is 
really a single organ knitting those halves together by a still further knit- 
ting together of the nervous system itself. The animal's great integi'at- 
ing system is there still further integi'ated. And this supreme integrator 
is the seat of all that is most clearly inferable as the animal's mind. As 
such it has spelt biological success to its possessors. From small begin- 
nings it has become steadily a larger and larger feature of the nervous 
system, until in adult man the whole rest of the system is relatively 
dwarfed by it. Not without significance, perhaps, is that in man this 
organ, the brain cortex, bifid as it is, shows unmistakable asymmetry. 
Man is a tool-using animal, and tools demand asymmetrical, though 
attentive and therefore unified, acts. A nervous focus unifying such 
motor function will, in regard to a laterally bipartite organ, tend more 
to one half or the other. In man's cerebrum the preponderance of 
one-half — namely, the left — over the other may be a sign of unifying 

It is to the psychologist that we must turn to learn in full the con- 
tribution made to the integration of the animal individual by mind. 
But each of us can, without being a professed psychologist, yet recog- 
nise one achievement in that direction which mental endowment has 
produced. Made up of myriads of microscopic cell-lives, individually 
born, feeding and breathing individually within the body, each one 


of us nevertheless appears to himself a single entity, a unity 
experiencing and acting as one individual. In a way the more far- 
reaching and many-sided the reactions of which a mind is capable 
the more need, as well as the more scope, for their consolidation to 
one. True, each one of us is in some sense not one self, but a multiple 
system of selves. Yet how closely those selves are united and integrated 
to one personality. Even in those extremes of so-called double per- 
sonality one of their mystifying features is that the individual seems 
to himself at any one time wholly either this personality or that, never 
the two commingled. The view that regards hysteria as a mental 
dissociation illustrates the integrative trend of the total healthy mind. 
Circumstances can stress in the individual some perhaps lower instinc- 
tive tendency that conflicts with what may be termed his normal per- 
sonality. This latter, to master the conflicting trend, can judge it in 
relation to his main self's general ethical ideals and duties to self and 
the community. Thus intellectualising it, he can destroy it or con- 
sciously subordinate it to some aim in harmony with the rest of his 
personality. By so doing there is gain in power of will and in personal 
coherence of the individual. But if the morbid situation be too strong 
or the mental self too weak, instead of thus assimilating the contentious 
element the mind may shun and, so to say, endeavour to ignore it. 
That way lies danger. The discordant factor escaped from the sway 
of the conscious mind produces stress and strain of the conscious self ; 
hence, to use customary terminology, dissociation of the self sets in, 
bringing in its train those disabilities., mental or nervous or both, 
which characterise the sufferer from hysteria. The normal action of the 
mind is to make up from its components one unified personality. 
When we remember the manifold complexity of composition of the 
lumuui individual, can we observe a greater instance of solidarity of 
working of an organism than that presented by the human individual 
intent and concentrated, as the phrase goes, upon some higher act of 
strenuous will? Physiologically the supreme development of the 
brain, psychologically the mental powers attaching thereto, seem to 
represent from the biological standpoint the very culmination of the 
integration of the animal organism. 

The mental attributes of the nervous system would be, then, the 
coping-stone of the construction of the individual. Surveyed in their 
broad biological aspect, we see them carrying integration even further 
still. They do not stop at the individual ; they proceed beyond the 
individual ; tliey integrate from individuals t-ommunities. Wiien we re- 
view, as far as we can judge it, the distribution of mind within the range 
of animal forms, we meet two peaks of its development — one in insect 
life, the other in the vertebrate, with its acme finally in man. True, 
in the insect the type of mind is not rationnl but instinctive, whereas 


at the height of its vertebrate development reason is there as well as 
instinct. Yet in both one outcome seems to be the welding ol individuals 
into societies on a scale of organisation otherwise unattained. The 
greatest social animal is man ; the powers that make him so are mental — 
language, tradition, instinct for the preservation of the community, as 
well as for the preservation of the individual; reason actuated by 
emotion and sentiment and controlling and welding egoistic and 
altruistic instincts into one broadly harmonious, instinctive-rational 
behaviour. Just as the organisation of the cell-colony into an animal 
individual receives its highest contribution from the nervous system, so 
the further combining of animal individuals into a multi-individual 
organism, a social community, merging the interests of the individual 
in the interests of the group, is due to the nervous system's crowning 
attributes, the mental. That this integration is still in process, still 
developing, is obvious from the whole course of human pre-history and 
history. The biolo'gical study of it is essentially psychological ; it is the 
scope and ambit of social psychology. Not the least important forai 
of social psychology is that relatively new one, of which the President 
of the Psychology Section at this meeting is a foremost authority and 
exponent, namely, that dealing with the stresses and demands that 
organised industry makes upon the individual as a unit in the com- 
munity of our day, and with the readjustments it asks from that 

To resume, then, we may, I think, conclude that in some of its 
aspects animal life presents to us mechanism the how of which, despite 
many gaps in our knowledge, is fairly explicable. Of not a few of 
the processes of the. living body, such as muscular contraction, the 
circulation of the blood, the respiratory intake and output by the 
lungs, the nervous impulse and its journeyings, we may fairly feel 
from what we know of them already that further application of physics 
and chemistry will furnish a competent key. We may suppose that 
in the same sense as we can claim to-day that the principles of 
working of a gas-engine or an electro-motor are comprehensible to 
us, so will the bodily working in such mechanisms be understood 
by us, and indeed are largely so already. It may well be possible 
to understand the principle of a mechanism which we have not 
the means or skill ourselves to construct. "We cannot construct the 
atoms of a gas-engine. But, turning to other aspects of animal 
mechanism, such as the shaping of the animal body, the conspiring of its 
structural units to compass later functional ends, the predetemiination 
of specific gi'owth from egg to adult, the predetermined natural term 
of existence, these, and their intimate mechanism, we are, it seems 
to me, despite many brilhant inquiries and inquirers, still at a loss 
to understand. The steps of the results are known, but the springs 


of action still lie hidden. Then, again, the How of the mind's connection 
with its bodily place seems still utterly an enigma. Similarity or identity 
in time-relations and in certain other ways between mental and nervous 
processes does not enlighten us as to the actual nature of the 
connection existent between the two. Advance in biological science does 
but serve to stress further the strictness of the nexus between the two. 
Great differences of difficulty therefore confront our understanding 
of different aspects of animal life. Yet the living creature is funda- 
mentally a unity. In trying to make the how of an animal existencn 
intelligible to our imperfect knowledge we have for purposes of study 
to separate its whole into part-aspects and pai-t-mechanisms, but that 
separation is artificial. It is as a whole, a single entity, that the animal, 
or for that matter the plant, has finally and essentially to be envisaged. 
We cannot really understand its one part without its other. Can we 
suppose a unified entity which is part mechanism and part not ? One 
privilege open to the human intellect is to attempt to comprehend, 
not leaving out of account any of its propei'ties, the how of the living 
creature as a whole. The problem is ambitious, but its importance and 
its reward are all the greater if we seize and we attempt the full width 
of its scope. In the biological synthesis of the individual it regards 
mind. It includes examination of man himself as acting undei-" a 
biological trend and process which is combining individuals into a 
nudti-individual organisation, a social organism surely new in the history 
of the planet. For this biological trend and process is constructing 
a. social organism whose cohesion depends mainly on a property 
developed so specifically in man as to be, liroadly speaking, his alone — 
namely, a mind actuated by instincts but instrumented with reason. 
Man, often Nature's rebel, as Sir Eay Lankester has luminously said, 
can, viewing this great supra-individual process, shape even as individual 
his course conformably with it, feeling that in this instance to rebel 
would be to sink lower rather than to continue his own evolution 





Professor G. H. HAEDY, M.A., F.E.S., 


I FIND myself to-day in the same embarrassing position in which a 
predecessor of mine at Oxford found himself at Bradford in 3875, 
the President of a Section which is probably the largest and most 
heterogeneous in the Association, and which is absorbed by a multitude 
of divergent professio^nal interests, none of which agree with his or mine. 

There are two courses possible in such circumstances. One is to 
take refuge, as Professor Henry Smith, with visible reluctance, did then, 
in a series of general propositions to which mathematicians, physicists, 
and astronomers may all be expected to- return a polite assent. The 
importance of science and scientific method, the need for better organisa- 
tion of scientific education and research, are all topics on which I could 
no doubt say something without undue strain either on my own honesty 
or on your credulity. That there is no finer education and discipline 
than natural science; that it is, as Dr. Campbell has said, ' the noblest 
of thei arts ' ; that the crowning achievements of science liei in those 
directions with which this Section is pro'fessiooally concerned : all this 
I could say with complete sincerity, and, if I were the head of a deputa- 
tion approaching a Government Department, I suppose that I would 
not shirk even so unprofitable a task. 

It is unfortunate that these essential and edifying truths, important 
as it is that they should be repeated as loudly as possible from time 
to time, are, to the man whose interest in life lies in scientific work and 
not in propaganda, unexciting, and in fact quite intolerably dull. I 
could, if I chose, say all these things, but, even if I wanted to, I should 
hardly increase your respect for mathematics and mathematicians by 
repeating to you what you have said yourselves, or read in the news- 
papers, a hundred times already. I shall say them all some day; the 
time will come when we shall none of us have anything more interesting 
to say. We need not anticipate our inevitable end. 

I propose therefore to adopt the alternative course suggested by my 
predecessor, and to try to say something to you about something about 
which I have something to say. There is only one subject about which 
I have anything to say, and that is pure mathematics. It happens, by a 
fortunate accident, that the particular subject which I love the most, 
and which presents most of the problems which occupy my own re- 
searches, is by no means overwhelmingly recondite or obscure, and 
indeed is sharply distinguished from almost every other branch of pure 
mathematics, in that it makes a direct, popular, and almost irresistible 
appeal to the heart of the ordinary man. 


There is, however, one preliminary remark which I cannot resist 
the temptation of making. The present is a particularly happy moment 
for a pure mathematician, since it has been marked by one of the 
greatest recorded triumphs of pure mathematics. This triumph is the 
work, as it happens, of a man who would probably not describe himself 
as a mathematician, but who has done more than any mathematician 
to vindicate the dignity of mathematics, and to put that obscure and 
p(M])lexing construction, commonly described as ' physical reality,' in 
its proper place. 

There is probably less difference between the methods of a physicist 
and a mathematician tlian is generally supposed. The most striking 
among them seems to me to be this, that the mathematician is in mucli 
more direct contact with reality. This may perhaps seem to you a 
paradox, since it is the physicist who deals with the subject-matter to 
which the epithet ' real ' is commonly applied. But a very little 
reflexion will show that the ' reality ' of the physicist, whatever it may 
be (and it is extraordinarily difficult to say), has few or none of the 
attributes which common-sense instinctively marks as real. A chair 
may be a collection of whirling atoms, or an idea in the mind of God. 
It is no't my business to suggest that one account of it is obviously 
more plausible than the other. Whatever the merits of either of them 
may be, neither draws its inspiration from the suggestions of common- 

Neither tlie philosophers nor the pliysicis^ts Iheuiselves liavo ever 
put forward any very convincing account of what physical reality is, or 
of how the physicist passes, from the confused mass of fact or sensation 
from which he starts, to the construction of the objects which he 
classifies as real. We cannot be said, therefore, to know what the 
subject-matter of physics is ; but this need not prevent us from under- 
standing the task which a physicist is trying to perform. That, clearly, 
is to correlate the incoherent body of facts confronting him with some 
definite and orderly scheme of abstract relations, the kind of scheme, in 
short, which he can only borrow from mathematics. 

A mathematician, on the other hand, fortunately for him, is not 
concerned with this physical reality at all. It is impossible to prove, 
by mathematical reasoning, any proposition whatsoever concerning the 
l)hysical world, and only a mathematical crank would be likely now to 
imagine it his function to do so. There is plainly one way only of 
ascertaining the facts of experience, and that is by observation. It is 
not the business of a mathematician to suggest one view of the universe 
or another, but merely to supply the physicists with a collection of 
abstract schemes, which it is for them to select from, and to adopt or 
discard at their pleasure. 

The most obvious example is to be found in the science of geometry. 
Mathematicians have constructed a very large number of different 
systems of geometry, Euclidean or non-Euclidean, of one, two, three, or 
any number of dimensions. All these systems are of complete and 
equal validity. They embody the results of mathematicians' observa- 
tions of their reality, a reality far more intense and far more rigid than 
the dubious and elusive reality of physics. The old-fashioned geometry 
of Euclid, the entertaining seven-point geometry of Veblen, the space- 


times of Minkowski and Einstein, are all absolutely and equally real. 
When a mathematician has constructed, or, to be more accurate, when 
he has observed them, his ^professional interest ii:i the matter ends. 
It may be the seven-point geometry that fits the facts the best, for 
anything that mathematicians have to say. There may be three dimen- 
sions in this room and five next door. As a professional mathematician, 
I have no idea ; I can only ask the Secretary, or some other competent 
physicist, to instruct me in the facts. 

The function of a mathematician, then, is simply to observe the 
facts about his own hard and intricate system of reality, that astonish- 
ingly beautiful complex of logical relations which forms the subject- 
matter of his science, as if he wei'e an explorer looking at a distant range 
of mountains, and to record the results of his observations in a series 
of maps, each of which is a branch of pure mathematics. Many of 
these maps have been completed, while in others, and these, naturally, 
the most interesting, there are vast uncharted regions. Some, it seems, 
have some relevance to the structure of the physical world, while others 
have no such tangible application. Among them there is perhaps none 
quite so fascinating, with quite the same astonishing contrasts of sharp 
outline and mysterious shade, as that which constitutes the theory of 

The number system of arithmetic is, as we know too well, not with- 
out its applications to the sensible world. The currency systems of 
Europe, for example, conform to it approximately; west of the Vistula, 
two and two make something approaching four. The practical appli- 
cations of arithmetic, however, are tedious beyond words. One must 
probe a little deeper into the subject if one wishes to interest the ordinary 
man, whose taste in such mxatters is astonishingly correct, and who 
turns with joy from the routine of common life to anything strange 
and odd, like the fourth dimension, or imaginary time, or the theory 
of the representation of integers by sums of squares or cubes. 

It is impossible for me to give you, in the time at my command, any 
general account of the problems of the theory of numbers, or of the 
progress that has been made towards their solution even during the last 
twenty years. I must adopt a much simpler method. I will merely 
state to you, with a few words of comment, three or four isolated 
questions, selected in a quite haphazard way. They are seemingly 
simple questions, and it is not necessary to be anything of a mathe- 
matician to understand them ; and I have chosen them for no better 
reason than that; I happen to be interested in them myself. There is 
no one of them to which I know the answer, nor, so far as I know, does 
any mathematician in the world; and there is no one of them, with one 
exception which I have included deliberately, the answer to^ which any 
one of us would not make almost any sacrifice to know. 

1. When is a number the sum of tivo cubes, and whdt is the 
number of ils representations? This is my first question, and first 
of all I will elucidate it by some examples. The numbers 2 = 1^-|-1^ 
and 9 = 2^-f 1^ are sums of two' cubes, while 3 and 4 are not: it is 
exceptional for a number tO' be ol this particular form. The number 
of cubes up to 1000000 is 100, and the number of numbers, up to this 
limit and of the form required, cannot exceed 10000, one-hundredth of 


l.lie whole. The density of the distribution of suuh numbers tends (o 
zero as tlie number tends to infinity. Is there, I am asking, any simple 
criterion by which such immbers can be distinguished? 

Again, 2 and 9 are sums of two cubes, and can be expressed in this 
form in one way only. There are numbers so expressible in a variety 
of different ways. The least such number is 1729, wfiich is 12^ + 1^ 
and also 10^ + 9^ It is more difficult to find a number with three 
representations ; the least such number is 

175959000 = 560' + 70'' = 552' + 198" = 525' + 315'''. 
One number at any rate is known with four representations, viz. 

19 X 363510' 
(a number of 18 digits), but I am not prepared to assert that it is 
the least. No number has been calculated, so far as I know, with 
more than four, but theory, running ahead of computation, shows that 
numbers exist with five representations, or six, or any number. 

A distinguished physicist has argued that the possible number of 
isotopes of an element is probably limited because, among the ninety or 
so elements at present under obsei^atioo, there is none which has more 
isotopes than six. I dare not criticise a physicist in liis own field; 
but the figures I have quoted may suggest to you that an arithmetical 
generalisation, based on a corresponding volume of evidence, would be 
more than a little rash. 

There are similar questions, of course, for squares, but the answers 
to these v\^ere found long ago by Euler and by Gauss, and belong to 
the classical mathematics. Suppose, for simplicity of statement, that 
the number in question is prime. Then, if it is of the form 4-hi + I, it 
is a sum of squares, and in one way only, while if it is of the form 
4m. + 3 it is not so expressible; and this simple rule may readily be 
generahsed so as tO' apply to numbers ol any form. But there is no 
similar solution ior our actual problem, nor, I need hardly say, for the 
analogous problems for fourth, fifth, or higher powers. The smallest 
number known toi be expressible in two' ways by two biquadrates is 

635318657 = 158' + 59' = 134' + 133' ; 
and I do not believe that any number is known expressible in three. 
Nor, to my knowledge, has the bare existence of such a number yet 
been proved. ^Yhen we come to fifth powers, nothing is known at 
all. The field for future research is unlimited and practically 

2. I pass to another question, again about cubes, but of a somewhat 
different kind. Is every large mimber (every number, that is to say, 
from a definite point onwards) Uie sum of five cubes ' This is another 
exceptionally difficult problem. It is known that every number, with- 
out exception, is the sum of nine cubes ; two numbers, 23 (which is 
2.2^ + 7.1^) and 239, actually require so many. It seems that there 
are just fifteen numbers, the largest being 454, which need eight, and 
121 numbers, the largest being 8042, which need seven; and the evidence 
suggests forcibly that the six-cube numbers also ultimately disappear. 
In a lecture which I delivered on this subject at Oxford I stated, on 
the authority of Dr. Euckle, that there were two numbers, in the 


immediate neighbourhood of lOOOCOO, which could not be resolved into 
fewer cubes than six; but Dr. A. E'. Western has refuted this assertion 
by resolving each of them into five, and is of opinion, I believe, that 
the six-cube numbers have disappeared enthely considerably before this 
point. It is conceivable that the five-cube numbers also disappear, but 
this, if it be so, is in depths where computation is helpless. The four- 
cube numbers must certainly persist for ever, for it is impossible that a 
number 9n + 4: or 9n.-|-5 should be the sum of tliree. 

I need hardly add that there is a similar problem for every higher 
power. For fourth powers the critical number is 16. There is no 
case, except the simple case of squares, in which the solution is in any 
sense complete. About the squares there is no mystery; every number 
is the sum of four, and there are infinitely many which cannot be 
expressed by fewer. 

3. I will next raise the question whether the number 2"^— 1 is 
prime. I said that I woijld include one question which did not interest 
me particularly, and I should like to explain to you the kind of reasons 
which damp down my interest in this one. I do not know the answer, 
and I do not care greatly what it is. 

The problem belongs to the theory of the so-called ' perfect ' numbers, 
which has exercised mathematicians since the times of the Greeks. A 
number is pei-fect if, like 6 or 28, it is the sum of all its divisors, unity 
included. Euclid proved that the number 

is perfect if the second factor is primei; and Euler, 2,(J()0 years later, 
that all even perfect numbers are of Euclid's form. It is still unknown 
whether a perfect number can be odd. 

It would obviously be most interesting to know generally in what 
circumstances a number 2" - 1 is prime. It is plain that this can onlj* 
be so if n itself is prime, as otherwise the number has obvious factors ; 
and the 137 of my question happens to be the least value of n for 
which the answer is still in doubt. You may perhaps be surprised 
that a question apparently so fascinating should fail to arouse me more. 

It was asserted by Mersenne in 1644 that the only values of n, up 
to 257, for wliich 2" - 1 is prime are 

2, 3, f), 7, 13, 17, 19, 31, 67, 127, 257; 

and an enornic/us amount of labour has been exjiended on attempts to 
verify this assertion. There are no' simple general tests by which 
the primality of a number chosen at i-aiKlo'Ui can be determined, and 
the amount of computation required in any pai-ticular case may be 
quite appalling. It has, however, been imagined that Mersenne 
perhaps knew something which later mathematicians have failed to 
rediscover. The idea is a little fantastic, but there is no doubt that, 
so long as the possibility remained, arithmeticians were justified in their 
determination to ascertain the facts at all costs. ' The riddle as to 
how Mersenne's numbers were discovered remains unsolved,' wrote Mr. 
Eouse Ball in 1891. Mersenne, he observes, was a good mathemati- 
cian, but not an Euler or a Gauss, and he inclines to attribute the 
discovery to the exceptional genius of Fermat, the only mathematician 


of the age whom anyone could suspect of being huiich-cds of years ahead 
of his time. 

These speculations appeal- extremely fanciful, for tlie bubble has 
at last been i:)ricked. it seems now that Mei'seune's assertion, so 
far from hiding unplumbed depths of.malliematical profundity, was a 
conjecture based on inadequate empincal evidence, and a rather 
unhappy onsi at tha.t. It is now known that there are at least four 
numbers about which Mersenne is definitely wrong; he should have 
included at any rate 61, 89, and 1U7, and he should have left out 67. 
The mistake as regards 61 and 67 was discovered as long ago as 1886, 
but could be explained with some plausil)ility, so long as it stood alone, 
&s a merely clerical error. But when Mr. E. E. Powers, in 1911 
and 1914, proved that Mersenne was also wrong about 89 and 107, this 
line of defence collapsed, and it ceased to be possible to take Mersenne's 
assertion seriously. 

The facts may be smnmed up as follows. Mersenne makes fifty-five 
assertions, for the fifty-five primes from '2 to 257. Of these assertions 
forty are true, four false, and eleven still doubtful. Not a bad result, 
you may think; but there is more to be said. Of the forty correct 
assertions many, half at least, are tiivial, either because the numbers in 
(]uestion are compara.tively small, or because they possess quite small 
and easily detected divisors. The test cases are those in whicli 
IMersenne asserts the numbers in question tO' lie prime ; there are only 
four of these cases which are difficult and in w hich the truth is known ; 
and in these Mersenne is wrong in every case but one. 

It seems to me, then, that we must regard Mersenne's assertion as 
exploded; and for my part it interests me no longer. If he is wrong 
about 89 and 107, I do not care greatly whether he is wrong about 
137 as well or not, and I sho'uld regard the computations necessary 
to decide as very largely wasted. There are so many much more 
profitable calculations which a computer could undertake. 

I hope that you will not infer that I regard the problem of perfect 
numbers as uninteresting in itself ; that would be very far from the truth. 
There are at least two intensely interesting problems. The first is the 
old problem, which so many mathematicians have failed to solve, 
whether a perfect number caii be odd. The second is whether the 
number of perfect numbers is infinite or not. If we assume that all 
perfect numbers are infinite, w^e can state this prololem in a still more 
an-esting form. Are there mflnitclij many pr'niiea of the form 2"- 1? 
I find it hard to imagine a problem more fascinating or more terribly 
difficult than that. It is plain, though, that this is a question wliich 
computation can never decide, and it is very unlikely that it can ever 
give us any data of serious value. And the problem itself really belongs 
to a different chapter of the theory, to which I should like next to 
direct your attention. 

4. Are there infinitely many primes of the form- n- + l? Let me 
first remind you of some "well-known facts in regard to the distribution 

of primes. 

There are infinitely many primes ; their density decreases as the 
numbers increase, and tends to zero when the numbers tend to infinity. 



More accurately, the number of primes less than ./■ is, to a first 


log X 
The chance that a large number n, selected at random, should be 

prime is, we may say, about Still more precisely, the ' logarithm- 
log n 
integral ' 



gives a Aery good approximation to the numljer of primes. This 
number differs from Li x by a function of x which oscillates continually, 
as Mr. Littlewood, in defiance of all empirical evidence to the contrary, 
has shown, between positive and negative values, and is sometimes 
large, of the order of magnitude V.r or thereabouts, but always small 
in comparison with the logarithm-integral itself. 

Except for one lacuna, which I must pass over in silence now, this 
problem of the general distribution of primes, the first and central 
problem of the theory, is in all essentials solved. But a variety of most 
exciting problems remain as to the distribution of primes among numbers 
of special forms. The first and simplest of these is that of the arith- 
metical progressions : How are the primes distributed among all possible 
arithmetical progressions an+b ? We may leave out of account the case 
in which a and b have a common factor; this case is trivial, since an + b 
is then obviously not prime. 

The first step towards a solution was made by Dirichlet, who proved 
for the first time, in 1837, that any such arithmetical progression contains 
an infinity of primes. It has since been shown that the primes are, 
to a fhst approximation at any rate, distributed evenly among all the 
arithmetical progressions. When we pursue the analysis further 
differences appear; there are on the average, for example, more primes 
4n + 3 than primes 4n-f 1, though it is not true, as the evidence of 
statistics has led some mathematicians to conclude too hastily, that 
there is always an excess to whatever point the enumeration is carried. 

The problem of the arithmetical progressions, then, inay also be 
regarded as solved; and the same is true of the problem of the primes 
of a given quadratic form, say am^ + 2bmn + en-, homogeneous in the 
two variables m and n. To take, for instance, the simplest and most 
striliing case, there is the natural and obvious number of primes 
irr + n-. A prime is of this form, as I have mentioned already, if and 
only if it is of the form 4fc + 1. The quadratic problem reduces here to a 
particular case of the problem of the arithmetical progression. 

When we pass to cubic forms, or forms of higher degree, we come 
to the region of the unlinown. This, however, is not the field of inquiry 
which I wish now to commend to your attention. The quadratic forms 
of which I have spoken are forms in two independent variables m and n ; 
tlie form n'- + 1 of my question is a non-homogeneous form in a single 
variable n, the simplest case of the general form an--\-2bn + c. It is 
clear that one may ask the same question for forms of any degree : 


Are lliure, I'ui- example, inhnitely iiuiuy primes tv' + 2 or n' + l'.' 1 do 
not choose n^ + 1, naturally, because of the obvious factor ii + l. 

This problem is one in which computation can still play an im- 
portant part. You will remember that I stated the same problem for 
perfect numbers. There a computer is helpless. For the numbers 
2" - 1, which dominate the theory, increase with quite unmanageable 
rapidity, and the data collected by the computers appear, so far as one 
can judge, to be almost devoid of value. Here the data are ample, and, 
though the question is still unanswered, there is really strong statistical 
evidence for supposing a particular answer to be true. It seems that 
the answer is affirmative, and that there is a definite approximate 
formula for the number of primes in question. This formula is 


where the j^roduct extends over all primes p, and the positive sign is 
chosen when p is of the form 471+3. Dr. A. E. Western has submitted 
this formula to a most exhaustive numerical check. It so happens that 
Colonel Cunningham some years ago computed a table of primes n- + 1 
up to the value 15,000 of n, a limit altogether beyond the range of 
the standard factor tables, and Cunningham's table has made practicable 
an unusually comprehensive test. The actual number of primes is 
1199, while the number predicted is 1219. The error, less than 1 in 
50, is much less than one could reasonably expect. The formula 
stands its test triumphantly, but I should be deluding you if I pretended 
to see any immediate prospect of an accurate proof. 

5. The last problem I shall state to you is this : Are there infinitely 
many prime-pairs p, p + 2? One may put the problem more generally : 
Does any group of primes, with assigned and possible differences, recur 
indefinitely , and what is the law of its recurrence ? 

I must first explain what I mean by a ' possible ' group of primes. 
It is possible that p and p + 2 should both be prime, like 3, 5, or 101, 103. 
It is not possible (unless p is' 3) that p, p + 2 and p + 4 should all be 
prime, for one of them must be a multiple of 3: but p, p + 2, p + 6 or 
p, p + 4:, p + Q are possible triplets of primes. Similarly 

p, p +2, p + 6, p + 8, p + 12 

can all be prime, so far as any elementary test of divisibility shows, and 
in fact 5, 7, 11, 13 and 17 satisfy the conditions. It is easy to define 
precisely what we understand by a ' possible ' group. We mean a group 
whose differences, like 0, 2, 6, have at least one missing residue to 
every possible modulus. The ' impossible ' group 0, 2, 4 does not 
satisfy the condition, for the remainders after division by 3 are 0, 2, 1, 
a complete set of residues to modulus 3. There is no difficulty in 
specifying possible groups of any length we please. 

We define in this manner, then, a ' possible ' group of primes, and 
we put the questions : Do all possible groups of primes actually occur, 
do they recur indefinitely often, and how often on the average do they 
recur? And here again it would seem that the answers are affirmative, 
that all possible groups occur, and continue to occur for ever, and 
with a frequency whose law can be assigned. The order of magnitude 


of the number of prime-pairs, p, p + 2, or p, p + i, or p, p + 6, both of 
whose members are less than a hirge number ,r, is, it appeiu^s, 


(log xr 

The order of magnitude of the corresponding number of triplets, of any 
possible type, is 


and so on generally. Further, we can assign the relative frequencies 
of pairs or triplets of different types ; there are, for example, about twice 
as many pairs whose difference is 6 as pairs whose diffei'ence is 2. All 
these results have been tested by actual enumeration from the factor 
tables of the first million numbers ; and a physicist would probably 
regard them as proved, though we of course know very well that they 
are not. 

There is a great deal of mathematics the purport of which is quite 
impossible for any amateur to grasp, and which, however beautiful and 
important it may be, must always remain the possession of a narrow 
circle of experts. It is the peculiarity of the theory of numbers that 
much of it could be published broadcast, and would win new readers for 
the Daily Mail. The positive integers do not lie, like the logical foun- 
dations of mathematics, in the hardly visible distance, nor in the un- 
comfortably tangled foreground, like the immediate data of the physical 
world, but at a decent middle distance, where the outlines are clear 
and yet some element of mystery remains. There is no one so blind 
that he does not see them, and no one so sharp-sighted that his vision 
does not fail; they stand there a continual and inevitable challenge to 
the curiosity of every healthy mind. I have merely directed your 
attention for a moment to a few of the less immediately conspicuous 
features of the landscape, in the hope that I might sharpen your 
curiosity a little, and that some of you perhaps might feel tempted to 
walk a little nearer and take a rather closer view. 



Principal J. C. IRVINE, C.B.E., D.Sc, LL.D., F.E.S., 


I AM deeply sensible of the honour done to nie in electing me to this 
chair, and am well aware of my own unworthiness to occupy the 
position. Nevertheless, I feel that there is something appropriate in 
the choice which brings once more into close relationship the University 
of St. Andrews and the British Association. You will forgive me if, 
for the moment, my thoughts are focussed not so much on the subject 
assigned to our Section as on the origin and natiu'e of this annual 
gathering of scientists. 

The British Association was the product of an age rather tlian the 
inspiration of any one man, yet of those who first gave practical effect 
to the movement which has spread scientific learning and has bound 
its devotees in a goodly fellowship there was no more eager spirit than 
Sir David Brewster. It is not an exaggerated claim that it was he 
who founded the British Association. One may trace his enlightened 
action to a desire to combat the apathy and distrust shown by the 
Government of his day towards scientific work and even scientific men. 
Only in the historical sense can I claim any relationship with Brewstei-. 
It is my privilege to occupy the Principalship he once held, and I 
cannot escape from the thought that the daily tasks now mine were 
once his. 

It is thus inevitable that to-day a name often in my mind should 
spring once more into recollection, especially as my distinguished 
predecessor was present at the first Hull meeting in 1853, when he 
cont)'ibuted two papers to Section A. Chemists should be among the 
first to pay grateful tribute to Brewster's efforts on behalf of science, 
and I propose, therefore, to include in my address a review of tlie 
position scientific chemistry has won since his day in pul)lic and official 
estimation. Moreover, at the express suggestion of some of our 
members whose opinions cannot be disregarded, I am induced to add 
the consideration of the new I'esponsibilities chemists have incurred 
now that so many of Brewster's hopes have been realised. These were 
recently submitted by me to another audience and, through the medium 
of an article in ' Nature,' are possibly known to you already, but I 
agree with my advisers that their importance warrants further elabora- 
tion and wider discussion. 

It would be idle to recall the lowly position of chemistry as an 
educative force in this country, or to reconstruct the difficulties with 
which the scientific chemist was confronted during the first thirty years 


of the nineteeiilli century. Present difficulties are serious enough, and 
press for all our attention, without dwelling unduly on troubles of the 
past. But we must at least remember that in the early days of the 
British Association ' schools ' of chemistry were in their infancy, and 
that systematic instruction in the science was difficult to obtain. 
Another point of fundamental importance which has to be borne in 
mind is that the masters of the subject were then for the most part 
solitary workers. 

It is difficult for us, looking back through the years, to realise 
what it must have meant to search for truth under conditions which 
were discouraging, if not actually hostile. Yet, although his labours 
were often thankless and unrewarded, the chemist of the time was 
probably a riper philosopher and a finer enthusiast than his successor 
of to-day. He pursued his inquiries amidst fewer distractions, and 
in many ways his lot must have been happy, save when tormented by 
the thought that a subject so potent as chemistry in developing the 
intellectual and material welfare of the community should remain 
neglected to an extent which to us seems incredible. 

Public sympathy was lacking, Government support was negligible 
or grudgingly bestowed, and there was little or no co-operation between 
scientific chemistry and industry. As an unaided enthusiast the 
chemist was left to pursue his way without the stimulus, now happily 
ours, which comes from the feeling that work is supported by educated 
and enlightened appreciation. 

Let me quote from one of Faraday's letters now in my possession 
and, so far as I can trace, unpublished. Writing to a friend imme- 
diately before the foundation of the British Association, he relates that 
a manufacturer had adopted a process developed in the course of an 
investigation carried out in the Eoyal Institution. The letter con- 
tinues : ' He ' (the manufacturer) ' writes me word that, having repeated 
our experiments, he finds the product very good, and as our information 
was given openly to the world he, as a matter of compliment, has 
presented me with some pairs of razors to give away.' If ever there 
was a compliment which could be described as empty, surely this was 
one ; yet the letter gives the impression that Faraday himself was quite 
content with his reward. 

It is perhaps unfair to quote Faraday as a type, for few men are 
blessed with his transparent simplicity of character, but there is 
obviously a great gulf fixed between the present day and a time when 
a debt of honour could be cancelled in such a manner. A little reflec- 
tion will show that the British Association has played a useful part 
in discrediting the idea that because so much scientific discovery is 
given ' openly to the world,' those who profit by such discoveries should 
be absolved from their reasonable obligations. Even where scientific 
workers do not expect or desire personal reward, the institutions which 
provide them with their facilities are often sorely in need. The recogni- 
tion, not yet complete, but more adequate than once was the case, 
that the labourer is worthy of his hire represents only one minor change 
which the years have brought. 

An even greater contrast, embodying more important principles, is 


I'uinid in the changed attitude of the State towards scientific education 
iind discovery. Remember Brewster's fond hope that, by means of our 
Association, the whole status of science would be raised, and that a 
greater measui-e of support and encouragement would be received from 
the Government. How eagerly the venerable physicist must have 
listened to the Presidential Address delivered at the twenty-third meeting 
of the Association assembled in Hull for the first time! It dealt vvi<.h 
many problems familiar to him. No doubt he followed with keen 
interest the account of the observations on NebultB made with Lord 
Rosse's telescope, and appreciated the references to the -vork of Joule 
and Thomson. The address was a masterly synopsis of scientific pro- 
gress, but from time to time a new note steals in. There is a signifi- 
cant reference to a consultation with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
another to a conversation with Mr. Gladstone, and a third to a working 
arrangement concluded with the Admiralty. These would fall sweetly 
on Brewster's ear, and he would cordially approve of the report of our 
Parliamentary Committee which had established sympathetic contact 
with the House of Commons. He could not fail to be impressed with 
the changes a few years had brought. 

Let us bridge the further gap of sixty-nine years which separates 
us from that day. The contrast is amazing, and once more we can 
trace the steady, persistent influence of the British Association in 
bringing about what is practically a revolution in public and official 
opinion. We have learned many lessons. The change has come 
suddenly, but it was not spontaneous. Many years had to be spent 
in disseminating the idea that research is a vital necessity, and toward 
this end Presidents of our Association have not hesitated, year after 
year, to add the weight of their influence and eloquence. It was 
courageous of them to do so. I would refer you particularly to the 
forcible appeals made by Sir James Dewar at Belfast and Sir Norman 
Lockyer at Southport, when the plea for more research was laid before 
the Association, and thus found its way by the most direct channel to 
the Press and to the public. No doubt many other factors have played 
a part in creating a research atmosphere in this country, but the steady 
pressure exerted by the British Association is not the least important 
of these influences. 

The principles of science are to-day widely spread; systematic 
scientific training has found an honourable place in the schools and 
in the colleges ; above all, there is the realisat^ion that much of human 
progress is based on scientific inquiry, and at last this is fostered, and, 
in part, financed as a definite unit of national educational policy. Public 
funds are devoted to provide facilities for those who are competent to 
pursue scientific investigations, and in this way the State, acting through 
the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, has assumed the 
double responsibility of providing for the advancement of knowledge 
and for the application of scientific methods to industry. Scientists 
have been given the opportunities they desired, and it remains for us 
to justify all that has been done. We have this morning glanced briefly 
at the painful toil and long years of preparation; now it falls to us to 
sow the first crop and reap the first harvest. 


Thanks to the wisdom and foresight of others, it has been possible 
to frame the Government pohcy in tlie light of the experience gained 
with pre-existing research organisations. The pioneer scheme of the 
kind is that administered by the Commissioners of the 1851 Exhibition, 
who since 1890 have awarded research scholarships to selected graduates. 
"When in 1901 Mr. Carnegie's benefaction was applied to the Scottish 
Universities the trustees wisely determined to devote part of the revenues 
to the provision of research awards which take the form of Scholarships, 
Fellowships, and Eesearch Lectureships. These have proved an im- 
mense boon to Scottish graduates, and the success of the venture is 
sufficiently testified by the fact that the Government Eesearch scheme 
was largely modelled on that of the Carnegie Trust. 

In each of these organisations chemistry bulks largely, and the 
future of our subject is intimately connected with their success or failure. 
The issue lies largely in our hands. We must not forget that we are 
only at the beginning of a great movement, and that fresh duties 
now devolve upon us. It was my privilege for some years to direct 
the work of a Chemistry Institute, where research was organised on 
lines which the operation of the Government scheme will make general. 
If, from the very nature of things, my experience cannot be lengthy 
it is at least intimate, and I may perhaps be allowed to lay before you 
my impressions of the problems we have to face. 

Two main objectives lie before us : the expansion of useful learning 
and the diffusion of research experience among a selected class. This 
class in itself will form a new unit in the scientific community, and 
from it will emerge the ' exceptional man ' to whom, quoting Sir James 
Dewar, ' we owe our reputation and no small part of our prosperity.' 
When these words were uttered in 1902 it was a true saying that ' for 
such men we have to wait upon the will of Heaven.' It is still true, 
but there is no longer the same risk that the exceptional man will fall 
by the way through lack of means. Many types of the exceptional 
man will be forthcoming, and you must not imagine that I am regarding 
him merely as one who will occupy a University Chair. He will be 
found more frequently in industry, where his function will be to hand 
on the ideas inspired by his genius to the ordinary investigator. 

I have no intention of wearying you by elaborating my views on 
the training required to produce these different types. My task is 
greatly simplified if you will agree that the first step must be systematic 
experience in pure and disinterested research, without any reference to 
tlie more complicated problems of applied science. This is necessary, 
for if our technical research is to progress on sound lines the founda- 
tions must be truly laid. I have no doubt as to the prosperity of 
scientific industries in this country so long as we avoid hasty and prema- 
ture specialisation in those who control them. We may take it that in 
the future the great majority of expert chemists will pass through a 
stage in which they make their first acquaintance with the methods of 
research under supervision and guidance. The movement is already 
in progress. The Government grants are awarded generously and 
widely. The conditions attached are moderate and reasonable, and 
there is a rush to chemical research in our colleges. Here, then, I 


issue my first note of warning, and it is to the professors. It is an 
easy matter to nominate a research student ; a research laboratory com- 
fortably filled with workers is an inspiring sight, but there are few more 
harassing duties than those which involve the direction of young 
research chemists. No matter how great their enthusiasm and abilities, 
these pupils have to be trained, guided, inspired, and this help can 
come only from the man of mature years and experience. I am well 
aware that scorn has been poured on the idea that research requires 
training. No doul^t tlie word is an expression of intellectual freedom, 
Init 1 have seen too many good investigators spoiled and discouraged 
through lack of this help to hold any other opinion than that training is 
necessary. 1 remember, too, years when I wandered more or less aim- 
lessly down the by-paths of pointless inquiries, and I then learned to 
realise the necessity of economising the time and effoi't of others. 

The duties of such a supervisor cannot be light. He must possess 
versatility ; for although a ' research school ' will doubtless preserve 
one particular type of problem as its main feature, there must be a 
sufficient variety of topics if narrow specialisation is to be avoided. 
Eemember, also, that there can be no formal course of instruction 
suitable for groups of students, no common course applicable to all 
pupils and all inquiries. Individual attention is the first necessity, and 
the educative value of early researches is largely derived from the daily 
consultations at the laboratory bench or in the library. The responsi- 
bility of becoming a research supervisor is great, and, even with the 
best of good will, many find it difficult to enter sympathetically into 
the mental position of the beginner. An unexpected result is obtained, 
an analysis fails to agree, and the supervisor, out of his long experience, 
can explain the anomaly at once, and generally does so. If the pupil 
is to derive any real benefit from his difficulties, his adviser must for 
the moment place himself in the position of one equally jiuzzled, and 
must lead his collaborator to sum up the evidence and arrive at the 
correct conclusion for himself. The policy thus outlined is, I believe, 
sound, but it makes severe demands on patience, sympathy, and, above 
all, time. 

Research supervision, if conscientiously given, involves the com- 
plete absorption of the director's energy and leisure. There is a rich 
reward in seeing pupils develop as independent thinkers and workers, 
but the supervisor has to pay the price of seeing his own research 
output fade away. He will have more conjoint papers, but fewer 
individual publications, and limitations will be placed on the nature of 
his work by the restricted technique of his pupils. 

I have defined a high standard, almost an ideal, but there is, of 
course, the easy alternative to use the technical skill of the graduate 
to carry out the more laborious and mechanical parts of one's own 
researches, to regard these young workers as so many extra pairs of 
hands. I need not elaborate the outcome of such a policy. 

There is another temptation, and that, in an institution of university 
rank, is for the professor to leave research training in the hands of 
his lecturers, selecting as his collaborators only those workers who 
have passed the apprenticeship stage. This, I am convinced, is a 


mistake. Nothing consolidates a research school more firmly than the 
feeling that all who labour in its interests are recognised by having 
assigned to them collaborators of real ability. 

I am not yet done with the professor and his staff, for they will 
have other matters to attend to if research schools are to justify their 
existence and to do more than add to the bulk of our journals. In 
many cases it will be found that the most gifted of the young workers 
under their care lack what, for want of a better expression, is known as 
' general culture.' Eemember, these graduates have just emerged from 
a period of intensive study in which chemistry and the allied sciences 
have absorbed most of their attention. For their own sake and in the 
interests of our subject, they must be protected from the criticism that 
a scientific education is limited in outlook and leads to a narrow 
specialism Tlie research years are plastic years, and many oppor- 
tunities may be found in the course of the daily consultations ' to 
impress upon the student that there is literature other than the records 
of scientific papers, and music beyond the range of student songs.' 
I mention only two of the many things which may be added to elevate 
and refine the research student's life. Others will at once occur to 
you, but I tui'n to an entirely different feature of research training, for 
which I make a special plea : I refer to the inculcation of business-like 
methods. You will not accuse me, I hope, of departing from the 
spirit of scholarship or of descending into petty detail, but my experi- 
ence has been that research students require firm handling. 
Emancipated as they are from the restrictions of undergraduate study, 
the idea seems to prevail that these workers ought to be excused the 
rules which usually govern a teaching laboratory, and may therefore 
work in any manner they choose. It requires, in fact, the force of a 
personal example to demonstrate to them that research work can be 
carried out with all the neatness and care demanded by quantitative 
analysis. Again, in the exercise of their new freedom young col- 
laborators are inclined to neglect recording their results in a manner 
which secures a permanent record and is of use to the senior collaborator. 
As a rule, the compilation of results for publication is not done by 
the experimenter, and a somewhat elaborate system of records has to 
be devised. It should be possible, twenty years after the work has 
been done, to quote the reasons which led to the initiation of each 
experiment, and to trace the source and history of each specimen 
analysed, or upon which standard physical constants have been deter- 
mined. I need not enter into detail in this connection beyond stating 
that, although a system which secures these objects has for many j^ears 
been adopted in St. Andrews, constant effort is required to maintain 
the standard. 

One of the greatest anxieties of the research supervisor is, however, 
the avoidance of extravagance and waste. The student is sometimes 
inclined to assume a lordly attitude and to regard such matters as 
the systematic recovery of solvents beneath his notice. My view is 
that, as a matter of discipline as much as in the interests of economy, 
extravagant working should not be tolerated. There is naturally an 
economic limit where the time spent in such economies exceeds in 

15.— CHEMISTRY. 31 

value the materials saved, and a correct balance must be adjusted. 
It is often instructive to lay before a research worker an estimate of 
the cost of an investigation in which these factors of time and material 
are taken into account. As a general rule it will be found that the 
saying of material is of greater moment than the loss of time. The 
point may not be vitally important in the academic laboratory, but 
in the factory, to which most of these workers eventually migrate, 
tliey will soon have the lesson thrust upon them that their time and 
salary bear a small propoi-tion to costs of production. 

You will see I have changed my warning from the professor to the 
student. A student generation is short. In a few years, when almost 
as a matter of course the best of young chemists will quahfy for the 
Doctor of Philosophy degree, it will be forgotten that these facilities 
have come to us, not as a right, but as a privilege. Those who reap 
the advantages of these privileges must prove that the efforts made on 
their behalf have been worth while. 

Looking at the position broadly, if one may criticise the research 
schemes of to-day, it is in the sense that the main bulk of support is 
afforded to the research apprentice, and the situation has become infinitely 
harder for the supervisor in that new ajid onerous tasks are imposed 
upon him. To expect him to undertake his normal duties and, as a 
voluntary act, the additional burden of research training is to force 
him into the devastation of late hours and ovei^work. The question 
is at once raised — Are we using our matui-e research material to the 
best advantage, and is our policy sufficiently focussed on the require- 
ments of the experienced investigator? I think it will generally be 
agreed that members of the professor or lectm'er class who join in 
the movement must be relieved in great measure of teaching and 
administrative work. I am decidedly of the opinion that the research 
supervisor must be a teacher, and must mingle freely with under- 
gi'aduates, so as to recognise at the earliest possible stage the potential 
investigators of the future and guide their studies. To meet this 
necessity universities and colleges must realise that their curriculum has 
been extended and that staffs must be enlarged accordingly. There 
could then be definite periods of freedom from official duties for those 
who undertake research training as an added task. Opportunities must 
also be given to these ' exceptional men ' to travel occasionally to other 
centres and refresh themselves in the company of kindred workers. 
It is evident thnt our universities are called upon to share the financial 
burden involved in a National Research scheme to a nuich greater 
extent than possibly tliey kiiow. 

I may perhaps sunnnarise some of the conclusions I have reached 
in thinking over these questions. The first and most important is that 
in each institution there should be a Board or Standing Conmiittee 
entrusted with the supervision of research. The functions of such a 
body would be widely varied and would include: — ■ 

1. Tho alloc-ation of money voted specifically from utiiversitv or 
college funds for research expenses. 

2. The power to' i-ecommend additions to the Teaching Staff in 
departments actively engaged in research. 

1922 E 


3. The recommendation of promotions on the basis of research 

4. The supervision of regulations governing higher degrees. 
Among the more specific problems which confront this Board are 

the following : — 

1. The creation of Eesearch Libraries where reference works can 
be consulted immediately. 

2. The provision of publication grants, so that where no periodical 
lit-erature is available the work will not I'emain buried or obscure. 

3. The allocation of travelling grants to enable workers to visit 
libraries, to inspect manufacturing processes, and to attend meetings 
O'f the scientific societies. 

I have dealt merely with the fringe of the question, but would add 
that there is one thing which a. Eesearch Board should avoid. 

It is, I am convinced, a mistake for a governing body to call for 
an annual list of publications from research laboratories. Nothing 
could be more injurious to the true atmosphere of research than the 
feeling of pressure that papers must be published or the Department 
will be discredited. 

What I have said so far may seem largely ai recital of new difficulties, 
but they are not insurmountable, and to overcome them adds a zest 
to life. It would have taken too long to go more fully into details and 
I have tried to avoid making my address a research syllabus, merely 
giving in general terms the impressions gained during the twenty years 
in which the St. Andrews Eesearch Laboratories have been in existence. 

Save for the fact that I realise my audience is not confined to 
university teachers I would have liked to speak on some such points 
as these' : The choice of a research student, the selection of a research 
subject, the writing of scientific papers. Each would demand a lengthy 
discussion, as would also the painful situation created when a research 
topic fails or a research worker proves disappointing. 

I have confined myself to the first stage in the research development 
of the chemist. His future path may lead him either to the factory or 
to the lecture-room, and in the end the exceptional man will be found 
in the director's laboratory or in the professor's chair. However 
difficult these roads may prove, I feel that with the financial aid now 
available, supported by the self-sacrificing labours of those who devote 
themselves to furthering this work, he has the opportunity to reach the 
goal. It is the beginning of a new scientific age, and we may look 
forward confidently to the time when there will be no lack of trained 
scientific intellects to lead our policy and direct our effoits in all that 
concerns the welfare of the country. 



riuxciPAL J. 0. IRVINE, C.B.E., D.Sc, LL.D., E.E.S., 



In subuiiLtiiig at this stage an account of the researches upon wJiich 
my co-workers arc at present engaged, I am impressed by the recoUeo 
tion that the first paper on the alkyhition of sugais was read to Section B 
twenty years ago. The connnunication^ dealt merely with the progres- 
sive methylation of methylglucoside and with the trimethyl and tetra- 
methyl glucoses to which the products give rise. Even at that time it 
was recogTiised that the study of methylated sugars opened up a new 
method of attacking the constitutional prohlems of the carbohydrates, 
and the further progress reported to the Association in the following 
year showed how the process could be applied to determine, in part, the 
structm-e of sucrose and maltose.- The principle underlying these 
studies may be very briefly stated. Adopting for the moment the 
accepted foiTnula for glucose it will be seen that a hexose sugar contains 
five hydroxyl groups: — 


— CHOH 1. 


CHOH 2. 

O I 

CHOH 3. 

— CH 4. 


CHOH 5. 

CH.OH 6. 

It is to be noted that one of these groups differs from the remaining 
four in that, although it may be replaced by a. methyl group, this is 
easily removed by acid hydrolysis. On the other hand, when methyl 
groups are introduced into the remaining positions (numbered 2, 3, 
5, and 6 in the formula), they are exceedingly resistent to hydrolytic; 
action. It follows, therefore, that a fully methylated glucoside (11.) 
when lieated witli acid will be converted into a tetramethvl glucose 



I I 


1 1 




I I 


E 'Z 


Similar reactions are impossible with acetyl or benzoyl derivatives 
of sugars owing to the ease with which the substituting groups are 
eliminated. In order to illustrate the utility of methylation in deter- 
mining stiiicture, we may ascribe to any sugar derivative the general 
formula S — G, where S is a sugar residue and G the gi'oup with which 
it; is condensed. Complete methylation may be effected, according to 
the solubilities involved, by silver oxide and methyl iodide or, alterna- 
tively, by methyl sulphate and alkali. The compound obtained will 
yield, on hydrolysis, at least two products, one of which is a methylated 
sugar. Determination of the number and distribution of the methyl 
groups in each of the cleavage products gives the stiucture of the pai'enfc 
compound, as the mode of attachment of the constituents is thereby 

In the sjiecial case where the group G is also a sugar residue the 
general formula of the complex may be written S — Sj. The compound 
would thus be a disaccharide, and precisely the same structural study 
can be applied to it. The method is equally applicable to trisaccharides, 
S — Sj — Sj, and finally to polysaccharides S S„. 

The development of this line of research has demanded the prepara- 
tion of a large variety of methylated sugars, which play the part of 
reference compounds in that the position of the alkyl gi'oups in them 
is known. 

As I wish to deal particularly with the constitutional problems of 
polysaccharides, I shall make no attempt to sununarise the results wliich 
have been obtained in the study of the simple sugars, the glucosides, 
or the disaccharides, but turn at once to the case presented by cellulose. 


(With Dr. W. S. Denham arid Dr. E. L. Hirst.) 

The extensive literature which has grown up on the constitution of 
cellulose affords little satisfaction to the organic chemist. Despite the 
complications involved and the many liabilities to error, it seems 
impossible for workers on cellulose to resist the temptation tO' ascribe 
a molecular formula to the compound. The difficulties which stand in 
the way are too numerous to mention, but the m.arked stability of 
cellulose under some conditions and its curious reactivity under others, 
coupled with its limited solubility and lack of volatility, are outstanding 
obstacles. As a result, many divergent and even conflicting suggestions 
have been put forward to represent the polysacchaiide stiaicturally, 
and the views of chemists both within and without the large circle 
of workers in this field are chaotic. The confusion is increasefl by 
the fact that many fommlas for the compound are published in haste 
to be corrected at leisure, and this unhappy state of affairs was never 
more pronounced than to-day. I would refer you to an article by Hans 
Pringsheim,' in which he classifies the nientality of investigators and 
puts forward a plea that, if sure progress is to be made, the chemistry 
of polysaccharides must be pursued slowly step by step. Impetuous 
and hastv theorising does infinite hann. 

The first essential in arriving at a satisfactory formula for cellulose 

B.— f'HEMISTRV. 35 

is to ascertain if the aggregate (CeHioO,),, is composed eiiliiely of 
glucose units, as even this fuudainental point has been disputed. To 
obtain the necessary evidence is not so simple as might api)ear, and 
many of tlio' proofs ' which have been offered do not carry conviction 
to those familiar with the detailed chemistry of the simple sugare. By 
converting cellulose into the triacetate and thereafter decomposing this 
product so as to give methylglucoside, we have recently obtained data 
which leave no doubt that glucose alone is the basis of cellulose.'* The 
yield of pure crystalline methylglucoside thus isolated amounts to more 
than 95 per cent, of the theoretical yieFd calculated on tlie basis of the 
equation : — 

(CeHioOs). + X H,0 > X CsHjoOc. 

This result applies only to cotton cellulose, and further discussion 
is therefore restricted to tliis particular variety. Disregarding stmic- 
tures which are not based upon glucose, the numerous formula' pro- 
posed for cellulose may be approximately divided into two classes : — 

1. Constitutions modelled on that of the glucosides, involving the 
addition of numerous glucosei residues by mutual condensation. 
According to this view, cellulose consists of large molecules. 

2. The unit of cellulose may be regarded as a simple anhydi-o- 
glucose, CsHioO,;, higlJy polymerised. 

As pointed out, the situation alters almost from day to day, but for 
the moment a compromise between the above classes is supported, and 
some authorities prefer to regard cellulose as a simple anhydro-w- 
saocharide (where n is a small multiple) polymerised in unknown 

Twelve years ago, after developing the methylation process into a 
trustworthy method for determining the linkages of sugar complexes, 
we turned our attention to the constitution of cellulose. The work 
was undertaken by Dr. W. S. Denham,* who, using methyl sulphate 
and sodium hydroxide as the alkylating reagents, ohtained a methylated 
cellulose in which the methoxyl content was 25 per cent. This value 
is lower than that required for a dirnethyl cellulose (32.6 per cent.), 
and it followed that, on hydrolysing the product, a mixture of methyl- 
ated glucoses resulted. From the mixture one definite sugar was 
isolated, and this Denham^ proved to be 2,3,6-trimethyl glucose (IV.), 
which was then isolated for the first time. 











J)oiiliain"s work thus the first oleiir eYideiice as to the hnkagc 
of part of the- celhilose moleculo, aiul is one (yi tlie most; important 
contributions made tO' the structural study oi' couijilex carljohydrates. 
Cellulose must contain the unit 


— CH X 






but as an incompletely methylated cellulose was employed in the 
hydrolysis the research left unexplained the nature of the residues X 
and Y. 

The investigation was therefore continued with the object of com- 
pleting the methylation of cellulose and providing answers to the follow- 
ing questions : — 

(a) Does trimethyl cellulose give, on hydrolysis, a mixture of 
methylated glucoses in which the average methoxyl con- 
tent is three groups per 0^ unit? 

Or alternatively , 

(h) If trimetliyl cellulose gives trimethyl glucose alone, is this 
sugar a single individual or a mixture of isomerides? 

The War interfered with the progress of the work, but other authors 
have not hesitated to propose formulae for cellulose based on Denham's 
results before he had an opportunity to complete his researches and 
provide answers to the fundamental questions raised above. 

In consultation with Dr. Denham we have repeated his experiments, 
and amplified them, so that we are now in a position to propose a 
structure for the cellulose unit which is based on secure evidence. We 
find that the exhaustive methylation of the polysaccharide, when re- 
peated twenty times, gives a product containing 43.0 per cent, of meth- 
oxyl in place of the 45.6 per cent, required for a trimethyl derivative. 
The carbon and hydrogen values also agree with the foi'mula 
(C6H,02(OMe)3).x' s-nd as the material preserved a fibrous structure 
there seems little likelihood that profound molecular alteration had 
taken place. The trimethyl cellulose was heated with a large excess 
of methyl alcohol containing 1 per cent, of hydrogen chloride for fifty 
hours at 125-130°. This treatment effected depolymerisation, hydro- 
lysis, and conversion of the scission products into the corresponding 
methylglucO'sides. These were distilled in a high vacuum, the total yield 
obtained being 90 per cent, of the theoretical amount. The following 
fractions were collected ; — 


A. 'J'rimetliyl nielhylglucoside. 

B. Trimethyl inethylglucoside. 

C. Trimethyl luetiiylglucosido containing ;i small proportion of 

dimetliyl methylglucoside. 
All the fractions were analysed, and in this way it was shown that 
the small quantity of dimethyl methylglucoside in fraction C agreed 
exactly with the deficiency of 2.6 per cent, in the methoxyl content 
of the trimethyl cellulose used. No trace of tetraviethyl methylglucoside 
was present. Moreover, the physical constants of the trimethyl methyl- 
glucoside agreed exactly with those recently established for this com- 
pound by Irvine and Hirst." On hydrolysis of fractions A and B an 
89 per cent, yield of crystalline 2,3,6-trimethyl glucose was obtained. 
The identity of this product was confirmed by analysis, by mixed 
melting-point with an authentic specimen, and by the mutarotation in 
aqueous solution 

[a]„-fl08° > + 67.0°. 

No isomeric trimethyl glucose was present; higher and lower methyl- 
ated glucoses were absent. We thus reach the conclusion that tri- 
methyl cellulose gives 2,3,6-trimethyl glucose as the only product. 
The reactions involved in the research are shown below, and, consider- 
ing the nature of the operations involved, the yields may be claimed to 
be quantitative. 


Trimethyl cellulose , 

! Yield 90";: 

2,3,6-Trimethyl methylglucoside 

I I Yield 89% 

2,3,6-Trimethyl glucose ' 

The scheme affords a proof that all the glucose residues ina-cellulose 
are identical in structure, and the simplest possible formula which will 
satisfy this condition is that of a 1,5-anhydro-glucose. 

I ° 1 


I ^ 

It is necessary, however, to include at least one additional glucose unit 
to account for the formation of cellobiose,^ and this is fulfilled by the 

-CH O 









In terms of the above structure, 100 parts of cellulose should give 
I1O5.5 parts of ct'Uobiose, and here the difficulty is encountered that the 
yields of this disaccharide are extremely variable, and rarely exceed 
35 per cent. The highest claimed is of the order 50-60 per cent., and 
in the meantime it is prudent to select a formula for cellulose which 
will give a result only slightly higher than this figure. We therefore 
propose the symmetrical tri-l,5-anhydro-glucose (VIII.) for the unit 
of cellulose, on the ground that this structure would give a 70 per cent, 
yield of cellobiose as the tlieoretical maximum. 

CH.,OHj O 

-CH — O — CH ■ CH • CHOH • CHOH • CH 




— CH 

CH 0- 



-CH • CHOH • CHOH • CH • CH • CH.,OH 
I I 


There is, however, an alternative method of coupling the glucose 
residues, and this gives the structure shown in Formula IX. 


-CH — O — CH • CHOH • CHOH • CH • H ■ CH-^OH 



ch — — ch ■ choh • choh ■ ch • ch • chjoh 




Taking into account the fact that it can yield only one disaccharide, we 
prefer Formula VIII. to the above structure. The essential properties 
of cellulose, so far as they are displayed in chemical reactions, are 
accounted for by both formulae. Further, the structures are not incon- 
sistent with the production of bromomethyl furfuraldehyde ^ from cellu- 
lose, and indicate that the normal yield of this derivative involves the 
reaction of one-third of the total unit. 

The various formulae which, in tlie past, have been proposed for 
cellulose have been summarised by Hibbert.'" With the exception of 
a structure suggested by this author, and in supporting which he pre- 
maturely assumed that only one form of trimethyl glucose could be 
obtained from cellulose, the structures he tabulates do not in any case 
agree with the evidence we now produce. Typical examples are 
quoted : — 



Green's formula 'M- 







would give a trimethyl cellulose whicli on hydrolysis would lose one 
methyl group and be converted into 3,4-dimethyl glucose of the amylene- 
oxide type. 

Vignon's formula '- : — 








is equally unsatisfactory in that the final product should then be 
2,3,4-trimethyl glucose of the amylene-oxide type. 

The formulse proposed by Tollens,'^ Cross and Bevan,'' Bartelemy,'^ 
and Pictet "' may be deleted for similar reasons. It is also possible to 
dispose of Karrer's^' formula, which is that of an anhydro-cellobiose 
(termed ' cellosan '). 












A compound possessing this stiuctuio would yield, on methylation and 

1 molecule of ■2,3,5-trimethyl glucose 

and 1 molecule of 2,3,6-trimethyI glucose. 
Our experimental evidence is completely opposed to this view. 

An entirely different type of cellulose formula may now be 
tested. Hess proposes '* a glucosidic structure which bears a general 
resemblance to Fischer's constitution for tannins. Space does not 


permit o[ these formulee being given in full, but the general form will 
be evident fi'om the simplest example: — 

f ^ 1 

— CH— 0— UH • CHOH • CHOH • CH • CHOH • CH.,OH 

i i I « 1 

CH— 0— CH • CHOH ■ CHOH • CH • CHOH • CH.2OH 

o I , ^1 



I , O i 


I i ^ 1 

CH,— 0— CH • CHOH • CHOH • CH • CHOH -CHoOH 

Variations are introduced by lengthening the sugar chains until finally 
a molecule is obtained with eighteen glucose residues (CiosHinaOgi). Tho 
feature common to all these glucosidic formulae is that the hydroxyl 
groups are not symmetrically distributed in the glucose residues. The 
simplest structure suggested by Hess would give by our processes five 
molecules of 2,3,5,6-tetramethyl glucose and one molecule of glucose, 
while his more elaborate molecules would also result in these compounds 
together with trimethyl glucose. The reactions of trimethyl cellulose 
exclude all formulae of this nature. 


[With Mr. John Macdonalb, M.A., B.Sc] 

Turning to the problem of the constitution of starch, we encounter 
very much the same difficulties as have already been referred to under 
the heading of cellulose. The importance of the compound, its mani- 
fold technical applications, and the special appeal its study makes to 
the biologist have alike combined to produce a voluminous and some- 
what scattered literature. If, however, we eliminate unsupported or 
contradictory results the following evidence as to structure emerges 
Starch, when purified from constituents containing nitrogen and phos- 
phorus, possesses the formula (CeHioO.^)^' ^^^ the molecule consists 
entirely of glucose units. Further, three hydroxyl groups are present 
for every six carbon atoms, but, as in the case of cellulose, this does 
not necessarily imply that each glucose residue contains three unsub- 
stituted hydroxyl groups, or that their distribution is symmetrical. The 
primary reaction of starch, which must be accommodated by a structural 
formula, is the production of maltose by the action of diastase. 

The first essential is the identification of the unit of which the starch 
molecule is composed, and here, as in the case of other polysaccharides, 
molecular weight determinations give results of doubtful value. At the 
present time there is little tendency to regard starch as a highly complex 
glucoside in which a large number of hexose residues are mutually con- 
densed together, and the view prevails that the polysaccharide is derived 
from a comparatively simple anhydro-sugar by profound polymerisation. 
Attention may be focussed on three formulae based on such ideas. 


Tlic unit of stai'cli lias l)ccii c-lainicd to lie: — 

J. [i-glucosan . . . (PicLet)'" 

2. Aniiydro-nmltose . . (Karrer)"" 

3. Triainylose . . . (Prinssheim)'"' 

It is possible to lest these views by the methylation method. 

The first successful methylation of starch was effected by Denham 
and ^YoodhoLlse,-- and the reaction was afterwards adopted by Karrer.--' 
He was, however, unable to complete the alkylation, the substitution 
being arrested, as we ascertained many years ago, when the methoxyl 
content was of the order 35 per cent. This value is slightly higher than 
that demanded for a dimethyl starch, but is considerably lower than 
that calculated for a trimethyl derivative. It is significant that Prings- 
heini encountered similar difficulty in methylating tlie amyloses, diamyl- 
ose giving a tetramethyl compound, whilst a-tetramylose was converted 
into the corresponding octamethyl derivative. Pringsheim's combined 
results lead him to tlie conclusion that the molecule of starch is built 
up of not more than 4-6 glucose residues, and, on the whole, he is 
disposed to retain triamylose as the basis of the polysaccharide. 

On the other hand, Karrer "s view that starch is a polymerised 
anhydro-maltose rests upon very insecure evidence. The claim that 
the action of acetyl bromide on the amyloses gives practically quantita- 
tive yields of heptacetyl bromo-maltose has been adequately repudiated 
by Pringsheim. It is, moreover, possible to dispose completely of 
Karrer's formula for starch by the results now submitted. 

When the polysaccharide is methylated repeatedly by the methyl 
sulphate method, the reaction ceases when the methoxyl content is 
37 per cent. It is to be noted that this maximum is not reached when 
the silver oxide and methyl iodide reaction is employed, as the substitu- 
tion then stops definitely at the dimethyl stage. Now, the higher value 
for methoxyl corresponds exactly with the theoretical amount calcu- 
lated on the basis that one hexose residue has acquired three methyl 
groups, while four are shared by two glucose residues. Ultimate 
analysis is also in agreement with this view. Hydrolysis of the methyl- 
ated starch has shown that this is not a fortuitous coincidence, and 
we thus obtain a direct clue to the magnitude of the unit which goes 
to form the starch molecule. When digested with methyl alcohol con- 
taining hydrogen chloride the methylated polysaccharide was converted 
into trimethyl methylglucoside and dimethyl methylglucoside. These 
were purified by distillation in a high vacuum, and thereafter hydrolysed 
to give the parent sugars. A totally unexpected result was encountered 
in that the trimethyl glucose actually isolated proved to be the crystalline 
form in which the methyl groups occupy the 2,3,G-positions. This 
sugar has been shown to have the constitution given in Formula XIV., 
and the linkage of one glucose unit in the starch molecule is thus 
established (Formula XV.). It is to be noted that this particular type 
of structui-e is not present in maltose, but is characteristic of cellobiose 
and lactose. 







_CH O . 









CH -0 


In order to accommodate the formation of maltose from starch either 
one or two additional glucose residues must he present at X and Y in 
the unit. Before developing a formula which will fulfil tlie above 
conditions an outline of the reactions involved may l)e given: — 


Methvlated Starch (OMe = .30-4 %) 
(13 grams) [o-h + 186-3'' 

V y i 

Trimethyl niethylglucoside Dimethyl methylglucoside Depolj'merised 

Methylated Starch 
^OMe = 37 %) 
[«1d + SO'' 
(4 grams) 

2, ^fi -Trimethyl glurose 
(3 grams) 

Dimethyl glucose 
(6 grams) 

2,3,5,6-Tetramethyl glucose 

It will be seen that the removal of trimethyl glucose and dimethyl 
glucose in the molecular ratio of 1:2 is effected without alteration in 
the composition of any methylated starch which survives hydrolysis. 
The result is striking confirmation of the view that starch is based on 
an anhydro-trisaccharide in which two hexose residues are linked in 
a different fashion from the third. One of these is constituted as in 
Formula XV., and the remaining two must be added in such a way 
that at least one pair displays the essential structure of maltose.^* 

Four different structures may be built up to accommodate these 
factors : — 




— CH 


O I 

I I 
— CH 


-0 CH, • CHOH • CH ■ CHOH • CHOH • CH 



-0 CH • CHOH • CHOH • CH • CHOH • CH 




I ° 1 

— CH O CH • CHOH • CHOH • CH • CHOH • CH, 





(JH.OH ' I 




I 1 




— CH 


CH.OH ^ 







CH 0- 



I « I 



-CHj • CHOH • CH • CHOH • CHOH • CH 

I 0- -I 


(Letters in block type designate the potential reducing groups.) 

The inethylation process cannot discriminate between these possibiU- 
ties, and with the data at our disposal it is inadvisable to make a definite 
claim in favour of any one of them. Each formula postulates that 
starch is derived entirely from the butylene-oxide form of glucose, and 
this we have sliown to be the case. The formuhe arc all consistent with 
the steric hindrance encountered in completing tlie methylation ol 
starch, previous experience having shown that the alkylation of 
position 5 is difficult when position 6 of the glucose chain is already 

'I'hc fininiihc differ in one important I'cspect, as nialloso may l)e 
obtained from foi'm XVI. in two ways, and in only one way from each 
of XVIL, XVIII., XIX. Peiidino- the coni])]otion of furllier work on 
this subject we prefer fornuda XVI., but ivcognisc tliat our results 
apply only to a purified rice starch. 


One objection may, however, be discussed. In the formation of 
maltose no more than one molecule' of this disaccharide could be obtained 
from one such unit. The maxinuim yield of the sugar would there- 
fore be of the order 70 per cent. (74 per cent, calculated as maltose 
hydrate). Yields higher than this figui'e are quoted in the literature, 
but it may be remarked that most specimens of maltose do not behave 
as identical homogeneous chemical individuals in bacteriolo'gical tests. 
Fm-ther, von Euler and Svanberg,-* who conducted the diastatic 
hydrolysis of starch under conditions in which the optimum hydrogen 
ion concentration was present, i-eport that the yield of maltose formed 
is then 75 per cent. The small margin unexplained by our fonnulse 
may be due to the synthetic action of the enzyme on the molecule of 
glucose liberated during hydrolysis. This suggestion is in agreement 
with von Euler's observation that the end point oi his reaction was 
reached with extreme slowness. Another objection tO' the new sti-ucture 
is that the acetolysis of starch might result in molecular rupture in 
such a manner that cellobiose would be produced. So far, this 
disaccharide has not been encountered in the degradation products of 
starch, ai result which is not surprising in view of the uncertainty 
attending the formation of cellobiose. It may also be mentioned that 
if starch is composed uniformly of the above anhydro-trisaccharide 
residues it is difficult to explain the existence of polyamyloses other 
than those to which the general formula (CeHioOj^,, can be applied. 
Taking into consideration the yield of di- and tetra-amyloses obtained 
from starch, it is evident that they may possibly be accounted for in 
the fraction of the starch molecule which has not yet been converted 
intO' recognisable glucosides, but the ariernative is also open that the 
polyamyloses may not all be structurally related to starch. 

It is perhaps advisable tO' point ont that the experimental results 
now presented demand the i-ejection of various formulae for starch 
proposed from time tO' time by Karrer. His structures are based on a 
diamylose fanhydro-maltose), twO' formulae for which have been put 
forward differing in the position of the anhydro-ring. The evidence 
he adduces in favour of these views is not convincing. 

The first unit he gives is : — 

I 1 


O XX. 

I " I I 

OH ■ CHOH • CHOH • CH • CH- CH. 

I - -- O I 

A formula of this type is open to many criticisms, and would 
demand the direct ])roduction of 2,.'3,5,6-tet.rametIiyl glucose from 
a methylated starch. It is needless to state further objections, as 


Karrer rapidly changed his views in favour of an alternative which 
is equally incorrect. The unit he prefers at present is: — 

,— CH 


I I 




I ; 




I o ' 

It is clear that the only trimethyl glucose to which such a structure 
could give rise is the 2,3,5-form described by Irvine and Oldham.-^ 
No trace of this compound was detected by us, and, moreover, the 
2,3,6-variety of trimethyl glucose actually obtained cannot possibly 
be accommodated by Karrer's formula. For similar reasons it can no 
longer be maintained that starch is an aggi-egate of (J-glucosan residues. 
Irvine and Oldham have proved that glucosan is convertible into 
2,3,5-trimethyl glucose, and the same sugar should be formed on 
hydrolysing methylated starch if there is any structural relationship 
between glucosan and the polysaccharide. The result obtained is 
obviously opposed to such a view. 

Our work has also thrown light on various other problems connected 
with the chemistry of starch, including the attachment of niti'ogen and 
phosphorus to the molecule. These elements do not appear to be 
constituents of extraneous compounds, but form part of the polymerised 
aggi-egate. This is shown very clearly by the behavio'ur of nitrogenous 
starch, which was methylated in the first instance by the use of methyl 
sulphate and alkali. Thereaiter the product was treated with silver 
oxide and methyl iodide, but contrary to expectation the whole of 
the material became converted into an insoluble additive compound 
with silver iodide. This behaviour does not extend to a purified starch, 
and finds an exact parallel in the case of glucosamine derivatives which, 
under identical conditions, form insoluble complexes with silver 
halides.-'' Obviously if nitrogen were present merely as part of an 
adventitious impurity only this component would be removed in the 
course of the silver oxide alkylation, and the fact that the total material 
was preci^^itated is a proof that the fragment containing nitrogen is 
definitely polymerised to the starch unit. Similar considerations apply 
to the case of glycogen and have served to complicate onr work on the 
alkylation of this compound. It has been established, however, that, 
as in the case of starcli, the metliylation of glycogen shows a. tendency 
to be aiTested when the metlioxyl content is under 40 per cent. The 
separation of the methylated glucoses is not yet sufficiently far advanced 
to permit of their identification, but a publication on the eicact relation- 
ship of glycogen to starch will not be long delayed. 


Synthetic Dextrins. 

[With Mr. J. W. H. Oldham, B.A.] 

With the courteous permission of Professor Pictet we have apphed 
the methylatioii process to the synthetic dextrins recently prepared by 
him.-* These compounds are formed by the polymerisation of 
p-glucosan and, in properties and composition, they closely resemble 
the natural dextrins. It is, however, abundantly evident that the 
synthetic coanpounds differ structurally fi'om starch as, although 
methylation was extremely tedious, complete alkylation was effected 
with the production of trimethyl derivatives. Contraiy tO' expectation, 
hydrolysis of these compounds did not lead to the formation of 2,'3,5- 
trimetbyl glucose, although this sugar has already been obtained from 
p.glucosan by similar treatment. On the other hand, large quantities 
of 2,3,5,6-tetraJuethyl glucose were invariably for-med, together 
with lower methylated glucoses in which the position of the alkyl 
groups is unknown. It follows from these results that the synthetic 
dextrins are complex polyglucose-glucosides, and it is interesting to note 
that they thus conform to the structural type suggested for cellulose 
by Hess. Although starch is convertible into glucosan and this, in 
turn, into the synthetic dextrins, it is evident that profound structural 
alterations must accompany each change. 


[With Dr. Ettie S. Steele, Mr. G. McOwan, M.A., B.Sc, and Miss 

M. I. Shannox, B.Sc] 

The statement has been made that, of all the polysacchaiides, 
inulin is the repi-esentative of which the structure has been most 
definitely established. The opinion is gratifying, but not altogether 

Inulin is derived from fructose, and, until recently, there was no 
reaso'n to doubt that the parent hexose was the well-known laevo-rotatory 
form of the ketose. This view is no longer tenable as, although inulin 
itself yields the normal form of fructosei on hydrolysis, trimethyl inulin 
is converted into a dextro-rotatory trimethyl fructose.^' In similar 
manner, dimethyl inulin gives a dextro-rotatory dimethyl fructose. 
Each of these alkylated ketoses was proved to be a derivative of the 
' Y-fi'Lictose,' which is a constituent of sucrose. 

This result places inulin in a position which is quite miique, and 
the evidence is conclusive that thei polysaccharide is entirely composed 
of y- fructose residues, each of which retains three hydroxyl gi'oups. 

The many problems involved in the constitution of inulin have been 
discussed by us at some length in recent papers, and attention may 
now be restricted tO' the additional evidence we have secured. One 
important point left unsettled was whether the trimethyl y-fructose 
obtained from trimethyl inulin is a single chemical substance or a 
mixture ol iso«ierides. The question is fundamental, as only in the 
event of the methylated fructose proving to be a single individual are 
we justified in claiming that the hydroxyl gi-oups in inulin are 
symmetiically disposed. The experimental difficulties in the way are 


formidable, as methylated fructoses of the y-type are liquids and give 
no crystalline derivatives. By the following method, however, it has 
been possible to obtain the necessary information, and it is no>w 
established that only one form oi trimethyl fructose is produced from 

A large quantity of trimethyl inulin was digested with methyl alcohol 
containing hydrogen cldoride under conditions which effected: — 

(a) Depolymerisation, 

(b) hydrolysis, 

(c) condensatio'U tO' give trimethyl methylfructoside. 

The product was distilled in a high vacuum, and fractions were 
abstracted at frequent intervals while the boiling-point remained 
constant. All the fractions showed the same refractive, index and 
specific rotation. Moreover, the speed of hydrolysis of the fructoside, 
as indicated by polarimetic observations, was in each case the same, 
and in each experiment the trimethyl fructose then formed showed 
identical physical constants. Of greater importance is the fact that 
all the specimens of trimethyl methyl-fructoside reacted in the same 
way when dissolved in acetone containing hydrogen chloride. Under 
these conditions trimethyl fructose monoacetone was formed, and here 
again the speed of the reaction measured polarimetrically showed no 
difference in any of the specimens. 

There can be no doubt, therefore, that inulin is an aggregate of 
anhydro y. fructose residues and that each of the units is identical. 

As the exact structure of the methylated fructoses of the y-type is 
not yet determined with certainty, it is needless tO' speculate here on the 
manner in whicli these residues are united. The subject has been 
engaging our attention fo^r a considerable time, but is complicated by 
the readiness with which the methylated inulins undergo both 
polymerisation and depolymerisation. 

It is not unlikely, bearing in mind the structure assigned to cellulose 
and starch, that inulin is based on a tri-anhydro-y -fructose. 

The structural discussion which I have had the honour to lay before 
you on one of the most important groups of natural compounds is 
admittedly incomplete, and no claim is made that the formulae now 
submitted are final. But they at least indicate a new development in 
the chemistry of polysaccharides, and lines of further research are 
opened out which promise in time to reveal the intimate constitution of 
these substances. Much reliance has been placed on the validity of the 
methylation process as a means of determining structure, but it has to 
be remembered that most speculation of the kind on carbohydrates is 
now based on results obtained by this one particular method. The 
structure of glucosides, the nature of y-sugars, the constitution of 
sucrose, maltose, and cellobiose, are all involved in cuiTent discussions 
on this subject, and all are based on the properties of the simple 
alkylated sugars. 

Numerous details, such as the specific reactions of the individual 
hydroxyl groups in carbohydrate units, have still to be settled before 
the further problem of the polymerisation of polysaccharides can be 

1022 F 


adequately dealt with, but many features, for the most part unexpected, 
have been revealed. 

The polysaccharides, like many other research fields, are, after all, 
not so complicated as they appeared when viewed from afar, and the 
close relationship now established between cellulose and starch, starch 
and lactose, inulin and sucrose, will, it is hoped, play a part in bringing 
within the range of exact experiment the structural study of all types 
of natural compounds related to the simple sugars. 


1. Purdie and Irvine, Reports, 1902. 

2. Purdie and Irvine, Reports, 1903. 

3. Pringsheim, Zeitsch. angew. Chem., 1922, 53, 345, 

4. Irvine and Soutar, J.C.S., 1920, 117, 1489. 
Irvine and Hirst, J.G.S., 1922, 121. 

5. Denham and Woodhouse, J.C.S., 1913, 103, 1735 ; ibid. 1914, 105, 2357. 
Denham, J.C.S., 1921, 119, 77. 

6. Denham and Woodhouse, J.C.S. 1917, 111, 244, 

7. Irvine and Hirst, J.C.S., 1922, 121, 1213. 

8. Irvine and Soutar, loc. cit. 

Haworth and Hirst, J.C.S. , 1921, 119, 193. 

9. Fenton and Gostling, J.C.S., 1899, 75, 423 ; 1901. 79, 361. 

10. Hibbert, J. Ind. Eng. Chem., 1921, 13, 256. 

11. Green, Zeit. Farb. Text. Ind., 1904, 3, 97 ; 309. 

12. Vignon. Bull. Soc. Chim., 1899, 21 (3), 599. 

13. ToUens, Kiirzes Handbuch der Kohlenhydrale, 1914. 

14. Cross and Bevan, J.C.8., 1901, 79, 366. 

15. Bartelemy, ' Caoutchouc and Gutta Percha,' 1917, 9274 ; 9328. 

16. Pictet and Sarasin, Helv. Chim. Acta, 1918, 1, 187, and subsequent papers. 

17. Karrer and Smirnov,' Helv. Chim. Acta, 1921, 5, 187. 

18. Hess, Zeitsch. Elektrochem., 1920, 26, Nr. 11. 

19. Pictet, loc. cit. 

20. Karrer, Natur. wiss., 1921, 9, 399. 
Karrer and Smirnov, loc. cit. 

21. Pringsheim, loc. cit. 

22. Denham and Woodhouse, loc. cit. 

23. Karrer, Helv. Chim. Acta, 1920, 3, 620 ; ibid. 1921, 4, 185 ; 678. 

24. Purdie and Irvine, J.C.S., 1905, 87, 1022. 
Irvine and Dick, J.C.S., 1919, 115, 593. 
Haworth and Leitch, ibid., 809. 

25. Von Euler and Svanberg, Zeitsch. physiolog. Chem., 1921, 112, 207. * 

26. Irvine and Oldham, J.C.S., 1921, 119, 1744. 

27. Irvine and Hynd, J.C.S., 1912, 101, 1128. 

28. Pictet, Helv. Chim. Acta., 1918, 1, 226, and subsequent papers. 

29. Irvine and Steele, J.C.S., 1920, 117, 1474. 

Irvine, Steele and Shannon, J.C.S., 1922, 121, 1060. 



Professor PERCY FRY KENDALL, M.Sc, F.G.S. 


This enterprising and progressive city in which we are assembled is 
one of the three ports of shipment for the products of our most 
important coalfield and for the entry of many of the commodities which 
we receive in exchange. It seems not unfitting, therefore, that I should 
address you upon geological problems relating to Coal, more especially 
as the development of the portion of the Coalfield concealed under 
newer rocks is approaching nearer and nearer to Hull. 

The subject of Coal Measures Geology has been discussed piece- 
meal in innumerable papers and memoirs, so that an inquirer may 
well be appalled at the mass of facts and of often conflicting deductions 
with which he is confronted. Indeed, it is surprising to discover how 
fundamental are some differences of opinion which exist. 

A cause that has largely contributed to this confusion has been 
that the geological specialist has commonly worked too exclusively on 
the outside of the earth, and the miner, who has viewed things below, 
has seldom attempted any broad generalisations, his experience being 
limited usually to a small number of collieries or of coal-seams. 

In my treatment of the subject I shall be frankly and freely specula- 
tive, for I hold that the Geology of Coal has now reached a stage when 
the mass of accumulated data calls for an attempt at a general review 
and synthesis. A Scottish Divine, addressing members of the British 
Association at Edinburgh last year, said : 'An ounce of theory is worth 
a ton of fact.' With some qualifying adjectives this embodies a pro- 
found truth. A carefully considered and weighed theory is worth a 
great mass of uncoordinated facts, and when I survey the vast un- 
digested, though not indigestible, mass of facts in the body of coaly 
literature — without taking into account the 250 million tons of solid 
black facts raised by the British collieries in an average year — I am 
emboldened to cast into the opposite scale an ounce or so of theory 
compounded from the ideas of my illustrious fellow -workers and perhaps 
an odd grain or two of my own. 

Growth in Place, or Drift. 

Among the questions in the answer to which doctors have differed 
there is, I imagine, none more fundamental than this : 

Were coal-seams simple aggregations of plant reiiuiins swept together 
by the action of watei- — a process of accumulntion which (lie learned 

F 2 


call allochthony ; more simply by drift ; or were they formed, like peat, 
by the growth of vegetable material in its place — the process of 
autochthony ? 

I do not intend to labour the answer to this question. Categorical 
arguments in favour of the growth in place origin of the coal-forming 
vegetation are on record, and they have never been as categorically 
answered. Many arguments in favour of the Drift Theory seem to me 
clearly to have arisen from confusion between cannel and true coal. 
This distinction is again fundamental. True coal-seams are charac- 
terised by : • — • 

(1) Wide extent. 

(2) Uniformity of thickness and character over extensive areas. 

(3) Freedom from intermingled detrital mineral matter. 

(4) Constant presence of a seat-earth or rootlet bed. 

(5) Entire absence of remains of aquatic animals within the seam. 
Substitute affirmatives for negatives, and negatives for affirmatives, 

and the characteristics of cannel are as truly set forth. The whole 
subject has been exhaustively reviewed with all the resources of wide 
study and great field experience in Professor J. J. Stevenson's memoirs 
or monographs entitled I'espectively The Formation of Coal Beds and 
Inter-relation of Fossil Fuels, volumes which are treasure-houses of 
facts. Without a familiar knowledge of these two masterpieces of 
scientific induction, no geologist is fully equipped for an inquiry into 
the Geology of Coal. Not the least ai-resting chapters are those in 
which the author demonstrates the inadequacy of river-drift to provide 
materials for the formation of a coal-seam. He shows that even when 
in high flood the gross amount of timber, drift-wood and general raffle 
of plant detritus carried along and available for the purpose of coal- 
seam formation is quite insignificant. He gives many citations from 
reports of geologists and others, as well as from his own experience, 
to show that when a flooded river sweeps through a forest it scarcely, 
if at all, disturbs the humus. 

Haigh-Moor or Deltaic Swamp. 

Granted, therefore, that coal-seams were, in the main, formed by 
the growth, death, and accumulation on the spot of plant tissues after 
the general manner of beds of peat, our next inquiry must be into the 
further and consequent question : What type of modern peat-growth 
most nearly i-epresents the conditions of the old peat areas? Were 
they upland or lowland peats ; were they wet or dry ? If in search of 
an answer to this question we examine a section of Coal Measures 
strata in which coal-seams are included, we find a series of well- 
stratified layers of sandstones, shales, and the like, exhibiting general 
regularity of bedding, fine lamination of the layers, and the frequent 
occurrence of beds charged with the remains of aquatic animals, some 
marine and some of fresh-water habitat. We cannot fail to recognise 
in this the inexpugnable evidence of a lowland area undergoing inter- 
mittent depression, such as would bring in, at one time, the muds and 
sands of an area of alluvial drainage, and, at another time, even the 
sea. We are presented, then, with a clear initial conception of a vast 


lowland peat-bog coextensive with, not merely the coal-seam as it 
now exists, but with its much greater development before denudation 
had clipped its edges or cut it into several detached areas. This must 
be our starting-point and principal postulate. 

In obedience to the wholesome admonition that the geologist should 
interpret the past by the present, I have sought in descriptions of the 
great alluvial areas of the world for some tract that shall exhibit to us 
conditions closely paralleling — after allowance for biological differences 
— those of Coal Measure times, especially as regards the extent of the 
areas of peat formation. In the great Dismal Swamp of Virginia some 
resemblance may be found, but the area is far too small. The Amazon 
alluvium is comparable in area, but we have no knowledge of the peats. 
The deltas of the Nile and the Indus equally fail us. The Ganges 
delta comes much nearer. But after long flights of inquiry in many 
parts of the earth I find that one of the best illustrations lies very 
literally at our doors. At some period subsequent to the Pleistocene 
Ice Age the whole of the British Isles appears to have stood — relatively 
to the sea — at the least 80 ft. above its present level, and this uplifted 
position similarly affected Holland, Belgium, and much of France. 
The North Sea, in its southern half, appears to have been brought 
by the net effect of glacial erosion and deposition to the condition of a 
vast plain so nearly at the then sea-level that it became a morass. 
Round its margins were forests of oak, pine, and birch, while the greater 
part of the area furnished the conditions for a great peat-swamp. 
Under favourable conditions of tide, peat-beds, with or without the 
frayed and torn stumps of trees in position of growth, may be seen 
below high-water mark, and in this city of Hull the Forest Beds 
are exposed when deep cuttings are made or they are encountered in 
borings. In Holland the peat-beds are similarly present, and in the 
excavations for docks at Antwerp a peat-bed was found, overlain by a 
deposit with estuarine shells. This evidence alone would do no more 
than prove a fringe of swamps surrounding the North Sea, but the 
trawlers who rake every square mile of the North Sea floor find their 
operations impeded in places by masses of peat (Moorlog). Clement 
Eeid, to whom we owe much of our knowledge of Post-glacial con- 
ditions, expressed his interpretation of the physiography of the North 
Sea area at this stage in a map which showed the portion of the North 
Sea south of a line joining Flamborough Head to the northern point 
of Denmark as a plain intersected by the multiple tributaries and mouths 
of the Ehine, the Weser, the Elbe, and other rivers, 

If we assume that the peat-beds found on the margins and at many 
stations upon this sea-floor were once approximately continuous, the 
area would furnish the nearest modern parallel in respect of size to the 
ancient peat-morasses which the coalfields must once have presented. 
Beyond this the parallelism fails us. The Coal Measures of England 
!vre preponderantly of fresh-water origin, as the recurrent beds of 
Carhonicola and its allies demonstrate, while the Holocene peats of 
the Dogger Bank and Holland are associated chiefly with marine or 
estuarine deposits. The coals of the Lower Carboniferous of the North 
of England and of the Scottisli Lowlands, on the other hand, present 


frequent intercalations of marine strata — generally of limestone — which 
is again milike the North Sea peat-fields. 

In the Yorkshire Coalfield — I hope I may be forgiven for styling 
the coalfield extending from Leeds to Nottingham by the short title 
' The Yorkshire Coalfield ' — in the Yorkshire Coalfield, then, marine 
intercalations are represented by beds of shale of extremely fine, blue, 
unctuous, almost textureless character. These are never moi'e than 
20 ft. in thickness, though it would not, perhaps, be quite fair to judge 
by this relatively small thickness that the mai'ine incursions, though 
not infrequent, were of proportionately short duration. 

The Coal Measures. 

i he succession of strata in a coalfield exhibits a considerable 
diversity. Shales — the laminated muds of the old lagoons and swamps — 
are the predominant elements. These vary much in texture from 
coarse sandy and micaceous deposits, scarcely separable from actual 
sandstones, through finer and finer materials to the ' marine bands ' 
already referred to. 

The sand — now sandstone — beds are second in bulk only to the 
shales, and it is interesting to observe that two principal stratigraphic 
forms are presented. There are, first, the broad sheets extending 
over hundreds or even thousands of square miles — for example, the 
EUand Flags are recognisable by their position in the sequence 
throughout the coalfield from Leeds to Nottingham; their equivalent 
has been identified in Lancashire and with much probability in 
North Staffordshire. Whether it reappears in North Wales is doubt- 
ful, but its total area must certainly extend to several thousands 
of square miles. No signs of marine life accompany it anywhere, but 
in the northern part of its range it is surrounded, either directly or more 
commonly with an interval of twenty or thirty yards, by a coal-seam — 
the Better Bed, renowned for its purity and for the very valuable fire- 
clay that accompanies it. Within or directly upon the top of the rock 
was found the magnificent stigmarian root now in the Manchester 
Museum. The evidence, positive and negative, proves the Elland Flags 
to be of the delta flat type. No decisive indication of the direction of 
the stream has been sought, though the analogy of the great sandstones 
of the Millstone Grit series tempts me to conjecture that it was from 
N. or N.E., and this surmise is strengthened by the occurrence of 
the coal-seam in that direction and not to S. or S.W., and we may 
picture a great sandy delta growing by its edge southward and west- 
ward with a peat-swamp establishing itself on the higher parts. 

Lesser sandstones of the same general types are of frequent occur- 
rence and bear the same general interpretation. 

In the other principal stratigraphic form the sandstones are of more 
limited extension, especially in what I take to be the width of the bed. 
This type is often called lenticular, but the adjective is a bad one, for 
such a bed is in fact shaped morei like the bean-pod than the bean. 
Beds of this character I interpret as the infilling of channels cut in the 
deltaic flats. 

Two lithological types peculiar to strata of the Coal Measure facies 



are the uutlerclays and gannisters — ' seat-earths ' to use their common 
denominator. These are the clayey or sandy beds which underlie coal- 
seams, or have stood in the relation of soil to vegetation insufficient in 
amount to form coal. There are many more of these old soils than 
there are coal-seams. 

Both underclays and gannisters possess physical and chemical 
characteristics which separate them from all other deposits. Physically 
they are destitute of signs of lamination, and they are traversed by 
carbonaceous markings often to be identified with certainty as the roots, 
rootlets, and rhizomes of plants, usually lycopodiaceous. These have 
pierced through and through the material, obliterating any traces of 
bedding which may once have been there. The chemical peculiarities 
of the old soils are the absence of alkalies, the rarity of calcium com- 
pounds, and the low percentage of iron. These features also can be 
ascribed to abstraction of mineral substances by plant activity, arid 
perhaps in part to leaching by passage of water charged with organic 
compounds arising from the decay of vegetable tissues. 

In some beds — but never in the seat-earths — molluscan remains 
occur. They are of two contrasted groups. Shells of Carbonicola, 
Anthracomya, and NaiadUes are commonly found in packed masses in 
which, as is commonly the case in fresh-water muds of our day, the 
lack of variety is compensated for by a great abundance of individual 
specimens. Beds containing these fossils are usually argillaceous, but 
they sometimes constitute important beds of ironstone. The marine 
bands offer the remains of a much more varied fauna — not usually 
with the same superabundance of individuals. The fossils include 
Pterinnpecten, Pseudamusium, Lingula, Ortlioceras, goniatites, and 
many other genera — obviously a marine assemblage. Sometimes the 
tine blue shales thus characterised are accompanied by hard limestone. 

In the bright-coloured measures belonging to the Staffordian division 
limestones of peculiar texture and contents are found — commonly called 
Spirorbis Limestones. Their texture is usually smooth and fine; occa- 
sionally they enclose angular fragments of a similar limestone, as 
though a deposit had been shattered in situ by some agency, and deposi- 
tion of like material had then been renewed. 

To all these add coal-seams and the series is complete. 

The Constituents of Coal-seams. 

We must now turn to a more minute examination of the coal itself. 
Any seam of ordinary house coal — such, for example, as the Silkstone 
seam — will present us, if we look closely, with three substances, 
agreeing in a carbonaceous character and in a modicum of combustibility, 
but otherwise very different. The first constituent is a black, lustrous, 
dense material— the typical coal. This is disposed in apparent bedding 
with some appearance of regularity, though an individual layer can 
rarely be traced as much as three or four feet, and is never continued 
for many more. It presents in great perfection a close and regular 
cleavage perpendicular to the bedding. This cleavage is the cleat, of 
which I shall have more to say presently. 

The second constituent, which is rarely altogether absent though 


more abundant in some seams than in others, is dull in aspect with a 
brownish tinge, sometimes even being of a deep coffee colour. It is of 
rougher texture, breaking with a rather hackly fracture. The third 
material, commonly known as ' mother of coal ' — a name innocent of 
misleading implications, for which the French name ' fusain ' is often 
substituted — is disposed in thin layers between the other constituents. 
The fusain layers are of weak texture, so that the coal when struck 
almost invariably splits along one of these. Upon the cleft surface a 
soft charcoal-like substance is seen, made up apparently of broken 
fragments. It is this which makes coal dirty to handle.^ 

What is the meaning of these three types of substance constituting 
the seam ? Even with the unaided eye we may gain a clear reply to 
our question, but the microscope gives a better answer, and discloses 
many interesting details. The highly lustrous coal was long ago recog- 
nised by Dawson as being produced from the bark of trees, and it is 
common experience that isolated shells of bark with the characteristic 
external leaf-scars and internal marks of leaf-traces are usually of 
bright coal. This, however, is probably not quite the whole of the 
explanation of the bright coal, for I have in my possession specimens 
in which a larger fraction of the original radius of a trunk than can be 
ascribed to bark in the most elastic sense of the term is represented by 
coal of extraordinary brilliance. Again, where coal has undergone 
great disturbance prior to its ' mineralisation ' it is usual to find a 
large development of bright coal. However, it is a great aid to the 
interpretation of a seam to know that the long bright streaks do usually 
represent in some shape the trunks or branches of trees. The dull 
coal may be a felt of the finer elements of plants, or, in Lomax's phrase, 
mixed humic debris, but few, if any, of the seams in the Yorkshire 
Coalfield fail to include layers of which the main constituents are the 
spores of lycopods — both megaspores and microspores. With a glass 
of even low magnifying power we may recognise in hand specimens 
of coal the small discs which represent the flattened spores, each with 
a triradiate mark indicating its contact with the other three members of 
the tetrad. In thin section for the microscope they appear as yellow 
discs, or sacs, sometimes in horizontal sections showing the three- 
rayed ridge. The methods by which these plant-spores have been 
accumulated may have differed. The spores may have been wafted 
from distant jungles of SigilJaria or kindred trees, though their large 
size is rather opposed to the view of wind carriage from a considerable 
distance, and it seems the more probable supposition that they accumu- 
lated on the ground or on the carpet of vegetation in the water beneath 

1 Dr. St opes has proposed [Pror. U.S., Ser. B., xc, p. 470) a classification of 
constituents of coal-seams into four types : 1, Fusain, the familiar ' mother of 
coal ' ; 2, Durain, which includes the spore coals (generally these belong to the 
'hards' in a seam); 3, Clarain, which apparently includes the humic coal of 
Lomax ; and 4, Vitrain, a very brilliant coal forming thin bands and showing a 
complete a))sence of structure in typical specimens. Mr. 'Sinnatt (Tran.^. Iii-if. 
Aim. J'j'i'j.. vol. Ixiii., p. 307) adopts thc^e names and proposes a system of con- shading by means of which they may be distinguished in drawings. 
He also attempts an analysis of tlie proportions of each type in certain coal- 
seams in Lancashire. 



the parent trees. That they were di'ifted into place and distributed 
with the thinness and regularity which we see the layers to possess is 
quite inconceivable. For sometimes a layer of spore coal an inch in 
thickness may 'be traced at a specific level in a seam over an area of 
scores of square miles. In the Haigh Moor seam there is a layer of 
this kind half or three-quarters of an inch in thickness, which can be 
traced through several collieries in the neighbourhood of Castleford. 

The constituents of fusain, or ' mother of coal,' are even more easily 
recognised than those of spore coal. Upon a bedding plane fusain is 
seen to be composed of fragments of plant-tissue, commonly showing 
a fibrous or cellular structure, and in many instances of rectangular 
form suggesting scraps of wood. In the seams most commonly used 
as house-coal in Yorkshire recognisable fragments of Calamite stems 
are very common — usually in single internodes or lesser fragments, 
though occasional examples of three or four internodes in apposition 
are found. Some fusain, according to White, is composed of fern 

The charcoal-like aspect is in agreement with the i-esults of chemical 
analysis, which show a very high carbon content. 

Eusain layers are much less defined in the spore coal than in soft 
coal, a fact which may have some bearing upon the mode of origin of 
the two materials. In bright coal the fusain layers exhibit consider- 
able regularity and continuity. 

There has been much speculation regarding the origin of fusain 
layers, some authors ascribing them to the wood and smaller plant 
rubbish which appear to have undergone rapid aerial decay at or near 
the water surface of the swamp in which most of the debris was 

This explanation appears to me the most in accord with the facts 
as I have observed them, but the regularity of the layer seems too great 
and the fusainisation too indiscriminate and too complete to accord with 
any supposition that these layers represent the ordinary crop of decay- 
ing materials. It would be worth a detailed and systematic study to 
ascertain whether they represent the raffle of dead twigs, leaves, and 
other stuff brought down by periodic flood-waters. This supposition 
gains a little support in my experience of the abundance of calamitean 
stems, for although Calnmites is provided with a stout woody axis, 
the cortex has very large air-spaces that would impart great buoyance 
to the fragments. I have collected the drift along the flood-line of 
two English lakes, Bassenthwaite and Semmer Water, and in both 
cases fragments of Kquisetiini were preponderant elements. Periodic 
flooding is not inconsistent with what is known about the conditions of 
coal-formation, or of the regime of gi'eat rivers. The great swamps 
of the world are in the flat portions of the course of great rivers or in 
their actual delta. The North Sea, for instance, we have chosen for 
example, was a great deltaic flat. Tliat the Coal Measures wei-e a 
similar deltaic flat is evident. 

The idea that fusain is the imperfectly burnt residue of a forest fire 
is opposed by so great an array of facts that it is difficult to understand 
its frequent restatement. The fusain layers are as even and regular 


as any of the layers, and may recur several times in an inch of coal. 
It would be diliicult to imagine reafforestation so frequent and so 
necessarily extensive. 

These varying types of material recurrent in the thickness of the 
coal-seams leave us, it is true, some unsolved problems, but they 
present us with a sufficient basis of fact to enable imagination to call 
up the general conditions of coal-formation. 

Let us now imagine a great expanse of newly formed or forming 
mud or sand flats. Over this area semi-aquatic plants creep out and 
establish themselves, their dead remains and windfalls gradually 
accumulating into a bed of decaying vegetable debris upon which other 
plants — not necessarily of the same type — follow. With varying and 
perhaps recurrent conditions of drainage and moistui'e one flora succeeds 
another. Some day it should be possible to map out the ecology of 
the coalfields at the time of the formation of the coal-seams in some- 
what the same way that Dr. W. G. Smith has portrayed the dis- 
tribution of plant associations on the surface of Yorkshire to-day, and 
we may be able to trace the chronological plant-sequence, as has been 
done for modern peat-bogs. This result will be achieved through the 
study with the microscope of thin sections of coal — especially serial 
sections extending from base to summit of a particular seam. Such 
a method of study was first attempted by Wethered, but it was not 
until mechanical methods of section-making were brought to perfection 
by Mr. James Lomax that complete success was attained. 

There are now available for study — thanks to the interest taken in 
these inquiries by coal-owners in the Yorkshire Coalfield — six complete 
series of sections taken from our great Barnsley Bed at geographical 
intervals of about four or five miles. When the whole coalfield is 
spanned by a suite of such series a great addition will be made to our 
knov/ledge of the swamp-forests of the Coal Measures. 

Lomax declares that there is a general succession of constituents 
recognisable in many seams, which must be related to the predilections 
of the plants concerned in the matter of drainage and other factors. 
He says : 

' Usually the lower part of a seam consists of a bed of very fine 
humus or mixture of leaf-like matter, with hei'e and there portions of 
stems, fructiferous organs, &c., probably derived from the remains of 
small, more or less delicate, plants, and forming soft bright-looking beds 
of coal. Ascending upwards in the seam other plant remains are to 
be found, some belonging to the Gymnosperms. 

' Other remains are the Lycopods (Club-mosses), which as time went 
on increased both in size and vigour, ultimately crowding out almost 
every other kind of vegetation, and becoming the predominant plants 
of their time. 

' The various changes, progress, and deterioration can be traced until 
ultimately the plant life represented in the top of the seam is found 
to be practically identical with that at the bottom.' 

Some such sequence is, of course, to be expected. When a bed 
of mud, sand, or limestone emerges from below water-level to be a 
land sm-face it could not be expected that every type of plant-life could 

f'.— GEOLOGY. 57 

grow upon it without preparation. And Lomax remarks : ' In order to 
prepare a humus for the higher plants humic material must have 
accumulated by the growth of lower orders.' 

The general result of Lomax 's studies — in which result my experi- 
ence enables me to concur — is that the base of a seam is a rather soft 
coal, exhibiting upon a vertical face a dull ground mass with fine spindle- 
shaped streaks of bright, lustrous coal, apparently composed of small 
scraps of a variety of plants of what the modern gardener would term 
the herbaceous type. Following this we have the appearance of a 
bright coal with sections of compressed stems or branches of trees inter- 
mingled with ' humic ' material and spores. In the upper part of the 
seam in general hard coals often occur, consisting mainly, or even 
exclusively, of megaspores and microspores, with an occasional 
sporangium, or even a complete fruit. 

This is the simple succession. There may, however, be a recurrence 
of any of these phases. At first inspection the sequence seems to fortify 
Lomax 's 'inference that the giant Lycopods demanded a soil of 
humic materials upon which to grow, but this inference must admit 
of many exceptions to meet the innumerable cases of fossil-trees stand- 
ing rooted in sandstone (gannister), or other purely mineral deposit, 
with no trace of humic soil. I have also seen a two-inch seam with 
its underclay resting upon a coralliferous limestone into which the 
stigmarian roots had penetrated. 

The nature of the last crop on the ground is not infrequently indi- 
cated by the plant-remains in the roof. In the coalfield nearest us the 
most common occurrence is to find in the shales of the roof prostrate 
stems of Sigillaria, very often in great numbers. Not infrequently the 
mud-filled stumps forming the dreaded ' pot-holes ' stand in attitude of 
growth in the roof shales; their roots, too, may sometimes be detected 
ramifying in the seam or on its surface. The great Barnsley Bed is 
sometimes in this condition, but occasionally the last crop of this seam 
when overwhelmed and disowned in muddy water was a profuse growth 
of the fern-like Pteridosperms, such as Neuropteris heterophyllus . At 
South Kirkby colliery a whitish efflorescence from the shale with the 
black carbonaceous plant-remains gives the aspect of a sheet out of 
a botanist's Jiortus siccus. 


I have already mentioned that, in all those characteristics which 
prove the growth in place origin of true coal, cannel seams present the 
exact reverse, so that here all authorities are agreed that drifting in 
some form must be invoked, but there are other forms in which the 
material occurs to which the general theory can be applied only with 
some qualification. 

The structure and composition of cannel have an important bearing 
upon all questions of its origin. It is sometimes described as consisting 
of spores, but in fact all the more exact descriptions speak of a dense 
amorphous ground mass in which the recognisable structures are usually 
spores. My observations show that they constitute only a small fraction 
of the whole. Other plant-remains are rare; indeed, I can recall very 
few examples, of which the most notable was a calamitean stem of 


three or four interirodes. But if recognisable plant-remains are scarce, 
it is far otherwise with remains of animals. Scales, teeth, and bones of 
fishes are almost invariably present, and it is from cannel that our largest 
collections of Coal Measure vertebrates have been obtained. Amphibian 
remains are more rare ; Ostracods, such as Beyrichia arcuata, are 
crowded in some planes, and lastly, fresh-water shells such as Carboni- 
cola are represented commonly not by the shells themselves, but by 
the flattened wrinkled epidermis, the calcareous shell having evidently 
been dissolved by the acids generated by decomposing vegetable matter. 
The texture of cannel is usually smooth and the fracture conchoidal in 
the purest specimens, but in most cases it graduates into a black 
carbonaceous shale. The ash content is always high, rising to 40 per 
cent, before reaching the point at which it would be regarded as shale. 
Chemically it is distinguished by the high yield of hydrocarbons, obtained 
on distillation either as mineral oil or as gas. For this reason, in days 
before the invention of the incandescent mantle, cannel for enrichment 
of gas of low illuminating power was in great demand, and commanded 
so high a price that I have seen our most famous fish-bed worked when 
it was only seven inches in thickness. All these characteristics of 
cannel are consistent with the view that it originated from a mass of 
vegetation macerated in pools of water somewhat after the manner of the 
'retting ' of flax. Sometimes the cannel is in unconformable relation 
to the underlying beds, as at the Abram Colliery, Wigan, where it 
rests in one district upon true coal, and, in the course of about a mile, 
encroaches first upon the coal, then upon its underclay, and, finally, 
where seven feet in thickness, it rests upon a bed of shale underlying the 
underclay. Green suggests that cannel consists of vegetable matter 
which was drifted down into ponds or lakes and lay soaking until it 
became reduced to pulp. 

Some modes of occurrence of cannel are of particular interest for 
the light they throw upon Coal Measui'e conditions. Some beds are of 
wide extent, having been traced over an area of several hundreds of 
square miles; on the other hand, strips and patches of a fraction of an 
acre occur, such as that at the foot of a fault in the Barrow Colliery, 
which I interpret to indicate a depression in the coal-swamp which was 
connected with some movement of the fault. An interesting relation 
is often found to subsist between the total thickness of a coal-seam 
and the presence of a local patch of cannel. It commonly happens that 
the presence of a patch of cannel as a constituent of a coal-seam is 
accompanied by an increased thickness, even out of proportion to the 
magnitude of the cannel, and this irrespective of whether the cannel 
is above, within, or below the true coal. It may be explained by the 
fact that the process of fermentation by which the cannel was produced 
reduced its volume more rapidly than the ordinary decay did that of the 
adjacent peat, and so maintained a depression in which more plant 
debris could accumulate ; but the ultimate effect of this fermentation 
was a less complete loss of hydrocarbons, and consequently, both 
because its contemporaneous loss was greater and its subsequent loss 
was less, the presence of a cannel component increases the thickness 
of a seam. 


It may be pointed out that well-decomposed peat forms a buttery 
mass almost, or perhaps quite, as impervious to water as a bed of clay 
would be. This may explain why at Teversall Colliery there is a thin 
bed of poor cannel at the base of the Top Hard (or Barnsley Bed) coal 
and a second bed of better quality at the top. Where the lower bed 
is thick the upper one is thin, and vice versd. 

Coal-Balls and their Significance. 

The bodies known, besides several aliases, as coal-balls are masses 
of mixed vegetation ' petrified ' by being so completely permeated by 
mineral substances, such as dolomite or calcite, that even the most 
delicate and tender tissues have been preserved with every cell in its 
proper position. Coal-balls occur in coal-seams as isolated masses, 
varying in size from mere pellets up to masses of a ton or two in weight. 
Sometimes they form clusters closely crowded together and at others 
sporadically. Apart from their enormous value to palseobotany, they 
present to the general practitioner in Coal-Measure Geology a number 
of attractive problems, the solution of which cannot fail to throw a 
vivid beam of light upoPx the question of the physiography of the coal- 

Their limitation to seams carrying marine roof-measures at once 
suggests a source for the petrifying substance and a reason why thej^ 
are of such I'estricted occurrence that they are wholly unknown in the 
great majority of coalfields. The notable memoir by Stopes and 
Watson ^ is so important a compendium of the significant facts that 
I shall forbear to cite the writings of others, including myself, wTio 
contributed to the discussion. I would further say that I find myself 
in almost complete agreement with the authors. Their argument in 
brief is that the seams in question grew in salt or brackish swamps and 
that a mass of debris of the plants accumulated under water. Sea- 
water has a remarkable preservative effect upon plant-tissues, experi- 
ments by one of the authors showing that fronds of ferns, and even the 
more delicate structures of liverworts, could be preserved for at least 
three years without signs of decay or even loss of their green colour. 
They then proceed to argue that the partial decay of some vegetable 
materials would liberate carbon dioxide which, reacting with sulphates 
and sulphides with which the sea-water would have impregnated the 
mass, produced these isolated concretions which represent a true sample 
of a bed of peat accumulated on the spot where the plants grew. One 
instance is cited of two seams separated by a sandstone seat-earth 
(gannister) in which coal-balls are scattered through both seams. 
Assuming, as the text implies, that the general character of the 
concretions is the same throughout the sequence, the inference seems 
to be justified that the formation of coal-balls was continuing during 
the whole period of accumulation of the seam. At the same time, it is 
not clear why the petrifaction should be so local, and it is perhaps worth 
while to examine -any evidence which might decide whether, as happens 
with some other rocks, the sporadic character may not be due to local 
escape from decalcification rather than to local petrifaction. 

2 I'/iil. Tian-'i., Ser. B., vol. 200. 


This view of the origin of the seams of coal that enclose these bodies 
is quite in accord with opinions long held by palseobotanists, that the 
structure of the plants found in them is compatible with their growth in 
brackish water, and corroboration is found in the fact that ' roof-balls ' 
are found in the overlying shales that contain well-preserved remains of 
a flora very significantly different from that of the seams. 

Boulders in Coal-seams. 

The occurrence of well-rounded masses up to several hundred- 
weights of foreign roclis is well attested by many writers, and it is no 
uncommon occurrence to see small specimens upon the mantelshelf in a 
colliery of&ce. The subject is, as usual, thoroughly and almost ex- 
haustively summarised by Stevenson,^ to whose pages any who desire 
to study the subject further must be referred. 

These erratics have been found in coal-seams in many parts of the 
world. They occur in every part of the seams from roof to floor, and 
even penetrating the floor. Two forms of transport of these masses have 
been suggested. The first ascribes it to floating ice, an hypothesis that 
fails to take account of the smooth, rounded and water-worn appearance 
of the stones, no less than the incompatibility of ice action on an ade- 
quate scale with the climatic conditions indicated, in the judgment of 
palsBobotanists, by the character of the vegetation. 

The other explanation, which ascribes the transport to floating trees, 
is not without difficulty when the size, and particularly the shape, of the 
baulders is considered. Stevenson comments upon the difficulty of 
imagining a tree of sufficient magnitude carrying such a load with the 
tenacious grip which would be required to maintain it from the source 
of the boulder to its place of deposition. It is clear that thoroughly 
rounded boulders of intensely hard quartzite could have been shaped 
only by either a long journey in a mountain torrent or by prolonged 
pounding on a beach. In either case a tree so burdened would need a 
considerable depth of water for its flotation, and it is inconceivable that 
it could steer its way through a forest, unless one deeply submerged. 
I am disposed to think that such were indeed the conditions — that either 
during a temporary flood or in the final submergence of the coal-swamp 
some stray gymnospermous tree whose roots were adapted, as those of 
Stigmaria clearly are not, to wrap round a smooth boulder, drifted over 
or among the tree tops, and either came to a final anchorage or simply 
dropped its burden. This explanation is not inconsistent with the 
presence of boulders at all or any levels in the seam, for it will appear, 
on reflection, that a mass of rock would readily sink into peat, the 
rate of its descent being determined by the impetus of its fall, the 
tenacity of the peat, the shape of the stone, and other factors. Some 
might bring up against an embedded tree trunk, while others might 
sink completely through the seam. That some stones have sunk in 
this manner seems to be indicated by the fact that _ one of the large 
stones preserved in the Manchester Museum occupied a vertical attitude 
in the coal when discovered. 

= Op. cit., pp. 391 and 426-433. 


Surprise is sometimes expressed that these stones should be found 
in the seams of coal and not in the Coal Measure sandstones and shales 
that are quarried or wi-ought in brick-yards. The reason is partly- 
statistical. The weight, and still more the bulk, of these materials 
extracted year by year is far less than the 250 to 300 millions of tons 
of coal i'aised; but a yet more important reason is that no stone in the 
coal as large as a man's head could escape detection by the collier, and 
arousing the interest of the officials, whereas in a quarry it would 
probably, if observed, be cast aside without notice as merely a blemish 
in the stone of no more interest than any oi'dinary concretion. The 
locus of the parent rock of these stray boulders is wholly conjectural, 
but the great preponderance both in Britain and in America of quartzites 
should furnish a clue, and the petrologist who will undertake the 
investigation may certainly rely upon the sympathetic interest of Coal 
Measure geologists and colliery managers. 

The Aberrations of Coal-seams. 

Having got our coal-swamp clothed with vegetation, and the coal- 
forming materials accumulating, let us next consider the various inter- 
ruptions of continuity and the aberrations to which it is liable. These 
interferences may be either contemporaneous with the accumulation of 
the materials, or, as one may say, posthumous. These categories, at 
first sight, seem capable of easy and definite recognition, but, as we 
shall see presently, it is not so easy as it looks. 

Faults, overthrusts, and unconformities may as a rule be classed 
among what I have called the posthumous type of interference, though 
in many cases true faults appear to have achieved a portion of their 
total movement contemporaneously with the deposition of the seams, or 
during the interval between seam and seam. An illustration of a con- 
temporaneous fault is found at the Barrow Colliery, near Barnsley, 
where, on the down-thrown side of the fault and parallel with it, 
the Thorncliffe Thin Coat swells up from 3 feet to 5 feet 6 inches, and 
carries a strip of cannel absent elsewhere in the mine. Of a fault 
moving between seam and seam an example is furnished at Whitwood, 
where a lower seam is thrown to the extent of 60 feet while an over- 
lying one is unbroken. The case of a fault affecting an upper and not 
a lower seam is noticed at Aldwarke Colliery.* Among the contem- 
porary interferences with the coal-seams are to be accounted uncon- 
formities, which, no doubt, occur on various scales of magnitude. Some 
may be interpreted — as Mr. Clarke suggested for the great ' Symon 
Fault ' of the Forest of Dean — as the denudation of a folded series ; other 
examples would, as I shall presently show, be better explained, as 
Prestwich explains the Symon Fault, as the erosion of a channel. 
Prominent in this category of contemporary interferences must be put 
the phenomena of split seams. A split seam is the intercalation into 
the midst of the coal of a wedge of sandstone, shale, or the like, in such 
wise that the seam becomes subdivided by intervening strata into two 
or more seams. This phenomenon is of special practical importance 

■* Quart. Jour. Geol. Soc, vol. Ivii., p. 86. 


because it may mean that a thick seam may in the divided condition 
become incapable of being worked at a profit. 

The great coalfield that I have so often cited furnishes examples of 
every known type, and interesting as they are to the geologist, they 
are an abomination to the colliery-owner or manager, and often a 
source of severe disappointment and loss. The most notable split seam 
in Britain is not, however, in Yorkshire but in the famous Staffordshire 
Thick Coal. Jukes showed that this magnificent seam, 40 feet thick 
at its maximum, is split up into a number of minor seams by wedges 
of sedimentary strata which aggregate, in a distance of 4i- miles, a 
thickness of 500 feet. Whether these intercalations again thin out, or 
not, is unknown to me; but whether so, or not, the explanation offered 
by that sagacious student of coal. Bowman of Manchester, might find 
here a typical application. Bowman supposed that a local sag occurred 
in the floor of the coal swamp, resulting in the drowning of the vegeta- 
tion (in his illustration bearing a suspicious resemblance to a coconut 
palm) and interrupting the formation of peat until the hollow was silted 
up and a new swamp flora re-established. This explanation remained 
for many years unchallenged, but in 1875, in the great memoir on Tlie 
Yorkshire CoaJfiehl, Green advanced a new reason for the splitting of 
seams, which is a very common phenomenon here, scarcely any, if 
any, seam being exempt. 

Green pointed out that as the Silkstone seam is traced northward 
from the locality near Barnsley with which its name is associated, it 
begins to exhibit partings of ' dirt,' which thicken to a belt of country 
where no collieries afforded information as to the behaviour of the seam. 
On tlie far side of this gap a seam is found on the same horizon, 
but if it represents the Silkstone seam it is very much attenuated and 
divided. He attributed these features to the development, contem- 
poraneously with the accumulation of the measures, of a ridge of land, 
whence mud was washed into the coal-swamp on either hand. Later 
in the same volume exactly the same problem is presented by the 
Barnsley Bed, which deteriorates in just the same manner in an 
almost identical geographical position. This was hailed by Green as 
a further example of the same process. 

So long as the problem was of merely academic interest I was content 
with a silent demurrer, but having to consider the probable resources of 
the debatable ground for the purpose of colliery development I sought 
criteria with which to decide whether Green's growing anticline or 
Bowman's developing syncline was the correct explanation. This was 
the more necessary as I found that the tendency to split affected seams 
still higher than those named. Now, it will be obvious upon reflection 
that an anticline undergoing intermittent elevation and denudation should 
cause a convergence of the strata representing the stationary phases as 
they approach the axis, while a deepening trough should produce a 
corresponding divergence of the strata — principles well illustrated by the 
Market Weighton and Cleveland axes respectively. A careful plotting 
of intervals showed that, selecting the two seams that were most gener- 
ally worked, isopachytes of the strata separating them could be drawn, 
and Bowinan's sag demonstrated. 


Care has to be taken in such an inquiry to ehminate a soui'ce of error 
not hitherto taken into account, namely, the relative compressibility 
of different sedimentary materials. Freshly deposited mud may contain 
90 per cent, by volume of water, and even when reduced by time and 
pressure to the condition of shale may still have 20 per cent, of inter- 
space ; a bed of fairly consistent clayey mud might be reduced to one- 
half its thickness. Sand, however, suffers scarcely any loss of bulk 
once it has got past the condition of a quicksand. This source of error 
is eliminated in the calculations relating to the split of the Silkstone 
and Barnsley seams, and it is seen that the increase of thickness in the 
sagged area far exceeds the total thickness of the sandstone present, so 
that the sag is a real one and not the effect of the relative compressibility 
of the measures. There may be cases in which there is no further 
shore to the sag, and the seam once lost is lost for good and all. Such 
might be the margin of a deltaic flat undergoing intermittent 

It has occurred to me to consider whether the sediments with which 
the Staffordshire Thick Coal is subdivided need necessarily have de- 
manded an earth movement to an extent corresponding to their aggregate 
thickness; in other words, whether the aggregate thickness of the sedi- 
ments plus the seams that they now separate were, in the uncompressed 
original condition, materially different in thickness from the great un- 
divided seam. I have not the data upon which to found an opinion, 
but we are promised a full discussion of this seam, when I hope the 
problem will receive attention. The idea I had in mind has apparently 
been current for some time, for I find Mr. Walton Brown expressed 
the opinion many years ago that the Coal Measures might be regarded 
actually as a single coal-seam, with the necessary implication that the 
sedimentary measures are in the natm'© of local interruptions. Some 
measure of the reduction of thickness which the original substance has 
undergone and some consequences will be considered later. 

I now turn to a fonn of split seam of extraordinary interest, which 
has received comparatively little attention from geologists though 
mining engineers must surely have a special comminatory formula to 
express their sentiments thereon. The first example that came under 
my notice was encountered in the eastern workings of the Middleton 
Main Seam, at Whitwood Colliery, near Wakefield. Thin intercalations 
of shale and other sedimentary materials, appearing at different horizons 
in the seam, were found to thicken gradually to the east concurrently 
with the gradual dwindling of the lower part of the seam. An explora- 
tion was then carried out. The bottom coal was followed, but it was 
found that though the underclay continued the coal disappeared, and 
was wholly lost for a short distance when it reappeared. The top coal 
rose over a steadily thickening shale parting, and disappeared into the 
roof of the workings, but boreholes pi'oved that it was present above 
a parting which was, at the maximum, 29 feet thick. At the farther 
end of the heading the top coal came down and the integrity of the 
seam was restored. Two other transverse explorations have proved the 
same general arrangement on the same scale of magnitude and one 
or both margins have been traced for a long distance, enabling the 
1922 G 


interruption to be mapped continuously for about 8 or 9 miles and 
intermittently much further. 

My first impression was that this was just a simple case of Bowman's 
'sag,' until I observed that in every traverse the vpper element of the 
seam was arched while the floor was flat. 

Several analogous cases came under my notice before an explanation 
of this anomalous arching was reached. The explanation was found to 
lie essentially in the differential shrinkage undergone by peat-stuff in 
the process of forming coal, and, on the other hand, by any sand or 
mud which may have been deposited so as to replace a part of the peat. 

Let us imagine a stream being diverted at flood time across a bed 
of peat and scooping out for itself a hollow channel, which channel 
subsequently becomes filled with sediments, after which the formation 
of peat continues, the peat plants creep out, and presently envelop the 
whole mass of sediments. When the beds consolidate there will 
obviously be very different contraction between the sands, muds, and 
the. cool-stuff. The sands, as I have said, will hardly contract at all, the 
muds will contract a good deal, the coal-stuff will contract very greatly. 

Various estimates — or guesses — have been made of the amount of 
reduction in bulk which attends the conversion of peat into coal. 

Lomax shows that where coal-balls — which are really masses of com- 
paratively uncrushed coal-forming material that has been preserved by 
minerals infiltering the tissues and the interspaces — occurred abundantly, 
the seam, including the coal, became thicker according to the quantity 
O'f coal-balls present. Where a large number were massed together the 
seam became more than 6 feet thick, while on every side the coal was 
not more than a foot thick. Again, he says ' a large mass of petrifac- 
tions was found, and which, although more or less crushed by superin- 
cumbent weight, retained a he'ight of 7 feet 3 inches, while the corre- 
sponding layer of coal was only 10 inches thick.' He estimated the 
loss by flattening out at one-third ' so that it might be estimated that 
11 or 12 feet of vegetable matter had been deposited to form one foot 
of coal.' ' 

I have found that dry peat can be compressed in a testing machine 
to one-fifth of its original thickness, and making allowance for the loss 
in drying, and for the great reduction of bulk attendant upon the change 
from peat to coal, I am disposed to set a still higher value than Lomax 
on the reduction. It should be borne in mind that wood has an average 
of about 50 per cent, of carbon and 50 per cent, of hydrogen, oxygen and 
nitrogen, while the carbon in an average: house-coal ranges from 80 to 

s Dr. Slopes and Professor D. M. S. Watson adopt a much lower ratio for the 
compression. They figure a huge coal-ball which ' has entirely replaced the coal- 
seam where it occurs, leaving but a film of coal at the top and bottom ' and 
it is ' nearly 4 feet thick, while the coal on either side is under 1 foot ' [Phil. 
Trans., B. 200, p. 174). The evidence of this great ball is not at all complete. 
as not only is there a film of coal of unstated dimensions above and below, but 
' streaks of coaly matter run irregularly through it.' Against this may be cited 
Eenault and Zeiller, quoted by Drs. Stopes and E. V. Wheeler. They measured 
the tracheids in coal and ' other portions preserved uncrushed as a mineralised 
petrifact. . - . They concluded that the specimen of wood (of Arthropitvs 
bistriata) in the coal occupied only one-twelfth of the volume it had in life.' 


<'i per cent. ; but this does not merely imply the loss of 75 or 80 per 
cent, of the other elements, for the oxygen and hydrogen have gone off 
largely in combination with carbon. What the gross amount may be 
I do not venture to say, but my opinion is that the reduction in passing 
from the state of wet undisturbed peat will not be much less llinn 15 or 
20 to 1.' 

Let us now, with these facts in mind, return to the consideration 
of the plano-convex lens of ' dirt ' occupying a position between the 
upper and lower elements of the split seam at Whitwood. On the sag 
explanation it should be convex downward, yet in -this as in all other 
cases I have investigated, it is convex upward. The explanation is 
simple. Let us make our mental picture of the infilled channel in the 
peat a little more specific in detail. Let us suppose that the peat was 
40 feet in thickness when the river commenced to cut its course across it ; 
the channel we will say was, like most channels, deeper in the middle 
than at the sides, and in the middle actually cut through to the seat- 
earth. Then the channel silted up completely, so that a cast of its 
meandering course in sands or mud reaching 40 feet in thickness at the 
maximum, but much thinner at the margins, was formed, then the upper 
bed of peat formed to a fm-t.her depth of 40 feet. The conversion of the 
peat into coal would reduce it to two beds, each, let us say, 2 feet in 
thickness at the, maximum, enclosing the sediment with a proportionately 
smaller thickness in the eroded peat on either margin of the channel. 
The sedimentary mass would have the transverse section of a plano- 
convex lens, the convexity being downward, but when the peat under 
the edges of the sediment is condensed to one-twentieth of its original 
bulk the base becomes almost flat, and the unconsolidated mass of sedi- 
ments adjusts itself thereto. Thus the curve, originally at the base of the 
mass, reproduces itself in the top of the mass, which was originally 
quite flat and now is curved. The lens of infilling has reversed its 

In the Castle Comer Coalfield, County Kilkenny, I have been able 
to examine underground an almost exactly similar case of a portion 
of a horseshoe-shaped meander exhibiting the same reversal of the lens, 

6 I take this opportunity to expose a fallacy of very wide acceptance. It 
appears to be a general belief that, as in Coal Measure rocks pebbles of coal 
occur which are closely embraced by the matrix, and similarly that the shell of 
coal surrounding a standing tree-trunk is in contact with the matrix both within 
and without, therefore no appreciable reduction of bulk of the vegetable interior 
took place in the process of ' coalification.' The assumption here made is that 
the surrounding rock attained complete induration prior to the accomplishment 
of that change in the enclosed masses of vegetable matter, yet all analogy 
forbids that supposition. The Mid-Encene beds of Alum Bay and Bourne- 
mouth, though quite incoherent, contain thin coals as bright and lustrous, as 
truly ' coalified.' as many of our Carboniferous coals, yet it would hardly be 
contended that the period that has elapsed since their formation is materially 
less than the duration of Coal Measure times. The evidence points to the proba- 
bility that the accomplishment of the greater part of the change from plant to 
coal took place while the measures were still unconsolidated, and were able 
to adjust themselves to the shrinkage of the contained masses of coal-stuff. 
When I come to speak of the cleavage of coal a further argument will emerge 
in favour of the consolidation of the ' measures ' being subsequent to that of 
the coal. 

G 2 


but in this instance there are additional features of extraordinary interest 
and significance. The channel is filled mainly with two beds of anthi-a- 
citic coal, one below and the otTier above a lens of black shale. The 
fact that this anthracite is devoid of underclay and that it yields remains 
of fishes and amphibia at once declares it to have originated as cannel, 
which I have found to be a usual component of these lenses. Just 
outside the channel the section at the pit bottom shows 4 inches of coal 
resting upon an underclay and overlain by coarse sandstone, showing 
that this is a relic of the original seam, but it must have been largely 
destroyed by a later incursion of the stream which laid down the 

The split in the Middleton Main Coal must be regarded as a silted 
chajinel of a river that traversed the swamp after the formation of the 
lower part of the seam, and, as might be expected, evidence is abundant 
of similar stream action in other phases of the Coal Measure deposition. 
In the shales intervening between the seams belts of strongly current- 
bedded sandstone with the transverse section of an infilled trough are 
often to be found. Small examples are now to be seen in the railway 
cutting just east of Leeds on the line to Hull; and in Altofts Colliery, 
Fox Pit, a similar trough has been traced in the roof of the Middleton 
Main seam for a distance of about half a mile. In this instance it is 
probable that the direction in which the water was flowing is indicated 
by the fact that in the N.E. woi'kings the floor of the trough is 
wholly above the seam, while in the S.W. it is cut into the seam to a 
depth of about a foot. When a seam is more deeply eroded the only 
too familiar phenomenon of a ' wash-out,' in the miner's sense, not in 
that of the modern colloquialism, is formed. We should expect such 
a deltaic area to afford evidence of the actual meanderings of the main 
stream, or of its more or less transient tributaries or distributaries. 
These are most easily recognised by the channels which they cut in 
the new-formed deposits. 

Extensive beds of gravel or conglomerate are of very exceptional 
occurrence, the source of the materials being in general so remote and 
the grade of the rivers so low that such deposits would hardly be 
expected unless the tearing up of the new strata could furnish them — 
as we shall see that in some cases they did. The lesser ' wash-outs ' 
may be the effects of transient streams which swept across the shallow 
mud-floored lagoons, cutting out a channel and later silting it up. 

Such rivers, contemporary and sub-contemporary with the formation 
of the coal, show the ordinary complications inseparable from river 
erosion. They meander on a large scale; the bows are frequently 
found to be subjected to ' cut-offs,' and in such cases the 'oxbows' 
frequently contain beds of cannel, speaking of their existence as a stag- 
nant bayou in which vegetable mud accumulated. They exhibit the 
])henomena of 'cut within cut,' consequent upon rejuvenescence or 
the scour of flood waters, and the margins are often affected by the 
falling in of the banks. These are quite ordinary phenomena connota- 
tive of the action of moving water. 

A typical ' wash-out '' occurs in the Parkgate seam at Aldwarke 
and Eotherham Main Collieries Here a mass of sandstone cuts out 



the coal over an area of some hundreds of acres. The sandstone is a 
strongly current-bedded rock GC> to 8U feet in thickness. Bands of 
conglomerate, including at times masses of 2 or 3 feet in length, occur. 
The smaller stones consist of clay ironstone concretions, sometimes with 
their original form but littk' modified by attrition. The larger blocks 
are mostly of sandy shale. Eipple markings are frequent, and large 
limbs or trunks of trees are encountered. The whole aspect presents a 
very close resemblance to sections of the old bed of the Eiver Irwell 
exposed in the cuttings for the Manchester Ship Canal. 

This channel must evidently have been that of a river of considerable 
size which commenced to erode on a plane far above that of the Park- 
gate seam. This is indicated, not merely by the thickness of the mass, 
and by the evidence afforded by the pebbles and larger blocks of the 
erosion of Coal Measure materials, but also it will be noted that the 
pebbles are chiefly of clay ironstone, betokening a lapse of time sufficient, 
not only for the deposition of shales, but for the formation of ii'onstone 
concretions. This need not, however, have been a very protracted 
period. The Pleistocene Leda clays of Ottawa contain concretions quite 
comparable with those now under consideration. 

The form of this river channel cannot, at Aldwarke and Eotherham 
Main, be defined, for the interposition of a few yards of shale would 
remove it from the ken of the miner except whei'e shafts, or cross- 
measure drifts to traverse faults, explored the rocks more thoroughly, 
but it is evident from the records of neighbouring collieries that the 
Parkgate Eock is not one of the widely extended sandstones of which 
examples occur in this coalfield, and we may therefore regard the 
channel which it fills as of limited breadth. 

Another instance of the same kind in a seam about 650 feet higher 
in tlie Coal Measure series is furnished by the Haigh Moor Eock. which 
in some places encroaches upon the Haigh Moor Coal seam. It rests 
upon a conglomerate composed of clay ironstone nodules which, in this 
instance, can be traced with much probability to their source, for at 
Eobin Hood, about midway between Leeds and Wakefield — where the 
whole series of strata adjacent to the Haigh Moor seam is exposed in 
a great excavation, affording one of the best sections of Coal Measures 
in Yorkshire — the seam is surmounted by a varied suite of rocks com- 
prising coal-seams with their underclays, thin beds of sandstone, and 
shales containing great numbers of clay ironstone nodules. Such a 
suite would yield the constituents of the Haigh Moor Eock. 

Though it is not practicable to define the course of this rock-filled 
channel in the way that has been done for the great Warrensburg 
channel of the Missouri Coalfield, there is yet a convincing proof that 
it is not an example of folding and denudation, for, if that were the 
case, the strata would show a diminution as measured from seam to 
seam as the area is approached, but the area occupied by the rock is 
just that where the great thickening takes place alluded to a propos the 
splitting of the Barnsley Bed. 

An inference of some moment can be drawn from these two eroded 
channels — general subsidence of the Coal Measure area must have been 
interrupted at least twice by actual elevation or we should not find 


channels cut to the depth of 90 feet in a deposit which must at the 
tiuie of its deposition have approximated to sea level. 

So far we have been examining irregularities of the seam which are 
clearly connected with the erosive effects of running water. But the 
majority of the irregularities have not this simple character, and are of 
a nature quite distinct from the consequences of erosion. 

The most common ahnormality is the occurrence of belts or patches 
of ' proud coal ' in which the seam swells up to twice or thrice its 
normal thickness — sometimes, though not always, by repetition of the 
whole seam or of the upper part, either by shearing or by overfolding. 
Hull long ago proposed to explain ' proud coal ' as the effect of the 
stony infilling of the wash acting as a wedge of incompressible 
material forcing out the coal-substance from beneath its margins. I 
have observed effects attributable to the apposition of coal to sandstone, 
but they were not of the kind in question. 

I have examined, underground, wash-outs in eight different seams, 
some in only one colliery, others in eight or ten. In many instances the 
seam which' has been interrupted lies between two seams that have by 
extensive workings been proved to be entirely unaffected by such dis- 
turbances. I have on several occasions passed entirely across the site 
of a ' wash-out ' in the workings of seams lying either above or below, 
thus demonstrating that the phenomena are confined to a single seam 
and the strata immediately adjacent to it; usually the seat-earth itself 
is unmoved. 

It has been suggested that all the violent displacement and over- 
ridings are brought about by tectonic agency, and that they are thrust- 
planes. The localisation to a single stratigraphical plane should suffice to 
discredit this explanation, but it is still more definitely refuted by the 
fact that, in reply to questions put to every colliery manager I en- 
counter, I have heard of only three examples of faults of the reversed 
or overlap type in the whole coalfield, two of which accomplished a dis- 
placement of only 3 or 4 feet. An amplification of the same explanation 
ascribes the displacements to a thrust with a movement from S.E. to 
N.W. and a common cause to the cleat or cleavage of the coal which 
is normally directed to the N.W. It suffices to refute this to remark 
that the wash-outs I have explored in this coalfield are aligned in four 
principal directions, so that if superposed they would give what may 
be called the Union Jack pattern, i.e. N.E.— S.W., N.W.— S.E., 
N.— S., andE.— W. 

Moreover, if these so-called ' wash-outs ' are not due to the erosive 
effects of contemporaneous or sub-contemporaneous streams, but to 
flat hading faults, any coal displaced should be presently found again 
without any loss whatever. That swellings and duplications of the 
seam occur we have already noticed, and such phenomena have been 
pointed to as evidence that there is ' no loss ' of coal in connection with 
the so-called wash-outs. But losses a.nd the gains by duplication do 
not, in fact, balance. A simple and convincing case is a wash-out 
in a thin seam of coal only 1 ft. 9 in. in thickness at Mirfield, in which, 
by taking measurements of the thickness of coal present and the breadth 
of the barren area, I have been able to show that a gap with no coal 


for 210 feet is compensated for by only 35 feet of excess on tlio 

Seismic Phenomena in the Seams. 

While the displacements and duplications are totally unlike those 
produced by faults, there are cases in which the seam appears to have 
been subjected to a stretching tension and to have broken under tlie 
strain. Along the zone of such a stretch great confusion is commonly 
found. Masses of sedimentary materials of the coal seam, and slabs 
and seams of cannel commonly occur, besides a curious argillaceous 
substance unlike any natural rock with which I am acquainted. In 
its unstratified structurelessness it suggests a kind of consolidated sludge 
such as might be produced by violently stirring or shaking a quantity 
of not too liquid mud. Where the seam abuts against this stuff it 
presents usually a nearly vertical ragged edge, its bright and dull layers 
preserving their characteristics quite up to the contact. 

Masses of the seam enclose streaks of sandstone or muddy material 
along the bedding planes, and plates of sandstone descend in tortuous 
folds in the body of the seam. Sometimes ' eyes ' of sandstone are 
seen embedded in the coal without any visible feeders, though in mosi 
cases the feeders, even almost hair streaks, can be discerned. 

In many instances the sandstones in a wash-out of this type are 
found to be in great boat-bottom rolls, and even the whole sedimentary 
contents of the wash-out may lie in recumbent folds. The degree in 
which these disturbances are developed varies extremely; for example, 
at Shirebrook and Steetley Collieries there is no complication of any 
description either in the seam — the Top Hard or Barnsley Bed — or on 
the margins of the infilling of the 'wash-out.' At Manton, probably 
on the samie wash-out, not more than two miles away, though there 
is only a small amount of swelling of the seam on the margin and a 
little injected sandstone in the coal, the filling of the wash-out v/as for 
some distance in perfectly horizontal recumbent folds of more than the 
full height of the workings. In this case it is interesting to observe that 
there were many tree-trunks represented by bright coal of great bril- 
liance, and I observed one large Calamite standing in the position of 
growth in the undisturbed material of the filling. 

I would illustrate by a concrete example — the great ' wash-out 
represented by the Haigh Moor Eock is accompanied by a disturbance 
of the seam of portentous magnitude. In a range of four coterminous 
collieries the seam exhibits dislocations and over-riding repetitions and 
other anomalies along a general S.W.-N.E. hne, coinciding roughly witli 
the course of a normal steep hading fault of considerable magnitude. 
In many places the disturbance just along its edge culminates in over- 
ridings and repetitions whereby the thickness of the seam is increased 
from the normal 4 feet 6 inclies up to 15 and 16 feet in some places, but 
this excess of coal is restricted to a- narrow belt, while the default 
extends to scores or even to hundreds of yards. 

That there is a connection between wash-outs and tectonic features 
I have long believed, and I pointed out some seventeen years ago' that 

7 Quart. Jour. Gaol. Soc, vol. Ixi., p. 344. 


the connection between great normal faults and the occurrence of wash- 
outs was too close to be merely fortuitous. But what the cause might 
be I was quite unable to suggest, and it was not until many years had 
elapsed that enlightenment came from a wholly unexpected quarter. 

In brief, the explanation I have offered in a communication to the 
Geological Society of London, in a paper that has not yet been placed 
in full before that body, is that all these disturbances which complicate 
the already complex features of wash-outs are the effect of the lurching 
of the soft alluvial materials by earthquake agency. The present is 
not the occasion for amplifying the preliminary account of my evidence 
and argument published in the Proceedings of the Geological Society 
(No. 1,031, Jan. 17, 1919), but I may say this, that every predicable 
subterranean consequence of earthquake action upon unconsolidated 
alluvial deposits, such as the Coal Measures were, can be seen in the 
Yorkshire Coalfields. The lurchings, the rolling and heaving of sand- 
beds, the shaking to pulp of the muddy deposits, the rending and heaving 
of the peat, cracks in the peat, and cracks infilled with extraneous 
material passing through the strata; and lastly, though actually the 
first clue to the explanation, masses of sandstone in the form of inverted 
cones (' dog's-teeth,' ' paps,' or ' drops '), descending on to coal-seams, 
which I interpret as the deep-seated expression of the sand-blows that 
are the invariable accompaniments of earthquakes in alluvial tracts. 

Let us imagine an earthquake sweeping across an alluvial plain 
beneath which lay a thick bed of water-charged peat overlain by 
laminated clay, and that in turn by sand and an upper layer of mud 
or clay, the impulse would throw the peat and its watery contents into 
a state of severe compression which would result in the bursting of the 
immediate -cover of clay and the injection of water into the sand, and 
probably a la.rge quantity of gas, converting it thus into quicksand. 
This in turn under the stress of the earthquake would eject water in the 
form of fountains through the upper muddy or silty stratum, producing 
sand-blows and craters on the surface. When the disturbance subsided 
sand would run back down the orifice into the funnel above the peat. 
These are the ' drops.' They are commonly flanged down the sides, 
showing that they were fomied upon a line of crack. An earthquake* not 
infrequently gives rise to permanent deformations of soft deposits either 
by the lurching of the surface and the production of permanent wrinkles, 
or by subterranean migration of quicksand so as to produce, here a sag or 
hollow, there a ridge or bombement. Mr. Myron Fuller's admirable 
account of the effects of the New Madrid earthquake of 1816 as observed 
one hundred years after the event is full of the most interesting and 
suggestive observations, not the least so those upon the sand-blows and 
sand-filled fissures containing lignite — the sand having come up from a 
bed lying at a depth of not less than 80 feet — the elevated tracts and 
the new lakes produced by subsidence. His photographic illustration 
of Eeelfoot Lake with its broken and hollowed trunks of drowned trees 
must appeal to the imagination of every Coal Measure geologist. 

Displacements or undulations of the surface of the Coal Swamps 
are readily traceable in many, perhaps in most, of the seams in this 
coalfield, but it is not always possible to prove their contemporaneity. 


and especially is this the case with the rising folds. The depressions, 
however, are different. Our colliers apply the term ' swilly,' or some- 
times ' swamp,' to shallow, trough-like inflections of a seam. These 
vary in depth from 2 or 3 feet up to as much as 50 or 60 feet; they 
vary greatly in breadth, but, so far as I have seen them, they are all 
steep-sided, perhaps 20° to 40°. Their linear extension ranges within 
wide limits ; there is one at Rockingham which is known to extend for 
more than a mile. It has a breadth of 6 chains (132 yards) and a depth 
of 26 feet. A yet larger one traverses the whole extent of a colliery in 
Nottinghamshire. The evidence that these depressions were produced 
contemporaneously is in many cases decisive. Not only is the coal 
conspicuously thicker in a swilly than the normal, but the infilling is 
frequently of a different character from the normal roof material. In 
some cases it carries a patch of cannel; in others, while the normal 
roof passes over the swilly without bending, between coal and roof, a 
muddy deposit levels up the hollow Swillies are peculiar to a given 
seam, and I have learned of only one case in which more than one seam 
is affected by the same fold; but here it is also noted tliat, as in all 
wash-outs, the swillies are anterior to, and are thrown by, the 

It seems probable that the isolated patches of cannel by which some 
coal-seams are surmounted may, in other cases than those of swillies, 
lie in hollows produced by earthquake deformation ; and Puller's picture 
of Reelfoot Lake tempts the reflection that upon its floor the maceration 
of peat into cannel substance may now be proceeding. If it were not so 
distant I would fain test it with a few probings. 

The ' Cleat ' or ' Slynes ' of Coal. 

One feature of coal-seams I must discuss before I conclude, though 
it will not at first appear clear that it can be brought within the title 
of this address — I allude to the cleavage or cleat or slynes of coal. If 
we look at a piece of coal this cleavage is very conspicuous, for, lying 
at right angles with the bedding, it gives the straight sides to the 
fraigment. It is obviously not, like the cleavage O'f slate, a texture, but 
it is a series of well-developed joints varying in their individual vertical 
extension, some being restricted to a single layer of bright coal, and 
here and there one traversing bright and dull and fusain alike. A 
thick layer of fusain very commonly interrupts most of the cleat planes 
that have affected the other materials, and it is seen in such instances 
that chips of woody texture lie quite across the ineffective cleat. 

It is a vital element in the cleat problem that it is as well developed 
and as definite in direction in a flake of bright coal the i-ooth of an inch 
in thickness as in a tree-trunk. While I was preparing this address I 
procured a slab of shale from the bed underlying the uppermost bed 
of the Millstone Grit. It bore numerous imprints of goniatites and a 
leaf of Cordaites, which, in its present condition of bright coal, varies 
in thickness from about /oth down to xstt*^^ ^^ ^^ ii^^^"^ ^" thickness. 
It is traversed by an even and regular cleat at intervals of about j-nrs^'h 
of an inch, disposed at an angle of about 35° to the length of the leaf. 


With great care it was possible to replace the slab in its original position 
and to determine the orientation of the cleat to be N.W.-S.E. This 
is not nearly the extreme of tenuity reached by well-cleated plant 
remains. I have specimens that are mere shiny films, and cannot, I 
should judge, exceed j^oth of an inch, yet they show well-defined and 
regular cleat. Further, it should be noted that the production of cleat 
was subsequent to the erosion of stream channels as well as to the pro- 
duction of phenomena on the margins of the wash-outs. Every 
pebble and flake of coal found in the displaced masses in these stream- 
casts has the cleat well developed, and in strict parallelism with the 
cleat of the adjacent undistui'bed seam. Whether its production was 
later than the faulting has not been determined, and perhaps is in- 
determinable, as the faults have not been shown to rotate the strata; 
but, in the argument which follows, gix>unds will appear for regarding 
the cleat as produced before the induration of the strata, and thei 
faulting has evidently happened in the main after consolidation. 

In a paper which I contributed to the Geological Magazine in 1914, 
I directed attention to the fact that cleat is quite independent of the 
joints traversing. the shales and sandstones of the associated measures; 
whence I drew the inference that the cleat must have been produced 
prior to the jointing, for had the two sets of divisional planes been 
produced simultaneously the agency that gave direction to the one would 
have influenced the other, while if the jointing had been produced first 
the coal could not possibly have escaped fracture by the joints. On 
the other hand, if the intimate and regular cleating preceded the pro- 
duction of the joints, no fresh fracturing would be requisite, or possible. 
But the jointing of the measui'es may, or rather, must, be regarded 
as an incident of the consolidation, so that, as a necessary corollary, we 
must regard the cleating of the coal as preceding the consolidation of 
the sediments in which the seams lay. This presents no a priori 
difficulty, and it is corroborated by experience of lignite in unconsoli- 
dated strata; for example, a bed of bright lustrous lignite lies inter- 
bedded in the wholly soft and incoherent Eocene sands and clays of 
Alum Bay in the Isle of Wight. This lignite, I find from a specimen 
collected before my interest was aroused, is divided by a definite cleat, 
but I did not make any observation of its direction. 

The reason for this early development of a joint system is easily 
found — the original peat, in passing into lignite, acquired a brittle con- 
sistency and a consequent disposition to joint. Indeed, the change of 
consistency is the effect of chemical change and loss, whereby the peat 
substance contracts. Hence, when our Coal Measures were first laid 
down they would consist of a series of incoherent sands and muds, and 
this uncompacted condition may have persisted for a very long period 
so long as pressures were not excessive and no cementation took place ; 
even surviving considerable tectonic disturbances, if we may judge by 
the conditions of the Bovey Tracey beds. The peats, however, would 
be subject to changes entirely innate : the gradual loss of volatile con- 
stituents, or at least the resolution of the carbon compounds into new 
groupings and the conversion of the mother substance of the coal into 
lignite. In this condition the coal-substance would be brittle and liable 


to joint in response to the tensile strains set up by the contractility of 
tlie mass.* 

There are questions oi' very deep import concei'ned witii the geo- 
graphical direction of the cleat. The first reference to this interesting 
topic is, I believe, in a work, close upon a century old, by Edward 
Mammatt, entitled Geological Facts to elucidate the Ashhy-de-la- 
Zouch Coalfield, published in 1834. His fourth chapter, headed ' On 
the polarity of the strata and the general law of their arrangement, ' 
contains these remarkable passages : ' Polarity of the strata is a subject 
which hitherto has not been much considered. The extraordinary 
uniformity in the direction of the slynes and of the partings of the 
rocky strata seems to have been determined by the operation of some 
law not yet understood. . . . Wherever these slynes appear, their direc- 
tion is 23° West of North by the compass, whatever way the stratum 
may incline. The coal between them has an arrangement of lines all 
parallel to the slynes, by which it may be divided. This is called the 
end of the coal. . . . Many of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire 
Coal Measures have their slynes in the same arrangement as the strata 
upon Ashton Woulds, and this is also preserved in those of Ooleorton, 
about five miles to the westward.' 

In my paper in the Geological Magazine I commented on the fact 
that little had been written on the subject of cleat since Jukes' Manual 
of Geology (1862), in which he quotes a Nottinghamshire miner's remark 
that the slyne faced ' two o'clock sun, like as it does all over the world, 
as ever I heered on,' a generalisation to be remembered. 

John Phillips, in a report presented to this Section in the year 1856, 
corroborates the statement so far as concerns the coalfields of North- 
umberland and Durham, where he says it ' runs most generally to the 
north-west (true).' The same direction, he says, prevails in Yorkshire 
and Dex'by shire and also in Lancashire. 

I have suggested a reason why coal should acquire a joint system 
anterior to, and independent of, that ol the associated measures, but 
while providing a jointing-force that theory furnishes no explanation of 
the directional tendency of the cleat. This tendency must have been 
supplied by some directive strain — not necessarily of great intensity, 
but continuous in its operation. 

The idea that the initiation of joints, as it were the pulling of a 
trigger, is due to seismic tremors, is urged by Mr. W. 0. Crosby, but 
it seems that an agency much more constant in operation and direction 
is required. 

In 1914 and since I have collected a great body of data regarding 
the direction of the cleat in coals and lignites in many parts of the 
world, chiefly by means of cii'cular-letters to every colliery manager 
in the Britisli Isles and to many abroad. I have also obtained most 
genei'ous help and information from valued correspondents in the United 
States, foremost of whom I must mention Professor J. J. Stevenson. 

Cleat observations in the Northern Hemisphere show an overwhelm- 
ing preponderance of a N.W.-S.E. direction in coals and lignites of all 

* Fusain. being already greatly decomposed, would not be as brittle and 
would not cleat so readily. 




(NliiiTiMi imrri 

SCALE or Miles 




^CALL o' Miles. 



ages from Carboniferous to Pleistocene and from regions as remote 
as Alaska, Spitsbergen, the Oxus, Nigeria, and China. This direction 
persists through every variety of tectonic relations, but seems most 
regular in the largest and least disturbed fields. 

Jukes' miner's astonishing statement that ' the slyne faces two 
o'clock sun ... all over the world ' involves more than is at first glance 
apparent, for, as a friend has pointed out — and when one gives the 
matter a thought it is obvious — that two o'clock sun must shine from 
a quite different compass-bearing in the Northern and Southern Hemi- 
spheres. Yet the data I have collected confirm generally the miner's 
declaration in the Southern Hemisphere as well as the North, though 
exceptions occur that may possess a deep significance. 

Many of the southern coals have no definite cleat, but in such as 
do display a regular system there is a distinct predominance of the 
N.E.-S.W. direction, which has a curious inverse relationship with the 
N.W.-S.E. direction of the Northern Hemisphere. 

With war-time interruptions of my inquiries, and, since the war, 
a spirit of unrest in the mining world which is not conducive to scientific 
research, I do not feel that the matter is ripe for full discussion, and I 
forbear to disclose the speculations as to cause which are confided to 
my note-books further than to say that I feel persuaded that the cause 
will be found in some relation to influences, tidal or other, dependent 
upon the earth's planetary role. I have reason to believe that some of 
the information sent to me from distant fields went to the bottom of 
the sea in the submarine war. ^A^hen such deficiencies are made good, 
and all the data gathered together, will be time enough to invoke the aid 
of specialists in the department of Mathematics most concerned with 
questions of this nature. 

Meanwhile I would invite attention to the case of another type 
of organically formed rock that shares with coal the capacity for early 
consolidation — namely, limestone. My attention was long ago attractred 
by a remarkable bed of limestone in the gorge at Gordale. It is, at a 
guess, 100 feet in thickness, and is distinguished by a remarkable system 
of vertical joints that split the mass into thin plates ranging from half 
an inch up to several inches in thickness. Determinations of the direc- 
tion of jointing are not easily made, as the plates are irregular, but a 
series of eleven determinations made for me gave a maximum deviation 
of Hi degrees on each side of the mean value N.41°\V. (true bearing), 
which agrees remarkably with the jointing of the more normal lime- 
stones in the, district and also with the jointing of the chalk over large 
areas of the south-east of England. 

There is a negative aspect of the cleat question which brings it more 
clearly within the ambit of an inquiry into the physiograpliy of the coal 
swamps. I allude to the absence of cleat that characterises anthracite 
the world over, and is the basis for the broad classification of coals in 
the United States into cubical and non-cubical coals. Upon this absence 
of cleat is attendant features tliat have been regarded as indicative of 
conditions prevailing during the formation of the coal, and hence clearly 
within my terms of reference. 

In the Memoir of the Geologicnl Survey on the Coals of South Wales 


it is pointed out that the anthracite condition, instead of being accom- 
panied by a high ash-content — which is what might be expected if the 
asli ratio were determined simply by the reduction in the non-ash— is 
shown statistically io bear the reverse relationship. That is, the more 
anthracitic the roal, the lower the ash. From this it is argued that the 
anthracites of South Wales were formed of plant-constituents different 
from those contributing to the steam and house coals. This proposition 
gains no support from the study of the plants found in the associated 
measures, nor does it explain why the coals of other fields, composed 
in their various parts of very diverse constituents, do not exhibit the 
anthracite phase. But the ash question needs to be approached from 
another point of view. The ash of coal may, as I have shown else- 
where, be composed of three entirely distinct and chemically different 
materials. There may be (1) the mineral substances belonging to the 
plant-tissues ; then ('2) any detrital mineral substances washed or blown 
into the area of growing peat; and, finally, the sparry minerals located 
in the lumen of the cleat. As to the first, I have long considered that 
the coal was in large measure deprived by leaching of much of its 
mineral substances ; it is otherwise difficult to account for the almost 
total absence of potash. The second — detrjtal matter — is probably 
present in some though not in all coals; the high percentage of alu- 
minium silicate is probably of this origin. But the third constituent — 
the sparry matter — may, both on a priori grounds and upon direct evi- 
dence, be assigned a very important role in the production of the ashes 
in most coals. 

When a coal with a strongly developed cleat is examined in 'large 
masses it is at once seen that the cleat spaces are of quite sensible 
width, and that they are occupied most commonly by a whit© 
crystalline deposit which may consist of either carbonate of iron or 
carbonate of lime, and there are also in many seams crystals of iron 
sulphide — either pyrites or marcasite. These sparry veins may be as 
much as -^j^th of an inch, or even more, in thickness, and they clearly 
constitute the principal contributors to the ash. It has been suggested 
that they are true components of the original peat, a proposition to 
which no botanist would assent, and it appears certain that the veins 
consist of material introduced by percolation from the overlying 
measures, subsequent to the production of the cleat. If that be so, 
it then will follow that the amount of the material present in coal must 
be in some dii'ect proportion to the available cleat space, and if there 
is no cleat neither will there be any vein-stuff to contribute to the ash 
It should be pointed out that ordinary bituminous coal broken into 
minute dice and washed so as to remove any heavy mineral particles 
is found to contain a percentage of ash quite comparable with that of 
an average anthracite. It is to be concluded, therefore, that the varia- 
tions of the ash contents of a coal are no indication of the plant- 
constituent of the coal. 

I have sought to show how the concept of the Coal Measures with 
their sandstones, shales and coal-seams accords entirely with what we 
know of modern swamps and deltas, and that just as each Coal Measure 
fact finds its illustration in mndern conditions, so we may, inverting 


the method of inquiry, say that no noteworthy features of the modern 
swamps fail to find their exemplification in the ancient. 

Even what may seem the most daring of my propositions — the 
seismic origin of abnormal ' wash-outs ' — finds, I cannot doubt, a full 
justification in what has been seen in the Sylhet regioii by Mr. Oldham, 
and in the Mississippi valley by Mr. Fuller, or in what can be inferred 
as a necessary subterranean accompaniment of these surface signs of 
great earthquake convulsions. 

One, and one only, Coal Measure phenomenon lacks its obvious 
modern parallel, the cleat, and hereon I present the complement to the 
text of this address— the ton of fact awaiting the illuminating ounce of 
theory that shall outvalue it. 



E. J. ALLEN, D.Sc, F.E.S., 


The method we usually follow in the ordinary course of zoological work 
is to make first, with the unaided eye, a general examination of the 
animal that interests us, and then study in detail its separate parts 
with a simple lens, with a low power of the microscope, with gradually 
increasing powers, until, finally, minute portions are examined with the 
highest oil-imimersion lens. The successful research worker is generally 
one who, whilst carrying to the utmost limit he can achieve his search 
into detail, maintains as by instinct a true sense of proportion and 
holds firmly to the idea of the organism as a whole. 

In discussing the living organisms of the sea I shall try to follow 
a similar plan, thinking of the life of the sea as a whole, built up of 
individual plants and animals, each in intimate relation with its sur- 
roundings, and all interdependent among themselves. But even this 
is not enough, for we must take still a wider view and keep in mind 
not only the life of the waters, but that also of the land and of the air, 
for both, as we shall see, have a bearing on our theme. Deep oceans, 
coastal waters, shallow seas, rivers and lakes, continents and islands, 
all play their part in one scheme of organic life — life which had, it seems, 
one origin, and notwithstanding migrations and transmigrations from 
water to land, from land to air, and from land and air back again to 
the water, remains one closely inter-related whole. 

Both Brandt* and Gran^ have recently emphasised the fact that it 
is in the coastal waters and shallow seas, which receive much drainage 
from the land, that plant and animal life are most abundant, the more 
open oceans far from land being relatively barren ; as Schiitt puts it, the 
pure blue of the oceans is the desert colour of the seas. This increased 
production in the coastal waters is due principally to the presence of 
nitrogen compounds and compounds of phosphorus derived from terres- 
trial life. From forest, moor and fen, wherever water trickles, the life 
of the land sends its infinitesimal quota of these essential foodstuffs to 
fertilise the sea. 

When, however, we go back to the beginning of things, we shall 
probably be right if we say that any influence of terrestrial life upon 
life in the sea must be left out of account. Different views are still 

' Wisscn.fch. Mccrcvuntcnf. Kiel, 18. 1916-20. p. 187. 
' Hull. Planktoniquc. Cons. Internat., 1912 (1915). 
1922 U 


held as to where hfe in the world had its origin, but no one questions 
that it began in close connection with water. That it began in the 
sea, where the necessary elements were present in appropriate concen- 
trations and in an ionised state, is an idea which appeals to many with 
increasing force the more closely it is examined. This view has been 
developed recently by Church^ in his memoir on ' The Building of an 
Autotrophic Flagellate,' in which he boldly attempts to trace the pro- 
gression from the inorganic elements present in sea-water to the uni- 
cellular flagellate in the plankton phase, floating freely in the water. 
The autotrophic flagellate, manufacturing its own food, he regards as 
the starting-point from which all other organisms, both plants and 
animals, have sprung. To understand the first step in this progression, 
the passage from the dead inorganic to the living organic remains, as it 
has always been, one of the great goals of science, not of biological 
science alone, but of all science. Recent research has, I think, thrown 
much light on the fundamental problems involved. In a paper pub- 
lished last year, Baly, Heilbron, and Barker,* extending and correcting 
previous work by Benjamin Moore and Webster,^ have shown that 
light of very short wave-length (X= 200 w-l), obtained from a mercury- 
vapour lamp, acting upon water and carbon dioxide alone, is capable 
of producing formaldehyde, with liberation of free oxygen. Light of 
a somewhat longer wave-length ( X = 290 [ly-) causes the molecules of 
formaldehyde to unite or polymerise to form simple sugars, six mole- 
cules of formaldehyde, for example, uniting to form hexose. The 
arresting fact brought out in these researches is that the reactions take 
place, under the influence of light of appropriate wave-lengths, without 
the help of any catalyst, either organic or inorganic. Where a source 
of light is used which furnishes rays of many wave-lengths, the simple 
reaction of the formation of formaldehyde is masked by the immediate 
condensation of the formaldehyde to sugar, but this formation of sugar 
can be prevented by adding to the solution a substance which absorbs 
the longer wave-lengths, so that only the short ones which produce 
formaldehyde are able to act. 

When the formation of sugars is postulated, the introduction of 
nitrogen into the organic molecule offers little theoretical difficulty ; for 
not only has Moore'' shown that nitrates are converted into the more 
chemically active nitrites under the influence of light of short wave- 
length, but he maintains that marine algee, as well as other green plants, 
can under the same influence assimilate free nitrogen from the air. 
Baly^ also has succeeded in bringing about the union of nitrites with 
active formaldehyde in ordinary test-tubes by subjecting the mixture 
to the light of a quartz-mercury lamp. 

•■' B'iological Memoirs, I. Oxford, 1919. 

* Journ. Chem. Soc, London, vols. 119 and 120, 1921, p. 1025. Nature, 
vol. 109, 1922, p. 344. 

" Proc. Boy. Soc. B.. vol. 87, p. 163 (1913), p. 556 (1914); vol. 90, p. 168 

G Proc. Boy. Soc. B., vol. 90, p. 158 (1918); vol. 92, p. 51 (1921). 

■ Balv. Heilbron and Hudson, Journ. Chem. Soc. London, vols. 121 and 
122, 1922, p. 1078. 

D.— ZOOLOGY, 81 

It will be admitted that these three reactions : ( 1 ) the formation of 
formaldehyde, H.CO.H, from carbonic acid, OH. CO. OH, with libera- 
tion of free oxygen, or, to put it more simply, the direct union of the 
carbon atom of COo with a hydrogen atom of HoO ; (2) the formation 
of sugars from formaldehyde, and (3) the formation from nitrites and 
formaldehyde of nitrogenous organic substances, are the most funda- 
mental and characteristic reactions of organic life. It is true that light 
of such short wave-lengths (X= 200 (i-n) as were required in Baly's 
experiments to synthesise formaldehyde do not occur in sunlight as it 
reaches the earth to-day ; but, as we shall see later, the same author 
has shown that, in the presence of certain substances known as photo- 
catalysts, the reaction can be brought about by ordinary visible light; 
and from Moore and "Webster's work it appears that colloidal hydroxides 
of uranium and of iron are suitable photocatalysts for the purpose. 

If these results of the pure chemist are justified, they go far towards 
bridging the gap which has separated the inorganic from the organic, 
and make it not too presumptuous to hazard the old guess that even 
to-day it is possible that organic matter may be produced in the sea and 
other natural waters without the intervention of living organisms. "We 
may note here, too, that if we take account of only the most accurate 
and adequately careful work, the actual experimental evidence at the 
present tim.e requires the presence of a certain amount of organic matter 
in the culture medium or environment before the healthy growth of 
even the simplest vegetable organism can take place. This was illus- 
trated in some experiments made By myself some years ago when 
attempting to grow a marine diatom, Thalassiosira gravida, in artificial 
sea-water made up from the purest chemicals obtainable dissolved in 
twice-distilled water. Even after nutritive salts, in the form of nitrates 
and phosphates, had been added, little or no growtn of the diatom 
occurred. But if as little as 1 per cent, of natural sea-water were 
added excellent cultures resulted, in which the growth was as healthy 
and vigorous as I was able to obtain when natural sea-water was used 
entirely as the basis of the culture medium. There was clearly some 
substance essential to healthy growth contained in the 1 per cent, of 
natural sea-water, and from further experiments it became practically 
certain that it was an organic substance. AVhen, for instance, the 
natural sea-water was evaporated to dryness, the residue slightly heated 
and redissolved in distilled water, 1 per cent, of this solution added to 
the artificial culture medium was as potent in producing growth of the 
diatom as the original natural sea-water had been. "When, on the 
other hand, the residue after evaporation was well roasted at a dull 
red heat and redissolved in distilled water, the addition of this solution 
to the artificial culture medium produced no effect and growth did not 
take place. Growth could also be stimulated by boiling a small frag- 
ment of green seaweed (Ulva) in the artificial culture medium, the 
weed being removed before inoculation with the diatom. All this points 
to the necessity for the presence of some kind of organic matter in 
the solution before growth can take place. One must not dogmatise, 
however, for there are many pitfalls in the experimental work and the 
necessai'y degree of accuracy is difficult to attain. My own experience 

H 2 


of these difficulties culminated when I discovered, covering the bottom 
of my stock bottle of distilled water — water which had been carefully 
redistilled from bichromate of potash and sulphuric acid in all-glass 
apparatus — a healthy growth of mould. 

Let us then assume that we are allowed to postulate in primitive 
sea-water or other natural water organic compounds formed by the 
energy of light vibrations from ions present in the water, and see how 
we may proceed to picture the building up of elementary organisms. 
Without doubt the evolutionary step is a long and elaborate one, for 
even the simplest living organism is already highly complex both in 
structure and function. As the molecules grew more complex by the 
progressive linkage of the carbon atoms of newly formed carbohydrate 
and nitrogenous groups, we must suppose that the organic substance, 
for purely physical reasons, assumed the colloidal state, and at the same 
time its surface-tension became somewhat different from that of the 
surrounding water. With the assumption of the colloidal state, the 
electric charges on the colloidal particles would produce the effect of 
adsorption and fresh ions would be attracted from the surrounding 
medium, producing a kind of growth entirely physical in character. 
We thus arrive at the conception of a mass of colloidal plasma differing 
in surface-tension from the water and increasing in size by two pro- 
cesses, the one chemical, due to linkage of carbon atoms ; the other 
physical, brought about by the adsorption of ions by the colloidal 

The difference of surface-tension would tend to make the surface a 
minimum and the shape of tlie mass spherical. On the other liand, 
maximum growth would demand maximum exchange with the sur- 
rounding medium, and hence maximimi surface. From the antagonism 
of these two factors, surface-tension and growth, there would follow, 
firstly, the breaking up of the mass into minute particles upon the 
slightest agitation, and, secondly, changes of form wherever growth 
involved local alterations of surface-tension, which changes of form 
would represent the first indication of the property of contractility. 

So far we have considered only the process of the building up of 
the elementary plasmic particles, the anabolic process. Church, whose 
memoir already referred to I am now closely following, points out that 
these anabolic operations must from the beginning have been subject 
to the alternations of day and night, for during the night the supply of 
external energy is removed. 'If during the night,' he asks, 'the 
machine runs down, to what extent may it be possible so to delay the 
onset of molecular finality that some reaction may continue, at a lower 
I'ate, until the succeeding day? ' And his answer is: ' The successful 
solution of this problem is defined physiologically by the introduction 
of the conception " haiaboJis}}!," as implying that energy derived from 
the ' ' breaking down ' ' of the plasma itself . . . may be regarded as a 
"secondary engine," functional in the absence of light, and evolved 
as a last resort in failing plasma.' Katabolism persists as the ultimate 
mechanism in the physiology of animal as contrasted with plant life, 
but if the "suggestion just quoted is sound it originated, as the first 
' adaptation ' of the organism, to meet the factor of recurring night 

D,— ZOOLOGY. 83 

and (lay. That the piobleiu was successl'ully solved \vu know, but as 
to the mechanism of its solution we have no key. It is at this point 
again, to use Cliurch's words, that the ' plasma, previously within the 
connotation of chemical proteid matter, becomes an autotrophic, increas- 
ingly self-regulated, and so far individualised entity, to which the term 
" life " is applied.' 

The elementary plasma is thus now fairly launched as an individual 
living organism, and the great fundamental problems of biology — 
memory, heredity, variation, adaptation — face us at each step of our 
further progress. We see in broad outhne the conditions the advancing 
organism had to meet, we see the means by which those conditions 
were in fact met, we know that only those individuals survived which 
were able tx>meet them. Further than this we, the biologists of to-day, 
have not advanced. The younger generation will pursue the quest, 
and, with patient effort, much that now lies hidden will grow clear. 

The differentiation of tlie growing particles of plasma into definite 
layers, which followed, seems natural; first the external layer, in mole- 
cular contact with the surrounding water, from which it receives sub- 
stances from outside in the form of ions, and to which it itself gives 
off ions ; beneath this the autotrophic layer to which light penetrates, 
and in which, under the influence of the light, new organic substance 
is built up; in the centre a layer to which light no longer penetrates. 
This central region, the nucleus, depends entirely on the peripheral 
layers for its own nutrition, and becomes itself concerned only with 
katabolic processes, those processes of the organism which depend upon 
the breaking down, and not the building up, of organic substance. 

At an early stage in the development of the individual organism 
the spherical shape, which the organic plasma was compelled to assume 
under the influence of surface-tension, underwent an important modifica- 
tion, the effect of which has impressed itself upon all later developments. 
A spherical organism floating in the water and growing under the direct 
influence of light would obviously grow more rapidly on the upper side, 
where the light first strikes it, than it would on the lower side away 
from the light. There followed, therefore, an elongation of the sphere 
in the vertical direction, and the definite establishment of an anterior 
end, the upper end which lay towards the light and at which the most 
vigorous growth took place. In this way there was established a 
definite polarity, which has persisted in all higher organisms, a distinc- 
tion between an anterior and a posterior end. With the concentration 
oi organic substance which took the form of nucleus and reserve food 
supply, the specific gravity of the plasma would become greater than 
that of the surrounding water and the organism would tend to sink. 
The necessity, therefore, arose for some means of keeping it near the 
surface, that it might continue to grow under the influence of light. 
The response to this need, however it was attained, came in the de- 
velopment of an anterior flagellum. This we may regard as an elonga- 
tion in the direction of the light of a contractile portion of the external 
layer, moving rhythmically, which by its movement counteracted the 
action of gravity, and acting as a tractor drew the primitive flagellate 
ujjwards towards the surface layers, into a position where further growth 


was possible. That this speculation of Church's represents what was 
actually accomplished, even though it does not make clear the means 
by which it was brought about, is shown by the interesting researches 
of Wager * on the rise and fall of the more highly organised flagellate 
Euglena. Euglena is a somewhat pear-shaped flagellate, the tapering 
end being anterior and provided with a single fiagellum, which 
acts as a tractor drawing the organism towards the light. Tha 
posterior end carries the nucleus and most of the chlorophyll and 
food reserves. The whole organism has a specific gravity of 
1.016, being slightly heavier than the fresh water in which it lives. 
When dead, or when the fiagellum is not moving, it takes up, under 
the action of gravity alone, a vertical position in the water, with the 
pointed anterior end uppermost, and the heavier, rounded, posterior 
end below, and sinks gradually to the bottom. 

In a very crowded culture a curious phenomenon is seen, because 
the organisms tend to aggregate into clusters beneath the sm-face film, 
and when they are crowded together in these clusters the flagella cease 
to work. Tliis makes the whole cluster sink to the bottom under the 
action of gravity. When the bottom is readied the individuals are 
spread out by the action of the downward current, and, when they are 
sufficiently widely apart, the flagella again begin to move, carrying the 
organisms in a more diffuse stream once more to the surface. The 
whole culture vessel becomes filled with a series of vertical lines of 
closely aggregated falling organisms, surrounded by a broad cylinder 
of disseminated swimming ones, rising to the surface by the action 
of their flagella. If the conditions are kept uniform such a circulation 
of Euglenas, falling to the bottom by gravity w^hen the flagella are 
stopped and returning to the surface under their own power, will 
continue for days. 

The fiagellum in this species, therefore, retains its most primitive 
function of drawing the organism to the light in the surface layer. 
With the establishment of the fiagellum an organ is produced which 
shows remarkable persistence in both the animal and vegetable kingdoms, 
and from the existence of tlie flagellated spermatozoon in the higher 
vertebrates, in accordance with Haeckel's biogenetic law that the indi- 
vidual in its development repeats or recapitulates the history of the 
race, we conclude that they also' in their earliest history passed through 
a plankton flagellate phase. 

Exactly at what stage in the history of the autotrophic flagellate the 
first formation of chlorophyll and its alHed pigments took place we 
have no means of determining, but it may have been before even the 
flagellum itself had begun. This advance and the subsequent concen- 
tration of the pigments into definite chromatophores or chloroplasts 
doubtless immensely increased the efficiency of the organism in pro- 
ducing the food which was necessary to it. The recent work of Baly 
and his collaborators becomes here again of the first importance, and 
though the subject of the part played by chlorophyll in photosynthesis 

» Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc, vol. 201, IfMl ; and Srlcnce Progress, vol. vi . 
October 1911, p. 298. 

D,— ZOOLOGY. 85 

belongs rather to botany and chemistry than to zoology, I may perhaps 
for the sake of completeness be allowed to refer to it very briefly. I 
have already said that. Baly brouglit about the synthesis of formahk-liydc 
from CO, and H^O under the intluence of rays of very short wave-length 
(X = 200|i.a) from a mercury-vapour lamp. He was also able to show 
that when certain coloured substances were added to the solution of 
carbon dioxide in water the same reaction took place under the influence 
of ordinary visible light. His explanation of this process is that the 
coloured substance known as the photocatalyst absorbs the light rays 
and then itself radiates, at a lower infra-red frequency corresponding 
to its own molecular frequency, the energy it has absorbed. At this 
lower frequency the energy thus radiated is able to activate the carbonic 
acid, so that the reaction leading to the formation of formaldehyde can 
and does take place. In the living plant this synthesised formaldehyde 
probably at once polymerises to form sugars. 

Malachite green and methyl orange, as well as other organic com- 
pounds, were found to act as photocatalysts capable of synthesising for- 
maldehyde, and Moore and Webster's work had previously shown that 
inorganic substances, such as colloidal ui'anium oxide and colloidal ferric 
oxide, can do the same. Chlorophyll in living plants may with some 
confidence be assumed to operate in a similar way, though no doubt the 
series of events is more complex, since the green pigment itself is not 
a single pigment, and others, such as carotin and xanthophyll, are also 

We have tried to picture the gradual building up from elements 
occurring in sea-water of a chlorophyll-bearing flagellate, capable of 
manufacturing its own nourishment and able to multiply indefinitely 
by the simple process of dividing in two. If we assume only one divi- 
sion during each night as a result of the day's work in accumulating 
food material, such an organism would be able in a comparatively short 
space of time to occupy all the natural waters of the world. But 
here we are met by a difficulty which is not easily overcome. Chloro- 
phyll, the photocatalyst, the most essential factor in the building up 
of the new organic matter, is itself a laighly complex organic substance, 
and in any satisfactory theory its original formation and its constant 
increase in quantity must be accounted for. Lankester * has maintained 
that chlorophyll must have originated at a somewhat late stage in the 
development of organic life, and has suggested that earlier organisms 
may have noiurished themselves like animals on oi'ganic matter already 
existing in a non-living state. An alternative hypothesis, which in 
view of the recent work seems more attractive, is to suppose that the 
earlier organisms were either activated by some simpler photocatalyst, 
or that they received the necessary energy at suitable frequency directly 
from some outside source. 

It must not be forgotten, also, that at the time these developments 
were taking place the conditions of the environment would in many 
ways have been different from those now existing in the sea. One 

' Treatise on Zoologi/, Part I, Introduction. London, 1909. 


buggestion of special interest that has been made '" is that the concen- 
tration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and hence also in natural 
waters, was very much greater than it is to-day. Free oxygen, indeed, 
may have been entirely absent, and all the free oxygen now present in 
the air may owe its existence to the subsequent splitting up of carbon 
dioxide by the action of plant life. With such possibilities of differences 
in the conditions in this and in so many other directions, may we not 
be well satisfied if, for the time, we can say that the formation of 
carbohydrates and proteids has been brought within the category of 
ordinary chemical operations, which can occur without the previous 
existence of living substance? 

To return once more, however, to the free-swimming, autotrophic 
flagellate. In the early stages of its history the loss caused by sinking, 
and so getting below the influence of light and the possibility of further 
growth, must have been enormous. We may conceive a constant rain 
of dead and dying organisms falling into the darker regions of the sea, 
and thus a new field would be offered for the development of any slight 
advantages whicli piarticular individuals might possess. Under such 
conditions we may suppose that the holozoic or animal mode of nutrition 
first began in tlie absorption of one individual by another, with which 
it had chanced to come into contact. If the one individual were 
more vigorous and the other moribund we should designate the process 
' feeding, ' and the additional energy obtained from the food might well 
cause the individual to survive. If the two individuals wiiich coalesced 
were both sinkmg from loss of vigour, the combined energy of the two 
might make possible a return to the upper water layers, where under 
the influence of light growth and multiplication would proceed, and w^e 
should, I suppose, designate the coalescence ' conjugation,' or sexual 

Other individuals, again, sinking in shallow water, would stick to 
solid objects on the sea-floor, whilst the flagellum continued to vibrate. 
The current produced by the flagellum under these conditions would 
draw tov/ards the organism dead and disintegrating remains of its 
fellows, and again we should have ingestion and animal nutrition. At 
this stage we witness the definite passage from plant to animal life. 
A further stage is seen when a cup-like depression to receive the incom- 
ing particles of food is formed at the base of the flagellum, to be 
followed still later by a definite mouth. 

Any roughening of the external surface of the swimming flagellate, 
such as we so often find brought about by the deposition of calcareous 
plates or siliceous spicules, or the production of ridges or furrows, would 
tend to slow down its speed of travel, from increased friction with the 
surrounding water. This would have a similar effect to actual fixation 
ni drawing floating particles by the action of the flagellum, and also 
lead to animal nutrition. Still another development would occur when 
the fallen flagellate began to creep along the sea-floor by contractile 
movements of the plasmic surface, losing its flagellum, and adopting 

" See Carl Snyder, 'Life without Oxygen,' Science Pioniess. vol. vi., 1912, 
p. 107. ^ -^ ' 

D.— ZOOLOGY, 87 

the mode of life of an aina^ba. That anuvha and its allies, tlie 
Khizopcxls, are descended from a flagellate ancestor is a view suggested 
by Lankester'^ in 1909, which was adopted by Doflein,'- and is now 
strongly advocated by Pascher'* as a result of much new research. 

The transformation from the plant to the animal mode of feeding 
we can see iu action by studying actual organisms which exist to-day. 
In the course of my work already referred to on the culture of plankton 
organisms there has on several occasions flourished in the flasks a small 
flagellate belonging to the group of Chrysomonads, which was first 
described by W'ysotzky under the name of Pedinella hexacostata, and 
to which I drew the attention of Section D at the Cardiff Meeting in 
1920. The general fomi of Pedinella resembles that of the common 
Vorticella, but its size is much smaller. The body, which is only about 
5" in diameter, is shaped like tlie bowl of a wine-glass, and from the 
base of the bciwl, which is the posterior end, a short, stiff stalk extends. 
From the centre of the anterior surface there arises a single long 
flagellum, surrounded at a little distance by a circle of short, stiff, proto- 
plasmic hairs. Arranged in an equatorial ring just inside the body 
are six or eight brownish-green chromatophores or chloroplasts. In a 
healthy culture Pedinella swims about freely by means of a spiral move- 
ment of the flagellum, which functions as a tractor, the stalk trailing 
behind. The chromatophoi'es are large, brightly coloured and well 
developed, and the oi-ganism is obviously nourishing itself after the 
manner of a plant, like any other Chrysomonad. But from time to 
time a Pedinella will suddenly fix itself by the point of the trailing stalk. 
The immediate effect of this fixing is that a current of water, produced 
by the still vibrating flagellum, streams towards the anterior surface 
of the body, and small particles in the water, such as bacteria, become 
caught up on the anterior surface, the ring of fine stiff hairs surround- 
ing the base of the flagellum being doubtless of great assistance in the 
capture of this food. One can clearly see bacteria and small fragments 
of similar size engulfed by the protoplasm of the anterior face of the 
Pedinella and taken into the body. The organism is now feeding as 
an animal. Tn some of the cultures in which bacteria were very plentiful 
nearly all the Pedinella remained fixed and fed in the animal way, and 
when this was so the chromatophores had almost disappeared, though 
they could still be seen as minute dark dots. ^Ye can as it were in this 
one organism see the transition from plant to animal brought about 
by the simple process of the freely swimming form becoming fixed. 

In the group of Dinoflagellates also — the group to which tlie naked 
and armoured peridinians belong — the same transition from plant to 
animal nutrition can be well followed by studying different mem- 
bers of the group. In heavily armoured forms, with a rich supply of 
chromatophores, nutrition is chiefly plant-like or holophytic. In those 
with fewer chromatophores there is, on the other hand, often distinct 
evidence of the ingestion of other organisms, and nutrition becomes 

11 Lankester. Tieatif^e on Zoolofji/, Part I., London, 1909, p. xxii. 
'- Doflein, Protozoenkunde, 1916. 

I'' Pascher. Archir f. Protixtenlunde . Bd. 36, 1916. p. 81. and Bd. 38 1917 
p. 1. 


partly animal-like. Amongst the naked Dinoflagellates such holozoic 
nutrition is very much developed, and in many species has entirely 
superseded the earlier method of carbonic acid assimilation. 

It is really surj^rising how many structural features found in higher 
groups of animals make their first appearance in these naked Dino- 
flagellates in conjunction with this change of nutrition, and we seem 
to be led directly to the metazoa, especially to the Ccelenterata. Fn 
Polykrikos there are well-developed stinging cells or neniatocysts, as 
elaborately formed as those of Hydra or the anemones. In Pouchetia 
and Erythropsis well-developed ocelli are found, consisting of a refrac- 
tive, hyaline, sometimes spherical lens, surrounded by an inner core of 
red pigment and an outer layer of black ; the whole structure is com- 
parable to the ocelli around the bell of a medusa. In Noctiluca and in 
the allied genus PavilJardia a mobile tentacle, which is doubtless used 
for the capture of food, is developed. Division of the iiucleus, with 
the formation of large, distinct chromosomes, has also been described 
in several of these Dinoflagellates. With the tendency of the cells in 
certain species to hold together after division and form definite chains 
we seem to approach still nearer to the metazoa, until, finally, in Poly- 
li-rikos we reach an organism which may well have given rise to a simple, 
pelagic cffilenterate. It is difficult to resist the suggestion put forward 
by Kofoid'* in his recent monograph, that if to Polylcrikufi, with its 
continuous longitudinal groove which serves it as a mouth, its multi- 
cellular and multinucleate body and its nematocysts, we could add the 
tentacle oi Noctiluca. and perhaps also the ocellus of Erythropsis, ' we 
should have an organism whose structure would appear prophetic of 
the Ccelenterata and one whose affinities to that phylum and to the 
Dinofiagellata would be patent.' Or it may be that the older view is 
the correct one here, and that the first ccelenterate came from a spherical 
colony of simple holozoic flagellates, arranged something on the plan 
of Volvox, in which the posterior cells of the swimming colony, in 
whose wake food particles would collect, had become more specialised 
for nutrition than the rest. 

Before proceeding, however, to consider the further progress of 
animal life, we must pause for a moment to ask in what direction plant 
life in the sea developed, from which the increasing animal life derived 
its nourishment. Here the striking fact is the lack of progress in the 
free, floating, plankton phase. The plant life of the plankton has 
never proceeded beyond the unicellular stage, for the jDlankton diatoms, 
which with the peridinians form the great, fundamental vegetable food 
suppl}' of the sea, are only autotrophic flagellates which have lost their 
flagella, having acquired other means of flotation to keep them in the 
sunlit region of the upper water layers. Deriving their food, as these 
plants do, directly from molecules in the sea-water, the factor which 
is for them of supreme importance is the exposure of maximum surface 
directly to the water. Hence the minute unicellular form has been 
the only one to survive as phytoplankton. The marine region in which 

'■* Kofoid and Swezy, ' The Free-living Unarmouied Dinofiagellata.' Mem. 
Univ. California, 1921. 

D,— ZOOLOGY. 89 

plant life has succeeded in making some progress is the nari'ow belt 
along the shores, where a fixed life is possible, but this belt, limited 
by the amount of liglit which penetrates, extends only to a depth of 
about 15 fathoms. The available area is further restricted to rocky 
and hard bottoms, and is therefore nowhere great. This is the wave- 
lashed region of the brown and red sea-weeds. In the brown sea- 
weeds a history can still be traced,'^ from the fixture of an autotrophic 
flagellate to the building up, by laying cell on cell, of the essential 
structures which afterwards, on transmigration to the land, reached 
their climax in the forest tree. 

But if the flagellate thus rose and gave origin to the flora of the 
land, it also degenerated, for it adopted a parasitic habit, livmg in 
and directly absorbing already formed organic matter. In this way 
the bacteria arose, whose activities in so many directions influence the 
life of to-day. This view exceeds in probabilit}', I think, the suggestion 
often put forward, ^"^ that it is to the simpler bacteria we must look for 
the first beginnings of life. 

After this digression on the botanical side we must return to the 
primitive ccelenterate and see on what lines evolution proceeded in 
t'he animal world. As a purely plankton organism, swinmiing freely 
in the water, the progress of the ccelenterate was not great, and 
reached, as far as we know, no further than the modern Ctenophore. 
The Ctenophore seems to represent the culminating point of the 
primary progression of pelagic animals, which derived directly from 
the autotrophic flagellate. Further evolution was associated with an 
abandonment by a ccelenterate-like animal of the pelagic habit, and 
the establishment of a connection with the sea bottom, either by fixing 
to it, by burrowing in it, or by creeping or running over it. At a 
later stage many of the animals which had become adapted to these 
modes of life developed new powers of swimming, and thus gave rise 
to the varied pelagic life which we find in the sea to-day; but this 
must be regarded as secondary, the primary pelagic life, so far as 
adult animals were concerned, having ended with the evolution of 
tlie Ctenophore. ^^ Such is the teaching of embryology, the history of 
the race being conjectured from the development of the individual. 
In group after group of the animal kingdom, when the details of its 
embryology become known, the indications are the same — first the 
active spermatozoon, reminiscent of the plankton flagellate, then the 
pelagic larval stage, recalling the ccelenterate, and then a bottom- 
living phase. 

" Church, Botanical Memoirs. No. 3. Oxford, 1919. 

" Osboni, ' The Origin and Evolution of Life,' 1918. Waksman and Joffe. 
' Micro-organisms concerned in tlie Oxidation of Sulphur in the Soil,' Journal 
of BacUrioloiiy, VII. 2, March 1922. The authors claim that Thiobacillus 
Ihiooxidans will grow in solutions containing no organic matter. In view of 
the minute traces of organic matter that suffice for the growth of bacteria and 
moulds, care must be taken, however, in drawing conclusions from experiments 
made in flasks or tubes closed in the ordinary' way with cotton-wool plugs and 
subsequently sterilised in flowing steam. 

" There is perhaps a possibility that further knowledge of the embryology 
of Sagitta and its allies might make it necessary to modify this suggestion. 


The piiinitive, free-swimming coelenterate, adopting a fixed habit 
and becoming attached mouth upwards to soUd rock or stone, gave rise 
to hydroids, anemones and corals, typical inhabitants of the coastal 
waters, for the sands and muds at greater depths offered few points 
of attachment sufficiently stable. 

A Volvox-like colony of simple holozoic flagellates, according to 
MacBride,^^ commenced to feed upon miscroscopic organisms lying on 
the sea bottom, and under these circumstances only the cells of the 
lower half of the colony would be effective feeders. The upper cells, 
therefore, lost their fiagella and became merely a protective layer, 
which finally grew downwards outside the others and fixed the colony 
to the ground. In this way a sponge was formed. The collar cell, 
so typical of the group, had been developed already by the flagellates, 
its first inception being perhaps a circle of protoplasmic hairs such 
as we find in Pedinella. But this adoption of a fixed habit, as it were 
mouth downwards, did not lead very far, and though there has been 
much elaboration within the group itself, the sponges have remained 
an isolated phylum, unable to develop into higher forms. 

It is in a Ctenophore-like ancestor that we find the line of develop- 
ment to higher animal groups, and this ancestor must have been at 
one time widely distributed in the seas. Its immediate descendants 
are familiar to every zoological student in the well-known series of 
pelagic larval foi'ms. Miiller's larva, taking to the bottom, and in 
its hunt for food gliding over hard surfaces with its cilia, led to the 
flatworms; the Pilidium, developing a thread-like body and creeping 
into cracks and crevices to transfix its prey, gave rise to the nemertines. 
A Trochophore, burrowing in soft mud and sand, developed a segmented 
body which gave it later the power of running on these soft surfaces, 
and became an annelid worm. Another Trochophore, developing a 
broad, muscular foot, crept on the sand, and afterwards buried itself 
beneath it as a lamellibranchiate mollusc, or migrated on to harder 
surfaces as. the gastropod and its allies. Pluteus, Bipinnaria, 
Auricularia, first fixing, as the crinoids still do, and developing a radial 
symmetry, afterwards broke free and wandered on the bottom as sea- 
urchin, star-fish and cucumarian. Tornaria developed into Balano- 
glossus, whose structure hints to us that the ascidians and vertebrates 
came from a similar stock. All the phyla thus represented derive 
directly from the free-swimming Ctenophore-like ancestor, and only 
one considerable group, the Arthropods, remains unaccounted for. The 
evolutionary history of an Arthropod is, however, not in doubt. Its 
marine representatives, the Trilobites and Crustacea, came directly 
from annelids, which, after their desertion of a pelagic life to burrow 
in the sea-floor and run along its surface, again took to swimming, and 
not only stocked the whole mass of the water with a rich and varied 
life of Copepods, Cladocera and Schizopods, but gave rise to Amphipods, 
Isopods, and Decapods, groups equally at home when roaming on the 
bottom or swimming above it. 

Another important addition to the pelagic fauna we should also 

'* Text-books of Embryology. I nvertchrata. London, 1914. 

D.— ZOOLOGY. 91 

notice here. From the molhiscs, creeping on soHd surfaces, sprang 
a group of swimmers, the Cephalopods, which have grown to sizes 
almost unequalled amongst the animals of the sea. 

All these invertebrate phyla had become established and most of 
them had reached a high degree of development in the seas of Cambrian 
times. Amongst animals then living there are many which have 
survived with little change of form until to-day. One is almost 
tempted to suggest that the life which the sea itself could produce was 
then reaching its summit and becoming stabilised. Since Cambrian 
times geologists tell us some thirty million years'^ have passed, a stretch 
of time which it is really difficult for our imaginations tO' picture. 
During that time a change of immense nioinient has happened to the 
life of the sea ; but if we read the signs aright, that change had its origin 
rather in an invasion from without than in an evolution from within. 
From whence came that tribe of fishes which now dominates the fauna 
of the sea? It would be rash to say that we can give any but a specu- 
lative reply to the question, but the probable answer seems to be that 
fishes were first evolved not to meet conditions found in the sea, but 
to battle with the swift currents of rivers, where fishes almost alone 
of moving animals can to this day maintain themselves and avoid being 
swept helplessly away.-" It was in response to these conditions that 
elongate, soft-bodied creatures, which had penetrated to the river mouth, 
developed the slender, stream-lined shape, the rigid yet flexible muscular 
body, the special provision for the supply of oxygen to the blood to 
maintain an abundant stock of energy, and all those minute perfections 
for effective swimming that a fish"s body shows. The fact that many 
sea fishes still return to the rivers, especially for spawning, supports 
this view, and it is in accordance with Traquair's classical discoveries 
of the early fishes of the Scottish Old Red Sandstone, which were for 
the most part fresh- and brackish-water kinds. 

Having developed, under the fierce conditions of the river, their 
speed and strength as swimmers, the fishes returned to the sea, where 
their new-found powers enabled them to roam over wide areas in search 
of food, and gave them such an advantage in attack and defence that 
they became the predominant inhabitants of all the coastal waters, 
and as such they remain to-da-y. 

The other great migration of the fishes, also, the migration from the 
water to the land, giving rise to amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, 
must not be left out of account. The whales, seals and sea-birds, 
which after developing on land returned again to the waters and became 
readapted for life in them, are features which cannot be neglected. 

And so we are brought to the picture of life in the sea as we find it 
to-day. . The primary production of organic substance by the utilisation 
of the energy of sunlight in the bodies of minute unicellular plants, 
floating freely in the water, remains, as it was in the earliest times, 
the feature of fundamental importance. The conditions which control 
this production are now, many of them, known. Those of chief import- 

" Osborn, Origin and Eiwlufion of Life, 1918, p. 153. 

'" Chamberlin. quoted in Lull, Organic Evohition, New York, 1917, p. 462. 


ance are (1) the amount of ligKt which enters the water, an amount 
which vaiies with the length of the day, the altitude of the sun, and 
the cleai'ness of the au- and of the water ; (2) the presence in adequate 
quantity of mineral food substances, especially nitrates and phosphates; 
and (3) a temperature favourable to the growth of the species which 
are present in the water at the time. Experiments with cultm-es of 
diatoms have shown clearly that if the food-salts required are present, 
and the conditions as to light and temperature are satisfactory, other 
factors, such as the salinity of the water and the proportions of its 
constituent salts, can be varied within very wide limits without checking 
gi'owth. The increased abundance of plankton, especially of diatom 
and peridinian plankton, in coastal waters and in shallow seas largely 
surrounded by land, such as the North Sea, is due to the supply of 
nutrient salts washed dii'ectly from the land by rain or brought down 
by rivers. An exceptional abundance of plankton in particular localities, 
which produces an exceptional abundance of all animal life, is also 
often found where there is an upwelling of water from the bottom layers 
of the sea. These conditions are met with where a strong current 
strikes a submerged bank, or where two currents meet. Food-salts 
which had accumulated in the depths, where they could not be used 
owing to lack of light, are brought by the upwelling water to the surface 
and become available for plant growth. The remarkable richness of 
fish life in such places as the banks of Newfoundland and the Agulhas 
Banks off the South African coast, each of which is the meeting-place 
of two great currents, is to be explained in this way. 

Our detailed knowledge of the steps in the food-chain from the 
diatom and peridinian to the fish is increasing rapidly. The Copepod 
eats the diatom, but not eveiy Copepod eats every diatom; they make 
their choice. The young fish eats the Copepod, but again there is 
selection of kind. Even adult fishes like herring and mackerel, which 
were fonnerly supposed to swim with open mouth, straining out of the 
water whatever came in their way, are now thought largely to select 
their food.'' 

A result of extraordinary interest in connection with the food-chain 
has recently been brought to light by two sets of investigators working 
independently. In seeking to explain certain featui-es which he had 
foimd in connection with the growth of the cod, Hjort^" undertook a 
study of the distribution in marine organisms of the gi'owth stimulant 
known as vitamin. Pat-soluble vitamin was already known to be 
present in large quantities in cod-liver oil, and is what probably gives 
the oil its medicinal value. Hjort was able to trace the vitamin^ by 
means of feeding experiments on rats, in the ripe ovaries of the cod, 
in shrimps and prawns, which resemble the animals on which the cod 
feeds, and in diatom plankton and green algse. Jameson, Drummond, 
and Coward-' cultivated the diatom Nitzsckia closterium, and by a 
similar method to that used by Hjort showed that it was extraordinarily 

" Bullen. Joiinf. Mar. Biol. Axf'OC., 9, 1912, p. 394. 
" Pror. Boy. Son., May 4, 1922. 
-■■' Biochemical Journal. 1922. 



potent as a source of fat-soluble vitamin. \Vc thus conclude that this 
substanco, so essential to healtliy animal growth, is iiroduced in large 
quantities by plankton diatoms, and passed on unchanged to the fish 
through the crustaceans which feed on the diatoms. In the fish the 
vitamin is first stored in the liver, and with the ripening of the ovary 
passes into the egg, to be used to stimulate the growth of the next 
generation. Again we see the fundamental importance of the food- 
producing activities of the lowest plant life. 

Attention has already been drawn to the suggestion that fishes 
developed their remarkable swimming powers in rivers, in response to a 
need to overcome the' currents, and that they afterwards returned to 
the sea, where they preyed upon a well-developed and highly complex 
invertebrate fauna already fully established there. Their speed enabled 
them to conquer their more sluggish predecessors, whilst they them- 
selves were little open to attack. With the exception of the larger 
cephalopods, which are of comparatively recent origin, and were 
probably evolved after the arrival of the fishes, there are few, if any, 
invertebrates which capture adult fishes as part of their normal food. 
Destinictive enemies appeared later in the form of whales and seals 
and sea-birds, which had developed on the land and in the air. 

And now in these last days a new attack is made on the fishes of 
the sea, for man has entered into the struggle. He came first with 
a spear in his hand; then, sitting on a rock, he dangled a baited hook, 
a hook perhaps made from a twig of thorn bush, such as is used to 
this day in villages on our own east coast. Afterwards, greatly daring, 
he sat astride a log, with his legs paddled further from the shore, and 
got more fish. He made nets and surrounded the shoals. Were there 
time we might trace step by step the evolution of the art of fishing and 
of the art of seamanship, for the two were bound up together till the 
day when the trawlers and drifters kept the seas for the battle fleet. 

There can be little doubt that in European seas the attack on the 
fishes in the narrow strip of coastal water where they congregate has 
become serious. A considerable proportion of the fish population is 
removed each year, and human activity contributes little or nothing 
to compensate "the loss. We have not, however, to fear the practical 
extinction of any species of fish, the kind oi extinction that has taken 
place with seals and whales. Fishing is subject to many natural 
limitations, and when fishing is suspended recovery will be rapid. There 
is evidence that such recovery took place in the North Sea when fishing 
was restricted by the War, though the increase which was noted is 
perhaps not certainly outside the range of natural fluctuations. Until 
the natural fluctuations in fish population are adequately understood, 
their limits determined, and the causes which give rise to them dis- 
covered, a reliable verdict as to the effect of fishing is difficult to obtain. 

If such problems as these are to be solved the investigation of the 
sea must proceed on broadly conceived lines, and a comprehensive 
knowledge must be built up. not only of the natural histoiy of the 
fishes, but also of the many and varied conditions which influence their 
lives. The life of the sea must be studied as a whole. 







In his address to this Section in Edinbui'gh last year, my predecessor, 
Dr. Hogarth, devoted some time to a consideration of the position of 
geography in the Universities of this country. He had no difficulty 
in showing that, from various points of view, this position still leaves 
much to be desired. My present concern, however, is not with the 
actual facts, but with a deduction which naturally follows froni them. 
If it be true that the Geographical Departments of the Universities are, 
in most cases, insufficiently staffed and equipped, then it is surely clear 
that, despite all the progress which has been made in recent years, we 
have largely failed to convince the great mass of educated opinion of 
the value of our subject ; for University chairs are only endowed, and 
departments equipped, when those established in educational high places 
realise the growing importance of the subject concerned. Usually, also, 
before that realisation can take place there must be a driving force in 
the shape of a body of enthusiasts, able and willing to convinc-e the 
general public that the advance is necessary in the interests of the 

Now, in the case of geography the body of enthusiasts does exist ; 
where we have failed, as I think, is in making continued and determined 
effoi'ts to convince others. The time seems to me to have come for a 
determined missionary effort, a deliberate attempt to make clear to the 
ordinary citizen that geography, in its modern aspects, ia a subject of 
direct interest and value to him in his daily life. 

Ijet me take first a single minor example of the need for such a 
policy. All those who have had anything to do with the arranging of 
lecture programmes for geographical societies are aware how largely 
accounts of exploration bulk in these. It may be said generally that 
any Committee meeting for such a purpose turns first to a consideration 
of what returned explorers are likely to be available at the time. More 
than this, whether geographers in the technical sense are well repre- 
sented on such bodies or not, there is a general consensus of opinion 
that an explorer who has come through great dangers, or shown con- 
spicuous personal courage, is, for a society which depends on public 
support, a much more valuable lecturer than one who has merely done 
careful and painstaking work, with no element of drama in it. 

This means that even that section of the public sufficiently interested 
in geography to join a geographical society regards the subject as 


pnrnarily coiicei'iied willi exploration, leading to the descriiuiou of 
unknown or little-known regions of the earth. Even so, its interest 
requires stimulation by the personal factor. Tf this be the attitude of a 
somewhat si)ecialised public, what is that of the world outside? 

I do not think there can be nuicli doubt) as to the answer. In so 
far as that public is highly specialised and consists of students either 
of those separate sciences from which geography obtains much of its 
material, or of such subjects as history in its different branches, ih 
tends in many cases to regard geography with tolerant contempt. Of 
the unspecialised public it may be said generally that the subject in its 
modern d(?veIopments has scarcely com.e within its range of vision. Its 
older members, especially, are for the most part convinced that they 
learnt ' geography ' at school, as they learnt reading, writing, and arith- 
metic there, and that, since mountains and I'ivers, capes and bays and 
the rest remain where they were, tlicre is little left to be studied or 

It seems to me, therefore, that the most clamant need at the present 
time is a continuous attempt to make it plain toi th.e community at 
large that the main interest of geography is not in its facts as such — for 
if geography ceased to exist the geologists, meteorologists, botanists, 
zoologists, and so forth would continue to collect most of these. Eather 
does it lie in the way in which the geographer studies these facts in 
their relations to each other and to the life of man. Further, whatever 
place the study of the human response to the surface phenomena of 
the earth should take in the subject considered as a whole — and the 
topic was fully discussed by Dr. Hogarth last year — there can be no 
doubt that it is the aspect which makes the widest appeal. When, 
for example, we can take the sheets of a good atlas of physical geography 
and show that the facts represented there can be made to yield deduc- 
tions of great interest and value to everyone, then we are going far to 
persuade the members of the public of the importance of geography ; 
and not until they are so persuaded can we hope that the subject will 
obtain in the higher institutions of learning the position to which we 
believe it is entitled. 

Now, I am well aware that such deductions have been and are being 
drawn liy geographers, both at liome and abroad. But their conclusions 
have so far reached only a very limited audience. It has seemed to 
me that an Address to this Section gives an opportunity of discussing 
certain interesting points of view which do not seem to have been 
fully treated hitherto. In so far, however, as I am addressing an 
audience of geographers in the technical sense, I wish it to be clearly 
imderstood that what I have to say is to be regarded less as a con- 
tribution to geographical science than as an attempt to carry out that 
forward policy which seems to me essential at the moment. Even if I 
fail to carry you with me throughout, I may at least hope to stimulate 
some of you to promote the aim already set forth by other and better 

For the reason already given I propose to take certain points in 
regard to the human response to surface phenomena for special 
consideration. Now, it is a somewhat curious fact that, although 
1922 1 


geographers are agreed that man's intelligence and power of acquiring 
and transmitting knowledge so differentiate him from animals that it 
is necessary to distinguish between human geography and animal geo- 
graphy ; yet, so far as I am aware, little detailed consideration has been 
given to the question as to the respects in which his response to 
environmental conditions differs from that of the animals. This is 
unfortunate, more especially since, thanks to the biologists, we have 
a fairly clear idea as to the mechanism of the response in the latter 

If, for example, we take two familiar animals, such as the rabbit 
and the common hare, we find that, though belonging to the same 
genus, and generally resembling each other in structure, they show 
certain minor differences in bodily form and habits fitting them for the 
environments in which they respectively live. Thus the long legs of 
the hare' enable it to maintain the swift movements upon which it 
depends for escape from its foes, while the rabbit, ijihabiting sandy 
uplands instead of open country, finds safety underground, and need 
only be able to move swiftly over short distances. Similarly, 
the young of the rabbit, born within the shelter of the burrow, are more 
helpless than the leverets, brought forth virtually in the open. 
The biologists are broadly agreed that these differences are an adaptive 
response to the different environments of the two animals. In 
explaining the origin of that adaptive response, most of them lay stress 
on the two factors of fixation to a particular environment and isolation — 
actual or physiological — within it, so that incipient variations are not 
swamped by intercrossing. 

Now when we turn to look at man, two facts are at once apparent. 
In the first place, at the present time, he does not appear to respond 
to environmental influences by adaptive modifications of bodily form. 
Secondly, there was certainly a time, before he had come fully to his 
heritage, when he did so respond. We know this because the anthro- 
pologists are agreed that while man once ran into a number of species — 
and of genera — now all living human beings belong to the same species, 
and even the races show marked signs of being in process of becoming 
swamped by intercrossing. In other words, there was a time when 
there was no human geography, when man reacted to the sum total of 
the conditions as an animal does ; but that time appears to have largely 

But there is ceiiainly still a human response to environmental 
conditions. What precise form does it take? To a certain minor 
extent, apparently as an inheritance from what T regard as essentially 
the pre-human period, there is a direct structural response. One need 
only mention the presence of peoples with thin, almost mipigmented 
skins in Western Europe, and the tendency to increased pigmentation 
alike as the Tropics and the Poles are approached. But though deter- 
mined efforts have been made to correlate in detail the physical 
characters, of the great races with the climate and relief of the areas 
where they are presumed to have originated, most of these correlations 
remain uncertain and speculative. 

Man's real response to the surface phenomena of the earth takes 
the forni of a communal, not an individual response. It is the aptitudes 


which the members of u coiumunily disjjlay, llie tools which they use, 
the kind of Icnowledge which they a.ccuinulate, tlieir modes of organisa- 
tion, their type of material wealth, their traditions and ideals, which 
show the environmental imprint most closely, far more closely than 
the colom" of their skins oi- tlie shape of their heads. 

But when and how ditl the change in the two modes of response 
come about? To answer this question let us recall what has been 
already said as to the importance of fixation and isolation in the case 
of animals. The surface of the earth is almost infinitely diverse, and 
what the biologists call natural barriers, the major barriers like deserts, 
seas and mountain chains, or the minor ones produced by the transition 
ffom one type of plant formation to another — e.g. from the forested 
river valley to the grass-co'vered upland — separate different types of 
environment, and form obstacles to the distribution of most land 
animals. There must have been a time when groups of men, no less 
tilian the pigs in the foresti or the asses on the steppe, were firmly 
gripped by the physical conditions, were isolated from other gi'oups, 
forced to become fitted by structm-e and habit for a pai'ticular set of 
conditions, or to die out. But with his growing intelligence man 
escaped from this u'on grip, learnt to make virtually eveiy part of the 
surface yield enough for survival, proved capable O'f overcoming every 
kind of natm'al barrier. When this occuiTed the old mechanism of 
adaptation largely — though not completely — ceased to work. Evolution 
then might have ceased also, man might have become specially fitted to 
no environment because fitted for all, if the factors of fixation and 
isolation had not, in quite a different fashion, obtained a new hold. 

He ceased, save in relatively few parts of the earth's surface, to 
be a continuous wanderer. He settled down afresh on particular parts 
of it, and there learnt to use his increasingly complex brain not only 
in utilising to their full the natural resources, but also in modifying the 
local conditions so that new resources became available. In other 
words, I wish to suggest that the cultivation' of the soil was the great 
agent in ensuring the new type of fixation to a particular area which 
once again made evolution possible. But evolution now took the form 
of increasing development of communal life, or, in other words, the 
growth of what we call civilisation is the precise equivalent of specific 
differences in plant or animal. 

Further, just as, in the case of the animal, isolation is necessary 
before an incipient species can become fixed, so in the case of human 
conununities a measure of protection from the inhabitants of neigh- 
booming areas — a measure, that is, of isolation — is essential before 
civilisation can develop. 

Again, in the case alike of plants and animals we know that where 
the local conditions are such that the incipient species is limited to a 
very narrow area, there highly specialised forms of adaptation may 
occur, as they do, for example, on many islands, or in isolated mountain 
chains ; but that specialised type of development is associated with the 
loss of the capacity to vary, to acquire adaptations fitting the organism 
for a wider area. So in the case of human communities, where the 
isolation is too complete the power of adaptation tends to be lost, 
and such groups, though their civilisation may, along its own lines, 


be of a liigiily specialised type, are easily overwhelmed when contact 
with the outside world does occur, just as island animals tend to 
disappear before introduced forms. 

Now with these general statements as starting-point, let us consider 
some facts in regard to the development of civilisation in Europe and 
the margins of the adjacent continents. 

In this area history has seen three successive great foci of civilisa- 
tion, each based on well-marked and distinctive geographical conditions. 
The development of the three types has been successive and not simul- 
taneous, and there has thus been a steady shift in time of the main 
focus, a shift westward and north-westward. The three types of 
human societies alluded to are, of course, (1) the river valley type as 
represented in Babylonia and early Egypt ; (2) the Mediterranean type 
on parts of the seaboard of the Midland sea ; (3) the forest type of 
Europe proper, itself becoming progressively more and more influenced 
by the greater ocean to the west, so that forest influences have steadily 
given way to maritime ones. 

We have tO' ask oiurselves, then, what effects the factors already 
considered have had on the origin, gi-owth, and further development, or 
decay, of each of these three? In other words, what in each case were 
the geographical causes which first fixed man to a particular area in 
which he was able to cultivate useful plants ? What gave the necessary 
isolation and safety during the early stages? Finally, to what extent 
were the conditions such as to give that necessary safety without leading 
to tlie loss of the power of continued adaptive modification, as expressed 
either in the capacity to spread over adjacent areas showing progressively 
increasing differences, or in that of responding to changes within the 
home area? 

In the case of the river-valley areas, as represented in the Tigris- 
Euphrates region and the Nile valley, and in that of the Mediterranean 
seaboard, several geographers, among whom Prof. Myres may be 
especially mentioned, have discussed the conditions favourable to the 
early development of civilisation. It is therefore not necessary to 
consider the geography of these areas in detail. But, beginning with 
Babylonia and Egypt, I should like to put the causes which seem to 
me to have promoted fixation quite briefly. Among them we must 
certainly include the primitive natural resources, scanty though these 
doubtless were. The birds of the valley marshes, the relatively small 
number of mammals, the fish of the rivers, must have supplied a certain 
amount of the animal food. The date palm, in the Tigris-Euphrates 
areas at least, would, even in its wild state, doubtless yield a fruit of 
some value in the very early days. 

But. as an imnortant factor in the development of cultivation, I 
would lay especial stress upon the presence of what the botanists 
call the ' open ' plant formation. Native trees, as we know, are very 
few, the date tpalm, one of the most characteristic, being strictly 
limited in distribution by its need for water at the roots. For the 
greater part of the year the ground between the scattered trees is 
naturally either devoid of vegetation, or this is represented only by a 
few desert ])lants. But after tlie periodic flooding by the rivers, an 
abundant growth of vegetation springs up. The plants may be annuals, 


whose seeds ripen as the ground dries, and lie dorniiint till moisturu 
comes again; or tiiey may be bulbous and iuberous forms, having but 
a short period of vegetative activity, l)ut jjossessing undei'groutul stems 
capable of withstanding prolonged drought. The result is that man 
did not require to clear land for crops, Nature periodically cleared it 
for him. He had but to make the fairly obvious deduction that water 
alone was necessary for the apparently barren soil to blossom like 
the rose, and from all the choice of plants which the flooded ground 
offered, to pick out those of some use to him, and learn to suppress 
the rest. As has oiten been pointed out, he did not need to trouble 
greatly about renewing the fertility of his lands, for the flood-water 
did this for him. 

Sc soon as he had learnt the initial lessons of cultivation, he was 
tied to the area normally flooded at certain seasons, or to which he could 
lead the flood-water He intercalated his crops along one of Nature's 
lines of weakness, in a transitional ai'ea which passed periodically 
from one climatic zone to another, being, according to the seasons, 
either a desert or fertile. Fixed in this fashion he could, and did, 
adapt his mode of life to the natural conditions as precisely as ever 
bird or insect became structurally fitted for life on an island. 

The bordering desert ensured isolation, and, continuing the island 
metaphor, we may say that it represented the sea. Its effect was to 
throw the whole energy of the community towards the centre, for the 
periphery formed an area in which the characteristic mode of life could 
not be practised. Similarly, it gave protection, for it is unsuited to 
any save a highly specialised culture, which must have been of relatively 
late origin. So far as it formed the boundaries of the incipient state, 
therefore, the desert constituted a barrier preventing the ingress of 
potential foes. In neither case, of course, was the desert rim complete, 
and the conditions upstream varied in the two areas, and were, as has 
been often pointed out, from the point of view of safety, on the whole 
less favourable in the case of Babylonia than in that of Egypt. 

As to the third point, it is, I think, easy to show that while the 
isolation of the areas was markedly conducive to the rise of civilisation 
and to its growtlr up to a certain point, in the long run it became a 
danger. In the first place, the contrast between the belt which could 
be watered and that to which, with the means available, water could 
not be carried, was exceedingly shai'p. There was little possibility of 
a gradual spread into areas becoming slowly but progressively different, 
where new aptitudes could be acquired, new experience gained, and 
new forms of wealth stored. Specialisation was high within the 
favoured tract, but the limits set by Nature could not be passed. 

Again, as has often been noted, the conditions led necessarily to 
a centralised and imperialistic form of social organisation. If there 
was a sharp line of demarcation between the areas which could and 
could not be watered, there were great possibilities in the direction of 
extending by artificial means the belt over which the flood-water spread. 
This involved the gradual growtli of an elaborate irrigation system, and 
for the maintenance of this a centralised power was essential. This 
brought with it, as a correlated advantage, the possibility of organised 
defence when developing neighboui'ing communities attempted to 


encroach. But if the attack was made with sufficiently powerful 
forces, the centralisation became a menace. An attacking foe able to 
destroy or damage seriously the irrigation system could cut off at its 
source the basis of prosperity, and render reconstruction on the old 
scale almost impossible. In other words, the community became 
adapted to artificial conditions created by itself; if and when those 
conditions were destroyed, the survival of the old culture became 

Turn next to the Mediterranean region, that is to the area in which 
the typical Mediterranean climate prevails. In so far as the native 
plants are concerned, this area shows certain broad general resemblances 
to the river valleys, with some striking differences. Thus the 
characteristic plant formation is alternately open and closed ; closed 
during the cooler season of tlie year when the winter rains cause a 
brief but intense growth of annuals and bulbous or tuberous plants, 
open during the drought of summer when the trees and shrubs stand 
apart from each other with bare earth lietween. But the contrast is 
due, as indicated, to the rainfall conditions, not to flooding. There 
is thus no natural renewal of fertility, and plants which require much 
water can only thrive in the cooler season, so that gi'owth is less 
intense than in either the Nile or the Euphrates-Tigris vallej". 

On the other hand, because of the climatic conditions, trees and 
shrubs, alike as regards individuals and species, are far more 
numerously represented in the Mediterranean region. Here, however, 
we come to a very curious fact, which, though it is familiar enough, 
does not seem to have been considered in all its bearings. This is that, 
despite the (relative) wealth of native species of shrubs and trees, those 
which are cultivated seem to have been for the most part introduced. 
This is apparently true even of the supremely important olive. The 
tree occurs in the fossil state, and the olivaster of the maquis is believed 
by many to be truly wild, not feral. Yet it would appear almost 
certain that the cultivated olive was introduced, into Europe at least. 
The same thing is true of great numbers of other species, and of all 
the fruit-bearing trees now grown in the area there are few indeed 
which can be reasonably' regarded as having originated there as culti- 
vated forms. Now, the deduction that I would ckaw is that the 
Mediterranean area is one in which lessons first learnt elsewhere could 
be easily practised, but one rendered nnsuited by the natural conditions 
for the taking of the fii'st steps. Putting the point in another way, 
I would suggest that when we see, in any part of the area, olives or 
fig-trees rising from above a plot of wheat or barley, we haA^e to say 
to ourselves that this is an adaptation to a new set of conditions of 
the type of cultivation first practised on any scale in Babylonia or 
Egypt, olive or fig representing date palm and the accompanying trees, 
the narrow plot of corn the local modification of the broad fertile fields 
of the river valleys. 

Man was doubtless first attracted to the area, as in the case of the 
river- valleys, by the natural resources, small though these must have 
been, even with the addition of the sea fisheries. He became fixed 
to it when he learnt that the hill-spurs gave safe sites for settlements, 
while affording easy access to the slopes on which his special form of 


intensive cultivation could be carried on. That form, as already sug- 
gested, was a derived and not an original one. He replaced the native 
tress and shrubs by useful cultivated varieties or species, which had, 
certainly for the most part, originated elsewhere. He intercalated short- 
lived annuals like corn crops and beans along the line of weakness 
indicated by the periodic opening and closing of the natural vegetation. 
But one of his great ditficulties was always that the absence of 
much level land and the chmatic conditions rendered the growth of 
such crops relatively difficult, much more difficult than in the river- 

If we think of the early settlements as shov,-ing a general 
resemblance to the Berber villages of the Algerian Atlas to-day, we 
realise that they were more or less isolated the one from the other, so 
that the social polity was of a wholly different type from that existing 
either in Babylonia or in early Egypt. But, and this seems to me 
important, although the natural conditions — especially the fact that 
fertility was limited to certain areas — made a measure of isolation 
inevitable, yet the sea gave a possibility of free movement in all 
directions which was absent in the river-valleys. Thus oversea, if not 
overland, spi'eading could take place, and the changes in the geographical 
conditions as the sea is traversed westward are relatively small, not 
outside the limits of adaptation. Thus we have the spread of the higher 
forms of Mediterranean culture from the eastern end of the sea towards 
the west, with the founding of new settlements of generally similar 
type to the old. Greece could, and did, send daughter colonies to 
Sicily, and those colonies broadly repeated in their new homes the 
conditions which they had left in their old. This possibility of free 
movement brought with it a wider range of adaptability, a constant 
willingness to profit by new experiences, which has proved of enormous 
value to the world at large. 

But with all its advantages the Mediterranean area, as already 
stated, liad the great disadvantage that bread-stuffs were difficult to 
produce in quantity. Two methods of getting over that difficulty could 
be and were practised. For example, the ancient Greeks, having, it 
would appear, learnt the lesson from the Phcenicians, dared, in course 
of time, to descend from their hill-spurs toi the sea-coast, in order 
to supplement the scanty resources of their limited lands by sea-trading. 
After a long interval the mediseval cities, especially of Italy, did the 
same thing on a greater scale and with the advantage of a wider, market. 
Between the two periods Rome tried the other possible method, that 
of holding in subjection the areas, outside that of the characteristic 
climate, wliich were corn-producing. Her failure w'as, at least in part, 
due to geographical causes. The great advantage of the method of 
sea-trading was the increase in the power of adaptation which it brought, 
as a result of the continual peaceful contact with other lands and other 
peoples. The decay of the splendid mediasval cities of Italy came when 
the Mediterranean ceased to be a great highway of commerce, and 
the vivifying breezes from the outside world which had swept through 
it toc'k another course — once again, that is, a civilisation based upon 
a delicate adjustment to a particular set of conditions fell when those 
conditions changed. 


Let us turn next to the third great area where, comparatively late, 
a complex civilisation grew up, that of the forest belt of Central and 
Western Europe. Here the conditions appear relatively so unfavour- 
able that man could scarcely have solved the problem of fixing himself 
permanently to particular areas, and adapting himself to them, were 
it not for the help of the experience gained elsewhere. The great 
agent in transmitting that exjDerience was, of course, first the Roman 
Empire, and then the Church which was the direct heir of the empire. 

The essential difficulty here was that the characteristic plant 
formation was the closed temperate forest. At first sight there appears 
to be within it no line of weakness along which cultivated plants 
can be intercalated, and thei establishment oi cultivation seems to depend 
upon the complete destruction of the natural vegetation, involving the 
slow and peculiarly laborious clearing of the forest. The significance 
of this is admirably illustrated by Mr. Delisle Burns when, in his 
' Greek Ideals,' lie conti'asts Aristophanes' laudation of the agricultural 
life in the ' Peace ' with that of the free and noble life in the forest 
as set forth by Shakespeare in ' As You Like It. ' In the one case the 
fig-cakes and the figs, the myrtle and violets by the well, the olives, 
the beans, the barley and the grapes, the rain which God sends after 
the sowing, which are the elements in the picture, all speak of man's 
age-long endeavour to mould Nature; but the merry life under the 
greenwood tree speaks of a thin scattered population, still finding, in 
theory at least, that Nature unaltered yields all he needs. 

Had the temperate forest been in point of fact as continuous as 
we are apt to assume, the problem would have been so difficult that 
the hunter's life in the forest might have lasted much longer than it 
did. We know, of course, that there were always ' islands ' in tlie 
sea of gTeen, and of these the most important, from the point of view 
of the development of cultivation, were the loess areas and the lower 
uplands, especially those over chalk. In the former case the friable, 
well-drained soil seems to have carried originally but scanty trees; 
clearing was therefore fairly easy, and the cleared soil proved exceed- 
ingly fertile. In the chalk uplands the local conditions made tree 
growth difficult or impossible, so that land was again readily available 
for crops or pasture. 

We have, therefore, as our starting-point in this case scattei'ed 
settlements in tlie woods — not compact ones like those of the Mediter- 
ranean region. In essentials these were doubtless quite comparable to 
tliose made l)y fugitive Serbs in the Slnmiadja, from which modern 
Serbia finally took origin, though the first foci were almost certainly 
the natural clearings already mentioned. As in the case of the Serbs, 
the basis of life was a combination of pastoral industries and arable 
farming, the pig being the most important source of animal food, and 
itself finding most of its food in the woods marginal to the settlement. 

As to tlie next stages, the surrounding wood must be regarded from 
two points of view. Initially it formed a protection, the protective 
influence being strongest where the land was ill-drained, owing to 
the dense thickets which covered the marshy ground. But, in contrast 
to both the types of region already considered, given the necessary 
tools for the clearing of the land, the particular type of cultivation 


could be extended almost iiulefmitcly on the level, while leaving the 
woods on the rising ground lo supiily thi^ nect'ssary fuel, building mate- 
rial, and paimago for the swini'. This was a great advantage, but it 
meant that the necessary protection was soon lost. 

Now, in North-Western Europe that protective influence was 
peculiarly necessary for one geographical reason, as it was on 
the eastern margin of the continent for another. It was necessary in 
the west especially, because the sea-coasts, owing to the local wealth 
of fish, early attracted population. But in many regions those coasts, 
exposed to the oceanic type of climate in its most pronounced form, 
were unsuited to cultivation. At the same time, on account of their 
sheltered inlets, parts of those coasts were well fitted to breed a sea- 
faring folk. Unable, or able only to a very small degree, to supple- 
ment their natural resources by cultivation, having at the same time 
command of the sea, those seafai'ers tended constantly to raid ttie 
painfully cleared and cultivated lands of their more fortunately situated 
neigl'ibours. These, as many old tales inform us, did, time and again, 
find their encircling woods a protection. We must suppose, therefore, 
that the tendency to clear more and more land would be checked by 
this need for the shelter of the woods. 

But it seems to me that we may regard the growth of feudalism, 
from one point of view, as an adaptive device by which the growing 
agricultural settlements obtained, at a price, the necessary protection. 
Feudalism in the form, for example, in which it grew up in England 
before the coming of the Normans was a means of ensuring the exist- 
ence of a kind of organisation which permitted clearing di forest 
land to go on indefinitely, while diminishing the risk of perpetual 

It was also, more especially in Eastern Europe, something more, 
for it tended to fix tlie cultivator to the land. The tendency to wander 
may be said to be almost universal in the case of forest-dwellers carry- 
ing on primitive agriculture. Its wide distribution is due to the great 
dil'ficulty of maintaining there the fertility of the land, more especially 
when exhausting crops, like the diffei-ent kinds of grain and flax, are 
grown. To tliis day, when we contrast the advanced agricultm-e of 
Western Europe with the more primitive type practised in the Eastern 
part, we have to remember that the Western Europeans have largely 
evaded their problem by using their easy access to the great ocean to 
draw upon all parts of the world for feeding-stuffs for their large 
herds of cattle, and mineral fertilisers for their arable lands. In early 
days the difficulty of keeping many cattle through the winter scarcity, 
combined with the merely moderate fertility of the deforested lands, 
made the restoration of material taken out by the crops a matter of 
great difficulty, got over by a variety of devices, including, of course, 

Feudalism helped in the solution of this problem by checking the 
natural tendency of the cultivator to abandon exhausted lands and 
move on to new ones. But even apart from this particular device, 
the ]iroblem of maintaining fertility had to be tackled early in the 
West, because the relief made the forest far less continuous, far less 
uniform, tlian in the East. It must have been obvious quite early 


that it was not illimitable. Conditions were different in the forest 
region of the East, where the vast, almost uniform plains, the absence 
of well-marked relief, the breadth of the continent, made the forest a 
more permanent, a more unmanageiable element than in Western 
Europe. Here, therefore, we find in suggestive combination two 
peculiar featm^es. The first is that the wandering instinct, the instinct 
that brought the Slavs from their eastward forest home far into Central 
and Southern Europe, still persists. It is said to be quite well marked 
in parts of Eussia, despite all the artificial checks which existed under 
the old rigiine. Part of the difficulty of the Slav problem also lies in 
the fact that the effect of the habit of small groups of wandering con- 
stantly from one wooded tract to another is written large on the 
ethnological map. 

The second peculiar feature is that feudalism, and feudalism in 
a very harsh form, survived here far longer than in Western Europe, 
and in fact, if not in law, had scarcely disappeared when the war 
broke out. I would suggest that the great significance of this form of 
social policy here was that it helped to counteract the effects of the 
natural conditions, that it was fundamentally an artificial device for 
rendering the population stationary, and enabling it to adapt itself to 
the local relief and associated phenomena. 

Now, whatever its value in earlier days, the present chaos in 
Eastern Europe shows clearly enough that ultimately it checked social 
evolution, and became a serious menace. It was fundamentally the 
erection of an artificial ban'ier round the rural community, and led 
to the apparent loss of the power of slow adaptation to changing con- 
ditions, alike on the part of the overlords and of the freed serfs. 

But in the eastern chaos another factor has to be borne in mind. 
In the Old Eussia, south of the forested area, and extending both 
into what is and was Eumania, lie the great treeless plains. Parts 
of these, as the nineteenth centm-y show, are extraordinarily fertile 
and well adapted for cereal production. But, from the point of view 
adopted here, they suffer from the enormous disadvantage that there 
is nothing in the natural conditions to fix their inhabitants to special 
areas, thus enabling them to acqmre qualities fitting them for life 
there ; nothing to give protection from constant inroads from Asia. 
Literally wastes for long centuries, these plains were for the most 
part ultimately incorporated in Imperial Eussia, and deliberately 
colonised, often with colonists from a distance. The colonists were 
brought from areas of other characters, possessed traditions and apti- 
tudes due to long experience of different geograpliical conditions, and 
were in the grip of a Government which had itself evolved under those 
conditions. There was thus no question of the possibility of the evolu- 
tion of a type of culture bearing the imprint of the local conditions. 

In consequence Eussia to-day — as well as to some extent 
Eumania — is faced with a double problem. In both regions parts of 
the constituent lands are fitted for the mixed cultivation of the forest 
belt, and in them the old social policy has shown itself unfitted for 
modern conditions, and a new one has yet to be evolved. Other parts, 
again, have never developed even an imperfect social policy which was 
a response to their own local environment. Their apparent prosperity, 

E.— CEOriTJAPHY. 105 

till the outbreak of the war, was due to the fact that they were, 
economically though not politically, of the nature of colonies in rela- 
tion to the industrialisod West, were, fundamentally speaking, the 
ccjLiivalents of Imperial Rome's corn-producing lands in North Africa 
and the Danubian plains. The chaos in Eastern Europe is thus having 
a reflex disturbing effect upon the West. The West has lost an 
important market, but that is perhaps in itself less important than 
the fact that over a large tract of European land man and his environ- 
ment have been thrown out of gear, a catastrophic condition which 
inevitably disturbs equilibrium elsewhere. Just as in the later days 
of the Roman Empire disturbances in the marginal corn-producing 
lands shook and ultimately overthrew the centre, so are the centres 
of Western European civilisation to-day trembling under the impact of 
shocks emanating from the East. We can well understand, therefore, 
how it is that there are those who believe that the focus of civilisation 
is destined to undergo another shift, and that the day of the pre- 
dominance of North-Western Europe is drawing to a close. 

The subject is not one which can be discussed here. But if I 
may sum up briefly the points I have been trying to make, I would 
say that the human geographer should have before him a twofold 
purpose. In the first place he should strive to show that the deduc- 
tions which the biologists have slowly and painfully laid down in the 
course of the last sixty years apply, though with an essential differ- 
ence — which requires careful definition — to the life of man. Second, 
he should use his precise knowledge of the surface of the earth to 
work out detailed applications of those deductions. In other words, 
human geography is the biology of man, and, on account of man's 
vast power of modifying his environment, necessitates a fuller know- 
ledge of that environment than can be required of the biologist in the 
narrower sense. Investigations along these lines would, I think, 
promote greatly the interests of geography as a whole, both by making 
clear to the general public its value and in justifying that intensive 
study of the surface relief and the associated phenomena which must 
always remain its basis. 



Professor F. Y. EDGEWOETH, M.A., F.B.A., 



Sec. 1. Introduction. Sec. 2. Two questions presented. Sees. 3-21. The 
economic question discussed. Sees. 3-5, A. Is universal unrestricted competition 
desirable ? Sec. 3. Laisscz faire tends generally to maximum advantage. 
Sec. 4. But a maxiinuin is not always the greatest 'possible. So the rule must 
sometimes be transgressed ; Sec. 5, but with great caution. Sees. 6-21, B. Some 
kinds of competition being excluded, the question becomes one of degree. 
Sees. 7-15. A first approximation makes abstraction of family relations. Sec. 7. 
An apparently free labour market may be unfairly influenced by men's unions. 
Sec. 8. A theorem explaining the acquiescence of the employer. Sec. 9. There 
has resulted an unfair crowding of women into comparatively few occupations. 
Sec. 10. There should be one rule for both sexes as to the practice of collective 
bargaining subject to competition. Sec. 11. The practice should not be affected 
by prejudices concerning the relative efficiency of the sexes. Sec. 12. Ideal 
distribution of occupations and payj of work measurable without respect to the 
sex of the worker. Sec. 13. Arts and customs not being revolutionised ; Sec. 14. 
the said measurement is not always available; and so difficulties arise; Sec. 15, 
notably in the case of some personal services, e.g. those of male and female 
teachers. Sees. 16-21, II. Second approximation. Sec. 16. The great fact that 
men commonly support wives and children creates a difficulty; Sec. 17, which 
some would evade by reference to dependants of women workers; Sec. 18, others, 
wiser, admit and meet by the Endowment of ^Motherhood. Sec. 19. Advantages 
of this scheme. Sec. 20. Disadvantages. Sec. 21. Suggestion of alternatives. 
Sec. 22. Summary. 

Should men and women receive equal pay for equal work? This 
question is in a peculiar degree perplexed by difficulties that are 
characteristic of economic science. They arise from tlie presence of a 
subjective or psychical element that is not encountered in the purely 
physical sciences. Outward and visible wealth cannot be quite dis- 
sociated from the inward feeling of welfare. But the ideas O'f welfare 
— well-being, or satisfaction — are deficient in the simplicity and dis- 
tinctness which conduce to accurate reasoning. It may be, indeed, that 
there is something indefinite and metaphysical about certain concep- 
tions which the higher physics now involve. But the practical uses 
of those sciences are not thereby impaired. Speculations about four- 
dimensional time-space do not much interfere with the work of the 
engineer. But the connection of our studies with things higher than 
material wealth affects injuriously the reasoning even about material 
wealth. Sentiment exercises a disturbing influence — a disturbance 
peculiarly to be apprehended in dealing with a question which touches 
not only the pocket but the home. Nor even when this danger is avoided 


docs Llio logic of political economy escape the consequences of its 
connection with the higher parts of human nature. Tine most correct 
and unbiassed economic conclusions are liable to be overruled by moral 
considerations. This fate, too, is particularly to be apprehended for 
arguments on the present subject. Guarding against these difficulties, 
I propose to distinguish and to discuss separately two inquiries into 
which the proposed question may be subdivided, according as it is 
referred to external wealth only, or also to the attendant internal feel- 
ing of welfare. 

2. Tlie disturbing effect of sentiment or prejudice makes itself felt 
at the very outset of the discussion in the definition of the issue to be 
discussed. In masculine circles the question is often dismissed with 
the remark that the work of women never, or hardly ever, is equal to 
that of men. The truth of this proposition will be considered later 
(below, 14). Here it is relevant to observe that even if the proposition 
were true the question would not be stultified. For the tei'm ' equal ' 
is evidently not to be interpreted, for the purpose of this inquiry, as 
identical in amount. Equality, as Aristotle says, is of two kinds, 
numerical and proportional, meaning that the share of A is to the 
share of B as the claim or worth (a^ia) of A is to that of B. So 
when Adam Smith propounds a maxim in the observation of which, he 
says, consists what is called the equality of taxation, it would be 
trivial to object that the subjects of the State are not all equal in 
respect of ability to contribute. Of course he meant, as he says in 
the context, taxation ' in projiortion to their respective abilities ' ; not 
implying that the abilities are equal. The question tlien aiises ^in 
economics as well as in politics), What is the criterion of that worth 
(the d^f'a) which governs distribution, according to which shares 
are to be distributed? 'Pay in proportion to efficient output,' the 
phrase used by the War Cabinet Committee on Industry, expresses 
the meaning approximately. By ' equal efficient output ' may be 
understood, in the phrase of Dr. Bowley, ' equal utility to the employer. ' 
To the same effect others speak of equal ' productivity ' or ' productive 
value.' With these phrases there must be understood a certain equality 
on the side of the employee as well as on the side of the employer or com- 
munity. Thus, when the Childi-en of Israel were compelled to gather 
straw in the fields, the bricks which they made might have been of the 
same utility to the taskmaster as when the raw material was obtained 
gratis. But if the workers received the same remuneration per dozen 
of bricks as before, we should not say that, as compared with the former 
terms, they were receiving equal pay for equal work. Again, there 
might be nothing to choose from the workers' point of view^ between 
carrying a certain quantity of silver or the same weight of lead for 
the same distance; while the employer or customer might derive a 
much greater advantage from the transportation of lead than from that 
of silver. If now the carriage of silver is restricted (by custom, say, 
or favouritism) to a class defined by some attribute unconnected with 
the value of their service (uncorrclated with speed, security, punctu- 
ality, and so forth), the earners of lead and silver- would not be receiv- 
ing equal pay for equal work, although each class received a pay 


proportional to the utility of its sei-vice. In short we must understand 
with the temi ' equal work ' some clause inipoi-ting equal freedom in the 
choice of work. This condition should include equal freedom to prepare 
for work by acquiring skill. There are thus presented two attributes : 
equality of utility to the employer as tested by the pecuniary value of 
the result, and equality of disutility to the employee as tested by his 
freedom to choose his employment. These two attributes will concur 
in a rdgime of perfect competition. For then, theoi-etically, each 
employer will apply labour in each branch of his business up to the 
point at which the return to the unit of labour last applied is equal 
to the cost of that unit, and the same (ceteris paribus) as in all branches 
of each business. Likewise, in the state of equilibrium which charac- 
terises perfect competition t?ie employee cannot better himself by taking 
the place of another. The question thus conceived may be restated : 
Should tliere be perfect competition betv/een the sexes? The question 
thus put requiring a categorical answer, Yes or No, may be labelled 
A, to distinguish it from the question of degree, B, which may be asked, 
if a categorical ansvv'er is not forthcoming, namely. What sort or amount 
of competition between the sexes is advisable ? 

In the question thus stated equal work is defined objectively by the 
fact that as between two tasks the worker is indifferent. This fact, 
like the action or inaction of Buridan's ass, is ascertainable by the 
senses. But something more than what is given by physical observa- 
tions seems to be implied in ordinary parlance with reference to our 
question. Some comparison between the feelings of the workers seems 
to be implied in statements such as the following : ' The remuneration 
of the peculiar employments of women is always, I believe, greatly below 
that of employments of equal skill and equal disagreeableness carried 
on by men ' (J. R. Mill, ' Pol. Econ.' ii., xiv., 5). ' Men and women 
often work side by side in the same schools ; . . . and we are satisfied 
that the work of women, taking the schools as a whole, is as arduous 
as that of men and is not less zealously and efficiently done ' (Report 
on Teachers in Elementary Schools, Lond., Cmd. 8939). 'An un- 
fortunate female does not receive for thirteen or fourteen hours' close 
daily application during six days as much as a man for one day of 
ten hours' (referring to Philadelphia early last century; cp. Carey, 
' Social Sciencei,' vol. iii., p. 385). If equal work is interpreted as equal 
disutility, in the sense of fatigue or privation of amenity, then equal 
pay may be interpreted as equal satisfaction obtained from earnings. 
Equality in this sense is not always predicable of equal external per- 
quisites. It is conceivable, for instance, that a quantity of solid food, 
or a gaudy livery, might in general have more attraction for one sex 
than for the other. This second question, which is presented by the 
subjective interpretation of the terms, like the first, may be subdivided 
according as (a) a categorical answer is demanded, or (b) the question 
is one of degree. 

In the first of tlie two inquiries which have been distinguished we 
may, if we can, maintain the position assumed by Jevons when he 
disclaimed any attempt to ' compare the amount of feeling in one mind 
with that in another, ' when he affirmed that ' every mind is inscrutable 


to every other mind, and no common denominator of feeling seems 
to be possible' ('Theory of Political Economy,' p. 15). The second 
inquiry presupposes the faculty which forms the main theme of Adam 
Smith's ' Theory of Moral Sentiments,' Sympathy; in addition to the 
self-interest which is prominent in his ' Wealth of Nations.' Tho first 
inquiry belongs to pOiRtical economy in a strict or ' proper ' sense, which 
we may call pure economics. The second inquiry belongs to political 
economy in a larger sense, which includes the satisfactions attending 
the possession and use of wealth — say the economics oi welfare. The 
second inquiry is wider than and comprehends the first ; since an increase 
in welfare is, ceteris paribus, apt to attend an increase in wealth. As 
equality in the first sense, concerned with production only, tends to 
maximise the national income, so equality in the second sense, affecting 
distribution, tends to maximise that aggregate of welfare which the 
utilitarian legislation increases, which wise taxation diminishes as little 
as possible. 

Above both these aims, higher even than economic welfare, is well- 
being other than econo'mic- — mo'ral or spiritual good ; a hurt to which 
may well outweigh a gain in satisfactions less independent oi material 
conditions. But the ' should ' in the question with which we started 
is to be interpreted as referring only to advisability in the first or second 
sense. The answers to the question thus limited may at least afford 
materials for the answer to it in all its bearings. For the present I 
confine myself to the question in its first sense. In a sequel I hope 
to consider the question in its second sense. 

3. To the question (A) whether competition between 'the sexes 
should be restricted it may seem sufficient to reply that competition 
between all classes should be unrestricted. In the immortal words of 
Adam Smith, ' all systems, either of preference or of restraint, being 
completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty 
establishes itself. Every man, so long as he does not violate the laws of 
justice, is left perfectly free toi pursue his own interest in his own way, 
and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those 
of any other man or order of men.' This system tends to increase 
' the real value oi the annual produce of its (the society's) land and 
labour,' or, as we now say, the national income. It is pointed out 
by Professor Pigou that, in order to secure a maximum of produce, 
productive resources must be so distributed that the net product O'f the 
unit last applied in each branch of itidustiy — the marginal productivity 
— may be tlie same for all branches. To this proximate end laisscz 
faire is a means. A maximum of wealth will thus in general be attained 
by unrestricted competition. 

4. But a viaxivium is not always the greatest possible value of which 
a quantity is susceptible. The top of a hillock presents a maximum ; 
but it is not always the highest attainable height. Half-way up Mount 
Everest is higher than the top of Snowdon. So it may happen that 
the unrestricted play of competition between short-sighted, self- 
interested employers and desperately poor workers, though securing a 
temporary maximum of production, may bring a.bout that deij nida- 
tion of labour which the warmest champions of competition have 


apprehended; notably Francis Walker (' Wages Question,' cli. v. and 
' Political Economy,' Art. 343 et seq.). There may occur the ' strange 
and paradoxical result ' described by Marshall (' Principles of Econo- 
mics,' vi., iii., 8; cp. iv., 1): employers adhering to old methods which 
require only unskilled workers of but indifferent character, who can be 
hired for low (time-) wages. Suppose that some doctrinaire despot 
imbued with misinterpretations of the classical economists as deeply as 
Lenin wuth the worst interpretations of Marx' dogmas, should insist on 
absolutely um-estricted competition (subject only to prohibition of force 
and fraud). He would rule out minimum tragc and standard of life, 
and other fine phrases (as he would describe them), which disguise 
the fact that wages are determined by supply and demand. He 
would prohibit combinations of workpeople. If such conditions could 
be enforced there would probably result throughout a considerable 
part of industry a breakdown, or at least a gradually deepening 
depression. To this dcbdcle the competition of women would largely 
contiibute. It would be jDai-ticularly effective owing to three incidents. 
First, the minimum of requirements for efficiency, of axjtual as distinct 
from conventional necessaries, is less for a woman than a man (in the 
ratio of 4 : 5 according to Eowntree). This circumstance might acquire 
a dangerous importance in a struggle for bare life, though not of 
much significance, it may be hoped, in prosperous conditions. Secondly, 
wives and daughters are apt to be subsidised ; and though subsidies do 
not always lead to the offer of work on lowered terms, this result 
may be anticipated in the case contemplated. Last, and not least, 
the woman worker has not acquired by custom and tradition the same 
unwillingness to work for less than will support a family, the same 
deteiTnination to stand out against a reduction of wages below that 
standard. Altogether, if we are convinced that some action must be 
taken to avert the evils which have been glanced at (cp. Marshall, vi., 
xiii., 12), it seems that our question (A) cannot receive a categorical 
answer in the affirmative. 

5. I dismiss section A with the following cautions: («) Let us not 
forget the general presumption in favour of laissez faire. It may be 
true that the top of a hill is not so high as that of a neighbouring J 
mountain. It may be probable that by getting down from the hill and " 
getting up on the mountain we shall ultimately attain a position higher 
than the hilltop. But the transition, over unknown ground perhaps, 
is not without danger. For example, many who have left the simple 
path of Free Trade in order to attain greater prosperity through the 
protection of infant industries have not bettered themselves. (P) Let 
us remember that there are limits to the effects of regulation. It is 
well to prescribe : ' The best way to secure the necessary advances in 
wages would be to set up Trade Boards for all industries and instruct 
them to bring minimum wages for men as well as women as soon as 
possible to a level which would fulfil the conditions indicated above 
(enabling the man to marry and support a family and the single woman 
to live in decent comfort). Tlic rise will ])e made possible by the 
increase of productivity.' But unfortunately, such is the uncertainty 
of human affairs, the required increase of productivity does not always 


follow the determination of ii desirable inininumi, as llio Australians 
have lately ex|)erionc( d. In the fixing of ininiininns, as in the cutting 
of coats, regard must be had to the amount of material or means avail- 
able, (y) In view of the uncertainties attending our course once we 
leave the obvious and simple system of natural liberty let us advance 
with great caution. Our motto should l>e vcdelcnliiii- — testing each 
foothold before committing ourselves to an iirevocable step; prepai-ed 
to retract if the ground prove unsafe. An excellent example of the 
appropriate method is afforded by the English Trade Boards. The 
Committee to which they owe their institution (1908) recommended 
that ' Parliament should proceed somewhat experimentally,' that legis- 
lation should at first be ' tentative and experimental ' (Rejiort on Home 
Work. 1908, No. xv., 40, 54). The first step having proved encouraging 
a further step was tried. But that further step having proved unsafe 
is to be retracted, as recommended by the Cave Conunittee [Cmd. 1645] . 

6. B. Under section B, dealing with the question as one of degree, 
there might perhaps be included the comparative treatment of male 
and female workers among the classes which shall have been excluded 
from open competition. Thus, according to Charles Booth's plan of 
segregating the feckless class who spoil the labour market, his class B, 
what will be the distribution of work and pay (or should we say 
rations?) as between the sexes? But such questions belong rather to 
oiu' less purely economic sequel. In any case I shall not be expected 
to pronounce on hypothetical cases as numerous as the Socialistic 
schemes which are in the air. Under head B it must suffice to con- 
sider a state of things in which, desperate competition having been 
somehow ruled out, there remain competitors freed from the deranging 
effect of extreme poverty and incompetence. The case is that of which 
Charles Booth said that the ' hardy doctrines ' of the individualism 
system ' would have a far better chance in a society purged of those 
who cannot stand alone (' Life and Labour,' vol. i., p. 167, ed. 2). Or 
we may recall Mr. Seebohm Eowntree's distinction between wages 
below and above his minimum : ' the former should be based on the 
human needs of the workers, the latter on the market value of the 
services rendered ' ('Human Needs,' p. 120). It is the latter kind of 
wages only that are now to be considered. I^et us simplify the problem 
by at first (I) aibstracting the circumstances of family life, considering 
the labour world as if it was com{)osed of bachelors and spinsters. 

7. I. Competition now being freed, the Smith-Pigou principle 
(above (3)) resumes its authority. The best results will presumably be 
obtained bv leaving employers free to compete for male or female 
labour. Thus equal pay for equal work will be secured in our sense of 
the term ; which does not imply that the earnings of the sexes should 
be equal (2). Equality in our sense would be realised in the conceivable 
state of things which a high authority (Professor Cassel) appears to 
regard as actual when he argues that but for the inferiority of female 
labour 'it is not clear why the employer should not further (than he 
does) substitute female labour for the dearer male lal)Our ' (' Theoretische 
Rozial-Economie,' p. 29.3). There is nuich force in Professor Cassel's 
argument; and his conclusion would bo perfectly true if the implied 

1922 K 


premiss, the existence of perfect competition, were true. But com- 
petition is not perfect while it is clogged by combinations both of em- 
ployers and employed. An employer of many workmen is in himself 
virtually a combination, as Dr. Marshall has pointed out. Men being 
generally better organised than women have exercised an unsymmetrical 
pressure on the employer to their own advantage. For instance, 
' London printing-houses dare not employ women at certain machines 
unless they are prepared to risk a long and costly fight ' (Mrs. Fawcett, 
Econoviic Journal, 1904, p. 297, cp. 1892, p. 176). I have been told 
of similar proceedings elsewhere. 

8. The concession of the employer to male pressure is facilitated 
by the circumstances that, though the use of male labour beyond a 
certain limit is to his disadvantage, yet it is probably not very much to 
his disadvantage. This circumstance is deducible from a proposition 
pertaining to the theory of maxima, of which I hereafter shall make 
much use. It may be stated thus : It y is a quantity which depends 
upon— increases and decreases with — another quantity, x, the change 
of y consequent on an assigned change of x is likely to be particularly 
small in the neighbourhood of a value of x for which y is a maximum. 
For example, in ascending a dumpling-shaped hill from a point of the 
plane on which the hill stands, the fii'st hundred yards of advance in 
the direction of the summit might correspond to an elevation of fifty 
yards above the plane. But as the summit is approached the same 
change of length measured along the surface may be attended with a 
change of height that is a hundred times, or even a thousand times, 
less than what it was at a distance from the summit. The principle is 
illustrated by the well-known proposition that a small tax on a mono- 
polised article forms a very small inducement to the monopolist to raise 
the price and reduce the output of the taxed article. Thus, in an 
example given by Cournot (to illustrate another property of monopoly) 
a (specific) tax amounting to 10 per cent, of the price before the tax 
will afford a motive to thc' monopolist to raise the price, but a very weak 
motive, since by making the change he will benefit himself only to the 
extent of I per cent, of his profits. A tax of 1 per cent, would afford 
a very much weaker motive. By raising the price to the figure which 
(after the imposition of the tax) yields maximum profit he stands to 
gain (to save upo-n the loss caused by the tax) about a twenty-thousandth 
part of his original profits ! 

9. The pressure of male trade unions appears to be largely respon- 
sible for that crowding of women into a comparatively few occupations, 
which is universally recognised as a main factor in the depression of 
their wages. Such crowding is primd facie a flagrant violation of that 
free competition which results in maximum production and in distribution 
of the kind here defined as equal pay for equal work. The exclusion 
of women from the better-paid branches of industry may be effected less 
openly than by a direct veto, such as the ' No female allowed ' in the 
rules of an archaic society f Industrial Democracy '). Withholding 
facilities for the acquisition of skilled trades comes to much the same 
as direct prohibition. A striking instance is mentioned by Mrs. Fawcett 
with refei'ence to the allegation that women are unable to ' tune ' or 

¥ ECONOMICS . 113 

' set ' the machines on which they work. They were never given the 
opportunity of learning how to perform these operations (Economic 
Journal, 1918, p. 4). Exchision may also be effected by regulating 
that women entering an industry should conform in every particular to 
arrangements which are specially suited to male workers. Of such rules 
Mrs. Fawcett has well written, ' to encourage women under all circum- 
stances to claim the same wages for the same work would be to exclude 
frorn work altogether all those women who wero industrially less effi- 
cient than men. A woman who was less capable of prolonged physical 
toil, who was less adaptive and versatile than the average man, would 
be forbidden to accept wages which recognised these facts of her indus- 
trial existence' (Economic Journal, 1894, p. 366; cp. 1904, p. 296). 
The exclusiveness of male trade unions has been in the past at least 
fostered by prejudices and conventions that are becoming obsolete.. 
Before the Labour Commission, for instance, a witness was asked, 
' What is there unwomanly in steering a barge ? ' Answer : ' It is a 
work that is entirely unfit for women ' ; also ' it reduces the wages of 
men.' Before an earlier Committee it was testified of another occupa- 
tion : ' It is most degradiiig for women ... it weakens their constitu- 
tion . . . and not only so, but it is depriving men of their proper 
labour.' It should be remembered, however, that many of the prohibi- 
tions and prejudices here mentioned as contravening free competition 
were adapted to avert that catastrophic competition (4) which we here 
conveniently suppose to be excluded. 

10. The oppressive action of male unions should be counteracted by 
pressure on the part of women workers acting in. concert. Suppose 
now that these balanced forces encounter the resistance of the em- 
ployers, themselves perhaps associated, what will be the resultant? 
We may assume that the resulting arrangement will not be in strong 
conflict with the natural forces of competition. Probably an arrange- 
ment that the weekly earnings of women should be the same as those 
of men, though the actual value of a woman as a worker was about 
30 per cent, below that of an average man employed in the same capacity 
(as testified by a majority of employers before a Committee of the 
British Association, Kirkaldy, 'Credit, Industry, and the War,' 1915, 
p. 108) could not be maintained without tyranny on a Eussian scale. 
But within limits thus prescribed there is room for a considerable variety 
of arrangements. On what principle, then, will a more exact 
determination be obtained? Tlie principle most congenial to the 
present subsection is that which is suggested by Walker's doctrine, 
that * competition, perfect competition, affords the ideal condition 
for the distribution of wealth' ('Political Economy,' 2nd ed., 
s. 466; cp. s. 343). W© should then not only keep within those 
limits outside which it would be futile to set up any arrange- 
ment, as it would be swept away by the forces of competition, 
but also v/ithin the wide tract thus delimited we should endeavour to 
find the particular point which would 1x3 determined by ideal competition. 
The first of these precepts may conceivably be carried out by a board 
of employers and employees. But the second is evidently a counsel 
of perfection. As Professor Pigou says with reference to railway rates,' it 

K 2 


is plain that anything in the nature of an exact imitation of simple com- 
petition is almost impossible to attain ' (' Wealth and Welfare,' p. 267 
et seq.). In the case before us the task of the board would be particu- 
larly difficult. For, first, even if the lahoar contract were of the simplest 
possible ty])6 — so much energy jipplied, so many foot-pounds raised, in 
return for so much standard money — it appears from the mathematical 
theory of demand and supply that, even if competition between em- 
ployers and employed were as free as can be supposed, a determinate 
position of equilibrium would not be reached. And the contracts with 
which we have to do are not simple. As well explained in the First 
Report on Wages and Hours of Labour (1894, C. 7567) and elsewhere, 
the wage-rate proper to each kind of work is obtained by numerous 
extras and deductions corresponding to variations from a standard article 
or process with specified price — a standard which is itself far from 
simple. Here, for instance, is, or was, the definition o! the standard 
woman's boot: 'Button or Balmoral, li in., military heel, puff toe; 
7 in. at back seam of leg machine sewn, channels down or brass rivets, 
pumps or welts, finished round strip or black waist.' The extras (and 
likewise the deductions) may be presumably calculated on the principle 
described by Mr. and Mrs. Webb as ' specific additions for extra exertion 
or inconvenience,' so as to obtain ' identical payment for identical effort.' 
Are these additions, and also the standard to which they are referred, 
to be determined objectively as what would result from the play of ideal 
competition? Or must we call in Socialistic, or, as I prefer to say, 
Utilitarian, principles of distribution in order to fill in the details left 
blank by the award of competition? However this deep question is 
decided, it remains true that on tlio suppositions here made (B I.) the 
distribution of work and pay between the sexes ought to be conducted 
upon the same principles as between any other classes of workers. 

11. On the general principle of distribution I have nothing to add 
to the little that I have said here and elsewhere. T subjoin some sugges- 
tions for carrying out the principle in the case before us. They relate 
to the comparative efficiency of the sexes, concerning which assumptions 
are to be made with caution. There are to be avoided two opposite 
misconceptions : the one exaggerating the comparative efficiency of men, 
the other that of women. The first exaggeration is countenanced by 
Plato when, notwithstanding his admission of women to the highest 
posts in his Republic, he yet holds that they are inferior to men in all 
the arts. Even in those arts in which they might be expected to excel, 
such as weaving and cookery, he seems to say that they are beaten 
by men. In the modern world, however, it appears that women excel 
in certain branches of the textile art. ' Having smaller hands they are 
able to handle the twist and weft with greater dexterity than men ' 
(Cmd., 167, 79). Superiority is claimed for them, too, in typewriting 
and in telephoning. As nursery-maids they are certainly more efficient. 
The opposite exaggeration is committed by feminists when they main- 
tain, in the words of a generally impartial expert, that ' there is no 
reason save custom and lack of organisation why a nursery-maid should 
be paid less than a coal -miner.' No doubt it is difficult to disprove, and 
even to define, this proposition with reference to employments that are 


not common to both sexes. The comparison would seem to be as to 
the linie-vvuges, say the averiigo weekly eaiTiings, ot" the two clasives. 
The institution of the average presents dil'l'ieulties. Still, I submit it> as 
an inference based on general impressions and ordinary experience that, 
even if all restriction of tlie competition between male and female 
workers were removed, we should still find the average weekly earnings 
of the former to be considerably higher. 

12. The following fuller statement of the matter is submitted as 
intelligible and probable. Let us suppose at first that work can be 
defined in such precise and neuter terms that it makes no difference to 
the employer whether a unit of work is performed by a man or a woman. 
The definition should include not only a specification of the product, as 
in the case of the boot above instanced, but also the time taken up 
(affecting the ' overhead ' charge), the expenditure on apparatus (which 
may be greater for weaker persons), and so forth. In ideal competition 
men and women shall be equally free to choose any of the occupations 
so defined. It may be expected that there are some branches of industry 
into which women only will enter, others into which they will never, or 
hardly ever, enter. Let us call the former A, B, 0, . . . F, and the 
latter, M, N, . . . Z. I^et the average weekly earning in each of 
the former occupations he a, b, c, . . . f; and in the latter m, n, . . . z. 
Then I submit that the average of a, b, c, . . . / will be less than 
the average oi in, n, . . . z. There remain occupations that are 
entered by both sexes : say G, H, I, K, L. For any one of these, I, 
the (rate of) pay, say t, for unit of work in the sense above defined is 
the same for men and women; but the weekly earnings will not be the 
same, say ii, for the female and u for the male workers; u less than iz. 
The letters may be applied so that /i, gi, hi, . . . h will form an increasing 
series; on which supposition it may be expected that §2, lu, . . . h, im 
will also form an increasing series, rising from the female to the male 
level . 

The conception thus presented may be illustrated by an Australian 
ruling. Judge Higgins fixed the minimum rate for fruit-picking at 
one shilling an hour, observing that ' the majority of fruit-pickers 
are men,' that 'men and women should be paid on the same level,' 
the employer being left free to employ persons of either sex. But 
for the operations in the packing-sheds the minimum for (women) 
workers in these processes, in which men are hardly ever employed, 
should be fixed at 9d. per hour (' Commonwealth Arbitration Reports, 
1912,' vol. vi., p. 72, and context). Fruit-picking and the operations 
in the sheds might correspond to our L and G respectively. 

If the rates attached to each specification of work are proper the 
distribution will be ideal. Suppose that a slightly different system of 
rates, a', p', . . . i', . . . (j.', v' . . . &c., is adopted. There will be a 
slight difference in the distribution of work and pay. But by the 
property of a maximum above noticed the difference to the community 
considered as a sort of collective monopolist, the difference to the 
national income will be not merely slight, but very slight. 

13. It should be understood that the preceding representation 
relates only to the present, or rather to a short period in the immediate 


future. Th© period must be long enough for the removal of trade- 
union restrictioiis to be realised, for training hitherto denied to be 
acquired; but not long enough for a material change in physique, arts 
aoad customs. If in the course of evolution the female sex became 
as strong as, or even stronger than, the male, if in the progress of 
practical science muscular strength became less and less in demand, 
then the average of a-, b, . . . f might no longer be less than the 
average of m, n, . . . z. Again, a conceivable change in desiderata 
would affect the truth of om' representation; for instance, if type- 
writing, telephoning and the like became more in demand than coal- 
mining and ironworks. Again, if the vast amount of household work 
that is now unpaid could only be obtained by paying for it, the demand 
for woman's labour and its price might be considerably raised. The 
general principle of equal distribution above indicated would hold good 
notwithstanding these changes; Lut the suggestions made for its work- 
ing would require modification. The changes, however, do not appear 
verjf imminent. 

14. Existing institutions being presupposed, it should be noticed 
that the supposition above made of work defined irrespective of sex 
is somewhat abstract. It wonld be appropriate in the Socialist com- 
munity imagined by Anatole France (' Pierre Blanche '), where the 
employer would not inquire whether an applicant for work was a 
man or a woman. He \\o\x\A not be informed by the garments of the 
applicant, identical attire having been introduced along with equal 
conditions of work. But in the present state of things it will often 
be within the knowledge of the employer that it is more profitable to 
employ a man than a woman, although the work performed by each 
is identical so far as it can be defined by the most exact rate. For 
a woman, unlike a man, is ' liable to go off and get married just 
as she is beginning to be of some use, ' as a candid champion of equal 
pay has observed (Economic Journal, 1917, p. 59). Again, a woman 
is generally less useful in an emergency. As a witness before the 
Committee on the Employment of Women put it, ' A woman punching 
a ticket may appear equal to a man, but she is not so useful in case 
of a breakdown or nuiaway.' Of course these ' secondary ' differences, 
as they might be called, are much less serious in some industries than in 
others. In some permanence may be less a desideratum, a breakdown 
less to be apprehended. Among secondaiy differences is haixily to 
be reckoned the alleged inability of women workers to ' tune ' the 
machines on which they work ; for that regularly recurring need can be 
allowed for by a. properly constructed rate. But it is otherwise with 
the risks which hardly admit of actuarial calculation. Besides, even if 
the probability could be calculated precisely, the compensation to the 
employer for carrying the I'isk is not to be measured by the mathematical 
' expectation ' thereof. This point has been well brought out with 
reference to risks in general by Mr. Keynes in Iiis great treatise on 
Probability. Tlie point is of importance here as it contravenes what 
primd facie seems the simplest solution of the difficulty: that is, in 
all the industries where secondary differences between the sexes are 
operative to lower the rates for female work correspondingly. Thus 


F— ECONOmCS. 117 

in industry E, instead of the rate e which would be proper in the 
absence of secondaiy differences, we should put the somewhat lower 
rate «'. Likewise in I (above (12)), instead of the common rate t for men 
and women equally, we should put a lower rate i' for women, retaining i 
for men. Such an adjustment seems to cany out the recommendations 
of the (majority of the) War Cabinet Committee when they contemplate 
' a fixed sum to be deducted from the man 's rate ' con-esponding to the 
' lower value of the woman's work,' if proved by the employer (par. 10 
(5) p. 4). The adjustment would be in accordance with the definition 
of equal pay for equal work given by those who are best quahfied to 
interpret the claim : ' Any permanent disadvantage that adheres to 
women workers as such sliould be allowed for by a pro ratd reduction 
in their standard rates ' (Mrs. Fawcett, citing Miss Eleanor Eathbone, 
Economic Journal, 1918, p. 3). But the reduction corresponding to 
the demand of the employer for women as compared with men workers 
could not well be calculated objectively by a board. It could only be 
determined by the play of ideal competition, which exists only in idea. 
There would be incm-red the danger either (a) of the women's rate 
being fixed high above the point for which pi-oduction would be a 
maximum, or (p) its being ' nibbled ' by the employer. The former 
danger is probably, as things are, not very serious ; the latter is much 
apprehended by experts. Altogether it would seem better to proceed on 
the lines of Mrs. Sidney Webb's ' occupational rate,' rather than on 
the plan recommended by the majority of the Committee. Instead of 
fixing two rates, i and i', let us fix (for the defined unit of work) a 
single rate for men and women ahke, say i", less than i, which would 
have been the rate in the absence of ' secondary ' differences. The 
readjustment will result in a redistribution of male and female work. 
The men would back out of occupations in which previously it had been 
worth their while to take part; the employment of women would be 
correspondingly extended. The process may be illustrated by an in- 
cident which Mr. and Mrs. Webb have recorded. The reduction of a 
farthing in the pay for a dozen of stockings resulted in that branch of 
the industry being deserted by the men and occupied by the women 
(' Industrial Democracy,' II., p. 502). If the reduction, from i to i" 
was inconsiderable the consequences to the consuming public would be 
negligible upon the principle above explained (8). Otherwise a great 
drop from i to i" might have as bad an effect on production as fixing 
a women's rate, i', too near i, the men's rate, so as to incur the 
danger above labelled a. 

15. The specious airangement by wlrich secondary differences may 
be masked through the adoption of a uniform rate is not applicable to 
another kind of difference between the work of the sexes which occurs 
in the case of some personal services. The vexed question of school- 
mastei's' pay illustrates this ' tertiary ' difference, as it may be called. 
If teaching were an art as mechanical as turning a prayer-wheel, if 
teachers were literally, as some ol them used to be called, 'gi-inders,' 
then (apart from secondary diffei^ences) it would be unreasonable that 
men should be paid more than women for the same operation. But 
supposing that the presence and influence of a master, say in dealing 


with the bigger boys, is something different from that of a mistress, 
and that it is considered indisjsensable, it is not unreasonable (in a 
regime of pure econoinics) that the desired article should be purchased 
at the market price. The market price of a master is higher if he comes 
from a class between om- M and Z (14), for which the average is higher 
than a corresponding class of women between A and F. His higher 
pay is quite consistent with the finding of tlie teachers abo'Ve cited 
(2), that ' the work of women, taking the schools as a whole, ... is not 
less zealously and efficiently done than that of men.' They might, 
indeed, be more diligent and in most branches of education better 
teachers than men. A steel knife is a more useful implement for general 
l^urposes than a silver blade. But if silver is required to presence the 
flavour of dessert, the epicure must pay for the metal which has the 
greater value in exchange. A good cab-horse may, for all that I 
know, draw a vehicle as well as a high-steppmg thoroughbred. But 
if for purposes of State and show the high-paced animal is required, 
high prices must be paid for the high paces. The distinction, it will be 
noticed, turns upon the nature and presence of the horse. If for the 
caiTiage of parcels one kind of horse was as efficient as the other, then, 
indeed, a cari'ier who^ charged a. higher price for the delivery of parcels 
because he employed a particular breed of horse could only maintain 
this differential charge through a, presumably noxious, monopoly. That 
is the difference between the case of the schoolmistress and the case 
of Mrs. Jones, whose grievance is recorded by Mrs. Fawcett. Mrs. 
John Jones during the illness of her husband passed off her own work 
as his to the firm of outfitters which employed him to braid tunics. 
' When, however, it became quite clear, John Jones being dead and 
buried, that it could not be his work, . . . the price paid for it by the 
firm was immediately reduced to two-thirds of the price paid when 
it was supposed to be her husband's ' ! [Economic Journal, 1918, p. 1). 
Here, in the absence of tertiiaiy (and presumably also secondary) 
differences, the differentiation of wage was certainly contrary to the 
principle of equal pay for equal work. 

On behalf of the schoolmistresses it may still be urged that the market 
price of male work is artificially raised by inequitable laws and customs. 
To this the Teachers' Committee might reply that if the time in this 
respect is out of joint, they were not created tO' set it right. But it is here 
questioned whether the time is so much out of joint. It has been sub- 
mitted that the average earnings of male labom- [m—z) would probably 
be higher than the female average (a — f), even if there had been intro- 
duced the most perfect freedom of competition that is thinkable in the 
present state of things (3 2). If so, the higher pay of masters for 
similar work does not violate the ride of equal pay for equal work in 
the first, purely economic sense of the rule (2). The unequal pay 
for equal effort does violate the rule in the second, utilitarian or hedonic, 
sense. In fact, the instance is well suited to bring into view the 
essential difference between the two definitions of the formula. The 
political Socialist who aims at a. closer approximation of pay to efforts 
and needs, the Utilitarian moralist who desiderates, indeed, that ideal, 
but has regard to the danger of pursuing it too directly, naturally do 


not acquiesce in the present arrangements (cp. Report on Women in 
Industry, Cuid. KJS; Minority Report by Mrs. Sidney Webb, sections 
I'J and G). Bui these considcnitrions lie outside pure economics, and 
must be postponed to our sequel. 

16. II. The presumption in favour of free competition and the 
methods of putting it in practice require to be reconsidered when we 
restore the abstracted circumstances of family life. We now encounter 
the dominant fact that men very generally out of their earnings support 
a wife and family. ' It is normal for men to marry and to have to 
support families. ... It is not normal for women to have to support 
dependants ' (Seebohm Rowntree, * Human Needs,' p. 115). These 
words express a very general beUef and sentiment. It is a norm 
accepted throughout the civilised world. It is embodied in the 
Australian determination of minimum wage, one of which, by Judge 
Higgins, has been above cited (12). Another Australian Judge rules : 
' The man, and not the woman, is typically the breadwinner of the 
family' ('South Australian Industrial Repoii;s, ' vol. ii., 1918-19). 
Justice Jetliro Brown grounds an award on ' the traditional social 
structure which imposes on men the duty of maintaining the house- 
hold.' So Professor Taussig, ' For a man wages must normally be 
enough to enable a family to be supported and reared. The great 
majority of working women are not in this case ' (' Principles,' ch. 47, 
s. 9, vol. ii., p. 144). It cannot be supposed that these authoritative 
expressions of belief have no correspondence with reality. Indeed, the 
wiser and more moderate advocates of equal pay for women admit it 
to be ' unlikely that any large proportion of married women will aim 
at earning their own living as the norm or standard ' (Miss B. L. 
Hutchins, ' Conflicting Ideals,' p. 63). Few would agree with the 
authoi'ess of ' A Sane ' (.sic) ' Feminism ' that ' domestic morality and 
feminine dignity make it essential for the married wo^man oi to-morrow to 
be independent of her husband's income, and therefore normally depen- 
dent on some occupation O'utside the home, ... a work to be continued 
throughout married life, with occasional lapses incidental to child-bear- 
ing ' (pp. Ill, 113). Even Mill admits that ' in an otherwise just state 
of things it is not ... a desirable custom that the wife should con- 
tribute by her labour to the income of the family . . . the actual exercise 
in a habitual or systematic manner of outdoor occupations, or such as 
cannot be carried on at home, would ... be practically interdicted to 
the greater number of married women ' (' Subjection of Women,' 
pp. 88-89). Does it not follow that the husband must support the 
family, so far as he is not assisted by contributions from adult children 
or the occasional — not ' systematic ' — work of the wiie? 

17. It has been sought to evade this stubborn fact by the contention 
that the occupied single woman is responsible for the suppoit of as 
many dependants as the man. On the strength of an investigation con- 
ducted by the Fabian Research Committee it is maintained that ' two- 
thii'ds of the wage-earning women are not only entirely self-supporting, 
but have others to maintain besides themselves.' But grave doubts 
are thrown upon these figures by the more elaborate investigation which 
Mr. Seebohm Rowntree has i-ecently conducted. He finds from an 


extensive observation of samples that ' only 12.06 per cent, of women 
have either partially or entirely to support others beside themselves ' 
(' Eesponsibility of Women Workers,' p. 36). If we except the cases due 
to the death of ' the normal breadwinner ' — admittedly requiring special 
treatment— the proportion is reduced to 4.12 per cent. The figure 
would not be serious even if it proved on further inquiry to be some- 
what greater. For the figure has not the same significance as that which 
relates to the dependants of the male wage-earners. The sustentation 
of the old and infirm cannot be compared, as regards at least economic 
importance, with the support of the young, the cost of which normally 
falls on the male breadwinner. The world got on tolerably before the 
institution of Old Age Pensions; but it could not have got on at all 
without the support of young children by their fathers. 

18. If the bulk of working men support families, and the bulk of 
working women do not, it seems not unreasonable that the men should 
have some advantage in the labour market. Equal pay for equal work, 
when one party is subject to unequal deductions from his pay, no 
longer appears quite equitable. It is hardly to be expected that the 
representatives of female interests should look at this question from the 
masculine point of view. The ladies who have shown this miusual degree 
of sense and sympathy are entitled to a very attentive hearing. Miss 
B. L. Hutchins, in her ' Conflict of Ideals, ' has discerned with remarkable 
insight the antithesis between the traditional status of the husband and 
father, expected to support a family, and the modern regime of contract 
tending to universal competition. Miss Hutchins does not see her way 
to ending the conflict : 'it is almost impossible to make any logical 
scheme or theory that will fit the woman and the young child exactly 
into a commercially organised society based on exchange values ' (loc. 
cit., p. 69). Miss Eleanor Eathbone, equally discerning the difficulty, 
is more confident about the solution. She proposes a scheme which has 
certainly the merit of being logical, the endowment of motherhood, as 
set forth in her article on the ' Eemuneration of Women's Services ' in 
the Economic Journal for 1917. The plan desen^es consideration here 
as a step towards that freedom of competition which has been prescribed. 
The plan may also be advocated as conducing to advantages less purely 
economic than those now considered. When those other advantages 
come to be thrown into the scale, the weight of the economic arguments 
which I now attempt to estimate will still be a relevant datum. 

As text of the plan to be examined we may take the pamphlet 
entitled ' Equal Pay and the Family, ' the report of the Family Endow- 
ment Committee formed in 1917 at the suggestion of Miss Eathbone. 
With this pronouncement should be placed the proposal independently 
made by Mrs. Sidney W^ebb in her evidence before the War Committee 
(1919, Cmd. 135). The bright and clear resume of the arguments 
given by Mrs. Stocks in the booklet entitled ' The Meaning oi Family 
Endowment ' is also to be considered . 

The pm'pose of the scheme may be summarised in the words of the 
Endowment Eeport : to secure ' that within each class of income the 
man with a family should not be in a worse position financially because 
he has a family than the single man in tJwf class.' For the partial 

p.— KCONOMICS. 121 

attainment of this purpose, allowances for childi'en being paid only 
for six years, there would be required an annual grant of 154,000,000i. 
For the fuller realisation of the plan, continuing allowances for children 
up to the age of fifteen, the cost would be 240,000,000L (toe. cit., 
p. 44). ' Something like 250 millions sterling annually ' is the estimate 
oi Mrs. Sidney Webb {loc. cit., p. 307). 

Let us separately consider, firstly the advantages, secondly the 
disadvantages, which this plan presents, and, thirdly, whether there is 
any alternative course by which much of the good result with little 
of the evil may be obtained. 

19. i. One main advantage is thus stated in the Endowment Report : 
' "When the national endowment of mothers and children becomes an 
accomplished fact this excuse for the under-payment of women (that 
men have families to keep) will no longer hold good and women will 
be free to* claim — and men to concede to them — whatever position in 
industry their faculties fit them for, at a wage based on the work they 
do, and not on their supposed necessities ' (p. 18). The endowment 
' would do away with, the present involuntary blacklegging of men by 
women, by depriving employers of tlieir one really plausible, if not 
actually valid, excuse for paying women less than the standard rates; 
so putting the competition between the sexes for the first time on a 
basis which is at once free and fair. ' The endowment would certainly 
facilitate the adoption of that free and fair competition which has been 
above recommended (9). But that recommendation presupposed that 
there had been ruled out a sort of competition which is described by 
some high authorities as not free, which is at any rate generally 
regarded as deleterious. That tendency to the degradation of labour is, 
as above explained (4), aggravated by the competition of women. 
Now the endowment of motherhood would not suffice to remove this 
danger. The transitoiy and episodical character of female labour would 
still threaten male wages. It may be objected that men, freed from 
the obligation oi supporting a family, woadd no longer havei a. reason for 
not competing a oulranee with equally free women. They might not 
have any reason ; liut they would surely long retain the habit, the 
' social custom ' as it has been called, engendered by tlieir traditional 
position as at least potential heads of families. In short, the proposed 
endowment would not remove all the difficulties attending competition 
between the sexes, but only those attending the ordered competition 
for which alone I venture to prescribe (Class B above). How large 
an endowment would be required to counteract the consequences of 
removing the restrictions on female competition ? A measm^e is 
afforded by the extent to which male wages would be depressed. In 
making this computation we may, I tliink, omit to take accoimt of 
wives' earnings. For if, on the one hand, the greater efficiency, and 
possibly the gi-eater number, of married women competing in the labour 
market tend to depress male wages, on the other hand there is a 
counten'ailing gain to the family. We ne«d only, then, consider how 
much male wages are likely to be diminished by the liberated competition 
of spinsters. In making this estimate we have to take into account the 
elasticity of labour, the probability that the greater supply of work 


will be met by a corresponding demand for work. We have to take 
into account also the probability above suggested (12), that the demand 
for goods in the production of which men's labour plays a great part 
greatly exceeds, and will continue to exceed (13), the corresponding 
demand for women's work. When these two circumstances are taken 
into account it may be doubted whether any great reduction of male 
wages would follow on the improvements suggested — better training of 
women, hours and appliances suited to their requirements, in short 
every degree of freedom that does not evidently tend to the degi-adation 
of labour. A comparatively small endowment, then, might suffice to 
deprive men of a reason for objecting to free competition. The excuse, 
indeed, without the reason might remain. And no doubt the more 
completely that the burden of supporting a family is taken off the 
shoulders of men, the more effectually will the excuse be stopped. But 
a reason more specious than stopping an excuse may be advanced 
in favour of a large endowment. If we are abont making an endow- 
ment, why confine ourselves to the one advantage of smoothing the way 
for free competition? I^et us take the opportunity of securing a second 

ii. The second advantage is the possibility of distributing the 
resources available for the nurture of children in such wise that the 
requirements of the larger families may be met more adequately than 
on the present system. This advantage is thus forcibly stated by Mrs. 
Sidney Webb : ' In the actual course of Nature the distribution of 
children among households varying from none to a dozen or more; 
the number who are simultaneously dependent on their parents varying 
from one to more than half-a-dozen ; and the time in each family over 
which this burden ol dependent childi-en extends, varying from a year 
or two to ten times that period — bear, none of them, any relation to 
the industrial efficiency either of the father or of the mother; or 
to the wage that either of them, or both of them, could obtain through 
individual bargaining by the higgling of the market ; or yet to any 
actual or conceivable occupational or standard rates to be secured by 
them, either by collective bargaining or legislative enactment ' (Report 
of the War Cabinet Committee [Cmd. 135] , p. 306). By a children's 
allowance payable to the mothers in all the households of the United 
Kingdom it may be secured that ' adec{uate provision is made for chilch-en 
not by statistical averages, but case by case.' This second advantage, 
as well as the first, would certainly be considerable, if it were unmixed. 

20. I will now enumerate some disadvantages ; in no pai'ticular 
order, seeing that the relative importance of the objections will not 
be the same for different mentalities. 

i. To some the Socialist character of the scheme will form a prime 
objection. The increase oi bureaucratic roaitine, the deadening of 
individual initiative, will be apprehended. 

ii. The end proposed by the Socialist is commendable : to give the 
hungry a larger share of the good things produced by the community. 
But if the gi'ain wliich would have been sown for the hai'vest of next 
year is used to fill the hmigry with cakes this year, the participants of 
future harvests may be worse off than they would have been if the 

F.— ECONOMICS. 1 23 

resources of tlie provident had not been thus ai)plied. It requires tlio 
Riibdety of a Pigou to devise transferences froiu tlie lich to the poor 
wliicli shall not have the effect ol ciu-tailing the national dividend 
(cp. 'Economics of Welfare,' j)t. v., ch. ix., ss. 7, 8). But there 
is reason to appreliend that no such subtlety would be exercised in the 
case before us. The Endowment Conimitteo touch lightly the question 
of finance. They mention as an alternative to income-tax a levy of 
so much per cent, on all incomes, including tliose of the class not 
]>ayin.g income-tax. But is it likely that this method will be employed? 
Mrs. Sidney Webb thinks it better that the children's fund should 
be ' provided from the Exchequer (that is to say, by taxation, like any 
other obligation of the community) ' (loc cil., p. 309). No doubt a 
graduated income-tax would play a great part in the fo-miation of the 
fund. Much of the popularity which the scheme enjoys in labour 
circles is probably due to the prospect of transfemng hundreds of 
millions from the income-tax-jjaying classes to the families of working- 
people. The imposition of an enormous additional burden on the 
former class would surely tend to check saving. 

iii. The scheme would resemble the quality of mercy in having an 
effect both on him that gives and him that takes. But the resemblance 
would end there. The effect on the contributor will be depressing, 
but the effect on the recipient is likely to be more seriously deleterious. 
It does not require much knowledge of human nature to justify the 
apprehension that in I'elieving the average house-father from the 
necessity of providing necessaries for his family you would remove a 
great part of his incentive to work. There is doubtless much exaggera- 
tion in evidence which has been given to tlie effect that when wives 
earn husbands idle. Yet there is probably an element of truth in 
the saying which is thus reported by one of our most experienced 
lady-inspectors, ' I almost agi'ee with the social worker who said that 
if the husband got out of work the only thing that the wife should do 
is to sit down and cry, because if she did anything else he would remain 
out of work ' (Report on Home- Work, 46, Question 1027, cp. 1024-5). 
A gratuitous allowance to the mother would have an effect in this 
direction at least as great as her earnings have. A homely truth is 
expressed by Eudyard Kipling with his usual vigour when he describes 
how the workmen, at the Congi^ess convened by ' Imperial Hescript,' 
received tlie invitation to^ adopt Socialistic motives : 

' To ease the strong of their burden, and help the weak at theii' need. ' 
The English delegate replies, ' I work for the kids and the missus ' ; and 
the workers of all countries join in declaring, 

' We will work for ourselves and a woman for ever and ever. Amen. ' 
I owe this quotation to Mrs. Fawcett, who has used it with effect in 
the coui'se of a powerful protest against a scheme similar tO' that now 
under consideration, proposed by a member of the Endowment Com- 
mittee {Economic Journal, 1907, pp. 377-8). 

It may be urged that similar objections were made to Old Age 
Pensions, which yet have proved a success. But the motives affected 
by pensions given to parents were not exactly the same as those now 
considered; the very mainspring of industry was not equally touched. 


Nor was the measure so tre>mendous a step in the dark. The initial 
cost O'f Old Age Pensions was but a twentieth part, and the pi'esent cost 
is bub a tenth part, o^f the colossal sum demanded for the endowment of 

iv. It will be gathered from the two preceding objections that the 
proposed scheme is likely to result in a diminution ol the provisions at 
Nature's feast, to use a Malthusian metaphor. It is now to be added 
that the number of guests will probably be increased. There will be 
a serious stimulus to population. Now the pressure oi population on 
resources may not he very alanning in this conntry at present. But 
it is tenable tliat as regards this danger we are only enjoying a reprieve, 
' an age of economic gi'ace ' (cp. Marshall, Economic Journal, 1907, 
p. 10). Is it wise to commit the countiy to a system which may 
prove imsuitable, yet unalterable? 

V. The increase of population might be welcomed if it consisted 
of the higher types. But in the current proposals one sees no security 
for the improvement of the race. It is not suggested that Governments 
might use for this purpose the power which they will acquire as 
distributors of a bounty. Eather it is to be apprehended that the least 
desirable classes, say Charles Booth's Class A and Class B, will be 
encouraged to increase and multiply. It is argued, indeed, that the 
better class of artisans will be encouraged to keep up their good stock ; 
while the undesirable class are already so improvident that no stimulus 
could add to their- recklessness. But these arguments, based on a 
calculation of motives, seem precarious in view of the enormous risk 
involved. There are degrees of improvidence; there must be many 
who are not so improvident but that they may be made more sO' by 
encouragement. The endowment of parents in these classes at the 
expense ol the income-tax-paying classes may realise the gloomiest 
anticipations of Dean Inge. The effect will be ' to penalise and sterilise 
those who pay the doles ' ; to' precipitate the ruin of the great middle 
class, to which England owes so much {Edinburgh, Review, April 1919). 

21. Let us now consider some alternative arrangements which make 
for the advantages and avoid the dangers which have been described. 

Some arrangements calculated to render the freedo^m of competition 
more acceptable follow automatically from that liberation ; for the 
removal of restrictions on the work of women is calculated to increase 
their efficiency, and an increase in their efficiency will be attended, 
ceteris paribus, with an increase in their contributions tO' their families. 

i. The burden of the family borne by its head does not increase 
in proportion to the number o-f children ; for soane contribution towards 
family expenses is often made by the elder children. It appears from 
an investigation recently made by Professor Bowley that in rather more 
than a third of the households which he examined there were ' earning 
children.' It is presumable that they contributed something over and 
above their keep to the maintenance of the family (cp. Bowley, 
'Livelihood and Poverty,' p. 31). The family wonld be losers 
pecuniarily by the removal of these children. Many of these members 
would be daughters, by hypothesis in the future more efficient than at 


ii. Where the number of the children is snuall, may not some con- 
tribution often be expected from the wife? ' it is possible to foresee 
piece-work airangements to suit women who cannot work too many 
hours ' a high authority, Mrs. Pember Reeves, observes. It may be 
hoped that in the future the only alternatives open to married working 
women will not be a w^hole day's work away from home, or work in 
a home made intolerable by the conditions of home work (as strikingly 
described by Mr. and Mrs. Webb, for instance, in ' Industrial Demo- 
cracy, ' p. 541). Something better may be expected from the progress 
both of physical and of economic science. Leroy-Beaulieu, who is 
sanguine as to this resom-ce, characteristically hopes much from science 
and notliing ivom legislation. 

iii. Leroy-Beaulieu also hopes for the contribution to a prospective 
family made by spinsters who expect to be married. ' The girl accu- 
mulating a dot by work in the factory, in order to remain at home as 
a mai-ried woman and bring up her family in comfort (dans de bonnes 
conditions) — this is the only real and practicable progress ' (' La femme 
ouvriere . . . ,' p. 425). Mr. Cadbury's obsen^ations on the ways of the 
factoiy girl do not encourage us to hope much from this resource in 
this country at present. ' Only in very few cases are they [saving-s] 
accumulated in readiness for a marriage outfit ' ('Women's Work and 
Wages,' p. 244 and context). But we may suppose an improvement 
in economic character as well as conditions. 

iv. A more obvious compensation to men for the loss of wages — 
not, like the preceding, indirectly resulting from the circumstance 
which occasions that loss — would be afforded by an extension of the 
allowance now made in furtherance of education. They should be in 
kind; conforming to Mill's principle that what Government may 
provide with most propriety is the commodities which people would 
not have spontaneously demanded ('Pol. Econ.,' v., xi., 8). 

These compensations may suffice to meet the male objection to 
removing restrictions on female competition. 

For the further object of equalising the application of resources to 
the nurture of children within each grade a further extension of the 
last-named allowances (21, iv.) may Be risked. But they should be 
guarded against the dangers objected to the endowment scheme (20, ii., 
iii. and iv.). Are those dangers sufficiently guarded against by Miss 
M. E. Bulkley when, in a work prefaced approvingly by Mr. R. H. 
Tawney, she recommends the provision of a free meal for all school- 
children (' Feeding of Schoolchildren,' pp. 223-6)? The cost would be 
12,500,000?. a year. That is for one meal, dinner. But of course 
breakfast would often be required (p. 228). 

V. A plan for equalising the burden of dependent children would be 
especially serviceable in the case when the family is larger than the 
average. That case might be met by the comparatively modest subsidy 
proposed by Mr. Seebohm Eowntree (' Human Needs '). He estimates 
that the alloiwance necessary to secure physical efficiency ' in case of 
more than three dependent children ' would come to only 8,000,000/. 
(if only families with incomes below a certain figure are to he 


Here may be the place tO' obsei-ve that Mr. Kowntree's proposal to 
treat widows with dependent children more generously than at present 
is not nearly so open to the ohjections abo>ve enumerated as the endow- 
ment of mothei'hood in general. 

vi. Some further suggestions may be obtained from the schemes 
now under consideration in Australia. It is proposed to levy on every 
employer a tax of so much per employee, and from the proceeds to 
form a fund which is to- be distributed among mothers according to 
the size (perhaps also the needs) of the family. The proposal — like 
that of the Endowment Committee^ — protably owes its chance of being 
accepted partly to the belief that the cost of the plan will not fall 
on those who are benefited by the plan, but on the employer, or the 
capitalist, or that supposed independent and abundant resource, the 

But if equality of provision for children within each class is sincerely 
desired — without the arriere pensie of equalising the incomes of different 
classes — a simpler plan is suggested. It is open to any association of 
men — a trade union, for example — to resolve that each member of the 
association should contribute a quota of his earnings towards the forma- 
tion of a fund which is to be distributed among the wives of members 
in accordance with the size of their families. This plan would be much 
less open to the objections above enumerated than thei endowment 
of motherhood by the State. It would not disturb the labour market 
or the financial system. It would not require legislation. Persuasion 
would suffice. Those whoi believe that such equalisation is desirable, 
and that there is a chance of its being accepted, should start a campaign 
of argument and exhortation. Bachelors and childless husbands should 
be persuaded to support a fund by which they may hope one day them- 
selves tO' benefit as future fathers of families. 

22. To sum up; equal pay for equal work, in the sense of free com- 
petition between the sexes, has been advocated, with some reservations 
and adjustments. Desperate disordered competition, tending to' the 
degradation of labour, is supposed to be excluded. There are suggested 
compensations to families for the loss sustained by the male bread- 
winner through the increased competition of women. Among such 
compensations the endowment of motherho'od on a large scale by the 
Stat-e is not included. The advantages weighed are economic in a 
strict sense. The balance may be affected when welfare or well-being 
in a wider sense is taken into account. 


[The references are to the sections of the text and to the paragraphs of the 

1. Locke considers that the ' complexedness ' of moral ideas renders 
demonstration difficult. But 'clearly distinct ideas,' though moral, 
admit of demonstration (' Human Understanding,' book iv., ch. 3, 
ss. 8, 19). We may extend this remark from demonstration of certainties 


to deduction of probabilities (loc. cit., ch. 17, s. '2); and so hope that the 
reasoning about welfare in the sequel may be as legitimate, if only the 
ideas are clearly distinct, as the more familiar purely economic reasoning 
proposed to the present study. 

2, par. 1. The definition given by the (majority of the) War Cabinet 
Committee is at s. 211 of their Report [Cmd. 135] , 1919. Professor 
Bowley's definition is in the first column of p. 177 of (Appendices to) 
the ' Report on Women in Industry ' [Cmd. 167] , 1919. Mrs. Fawcett 
adopts Miss Eleanor Rathbone's definition, which is substantially 
identical with our first definition, the one proper to the present study 
{Economic Journal, 1918, p. 3). It is quoted in part below (14). 

2, par. 3. The isolation professed by Jevons is perhaps more easily 
maintained in dealing with Exchange and Interest than when witli 
respect to Population. When considering the future of a population 
as affected by diffei'ent economic conditions it is natural to have in mind 
a quantity of the kind which Burke, referring to the population of 
America, described as ' so large a mass of the interests and feelings 
of the human race.' I follow, however, classic precedent when I 
include in the present study, though jjurporting to be purely economic, 
some I'eference to the effect of proposed measures on the growth and 
condition of the population (below, 20, iv., et passim). 

2, par. 3. It m.ay well be that the ' complexedness ' (above, note 
to s. 1) of the objective aggregate, the national income (as to which see 
Bowley, Economic Journal, March 1922), may exceed that of the 
subjective aggregate, which will constitute the central conception of the 
sequel dealing with welfare. 

4. As toi the relation between maximum and greatest possible 
advantage, see Pigou, ' Economics of Welfare,' Part II., ch. ii., s. 7 
et scq., restating the doctrine of his ' Wealth and Welfare,' which has 
been paraphrased by the present writer in the Economic Journal for 
June 1913, p. 215. ' 

4 (bis). As to the effect of subsidies see Pigou, 'Economics of 
Welfare,' Part. V., ch. vii., s. 3, restating 'Wealth and Welfare,' 
Part III., ch. viii., s. 3. A priori, if we construct Supplv-and-Demand 
curves of the ordinary tvpe, the abscissa representing the quantity of 
work offered, and the ordinate the corresponding rate of wage, different 
cases are presented. If the Supply curve consists of a horizontal line 
at a certain height, corresponding to the classical conception that any 
amount of labour will be forthcoming at the cost fixed by the labourer's 
necessaries, then the effect of a small or moderate bounty will be to 
lower wages by the full amount of the supplement. A case like this 
is supposed in sections 4 and 20. But the effect of a considerable sub- 
sidy may well be to alter the balance between work and leisure, to 
change the shape of the Supply curve, raising it and rendering it in- 
elastic in such wise as to make the market better for competitors 
that are not subsidised. Examples of both results, according to circum- 
stances, will be found in the evidence Cfiven by !Miss Collett and others 
before the Commission on Home Work, 1907. No. 86. It will not be 
iiTelovnnI to quote Miss Collett's judgment about the effect of a large 
subsidy. ' The girl who earns lOOJ. a year by her work and receives 

1022 L 


another 1001. a year in one form or another from her father is in all 
probability not underselling anyone, but may, even by her liberal views 
of what IS a good salary, be inciting her less luxurious colleagues to 
raise their standard of living and remuneration ' (Economic Journal, 
1898, p. 5U). 

4 (ter). On the all-important question where tO' draw the line which 
separates the genuine labour market from those whom it is desired to 
rule out as spoiling the market, I cannot pretend to an important 
opinion. It may be granted that strong measures and exceptional 
treatment are required for the ' residuum of persons who are physically, 
mentally, or morally incapable of doing a good day's work with which 
to earn a good day's wage ' (Marshall, 'Principles,' p. 714, ch. 5). 
But it IS often proposed to fix a minimum at a higher point ; so high as to 
exclude great numbers. Consider, for example, a case suggested by 
Professor Taussig (' Mmimum Wage for Women,' Quarterly Journal 
of Economics, 1915). Suppose that a large proportion (we need not 
suppose with Taussig a large majority) of the women in a community 
living at home, and so realising the advantages of co'-operation, ' the 
economy of family life,' do well for themselves and their families by 
earning $6 a week. They are not to be ruled out as ' parasitic ' ; given 
that the family would be worse off if an earning daughter were removed 
(loo. cit., pp. 418-419). Now suppose that the ' necessary cost of 
proper living ' for a woman dependent on herself is authoritatively 
determined to be $8 a week. Would it be ' immoral ' on the part of the 
home- residents to take less than $8, as might perhaps be inferred from 
some authoritative dicta? (Cp. Economic Journal, 1915, p. 627, and 
' What we want and why,' 1922, p. 245.) What is to be done about 
independent women workers in such a labour market? Shall we adjust 
the minimum wage to the family rather than the individual? (Cp. Mar- 
shall, loc. cit., especially note to p. 419.) I do not feel able to add 
to what Professor Taussig has wisely written on the subject. 

It should be recalled that throughout this inquiry we are abstracting 
humanitarian considerations ; on classical lines we are seeking purely 
economic advantages, including the production of an efficient progeny. 

5. The advantages theoretically obtainable by the scientific pro- 
tection of infant industries are well exhibited by Professor H. 0. 
Meredith (Economic Journal, 1906). But he adds : ' I know nO' case 
in which Protection has demonstrably done more good than harm.' 

6. The property of a maximum referred to< as relevant to the present 
study and the sequel is thus stated by Dr. Marshall : ' When the 
adjustment is such as to give the best results a slight change in the 
proportions in which they [resources] are applied diminishes the 
efficiency of that adjustment by a quantity which is very small relatively 
to that change— in technical language, it is of " the second order of 
smalls " ' (' Principles of Economics,' p. 409, note, edition 5). Mr. 
Bickerdike has made an interesting application oif the property to the 
theo'iy of Free Ti-ade (Economic Journal, Dec. 1906). His argument 
is discussed by tlie present writer in the Economic Journal for 
September 1908. As a simple illustration of the property under con- 
sideration there is adduced the^ incident that in the neighbourhood of 


the summer solstice during eight days there is no change at all in 
the length of the day as given in ' Whitaker's Almanack ' ; whereas 
in other months there is a difference of two or three minutes from 
day to day. A more exact illustration may be obtained from the 
' Nautical Almanac' There the average hourly change in the distance 
of the sun from the celestial equator (due to his movement on the 
celestial sphere along the ecliptic) is given from day to day. For the 
year 1923, on June 22 the variation of the (' apparent ') Declination in 
an hour (at noon) is given (in the volume published in 1920) as .04 ol 
a second (angular measure), whereas on March 19 the corresponding- 
hourly change was 69.29 seconds. Thus, considering the distance of 
the sun from the equator (the North Declination) as the dependent 
magnitude, dependent on the time, we find that the dependent magni- 
tude when in the neighbourhood of its maximum varies per unit of 
the independent variable by an amount which is 1,482 times less than 
the variation at another date. The contrast is less striking, but still 
marked, if we observe a neighbourhood less close to the maximum and 
do not select the most favourable date for the purpose of comparison. 
The change in the neighbourhood of a maximum (or minimum) would 
often be thirty times less than the change at a distance. Similar 
contrasts are presented by the Declination of the Moon ; for which 
the average change per period of ten minutes is calculated for every 
hour. With less precision than in physical science (it is not ours to 
calculate what will happen in every ten minutes of 1923), this charac- 
teristic property of a. maximum is fulfilled in economics. 

An illustration from the theory of monopoly is given in the 
Economic Journal, 1908, p. 401, where the law of demand is supposed 
(after Cournot) to be 


9. Among the many who, following J. S. Mill {Pol. Econ. II. 
xiv, 5), have noticed the crowding of women into comparatively few 
occupations may be specially mentioned Mr. J. H. Jones, who con- 
tributes the supplementary proposition that these occupations (before 
the War) ' resembled each other far more closely than they resembled 
the avenues which were closed to them (women) by rule or custom ' 
(' Eeport on Women in Industiy ' [Cmd. 167], 1919, p. 182, col. 2, 
par. 2). Query whether much importance now attaches to the supple- 
mentary proposition submitted by Leroy-Beaulieu (' Lei travail des 
femmes ... ' P'. 136) that the specially feminine occupations do not 
admit of much division of labour or frequent intervention of mechanism ? 

10. The grounds of the assertion that the equilibrium of the labour 
market is apt to be, even theor-etically, somewhat indeterminate are ta 
be sought in the writer's essay on ^Mathematical Psychics.' We niay 
begin by considering two extreme abstract cases : (1) a market consisting 
of an equal number of masters and men ; subject to the conditions (a) 
that no man can (or at least does) serve two' masters simultaneously, 
(P) no master employs more than one man; (2) a market in which 
the number of masters (though absolutely large, and so favourable to 
competition) is small relatively to the number of men; sul)ject to con- 



dition a, but not to condition ji. In the first case equilibrium is 
thoroughly indeterminate (op. cit. p. 46). In the second case the 
employers competing against each other can beat down profits to a 
determinate point (the point rj^ in fig. 1 on p. 28, the point T in fig. 5 
on p. 114 op. cit.). But when a start is made at a point more favour- 
able than that to the men, the competition of the men against each other 
(owing to condition a) being imperfect, there does not exist a deter- 
minate position towards which the higgling of the market will tend. It 
may be presumed that this conclusion remains true of the concrete 
labour market in which condition a is almost universally fulfilled. 

10. par. 2. On the utilitarian principle of distribution, in the absence 
of perfect competition, I may refer toi what I have said in the Economic 
Journal, 1897, p. 552, and to my lectui'e on ' The Eelations of Political 
Economy to War,' p. 15 et seq. 

11. PlatO' hardly commits himself ('Eepublic,' 455d) to the state- 
ment too roundly attributed to him by Grote ' that women were inferior ■ 
toi men in weaving no less than in other things.' But no doubt he 
considered them tO' be generally less efficient : tnl noLai Ss iadzviarepo^ 
yuVY) 6cvScO(;. 

11 (bis). Professor Cannan, in his important contribution tO' our 
subject (' Wealth,' p. 202 et seq.), realises the difficulty of comparing 
the earnings of a children's nurse with those oi her brother in his 
occupation of, say, carting coal. Professor Cannan appears to regard 
as possible what I have described as probable, that even if all restrictions 
on entry into occupations and on education were removed, the field 
within which women show themselves superior to men would continue 
to be smaller than that in which men show themselves superior tOj 
women (loc. cit. p. 205 — the smaller capacity implied in this statement 
may be ' in part the explanation ' of the present lower wages of 

12. With respect to the presumption that, even if all restrictions! 
were removed, the (time-) earnings of women would no^rmally be lesal 
than those of men, some specific evidence is forthcoming in the casql 
of the cotton-weaving industiy — a strong case if women are particularlyj 
well qualified for that work. Yet even in that industry, ' though the 
earnings are computed on the same table of piece-work prices, the men 
average more per week than the women ' (Mrs. Sidney Webb, Newi 
Statesman, August 1914, p. 525). This statement is borne out by the 
' Eeport on Earnings and Hours ' [Cmd. 45451 , 1906, where the 
average weekly earnings for men are stated to be "29s., for womer 
18s. 8d. (p. xxxv). 

14. With reference to ' secondary ' differences between the sexes, 
Mr. J. H. Jones's observations on the ' potentiality ' of the worker! 
(' Eeport on Women in Industry ' [Cmd. 167] , p. 185, col. 1) arel 
instractive. Tliey show that ' equal pay [in our sense] would mearl 
to the employer a higher piece-rate for the man than the woman forj 
precisely the same job . . . economic value is not always fully repre- 
sented in the actual product from week to week.' 

14 (bis). With respect to the two systems whereby secondaiy" 
differences can be allowed for, either two separate rates for men and 


women (i ami i,'), or one common rate (i"), Prof. Henry Clay well 
says : ' While the second system (of which the one first named here 
may be considered a species) is theoretically more economical, I do 
not think it is practicable. Except where a district list of straight piece- 
rates is possible, varying earnings are a cause of discontent and friction. 
Varying rates, whether time or piece, ai'e difficult to establish, because 
productivity is difficult to measure. ... A single rate ... is the 
only safe policy to pursue ' ; ' it is probably cheaper to face the dis- 
advantages of the single-rate system ' ([Cmd. 167], p. 178, col. 2). 
Cp. Mrs. Sidney Webb [Cmd. 135], p. 280. 

14 {ter). The student may be advised to illustrate the working of 
the different systems diagrammatically. The following hints may be 
serviceable. Eepresent the number of employees in an occupation in 
which only men or only women are employed by a segment of the 
abscissa, and draw an ordinate representing the normal weekly wage 
for an individual in that occupation. In the case of an occupation in 
which both sexes are employed the segment may be divided into two 
parts; the right representing the number of men, the left the number 
of women. The ordinate on the right would generally be higher than 
the one on the left. The rates might be represented by perpendiculars 
to the abscissa measured downwards. The effect of substituting for 
the rate which would be best in the absence of secondary differences, 
either a system of two rates, 1 and 1', or a single rate 1" (<1), would 
be made visible. 

15, par. 1. On the payment of school-teachers, Mi's. Sidney Webb, 
in the course of her interesting articles on the' right O'f the woman to 
free entry into all occupations, in the Neiv Statesman (July-August 
1914), states that ' educationists think there are already too few men 
on the teacliing staff.' In tliis connection it is well said by Mrs. 
Webb : ' Sex, like youth or middle age, is a peculiar characteristic 
which sometimes qualifies and sometimes disqualifies persons for par- 
ticular tasks.' 

19, par. 1. It is suggested that the proposed allowances would not 
abolish the difference of mentality which is thus well expressed by 
Professor Henry Clay: 'Men's wages are higher than women's, 
because, having as a rule dependants to maintain, men will stand out 
for higher wages ; the social custom so established imposes itself on 
the considerable minority of men who have no dependants.' ' Women, 
having in the majority of cases only themselves to support, will not 
stand out for a family wage ; a social custom is established in this case 
also ' (' Eeport on Women in Industry ' [Cmd. 167] , p. 179, col. 1). 
This force of habit, surviving after the cause which engendered it may 
have been removed, no doubt weakens — though it does not, I think, 
remove — the objection stated below under the head iii. 

19, par. 1 {his). See Pigou, 'Wealth and Welfare,' pp. 88-89, 
321 et seq; and 'Economics of Welfare,' Book V., ch. iii., s. 8 — 
where reference is made to the present writer's statement of the pro- 
position as ai postulate implied in the theory of free trade. 

21, pars. 5 and 6. The ohjection rmmbered iv. would not be applic- 
able to Professor Karl Pearson's scheme of endowment, according to 


which ' Births beyond the sanctioned number would receive no recogni- 
tion ' ('Free Thought,' p. 444). Nor would objection v. be valid 
against Professor W. McDougall's proposal to differentiate in favour of 
the T>etter breeds ' (' National Decay '). 

21, par. 11. The origin and features O'f the Australian plans for the 
endowment of children are described in the Economic Journal, 1921, 
by Professor Heaton. (See also Miss Eleanor Eathbone's description 
of the South Australian scheme in that Journal, 1922.) Justice 
Higgins's classical decision in 1907 had defined as a ' fair and reason- 
able ' minimum or ' living ' wage one which provided for ' the normal 
needs of the average employee regarded as a human being living in a 
civilised community ' ; these needs including the support of a wife and 
three children. In 1920 it was found (by the Eoyal Commission on 
the Cost of Living), partly by taking account of the rise in prices, 
partly through the use of statistics not available to Justice Higgins in 
1907, that to cany out his ideal of a living wage there would be required 
a much higher figure than he had fixed, no less than 51. 16s. weekly 
for the average adult male worker. Now, as pointed out by the 
Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Piddington, there being in Australia 
(in round numbers) a million workers, the resources of the country 
would not be sufficient to furnish an average wage of this amount. 
But he added that so high a wage would not be required in order to 
make provision for children. Say there were 900,000 dependant 
children in all, and that 12s. a week was an adequate provision for each 
child. By giving the average workman enough to support three children 
provision would be made for supporting three million children — above 
two million ' phantom children ' in addition to the actual numbers. 
Accordingly he proposes to fix 4L as the basic wage sufficient to sup- 
port man and wife v/ithout children, and to make provision for the 
children by a tax of so much per employee, payable by the employer. 

Suppose now (as in the text above) that the children's fund is raised 
by (associations of) the workers themselves. The Australian statistics 
enable us to form an idea of the quota which would be required from 
each member. On Mr. Piddington 's reckoning it was thought reason- 
able that, while a million times 41. per week accrued to the workers, 
900,000 X 12s. should be provided for the children. Supposing, then, 
that the whole of the provision came directly out of the workers' hands 
(4L remaining for the use of man and wife), this would mean that on 
an average the worker contributed to the children's fund 10.8s. out of 
a wage of 90.8s., that is, about 11 per cent. The proportion might be 
applied to actual earnings, as distinguished from a legal minimum, in 
other countries (with correction if necessary for a difference in the pro- 
portion of young children to adult men). The provision for children 
would not be so generous as that demanded by the Endowment Com- 
mittee. But it would avoid some of the objections to their scheme. 



Professor T. HUDSON BEAEE, B.A., B.Sc, D.L., 


In 1914 the Association held its annual meeting in AustraHa, and, 
thanks to the excellent arrangements made by the Local Committees 
and the Commonwealth and State Governments, the visiting members 
had exceptional facilities for travelling over extensive areas of the great 
island continent. The visitors on arriving in Western Australia found 
that they were still cut off from the rest of Australia by a sea journey 
of 1,025 miles, the East- West Transcontinental Eailway being then 
still uncompleted; they also found later on that the railway journeys 
from Melbourne to Sydney and from Sydney to Brisbane involved in 
each case a change of carriage at an intermediate station, owing to 
break of gauge; they thus had practical experience of the need of the 
solution of the two railway problems I propose to discuss in this address. 

I began my professional career in the service of the Public Works 
Department of South AustraHa, at that time engaged on an important 
scheme of railway development in the rich wheat-growing northern areas 
of that province, under what was called the Boucaut policy, and I have 
since that date followed closely the development of the railway systems 
of Australia, as in the methods of construction and working there were 
important differences from railway practice in this country. While in 
Australia in 1914 I specially devoted my time to a study of the two 
great problems which were then and are still engaging the attention 
of the people of the Commonwealth — namely, (1) the unification of the 
existing railway gauges, which are such a serious handicap to railway 
transportation between the various States, and (2) the opening up of 
the tropical areas of North Australia by a system of railways linking 
up with the existing railway systems of the southern and eastern areas 
of the continent. 

The first is a problem which in great measure affects only the people 
of AustraHa, though, as will be shown later, its solution involves the 
expenditure of such a large sum of money — much of which will go 
in the purchase of permanent way material and rolling-stock — that the 
manner in which it is solved must be a matter of considerable interest 
to the iron and steel industries of this country. The second question 
is one which I venture to suggest is of paramount importance to the 
whole of the Empire. The future safety of Australia depends upon 
securing such a rapid increase in the rate of the growth of its population 
that any idea of a hostile attack upon it would become a hopeless 
proposition. The vast empty spaces of Central and North Australia 
are a temptation to the rapidly increasing races of certain Asiatic 


countries, which must be removed if the white AustraUan poUcy is 
to be maintained, as I personally hope it will be. It is impossible to 
expect any satisfactory development of the natural resources of the 
tropical areas oi Australia, and the nnich-needed closer settlement, 
until there ai"e safe and speedy means of communication between this 
part of Australia and the southern and eastern areas ; this can only 
be provided by railways. 

Unification of Gauge. 

When railway constructrion was started about ,1854 — pracitically 
simultaneously in New South Wales and Victoria — it was intended to 
adopt the 5 ft. 3 in. .gauge in both States, but a change of professional 
adviser at Sydney brought about a change of view, and the New South 
Wales Government decided to adopt the standard 4 ft. 8^ in. gauge, 
and this gauge lias been maintained up to the present date on all the 
New South Wales railways. Victoria, on the other hand, adopted the 
5 ft. 3 in. gauge from the first, and has, with the exception of a trifling 
length of 2 ft. 6 in. gauge track, built all her State lines on that gauge. 
South Australia, when railway construction was begun in 1855, also 
chose the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge and adhered to this gauge for some years ; 
later on, however, in order to reduce the first cost of construction, a 
considerable length of railway mileage was constiaicted on thei 3 ft. 6 in. 
gauge. Queensland and Western Australia, when they began railway 
construction, selected the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge because of the possibilities 
the narrower gauge offered in reduction of capital outlay. Briefly, 
therefore, four of the five mainland States have uniform gauges in 
their respective areas, and there are three of these gauges — 5 ft. 3 in., 

4 ft. 8J in., and 3 ft. 6 in. — while the fifth State has two gauges, 

5 ft. 3 in. and 3 ft. 6 in. The Commonwealth, when it was decided 
to build the East-West transcontinental line, chose the 4 ft. Si in. 

As soon as the four capitals — Adelaide, Melbourne^, Sydney, and 
Brisbane — were connected by railways the delays and additional work- 
ing expenses inevitable with any change of gauge' began to be realised, 
and as early as 1888 Mr. Eddy, Chief Commissioner for the New 
South Wales Eailways, drew attention to the matter and urged that 
steps should be taken to secure unification of gauges. In 1897 a 
Premiers' conference, held in Adelaide, instructed the various State 
railway commissioners to report on the whole question of the unifica- 
tion of gauges. A conference was therefore held in Melbourne in 
August 1897, and this conference unanimously agreed to recommend 
that 4 ft. 8 J in. be adopted as the standard Australian gauge; the 
decision was based on the fact that it would be cheaper to convert the 
5 ft. 3 in. to 4 ft. 8J in., and that 3 ft. 6 in. was too narrow a gauge 
for main-line traffic. It was estimated that the cost of unification 
would be about 23,600,0001 None of the States took any steps to 
carry out the recommendations of the conference. 

In 1903 it became necessary to decide upon the gauge which should 
be adopted for the East-West transcontinental line to connect Western 
Australia with the eastern provinces, the length of the line being about 



1,()()3 miles. A confcreiico of tlie P^ngineers-in-Clue[ o£ the five States 
imnniinously it'coininended tliat 4 ft. Hi- in. should be llie gauge of this 
important hnc, and eventually tho line was built on tliis gauge. Tiiis 
decision was later on confiinied at a meeting in 1911 of the Railway 
War (.'ouncil, attended also by the Chief ("omniissioners of the various 
State Railways. 

Mr. ITales, a well-known engineer of Launoeston, Tasmania, in 
1911 urged the Commonwealth Government to reconsider the question 
as to which gauge should be adopted as the standard for tlie wlrole 
of Austraha : he was of opinion that the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge would enable 
locomotives of 20 per cent, more power to be used as compared 
with the 4 ft. 8i in., and 10 per cent, more traffic could be carried 
on the same mileage, and that it would be easier to secure a market 
for discarded 4 ft. 8i in. stock. Mr. H. Deane, the Chief Engineer 
of Railways to the Commonwealth, was, as a result of Mr. Hales' 
memorandum, instructed to reconsider the whole question of the stan- 
dard gauge and to report, as to whether it would be advisable to reverse 
the earlier decisions and to select the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge. Mr. Deane 
in his report advised that the decision to adopt the 4 ft. 8^ in. gauge 
should be adhered to ; he was opposed to the adoption of any narrower 
gauge than that, and he pointed out that a 5-chain curve could be 
used even on a 4 ft. 8| in. gauge track under certain conditions, and 
that such lines had been constructed not only in Australia but in other 
co'mitries. On the other hand, the speed limit for a 3 ft. 6 in. line 
was far below that which could be safely adopted on a 4 ft. 8^ in. line, 
even on a straight track in flat country. In concluding his report 
Mr. Deane urged tlie need of a prompt settlement of the matter, as 
each of the States was steadily increasing its railway mileage and every 
year unification was postponed meant that the cost would be steadily 
mounting up. Unification of the gauges would facilitate the transfer 
of rolling-stock from one State toi another during any emergency, and 
considerable economies in running expenses would be obtained by 
better utilisation of existing stock ; for example, a train from Sydney, 
reaching Albury (the change-of-gauge station) in the early morning, 
was compelled under existing conditions to remain idle in that station 
all day before returning tO' Sydney. 

With regard to the method of conversion, Mr. Deane advocated the 
third-rail method, and he gave in his report a brief account of the 
various methods which had been adopted in other countries where 
unification of gauges had been carried out. In the United States, where 
the rolling-stock is always of the bo'gie type, the method adopted had 
been to remove tlie bogies of one gauge and substitute those of the other — 
quite a cheap and convenient method, but obviously impossible with 
four-wheeled stock. Various methods had been suggested for dealing 
with the problem of four-wheeled stock, such as the use of divided 
axles with inside bearings or a sliding axle, but there were serious prac- 
tical difficulties in both methods, and both methods introduced a sense of 
insecurity. Another method, which had been proposed by Mr. Bolton, 
was to fit a third wheel just inside one of the wheels of the broader 
gauge stock; again, there were substantial practical difficulties — the 
third wheel must be kept always on one side of the track, without 



turning the vehicle, and it would be difficult to carry this out at junctions 
where branch lines came in from both the right and the left. Mr. 
Deane's own idea was that the third rail producing a mixed gauge would 
be the best solution of the problem. This would involve difficulties at 
points and crossings. Mr. Brennan, the well-known torpedo expert, 
had prepared a design for compound switches, and a model of this had 
been made at the Sydney Eailway Interlocking Workshops. Mr. 
Deane was of opinion that this design of Mr. Brennan would probably 
overcome the difficulties introduced by the use of the third rail, and 
he suggested to the Commonwealth Government that two or three full- 
size sets of the switches should be constructed and tried at an im- 
portant junction station. Mr. Deane was oi opinion that the change- 
over as regards Victoria and South Australia, if carried out on these 
lines, would occupy from five to ten years. The table which follows 
gives the lengths of the various gauges, tlae original capital cost, and 
the cost per mile of the State Eailway s on June 30, 1910, that is at the 
date when Mr. Deane was preparing this report. 

Mileage and Gauge of Australian Railways on June 80, 1910. 



Capital Cost 

Cost per 

5 ft. 3 in. 

4 ft. SJin. 

3 ft. 6in. 



New South Wales 












South Australia . 


. — 




South Australia . 






Northern Territory 







— • 




Western Australia 






Tasmania . 
Total . 


■ — 









In 1913 a further conference of the Engineers-in-Ohief was held, 
and this conference adopted two resolutions of considerable importance : 

1. That it was advantageous that the work of unification should be 
undertaken at once, since the longer the work was delayed the greater 
would be the cost. 

2. That the relative advantages of the 5 ft. 3 in. and the 4 ft. 8 J in. 
gauges from the point of view of efficiency and economy of working, and 
discarding the question of interest on cost of conversion, approximately 
balanced one another, and that, since the cost of conversion of the 
wider to the narrower gauge was much less than for the converse 
operation, they recommended the adoption of the 4 ft. 8 J in. gauge. 

This conference estimated that the cost of converting all the railway 
lines of Australia to the 4 ft. 8J in. gauge would be 37,164,000L, but, 
if it were decided merely to unify the main-line routes connecting the 
various capitals, the cost would be 12,142,OO0L Of this latter sum 
the new lines which would be required would account for 4,847,0G0L, 
and the conversion of the existing 5 ft. 3 in lines (all the Victorian 
but only some of the South Australian) would cost 7,295,000L 

G.— ENniNEERING. 137 

This conference emphasised the need of an early solution of the 
problem by drawing attention to the fact that, while the cost of con- 
verting the New South Wales 4 ft. 8^ in. lines to 5 ft. 3 in. had been 
estimated in 1897 at about 4,250,000l, the conference now estimated 
that this work would cost 19,250,000i. ; and, similarly, tlae cost of 
converting the Victorian and South Australian 5 ft. 3 in. lines to 

4 ft. 8^ in. had been estimated in 1897 at 2,250,0001, and the new 
estimate was 7,'25O,0O0L To account for this greatly increased cost it 
was pointed out that in the sixteen years which had elapsed between 
these two estimates being prepared the railway mileage in New South 
Wales had nearly doubled, traffic and rolling-stock had gi-eatly increased, 
and the cost of wages and materials had gone up from between 50 per 
cent, to 150 per cent. 

The decision of the Commonwealth Government to adopt the 4 ft. 
8i in. gauge for the East-West transcontinental line, and the construc- 
tion of that line on that gauge, ought to have settled definitely the choice 
of the standard railway gauge for Australia, but the question was re- 
opened, and a Eoyal Commission was appointed on February 8, 19'21, 
to report on the whole question of the standard gauge which should be 
adopted for Australian railways, and to submit estimates of the cost 
of conversion and recommendations as to how the work should be 
carried out. This Eoyal Commission unanimously recommended that 
the previous decisions as to the adoption of the 4 ft. 8^ in. gauge should 
be adhered to ; they were of opinion that no important gain in the carry- 
ing capacity of the railways would be secured by using the wider 

5 ft. 3 in. gauge, while the reduction in the cost of conversion would 
be considerable if the 4 ft. 8i in. gauge were adhered to. 

Much confusion has arisen in discussing the gauge question by the 
failure on the part of many of those who took part in the controversy 
to appreciate the diffei-ence^ between ' track gauge ' and ' load or struc- 
ture gauge.' At the present time locomotives are in use on 4 ft. Si in. 
gauge lines giving a static pressure of 35,000 lb. between the rail head 
and the wJieel tread, and such a pressure produces probably the maximum 
permissible deformation in the metal of the rail head and the wheel 
tread, hence it is the quality of the metal used in the rails and in the 
tyres which determines ultimately the carrying capacity of the 4 ft. 
8| in. or any other gauge. On the other hand, the structure gauge 
determines the density the load must have in order to load the wheels 
to their maximum capacity; and it is, therefore, to structural gauge 
changes that attention should in the first place be given. The Aus- 
tralian 1905 unifoiTTi structure gauge, when outside cylinder locomotives 
are used, permits, as a matter of fact, the use of bigger diameter engine 
cylinders on a 4 ft. 6J in. gauge track than on a 5 ft. 3 in. gauge line, 
as shown in the lantei'n plate. On the other hand, the 5 ft. 3 in. 
gauge permits a higher centre of gravity with the same stability and 
ease of riding, but this higher centre of gravity is unobtainable with 
the usual goods traffic on Australian lines. Undoubtedly it would 
cost less to change from the wider to the narrower gauge than to 
carry out the converse operation, since in the former the same 
sleepers can be used, and no changes in banks, cuttings, and ballast 
are required, and in the conversion of the rolling-stock the change 


from the wider to the narrower means shortening the axles of thi- 
roUing-stock wheels, a simple matter, while to carry out the reverse 
operation of lengthening these axles would be practically impos- 
sible. At the present time there are about 60,000,000 sleepers 
on the Australian railway lines, of which about half are on the 
3 ft. 6 in. gauge lines. The average life of a sleeper in Australia is 
about twenty years, and, therefore, the annual renewals run to about 
3,000,000 sleepers, but, owing to the results of war conditions, the 
annual renewals at the present lime are nearly 5,000,000. Some 75 per 
cent, of the 3 ft. 6 in. sleepers now in use are 7 ft. long, and such 
a sleeper could be used with a, 4 ft. 8i in. gauge if for each rail four 
new 8-ft. long sleepers were introduced along witli old 7-ft. sleepers, 
one at each end and the other two equally spaced in between, provided 
that only 60-lb. rails were used and that the traffic was neither heavy 
nor fast. If such an arrangement were adopted there would be a 
saving of something like 12,600,000 sleepers during the process of 
conversion of the gauges. 

The Commission considered very carefully the various proposals 
which had been made to obviate the need of the conversion of the 
running track, such as, for example, the third-rail method and the 
many mechanical devices which had been suggested for allowing the 
same rolling-stock to be run over different gauges, and unanimously 
turned them all down; in fact, a special board of experts had been 
appointed in 1918 to examine and report upon a number of these 
mechanical devices and suggestions, and had been unable to report 
favourably on any of them. All such devices were merely in the nature 
of temporary plans for postponing the ultimate coaiversion to a uniform 
gauge; they therefore involved additional expenditure and an increase 
in the final total cost of conversion. The Commission recommended that 
the unification should be carried out gradually by shifting one of the 
two rails of the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge inwards, and shiftmg both the rails in the 
case of the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge outwards, the work to be done in stages 
and temporary change stations to be arranged for, the traffic being 
diverted as far as necessary while the length of track between two 
change stations was being altered. 

This Royal Commission went very fully into the cost of the work 
of conversion ; first, for the provision of a main line only on one gauge 
from Premantle to Brisbane, leaving all other State lines unconverted; 
and, secondly, from the point of view of bringing the whole railway 
system of Australia to one uniform 4 ft. 8h in. gauge, and independent 
estimates were prepared for each scheme. 

Cost for Converting the Main Line only, from Fremantle to Brisbane, to ] 
a Uniform 4 ft. 8i in. Gauge. 

Three alternative routes were proposed (as shown in the lantern] 
plates) : 

Cost Length of Track. 

Route £ Miles 

A . . . 17,850,000 3,356 

B . . . 19,583,000 3,243 

Modified A . . , 18,579,000 3,356 


It may be pointed out that the present mileage from Fremantle to 
Brisbane is 3,448 miles, and that the chief reduction in the mileage 
would be brought about by adopting a coastal route from Sydney to 
Brisbane instead of the present route, shortening the distance between 
these cajiitals from 715 to 616 miles. If the main-lme route alone 
were provided for, serious complications and a great increase in the cost 
of operating the unconverted 5 ft. 3 in. lines in Victoria and South 
Australia would ensue, and the Commission therefore were of opinion 
tliat the other 5 ft. 3 in. lines in both States would have to be con- 
verted at once to the 4 ft. 8^ in. gauge, bringing up the total cost to 
somewhere about 21,60O,OO0Z" 

Conversion of all Lines to the 4 ft. Sh in. Gauge. 

The Eoyal Commission estimated this would involve a capital ex- 
penditure of about o7,'20t),000L ; this estimate made provision for the 
necessary transfer temporary stations as well as the actual work of 
conversion, but did not provide anytliing for the cost of transfer of 
goods and passengers during the transition period, or for interest on 
capital expenditui'e while the work was ]>eing carried out. 

The Commission recommended the appointment of a director to 
carry out the whole work, who should bei assisted by a. competent pro- 
fessional staff. In forwarding their report to the Conmionwealth 
Government the Chairman raised the important question as to whether 
the huge expenditui-? which would be required would be justified under 
existing conditions of the money market and the present high cost of 
all engineering works. 

Method of Changing the Track from the 5 ft. 3 in. Gauge to the 
4 ft. 8i in. Gauge suggested by the Royal Commission. 

On the existing 5 ft. 3 in. lines the rails are usually canted inwardly 
from about 1 in 20 to 1 in 26, though actually in practice the canting 
varies from 1 in 12 to 1 in 40, and at crossings tlie rails are kept flat. 
As far as is known at the present time there is no practical or theoretical 
reason why one rail of a track should not be on the fiat while the other 
rail is on a cant. It would much facilitate the work of removing inwards 
one of the rails if this rail could be laid on the sleeper in its new 
position on the flat, the other rail being left undisturbed. It would 
be desirable, however, to test this question experimentally by actually 
altering one of the rails on a short length of existing main track from 
the canted to the flat position ; if it were found that high-speed traffic 
could be safely carried on under sucH a- condition, the experiment 
might ]ye further extended by converting to this condition a length of 
about 50 to 60 miles ; if again the running results wei^e satisfactory, 
this method might be adopted tTiroughout during the process of con- 
version. If this plan were adopted there ^^■ou!d be no necessity to adze 
the sleepers for the new rail position, and the only operation required 
on the sleepers would he the boring of the holes for the dog spikes in 
the new ))osition of the i-ail ; tliis could be done throughout before any 
attempt was made to move the rails. If: would be better from the 
point of view of securing a symmetrical position of the rails on the 
slee])ers to move both rails inwardly b\- the necessary small amount, 


but this would involve boring double sets of holes, and one set of holes 
on each side could not be bored out until the rails were lifted from their 
existing position. The work could be carried out in the following 
order : Temporary permanent-way gangs would carry out the work 
of adzing (if this were necessary) and boring the sleepers for the new 
position of the rails, and would partly drive in most of the inside spikes 
for the new location of the rail, drawing at the same time many of 
the old inside spikes. When this work was complete the next opera- 
tion would be to draw the remaining spikes of the rails to be shifted 
and then to push inwards the rails in long lengths; there would be 
no necessity to interfere with any of the fish-plates. The permanent 
gangs of platelayers would follow up the work of these temporary 
gangs and would complete the accurate gauging and spiking of the 
track, and at the same time they would draw any spikes left in the old 
position. Two constructional trains, one of the 4 ft. 8+ in. gauge follow- 
ing up, and one of the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge going ahead, would be needed. 
At all tunnels and stations it would be necessary to slew over the 
whole track 3 J inches in order to keep the existing track centres. 

With regard to the rolling-stock, if details were carefully worked 
out beforehand, no serious practical difficulty would occiu- in changing 
from the 5 ft. 3 in. to the 4 ft. 8h in. gauge, though, in the majority 
of the locomotives, new fire-boxes would be necessary besides the 
requisite alterations to the frames and axles. 

Changing over from the 3 ft. 6 in. Gauge to the 4 ft. 8h in. Gauge. 

This would be a much more elaborate and difficult job, as both rails 
must be moved outwards 7^ inches, and all earthworks, bridges, and 
tunnels widened so as to be suitable for the increased gauge and new width 
of formation; there would be, therefore, considerable dislocation of traffic 
while the work was being carriecl out, and it would be necessary to 
divide the countiy up into a series of areas and deal completely with 
all the hues in one particular area before any work was started in another 

Cost of Conversion. 

In preparing their estimates for the cost of the conversion of the 
main lines only, the Commissioners based their figures on the employ- 
ment of an 80-lb. rail and the necessary consequent improvements in 
road-bed, bridges, &c., to allow for the heavier rolling-stock which 
would be employed if an 80-lb. rail were in use. They had also in 
their estimates provided for the cost of the temporary transfer stations 
and the new permanent stations which would be required at Adelaide 
(estimated cost 5()0,000Z.), Melbourne (estimated cost 880,000L), 
Brisbane (estimated cost 15O,0O0L). If, however, it were decided to 
convert all the 5 ft. 3 in. lines at once tO' the 4 ft. 8J in. gauge, much 
of this costly main station expenditure would not be required. The 
estimate prepared by the Commissioners of the expenditure required 
for the work of complete conversion differs very greatly from the 
estimate submitted by the five State Railway authorities, and the 
attached table shows the enormous discrepancies between the two sets 
of estiniate-3. 



Estimated Cost of Converting all the Railway Lines to a Standard 

4 ft. Si in. Gauge. 


Estimate of Royal 

Estimate of State and 

Commonwealth Railway 



Western Australia 

South Australia . 

Victoria .... 

New South Wales 

Queensland .... 









35 669,092 




Gross total . . j 



The discrepancy arises largely from the fact that the State Eailway 
authorities based their estimates upon a high-standard 4 ft. 8J in. track 
with 80-lb. rails for every mile of line in the State. In Western 
Australia, for example, where the State authorities prepared a total esti- 
mate amounting to about 35,669,O00L, the estimate would be reduced 
to about 15,000, OOOL if lighter earthworks and 60-lb. rails were adopted 
on most of the tracks, and in Queensland a similar procedure reduces 
the original estimate of 53,332,000L to about 32,000,000L, but even 
these modified State estimates greatly exceed the figures given by the 

Chief Works required to give a Uniform 4 ft. 8| in. Gauge Line suitable 
for fast, heavy Traffic from Fremantle to Brisbane. 

As regards Western Australia, it will be necessary to lay a new 
line on the 4 ft. 8i in. gauge alongside the present 3 ft. 6 in. gauge 
from Perth to Kalgoorlie, and to construct an entirely new bridge over 
the river Swan. In South Australia there is at present a very un- 
satisfactory length of line on the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, with severe gradients 
and awkward curves, between Terowie and Port Augusta. This would 
be eliminated by the construction of a new 4 ft. 8i in. line fi'om Port 
Augusta to Lochiel, and by the conversion of the existing 5 ft. 3 in. 
line from Lochiel to Salisbury to the 4 ft. 8^ in. gauge. These two 
pieces of work would at once cut out two of the three present change- 
of -gauge stations in South Australia — viz., those at Adelaide and Port 
Augusta, and the Terowie change-of-gauge station would be transferred 
to Salisbury. The reduction in the existing heavy grades is shown by 
the fact that while on the present route on the 3 ft. 6 in. line there 
is a summit level of 2,000 ft., the summit level on the proposed new 
line would not exceed 400 ft. This work, if taken in hand at once, 
would cost about BOO.OOOL, and would in itself, without any other 
changes, greatly improve the present railway facilities between East and 
West Australia. In converting the 5 ft. 3 in. line from Adelaide to 
Melbourne the most important work would be a new bridge over the 
river Miuray, suitable for the heavier rolling-stock — an expensive piece 
of work. In "Victoria the Commissioners suggested three allernalive 
routes, as shown in the lantern plates, but they pointed out that 
Eoute A would be very costly and difficult to work, and therefore it 


would be much more satisfactory, if the remaining 5 ft. 3 in. gauge 
lines in Victoria, were not to be converted, to adopt Eoute B. 
There is no doubt, however, that the adoption of either Eoute A or 
Eoute B would prove extremely unsatisfactory as regards the working 
of the remaining railway systems of Victoria ; it would be much better 
to decide to convert at once the whole of the 5 ft. 3 in. Victorian lines to 
4 ft. 8i in., caiTying out tire work in a series of stages, as shown in 
the lantern plate. 

Since all the New South Wales railways ai-e on the 4 ft. 8^ in. 
gauge, the only works required in the State would be the completion 
of the coastal route northwards from West Maitland ; much of the con- 
structional work on this coastal route is already completed. When it 
is completed as far as Eichmond Gap, and when a new 4 ft. 8-^ in. 
gauge line is built southwards from Brisbane to join the New South 
Wales line at Eichmond Gap, a gi'eatly superior route will be provided 
between the capitals of Sydney and Brisbane. The present inland route 
has a maximum summit level of 4,450 ft., while the coastal route 
would not have a greater summit level than 800 ft. 

The report of the Eoyal Commission was considered at a Premiers' 
Conference held at Melbourne in November 1921. Mr. Groom, the 
Federal Minister of Works and Eailways, in view of the enoi"mous 
cost for complete conversion, advocated that the work of providing 
the main-line route connecting all the capitals by a 4 ft. 8| in. high- 
standard line should be undertaken at once, and also^ the work of the 
conversion of all other Victorian and South Australian 5 ft. 3 in. gauge 
lines to 4 ft. 8 J in. gauge. The total cost of these two pieces of work 
would be about 21,00O,000L The Premier of South Australia, how- 
ever, raised serious objections, the principal one being the difficulties 
which would arise in the working of the local railway traffic owing to 
the 3 ft. 6 in. lines of that State being left unchanged, and he pointed 
out that his State Eailway officials disa-greed entirely with the estimates 
of the Commission in regard to the cost of the conversion of all the 
railway lines in Soufh Australia to the standard gauge. They were 
of opinion that instead of the cost amounting to about 8,737,0002., as 
estimated by the Commissioners, it would be more like 14,750,000/., 
and, in addition to this heavy capital outlay, there would be a serious 
loss of revenue brought about by delays in operating the traffic during 
the process of conversion. He was of opinion, and his views were 
apparently supported by the Premier of Victoria, that the whole cost 
of conversion of the railways in Australia to a 4 ft. 8i in. gauge would 
not be far short of 100,000,0001. sterling, and he thought that it would 
be very much wiser to spend this huge sum of money on public works 
which would be more quickly reproductive. 

The Premiers' Conference eventually accepted the decision of the 
Royal Commission with regard to the adoption of the 4 ft. Si in. gauge, 
but postponed decision as to when the work should be undertaken. 

The Australian Prime Minister in March last, in a public speech, 
drew attention to the steadily increasing cost of the work of conversion, 
and to the considerably increased loss in working the existing State and 
Commonwealth railways. Fgr the year ending June 30, 1920, he 


stated that after paying interest on loans and all working expenses 
there was a total deficit of 1,744,000/., and in 1921 this had risen to 
3,946,000/. He expressed the view that very important economies in 
working expenses would be brought about by unification of gauges. 

In giving this summary of the history of the break -of-gauge problem 
of Australia. I have endeavoured tO' arouse interest in this country in 
tliis question. A great scheme of railway work, which is to cost any- 
thing from 50,0(X),000/. to 100,000,000/., and which will involve the 
manufacture of an enormous quantity of material, must surely be of 
interest to the engineers and manufacturers of this country, even if it 
wcj-e being parried out in a foi-eign countiy, and still more so when it 
is being cari'ied out in one of our great oversea Dominions. 

In spite of the decision of the Royal Commission in regard to 
mechanical devices for overcoming the break-of-gauge difficulties, I 
think the pi'oblem might still be solved by such means, though it must 
be admitted that none of the mechanical devices brought forward up 
to the present time have offered a satisfactory solution. In March last 
a Mr. Mathews, of Victoria, showed a model before the South Australian 
Eailway Commissioners by which he claimed a solution of the whole 
problem without changes in the permanent way, except at the terminal 
stations where break of gauge occurred. His proposals were for certain 
impi'ovements in the bogies of railway carriages and the under-carriages 
of trucks, so as to allow an automatic alteration from 5 ft. 3 in. to 
4 ft. 82 in. without manual labour or without power gear. Mr. 
Mathews claimed that a whole train could be changed to the new 
gauge in ten minutes, and that the only labour required for the alteration 
would be that of the ordinaiy train staff. 

As I have only seen brief newspaper accounts of Mr. Mathews' 
proposals I can give no technical details, nor can I express any definite 
opinion as to the feasibility of this latest proposal. There is certainly a 
possibility that some mechanical device might be designed which would 
prove satisfactory in operation, and would postpone the need to incur 
at the present time the heavy charges required for complete conversion 
to one gauge, though undoubtedly sooner or later it is inevitable that 
complete conversion must be undertaken. 

North-South Transcontinental Railway. 

The South Australian Government, at that time in control of the 
Northern Territory (annexed to South Australia by Royal Letters Patent 
in 1863), on December 10, 1902, advertised that they were prepared to 
accept tenders up to May 2, 1904, for the construction on a land grant 
system of the 1,063 miles of railway between Oodnadatta, the northern 
terminus of the South Australian railway system, and Pine Creek, the 
southern terminus of the line from Port Darwin. The gauge was to 
be 3 ft. 6 in., rails not less than 60 lb. per yard, and the mileage was 
not to exceed 1,200 miles. This was pursuant to an Act of the South 
Australian Parliament passed in 1902, entitled the Transcontinental 
Railway Act. The lantern plate shows the proposed route. 

The minimum land grant specified in the Act was 75.000 acres per 
mile of track; the State was prepared, therefore, to surrender about 
80,(K)0.000 acres of land as a prize for the construction of the line. 

1922 M 


An ii:iteresting publication was issued by the State Government giving 
full details, as far as then known, of the nature of the country through J 
which the line would be constructed, and of the possibilities of its future " 
development from the agricultural, pastoral, and mining points of 
view. The total area of the Northern Territory was estimated at 
335,116,800 acres, with a seaboard of some 1,200 miles to the Indian 
Ocean. The pamphlet in an appendix gave a full bibliography of the 
literature on Northern Australia published up to that date. 

Unfortunately, owing to change of the State Ministers and to other 
circumstances, this scheme fell through, and no further action in the ■ 
matter of the transcontinental line was taken until the control of the 
Northern Territory was handed over to the Commonwealth on Janu- 
ary 1, 1911. The Commonwealth took over at the same time (1) the 
national debt of the Territory, largely incurred in constructing the rail- 
way line from Port Darwin to Pine Creek and other necessary works 
of development ; (2) the 3 ft. 6 in. line from Port Augusta to Oodnadatta, 
the South Australian railway department continuing to work the line, 
but any deficit on the working and the interest on cost of construction 
being met by the Commonwealth Government. The Commonwealth 
further undertook to complete the North- South Eailway under certain 

The Darwin to Pine Creek railway, a 3 ft. 6 in. line, single track, 
with 41-lb. rails, was opened on October 1, 1889, its total length being 
145i miles; it was intended to be the first instalment of the northern 
portion of the transcontinental line. In 1913 the Commonwealth 
authorities decided to extend this line a further 54 J- miles to the 
Katherine Eiver, and the railway station at this river now forms the 
southern terminus of the line from Darwin. 

In order to obtain the necessary information to enable the Common- 
wealth Government to implement their undertaking to complete the 
transcontinental railway a Royal Commission was appointed on 
March 28, 1913, to report upon the following matters in their relation 
to the development of the Northern Territory : (1) On the routes of the 
necessary railways and the classes of such railways ; (2) the desirable- 
ness and practicability of creating new ports. The Commission, after 
taking evidence at Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane from 
the railway authorities and others interested in the development of 
North Australia, visited the Territory, and travelled by sea, by river, 
and on land some 3,000 miles; during their journeys local witnesses 
were examined, and the report of the Commissioners was submitted 
to the Commonwealth Government on February 20, 1914. 

As a proof of the inaccessibility of this vast province from the rest 
of Australia, and of the need of railway development, I may mention 
that when returning to this country in 1914 after the meeting of the 
British Association in Australia, I left Sydney on the s.s. Mataram 
on October 1, and did not reach Darwin, the capital and seaport of the 
Teri'itory, until October 15, the sea journey being 2,620 miles; from 
Brisbane it is 2,100 miles. In an interesting paragraph of their report 
the 1913 Commissioners point out that it takes longer to go by sea from 
the nearest State capital (Brisbane) to Darwin than it does to go from 
jijiat port tp SjngiipQre pr HpngrKgn^. Hpw perilous snclq. a state of 


things might be to the CominonwealtH in certain contingencies needs 
no words from me to bring home to those who are fighting so strenuously 
for the white Austrahan policy. 

Royal Commissioners' Suggested Railways. 

The Commission recommended the following lines: — 

1. The construction of the main North-South line from Katherine 
River to Oodnadatta via Renner and Alice Springs, mileage about 
1,020 miles, the gauge to be 3 ft. 6 in., and work to be commenced 
from each end. 

2. The construction of a branch line from the main line, near or 
at Katherine Eiver, to seiwe the Victoria Eiver pastoral area, should 
it be found impossible to give such a westerly swing to the main line 
from Katherine to Willeroo as would serve the same purpose. 

3. The construction of a railway from a proposed new harbour in 
Pellew Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Barkly Tablelands, the 
line following the McArthur Valley to Anthony's Lagoon. 

The Commissioners further expressed the view that it would be 
essential for the Queensland Government to extend their railway systems 
to Camooweal, and for the Commonwealth to connect both the main 
North- South line and the Barkly Tablelands line by branch lines with 
Camooweal, so as to give direct railway connection between the Terri- 
tory and the Eastern States of Queensland and New South Wales. 

The Commissioners estimated the cost of the main transcontinental 
line at 5,000,0001. for a 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, and 7,500,0001. for a 4 ft. 
8^ in. gauge. 

Tlie lantern plates show (1) routes of proposed lines ; (2) isohyets for 
the Territory ; (3) relation of proposed lines to existing Australian 
railway systems; (4) alternative railway routes suggested by Mr. 
Coombes in a minority report. 

In 1915 the House of Representatives referred to the Parliamentary 
Standing Committee on Public Works a proposal to extend the Darwin 
Railway a further distance of about 64 miles in a south-easterly direc- 
tion from Katherine River Station to Bitter Springs; this would be a 
further link in the transcontinental line, and would open up to profitable 
exploitation the newly discovered tin mines at Marranboy. The cost 
of construction was estimated at 320,000L for a 3 ft. 6 in. line, single 
track, 60-lb. rails, using, however, sleepers long enough for a 4 ft. 8^ in. 
line, should it be decided later on to change the whole line over to this 
gauge; the ruling gradient was to be 1 in 100, and the sharpest curve 
40 chains; the time of construction was estimated as one and a-half 

Mr. Hobler, Commonwealth Engineer for Ways and Works, stated 
that the cost of the Pine Creek and Katherine River extension would be 
6,000L per mile, and he estimated the extension to Bitter Springs (now 
called Mataranka) would cost 4,938L per mile. He further said it was 
intended to make a permanent survey of a proposed further extension 
to the Daly Waters telegi'aph station, 95 miles south from Mataranka 
and 360 miles from Darwin. There can be no doubt that whatever 
route is finally adopted for the central portion of the transcontinental 

M 2 


line the existing telegraph route must be followed, at any rate as far 
as Newcastle Waters, 90 miles south of Daly Waters and 450 miles 
from Darwin. 

The Standing Committee, in recommending that this extension be 
authorised, expressed the view that it was inadvisable to use the longer 
sleepers, and they recommended further experiments on the possibility 
of using reinforced concrete sleepers on steep banks and curves. On the 
original Darwin Pine Creek line steel sleepers were used, and these 
had worn well excejjt on the coastal section, but their use on the southern 
extension was impossible owing to the gx-eat increase in their cost. 

The 1913 Eoyal Commissioners in their report had recommended a 
westerly swing of the main line to Willeroo to serve the Victoria Eiver 
district, but the Standing Committee disapproved of this suggestion, 
owing to the difficult nature of the country, which would much increase 
the cost per mile, and would considerably increase the length of the 
line. A Sub-Committee of three members of the Commission inspected 
in July and August 1916 the whole of the country along the alternative 
routes, and the final finding of the Standing Committee was based on 
the report of this Sub-Committee. 

This Committee emphasised the need of settling population on the 
areas already opened up by railways, not merely by taking people away 
from other parts of Australia, but by the introduction of European 
settlers. This would be facilitated by inducing railway construction 
men to bring out their families, and by offering land settlement facilities 
to them when the railway construction work was completed. 

Since the report of the Eoyal Commissioners in 1914 a fierce con- 
troversy has been going on in the Commonwealth and South Australian 
Parliaments and in the public Press in regard to the North-South line, 
and as to the precise meaning which must be attached to the words in 
the agreement made between the Commonwealth and the State of South 
Australia when the latter ceded the Northern Territory in 1911 — viz., the 
Commonwealth shall ' construct, or cause to be constructed, a railway 
line from Port Darwin southwards to a point on the northern boundary 
of South Australia proper,' and ' construct, or cause to be constructed, 
as part of the Transcontinental Eailway, a line from a point on the 
Port Augusta Eailway to connect with the other part of the Trans- 
continental Eailway at a point on the northern boundary of South 
Australia proper.' The Eastern States assert that it would be a waste 
of national money to construct the due North and South line, as so 
much of the country it traverses is useless for pastoral or any other 
purpose, and they maintain that the line should deviate easterly from, 
say, Newcastle Waters into Queensland to Camooweal, and that South 
Australian interests would be completely met by a new line in that 
State, running in a north-easterly direction from Maree on the Port 
Augusta line to a connection with the Queensland railways near Birds- 
ville. South Australia, on the other hand, insists that a bargain is a 
bai'gain, and that this new proposal is entirely at variance with the 
real meaning of the terms of the agreement. They further allege that 
much of the land declared worthless would be quite good country for 
sheep and cattle rearing if railway facilities existed and if water con- 
servation on sound lines was carried out. 


In consequence of iliis divergence of views an to the nature of tiie 
country through which a transcontinental line would pass, a Sectional 
Committee of the Commonwealth Joint Standing Committee of Public 
Works travelled in 1921 across the continent from Oodnadatta to 
Darwin by motors, explored a considerable area of country both east and 
west of the overland telegraph line, and examined local witnesses in 
order to ascertain the views of those already settled in these areas as 
to the most suitable routes for the proposed transcontinental lines. 
This Committee was accompanied by Mr. Hobler, Commonwealth Engi- 
neer for Ways and Works, who had already in 1920 travelled over the 
Kimberley area of West Australia, and had submitted a report on the 
railway lines which were required in order to open up that great cattle- 
rearing area, and to give that district satisfactory facilities for marketing 
their stock. 

The Standing Committee, after receiving the report of their Sec- 
tional Committee, began to take evidence in the Southern States, and 
at a meeting held in Sydney last May Mr. Hobler submitted a lengthy 
report setting forth the conclusions he had come to in regard to the 
best routes not merely for a transcontinental line, but for the various 
O'ther railways which were required in order to^ connect the undeveloped 
tropical areas of Australia with the southern temperate districts already 
fairly well provided with railway facilities. Mr. Hobler's proposals were 
based on the principle that the pastoral and cattle industries must be 
considered to be the primary ones ; mining development would only, he 
thought, begin at a later date, and agricultural developments would only 
start when the primary industries were firmly established and population 
had begun to increase. 

Two alternative transcontinental routes were suggested by Mr. 
Hobler, with certain essential branch lines, viz. : — 

Western Route. 

Oodnadatta to Emun-ga-lan (Main line) 1,018 miles . . Cost £12,077,803 

Newcastle Waters to Camooweal (Branch line) 359 miles . . Cost £3,921,750 

(Average cost per mile about £11,300) • 

Total mileage . 1,377 Total cost . £15,999,553 

This proposal would apparently satisfy the claims of South Aus- 
tralia, and would at the same time give a direct connection between the 
Eastern States and the Northern Territory. 

Eastern Route. 

Maree to Emun-ga-lan via Boulia, Camooweal and 

Daly Waters 1,320 miles : Cost £14,329,864 

(Average cost per mile about £11,000) 

The lantern plates sliow these suggested alternative routes. 

The eastern route, which was the one preferred by Mr. Hobler, 
would mean a saving in capital cost of 1,669,689/., to which would be 
added a further saving of 2,759,584/. if the widening of the existing 
3 ft. 6 in. gauge line between Maree and Oodnadatta were postponed. 

If this eastern route were finally adopted it would probably be 
necessary, in order to secure the assent of South Australia, to extend 


the present 3 ft. 6 in. line from Oodnadatta to Alice Springs, 297^ miles, 
in order to open up for development the pastoral and mining McDonnel 
Eange country. This line could be built at a very economical cost if 
permanent way, released by the widening of the existing track from 
Maree to Port Augusta, were utilised and practically a surface track 
laid, the cost working out at about 1,490,502L, or 5,010L per mile. 
Taking into consideration the cost of this line, the adoption of the 
eastern route would secure a saving in capital cost of 2,938,771^. as 
compared with the western route. 

With regard to working expenses and receipts, the western route 
complete was estimated to show an annual deficit in the early years 
of 17,024L, to which must be added interest on capital 973,9'27L, 
making, therefore, an annual charge on the Commonwealth Treasury 
of about 1,000,0001. The eastern route, including the Oodnadatta to 
Alice Springs line, would probably have an annual excess of receipts 
over expenditure of 107,832L, the interest on capital would be 852,638L, 
making the annual charge on the Treasury about 744,806L The 
eastern route would, according to these estimates, mean a saving of 
about 250,0001. sterling per annum as compared with the western route, 
in addition to the saving of nearly 3,000,0001. in the original capital 

Should the eastern route be adopted Mr. Hobler anticipated a rapid 
development of Port Augusta. The erection of large meat works and 
the deepening and extension of the harbour would make this port the 
natural outlet for the pastoral, agricultural, and mining products of an 
immense area of Central Australia. 

It will be seen that there is very little to choose between the two 
routes as regards mileage of new lines and the cost per mile. The main 
factor in the comparison of the two routes and the one which is most 
open to dispute is the expected annual charge upon the Commonwealth 
finance for a good number of years. Since these proposed railways are 
primarily development lines, they cannot possibly become a paying 
proposition until the expected increase of population and resultant 
more thorough and complete development of the great natural resources 
of this hitherto almost unutilised area of Australia have had time to 

A very recent suggestion by the Surveyor-General of South Australia 
is that the transcontinental line should start from Tarcoola on the East- 
West line, thence run direct to Oodnadatta (a new line), from there , 
follow the overland telegraph line to Barrows Creek, deviate then 
easterly, but return to the telegraph line route at Powell's Creek, and 
continue to follow it till it reaches the terminus of the existing line at 
Katherine Eiver. 

Of the two problems, the one which seems most lu'gent and calls 
for a prompt solution is the transcontinental line, with its various pro- 
posed branches. Capital can only be provided for either the unification 
of the gauges or for the transcontinental lines by borrowing, and it is 
obvious that borrowed money, for the interest on which annual provi- 
sion must be made, is better spent upon railway work, which will at 
once increase the output of the primary products of Australia and pro- 
vide work for an increased population. I would therefore urge that 


an early decision should be arrived at with regard to the rout© of the 
transcontinental line, and that the work of construction should be 
immediately started. Mr. Hobler's scheme seems to satisfy all re- 
quirements and to involve the least capital expenditure and the least 
probable annual charge upon the Exchequer. 

With regard to the unification of gauges, I think this work should 
be postponed, except in regard to two improvements which might be 
carried out at moderate expense. These improvements are the con- 
struction of a 4 ft. 8i in. gauge direct line from Port Augusta to Salis- 
bury. The southern half of this line is already constructed, or is being 
constructed, on the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge, and this portion could easily be con- 
verted to a 4 ft. 8h in. gauge. The line from Salisbuiy through Adelaide 
and Melbourne to Albuiy should be maintained as it is on a 6 ft. 3 in. 
gauge. The second improvement would be the completion of the New 
South "Wales coastal line from West Maitland to Richmond Gap ; not 
veiy much work is required upon this, and the line is on the 4 ft. 8^ in. 
gauge. A comparatively short new south line on this gauge from 
Brisbane to Richmond Gap would give an uninterrupted 4 ft. 8^ in. 
gauge line from Albury to Brisbane. If these two improvements were 
made there would be a quite appreciable shortening of the total railway 
mileage between Brisbane and Fremantle, and there would be only 
three stations on the route of 3,356 miles of track where passengers 
would have to change trains — viz., Albury, Salisbury, and Coolgardie. 

In this question of the unification of gauges British engineers might 
help their brethren in Australia by devoting serious attention to the 
problem of devising adequate mechanical means of coping with the diffi- 
culties brought about by break of gauge. If the loading and unloading 
of trucks at each break-of -gauge station could be obviated, the question 
of break of gauge would be a very unimportant one. As regards 
passenger traffic, it is not an important problem ; it is only when heavy 
goods traffic has to be dealt with that the problem becomes a serious 
one from the point of view of working expenses and rates for transport 
of goods. 



H. J. E. PEAKE, 


In all sciences there comes a time when it is well to pause and toi take 
stock of our labours, to consider our position and to focus our attention 
upon our ultimate goal. Such a time seems to have arrived in the 
study of Anthropology, and, though it would have been better that the 
agent had been one with more right to speak for the science, this 
occasion seems not unfitting for the purpose. 

During the last ten or twelve years a change has been creeping 
over the science, and the outlook has altered. Twelve years ago^ anthro- 
pologists in this country, with scarcely an exception, were devoting their 
energies to tracing out the evolution of customs, institutions, and 
material culture, assuming in all cases that, where similarities were 
found in different parts of the world, they were due tO' independent 
origins and development. It was assumed that the workings of the 
human mind were everywhere similar, and that, given similar con- 
ditions, similar customs and culture would originate and develop on 
the same lines. The evolution of civihsation was looked upon as a 
single line of advance, conditioned by the unalterable nature of the 
human mind, and it was supposed that barbarian and savage cultures 
were but forms of arrested development, and indicated vei-y closely past 
stages in tlie history of civilised communities. 

But during the last twelve years a fresh school of thought has come 
into prominence. According to this new view discoveries are made 
but once, and when resemblances are found between the cultures of 
different communities, even though widely separated, this is due to 
some connection between them, however indirect. According to the 
new school of thought the development of civilisation has been proi- 
ceeding by many different paths, in response to as many types of 
environment, but these various advances have frequently met, and 
from the clash of two cultures has arisen another, often different, more 
complex and usually more highly developed than either of its parents. 

The old school looked upon the advance of culture as a single high- 
way, along which different groups had been wandering at varying paces, 
so that, while some had traversed long distances, otliers had progi-essed 
but a short way. The new school, on the other hand, conceives of 
each group as traversing its own jaarticular way, but that the paths 
frequently meet, cross or coalesce, and that where the greatest number 
of paths have joined, there the pace has been quickest. 

The older school, basing its views of the development of civilisation 
upon the doctrine of Evolution, has called itself the Evolutionary School. 


'I'he newer, while) Ijelieviny no less in Evolution, leels it ;.i duty to 
ti'ace out minutely the various stages through which each type of civilisa- 
tion has passed by independent inquiry, rather tiian to assume that 
these stages have followed the succession observable elsewhere; thus, 
as historical factors form a. large part ol its inquiiy, it has been tenned 
the Historical School.^ 

The first note announcing the coming change was sounded from 
this chair eleven years ago,- and during the interval which has elapsed 
since then the new school has gained many adherents. All of these 
will not subscribe to the dictum that no discovery has been made twice, 
for was not the safety-pin patented early in the nineteenth century by 
someone who must have been ignorant that the same device had been 
employed at the lake-dwelling of Peschiera about 1400 B.C. ? Never- 
theless, there is a tendency at present not to assume an independent 
origin for any custom or device until it has been proved that such could 
not; have been introduced from some other ai'ea where such custom was 
practised or such device known. 

These tendencies have led the anthropologist to inquire more fully 
into the history of the peoples whose civilisation he is studying, and 
to note, too, minute points in their environment, which may have 
suggested customs or modifications in practice in use elsewhere. At 
the same time geography, which had been growing into a more living 
study, and ceasing to be a mere record of places and statistics, began 
in some centres to take special note of man and his doings. This 
anthropogeography concerned itself mainly with inquiring into the 
reactions between man and his environment, and though at first the 
environment was the main object of the geographer's attention, its 
effect upon man has become more and more pronounced of late. Thus 
anthropology and geography have been drawing closer together during 
the last few years, and as the latter is a recognised and popular subject 
in the curriculum of our schools, no small amount of anthropological 
knowledge has been instilled into the minds of our boys and girls, and 
with that knowledge a still greater measure of interest in the subject. 

It might have been expected that before the geographers the his- 
torians would have been attracted to the anthropological approach, but 
recent political events have up to now engrossed the attention of most 
historical students. Signs have not been lacking, however, especially 
during the last year, that the study of peoples and their customs, rather 
than of kings and politicians, is gaining ground, and we may, I think, 
look with confidence towai'ds closer relations between the studies of 
history and anthropology in the near future. 

Again, we may notice an increasing interest in our subject among 
sociologists and economists. These have rightly focused their atten- 
tion upon the social o)-ganisation and economic well-being of highly 
civilised communities such as our own, with a view to presenting an 
orderly array of facts and principles before our political leaders. There 

' Rivers. W. H. R., ' History and Ethnology.' 11 ix fori/, v. 65-7 London 

2 Rivers, W. H. R., 'The Etlmological Analysis of Culture.' Fenort of 
Biit. Assoc, 1911, 490-2. 


has, however, been a tendency during the past few years to trace these 
modern conditions back into the past, sometimes into the remote past, 
and to use for purposes of coanparison instances drawn from the social 
organisation or economic conditions of communities living under simpler 
conditions. While these studies must, to some extent, overlap those 
of the anthropolo'gist, their methods, and especially their points of view, 
:are different. We are working from the simple to the complex ; they 
begin with more highly developed conditions and thence work back to 
the more primitive. 

Lastly, we must not forget the students of the classical languages. 
These studies have been severely attacked of late, and their value to 
humanity disparaged. In spite of many advantages which they possess 
at schools and universities, they have been losing in popularity, and 
the reason is not far to seek. So long as there were fresh works to be 
studied and commentated, and imperfect texts to be emended and 
elucidated, there was no lack of devotees to classical literature. This 
was the case in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Later 
on comparative philology gave fresh life to such studies, and there was 
work to be done in comparing Greek with Latin and both with other 
Aryan tongues ; certain views current among mid-nineteenth-century 
philologists gave also an impetus to the re-study of Greek mythology. 
But about 1890 such studies became unfashionable in this country, and 
many classical scholars, at a loss for a line of research, turned to anthro- 
pology with great advantage both to themselves and to us. This move- 
ment was crystallised by the appearance of ' Anthropology and the 
Classics ' in 1908, and since that date the two studies have kept in the 
closest touch. 

It is doubtless as a result of these converging movements that the 
general pubUc is taking an intense int-erest in anthropological studies 
at the present time, and that works of a general nature, summing up 
the state of knowledge in its different branches, are in great request by 
the general reader. The educated public, and many, too, whose oppor- 
tunities for study have been more restricted, wish to know more of 
the Science of Man, yet I fear they are too often perplexed by the dis- 
cordant utterances of anthropologists, many of whom seem to be far 
from certain as to the message they have to deliver. 

In their turn not a few anthropologists feel a like uncertainty as 
to the ultimate purpose of their studies, and are far from clear as to 
how the results of their investigations can be of any benefit to humanity. 
These are points well worthy of our serious consideration ; for, as we 
were reminded from this chair two years ago,^ anthropology, if it is to 
do its duty, must be useful to the State, or at least to humanity in 
general. Even the scope of the science is by no means clear to all, 
and would be differently defined by various students. It may not be 
out of place, therefore, first of all to consider in detail the scope and 
content of anthropology, then its aims and the services it may render 
to mankind. 

To the outside world anthropology seems to consist of the study of 

^ Karl Pearson ; Address to the Anthropological Section. Brit. Assoc. 
Report, 1920, 140-1. 



flint iinplements, skeletons, and the ways ol savage men, and to many 
students of the subject its boundaries are scarcely more ext-ensive. 
Yet civilised people also are men, and if anthropology is the science 
of man it should include these within its survey. That other 
scientists, such as historians, geographers, sociologists, and economists, 
study the doings of civilised man is no reason why the anthropologist 
should fail to take them into account, for his point of view is in 
many respects different from theirs. I would suggest, therefore, that 
all types of men, from the most civilised to the most primitive, in all 
times and in all places, come within the scope of anthropology. 

That anthi-opology is the study of man is a commonplace, but we 
need a more accurate definition. A former occupant of this chair has 
declared that ' Anthropology is the whole history of man as fired by 
the idea of Evolution. Man in evolution — that is the subject in its full 
reach.' He adds: 'Anthropology studies man as he occurs at all 
known times. It studies him as he occurs in all known parts of the 
world. It studies him body and soul together.'* 

Anthropology may, therefore, be defined as the study of the origin 
and evolution of man and his works, provided that we realise that the 
works of men's brains are as important to the anthropologist, even 
more important than the works of men's hands. What, then, separates 
anthropology from the other studies which are concerned with man and 
his many activities is, that the anthropologist studies man from all 
points of view — that his is a synthetic study ; above all, that Evolution 
is his watchword; that his study is, in fact, not static but dynamic. 

If, then, we grant that anthropology is the synthetic study of the 
evolution of man and his manifold activities, we are dealing with a 
subject so vast that some subdivision becomes necessary if we are to 
realise what the study involves. Such divisions or classification must, 
to some extent at least, be arbitrary, but in the first instance we may 
safely consider the subject as primarily divided into two main cate- 
gories : ' man ' and ' his worlis.' 

But man himself, the human organism, cannot be considered from 
one aspect only, and various partitions have been made by theologians 
and philosophers. For his purpose it seems more fitting that the 
anthropologist should consider the division as twofold, that man con- 
sists of body and mind; the study of these is the special province of 
the anatomist and physical anthropologist on the one hand and of the 
psychologist on the other. 

Here, again, it may be asserted that anatomy and psychology are 
distinct sciences, and in no way to be considered as parts of anthro- 
pology, and in a certain sense this is true. But anatomy, in so far as 
it helps us to understand the evolution of man from his simian ancestor, 
and again as it helps us to trace the variations in the human frame, 
and so to follow the movements of different types of men as they 
mingle vv'ith one another in successive ages, is and always has been 
reckoned a definite branch of anthropology. 

Again, in the case of psychology, which has made such immense 
strides during the last few years, there is much which is not, strictly 

* :\rarett, R. R., Anthrojjologij, p. 1. 


speaking, anthropological. On the other haud, in so far as psychology 
enables us to trace the development of the human mind from that of 
the animal, and in so far, too, as it can interpret the causes which 
have led to the various forms of human activity which meet us in 
different times and different places, so far is it a branch of our science. 
If, too, it can help us to ascertain whether certain fundamental mental 
traits, due perhaps to a long-continued environment in the far past, 
are normally associated with certain physical types, psychology will 
provide anthropologists with a means of interpreting many of the 
phenomena which they have noted but cannot fully explain. Much, 
therefore, which is included in the studies of anatomy and psychology 
may justly be included within the scope of anthropological studies. 

The works of man are so numerous and varied that it is by no 
means an easy task to classify them. We may, however, first dis- 
tinguish the work of man's hands, his material culture, from his other 
activities. Under this heading we should include his tools, weapons, 
pottery, and textiles ; his dwellings, tombs, and temples ; his archi- 
tecture and his art. Nor need we confine our attention to their primi- 
tive stages alone, for as anthropologists we are concerned with their 
evolution from the simplest to the most complex. 

Next, we have the problems concerned with language, which we 
may consider as dealing with the means whereby men hold intercourse 
with one another and communicate their wishes and ideas. Tlais head- 
ing might well include gesture at the one end and writing at the other, 
for gesture, language, and writing all subserve the same end. Hitherto 
anthropologists have confined their attention too exclusively to the 
tongues of backward tribes, and left the speech of more advanced peoples 
to the philologists. I would plead, however, that language is such an 
essential element in human culture that comparative philologists might 
well consider themselves as anthropologists, and their studies as an 
important part of our science. 

Lastly, we have social organisation and all that may be included 
under the terms 'customs ' and ' institutions '; a varied gi'oup, leading 
on the one hand to the study of law, and on the other to that of compara- 
tive religion. Here, again, we come in contact with other studies — 
those of the lawyer, political economist, and theologian; but though 
the anthropologist is to some extent studying the same series of facts, 
his range is wider and his outlook more dynamic. 

Thus it will be seen that in the three divisions of men's work, 
as well as in the two aspects of man himself, the anthropologist finds 
other workers in the field. But whereas these other sciences are con- 
cerned only with some part of man and his works, and limited fre- 
quently tO' recent times and civilised comnumities, it is the province 
of the anthropologist to review them as a whole, in all times and in all 
places, and to trace their evolution from the simplest to the most 

If we accept the views of the Historical School, anthropology becomes 
a new method of treating historical material. It is, in fact, the history 
of man and his civilisation, drawn not so much from written docu- 
ments as from actual remains, whether of material objects or of customs 


and beliefs. It is concei'ned with wars only so far as these have pro- 
iluced a change in the population or language of a region. It is interested 
in kings only when tliese fanctio'naries have retained customs indicative 
either of priesthood or divinity. It is interested less in legal enactments 
than in customary institutions, less in official theology than in the 
beliefs of the mass of the people; the acts ol politicians and diplomats 
concern it not sO' much as do tlie everyday habits of the hun"il)ler folk. 

From some points of view anthropology may be considered as a 
department of zoology, but whereas other branches, such as entomology 
or ornithology, deal with classes containing innumerable species, 
anthropology deals with one family only, and that containing but one 
recent species; and, although this species has a number of varieties, 
these are fertile inter sc. Many aspects of his subject, which occupy 
much of the attention of the zoologist, such as taxonomy and phylogeny, 
form but a small part of the anthropologist's inquiry; on the other 
hand, though the zoologist, when dealing with the higher groups, 
studies instinct, the nests and songs of birds, and the organisation of 
bees and ants, such inquiries are slight as compared with the corre- 
sponding problems which face the anthropologist. 

A century ago zoologists were largely engaged in studying the higher 
groups of animals — vertebrates, insects, and the like — and for a time 
neglected the 'radiate rnol).' Then there was a sudden change; all 
interest was focused upon lowly forms, and the protozoa occupied a 
disproportionate part of their attention. Lately, again, their work has 
been more evenly distributed over the whole field, and attention has 
been paid especially to those groups which most affect mankind for 
good or ill. 

This choice of groups for special study was by no means due to 
mere caprice ; there was a sound reason behind it. The more obvious 
forms of life were first studied; then, as microscopes improved, atten- 
tion was focused for a time upon the simpler organisms ; for, from the 
study of these, the zoologist was better able to grasp the underlying 
principles of life. These lessons learnt, he was able with greater 
certainty to attack the problems affecting the welfare of mankind. 

So with the student of man. For many centuries historians, philo- 
sophers, and theologians have been studying the ways of civilised 
humanity, though not always quite by the methods of the modern 
anthropologist. For, just as they were attracted by the higher groups 
of men, so were they also fascinated by the more conspicuous indi- 
viduals in those groups rather than by the general mass. During the 
nineteenth century students were attracted towards the backward types 
of humanity, partly, perhaps, because of their very unlikeness to our- 
selves, and of recent years largely because they felt that the customs 
of these primitive peoples formed most important scientific evidence 
which was fast disappearing. But from a scientific point of view the 
paramount reason was because it was felt that in such simple societies 
we should find the germ from which human civilisation had begun, 
and that we should there discover the ancestral form from which our 
modern culture had developed. 

Much of the force of this last argument is disappearing as the 


Evolutionary School gives place to the Historical. By degrees we are 
becoming aware that the civilisation of backward peoples is more com- 
plex than was at first believed ; that they, too, have had as long a history 
as ourselves, even though it may have been less eventful. We are 
giving up the belief that such people are human fossils, and that they 
have preserved our ancestral types alive to the present day, for we are 
realising that they represent not so much our ancestors as our poor 

On the other hand, though, perhaps, we must abandon the ancestral 
view, and cease to believe that these backward communities represent 
accurately to-day the conditions under which we dwelt in long past 
millennia, the customs and institutions of these folk are in many respects 
less complex than our own, and it is possible to study them from every 
aspect with far gi'eater ease than we could do in the case of one of the 
higher civilisations. Since it is one of the functions of anthropology 
to study man synthetically, this is a great advantage. "When dealing 
with these simpler problems we can evolve a method and a discipline 
to be applied in more complicated cases. Again, the backward peoples 
have, as a rule, no written history, and we are forced in this case to 
restore their past by other means. This has led to the development of 
fresh methods of attacking the problems of the past, which may prove 
of value in the case of more advanced communities, where written 
evidence exists, it is true, but is, to some extent at least, faulty, 
imperfect, or unreliable. 

For these reasons the study of backward peoples still has great 
value for the anthropologist. He has not yet solved all the problems 
concerned with the dawn of civilisation, nor has he yet perfected his 
methods and discipline. Although vast quantities of observations, good, 
bad, and indifferent, by trained workers and dilettante travellers, have 
been placed on record, especially during the last half-century, there is 
much more to be collected from this fast disappearing mass. More 
workers and expert workers are needed in this field, and so it is that 
our universities devote the greater part of their energies to training 
students for this purpose. 

But there are many students, equally interested in the evolution of 
man and his works, who cannot, for one reason or another, visit wild 
lands to study the ways of their inhabitants. Some of these, it is 
true, may sift and arrange the vast mass of material collected by their 
more fortunate colleagues, though they will be at considerable disadvan- 
tage when undertaking this work if they have had no personal experience 
of the lands and the people with which their material is dealing. 

The time seems to have arrived when anthropologists should not 
concentrate so exclusively upon these lowly cultures, but might carry 
on their researches into those civilisations which have advanced further 
in their evolution. Not that I wish to be understood as deprecating 
in any way the study of backward peoples, or as discouraging students 
from researches in that direction. But I would suggest that the time 
has arrived when some anthropologists might initiate a closer inquiry 
into the conditions of more civilised peoples, not in the place of but 
in addition to the studies already described. 


Quite apart from such states of society as are neither wholly primi- 
tive nor entirely advanced, we have in the Old World three great centres 
of culture, each of which has in its turn been in the van of progress, and 
each of which has contributed no little to the advance of the others. 
These are the civilisations of China and the Far East, of the Peninsula 
of Hindustan, and what, for lack of a better term, I must call the 
European Region. 

Though our relations with China and Japan have been intimate, 
and on the whole friendly, for several generations, and many of our 
compatriots are fairly familiar with both countries and their languages,, 
it is surprising how little we know of either of these people from the 
strictly anthropological standpoint. Tliis is the more to be regretted 
since for over half a century Japan has been undergoing a change 
and adopting fresh features from Western civilisation, while there are 
signs that the same movement is beginning to take place in China. 
So far those who have had an opportunity O'f working in these countries, 
and have made themselves familiar with the languages of the Far East, 
have studied the art, literature, philosophy, and religion of these regions, 
rather than those aspects which more properly belong to our subject. 
I have no desire to minimise the value oi such studies, but as part of 
the science of man we need to know more of the physical form and 
mental traits of these people, more, too, of their ordinary material culture 
as it was before it came into contact with and borrowed from the West, 
more of the dialects spoken in their provinces, and particularly more 
abo'ut their social and territorial organisation, and abo'Ut the beliefs and 
superstitions which have survived alongside of their official religion. 
Certain fragments of such information are, it is true, to be found 
among the writings of Westerners who' have lived long in the East, but 
there are so many gaps in onr knowledge that it is not easy to piece 
them together into an intelligible whole. 

What concerns us more nearly in this country is the Indian Eegion. 
Here we have a well-defined province, peopled by successive waves of 
different races, speaking different languages, and with different customs 
and beliefs — an apparently inextricable tangle of diverse elements in 
various stages of cultural evolution. A vast amount of material has 
been gathered in the past, though such collecting has not been pro- 
ceeding so fast during the last generation ; but basic problems are still 
unsolved, and seem at times well-nigh insoluble. Perhaps it is this 
superabundance of material, or it may be the apparent hopelessness of 
the task, which has diminished the interest taken in these studies during 
the past few years. This attitude is regrettable, and the only redeeming 
feature is the extremely active and intelligent interest in these problems 
now taken by various groups of Indian students, especially in the 
University of Calcutta. 

I have suggested that perhaps the lack of interest in such matters 
among Anglo-Indians, and especially among members of the Indian 
Civil Service, may be due to the apparent hopelessness of reaching a 
solution of any of the problems involved. It may also be due to the 
fact that they are sent out from this country to govern a population 
with different cultures and beliefs, and traditions wholly unlike those 


of this continent, without having received in most cases any pre- 
paration which will enable them to study, appreciate, or under- 
stand an alien civilisation. Thus, with the best of intentions, they 
misunderstand those among whom they are sent, and are in turn mis- 
understood. Guiltless of any evil intent, they offend the susceptibilities 
of those among whom their lot is cast, and acts are put down to 
indifference or ill-nature which are only the product of ignorance. 
After making their initial mistakes the more intelligent and well- 
meaning set to work to study the people committed to their charge, 
but faced with problems of extreme intricacy, and without any previous 
training, more often than not they give up the attempt as hopeless. 

That candidates for the Indian Civil Service should receive a full 
training in anthropology before leaving this country has been pleaded 
time after time by this Section and by the Anthropological Institute, 
and though I repeat the plea, which will probably be as useless as its 
predecessors, I would add more. The problems confronting the anthro- 
pologist and the administrator in India are of such extreme complexity 
that it needs a very considerable amount of combined action and research 
even to lay down the method and the lines along which future inquiries 
should be made. Such a school of thought, such a nucleus around 
which further reseai-ch may be grouped, does not yet exist; the mate- 
rials out of which it can be formed can scarcely yet be found. And 
yet until such a nucleus has been created, and has gathered around it 
a devoted band of researchers, no true understanding will be found of 
the problems which daily confront both peoples, and the East and the 
West will remain apart, subject to mutual recriminations, the natural 
outcome of mutual misunderstanding. 

One solution only do I see to this dilemma. For many years past 
there have been institutions at Athens and Eome where carefully chosen 
students, with the best of qualifications, have spent several years 
studying the ancient and modern conditions of those cities and their 
people. By this means a small but well-selected group of Englishmen 
have returned to this country well-informed, not only as to the ancient 
but the modern conditions of Greece and Italy. Besides this we 
have had in each of the capitals of those two States an institution, 
subserving no political or diplomatic ends, which has acted as a centre 
or focus of research into the civilisation of those countries. Although 
the main objects in both cases have been the true understanding of the 
cultures of the distant past, the constant intercourse of students of 
both nationalities working for a common end has resulted in a better 
understanding on the part of each of the aims and ideals of the other. 
I have no hesitation in saying that the existence of the British Schools 
at Athens and Rome has been of enormous value in bringing about 
and preserving friendly relations between the people of this country 
and those of Greece and Italy. 

I cannot help feeling that a similar institution in India, served by a 
sympathetic and well-trained staff, to which carefully selected university 
men might go for a few years of post-graduate study, would go far 
towards removing many of the misunderstandings which are causing 
friction betAveen tlie Bintish and Indian peoples. Such a- British School 


in India, if it is to be a success, should not be a Government institu- 
tion, but should be founded and endowed by private benefactors of both 
nationalities. It would be a centre around which would gather all 
anthropological work in the peninsula, while it would enable the British 
students to arrive at a truer understanding of Indian ideals and help 
[lulians to grasp more fully the relations subsisting between Indian 
and European civilisations. 

Lastly, we come to that great area which I have termed the Euro- 
pean Region, extending southward from our continent to the southern 
confines of the Sahara, and eastwards to Mesopotamia and beyond. 
Throughout all this vast region the racial basis of the population is 
similar, though the proportion of the elements varies. Also throughout 
the region there has been, from the earliest days of which we have 
evidence, free communication and no great barriers to trade and 


Until the last fifteen hundred years the civilisation of this area 
was fairly uniform, though its highest and earliest developments were 
in the south-east, while the northern zones lagged behind and were 
on the outer fringe. Still, with the possible exception of North Russia, 
it formed from palaeolithic times one cultural region, and this became 
more marked and homogeneous during the flourishing days of the 
Roman Empire. Two forces from without, coming from the outer 
fringe of this region, destroyed that mighty empire and divided the 
region into two halves ; and as each of these forces adopted different 
religious views, the European cultural region became divided into two. 
For many centuries these sections were at war with one another, and 
their boundary oscillated; the East pushed westward until 1500 a.d., 
and since then has been in retreat. We have, therefore, during recent 
centuries to treat the European cultural region as two, the civilisations 
of Islam and Christendom. 

Though the separation of these two halves is relatively recent, their 
ideals have grown more and more divergent, while the inhabitants of 
both zones, though no longer in constant warfare, are no nearer to a 
true understandiTig of one another. Political difficulties in the Near 
East, which show no signs of diminishing but seem rather to be on the 
increase, are the natural result of such misunderstandings, and the 
remedy here, as elsewhere, is to achieve a truer appreciation of other 
points of view, due to a divergence in the evolution of civilisation, due 
in its turn to a different environment. A more thorough knowledge 
of the anthropological factors of the case seems to be a necessary pre- 
liminary to such mutual understanding, and since the League of Nations 
and the Versailles Treaty "have seen fit to add to our responsibilities in 
this area, it is an urgent necessity that some of our anthropologists 
should pay a closer attention to the problems of the Near East. 

And now with regard to Christendom. Are we to consider that our 
duties as anthropologists end with alien cultures? Is Christendom so 
united that misunderstandings cannot arise within its borders ? At the 
close of a great war, which divided this area into two hostile camps, we 
can hardly claim that there is no room for our studies. 

As we have seen, there has been a tendency hitherto to regard 

1922 V 


anthropology as a science dealing with primitive and backward peoples, 
and it has sometimes been felt that to apply its principles to neigh- 
bom'ing peoples, enjoying as high a civilisation as our own, might be 
looked upon as an insult, implying that their culture was sufficiently 
primitive to warrant their inclusion in our inquiries. But if we agree 
that all mankind, savage and civilised alike, are fit material for the 
anthropologist's investigations, we need have no hesitation in studying, 
not only the bodily and mental equipment of our neighbours, but their 
material culture, social organisation, and religious beliefs, just as 
already, for practical purposes, we study their languages. 

To some extent this has been done by travellers, who describe 
strange customs and ceremonies which take place in out-of-the-way 
places. These are usually, however, selected because they are quaint 
or rare, rather than for the scientific value which they possess, and 
being recorded too often by untrained observers many details of the 
utmost scientific importance are frequently omitted. In spite of the 
comparative uniformity in customs and beliefs among the educated 
classes throughout Christendom, a uniformity which is perhaps more 
apparent than real, as soon as we get to the peasant or workman the 
differences become more apparent. There is not a country in Europe, 
nor even a province, in which we may not find features of an anthro- 
pological nature which separates its population, in some respects at 
least, from the inhabitants of other areas. It is these differences, 
unimportant as they may appear, which come to the front when trouble 
is brewing, and these are the factors which, above all others, we need 
to understand if we are to avoid treading on corns in moments of national 

It does not fall to the lot of many to spend part of their lives 
among backward peoples, and only a small section of our compatriot? 
dwell amid the civilisations of the East. Many people, however, have 
constant opportunities of travel throughout Christendom, and not a few 
visit from time to time some of the lands in the Islamic zone. Here 
they can, to some extent at least, obtain first-hand data of an anthro- 
pological nature, and make themselves familiar with some aspects of 
the life of the place. With minds trained to observe accurately and 
to understand what they see, even a few weeks' holiday in a foreign 
land will enable them to appreciate better the ideals of their hosts. 
Constant travel by people alive to the importance of such inquiries will 
in time so influence the public opinion of many of the nations of Europe 
that misunderstandings will be less frequent and national sensitiveness 
less prone to take offence at words and actions which are not intended 
to provoke. 

But it is not only foreign countries and their inhabitants which the 
anthropologist needs to study. In every country, especially in lands 
which have been subject to successive invasions, there are different 
strata in the population which have different customs and a different 
outlook. The British Isles are no exception to this rule ; history records 
the successive arrivals of Eomans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, and 
the study of prehistoric i-emains shows us that these invasions have 
been preceded by a gi'eater number in earlier days. Just as the physical 


type of the Briton is far from uniform, so is his mental outlook and 
his ideals and beliefs. Quite apart from tlie differences observable in 
the different countries which compose our group of islands, and the 
different provinces into which they have been or may be divided, we 
find also, in any given area, that the population insensibly divides 
itself into groups or classes, differing but slightly except in name and 
the absence of rigidity from what we know in India as castes. These 
classes in the British Isles have had their origin not so much in economic 
conditions as in the successive waves of conquest which these islands 
have suffered. Individuals, it is true, have freely passed from one 
class to another during the nine centuries which have elapsed since the 
last conquest, but though the individuals have changed the classes 
have remained. Owing to the constant interchange in blood the physical 
characters of the different classes are much alike, as are their funda- 
mental mental traits, but in material culture, language, social organisa- 
tion, and to some extent religious beliefs, they differ widely. 

Here then again, in our own country, there is work for the anthro- 
pologist. Here are various groups, how many it is at present difficult 
to say, not clearly distinguished from one another by a sharp dividing 
line, and intermixed in the same areas, yet groups wdiich are to the 
anthropologist separate units which require distinct study. Even 
among the richer and better educated sections of the community, who 
have mingled together in social intercourse for several generations and 
whose families are allied by marriage, we may find differences of out- 
look, according to the type of tradition handed down in the family. 
The outlook and ideals of landed or territorial families differ from those 
of the mercantile class, nay even the merchants and manufacturers 
have in many ways distinct traditions which are handed down from 
one generation to another. So that even in such a group as we find 
assembled at the meeting of the British Association, who have come 
together with one end in view, the advancement of science, we shall 
find, were we to analyse the feelings and opinions of the different 
individuals, that owing to differing traditions, handed down through 
many generations, their views on social and religious questions are 
fundamentally unlike ; that they belong, in fact, to many distinct 
anthropological groups. There is work, then, for the anthropologist 
who never leaves these shores. 

Turning now to the aims of anthropology and to the means whereby 
it may become utile to the State and to mankind in general, we see 
that it is of the utmost importance that those who are sent to govern 
or administer areas and districts mainly occupied by backward peoples 
should have received sufficient training in the science to enable them, 
in the shortest possible space of time and consequently with the fewest 
possible initial mistakes, to govern a people whose customs, traditions, 
and beliefs are very different from their own, without offending the 
susceptibilities of their subjects. 

We are an Imperial people, and during the last few centuries we 
have taken upon ourselves a lion's share of the white man's self- 
imposed burden, and the lives and well-being of millions of our back- 
waa-d brethren have been entrusted to our charge. Recent events have, 


by means of Mandates, added largely to our responsibilities in this 
respect. We, of all nations, cannot disregard this fundamental duty 
of dispatching our pro-consuls fitted to undertake on our behalf these 
great responsibilities. 

But the burden we have undertaken extends not only to backward 
peoples; we have been called upon, in one form or another, to govern 
or to advise the Governments of peoples who have, or have had in the 
past, a civilisation little, if at all, inferior to our own, and to whom at 
one time we have been indebted, directly or indirectly, for much of the 
culture that we now enjoy. The civilisations of these regions are 
infinitely more complex, and, as is always the case in civilised areas, 
the people are not homogeneous, but are divided into numerous sections, 
differing in language, religion, and social customs. In these i^egions 
we meet with anthropological problems of infinite difficulty and com- 
plexity, on the solution of which depends the peace and well-being of 
the population. And yet our representatives go to take up their duties 
in these lands with little or no previous training, and it is only a marvel 
that errors of tact, due to ignorance, are not more common. 

In these civilised regions race consciousness has been growing fast 
during the last half -century, and errors of tact and manners, which 
were submitted to in former times, though not with a good grace, are 
now actively resented, and the old methods of government are dis- 
credited. It may not yet be too late to remedy this evil, if no time is 
lost in giving a full anthropological training to those who are sent to 
administer these regions. 

But we are not only an Imperial people, governing and administer- 
ing these regions with alien populations ; we are also a wandering and 
adventurous people. The nomadic spirit of our ancestors is still alive 
within us; our ships, like those of the Vikings of old, are to be seen 
in every sea. So it comes that our people, whether travelling for 
pleasure or for purposes of trade, or serving in the Army or Navy, 
will be found in all lands and all climates from the Arctic circle to the 

All these wandering Britons come in contact with the inhabitants 
of the lands they visit, creating various impressions, sometimes good, 
more often bad. Had they a fuller knowledge of the customs and 
opinions of the people they visit, or even a truer appreciation of the 
fact that diverse customs and opinions exist and should be respected, 
we should not have to record the creation of so many bad impressions. 
Luckily our people, as a rule, have much common sense, and often a 
desire to please, so this trouble is thus to some extent mitigated; but 
the difficulties that have arisen and are constantly arising from ignor- 
ance of the ways of others, from too insular an outlook, in fact, from a 
lack of appreciation of the anthropological standpoint, are making us 
and our eovcrnment heartily disliked in nearly every quarter ol the 
globe. It is to remedy these difficulties, and the danger to the peace of 
the world which is threatened thereby, that T would advocate an 
increased study of anthropology by all sections of the community. 
Herein lies one of the chief means by which our science may become 
utile to mankind. 


It is not my busiiu'ss to draft a scheme foi' the I'Lirlherance ^>i. 
anthropological studies. Two of our universities offer degrees in this 
subject, ami others a. diploma; courses of instruction on some sectio'US 
of the subject are given there and elsewhere. Many teachers of 
geography are introducing much anthropological matter into their 
curricula, and there are signs that some historical teachers may follow 
suit, so that the subject-matter, if not the name, is not unknown in 
some of our schools. But we have much lost time to make up and 
the matter is urgent. 

We cannot, of course, expect all our people to be trained anthro- 
pologists and to understand fully all the ways of the people they may 
chance to meet in their wanderings. What matters far more is that 
they should appreciate the fact that different peoples have had different 
pasts and so act differently in response to the same stimuli. Further, 
that all this diversity has its value ; that we cannot be sure that one 
culture is in all respects superior to another, still less that ours is the 
best and the only one which is of consequence. It is not so much the 
facts that matter as the spirit of anthropology ; we need not so much 
that our people should have anthropological knowledge as that they 
should learn to think anthropologically. 

It is needless for me to remind you that the world is in a state of 
very unstable equilibrium — that the crust is, so tO' speak, cracked in 
many places, and that the fissures are becoming wider and deeper, and 
that fresh fissures are constantly appearing, not only in distant lands 
but nearer home. Again, this crust, if I may continue the geological 
metaphor, is stratified, and there are horizontal as well as vertical 
cleavages, which are daily becoming more marked. It is to the interest 
of humanity that these breaches should be healed and the cracks 
stopped, or we may find the civilisation of the world, which has grown 
up through long millennia at the cost of enormous struggles, break up 
into a thousand fragments. Such a break in the culture of the Euro- 
pean Eegion followed the dissolution of the Eoman Empire, and more 
than a thousand years were needed to heal it; nay, some of the cracks 
then made have never yet been closed. 

Anything that may help to avert such a disaster is important to 
the human race, and there is no greater danger at present than the 
alienation of the peoples of Asia and the Near East. Much of the ill- 
feeling engendered in India, Egypt, and elsewhere is the product of 
misunderstandings, due to a lack of appreciation on both sides of the 
opinions and views of the other party, and there seems to be no better 
method of removing such misunderstandings than a sympathetic study 
of one another's culture, and to this end anthropology offers the most 
hopeful approach. 



Professor E. P. CATHCAET, M.D., D.Sc, P.E.S., 


The subject of my address — the efficiency of the human organism and 
the factors which influence this efficiency — is, in my opinion, one of 
the most important problems of the present day. It is a problem which 
cannot, however, be considered only from its physiological aspect if it 
is to receive adequate consideration; its imijlications are much wider, 
reaching right down to the very basis of our daily lives. As I am no 
expert in industry or economics, I shall confine my attention as far as 
possible to the problem from the physiological side, and leave to others 
the sociological application. 

The term ' efficiency ' has become a mere catchword, bandied about 
by people who have not the faintest idea of what the word connotes. 
Practically it has come to mean, to the average man in the street, the 
mythical improvement which is to be anticipated from some change 
in workshop or office organisation — a bigger and better result at a 
smaller cost- The word has a very definite meaning in engineering 
science, and this meaning has been transferred from the inanimate 
machine to the living organism. In the case of the engine the problem 
is relatively simple, as the number of interfering factors is not great, 
but the solution of the problem in the case of the organism is beset 
with many difficulties, as the interfering factors are numerous and 
varied. Two types of efficiency are spoken of in connection with the 
animal body. One type is the mechanical efficiency in the engineering 
sense, i.e. the ratio which exists between the heat equivalent of the 
external muscle work done and the energy output of the subject during 
the performance of the work in question. This is a problem which 
has attracted many workers, and there seems to be a general consensus 
of opinion that the efficiency of man in the performance of external 
work is about 20 per cent, gross and 25 per cent. net. (Gross efficiency 
is obtained by dividing the actual heat equivalent of the external 
work done by the total output of energy of the man during the time 
occupied in the performance of the external work, and net efficiency is 
obtained by dividing the heat equivalent of the external muscle work 
done by the actual increase in the energy output of the subject over 
the basal energy output during the performance of the work in 
question.) As A. V. Hill has pointed out, this striking unanimity is in 


all probability due to the fact that the maximum value of efficiency 
i-emains more or less constant over a fairly wide variation in the mode 
of the performance of the work. The work referred to here is wholly 
concerned with muscle activity. The other type of efficiency is that 
which is called industrial or productive efficiency, where the capacity 
of the individual to perform effective work is dealt with, judging the 
capacity of the individual by, for example, his output in unit time. 
So far as the worker himself is concerned, the whole object in industrial 
efficiency is undoubtedly to get the greatest output with the minimum 
of effort. The determination of the mechanical efficiency is fairly 
readily canied out, but it is very difficult to get an accurate gauge of 
the industrial efficiency. At bottom they are closely related, a.nd both 
are physiological problems. 

The leaders of industry have not been slow to accept and utilise the 
gains of science in the realm of inanimate things, but they have been 
slow to recognise the fact that there is a science of physiology which 
deals with the man who controls the productive machinery. New 
inventions may completely revolutionise shop equipment, good machines 
may be replaced by better, and better by still better, but man remains 
almost as immutable as the ages. Physiological evolution is infinitely 
slow. As Lee puts it, ' Try as we will we cannot get away from the 
fact that so long as machines need men, physiological laws must be 
reckoned with as a factor in industrialism.' Butler in ' Erewhon ' satir- 
ised in his inimitable way this very problem of the industrial world as 
follows : ' So that even now the machines will only serve on condition 
of being served, and that upon their own terms ; the moment their terms 
are not complied with they jib, and either smash both themselves and 
all whom they can reach, or turn churlish and refuse to work at all. 
How many men at this hour are living in a state of bondage to the 
machines? How many spend their whole lives, from the cradle to the 
grave, in tending them night and day ? Is it not plain that the machines 
are gaining ground upon us, when we reflect on the increasing number 
of those who are bound down to them as slaves and of those who devote 
their whole souls to the advancement of the mechanical kingdom ? . . . 
May not man himself become a sort of parasite upon the machines? 
An affectionate machine-tickling aphid? 

It is a clever picture, and if one looks back on the rise of indus- 
trialism it is not so very far-fetched. It is but a little more than a 
hundred years since this country was industrialised, and we are still 
reaping the aftermath of the terrible conditions which then reigned, 
when the great centres of industry were swamped with country dwellers 
who poured into the towns in the race for wealth. Few realise the hope- 
lessly unphysiological conditions which developed in the methods of 
work, the hours and conditions of work, the housing. Many talk now 
of the hardship of the eight hours' day under conditions which are 
relatively civilised, where the place of labour and the methods and 
machinery used are supervised by skilled and honest Home Office in- 
spectors, where child labour is firmly controlled, and where practically 
all abuses are checked. The following citation from Robert Owen, 
that shrewd, gullible, high-minded, wrong-headed, illustrious and 


prt'liostei-oiis father of Socialism and Co-opei'atioii, " as Lytton Strachey 
calls him, gives a good idea of the conditions I'uling in the early years 
of last century in one oi our staple industries. ' In the manufacturing 
districts it is common for parents to send their children of both sexes 
at seven or eight years of age, in winter as well as summer, at six 
o'clock in the morning, sometimes, of course, in the dark, and occa- 
sionally amidst frost and snow, to ent-er the manufactories which are 
often heated to a high temjoerature, and contain an atmosphere far 
from being the most favourable to human life, and in which all those 
employed in them very frequently continue until twelve o'clock at noon, 
when an hour is allowed for dinner, after which they return to remain, 
in a majority of cases, till eight o'clock at night.' Six till eight, with 
a break of one hour : a fourteen hours day, and fifteen was not mi- 
known. Owen, in the article from which I have quoted, was petition- 
ing Parliament, asking wliat? That a twelve hours day be instituted, 
to include one and a-half hours for meals, and that no child should be 
employed until the age of ten was reached. He pointed out in the 
course of the article that the results from the manufacturers' point of 
view would be better with a twelve hours day (i.e that the industrial 
efficiency, in modern words, would be improved). 

Yet we wonder that the offspring of stock descended from workers 
under these conditions, which certainly improved as the century ad- 
vanced but were far from ideal, gave the high yield of C3 lads recorded 
in the National Service Eeport. We might have been prepared for the 
disclosure, as the pre-war records of countries with Conscription showed 
that the number of rejections for the Army of town and factory workers 
was far in excess of those for men drawn from country districts. But 
evidence of the state of the national physique is not confined to these war 
figures. Sir George JNewman, in his valuable and interesting Eeport on 
Preventive Medicine, has drawn attention to the enormous amount of 
time which is annually lost through sickness. The minimum average 
amounted to 14,295,724 weeks (or a period of upwards of 270,000 years) 
of sickness per annum, and this figure did not include absence from 
work due to maternity benefit, sanatorium treatment, or absence for 
less than four days per patient. This is the evidence of the National 
Health Insurance. 

The design of the organism which has to stand the strain is not 
at fault. It is an organism which, in the language of the 
engineer, is abundantly supplied with factors of safety, and 
has an over-all high factor of safety. The body is not designed merely 
to perform the minimum amount of work or to stand the minimum 
strain ; there is always a reserve. We have a circulatory 
system which is beautifully balanced to meet a strain, a system of 
vessels whose calibre can be increased or diminished so that the blood 
may be mobilised at the tissues or organs which require it, and a heart 
which has the capacity, provided it is normal and healthy, of responding 
to work, whose rate may be trebled in a few seconds when oxygen 
must be obtained and carbon dioxide got rid of. Not only can the 
amount of blood which is passed through the lungs during hard work 
be increased some five times, but the amount of oxygen taken in may 



rise ten times. 'J'hus llio subject studied by Benedict and myself liad 
a normal consumpt of about 20U c.c. oxygen per minute, and in one 
experiment he kept up an intake of nearly 2,0LK) c.c. per minute for 
four hours and twenty-two minut-es on end. Quite often the same 
subject used 2,700 c.c. to 3,000 c.c. for ten minutes at a time. Again, 
at rest less than a third of the oxygen present in the blood is required, 
and even in the very hardest work the arterial blood is not depleted of 
its oxygen ; it probably still contains more than a fourth. Curiously 
enough, the actual effectors, the muscles, do not of themselves seem 
to have a very high factor of safety. The structures, bones, and carti- 
lage, tO' which they are attached, and which limit their action, and 
the amount of strain to which they can be exposed or subjected, have 
a very high factor of safety. A further protective mechanism for 
muscle is the perfect co-ordination between the groups of muscles, the 
elucidation of which problem we owe largely to our President, Sir 
Charles S. Sherrington. "We have another reserve of first-class im- 
portance — viz., that when the strain on one group of muscles is be- 
coming too severe, more and more groups of muscles are brought 
into action to help in meeting the strain, until in the end, if need be, 
practically the total musculature of the body is involved. And behind 
all this there are final factors of safety such as fatigue, which is a 
protective warning; and finally, if the latter be not heeded, collapse. 
This perfect co-ordination of the different parts of the organism is 
required, because the human being is capable of intense muscular exer- 
tion for short periods. The intensity of the work is as a general rule 
inversely proportional to the length of time during which it must be 
carried out. The following table (Table I.) gives some idea of what is 
probably about the maximum effective muscular work per minute 
(modified from Blix) : — 

Table I. 

Duration of 

Effective Muscular Work 1 

Nature of Work 


per ] 



Calories . 

Mountain climbing, moderate 

Many hours 



Mountain climbing, severe 

1 to 2 hours 



Mountain climbing, very severe 

3-75 minutes 



Treadmill .... 

30 seconds 



Running upstairs, 10 Kg. load . 

15 seconds 



Running upstairs, no load 

30 seconds 



Running upstairs, no load 

4 seconds 



If, in the human organism, we were merely concerned with the co- 
ordinated action of a series of effectors, with the capacity of a certain 
group of muscles to perform a given amount of work, the solution 
of the problem would be relatively simple But we are dealing with 
a living organism capable not only of doing work but oi repairing tfie 
worn-out parts as and when required. Further, we are dealing with 
an organism which varies not only in its capacity to perform work, 
but in its ' will to work. ' We are dealing with a subtle organism which 


has a whole series of protective mechanisms at its command, an 
organism wliich can be fatigued and rendered useless, as a working 
unit, by an amount of work on a particular day which on another day 
it can perform with the utmost ease and without apparent fatigue. 
We are dealing with an organism which can and does perfonn real 
hard muscular work with vigour and joy, and yet, if the nature of the 
employment or the environment be distasteful, can be reduced to 
impotence by work capable of being done by a child. 

Again, the efficiency of a man is not merely dependent on the 
amount of work which can be performed by his muscles; the circulatory, 
respiratory, and nervous systems are of equal importance, and all are 
intimately related. The muscles must receive an abundant supply of 
blood, not merely to bring nutriment but to remove waste ; there must 
be an efficient exchange of gases in the lungs, the rate of the respiratory 
and cardiac movements must be adapted to the work in hand through 
the co-ordinating agency of the central nervous system. Not only so, 
but, if the man is to work with the minimum of waste energy, there 
must be proper co-ordination between the various gi-oups of muscles. 
A man does not walk, for instance, by the aid of his leg muscles alone, 
his lumbar muscles are equally important. Further, it is not a mere 
question of autonomic reflex adjustment, important though this may 
be, for much of the work done the attention must also be invoked. 
Yet, in spite of the many and varied stresses and strains to which the 
organism is subjected in the course of life, as the result of the many 
factors of safety, unless the overloading is excessive, too frequent or 
too long continued, the organism, so long as it remains physiological, 
is practically unaffected by ordinary hard work. 

If we turn now to the consideration of the factors which influence 
the efiiciency, both in the mechanical and the industrial sense, we find 
that the main controlling factor is undoubtedly the condition known as 
fatigue. Fatigue is a word just as frequently used as efficiency, and 
yet it is almost impossible to give an accurate definition of the term. 
Generally speaking, it is to be regarded as the antithesis O'f efficiency. 
As Vernon put it, ' By so much as fatigue is avoided or eliminated in 
industrial operations the efficiency of the worker is increased. ' 
Fatigue may be summarised as a diminished capacity for doing work. 
The question of the site at which fatigue is first manifested, whether 
it is a central oi' a peripheral phenomenon, whether it is a specific con- 
dition, or whether, as Crile maintains, there is no ultimate difference 
between the bloodless intangible causes of fatigue and exhaustion and 
the bloody tangible causes of ' shock, ' lies without the scope of this 
address. One of the great difficulties in the solution of the question is 
that no one has as yet devised a method which permits of a quantitative 
determination of the degi'ee of fatigue. Indeed, some workers, Muscio 
for example, have definitely stated that such a test is an impossibility. 

The study of the metabolism has given little or no clue so far. 
Benedict and I carried out a certain amount of experimental work on 
this phase of the question. Our results show that the subject may be 
on the very verge of absolute collapse, and yet, so far as the metabolic 
determination goes, there is no very marked evidence of diminished 



efficiency in a mechanical sense. In an experiment with M.A.M., who, 
in the postabsorptive state, rode on a bicycle ergometer for nearly four 
and a-half hours until on the verge of collapse, doing 208,000 kilo- 
grammetres of external work during the time, the metabolism was 
deteiTTiined six times during the riding period with the following 
result: — 

Table IT. 



Oxygen Consump- 
tion per min. in c.c. 

Bate of Work. 
Revs, per min. 

Net Efficiency in 
per cent. 

8.30 A.M. (start) 

9.00 „ . . . 


10.30 „ . . . 


12.00 noon . 
12-45 F.M. 




It will be noted, as might be expected, that there is some slowing 
of the rate at which the work is done, but the diminution in the net 
efficiency, in spite of the fact that the subject admitted he was com- 
pletely done at the conclusion of the last determination, is not striking. 

In other experiments where the type of muscle activity used v/as 
marcliing, little apparent effect on the metabolic cost was noted until 
extraneous muscle activity was introduced in the form of staggering 
as the result of exhaustion. 

Obviously, then, the capacity to can-y on is limited by the genesis 
of fatigue. But it is equally obvious in practice that a man may b© 
engaged in strenuous labour for many hours without acute signs of 
impending exhaustion. How is this condition attained? There are 
at least four factors which, to my mind, play predominant roles in the 
attainment of maximum efficiency — viz., the rate of the performance 
of work, the amount of rest offered or taken by the subject, the rhythm 
with which the work is performed, and the work habits developed by 
the worker. Although I shall attempt to' examine each of these factors 
separately, it is not to be inferred that they can really be considered 
as independent phenomena. As a matter of fact, they are all intimately 
related, and usually merge into one another. 

Of these four factors probably most attention has been devoted 
to the rate or speed at which work is carried out. The glorification of 
that much misused half-truth, ' Time is money,' is responsible for much 
false physiology. Farmer, in a recent report to the Industrial Fatigue 
Board, laid, I think, the correct stress on the relation of speed to 
general industrial efficiency when he wrote : ' No movement can be com- 
pared with another and said to be better than it merely on account 
of its speed; it should only be compared in respect to ease and final 
result.' This is a good answer to those w-ho believe that maximum 
efficiency can be best obtained by mere speeding up. Goldmark also 
stresses this aspect of the question. She writes: 'Now just in pro- 
portion as fliis function of speed is developed, subject to the capacities 



of the human agent instead of as a driver of these capacities, it counts 
as a gain. Just so soon as the function of speed is dissociated from 
its effects on the worker we revert to the old system of pace-making 
and speeding. ' 

These are the observations of field workers. Can they be substan- 
tiated by experimental work in the laboratory? Benedict and I found, 
for example, working with a carefully calibrated bicycle ergometer, tliat 
there was a very close connection between the speed at which work 
was done and the mechanical efficiency. There was a very definite 
falling off with increased speed, as the following table shows. Unfortu- 
nately it was impossible to get our subject to pedal slower than 70 revo- 
lutions per minute. 



Revolutions per miii. 

Gross Efficiency 

Revolutions per min. 

Gross Efficiency 








We found further that if the amount of effective muscular work 
done was kept constant, the efficiency fell with an increase of 
speed. Thus with effective work equivalent to 1.95 calories performed 
at the rate of 90 and 124 revolutions per minute respectively with the 
lower speed, the net efficiency was 22.6 per cent., whereas with the 
higher speed it fell to 15.7 per cent. Or again, with effective work 
of 1.58 calories at 71 and 108 revolutions per minute the efficiency was 
24.5 per cent, and 15.6 per cent, respectively; and finally, with effective 
work of 1.35 calories at speeds of 71, 94, and 105, the efficiencies were 
23.1, 20.4, and 17.0 per cent. 

A. V. Hill has also' recently dealt with this problem in a most 
interesting piece of work, where the activity was strictly confined to 
the biceps and the brachialis anticus. He demonstrated very clearly 
that, in spite of the fact that the slower the contraction the greater was 
the amount of work done, all the advantage thus gained was rapidly 
neutralised and dissipated as the result of the slow contraction neces- 
sarily causing an increased degradation of energy in the way of physio- 
logical changes resulting from the maintenance of contraction. It thus 
followed that a slow contraction, powerful though it might be, was 
not necessarily one of high efficiency. The actual efficiency, i.e. the 
ratio of the external work done to the energy degraded in carrying it 
out, was found to pass through a definite maximum value as the duration 
of the contraction increased. The maximum efficiency in his series of 
experiments was 26 per cent. He found that it was very rapidly 
attained, the optimum for the muscles investigated being apparently just 
under one second, but the fall which followed, as the duration of the 
contraction increased, was a comparatively slow one. On account, 
therefore, of the blunt nature of the curve the efficiency remained more 
or less constant over a wide range of speeds. 


Tlie load has obviously a direct connection with the speed at which 
work is done, but it has also a relation to efficiency. Benedict and I 
found, for instance, that both the gross and net efficiencies within the 
limits of our experiments increased with the load. The probable 
explanation of this result is that when light work is can'ied out, mainten- 
ance or physiological requirements which have to be covered form a 
large proportion of the total energy output, a balance which is steadily 
altei-ed as the amount of external effective work done increases. Inci- 
dentally, Hill drew attention to a most important factor in the con- 
sideration of the efficiency of muscle, viz., the relation between the 
maximal and the submaximal effort. Hill suggested that the less power- 
ful effort was the result of the maximal contraction of only a poi'tion 
of the muscle fibres, and that the fibres not directly involved in the 
contraction changed passively, i.e. they were made to confoi-m to the 
shape of their active neiglibours. This, of course, will automatically 
lead to a considerable waste of energy in changing the form of the 
muscle as a whole, therefore the submaximal effort will be less efficient 
than a. maximal effort of the same duration in time, and further ' the 
highest efficiency of a submaximal effort is obtained in a slower cor 
traction than that of a maximal effort.' 

On the other hand, when the loads become excessive there is a 
definite falling off, both in gross and net efficiencies. Laulanie, who 
also investigated this question, found that at voluntarily selected speeds, 
with steadily increasing load, the external work done rose with decreas- 
ing speed until the load became excessive. He maintained that there 
were two optima, (a) an economic optimum at 4 kilo, load with high 
efficiency and a low oxygen consumption per kilogrammetre, and (b) a 
mechanical optimum between 8 and 12 kilo, load when the output in 
unit time was highest. The following table from Laulanie makes his 
point clear: — 

Table IV. 

Resistance in kilos. .1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 15 

Speed adopted, metres per 
sec 1-49 1-07 0-80 0-61 0-54 0-44 0-37 0-29 0-24 0-13 

Work done, kilogram- 
metres per 5 min. . 448 642 726 778 812 853 896 905 906 570 

Oxygen intake in c.e. per 
kgm 3-5 2-44 217 2-14 2-23 2-25 2-43 2-53 312 5-31 

Efficiency per cent. . 14-1 20-4 22-9 23'3 22-3 22-1 20-4 19-7 17-0 9-4 

It will be noted that when the load becomes excessive the efficiency 
rapidly falls away. This means that, althongh- the effort may be con- 
tinued as strenuously as before, and although the physiological cost 
of the effort remains at a very high level, the amount of external work 
done is reduced to a very low figure. The static element in the muscular 
effort has become dominant, and static expenditure is parasitic on 
dynamic work. The more static the work becomes the greater is the 
fall in the efficiency. Personally I am of tbe opinion that the severity 
or hardness of muscular work, qva the organism as a whole, is a func- 
tion of the static component of the effort made. Fatigue, i.e. inability 
to cany on, is more readily induced by static work than by either 



positive or negative work. The following figures from experiments 
which I have carried out with Miss Bedale and G. McCallum show 
clearly this diminution in efficiency as the static element in the work 
is increased : — 

Table V. 

Pulls per min. 

Kgm. per min. 

Cost in grm. cals. per 
kgm. p. sq. m. 

Net Efficiency per 













Another series of experiments carried out with Burnett in another 
fashion led to the same conclusion. 

Very closely allied with the rate of working is the rhythm with 
which the work is performed. Although they are not identical pheno- 
mena, they are so closely related that the habit of work may be con- 
sidered along with rhythm. Sir Charles Shen-ington and Graham 
Brown have both shown very definitely, in connection with their work 
on reciprocal innervation, that a rhythmic phenomenon may be evoked 
in muscle by the appropriate balance of antagonistic stimuli. Graham 
Brown holds that this rhythmic action is one of the most fundamental 
properties of the nervous system. Everyone is well aware that once 
a rhythm, or the proper co-ordination in the play of a set of muscles 
in the performance of some definite act, is mastered, not only is the 
energy expenditure reduced by the exclusion of numerous extraneous 
muscular activities, but there is an actual enhancement of the ease with 
which we perform the specified act. Willingly or unwillingly, those 
who have to do much repetitive work, be it playing golf, a musical 
instrument, or working a machine, soon appreciate the fact, when they 
think about it at all, that their best and easiest results are obtained 
under certain very definite conditions. To take a single example, the 
work of forward progression or walking is performed most easily 
when we adopt our own gait. It is not a mere question of rate. In 
a series of experiments which I carried out with IBurnett, the subject, 
working on a specially geared ergometer, was allowed tO' select his own 
rate of working, the load being varied from nothing to 4 kilos. At 
each change of load the subject was directed either to work rapidly 
or very slowly, and after a period of such work was told to adopt the 
rate he liked best. As the following table (Table VI.) shows, the 
rhythm of work was practically identical for all loads. This occurred 
under all conditions, provided the working spells were not of too lorlg 
duration. If the work were continued over a long period the rhythm 
tended to alter, to increase in speed, and if the subject became really 
tired, periods of rapid movement alternated with periods of slow 



Table VI. 


ill kilos. 

Bate of Work per miu. voluntarily selected 

Exp. I. 

Exp. n. 

Exp. III. 

Exp. IV. (Immediately 




— after 1 hour's 





71 work at rate 





— of45permin.) 











The figures given are the averages of three or more observations made 
at eacli load. None of the observations were made in the order in 
which they are recorded ; hght and heavy loads were alternated. 

This rhythm of work is simply a general example of the formation 
of a conditioned reflex. The rhythm adopted, although it may suit the 
worker, is not of necessity the series of muscle movements which lead 
to the least expenditure of energy. Most probably the rhythm selected 
is only in small part due to the worker's physical configuration; in 
greater part it is evolved in imitation of some more experienced or older 
worker. The average workman is not so much concerned with the 
diminution of the physiological cost in the performance of a given 
act as in the reduction of conscious effort. As Vernon states, ' Ex- 
perienced industrial workers unconsciously adopt habits of work which 
tend to the production of a maximum output with the minimum of 

This capacity of the organism to build up a series of conditioned 
reflexes is one of the potent factors in the prevention of fatigue. The 
organism is able not only to l)uild up reflexes in response to the tactile 
impressions of the material which he handles, of the tools, their shape, 
weight, &c., with which he works, but even to the extent and duration 
of the movements which he develops in the perfoiTnance of his work. 
The proper and effective linking up of a series of these stimuli lead to a 
technical rhythm which will not necessarily be identical in the case of 
each v.'orker in the same shop performing the same operation, but 
which, viewed generally, will give a colourable representation of 

It is not, of course, suggested that the methods adopted by workers 
independently are the perfect methods, and that proper investigation 
will not discover better and easier methods of performing certain given 
operations. .If newer and more economical methods are to be developed 
a.nd brought into- operation, the only real chance will be to segregate 
the newer young workers. Vernon gives an excellent example of the 
necessity of doing so. The output of a certain necessary stock article 
had to be increased. A factory concerned in the production turned out 
5,000 per week, and this could not be increased — the regular workmen 
had a certain rate and habit of work. A new factory was started, 
staffed with hands new to the work, and after six months' practice 
they produced 13,000 articles per week. 

There is good evidence, that of Miiscio for example, that both 
resting and working, in addition to the individual muscle rhythm, there 


is a definite variation in the course of the day in the capacity to carry 
out work; that, in other words, a diurnal rhythm exists. There is a 
certain amount of evidence also in favour of the view that a seasonal 
rhythm exists. As Wilson has put it, 'It is tempting to suppose that 
human performance may be dependent on a number of superimposed 
rhythms corresponding with the periods of work, beginning perhaps 
with the rhythm of the actual movement and ending with a seasonal 

Further, when efficiency is measured in terms of output it is found 
that there is a definite rhythm in output during the course of the work- 
ing day and of the working week. It is well known that it takes an 
appreciable time each day to work up to full power, and this is shown 
distinctly in the daily output curve, which rises and then drops sharply 
at the end of the work period. This type of curve is not peculiar to 
any one industry. The rise is almost certainly due to the ' limbering 
up,' and it is probable that the fall towards the end is largely due to 
voluntary slowing. The total weekly output curve with the low 
Monday effect and the sharp fall on Saturday resembles in general 
shape the daily output curve. The main point about these curves is 
that they seem to demonstrate the absence of progressive fatigue from 
overwork, which would have been deduced had there been a sharp rise 
at the commencement of the week, followed by a steady fall. 

The third of the potent factors in the control of fatigue is rest. If 
work is done, rest is ultimately imperative. Rest not merely relaxes 
the muscles, allowing a more thorough and complete removal of the 
waste products and a more abundant supply of oxygen, but it removes 
the strain of attention. Eest is best obtained not by simple quiescence 
but by change of posture ; slow movement of another type to that which 
produced the fatigue will, unless the organism is tired practically to 
complete exhaustion, give the most beneficial results. It is common 
knowledge that when the attention is concentrated, when our interest, 
either in the work or in something cognate or even foreign to it, is 
thoroughly aroused, spells of work or intensity of effort in its perform- 
ance may be borne which under other circumstances might tax our 
resources to the last degree. 

Forced work, i.e. work carried out at a pace other than that of the 
performer's own selection, is much more exhausting and destructive 
than where the subject is permitted to work at a rate of his own 
selection. Laulanie, assuming that fatigue had a purely physical 
origin, went the length of maintaining that muscles spontaneously find 
the optimum rate of work where the intervals of repose exactly suffice 
for sufficient recuperation, so that long spells of work may be done. 
Such a conclusion does gain a certain amount of support from the 
consideration, for example, of the cardiac cycle. 

So far, little attention has been paid to the duration of the rest 
period in relation to the work done. As a general rule, it may be said that, 
in the majority of occupations, although the hours of labour are con- 
tinuous, the actual spells of hard manual work are discontinuous, either 
due to the fact that certain operations are iiiteiinittent in their sevei'ity, 

I.— Plli'SlOLOGY. 175 

that supplies of material are not constant, or that, if these more or less 
natural conditions do not operate, rests at irregular intervals are 
deliberately taken liy the operative. 

So far as I am aware there is only one type of hard work where 
a definite rest period is laid down as part of the exercise, namely, in 
Army route marching. Marching as a costly form of energy expendi- 
tui'e is unique in that it is a continuous repetitive act carried on 
frequently for hours on end. The Regulations lay down that a definite 
rest period shall be taken every hour. Marching, too, is peculiar in 
another way, namely, that the rate of marching is fixed, i.e. a certain 
definite rate has to be constantly maintained throughout the marcliing 

It can be shown that if a certain distance has to be covered in a 
definite time there is an optimum rate of forward progression. Cathcart, 
Lothian, and Greenwood found, for example, that when the cost per 
mile alone was considered, the minimum value was reached at a rate of 
about three miles per hour, but when the question of time as well as 
distance arose, i.e. if a distance of, let us say, one mile was to be covei'ed 
and sixty minutes were available to do it in, would it be more economical 
to march the mile rapidly or slowly and have a longer or shorter pei'iod 
of rest? Our experiments showed that the lowest hourly value was 
obtained at a rate of a mile in about twenty-three minutes, i.e. marching 
for twenty-three minutes in the hour and resting for thirty-seven minutes. 
To spend thirty-two minutes on the march cost about 5 per cent, more, 
and to reduce the marching time to sixteen minutes increased the cost 
by about 15 per cent. 

So much, then, for the ordinary effector factors. There are many 
other factors directly concerned with the efficient action of the organism, 
some directly influencing the internal economy of the bodv. others 
acting more indirectly on the organism from the environment. 

One of these factors is the state of the nutrition. It may be 
definitely stated that an insufficient intake of food or the consumplion 
of poor or inadequate food is one of the chief sources of general in- 
efficiency. Our resistance to the effects of hard and continual work. 
just as to the effects of an infection, is largely controlled by our re- 
serves. The capacity of the body to store reserve food material which 
will meet the daily demands for energy and leave a surplus is another 
of the vital factors of safety. The body is undoubtedly capable of with- 
standing complete deprivation of food for comparatively long periods, 
but with a corresponding depression in its capacity to perform external 
work. Complete starvation is a state which is rare, and does not 
affect the question at issue. The much more important problem is un- 
fortunately only toO' common, the influence of chronic undernutrition, 
a condition which lowers efficiency, not merely in the actual perform- 
ance of muscular work, but by inducing an increased susceptibility to 
disease. This is a question which has never received the attention 
whicli its importance demands, largely on account of the immense 
diffirulties of carrying O'ut the investigation in a practical manner. As 
the direct result of the war we have the records of at least two sets 
of oliserxers. Benedict and his eo-workcrs in\i's(igaled llu> prnl)K>tn. 

1922 u 


using a group of twelve men, comparing them with a similar group 
drawn from the same class. In the experimental gi'oup the food intake 
was reduced, so that there was a loss of 12 per cent, of the body weight. 
A.lthough the experiment was carried on for over four months, and the 
basal metabolism was reduced by 18 per cent., the diminution in muscle 
power, so far as laboratory tests were concerned, was not great. The 
subjective impression, however, of the subjects was that they felt 
weaker and less capable. 

The other recorded experiment is that of the condition in Germany 
during the war years. A general statement of the effects of the blockade 
is contained in a long document prepared by the GeiTiian Government 
(dated December 1918). Admittedly the document was prepared for a 
specific purpose; but, after making all allowances, the record of 
the far-reaching effects of chronic underfeeding is valuable. It may 
be remarked that many of the statements receive corroboration in the 
report drawn up by Professor Starling on the food conditions in 
Germany. Apart from the increased death rate, the increased liability 
to disease, and the slow recovery from the attacks of disease, the docu- 
ment definitely states that the working capacity of the people was 
reduced by at least one-third. The following sentence gives probably 
an accurate picture of acute undernutrition, associated, it is true, with 
much emotional strain : ' Everywhere in Germany it may now be 
observed how, in the four years' struggle for daily bread, the people 
have lost all their vigour and capacity for work ; how all spirit of enter- 
prise is gone.' 

Here, then, we have the actual record of an experiment on a 
gigantic scale. Personally I believe that these results are much more 
likely to be the ordinary sequence of underfeeding than the laboratory 
results of Benedict. I do not doubt for a moment his records, they 
are beyond reproach ; "but I feel that many of the excellent results which 
were obtained when the test subjects competed with subjects on ordinary 
food were in part due to the quite natural desire of the men to demon- 
strate tO' their friends and the onlookers that they were fit. In other 
words, there was a strong psychic element which vitiated the test as a 
real test of efficiency. 

Evidence, much debated it is true, would indicate that it is not only 
the quantity but the quality of the food consumed which plays a part 
in the fitness of the individual to perform hard muscular work. All 
modern work would seem to point to the conclusion that if the caloric 
value of the food supplied is adequate the actual demand for protein 
is very small. It is very difficult, however, to believe that the far- 
reaching common belief in the efficacy of a high meat intake, despite 
the scientific evidence to the contrary, is without some foundation. 
It is possible that the value of meat (flesh) depends not merely on the 
high biological value of its protein, but also on the fact that it can act 
as a stimulant of cellular activity ; that, in other words, it is desired 
for its stimulating effect, for giving, in that expressive transatlantic 
word, ' pep.' 

Another factor which plays an enormous role in the general efficiency 
is the response of the organism to the multiple psychic imponderabilia 


which compose such a large part of the average environment. Although 
for general purposes, such as the calculation of mean or average 
demands, it may be both convenient and useful to assess the data on 
an average man basis, yet it is the individual variation which controls 
the actual operating conditions. When we are dealing with the efficiency 
of the human organism, male and female, we are dealing with indi- 
viduals whose performance is neither uniform throughout the year nor 
from week to week, nor even from hour to hour. We have to deal 
with an organism, as I have already mentioned, which is not only under 
physical control, but is very responsive to psychic influences — an 
organism which not only becomes in the course of the day physically 
'tired,' but which unconsciously is influenced to an enormous extent 
by its environment, by its ' atmosphere.' Man is, in the main, a 
psychic chameleon. 

In this connection monotony of work must be considered. The 
Health of Munition Workers' Committee stated that monotony is 
' analogous to, if it does not represent, a fatigue process in unrecognised 
nerve centres.' It is true that monotonous work, be it light or heavy, 
may be, as Goldmark maintains, ' more damaging to the organism than 
heavier work which gives some chance of variety, some outlet for our 
innate revolt against unrelieved repetitions.' Still, although there may 
be a close relationship between monotony and fatigue, as generally 
recognised, they are not identical. The temperament of the operative 
plays an enormous part in the determining whether or no any particular 
operation is a monotonous one. Thus a skilled engineer put on to 
attend an automatic machine which requires the minimum of skilled 
attention would soon be disgusted with the monotony of the operation 
even if the pay were good, whereas an unskilled worker, especially if of 
a lower degree of intelligence, could attend to such a machine without 
strain. Munsterberg has recorded a number of most interesting 
examples of this seeming imperviousness to monotony even'on the part 
of apparently intelligent individuals. Probably, indeed, if the opera- 
tion is a slow one, or, if quick, one in which the movements are rela- 
tively simple, the dull individual- — the organism with few trained re- 
ceptors — and the worker with intelligence above the average, who 
readily masters the performance and can then let his mind free to 
speculate on his own private interests, will stand the strain better than 
the worker of average intelligence. As Munsterberg has shown, it is 
extremely difficult, if not impossible, for an outsider to determine what 
a monotonous operation is. It is obvious that if A is interested, let us 
say, in epigraphy, he will judge that B, engaged in some simple routine 
stamping or packing job, is employed on a monotonous operation, 
whereas it would be equally likely that if B were asked his opinion he 
would candidly state that he would not exchange his interesting work 
for the dull and monotonous pursuit of A. 

There are many other factors which play a definite and important 
role in the maintenance of efficiency, such as lighting, heating, ventila- 
tion, the mode of life led by the woiker outside his definite hours of 
labour, his housing, &c. Many of these factors have been partially 
examined. Thus T/eonard Hill has carried out a great deal of valuable 


work on the influence of the cooling power ol the air. Vernon has col- 
lected much interesting evidence which shows that there is a very definite 
relation between the efficiency, as measured by output, and the tempera- 
ture of the working place. The output in the hottest weather was 
about 30 per cent, below that when the weather was coldest. He also 
observed an apparent connection between the relative humidity of the 
air and the efficiency of the worker. The efficiency, as might have 
been expected, was apparently greatest when the relative humidity was 
low. Elton has reported on the influence of lighting in silk weaving. 
He found that the output was lowest when artificial light was used. 
He stated that even when electric light of sufficient intensity was used 
the output was about 10 per cent, below the daylight value. The 
actual equipment of the factories, the provision of seats of suitable 
size, height, &c., the design of the machines, and so on, all play their 
part, as is shown by the many records, particularly from the United 

In other words, the real overall industrial efficiency of the worker 
cannot be causally related to any single factor. It is not the mere 
capacity of the individual to perform so many kilogrammetres of work 
in a given time with the smallest expenditure of energy. The quest 
of efficiency is one of the most intricate problems in its infinite ramifi- 
cations throughout the physiological and sociological structure which 
has ever called for solution, and it involves the whole welfare of our 
race and nation. It calls for the closest and most intimate co-operation 
between the scientific investigator, the employer and the employee, and 
is no more capable of being settled on a communistic than on a capital- 
istic basis. It can only be satisfactorily attacked when mutual distrust 
of motives, capacities, and methods is stilled. 





0HABI.:ES S. MYEES, C.B.E., M.A., M.D., Sc.D., F.E.S., 


A MOURNFUL gloom has been cast over the proceedings of our newly 
born Section. Since its inauguration twelve months ago this Section,, 
as, indeed, Psycliology in general, has suffered an irreparable loss 
through the sudden death, on June 4 last, of him who was to have 
presided here to-day. When, only a few weeks ago, it fell to me, as 
one of his first pupils, to occupy Elvers "s place, I could think of little 
else than of him to whom I have owed so much for nearly thirty years 
of intimate friendship and invaluable advice; and I felt that it would 
be impossible for me then to prepare a Presidential Address to this 
Section on any other subject than on his life's work in psychology. 

William Halse Eivers Elvers was born on March 12, 1864, at Luton, 
near Chatham, the eldest son of the Eev. H. F. Eivers, M.A., formerly 
of Trinity College, Cambridge, and afterwards vicar of St. Faith's, 
Maidstone, and of Elizabeth, his w'ife, nee Hunt. Many of his father's- 
family had been officers in the Navy — a fact responsible, doubtless, for 
Eivers 's love of sea voyages. The father of his paternal gTandfather, 
Lieutenant W. T. Eivers, E.N., was that brave Lieutenant W'illiam 
Eivers, E.N., who as a, midshipman in the Victory at Trafalgar was 
severely wounded in the mouth and had his left leg shot away at the 
very beginning of the action, in defence oi Nelson or in trying tO' 
avenge the latter's mortal wound. So at least runs the family tradi- 
tion ; also according to which Nelson's last words to his surgeon were : 
'Take care of young Eivers.' A maternal uncle of Eivers was Dr. 
James Hunt, who in 1863 founded and was the first President of the 
Anthropological Society, a precursor of the Eoyal Anthropological 
Institute, and from 1863 to 1866 at the meetings of this Association 
strove to obtain that recognition for anthropology as a distinct Sub- 
section or Section which was successfully won for Psychology by his 
nephew, who presided over us at the Bournemouth meeting in 1919, 
when we were merely a Sub-section of Physiology. 

Our ' young Eivers ' gave his first lecture at the age of twelve, at a 
debating society of his father's pupils. Its subject was 'Monkeys.' 
He w^as educated first at a preparatory school at Brighton, and from 

ISO Seotional addresses. 

1877 to 1880 at Tonbridgfe School. Thence he had. hoped to proceed to 
Cambridge; but a severe attack of enteric fever compelled him to take 
a year's rest, and thus prevented him from competing for an entrance 
scholarship at that University. He matriculated instead in the Univer- 
sity of London, and entered St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1882, 
sharing the intention of one of his father's pupils of becoming an Army 
doctor. This idea, however, he soon relinquished ; but, like his desire 
to go to Cambridge, it was to be realised later in life.^ 

When he took his degree of Bachelor of Medicine in 1886 he was 
accounted the youngest Bachelor ever known at his hospital. Two 
years later he graduated as Doctoi' of Medicine, and he spent these two 
and the two following years in resident appointments at Chichester 
(1888) and at St. Bartholomew's (1889) hospitals, in a brief period of 
private medical practice (1890), and in travelling as ship's sui'geon to 
America and Japan (1887), the first of numerous subsequent voyages. 
In 1891 he became house-physician at the National Hospital, Queen 
Square, where he first made the acquaintance of Dr. Henry Head, 
whose collaborator he was to be some twenty years later in one of the 
most striking neurological experiments ever made. 

But before he began work at Queen Square, before he assisted 
Horsley there in his then wonderful operations on the brain, before he 
met Head fresh from his studies in Germany and enthusiastic over the 
colour-vision work and novel physiological conceptions of Hering, 
Rivers had already shown his interest in the study of the mind and the 
nervous system. Thus, in 1888, when he was twenty-four years of age, 
we find in the ,S7. Bartliolomeiv's Hospital Reports (vol. xxiv., pp. 249- 
251) his first published paper on ' A Case of Spasm of the Muscles of 
the Neck Causing Protrusion of the Head,' and in the following year, in 
the same Reports (vol. xxv., pp. 279-280), an abstract of a paper read 
by him before the Abernethian jSociety entitled ' Delirium and its 
Allied Conditions.' At this early date he pointed out the analogies 
between delirium and mania, protested against the use of narcotics in 
delirium, and condemned the wide separation — too wide even to-day — 
between diseases of the mind and diseases of the body. In 1891 and 
in 1893 he read papers to the Abernethian Society, abstracts of which 
appear in the St. Bartholomew's Hospital Reports (vol. xxvii., pp. 285- 
286, vol. xxix., p. 350), on ' Hysteria ' and on ' Neurasthenia,' to 
which his interests were to return so fruitfully during and after the 
Great War. 

In 1892 he spent the spring and early summer at Jena, attending 
the lectures of Eucken, Ziehen, Binswanger, and others. In a diary 
kept by him during this visit to Germany the following sentence occurs : 
' I have during the last few weeks come to the conclusion that I should 
go in for insanity when I return to England and work as much as 
possible at psychology.' Accordinglj^, in the same year he became 
Clinical Assistant at the Bethlem Royal Hospital, and in 1893 he 
assisted G. H. Savage in his lectures on mental diseases at Guy's 

' For many of the above details of Rivers's early life and antecedents I am 
indebted to his sister, Miss K. E. Rivers. 


Hospital, laying special stress on their psychological aspect. About 
the same time, at the request of Professor Sully, he began to lecture on 
experimental psychology at University College, London. 

Meanwhile, at Cambridge Michael Foster was seeking someone who 
would give instruction there in the physiology of the sense organs, 
McKendrick having, as Examiner in Physiology, recently complained of 
the inadequate training of the Cambridge students in this branch of the 
subject. Foster's choice fell on Elvers, and in 1893 he invited him to 
the University for this purpose. For a few months Elvers taught 
simultaneously at Cambridge and at Guy's Hospital and at University 
College, London. He went to Germany for a short period of study 
under Professor Krapelin, then of Heidelberg, whose brilliant analysis 
of the work curve and careful investigations into the effects of drugs 
on bodily and mental work had aroused his intense interest. In colla- 
boration with Krapelin he carried out a brief investigation into mental 
fatigue and recovery, published in 1896 (Journal of Mental Science, 
vol. xlii., pp. 525-29, and Krapelin's Psychologische Arbeiten, vol. i., 
pp. 627-78), which indicated that even an hour's rest is inadequate to 
neutralise the fatigue of half-an-hour's mental work, and paved the 
way for Eivers's important researches some ten years later upon the 
effects of drugs on muscular and mental fatigue. 

At Cambridge Elvers set himself to plan one of the earliest systematic 
practical courses in experimental psychology in the world, certainly the 
first in this country. In 1897 he was officially recognised by the 
University, being elected to the nevv^ly established Lectureship in Physio- 
logical and Experimental Psychology. But the welcome and encourage- 
ment he received from cognate branches of study at Cambridge could 
hardly be called embarrassing. Even to-day practical work is not 
deemed essential for Cambridge honours candidates in elementary 
psychology; psychology is not admitted among the subjects of the 
Natural Sciences Tripos ; and no provision is made for teaching the 
subject at Cambridge to medical students. Elvers first turned his 
attention principally to the study of colour vision and visual space per- 
ception. Between 1893 and 1901 he published experimental papers 
' On Binocular Colour-mixture ' (Proc. Cambs. Philosoph. Soc, 
vol. viii., pp. 273-77), on ' The Photometry of Coloured Papers ' 
(J. of Physiol., vol. xxh., pp. 137-45), and ' On Erythropsia ' (Trans. 
Ophthal. Soc, London, vol. xxi., pp. 296-305), and until 1908 he was 
immersed in the task of mastering the entire literature of past experi- 
mental work on vision, the outcome of which was published in 1900 
as an article in the second vohune of the im])ortant ' Text -book of 
Physiology ' edited by Sir Edward Sharpey Schafer. 

This exhaustive article of 123 pages on ' Vision ' by Elvers is still 
regarded as the most accurate and careful account of the whole subject 
in the English language. It is of special value not only as an encyclo- 
pfedic storehouse of references tO' the work O'f jirevious investigators — 
although with characteristic modesty Elvers omits to mention himself 
among them — but also for the unsurpassed critical account of the prin- 
cipal theories of colour vision. In it he displayed the strength and the 
weakness of Ilering's theory and the untenability of Helmholtz's 


explanations O'f successive contrast as due to fatigue, and of simultaneou"? 
contrast as due to psycliological factors. Eivers clearly showed that 
the effect of psychological factors is not to create but to mask the 
phenomena of simultaneous contrast, which are really dependent on 
what he terms ' the physiological reciprocity of adjoining retinal areas.' 
His enthusiasm for Hering's theories led him to give by far the most 
detailed presentation of them that had then or has since appeared in 
our language. In classifying the phenomena of red-green colour- 
blindness, on which Helmholtz largely based his trichromic theory, 
Eivers proposed the useful terms ' scoterythrous ' and ' photerythrous 
in place of the terms ' protanopic ' and ' deuteranopic,' so as to avoid, 
in describing these phenomena, the use of names which implied the 
acceptance of a particular theory of colour vision. These terms have 
failed, however, to obtain general adoption. 

In 1896 Rivers published an important paper ' On the Apparent Size 
of Objects ' {Mind, N.S., vol. v., pp. 71-80), in which he described 
his investigations into the effects of atropin and eserin on the size of 
seen objects. He distinguished two kinds of micropsia which had 
hitherto been confused — micropsia at the fixation-point due to irradia- 
tion, and micropsia beyond the fixation-point, which is of special psy- 
chological importance. Rivers came to the interesting conclusion that 
the mere effort to carry out a movement of accommodation may produce 
the same micropsia as when that effort is actually followed by movement. 
In other words, an illusion of size may be dependent solely on central 
factors. His later work, in conjunction with Professor Dawes Hicks, 
on 'The Illusion of Compared Horizontal and Vertical Lines,' which 
was pubUshed in 1908 {Brit. J. of Psychol., vol. ii., pp. 241-60), led 
him to trace this illusion to origins still less motor in nature. Here 
horizontal and vertical lines were compared under tachistoscopic and 
under prolonged exposure. The momentary view of the lines in the 
tachistoscope precluded any m.ovement or effort of movement of the 
eyes, which had been supposed by many to be responsible for the over- 
estimation of vertical lines owing to the greater difficulty of eye move- 
ment in the vertical as compared with the horizontal direction. The 
amount of the illusion was found to be approximately the same for 
tachistoscopic as for prolonged exposure of the lines, but in the tachisto- 
scopic exposure the judgment was more definite and less hesitating — in 
other words, more naive, more purely sensory, more ' physiological ' — 
than in prolonged exposure. This result, which led to further work 
by Dr. E. O. Lewis at Cambridge under Rivers upon the Miiller-Lyer 
illusion and upon the comparison of ' filled ' and ' empty ' space, is of 
fundamental psychological importance. Although it is not inconsistent 
with the view" that visual space perception depends for its genesis on 
eye movement, it compels us to admit that visual space perception, 
once acquired, can occur in the absence of eye movement; or, in more 
general language, that changes in consciousness, originally arising in 
connection with muscular activity, may later occur in the absence of 
that activity. The provision of experimental evidence in favour of 
so fundamental and wide-reaching a view is obviously of the greatest 

J.— fSYCHOLOGY. 183 

In 1898, in which year he was given the degree of Hon. M.A. at 
Cambridge, Rivers tooli a fresh path in his varied career by accepting 
Dr. A. C. Haddon's invitation to join the Cambridge Anthropological 
Expedition to the Torres Straits. This was the first expedition in which 
systematic worli was carried out in the ethnological application of the 
methods and apparatus of experimental psychology. His former pupils, 
Prof. W. McDougall and I, assisted Elvers in this new field. Rivers 
interested himself especially in investigating the vision of the natives— 
their visual acuity, their colour vision, their colour nomenclature, and 
their susceptibility to certain visual geometric illusions. He continued 
to carry out psychological work of the same comparative ethnological 
character after his return from the Torres Straits in Scotland (where 
he and I sought comparative data), during a visit to Egypt in the winter 
of 1900, and from 1901-2 in his expedition to the Todas of Southern 

The Torres Straits expedition marked a turning-point in Rivers 's 
life interests, as they were for the first time directed towards ethnological 
studies, to which he became ardently devoted ever after, until his death 
removed one who at the time was President of the Royal Anthropological 
Institute, had in 1920-1 been President of the Folk Lore Society, and 
had in 1911 been President of Section H (Anthropology) of this 
Association. His ethnological and sociological work during his expedi- 
tion to the Todas and during his two subsequent expeditions to Melanesia 
are too well known to need mention here. It was Rivers 's own view 
that his most important contributions to science are to be found in the 
two volumes of his ' History of Melanesian Society,' published in 19] 4 

His psychological investigations among the Torres Straits islanders 
Egyptians and Todas (Reports of the Cambridge Anthrop Exped to 
Torres Straits, vol. ii., Pt. I., pp. 1-132; J. of Anthrop. Inst vol xxxi 
pp. 229-47; Brit. J. of Psychol, vol. i., pp. 321-96) will ever stand 
as models of precise, methodical observations in the field of ethnoloc^ical 
psychology. Nowhere does he disclose more clearly the admir^'ably 
scientific bent of his mind— his insistence on scientific procedure his 
dehght m scientific analysis, and his facility in adapting scientific 
methods to novel experimental conditions. He reached the^conclusion 
that no substantial difference exists between the visual acuity of civilised 
and uncivilised peoples, and that the latter show a very definite diminu 
tion in sensibility to blue, which, as he suggested, is perhaps attributable 
to the higher macular pigmentation among coloured people^ He 
observed a generally defective nomenclature for blue, green and' brown 
among primitive peoples, both white and coloured, and large differences 
m the frequency of colour-blindness among the difTerent uncivilised 
peoples whom he examined. In his work on visual illusions he found 
that the vertical-honzontal-line illusion was more marked while the 
Mu ler-Lyer illusion was less marked, among uncivilised than amon- 
civilised communities; and he concluded that the former illusion was 
therefore dependent rather on physiological, the latter rather on psv- 
chological factors, the former being contracted, the latter beii 
avoured, by previous experience, e.g. of drawing lines or of appre 
hendmg complex figures as wholes. -^^ 


In 1903, the year after his return from the Todas, and the year 
of his election to a Fellowship at St. John's College, Elvers began an 
investigation, continued for five years, with Dr. Henry Head, in which 
the latter, certain sensory nerves of whose arm had been experimentally 
divided, acted as subject, and Rivers acted as experimenter, applying 
various stimuli to the arm and recording the phenomena of returning 
cutaneous sensibility. The results of this heroic and lengthy investiga- 
tion are well known. The discovery of a crude punctate protopathic 
sensibility, distinct from a moi'e refined epicritic sensibility, so deeply 
impressed Elvers that a decade later his psychological views may be 
said to have been centred round this distinction between the ungraded, 
'all-or-nothing,' diffusely locahsing functions of the protopathic system, 
and the delicately graded, discriminative, accurately localising functions 
of the epicritic system. The exact interpretation of this ' Human Ex- 
periment in Nerve Division,' published at length in 1908 {Brain, 
vol. xxxi., pp. 323-450), has been disputed by subsequent workers, 
whose divergent lesults, however, are at least partly due to their employ- 
ment of different methods of procedure. Head's experiment has never 
been identically repeated, and until this has been done we are probably 
safe in trusting to the results reached by the imaginative genius and the 
cautious critical insight of this rare combination of investigators. At & 
far higher nervous level broad analogies to this peripheral analysis of 
cutaneous sensibility were later found by Head when thala.mic came 
to be compared with cortical activity and sensibility. 

While working with Head upon his arm Elvers 's indomitable 
activity led him to simultaneous occupation in other fields. In 1904 
he assisted Professor James Ward to found and to edit the British 
Journal of Psychology, and in that year he also received an invitation 
to deliver the Croonian Lectures in 1906 at the Eoyal College of Physi- 
cians, of which in 1899 he had been elected a Fellow. The study of 
drug effects had long interested him. In a paper on ' Experimental 
Psychology in Eelation to Insanity,' read before the Medico-Psycho- 
logical Society in 1895 {Lancet, vol. Ixxiii., p. 867), he had drawn the 
attention of psychiatrists to the comparability of drug effects with the 
early stages of mental disorders before they were seen by the physician. 
A.nd so, reverting to the work he had done under Krapelin many years 
previously, he chose as his subject for the Croonian Lectures The 
Influence of Alcohol and other Drugs on Fatigue (Arnold, 1908). But 
although he utilised Krapelin 's ergograph and many of Krapelin 's 
methods, Elvers 's flair for discovering previous ' faulty methods of in- 
vestigation ' and his devotion to scientific methods and accuracy could 
not fail to advance the subject. Of no one may it be more truly said 
than of him, — nihil tetigit quod non ornavit. He felt instinctively that 
many of the supposed effects of alcohol were really due to the suggestion, 
interest, exciteuicnt or sensory stimulation accompanying the taking O'f 
the drug. Accordingly he disguised the drug, and prepared a control 
mixture which was indistinguishable- from it. On certain days the 
drug mixture was taken, on other days the control mixture was taken, 
the subject never knowing which he was drinking. Elvers engaged 
Mr. H. N. Webber as a subject who could devote himself to the investi-. 


gation so completely as to lead the necessarily uniform life while it was 
being carried out. He found that the sudden cessation of all tea and 
coffee necessary for the study of the effects of caffeine induced a loss 
of energy, and that other mental disturbance might occur through giving 
up all forms of alcoholic drink. Therefore most of his experiments 
were carried out more than twelve months after the taking of these 
drinks had been discontinued. Instead of recording a single ergograrn 
Rivers took several sets of ergograms each day, each set consisting 
usually of six ergograms taken at intervals of two minutes, and 
separated from the next set by an interval of thirty or sixty minutes. 
He arranged that the drug mixture or the control mixture should be 
taken after obtaining the first set of ergograms, which served as a 
standard wherewith subsequent sets on the same day might be com- 
pared. He worked with Mr. Webber on alcohol and caffeine, and 
was followed by the similar work ol Dr. P. G. V. Jones in 1908 on 
strychnine, and of Dr. J. G. Slade in 1909 on Liebig extract. 

"With these vast improvements in method Eivers failed to confirm 
the conclusions of nearly all earlier investigators on the effects of from 
5 to 20 c.c. of absolute alcohol on muscular work. His results with 
these doses, alike for muscular and mental woi'k, were mainly negative, 
and indeed with larger doses (40 c.c.) were variable and inconclusive; 
although an equivalent quantity of whisky gave an immediate increase 
of muscular work — a result which strongly suggests the influence of 
sensory stimulation rather than the direct effect of the drug on the 
central nervous system or on the muscular tissues. Rivers concluded 
that alcohol may in some conditions favourably act on muscular work 
by increasing pleasurable emotion and by dulling sensations of fatigue, 
but that probably its most important effect is to depress higher control, 
thus tending to increase muscular and to diminish mental efi&ciency. 
Working with caffeine. Rivers also obtained effects much less pro- 
nounced than those recorded by several earlier observers. He adduced 
evidence to indicate that (like alcohol) caffeine has a double action on 
muscular activity, the one immediately increasing the height of the 
contractions obtained and persisting, the other producing an initial slow, 
transitory increase in the number of the contractions, and then a fall. 
Following Krapelin, he suggested that the former action represents a 
peripheral, the latter a central effect. 

He also put forward novel suggestions as to the true course of the 
fatigue curve, and laid stress on the importance of carrying out ergo- 
graphic work by peripheral electrical stimulation. These views are 
certain to bear fruit in the future. Indeed, it may be safely said that 
no one can henceforth afford to investigate the effect of drugs on the 
intact organism without first mastering Rivers 's work on the subject. 

From the concluding passages of these Groonian lectures the fol- 
lowing sentences may be aptly cited : ' The branch of psychology in 
which I am chiefly interested is that to which the name of individual 
psychology is usually given. It is that branch of psychology which 
deals with the differences in the mental constitutions of different peoples, 
and by an extension of the term to the differences which characterise 
the members of different races. . . . These experiments leave little doubt 


that variations in the actions of drugs on different persons may have their 
basis in deep-seated physiological variations, and I believe that the 
study of tliese variations of susceptibility may do more than perhaps 
any other line of work to enable us to understand the nature of temjjera- 
ment and the relation between the mental and physical characters which 
form its two aspects.' 

Elvers 's interests did not lie in the collection of masses of hetero- 
geneous data, in obtaining blurred averages from vast numbers of 
individuals, in concocting mathematical devices, or in applying mathe- 
matical formulae to the numerical data thus accumulated; they lay 
throughout his varied career in studying and analysing individual mental 
differences, in getting tO' know the individual in his I'elation to his 
environment. In ordinary circumstances, as he later said, ' There is 
too little scope for the variations of conditions which is the essence of 
experiment. . . . While the experimental method as applied to the 
normal adult has borne little fruit, it would be difficult to rate^too 
highly the importance of experiment in discovering and testing methods 
to be used in other lines of psychological inquiry where a wider variation 
of conditions is present ' (Brit. J. of Psychol., vol. x., p. 185). 

It was the importance ol studying the play of the most variable 
conditions that led Rivers to investigate, as we have seen, first racial 
mental differences, then the differences produced in a given individual 
by nerve section, and finally those produced in different individuals by 
different dnigs. Throughout his life he was steadfast to the biolo'gical 
standpoint, correlating the psycholo^gical with the physiological, and 
hoping to discover different mental levels coiTesponcling tO' different 
neural levels. 

And so we approach the last phase of Rivers 's psychological work, 
the outcome ol his war experiences. In 1907 he had given up his 
University teaching in experimental psychology ; for six years before the 
war he had published nothing O'f psychological or physiological interest. 
This was a period in which Rivers devoted himself wholly to the 
ethnology and sociology of primitive peoples. The outbreak of war 
found him for the. second time visiting Melanesia for ethnological field 
work. Failing at first to get war work on his return to England, Rivers 
set himself to' prepare the Fitzpatrick Lectures on ' Medicine, Ma,gic 
and Religion,' which he had been invited to deliver to the Royal College 
ol Physicians of London in 1915 and r916. In 1915 his psychological 
and ethnological researches were recognised by the award 'to him of a 
Royal Medal by the Royal Society, of which he had been elected a 
Fellow in 1908. In July" 19 15 he went as medical officer to the Maghull 
War Hospital, near Liverpool, and in 1916 to the Craiglockhart War 
Hospital, Edinburgh, receiving a. commission in the R.A.M.C. In 
these hospitals he began the work on the psychoneuroses that led him 
to his studies of the unconscious and of dreams, which resulted in 
his well-known book, ' Instinct and the Unconscious,' pubUshed first in 
1920 (already in a second edition), and in a. practically completed volume 
on ' Conflict and Dream,' wliich is to be published posthumously. From 
1917 he acted as consulting psychologist to the Royal Air Force, being- 
attached to the Central Hospital at Hampstead. 


This period not merely marks a new phase in Rivers 's work, but 
is also characterised by a distinct change in his personahty and writings. 
In entering the Army and in investigating the psychoneuroses he was 
fulfilUng the desires of his youth. Whether through the reahsation of 
such long-discarded or suppressed wishes, or through other causes, e.g. 
the gratified desii'e of a.n opportunity for more sympathetic insight into 
the mental life of his fellows, he became another and a far happier 
man. Diffidence gave place to confidence, hesitation to certainty, 
reticence to outspokenness, a somewhat laboured literary style to one 
i-emarkable for its ease and charm. Over forty publications can be 
traced to these years, between 1916 and the date of his death. It 
was a period in which his genius was released from its former shackles, 
iu which intuition was less co-ntrolled by intellectual doubt, in which 
inspiration bro'ught with it the usual accompaniment of emotional con- 
viction — even an occasional impatience with those who failed to accept 
his point oi view. But his honest, generous character remained 
unchanged tO' the last. Ever willing to devote himself unsparingly to a 
cause he believed right, or to give of his best to help a fellow-being 
in mental distress, he worked with an indomitable self-denying energy, 
won the gratitude and affection of numberless nerve-shattered soldier- 
patients, whom he treated with unsurpassed judgment and success, and 
attracted all kinds of people to- this new aspect of psychology. 
Painters, poets, authors, artisans, all came to recognise the value of 
his work, to seek, to win, and to appreciate his sympathy and his 
friendship. It was characteristic of his thoroughness that while 
attached to the Eoyal Air Force he took numerous flights, ' looping the 
loop ' and performing other trying evolutions in the air, so that he 
might gain adequate experience of flying and bei able tO' treat his 
patients and to test candidates satisfactorily. He had the courage to 
defend much of Freud's new teaching at a time when it was carelessly 
condemned in toto by those in authority who werei too' ignorant or too 
incompetent to form any just opinion of its undoubted merits and 
undoubted defects. He was prepared tO' admit the importance of the 
conflict of social factors with the sexual instincts in certain psycho- 
neuroses of civil life, but in the psychoneuroses of w^arfare and of 
occupations like mining he believed that tlie conflicting instincts were 
not sexual, but were the danger instincts, related to the instinct of 
sel f -preservation . 

Thus in the best sense of the term Rivers became a man of the 
world and no longer a man of the laboratory and of the study. He 
found time to- serve on the Medical Research Council's Air Medical 
Investigation Committee, on its Mental Disorders Committee, on its 
Miners' Nystagmus Committee, and on the Psychological Committee 
of its Industrial Fatigue Research Board. He served on a committee, 
of ecclesiastical complexion, appointed to inquire into the new psycho- 
therapy, and he had many close friends among the missionaries, to whom 
he gave and from whom he received assistance in the social and 
ethnological side of their work. 

In 1919, in which year he received honorary degrees from the 
IJniversities of St. Andrews and Manchester, he returned to Cambridge 


as Praelector in Natural Sciences at St. John's College, and began 
immediately tO' exercise a wonderful influence over the younger members 
of the University by his fascinating lectm-es, his ' Sunday evenings,' 
and above all by his ever-ready interest and sympathy. As he himself 
wrote, after the war work ' which brought me into contact with the 
real problems of life ... I felt that it was impossible for m© to 
return to my life of detachment. ' And when a few months before his 
death he was invited by the Labour Party to- &■ still more public sphere 
of work, viz., tO' become a Parliamentary candidate representing the 
University of London, once again he gave himself unsparingly. He 
wrote at the time : ' To one whose life has been passed in scientific 
research and education the prospect of entering practical politics can be 
no light matter. But the times are soi o^minous, the outlook both for 
O'ur own conntry and the world so black, that if others think I can 
be O'f service in political life I cannot refuse.' On several occasions 
subsequently he addressed interested London audiences, consisting 
largely of his supporters, on the relations between Psychology and 
Politics. It was one O'f these very lectures — on the Herd Instinct' — at 
which it happened that I took the chair, \\hich was to have formed 
the basis of his Presidential Address tO' you here to-day. 

Eivers's views on the so-called herd instinct were the natural outcome 
of those which he had put forward during the preceding five years and 
collected together in his ' Instinct and the Unconscious.' His aim in 
writing this book was, as he says, ' to- provide a biological theory for 
the psychoneuroses, ' to view the psychological from the physiological 
standpoint. He maintained that an exact coiTCspondence holds 
between the inhibition of thei physiologist and the repression of the 
psychologist. He regarded mental disorders as mainly dependent on 
the coming to the surface O'f older activities which had been previously 
controlled or suppressed by the later products oi evolution. Here 
Rivers went beyond adopting Hughlings Jackson's celebrated explana- 
tion of the phenomena of nervo-us diseases as arising largely from the 
release of lower-level activities frO'm higher-level controls. He further 
supposed that these, lower-level activities represent earlier racial 
activities held more or less in abeyance by activities later acquired. 
This conception he derived from his work with Henry Head on 
cutaneous sensibility. Rivers could see but ' two chief possibilities ' 
of interpi'eting the phenomena disclosed in the study of Head's arm. 
Either epicritic sensibility is protopathic sensibility in greater per- 
fection, or else protopathic sensibility and epicritic sensibility represent 
two distinct stages in the development of the nei-voiis system. Failing 
to see any other explanation,- he adopted the second of these alternatives. 
He supposed that at so^me period of evolution, when epicritic sensibility, 
with its generally surface distribution, its high degree oi discrimination, 
and its power of accurate localisation, made its appearance, the 
previously existing protopathic sensibility, wdth its punctate distribution, 
its ' all-or-nothing ' character, and its bro^ad radiating localisation, 
became in part inhibited or 'suppressed,' in part blended or 'fused' 
with the newly acquired sensibility so as tO' form ai useful product. 
He supposed that the suppressed portion persisted in a. condition of 


unconscious existence, and he emphasised the biological importance of 
suppressio'n. He considered at first that the protopathic sensibility ' has 
all the characters we associate with instinct, ' whereas the later epicritic 
sensibility has the characters of intelligence or reason. So he came to 
hold that instinct ' led the animal kingdom a certain distance in the 
line of progi'ess,' whereupon 'a new development began on different 
lines,' 'starting a new path, developing a new mechanism which 
utilised such portions O'f the old as suited its purpose. ' 

Evoluilo -per saltus was thus the keynote of Elvers 's views on 
mental development. Just as the experience of the caterpillar or 
tadpole is for the most part suppressed in the experience of the butterfly 
or frog, so instinctive reactions tend to be suppressed in intelligent 
experience whenever the immediate and unmodifiable nature of the one 
becomes inco^mpatible with the diametrically opposite characters of the 
other. Just as parts of the protopathic fuse with the later acquired 
epicritic sensibility, so parts of our early experience, of which other 
parts are suppressed, fuse with later experience in affecting adult 
character. ' Experience,' he explained, 'becomes unconscious because 
instinct and intelligence run on different lines and are in many respects 
incompatible with one another. ' 

Rivers was compelled later to reco'gnise ' epicritic ' characters in 
certain instincts. He came to suppose that ' the instincts connected 
with tTie needs of the individual ' and with the early preservation of 
the race are mainly ' of the protopathic kind, ' whereas the epicritic 
group of instincts first appeared with the development of gregarious 
life. He recognised the epicritic form of mental activity in the instincts 
connected with the social life, especially of insects, and also in the 
states of hypnosis and sleep. Finally, he doubted the validity of the 
usual distinctions between instinct and intelligence. 

Throughout his work on this wide subject Eivers endeavoured to 
give a strict definition to words which had hitherto been ambiguously 
or loosely used. He defined unconscious experience as that which 
is incapable of being brought into the field of consciousness save under 
such special conditions as ' sleep, hypnosis, the method of free associa- 
tion and certain pathological states.' He defined repression as the 
self-active, ' witting ' expulsion of experience from consciousness, and 
suppression as the ' unwitting ' process by which experience becomes 
unconscious. Thus suppression may occur without repression. When 
one refuses to consider an alternative path of action, one represses it; 
when a memory becomes ' of itself ' inaccessible to recall, it is 
suppressed. When such a suppressed experience acquires an inde- 
pendent activity which carries with it an independent consciousness, it 
undergoes, according to Rivers 's usage of the tenn, dissociation. Thus 
suppression may occirr without dissociation. In its most perfect form, 
according to Rivers, suppression is illustrated by the instinct of 
immol)ility which forms one of the reactions to danger; the fugue (as 
also somnambulism) is ' a typical and characteristic instance of 

From his point of view Rivers was naturally led, wherever possible, 
to interpret abnormal mental conditions in teiTns ol regression to more 


primitive, hitherto^ suppressed activities. He held that the hysterias 
are essentially ' substitution neuroses, ' connected with and modified by 
the gregario'us instincts, and are primarily due to a regression to the 
primitive instinctive danger reaction of immobility, gi~eatly modified by 
suggestion. So, too', he held that the anxiety neuroses, which are for 
him essentially ' repression neuroses,' also' show regression, though less 
complete, in the strength and frequency of emotional reaction, in the 
failure during states of phantasy to appreciate reality, in the reversion 
to the nightmares, and especially the tennfying animal dreams, charac- 
teristic of childhood, in the occurrence of compulsory acts, in the desire 
for solitude, &c. Indeed, because he believed that suppression is 
especially apt to occur, and to be relatively or absolutely perfect, in 
infancy, Elvers suggested that the independent activity of suppressed 
experience and the process of dissociation, as exemplified in fugues, 
complexes, &c., are themselves examples of regression. 

He criticised Freud's conception of the censorship, substituting 
in place of that anthropomorphically-coloured sociological parallel the 
physiological and non-teleological conception of regi'ession. He 
supposed the mimetic, fantastic, and symbolic fo'rms in which hysterias 
and dreams manifest themselves to be natural to the infantile stages 
of human development, individual or collective. For him they were 
examples of regi'ession to low-level characters, and not, as Freud 
supposes, ascribable to compromise formations tO' elude the vigilance 
of an all -protective censor. He regarded nightmares and war-dreams 
as examples of infantile states. He believed the absence of affect in 
many noiTnal dreams to be natural to the infantile attitude, which 
would treat the situation in question with indifference. That absence 
of affect also' arises from the harmless symbolic solution oi the conflict. 
The affect of dreams is only painful, Rivers supposed, when they fail 
to provide a. solution of the conflict, and is not due, as Freud holds, to the 
activity of the censor. In the social behaviour of primitive com- 
munities Rivers was able to find striking analogies to the characteristics 
of dreams, as described by Freud. 

On the protopathic side he ranged the primitive instincts and 
emotions, and the complexes, together with the activities of the optic 
thalamus, and on the epicritic side intelligence and the sentiments, 
together with the activities of the cerebral cortex. We are now in a 
position to examine Rivers 's treatment of the gregarious behaviour of 
animal and human life, on which he was still engaged at the time 
of his death. In the gregarious instinct he recognised a cognitive 
aspect which he termed ' intuition,' an affective aspect which he tenned 
'sympathy,' and a motor aspect which he teiTned 'mimesis.' He 
used ' mimesis ' for the process of imitation so far as it was unwitting, 
' Sympathy ' he regarded as always unwitting. ' Intuition ' he defined 
as the process whereby one person is unwittingly influenced by 
another's cognitive activity. But I feel sure that the term 
' unwittingly ' is not to be considered here as equivalent to 
' telepatliically.' .\11 that Rivers meant was that the person is 
influenced by certain stinuili without appreciating their nature and 
meaning. He prefen-ed to employ the term ' suggestion ' as covering 


all th© processes by which one mind acts on or is acted on by another 
unwittingly. He supposed that in the course of mental evolution 
epicritic characters displaced the early protopathic characters of 
instinctive beha-viour owing to the incidence! of gregarious life, 
especially among insects, and owing to the appearance and development) 
of intelligence, especially in man. The suggestion inlierent in gi'e- 
garious behaviour implies some graduation of mental and bodily activity 
— an instinctive and unwitting discrimination distinct from the witting 
discrimination of intelligence. Suggestion, in primitive gregarious 
beha.viour, as also in th© dissociated state of hypnosis, and in its allied 
form, ordinary sleep, is prevented if witting processes be active; it ' is 
a process of the unconscious,' said Rivers. Both within the herd and 
during hypnosis, which he believed to be fundamentally of a collective 
nature, sensibility is heightened, so that the organism may be able 
to react to minute and almost imperceptible stimuli. Were he here 
to-day Elvers would have carried this co'nception of the evolution O'f 
gregarious life still further by distinguishing between the more lowly 
leaderless herd and the herd wliich has acquired a definite leader. He 
would have traced the development of the new affect of submission 
and of the new behaviour of obedience to the leader, and he would 
doubtless have accredited the leader with the higher affects of superiority 
and felt prestige, with th© higher cognition that comes of intuitive 
foresight, and with the higher behaviour of intuitive adaptation, 
initiative, and command. I expect, toO', that he would have sketched 
th© development of still later forms Oif social activity, complicated by 
the interaction and combination of intellectual and instinctive processes 
— the witting deliberations and decisions on the part of the leader, and 
th© intellectual understanding of the reasons for their confidenc© in him 
and for their appropriate beha.viour on the part of those who' are led. 

But it would be idle further to speculate on the ideas of which we 
have been robbed by Rivers 's untimely death. Let us rather console 
ourselves with the vast amount of valuable and suggestive material 
which he has left behind and with the stimulating memories of one 
who, despite the fact that his health was never robust, devoted himself 
unsparingly to scientific work and to the claims of any deserving human 
beings or of any deserving human© cause that were made upon him. 
There are, no doubt, some who believe tTiat Rivers 's earlier experimental 
psychological work — on vision, on the effects of drugs, and on cutaneous 
sensibility — is likely to be more lasting than his later speculations on the 
nature of instinct, the unconscious, dreams, and the psychoneuroses. No 
on© can doubt the scientific permanence of his investigations in the 
laboratory or in the field ; they are a standing monument to us of 
thoroughness and accuracy combined with criticism and genius. But 
even those whoi hesitate to suppose that at some definite period in mental 
evolution intelligence suddenly made its appearance and was gi'afted on 
to instinct, or that epicritic sensibility was suddenly added to a mental 
life which had before enjoyed only protopathic sensibility — even those 
who may not see eye to eye with Rivers on these and other fundamental 
views on which much of his later work rested, will be foremost in 
recognising the extraordinarily stimulating, suggestive, and fruitful 
1022 1> 


character of all that he poured forth with such astounding speed and 
profusion during the closing years O'f Ris life. And above all we mourn 
a teacher who was not merely a man ol science devoted to abstract 
problems, but who realised the value of and took a keen delight in 
applying the knowledge gained in his special subject tO' more real and 
living problems of a. more' concrete, practical, everyday character. 
Rivers 's careful methods of investigating cutaneous sensibility and the 
rationale of his successful treatment of tlie psychoneuroses were directly 
due to his psychological training. So, too, his epoch-making discoveries 
and his views in the field of anthropology on the spread and conflict of 
cultures were largely due to the application of that training. Shortly J 
before his death he was developing, as a. committee member of the 
Industrial Fatigue Research Board, an intense interest in that youngest 
application of psychology, viz., to the improvement of human conditions 
in industrial and commercial work by the methods of experimental 
psychology applied to fatigue study, motion study, and vocational 

Unhappily, men of such wide sympathies and understanding as 
Rivers, combined with a devotion to scientific work, are rare. He 
himself recognised that ' specialisation has ... in recent years reached 
such a pitch that it has become a serious evil. There is even a 
tendency,' he rightly said, ' to regard with suspicion one who betrays 
the possession of knowledge or attainments outside a. narrow circle of 
interests' (Brit. J. of PsycJwl., vol. x., p. 184). Let his Hfe, his 
wisdom, his wide interests, sympathies and attainments, and the 
generosity and honesty of his character, be an example to us in the 
common object of our meeting — the Advancement of Science. 




Peofessor H. H. DIXON, Sc.D., F.R.S., 


Plant physiologfsts have not paid the attention to the transport of 
organic substances which the importance of the subject appears to 
deserve. The ascent of water in high trees in defiance of gravity strikes 
the casual observer and forces him to speculation as to how it is 
contrived; but the problem of the transmission of organic substances 
throughout plants only forces itself on those who are more or less 
conversant with some of the leading facts of vegetable physiology. 

Among physiologists the usually accepted view is that organic sub- 
stances are distributed throughout the plant by means of the bast. 
The wood also acts as a channel of distribution for these substances 
to opening buds and developing leaves, especially in spring when root- 
pressure is active. The sap of bleeding contains appreciable quantities 
of these substances, and their distribution to the developing buds in 
spring by means of the wood was recognised by Hartig and Sachs. 
Fischer showed that even in summer many woody plants contain 
reducing sugars in their wood. The sugar content of the wood is at 
a maximum in spring, diminishes in summer, and is at a minimum in 
winter; at the end of February it rises rapidly. There is a second 
crest on the curve at leaf-fall Dr. Atkins and myself extended 
Fischer's observations, and showed that appreciable quantities of 
soluble carbohydrates, sucrose, hexoses, and even maltose, are found 
in the tracheae of the stems and roots of many trees at all seasons of 
the year. Being in the tracheae they must be carried from the lower 
parts to the upper growing regions, including the cambium of the stem. 
Samples drawn from different levels during the spring were found to 
have a greater concentration at higher levels. The inflow of water 
below, and consequent dilution, is probably largely responsible for this 
difference. Towards the end of the season there is no marked difference. 

This upward transport of carbohydrates in the tracheae seems to be 
accompanied with smaller amounts of proteins. Thus Schroeder 
showed that the quantity of proteins in the bleeding sap rises and falls 
with the quantity of sugar. 

This view that the rising current in the tracheae carries organic 
substances in it and distributes them to the growing regions has lately 
been impugned. It was pointed out that in many cases ringing close 
below the terminal bud prevents the development of that bud because 


the wood is unable to transmit sufficient supplies of organic substance. 
As Strasburger has already pointed out, this interpretation rests upon 
the fallacy of supposing that the removal of the bark as far as the 
cambium leaves the wood uninjured. As a matter of fact, microscopic 
examination of the wood, from which the outer tissues have been 
stripped, shows that its trachefe soon become blocked with air-bubbles 
and with substances probably exuded into them and their walls during 
morbid changes in the cells of the cambium, in the cells of the medullary 
rays, and in those of the wood-parenchyma. The blocking is accom- 
panied with discoloration, and is most apparent in the outer layers 
of the wood. It is only reasonable to suppose that the efficiency of 
the tracheae as channels of transmission is seriously impaired even 
before there is visible evidence of plugging. 

It is evident that this clogging may act differentially on the water 
and the substances it carries in it. In the first place, the whole cross- 
section of the wood is available for the transport of water, while 
probably the outer layers are mainly utilised by the organic substances. 
Further, colloidal deposits in the walls, and especially in the pit- 
membranes, would obstruct the passage of organic substances much 
more than they would the water which carries them. These considera- 
tions readily explain how it is that, while the water-supply to the buds 
of ringed branches is adequate, the supply of organic substance may 
be deficient. 

Apart, then, from the very slow movement of organic substances 
from cell to cell, there is very cogent evidence that their upward motion 
is effected in the trachese of the wood. There is no reason to believe 
that during this transport the walls or pit-membranes of these tracheae 
oppose the passage of the dissolved carbohydrates or of the simpler 
proteins any more than the water which conveys them. Hence the 
velocity of transport of these organic substances is that of the transpira- 
tion current, and the amount conveyed in a 'given time depends on the 
velocity and concentration of the stream. 

The transport of organic substances in an upward direction in plants 
is secondary, for, as is well known, carbohydrates certainly, and pro- 
teins most probably, are manufactured only in the upper green parts of 
plants — principally in the leaves, and must be transported in the first 
instance back from these to the stems to be distributed to the growing 
regions and to the storage organs. 

It is almost universally held that the channel for this backward or 
downward motion of organic substances from the assimilating organs 
is the bast of the conducting tracts. The orthodox position is summed 
up by Strasburger as follows : In woody plants the carbohydrates manu- 
factured by the leaves pass downwards in the bast. Movements of 
carbohydrates in the opposite direction in this tissue only take place if 
they are occasioned by local consumption. From the bast the carbo- 
hydrates spread into the medullary rays and wood-parenchyma, and in 
young branches fill these tissues and more or less of the pith. A down- 
ward movement in the wood-parenchyma, such as was formerly held, 
does not take place, and in those conifers in which there is no con- 
tinuous wood-parenchyma is anatomically impossible. In spring and 

K.— BOTANY. 195 

also duiitig summer growth an up\\'ard transport of carbohydrates in 
the water tracts occurs. 

This view that the channel for the backward and downward move- 
ment of organic substances is afforded by the bast received great sup- 
port from Czapek's work published in 1897. By section of the con- 
ducting tracts in one half of the petiole he showed tliat depletion of 
the corresponding half of the blade was delayed. He also showed 
that only where vertical bridges connected the upper and lower portions 
of bark in ringed stems were the effects of ringing nullified. Oblique 
and zigzag bridges are ineffective. Thus transverse conveyance in the 
stem is negligible. The parallel and longitudinal arrangement of the 
elongated elements in the bast seemed to him to provide adequately for 
the observed longitudinal passage. Their nari'owness and large colloid 
content did not present themselves as difficulties. 

He also recorded the observation that the blades of leaves, the 
petioles of which had been killed by jacketing them with steam, did 
not become emptied of starch. Similarly, when the petioles were killed 
with chloroform-vapour, depletion was arrested. Again, anaesthetisa- 
tion of the petiole, by surrounding it with a watery solution of chloro- 
form, greatly delayed the disappearance of starch. On the other hand, 
depletion was not obstructed when the petiole was immersed in a 5 per 
cent, solution of potassium nitrate. From this last observation he con- 
cluded that plasmolysis of the translocating elements does not interfere 
with their function as channels of transport. 

Czapek formed no definite theory as to how organic substances were 
moved in the bast. He was sure that the transport depends on living 
protoplasm. He did not consider that the streaming of protoplasm 
contributed materially to the motion, seeing that streaming does not 
occur in mature sieve-tubes. He regarded the sieve-tubes as the most 
important elements in the transmission of these substances, because the 
deposition of callus in the sieve-plates synchronises with the stoppage 
of transport. The transport, according to him, is not simply due to 
diffusion. He supposed the protoplasm to take up the organic sub- 
stances and pass them on. If diffusion does not account for the passage 
from one particle of protoplasm to the next, it would seem that we 
must suppose the organic substance to he pix>jected from one to the 

These observations and their interpretation by Czapek have 
strengthened the opinion that the bast is the channel for the downward 
transport of organic substances. It is remarkable how little weight has 
been attached to the damaging criticism of Czapek's views by Deleano, 
especially as those views are so unsatisfactoiy from a physical stand- 

The latter author showed that it is inadmissible to compare externally 
similar leaves, which often behave, so far as depletion is concerned, 
very dissimilarly. He also pointed out that without any export a 
leaf may be depleted of all its starch within thirty-five hours, and 
partially anticipated an extremely interesting recent observation of 
Molisch — namely, that transpiring leaves lose their carbohydrates much 
more rapidly than those whose transpiration is checked by being sur- 


rounded with a saturated atmosphere. Neglect of these facts led Czapek 
into error. Deleano also showed that organic substances continue to 
leave the blades even after the petioles have been killed by heat or by 
chloroform-vapour. The rate of depletion is reduced by the foiTner 
agent to about one-third, and by the latter to one-half. If this observa- 
tion is substantiated it would show that the intervention of living 
elements is not essential for the transport. He further found that the 
blades attached to petioles which were surrounded by chloroform-water 
lost their starch more quickly than those immersed in water. 

The contradictory conclusions of Czapek and Deleano urgently call 
for a reinvestigation of the points at issue. It is not enough to assume, 
as Schrooder does, a completely sceptical attitude towards the latter 
investigator's account of his experiments. If Czapek's work holds good, 
we shall have to regard the bast, and especially the sieve-tubes, as the 
channels for the transport of organic substances back from the leaf- 
blades where they are manufactured, and we must look for some hitherto 
undreamed-of method of transmission through these most unlikely- 
looking conduits. On the other hand, if Deleano 's conclusions are 
borne out, we should admit that protoplasm is not necessary for the 
transport, and we shall turn to a dead tissue as furnishing this channel. 

So far as I am aware none of the earlier investigators made any 
estimate either of the actual quantities of organic material which are 
transported or of the velocities of flow in the channels which are 
necessary to effect this transport. 

We may approach this problem from two opposite directions — (1) by 
dealing with the amount of organic substance accumulated in a given 
time in a storage organ, or (2) by using the amount exported from an 
assimilating organ. The cross-section of the supposed channels of 
transport and the volume of the solution containing the substances in 
each case will give us the other necessary data. 

For the first method a potato-tuber will furnish an example. One 
weighing 210g. was found attached to the base of a plant by a slender 
branch about 0.16cm. in diameter. In this branch the bast had. a 
total cross-section of 0.0042cm.2. This figure is a maximum ; no 
allowance was made for the cross-section of the cell-walls, or for any 
non-functional elements in the bast. The cell-walls would occupy 
probably one-fifth of the cross-section of the bast. Now if the bast 
exclusively furnished the channel of downward transport, all the 
organic substance- in the potato must have passed this cross-section 
during the time occupied in the growth of the potato. One hundred 
days would be a liberal allowance. According to analyses more than 
24 per cent, by weight of the potato is combustible. Therefore we must 
assume that during this time more than 50g. of carbohydrate has 
passed down a conduit having' a cross-section of no more than 
0.0042cm.-. The average concentration of the solution carrying this 
substance could scarcely have been as much as 10 per cent. (2.5-5 per 
cent, would be more probable. The concentration of sugar 
in bleeding sap is much below this figure, and seems never to reach 
4 per cent.). Assuming, however, this concentration, the volume of 
liquid couAeying 50g. must have been 500cm.'', and this quantity must 

K.— BOTANY. 197 

have passed in 100 days. Therefore the average velocity of flow through 
this conduit, having a cross-section of 0. 0042cm. ^, must have been 

0.0042x100x24 ' '•'• ""^"^^ ^°""'- P^"^ ^°"''- 

By the second method we an-ive at a different figure. Various 
investigators, from Sachs onwards, have measured the rate of photo- 
synthesis per square metre of leaf per hour. Under the most favour- 
able conditions the amount may approach 2g. , and it has been esti- 
mated as low as 0.5g. Taking Brown and Moi'ris' determination for 
Tropceolum viajus, viz., Ig. per square metre per hour, and assuming 
one- third of the caAohydrate formed is used in respiration in the leaf, 
we find tliat a leaf of 46cm. ^ may form dming ten hours' sunshine 
0.46g. ; during the twenty-four hours one-third of this will be respired, 
leaving O.Slg. to be transported from the leaf. The volume of the 
solution (again assuming a concentration of 10 per cent.) will be 
3. 10cm. ^. The cross-section of the bast of the bundles in the petiole 
vi^as 0.0009cm. ^, therefore the velocity of flow, if the bast was used as 

3 10 

the channel of transport, must have been pr-—^ — ki or 140cm. per 
^ 0-0009x24 ^ 


Similar figures to these were derived using measurements obtained 
from a number of potato-tubers and from various leaves. The veloci- 
ties indicated, even assuming a concentration of 10 per cent., lay in 
all cases between '20cm. and 140cm. per hour. These figures are in 
agreement with those arrived at by Luise Birch-Hirschfeld, as to the 
weight of organic material transported from leaves. 

A flow of this rate through the bast seems quite impossible. The 
narrow transverse section of its elements, the frequent occurrence of 
transverse walls, and the lining of protoplasm and large protein contents 
practically preclude the mass movement of liquid through this tissue. 
If we imagine the flow restricted to the sieve-tubes the velocity must 
be correspondingly increased, and the excessively fine sieve-pores, more 
or less completely occupied by colloidal proteins, must be reckoned 
with. Simple diffusion, as Czapek recognised, cannot account for the 
transport, and there is no reason to suppose that adsorption on the sur- 
faces of the colloid contents of the sieve-tubes can increase the velocity 
of diffusion, as Manghan suggests. 

As soon as one realises the volume of the solution which has to 
be transported, and the velocity of the flow that this necessitates, one 
naturally turns to consider if the open capillaiy tubes of the wood may 
not be utilised as channels of transport. Deleano's results, indicating 
that the depletion of leaves continues even after the living elements of 
their petioles have been killed, support this conjecture. 

The emphasis wHich has been laid on the function of the wood 
as providing a channel for the upward movement of water usually 
obscures its function as a downward and backward channel also. Early 
experimenters, however, fully recognised that, under certain conditions, 
the current in the wood may be reversed. Thus Hales quotes several 
experiments of his own proving this point, and states that some of his 


were but repetitions of Perault's earlier work. In these experiments 
Hales showed that water applied at the top of a branch, which is 
severed from the tree, is drawn back into the branch and supplies its 
leaves, and makes good their transpiration losses. A tree inarched into 
two adjacent trees may continue to grow even after its connection with 
the ground is severed, drawing its supplies from its neighbours. Finally, 
a forked branch removed from a tree will remain fresh, and continue to 
transpire water for many days if one limb of the fork with its leaves 
is immersed in water. There is, of course, recent work also showing 
this reversed current. 

By means of an eosin solution this reversal of the transpiration 
current may be very easily demonstrated. If the tip of a leaf of a 
growing potato-plant is cut under eosin solution, the coloured solution 
is very quickly drawn back into the trachefe of the conducting tracts 
of the leaf; from there it passes into those of the petiole, and makes 
its way not only into the upper branches and leaves, but also passing 
down the supporting stem may completely inject the tracheae of the 
tuber, and from thence pass up into the wood of the remaining haulms 
of the plant. Its passage is entirely in the tracheae of the wood of the 
conducting tracts. 

Another very striking experiment may be carried out with the 
imparipinnate leaf of Sambucus nigra. Its petiole is split longitudinally 
for a few centimetres and half removed. The remaining half is set in 
a solution of eosin. The solution is rapidly drawn up the wood-capil- 
laries of the intact half-petiole, and soon appears in the veins of the 
pinnae on the same side of the leal, beginning with the lowest, and 
gradually working up into the upper ones. Finally it appears in the 
terminal pinna. All this while the veins of the pinnae on the other 
side remain uncoloured. Now, however, the eosin begins to debouch 
into the base of the uppermost of these pinnae and spreads tlu'ough its 
veins ; finally it makes its way down the offside of the rachis to the 
bases of the lower pinnae, and from thence spreads into their veins. 
In this case we see very clearly how transpiration actuates an upward 
current on one side and a downward current on the other. It is 
interesting to note that if the terminal pinna and its stalk is removed 
the eosin does not appear in the pinnae of the second side, or only 
after a considerable time when the small anastomosing conducting 
tracts are utilised. 

Luise Birch -Hirschf eld recently also describes many experiments 
with herbaceous and woody plants, tracing the path of the reversed 
current by means of lithium nitrate and eosin. 

In all these cases the tension of the sap determines the flow from 
a source wherever situated, and transpiration from the leaves, or parts 
of leaves, which are not supplied with liquid water from without draws 
the water through the plant along the channels of least resistance. 
Hence it is that if the cut vein of a lateral pinna provides the point of 
entry, the solution may pass backwards in some of the conducting 
tracheae, leaving others quite uncoloured, so that only some of the veins 
of the pinna are injected. The injected tracts bring the solution down 
the rachis and petiole into the stem, while a few or many, as the case 

K.— BOTANY. ' 199 

may be, remain filled with colourless liquid, presumably the sap drawn 
upward to supply the transpiring surfaces of the leaf. Generally the 
coloured liquid descends an appreciable distance in the tracheae of the 
stem before it begins to rise in the ascending current, mounting to other 
transpiring leaves. As a rule after some time — depending on the rate 
of transpiration and the amount of water supplied by the i-oots— the 
presence of the coloured liquid may be demonstrated in certain con- 
tinuous series, or filaments of trachese in several bundles of the lower 
parts of the stems. Similarly, if tubers or rhizomes are present ex- 
amination of these parts, after a suitable interval, will show that many 
of their filaments of tracheae are injected. Meanwhile the parts above 
the supplying leaf become coloured, and it will be seen that the distribu- 
tion of coloured tracheae is decided by the anatomical connections of 
those filaments of tracheae which directly convey the coloured liquid 
from the point of supply through the petiole to the stem. In tracing 
the path of the solution one is impressed with the fact that the path 
of least resistance is by no means always the shortest path in the wood. 
Transverse motion across several tracheae seldom occurs, and the 
separate linear series of conducting tracheae are practically isolated from 
each other laterally. Here we may recall Strasburger's experiments 
showing the very great resistance offered to the flow of water in a 
transverse direction in the wood of trees. This isolation of the separate 
filaments of tracheae in the leaf and in the stem enables the tension 
developed by the transpiring cells of the leaves, while it raises a column 
of water in one series of tracheae, to draw down a solution in a neigh- 
bouring filament of tracheae terminating above in some local supply. If 
the anatomical connection of the two series is located in a subterranean 
organ the tracheae of the subterranean organ may become filled from 
that supply. 

So far the evidence of reversed flow in the water-conducting tracts 
which we have been considering has been derived from plants under 
artificial conditions- — plants whose conducting tracts have been cut into 
and othei'wise interfered with. Is there any evidence that reversal of 
the transpiration-curi'ent noi*mally occurs in uninjured plants? 

Some recent work on the transmission of stimuli seems to me to 
indicate that these reversals are continually occurring in normally 
growing plants. 

The first piece of work to which I would direct your attention is that 
of Eioca on Mimosa. It has long been known that the stimulus which 
causes the folding of the pinnules and the bending of the petioles of 
Mimosa could traverse poi'tions of the petioles or stems which had 
been raised to such a temperature as would kill the living elements in 
these organs. Notwithstanding that observation, Haberlandt's view, 
that the stimulus is transmitted as a wave of pressure through certain 
tubular elements of the bast, was generally accepted as the least objec- 
tionable of any of the theories which had been put forward to explain this 
transmission. Ricca saw that, among other difficulties, the slowness 
of transmission — never more than 15mm. per second — was a grave 
objection to this view. Accordingly working with a woody species of 
Mimosa — Mimosa Spegazzinii — he removed the whole bast and outer 


tissues of the stem for many centimetres — viz., twenty -three— and was 
able to show that the stimulus was still transmitted. Similarly he 
found that the stimulus was transmitted through narrow strips of the 
wood from which even the pith had been removed. These experiments 
and others in which the transmitting organ had been killed for a con- 
siderable length caused Eicca to recognise that the stimulus is trans- 
mitted in the wood and not in the bast, as had been previously held. 
Thus he was led to assign the transmission to the transpiration-curi-ent. 
He was able to confirm this conjecture by showing that the transmission 
to the various leaves of a plant is largely controlled by the rate of 
the transpiratio-n from the individual leaves. Thus, other things being 
equal, a rapidly transpiring leaf receives the stimulus sooner than a 
sluggishly transpiring one equidistant from the point of stimulation. 
He further was able to show that the stimulus may be transmitted 
through a glass tube filled with water, just as it is transmitted through 
a dead portion of the stem. Evidently a hormone set free into the 
transpiration-stream is the long-sought-for mechanism by which the 
stimulus is transmitted thi'oughout Mimosa. 

As the stimulus travels both in a basipetal and acropetal direction 
we may assume that movement of the transpiration-stream in a down- 
ward direction is of normal occurrence in plants. 

Contemporaneously with, and subsequently to, Eicca's important 
work on Mimosa, experimental evidence has been accumulating to indi- 
cate that the transmission of other stimuli — viz., phototropic, trauma- 
toti-opic, thigmotropic, and geotropic — is effected by means of the passage 
of a dissolved substance. Boysen- Jensen appears to have been the 
first to announce that phototropic and geotropic stimuli may be trans- 
mitted across protoplasmic discontinuities. Paal emphasised this by 
showing that these stimuli are able to pass a disc of the tissue of 
Arundo donax impregnated with gelatine, which is interposed between 
the receptive and responding regions. These observations rendered the 
view that the stimulus is transmitted in the form of a hormone extremely 
probable; and later Stark showed that this hormone is thermostable, 
just as Eicca had done in the case of the hormone of Mimosa. Another 
very interesting point discovered by Stark — working with traumatic 
stimuli — is that the hormones are to a certain extent specific. Thus 
if the perceptive tip of a seedling is removed from one plant and affixed 
in position on another, the certainty of the response depends on the 
genetic affinity of the two plants. 

In all these cases it seems certain that the perceptive tissues are 
the point of origin, when stimulated, of a dissolved substance, the hor- 
mone, which makes its way to the motile tissues and releases the 

In the case of Mimosa just alluded to-, and of the labedlum of Masde- 
vallia examined by Oliver, there is direct evidence that the transmission 
of the hormone is effected by the vascular bundles. In Mimosa the 
channels are more precisely localised as being the trachese of the wood. 
Furthermore, the rapidity of transmission renders it certain that simple! 
diffusion through the tissues of the plant will not account for the pro-j 
cess. Some recorded velocities of transmission are here enumeratec 
for the sake of comparison: — 






Nature of Stimulus 






Transmission Time 
in sees, per mm. 



Diffusion in tissue . ... 

2250-3600 , 

There is thus every reason to behave that the transmission of stimuli 
generally through the tissues of the higher plants is effected by the 
conveyance of a hormone in the wood of the vascular bundles from the 
receptive to the motile regions, and whenever this transmission is in a 
downward direction evidence is afforded of the downward movement 
of water in the tracheae. It is reasonable to suppose that this downward 
current is able to carry organic foodstuffs as well as hormones. 

Thus the evidence for the existence of a bacliward flow of water in 
the tracheae of wood, in addition to the more obvious upward stream, 
is convincing. With regard, however, to the mechanism by which the 
backward stream is supplied we have but scant information. 

The volume-changes of leaves which Thoday has recorded are 
suggestive in this connection. These changes he found of various 
magnitudes, occurring simultaneously in different or in the same leaves. 
They may cause a linear contraction amounting to 2.5 per cent, in 
ten minutes, and may produce a volume contraction of 7 per cent, in 
the same time. The water corresponding to this volume-change in the 
cells of the leaf if transmitted into the tracheae would produce a con- 
siderable downward displacement, as may be seen from the following 
figures : — 

Name of Plant 

Volume of 1 per 

cent, contraction 

in mms. 

Cross-section of 

tracheae in 
petiole in mm"^. 

Downward j 
movement ] 
in cm. 

Aucuba japonica 

Solamim tuberosum 

Syringa vulgaris 

Acer macrophyllum 





If these changes in volume are caused by, or accompanied with, a 
development of permeability of the contracting cells, evidently a back- 
ward movement of organic substance having a velocity of about 120cm. 
and more per hour would be produced. 

It is possible that the tension which causes these contractions of the 
leaf-cells at the same time acts as a stimulus to increase the permea- 
bility of the plasmatic membranes of the cells ; and so one might imagine 
that the development of a certain tension would automatically release 
organic substances from the cells and draw them through the tracheae 
downwards. Direct experiment on this point presents difficulties, but 
it may be worth recordmg that when the internal osmotic pressure o-f 


the leaf -cells was overbalanced by an external gas-pressure, the water 
jjressed from the cells and forced out of the tracheae of the supporting 
stem was found to be practically pure, and if it contained carbohydrates 
they were in such small quantities that no reduction could be detected 
with Benedict's solution either before or after inversion. This experi- 
ment was repeated several times with branches of Sambucus nigra and 
Tilia americana. The cut branch, well supplied with water, was first 
exposed for several hours to conditions favom'able to photosynthesis, 
and then either immediately or after a sojourn in darkness subjected 
to the gas-pressure. A pressure of thirteen atmospheres was found 
sufficient to drive water back from the leaves out of the stem. 

Of course the conditions of this experiment are not those obtaining 
in the noi'mal plant, where during transpiration the volume of a leaf, 
or part of a leaf, changes. In the transpiring plant we can also imagine 
the accumulation of a substance or an ion which would give rise 
to an alteration of the permeability of the plasmatic membranes of the 

When, in order to imitate these conditions, the cells of the leaves 
in the foregoing experiment are rendered permeable by the introduction 
of a little toluene into the pressure-chamber, the aiDplication of a 
smaller pressure is sufficient to press the cell-contents into the water- 
channels, and liquid emerges from the base of the stem which readily 
reduces Benedict's solution. 

In the same way, if a pinna of Sambucus nigra is surrounded with 
toluene vapour, transpiration from the adjacent pinnae draws back the 
cell-contents of the toluened pinna, and afterwards their track in 
the wood of the vascular bundles of the rachis may be traced by the 
browning of this tissue. 

Another possibility presented itself — ^viz., that the direction of the, 
current might act as a stimulus regulating the permeability of the cells ! 
m contact with the tracheae. To test this, short lengths of stem set | 
in their normal position were supplied, first through their lower and! 
afterwards through their upper end, with distilled water. In neither] 
case could carbohydrates be detected in the issuing stream. 

The foregoing short consideration of some recent physiological workj 
leads us, then, to the following conclusions: — 

The transport of the organic substances needed in the distal growing 
regions is effected through the tracheae of the wood. The substances 
travel dissolved in the water filling these channels, which is m.oved b^ 
transpiration, expansion of the growing cells, or root pressure. 

Physical considerations forbid us admitting that sufficiently rapid 
transport can be afforded by the bast either for the observed upwan 
or downward distribution of organic substance. 

The existence of downward as well as upward movement of water 
in the tracheae of the wood may be demonstrated by suitable experi-j 
mental means, and may be inferred by the transport of hormones in the 

The occurrence of local contractions in leaves suggests that local| 
increases of peiTneability supply dissolved organic substances to the 
distal ends of certain of the filaments of tracheae. The tension de- 

K.— BOTANY. 203 

veloped by the transpiration of other regions draws these along down- 
ward as well as upward channels in the wood. 

In thus ruling out the participation of the bast in the longitudinal 
transport of organic substances in plants one naturally is forced to 
speculate on its probable function. Its distribution and conformation 
are such that, while it possesses a very small cross-section, it appears 
with the other living elements of the vascular bundles, medullary rays, 
wood-parenchyma, &c., to present a maximum surface to the tracheae. 

This large surface may find explanation in the necessity of inter- 
change between the living cells and dead conduits. The colloidal con- 
tents of the former render this process slow, hence the necessity for the 
large surface of interchange to enable sufficient quantities of organic 
substances to be abstracted from and introduced into the tracheae to 
meet the needs of the plant. 

Before concluding I would like to add that the experimental work 
carried out on this matter would have been quite impossible for me were 
it not for the assistance and ingenuity of Mr. N. G. Ball. He has also 
contributed materially by his criticisms and suggestions. 





The Educational Science Section of the British Association attains 
its majority this year ; and as a member privileged to assist in its birth, 
and associated with it in one capacity or" another throughout its life, 
it is difficult to resist the t-emptation to survey its growth and manifold 
activities with the object of making performance during the years of 
adolescence the ground of promise for the future. But though this may 
be an appropriate theme to expound when an organisation has passed 
naturally through the various stages from infancy to maturity, it is not 
so apt on the present occasion; for, trite as is the simile, it is true to 
say that, like Pallas Athene from the head of Zeus, this section sprang 
into being fully grown and clothed, and its form to-day is much the 
same as it was twenty-one years ago. 

Those of us who have been constant votaries at the new shrine then 
erected can recall many offerings which the goddess of wisdom would 
approve — seeds and flowers and fruits from the extensive and diversely 
fertile fields in which educational work is carried on. "We have also 
seen a succession of distinguished presidents, too many of whom, how- 
ever, have taken only a transient part in the activities of the section, 
coming before us for a single session and then passing from our view. 
The other sections of the Association are schools in which scientific! 
workers graduate and from which they are never entirely separated,i 
whether they reach the dignity of the presidential chair or not.] 
For some reasons it is, perhaps, to be regretted that our section has nol| 
hitherto been so self-sufficing in the supply of presidents, but fertilisa- 
tion from other fields has its advantages, and our visitors have always 
brought us stimulating principles of growth, so that I follow them with 
much diffidence, particularly as this is the first time on which one 
who has been Secretary and Recorder of the section has attained to 
the honour of the presidency. 

The section was established to consolidate the claims staked out by 
workers in different educational provinces, and promote common interest 
in their development as a whole. As Professor H. E. Armstrong ex- 
plained at the opening meeting, it was proposed to devote attention to 
education in all its branches with the object of introducing scientific 
conceptions into every sphere of educational activity ; that is, concep- 


tions which imply such exact and profitable treatment of a subject as 
should come from full knowledge. Educational science signifies, how- 
ever, much more than methods of teaching or the theory of the curri- 
culum. It involves conditions of physical, mental, and moral health, 
with their manifold types and variations, and the determination of the 
most appropriate, and therefore most effective, factors of growth at 
every stage of development. In its present stage educational science must 
be largely empirical, but in this respect it does not differ from meteor- 
ology, for example; and the laws which govern the pei-petually varying 
contents and conditions of a child's mind are not much less precisely 
known or applied than those by which atmospheric changes are deter- 
mined. The essential attribute of all scientific investigation is the spirit 
of discovery, and the standards by which the results are judged are not 
necessarily those of practical application. Teachers too often forget this 
when contributions to knowledge of mental processes are brought before 
them. Like engineers and medical practitioners, they expect science 
to provide things which are directly useful, whereas their duty is to 
discover possibilities in results achieved. Their own work is practical 
or clinical, and as such may help to test structures or prescriptions, but 
teaching is an art rather than a science, though like all arts its advances 
are most secure when they are founded upon scientific principles. 

It is not necessary, however, to discuss whether research in educa- 
tion belongs to pure or to applied science, whether, to use the distinction 
now adopted in other departments of progressive knowledge, it is scien- 
tific or industrial. It is scientific in so far as it follows scientific 
methods, reveals new facts, arrives at clear conclusions, and suggests 
consequences which are afterwards confirmed in application. Fortu- 
nately, it is possible to do these things without possessing complete 
knowledge. Hipparchus was able to determine the periods of revolu- 
tions of the planets with remarkable accuracy, and his values differ very 
sHghtly from those accepted at the present day, but it was not until 
eighteen hundred years later that Newton discovered the law of gravita- 
tion by which the movements of these and other bodies in the solar 
system are governed. So Plato and Aristotle had conceptions of educa- 
tion and the theory of conduct which are as true to-day as when they 
were expounded, because, though the conditions are different, the funda- 
mental human qualities which it is desired to stimulate and make 
permanent for life are the same. 

While, however, we very willingly pay tribute to the wisdom of the 
intellectual giants of the past, we should not let it control present 
thought or future policy. The scheme of education outlined by Plato 
in his ' Republic ' was designed for the training of gentlemen of means 
and leisure, and it left out of account altogether everything of the 
nature of manual occupation or professional equipment. It was a class 
education adapted to the needs and circumstances of the time, and its 
interest to us is chiefly academic or historic. Plato and other Greek 
thinkers were mostly concerned with education as a moral or civic pro- 
cess throughout life, and the school was only one stage affecting con- 
tinuous development. It was believed that to apprehend scientific 
principles and laws, or appreciate philosophic reasoning, required mature 


minds; therefore the serious study of these subjects was reserved for 
manhood and had no place in the school. 

Modern science differs greatly from what was known to the Greeks, 
particularly in the use of experimental methods of inquiry ; and if Plato 
were now constructing an educational system adapted to existing needs 
he would no doubt readjust its position in the curriculum. Yet there 
is sound psychology in the postponement of the consideration of laws 
and systems to late stages of a school coui'se. Knowledge begins with 
sense perception, and intelligent appreciation of laws expressing general 
relationships or affinities, or the recognition of the place of such laws 
in a system, can be expected only from gifted pupils. It is the business 
of education to promote the right adjustment between the developing 
human organism and its surroundings, and this implies that the nourish- 
ment provided at all stages of growth should be not only such as sup- 
plies the needs of the moment, but also builds up strength to live a full 
life under the conditions of the times. Whether we consider the prac- 
tical education or training by which uncivilised man learns to supply his 
needs, the humanistic conceptions of ancient Greece, medieval educa- 
tion, or modern systems, the aim is the same, namely, to create worthy 
members of particular social fabrics — to adapt people to meet the 
necessities of life and respond to the best influences of existing circum- 
.stances. It is true that Kant thought children should be educated not 
for the present but for a possibly improved condition of man in the 
future, yet he himself advocated the cultivation of natural abiUty to 
meet practical needs of life. 

Education may, therefore, be defined as the deliberate adjustment of 
a growing human being to its environment ; and the scope and character 
of the subjects of instruction should be determined by this biological 
principle. What is best for one race or epoch need not be most appro- 
priate for another, but always the aim should be to give the pupil as 
many points of contact with the world around him as may be profitably 
developed during his school career. This does not mean, of course, 
that his vision is to be confined to contemporary necessities or his 
thoughts to provincial or even national fields. The resources available 
for his instruction and guidance comprise the wisdom and experience of 
the past as well as the power of the present, and in their extensive and 
varied character they now provide teachers with educational opportuni- 
ties richer and fuller than those of any other period of the woi-Jd's 
history. Literature and art form noble domains of the heritage into 
which the child of to-day is born, but they were mostly planted long 
ago, and their shapes have not been altered much in modern times. 
Science has, however, transformed the whole landscape entrusted to it, 
and the realm of its productivity is continually extending. It is a 
kingdom potent with possibilities for good or evil — an inheritance which 
cannot be renounced — and to let any of our children grow up unfamiliar 
with their entailed possession is to neglect an obvious duty. 

The essential mission of school science is thus to prepare pupils for 
civilised citizenship by revealing, to them something of the beauty and 
the power of the world in which they live, as well as introducing them 
to the methods by which the boundaries of natural knowledge have been 


extended and Nature herself is being made subservient to her insurgent 
son. We hve in a different world to-day from that of medieval times, 
when tlie triviurn of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, with the quadrivium 
of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy, comprised the subjects 
of a complete education in the sciences as well as in letters — different 
indeed from what it was only a century ago. The influence of science 
is now all-pervading, and is manifest in all aspects of human activity, 
intellectual and material. Acquaintance with scientific ideas and 
methods and applications is forced upon everyone by existing circum- 
stances of civilised life with its facilities for rapid transport by air, land, 
or sea, ready communication by telephone or telegraph, and other means 
by which space and time have been brought under control and man 
has assumed the mastership of his physical and social destiny. Science 
permeates the atmosphere in which we live, and those who cannot 
hi-eathe it are not in biological adjustment with their environment — are 
not adapted to survive in the modern struggle for existence. 

Scliool instruction in science is not, therefore, intended to prepare 
for vocations, but to equip pupils for life as it is and as it soon may be. 
It is as essential for intelligent general reading as it is for everyday 
practical needs ; no education can be complete or liberal without some 
knowledge of its aims, methods, and results, and no pupil in primary 
or secondary schools should be deprived of the stimulating lessons it 
affords. In such schools, however, the science to be taught should be 
science for all, and not for embryonic engineers, chemists, or even 
biologists ; it should be science as part of a general education — un- 
specialised, therefore, and without reference to prospective occupation 
or profession, or direct connection with possible university courses to 
follow. Less than 3 per cent, of the pupils from our State-aided 
secondary schools proceed to universities, yet most of the science 
courses in these schools are based upon syllabuses of the type of univer- 
sity entrance examinations — syllabuses of sections of physics or chemis- 
try, botany, zoology, and so forth — suitable enough as preliminary 
studies of a professional type to be extended later, but in no sense 
representing in scope or substance what should be placed before young 
and receptive minds as the scientific portion of their general education. 
Such teaching excuses the attitude of many modern Gallios among 
schoolboys caring ' for none of those things.' The needs of the many 
are sacrificed to the interests of the few, with the result that much of 
the instruction is inept and futile whether judged by standards of en- 
lightenment or of stimulus. Exceptional pupils may profit by it, but 
to others, and particularly to teachers of literary subjects in the school 
curriculum, it often appears trivial or sordidly practical, and is usually 
spiritless — a means by which man may gain the whole world, but will 
lose his soul in the process. 

This impression is not altogether unjust, and the teaching of recent 
years has tended to accentuate it. The extent of school science is deter- 
mined by what can be covered by personal observation and experiment — 
a principle sound enough in itself for training in scientific method, but 
altogether unsuitable to define the boundaries of science in general educa- 
tion. Yet it is so used. Eveiy science examination qualifying for the 
1922 Q 


First School Certificate, which now represents subjects normally studied 
up to about sixteen years of age, is mainly a test of practical acquaint- 
ance with facts and principles encountered in particular limited fields, 
but not a single one affords recognition of a broad and ample course of 
instruction in science such as I believe is required in addition to labora- 
tory work. I have not the slightest intention or desire to suggest that 
practical work can be dispensed with in the teaching of any scientific 
subject, but I do urge that it becomes a fetish when it controls the 
range of view of the realm of natural knowledge capable of being opened 
for the best educational ends during school life. 

Advocates of both literary and scientific studies now agree that 
science should be integrally and adequately represented in the educa- 
tional course of all pupils up to the age of sixteen, and the Headmasters' 
Conference has subscribed to this view, as well as suggested the scope 
of the course, in the following resolutions : — 

(1) That it is essential to a boy's general education that he should 
have some knowledge of the natural laws underlying the phenomena 
of daily life, and some training in their experimental investigation. 

(2) That, in the opinion of this Conference, this can best be ensured 
by giving to all boys adequate courses of generalised science work, 
which would normally be completed for the ordinary boy at the age of 

(3) That, after this stage, boys who require it should take up science 
work of a more specialised type, while the others should for some time 
continue to do some science work of a more general character. 

As indicated in these resolutions, it is now generally recognised by 
educationists that up to the age of about sixteen years there should 
be no specialisation in school studies. The First School Examination 
was organised with this end in view, and seven examining bodies have 
been approved by the Board of Education to test the results of instruc- 
tion given in (1) English subjects, (2) languages, (3) mathematics and 
science, which constitute the three main groups in which candidates 
are expected to show a reasonable amount of attainment. The number 
of candidates who presented themselves at examinations of the standard 
of First School Certificates last year was about 42,000; and of this 
number, 12,500 took papers in sections of physics, 13,000 in chemistry, 
11,400 in botany, 5,000 physics and chemistry combined under experi- 
mental science, 113 natural history of animals, 31 geology, and 
3 zoology. 

These numbers may be taken as a fair representation of the science 
subjects studied in most of our secondary schools, and they suggest 
that general scientific teaching is almost non-existent. Botany is a 
common subject in girls' schools, but the instruction in science for boys 
is limited to parts of physics and chemistry. The former subject is 
usually divided into mechanic^ and hydrostatics ; heat ; sound and light ; 
and electricity and magnetism; and candidates are expected to reach a 
reasonable standard in two of these sections. They may, therefore, 
and often do, leave school when their only introduction to science is 
that represented by the study of mechanics and heat, and without the 
slightest knowledge of even such a common instrument as an electric 


bell, while the ever-changing earth around them, and the place of man 
in it, remain as pages of an unopened book. They ask for bread, and 
are given a stone. General science covering a wide field is practically 
unknown as a school subject, and even general physics rarely finds a 
place in the curriculum because questions set in examinations are, to 
quote from the Cambridge Locals Regulations, ' principally such as 
will test the candidate's knowledge of the subject as gained from a 
course of experimental instruction. ' This condition reduces the range 
of instruction in such a subject as physics to what can be covered in 
the laboratory, and makes a general course impossible; for time and 
equipment will not permit every pupil to learn everything through 
practical experiment. Eeading or teaching for interest, or to learn how 
physical science is daily extending the power of man, receives little 
attention because no credit for knowledge thus gained is given in 

One or two examining bodies have introduced general science sylla- 
buses covering the^rudiments of physics and chemistry as well as of plant 
and animal life, but even in these cases most of the subjects must be 
studied experimentally, and no place is found for any other means of 
acquiring knowledge. The result is that few schools find it worth while 
from the point of view of examination successes to attempt to cover such 
schemes of work. Moreover, no clear principle can be discerned by 
which the syllabuses are constructed. General science should be more 
than an amorphous collection of topics from physics and chemistry, 
with a little natural history thrown in as a sop to biologists. It should 
provide for good reading as well as for educational observation and 
experiment; should be humanistic as well as scientific. The subject 
which above all others has this double aspect is geography; so truly, 
indeed, is this the case that in the First School Examinations it may 
be offered in either the. English or the Science group. Practically all 
the subjects of a broad course of general science are of geographical 
significance, inasmuch as they are concerned with the earth as man's 
dwelling-place, and the scene of his activities- Eightly conceived, 
geography can be made the earliest means of education as both Comenius 
and Locke regarded it, and it can be used as the unifying principle of 
all the generalised scientific instruction in schools. It is now much 
more than travel stories of the type of Sir John Mandeville's medieval 
miscellany, or mere lists of capes and rivers, countries and cities. It 
provides interesting subjects for laboratory exercises and field work, and 
the results of observation and experiment are seen to be of use in under- 
standing what is going on in the earth as the result of both natural and 
human agencies. A school course which would cover all the science 
required for the study of geography conceived as a branch of knowledge 
concerned with the natural environment of man and the inter-relations 
between him and those circumstances would not only be educational 
in the broadest sense, but would also be the best groundwork for 
effective teaching of geography, history, and other humanistic studies. 
It would make science a natural part of a vertebrate educational course 
instead of specialised and exclusive as it tends to be at present. 

There is very present need for the reminder that science is not all 

Q 2 


measurement, nor is all measurement, science. Observation also is not 
merely looking at things, but examining them with a seeing mind and 
clear purpose. School science to-day, however, is almost entirely con- 
cerned with measurement, and pupils will cheerfully record that they 
observed what they could never possibly have seen (as, for example, 
the production of an invisible gas), while they continually carry out 
experiments which to them have no other purpose than that of occupy- 
ing their time, or to provide them with details demanded by examination 
questions. In the great majority of secondary schools science signifies 
chiefly quantitative work in physics and chemistry — laboratory 
exercises and lessons bearing upon them — and rarely is any attempt 
made to show the pupils what a wonderful world we live in, or what 
science has done, and is doing, for them in their everyday life. Much 
of the work described as physics really belongs to mensuration, and has 
no claim upon the time devoted to science, though it helps to fix in- 
struction in arithmetic or other branches of school mathematics. There 
is, indeed, no virtue in measuring and weighing in the absence of 
intelligent appreciation of the objects for which such operations are 
performed, or of interest in them. 

In the usual course of physics, from fundamental measurements 
and mechanics to heat, possibly wiili light aud sound, and magnetism 
and electricity, to follow, though relatively few pupils get beyond the 
heat stage, natural or psychological needs are sacrificed to logical 
sequence. It cannot be reasonably suggested that the order in which 
these subjects are prescribed has any relation to mental growth, or that 
the topics selected from them are such as appeal to early interests. 
Few pupils of their own volition wish to determine specific gravities, 
investigate the laws of motion, calculate specific and latent heats, and 
so on, at the stage of instruction in science at which these matters are 
usually studied, and from the point of view of educational value most 
of them would be more profitably employed in becoming acquainted with 
as wide a range as possible of common phenomena and everyday things 
— all considered as qualities to stimulate attention instead of quantities 
to be measured with an accuracy for which the need cannot be seen 
and by methods which easily become wearisome. The ' Investigators ' 
appointed by the Board of Education in 1918 to report upon the papers 
set in examinations for the First School Certificate were right when 
they expressed their opinion ' that the early teaching of physics has 
suffered from toO' great insistence on more or less exact quantitative, 
work, to the neglect of qualitative or very roughly quantitative ex- 
periments illustrating fundamental notions.' By the prevailing obses- 
sion in regard to quantitative work the pupil is made the slave of the 
machine, and appliances become encumbrances to the development of 
the human spirit. 

The prime claim of science to a place in the school curriculum is ; 
based upon the intellectual value of the subject matter and its application i 
to life. This conception of education through science as the best 
preparation for complete living was Herbert Spencer's contribution to 
educational theory ; and to its influence the introduction of science into 
the school is largely due. Spencer's doctrine was in accord with the 


principles of Pestalozzi as to tlie sequence in which facts and ideas 
should be presented and be related to stages of development, in order 
to be effective in creating or fostering natural interests in the mind of 
the cliild. Scientific instruction implies, therefore, not alone knowledge 
that is best for use in life, but knowledge adapted to the normal course 
of mental development. Both substance and method should be judged 
by the criterion of what is of greatest immediate worth or nearest to the 
pupil's interests at the moment. When this standard of psychological 
suitability is applied to the school science courses now usually followed, 
it must be confessed that they rarely reach it, many topics and much 
material being remote from the pupil's natural interests and needs. 

The truth is that in the design of science courses for schools ' triai- 
and-error ' methods have been followed. In the absence of accurate 
knowledge these are the only possible methods of construction, but 
sufficient is now known of child psychology to produce a scheme of 
scientific instruction which represents not merely the views of advocates 
of particular subjects, but is biologically sound because it is in accord 
with the principles of mental growth, and, therefore, with those of 
educational science. When instruction in science was first introduced 
into schools its character was determined by insight and conviction 
rather than by mental needs or interests; so later, when practical work 
came to be regarded as an essential part of such instruction, its nature 
and scope represented what certain authorities believed pupils should 
do, instead of what they were capable of doing with intelligence and 
purpose. Practical chemistry became drill in the test-tubing operations 
of qualitative analysis, and the result was so unsatisfactory from the 
points of view of both science and education that when Professor Arm- 
strong put forward a scheme of instruction devised by him, in which 
intelligent experimentation took the place of routine exercises, acknow- 
ledgment of its superior educational value could not be withheld, and 
for thirty years its principles have influenced the greater part of the 
science teaching in our schools. 

In its aims the ' heuristic ' methods of studying science energetically 
advocated by Professor Armstrong were much the same as those asso- 
ciated with the names of other educational reformers. Education in 
every age tends to a condition of scholasticism, and practical science 
teaching is no exception to this general rule, its trend being towards 
ritual, after which a revolt follows in the natural order of events. 
Comenius, with his insistence upon sense perception as the foundation 
of early training — ' Leave nothing, ' he said, ' until it has been impressed 
by means of the ear, the eye, the tongue, the hand'; John Dury 
among the Commonwealth writers who urged that pupils should be 
guided to observe all things and reflect upon them ; Locke, with his 
use of sciences not to bring about ' a variety and stock of knowledge, 
l)ut a variety and freedom of thinking ' ; and Rousseau, who would 
' measure, reason, weigh, compare,' not in order to teach particular 
sciences, but to develop methods of learning them — all these were in 
different degrees apostles of the same gospel of education according to 
Nature, and the development of a scientific habit of mind as the inten- 
tion of instruction. What Rousseau persistently lu-ged in this direction 


was clearly formulated by Spencer in the words, ' Children should be 
led to make their own investigations, and to draw their own inferences. 
They should be told as little as possible, and induced to discover as 
much as possible ' — principles which cover all that is implied in what 
has since been termed ' heuristic ' teaching. 

Professor Armstrong's particular contribution to educational science 
consisted in the production of detailed schemes of work in which these 
principles were put into practice. Ideas are relatively cheap, and it 
needs a master mind to make a coherent story or useful structure from 
them. This was done in the courses in chemistry outlined in Reports 
presented to the British Association in 1889 and 1890, and the effect 
was a complete change in the methods of teaching that subject. ' The 
great mistake, ' said Professor Armstrong, ' that has been made hitherto 
is that of attempting to teach the elements of this or that special branch 
of science ; what we should seek to do is to impart the elements of 
scientific method and inculcate wisdom, so choosing the material studied 
as to develop an intelligent appreciation of what is going on in the 
world.' One feature of heuristic instruction emphasised by its modern 
advocate, but often neglected, is that which it presents to the teaching 
of English. Accounts of experiments had to be written out in literary 
form desci'ibing the purpose of the inquiry and the bearing of the results 
upon the questions raised, and wide reading of original works was 
encouraged. A few years ago English composition was regarded as a 
thing apart from written work in science, but this should not be so, and 
most teachers would now agree with the view expressed by Sir J. J. 
Thomson's Committee on the Position of Natural Science in the Educa- 
tional System of Great Britain that ' All through the scieirce course 
the greatest care should be taken to insist on the accurate use of the 
English language, and the longer the time given to science the greater 
becomes the responsibility of the teacher in this matter. . . . The con- 
ventional jargon of laboratories, which is far too common in much that is 
written on pure and applied science, is quite out of place in schools.' 

When heuristic methods are followed in the spirit in which they 
were conceived, namelj', that of arousing interest in common occur- 
rences, and leading pupils to follow clues as to their cause, as a detective 
unravels a mystery, there is no doubt as to their success. No one sup- 
poses that pupils must find out everything for themselves by practical 
inquiry, but they can be trained to bring intelligent thought upon 
simple facts and phenomena, and to devise experiments to test their 
own explanations of what they themselves have observed. It is impos- 
sible, however, to be true to heuristic methods in the teaching of science 
and at the same time pay addresses to a syllabus. A single question 
raised by a pupil may take a term or a year to arrive at a reasonable 
answer, and the time may be well spent in forming habits of independent 
thinking about evidence obtained at first-hand, but the work cannot also 
embrace a prescribed range of scientific topics. Yet under existing 
conditions, in which examinations are used to test attainments, this 
double duty has to be attempted by even the most enlightened and pro- 
gressive teachers of school science. There can, indeed, be no profit- 
able training in research methods in school laboratories under the 


shadow of examination syllabuses. Where there is freedom from such 
restraint, and individual pupils can be permitted to proceed at their 
own speeds in inquiries initiated on their own motives, success is 
assured, but in few schools are such conditions practicable; so that, in 
the main, strict adherence to the heuristic method is a policy of perfec- 
tion which may be aimed at but is rarely reached. 

A necessary condition of the research method of teaching science is 
that the pupils themselves must consider the problems presented to 
them as worth solving, and not merely laboratory exercises. Moreover, 
the inquiries undertaken must be such as can lead to clear conclusions 
when the experimental work is accurately performed. It may be doubted 
whether the rusting of iron or the study of germination of beans and the 
growth of seedlings fulfils the first of these conditions, and the common 
adoption of these subjects of inquiry is due to custom and convenience 
rather than to recognition of what most pupils consider to be worth 
their efforts. It needed a Priestley and a Lavoisier to proceed from 
the rusting of iron to the composition of air and water, and even such 
an acute investigator as Galileo, though well aware that air has weight, 
did not understand how this fact explained the working of the common 
suction pump. If research methods are to be followed faithfully, and 
what pupils want to discover about natural facts and phenomena is to 
determine what they do, then teachers must be prepared to guide them 
in scores of inquiries both in and out of the laboratory. Under the 
exigencies of school work it is impracticable to contemplate such proce- 
dure, and all that can be usefully attempted is to lead pupils to read 
the book of Nature and to understand how difficult it is to obtain a 
precise answer to what may seem the simplest question. 

The mission of school science should not, indeed, be only to provide 
training in scientific method — valuable as tliis is to everyone. Such 
training does cultivate painstaking and observant habits, and encourages 
independent and intelligent reasoning, but it cannot be held in these 
days that any one subject may be used for the general nourishment of 
faculties which are thereby rendered more capable of assimilating other 
subjects. Modern psychology, as well as everyday experience, has 
disposed of this belief. If the doctrine of transfer of power were 
psychologically sound, then as good a case could be made out for the 
classical languages as for science, because they also may be taught so as 
to develop the power of solving problems and of acquiring knowledge 
at the same time. When, therefore, advocates of particular courses 
of instruction state that they do not pretend to teach science, but are 
concerned solely with method, they show unwise indifference to what 
is known about educational values. Locke's disciplinary theory — that 
the process of learning trains faculties for use in any fields, and that 
the nature of the subject is of little consequence — can no longer be 
entertained. It has now to be acknowledged that information obtained 
in the years of school life is as important as the process of obtaining it ; 
that, in other words, subject matter as well as the doctrine of formal 
discipline must be taken into consideration in designing courses of 
scientific instruction which will conform to the best educational 


So long ago as 1867 the distinction between subject and method was 
clearly stated by a Committee of the British Association, which included 
among its members Professor Huxley, Professor Tyndall, and Canon 
Wilson. It was pointed out that general literary acquaintance with 
scientific things in actual life, and knowledge relating to common facts 
and phenomena of Nature, were as desirable as the habits of mind aimed 
at in scientific training through ' experimental physics, elementary 
chemistry, and botany.' The subjects which the Committee recom- 
mended for scientific information, as distinguished from training, com- 
prehended ' a general description of the solar system ; of the form 
and physical geography of the earth, and such natural phenomena as 
tides, currents, winds, and the causes that influence climate; of the 
broad facts of geology ; of elementary natural history with especial 
reference to the useful plants and animals ; and of the rudiments of 
physiology.' If we add to this outline a few suitable topics illustrating 
applications of science to everyday life, we have a course of instruction 
much more suitable for all pupils as a part of their general education 
than what is now commonly followed in secondary schools. It will be 
a course which will excite wonder and stimulate the imagination, will 
promote active interest in the beauty and order of Nature, and the 
extension of the Kingdom of Man, and provide guidance in the laws 
of healthy life. 

The purpose of this kind of instruction is, of course, altogether 
different from that of practical experiment in the laboratory. One of 
the functions is to provide pupils with a knowledge of the nature of 
everyday phenomena and applications of science, and of the meaning of 
scientific words in common use. Instead of aiming at creating appre- 
ciation of scientific method by an intensive study of a narrow field, a 
wide range of subjects should be presented in order to give extensive 
views which cannot possibly be obtained through experimental work 
alone. The object is indeed almost as much literary as scientific, and 
the early lessons necessary for its attainment ought to be within the 
capacity of every qualified teacher of English. Without acquaintance 
with the common vocabulary of natural science a large and increasing 
body of current literature is unintelligible, and there are classical 
scientific works which are just as worthy of study in both style and 
substance as many of the English texts prescribed for use in schools. 
We all now accept the view that science students should be taught to 
express themselves in good English, but little is heard of the equal 
necessity for students of the English language to possess even an-j 
elementary knowledge of the ideas and terminology of everyday science, 
which are vital elements in the modern world, and which it is the 
business of literatm'e to present and interpret. 

So much has been, and can be, said in favour of broad com-ses of 
'general informative science in addition to laboratory instruction and- 
lessons which follow closely upon it, that the rarity of such courses in 
our secondary schools is a little surprising at first sight. Their absence J 
seems to be due to several reasons. In the first place, the teachers i 
themselves are specialists in physics, chemistry, biology, or some other' 
department of science, and they occupy their own territory in school 


as definitely as Mr. Eliot Howard has shown to be the. behaviour- 
routine of birds in woods and fields. You may, therefore, have a 
teaclier of physics who has taken an honours degree and yet knows 
less of plant or animal life than a child in an elementary school where 
Nature Study is wisely taught; and, on the other hand, there are 
teachers of natural history altogether unacquainted with the influence of 
physical and chemical conditions upon the observations they describe 
or the conclusions they reach. Natural science as a single subject no 
longer exists either in school or university, and with its division and 
sub-division has come a corresponding limitation of interest. No man 
can now be considered as having received a liberal education if he knows 
nothing of the scientific thought around him, but it is equally true that 
no man of science is scientifically educated unless his range of intel- 
lectual vision embraces the outstanding facts and principles of all the 
main branches of natural knowledge. It cannot reasonably be sug- 
gested that this general knowledge of science should be acquired by 
all if teachers of science themselves do not possess it. During the past 
thirty years or so there has been far too much boundary-marking of 
science teaching in school on account of the specialised qualifications 
of the teachers. What is wanted is less attention to the conventional 
division of science into separate compartments designed by examining 
bodies, and more to the whole field of Nature and the scientific activities 
by which man has transformed the world; and no teacher of school 
science should be unwilling or unqualified to impart such instruction 
to his pupils. 

Where such teachers do exist, however, they are compelled by the 
exigencies of examinations to conform to syllabuses of which the 
boundary lines are no more natural than those which mark political 
divisions of countries on a map of the world. All that can be said in 
favour of the delimitation of territory is that it is convenient ; the 
examiner knows what the scope of his questions may be, and teachers 
the limits of the field they are expected to survey with their pupils. 
While, therefore, it may be believed that a general course of science is 
best suited to the needs of pupils up to the age of about sixteen years, 
examining authorities recognise no course of this character, and very 
few schools include it in the curriculum. Expressed in other words, 
the proximate or ultimate end of the instruction is not education but 
examination, not the revealing of wide prospects because of the stimulus 
and interest to be derived from them, but the study of an arbitrary 
group of topics prescribed because knowledge of them can be readily 
tested. It may be urged that this is the only practicable plan to adopt 
if a science course is to have a defined shape, and not, like much that 
passes for Nature Study, merely odds and ends about Nature, without 
articulation or purpose. Acceptance of this view, however, carries 
with it the acknowledgment that expediency rather than principle has 
to determine the scope and character of school science, which is equiva- 
lent to saying that science has no secure place in educational theory. 
I prefer to believe that a school coui'so of general science can be 
constructed which is largely informative and at the same time truly 
educational, but it must provide what is best adapted to enlarge the 


outlook and develop the capacity of the minds which receive it, and 
not be determined by the facilities it offers for examinational tests. 

A third reason for the relative absence of general scientific education 
in schools is the demands which the teaching might make upon appa- 
ratus and equipment. Simple quantitative work in physics, chemistry, 
or botany can be done in the laboratory with little apparatus, and a 
single experiment may occupy a pupil for several teaching periods. 
To attempt to provide the means by which all pupils can observe for 
themselves a wide range of unrelated facts and phenomena belonging 
to the biological as well as to the physical sciences is obviously 
impracticable, and would be educationally ineffective. Experi- 
ments carried out in the laboratory should chiefly serve to train 
and test capacity of attacking problems and arriving at precise results 
just as definitely as do exercises in mathematical teaching. But 
knowledge by itself, whether of quantitative or qualitative character, is 
not sufficient, and it becomes power only when it is expressed or used. 
Every observation or experiment carries with it, therefore,' the duty of 
recording it clearly and fully in words or computations, or both, and 
if this is faithfully done laboratory work of any kind may be made an 
aid to English composition as well as an incentive to independent inquuy 
and intelligent thought. 

It is very difficult, however, to devise a laboratory course of generiil 
science which shall be both coherent and educative; shall be, in other 
words, both extensive in scope and intensive in method. I doubt, 
indeed, whether any practical course can perform this double function 
successfully. Probably the best working plan is to keep the descriptive 
lessons and the experimental problems separate, using demonstrations 
in the class-room as illustrations, and leaving the laboratory work to 
itself as a means of training in scientific method or of giving a practical 
acquaintance with a selected series of facts and principles. The main 
thing to avoid is the limitation of the science teaching ta what can be 
done practically ; for no general survey is possible under such condi- 
tions. Even if two-thirds of the time available for scientific instruction 
be devoted to laboratory experiment and questions provoked by it, the 
remaining third should be used to reveal the wonder and the power and 
the poetry of scientific work and thought ; to be an introduction to the 
rainbow-tinted world of Nature as well as provide notes and a vocabulary' 
which will make classical and contemporary scientific literature intel- 
ligible. If there must be a test of attention and understanding in con- 
nection with such descriptive lessons, because of the spirit of indifference 
inherent in many minds— young as well as old — let it be such as will 
show comprehension of the main facts and ideas presented and know- 
ledge of the meaning of the woi'ds and terms used. In this wayij 
descriptive lessons may be used to provide material for work and active 
thought, and light dalliance with scientific subjects avoided. 

It may be urged that no knowledge of this kind has any scientific^ 
reality unless it is derived from first-hand experience, and this is no | 
doubt right in one sense ; yet it is well to remember that science, like art, 
is long while school life is short, and that though practical familiarity) 
with scientific things must be limited, much pleasure and profit can be 


derived from becoming acquainted with what others have seen or 
thouglit. It is true that we learn from personal experience, but a wise 
man learns also from the experience of others, and one purpose of a de- 
scriptive science course should be to cultivate this capacity of under- 
standing what others have described. As in art, or in music, or in 
literature, the intention of school teaching should be mainly to promote 
appreciation of what is best in them rather than to train artists, musi- 
cians, or men of letters, so in science the most appropriate instruction for 
a class as an entity must be that which expands the vision and creates a 
spirit of reverence for Nature and the power of man, and not that which 
aims solely at training scientific investigators. It should conform with 
Kant's view that the ultimate ideal of education is nothing Less tha,n 
the perfection of human nature, and not mei-ely a goal to be obtained 
by the select few. 

The sum and substance of this address is a plea for the expansion 
of scientific instruction in this humanising spirit, for widening the gate- 
way into the land of promise where the destinies of the human race 
are shaped. It is the privilege of a president to be to some extent 
pontifical — to express opinions wliich in other circumstances would 
demand qualification — and to leave others to determine how far the 
doctrines pronounced can be put into practice in daily life. I do not, 
therefore, attempt to suggest the outlines of courses of science teaching 
for pupils of different ages, or for schools of different types; this has 
been done already in a number of books and reports, among the latter 
being the Eeport of Sir J. J. Thomson's Committee on the Position 
of Natural Science, the Eeport of the British Association Committee 
on Science Teaching in Secondary Schools, Mr. 0. H. Lattei-'s Report 
to the Board of Education on Science Teaching in Public Schools, the 
' Science for All ' Eeport and Syllabus issued by the Science Masters' 
Association, a Board of Education Eeport on ' Some Experiments in the 
Teaching of Science and Handwork in certain Elementary Schools in 
London,' and one prepared for the Board by Mr. J. Dover Wilson on 
' Humanism in the Continuation School.' What has been said in this 
address as to the need for extending the outlook of customary scientific 
instruction beyond the narrow range of manual exercises, manipulative 
dexterity, experimental ritual, or incipient research, can be both ampli- 
fied and justified from these Eeports. I want science not only to be 
a means of stimulating real and careful thinking through doing tilings, 
but also a means of creating interest and enlarging the working vocabu- 
lary of the pupils and thus truly increasing their range of intelligence. 
So may scientific instruction be made a power and an inspiration by 
giving, in the words of the Book of Wisdom (vii. 16-20) : — 

' an unerring knowledge of the things that are, 
To know the constitution of the world and the operation of the elements ; 
The beginning and end and middle of times. 
The alternations of the solstices and the changes of seasons, 
The circuits of years and the positions of stars ; 
The nature of living creatures and the raging of wild beasts, 
The violences of winds and the thoughts of men, 
The diversities of plants and the virtues of roots.' 



When school science has this outlook it will lie closer to the human 
heart than it does at present, and a common bond of sympathy will be 
formed between all who are guiding the growth of young minds for both 
beauty and strength. So will the community of educational aims be 
established and the place of science in modern life be understood by a 
generation which will be entrusted with the task of making a new 
heaven and a new earth. If these trustees for the future learn to know 
science in spirit as well as in truth we may look forward with happy 
confidence to the social structure they will build, in which knowledge 
will be the bedrock of springs of action and wisdom will make man the 
worthy monarch of the world. 



The Eight Hon. Lord BLEDISLOE, K.B.E., 


At a critical period in the history of British agriculture you have 
invited one who is not an expert scientist but an ordinary country squire, 
intensely proud of the traditions and deeply conscious of the poten- 
tialities of the class to which he belongs, to preside over the Agricultural 
Section of the British Association. If in my address I fail to carry 
persuasion, it will not be through lack of strong convictions or of a 
sense of responsibility in giving utterance to them. This meeting 
marks the tenth anniversary of the inauguration of this Section of the 
Association. It may with reason be asked whether it has so far justi- 
fied itself. It can only do so if the teachings of science not merely tinge 
but permeate ordinary British farm practice to the commercial advan- 
tage of the whole agricultural industry. It is not sufficient for scientists 
to preach only to the converted. Whether in the realm of animal 
husbandry, or in that of arable cultivation, the pursuit of scientific 
method must not be confined to the favoured few possessing abnormal 
wealth or an exceptional combination of intellectual zeal with business 
aptitude, but must for its full justification result in an improved general 
standard of farming and a largely increased output of agricultural pro- 
duce at a reasonable margin of profit, in which the whole rural com- 
munity participates. Considering the wealth of discovery in almost 
every branch of agricultural research during the last quarter of a 
century, and the greatly enlarged scope of scientific investigation as 
applied to agricultural problems during the last few years, the absorp- 
tion into ordinary British farm practice of the results of such investi- 
gation is far from being commensurate with the labour or, indeed, the 
expense of scientific effort. 

Although there is amongst farmers a growing appreciation of the 
value of science to their industry, there is far too wide a gap between 
the most enlightened and commercially successful farm practice and 
that of the average farmer in this country. 

How is this gulf to be bridged? 

My immediate predecessor in the Presidency of this Section, Mr. 
C. S. Orwin, in his carefully reasoned and suggestive address last year 
at Edinburgh, pointed out that a study of economics and the constant 


recognition of dominant economic force must go hand in hand with 
agricultural research and education in the various branches of science 
upon which agricultura is based, if the latter are to receive their full 
fruition, and if the business of farming is to be profitably conducted. 
The highest skill in the task of actual production may, in the absence of 
efficient business management and of the organisation in the interests of 
the agricultural producer of the conversion, transport, distribution and 
sale of his produce, fail to prevent the bankruptcy court being his ultimate 
destination. A good recent illustration of the anomalous and unfor- 
tunate result of lack of such organisation is the sale to millers by 
thousands of farmers last autumn of exceptionally high quality 
wheat at a relatively low value, and the subsequent purchase by the 
same farmers, in many cases from the same somxe, of residual wheat 
offals for the feeding of their pigs or cattle at considerably higher prices 
than those paid to them for the whole gi-ain; or again, the crisis among 
dairy farmers last spring arising out of the attempt on the part of a power- 
ful combination of milk distributors to compel them to enter into 
summer milk contracts at prices which left them no prospective margin 
of profit, while retailing the same commodity to the public in the towns 
at nearly three times the price paid to the producer, thus incidentally 
putting a premium upon the increased importation from abroad of milk 
powder and other milk substitutes. 

The crying need of such organisation is admitted. But how is it 
to be supplied ? Numerous public-spirited efforts have been made for 
at least thirty years by the Agricultural Organisation Society and other 
like bodies, with Government encouragement, to develop co-operative 
effort among British farmers, comparable to that which has attended 
the same movement in Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, 
Hungary and (in more recent years) Ireland, but without any very 
marked or persistent success, largely owing to the somewhat obstinate 
individuality and mutual suspicion of our agricultural population, and 
partly and chiefly owing to the lack of the initiative and control in such 
enterprises of outstanding and universally acknowledged leaders of 
indisputable integrity and business capacity. 

If efficient organisation is the chief desideratum of British rural J 
industry, and if its availability depends upon trained leadership, where | 
is such leadership to be found ? 

Let us glance at the other side of the picture. There is a strong., 
political movement in favour of Land Nationalisation. It is part of the j 
accepted creed of organised labour in this country; it is, significantly,- 
the chief political tenet of the two national groups of organised agricul- 
tural workers. It implies no hostility amongst its adherents to agricul- 
tural landowners, either individually or as a class. In fact, the country 
squire, especially one who is, so to speak, ' ascriptus glebte ' — ^whose 
family has become deep-rooted for several generations in the soil of the ; 
locality as well as in honourable traditions of public service and philan- ' 
thropic utility — is, or at least, speaking generally, was (until post-War 
impoverishment threatened his continuing stability) an object of respect, 
and often of affection, among the local working population, more so 
veiy often than the farm tenants upon his estate. Every reputable 


landowner who has faced the ordeal of a political contest in a purely 
rural constituency is conscious of the almost pathetic confidence evoked, 
not so much by the professions of his political faith as by the fact 
of his land-ownership, and the assumption of well-informed sympathy 
which is deemed to be associated with it. He may be stupid or re- 
actionary, but he inspires respect for his honesty, patriotism, and un- 
selfish devotion to duty. Yet to the advocates of Land Nationalisation 
in the mass he appears as an industrial parasite, a mere rent-receiver, 
who ' reaps where he has not sown, who gathers where he has not 
strawed. ' He owns, it is true— in the form of land, buildings, and other 
farm equipment — at least two-thirds of the capital embarked in the 
industry of agriculture. He may derive ^ per cent, or less from his 
capital so invested, and live an inconspicuous life of comparative 
jioverty, while the sale (especially in recent years) of his estate and the 
investment of the proceeds of sale in Government securities might treble 
his income and raise him to a condition of comparative affluence. But 
unless he is himself a farmer (which is seldom the case) he lives a 
life detached from the industry carried on upon his estate, and often 
ineffectually seeks relief from his growing poverty by attaching himself 
to a Property Defence League. He becomes, in fact, a mere property 
defender, which in a highly democratic State carries little conviction to 
a preponderantly urban proletariat, and tends to stimulate the activities 
of revolutionary propagandists. If, on the other hand, he were to stand 
out in the body politic as a producer, trained for his task as such, and 
prepared to accept the position of managing director of the great and, 
if well organised and directed, potentially profitable industry conducted 
upon his property, his position as a landowner would be far less 
vulnerable and his utility to the State indisputable. 

The agricultural community in Britain to-day above all else needs 
enlightened leadership, just as agriculture needs efficient organisation; 
and the landowner, if, after due training, he would but take his proper 
position, should be both leader and chief organiser. 

During the last half-century, when the financial resources of the 
average landowner, even during the great depression of the 'eighties 
and 'nineties, sufficed to furnish a competence for himself and his 
family, and before the growing burden of estate duty (against which 
he often secured the devolution of an undiminished inheritance by the 
annual payment of an insurance premium) tlu-eatened the dissolution 
of his estate, he was wont, at least in his youth, to serve his country 
in the Navy, the. Army, or some other financially unrem-unerative 
branch of the public service, or to participate unpaid in the conduct 
of local government. He employed, an estate agent (often a person of 
no agricultural training), who stood between him and the agricultural 
activities of his estate, in respect of which he was himself often 
deplorably ignorant, unbusinesslike, and unprogressive. 

The War has naturally altered his outlook. It is estimated that 
the present rate of estate duty as levied upon a form of property of 
which (if adequately maintained) the net income is relatively low and 
the capital value disproportionately high, will, unless hereafter materi- 
ally reduced, permit of no landed estate of average size and rental. 


unbutti'essed by external financial resources, remaining in one family 
for more than two generations. Effective insurance against the burden 
of death duties is in such cases no longer practicable. The continued 
employment of an estate agent who is not also an experienced farm 
manager is to many a luxury, of which the estate income will no longer 
admit. The sale of the estate is one of two alternatives : its owner- 
management and industrial development constitute the other. The 
second alternative is possible under a system either of Landlord and 
Tenant or of Occupying Ownership. 

The relation of landlord and tenant necessarily depends for its 
success upon the leadership and initiative of the owner, based upon 
sound knowledge. It operated as a stimulant to English agriculture 
during the latter part of the eighteenth and the first half of the 
nineteenth century, because, following the example of George III., 
Lord Townshend, Lord Leicester, and other enlightened territorial mag- 
nates, it had become the fashion for the owner to interest himself in 
farming, and he consequently knew what the land was capable of, 
and gave a lead to his tenants. With the growing importations of 
grain from abroad, the increasing prosperity of the industrial popula- 
tion at the expense of the countryside, and especially in consequence 
of the agricultural depression during the last two decades of the nine- 
teenth century, the landowner lost faith in himself and in his true 
vocation, and had neither the knowledge nor the inclination to give 
his tenants the lead which they required. It became, in fact, easier 
for him, by remitting rents and acquiescing in the farmer's desire to 
lay his land down to grass, to obtain the reputation of a ' good ' land- 
lord, an expression which meant in all too many cases his abandonment 
of leadership and his surrender to ignorant or indolent preju- 
dice. Where neither leadership nor rent remission were forthcoming 
his old tenants were ruined. The prime condition under which farm 
tenancy can prosper is the owner's knowledge and management of his 
estate, similar to that exercised by the manager of an industrial com- 
pany in relation to his business. The owner, in fact, if he carried out 
to the full the possibilities of his position, ought continuously, with the 
knowledge and experience which would render intervention acceptable, 
to be guiding his tenants in the way of improving their business by the 
constant application of science to farm practice, the employment of 
labour-saving machinery, the discovery of new markets, and, above 
all, by the development of co-operation. If he had but the knowledge 
and the faith he could have done much during the last half-century by 
insisting upon the proper education of his tenants' sons before they in 
their turn became occupiers of his estate holdings, or even by looking 
to the agricultural colleges for the provision of fresh blood and enter- 
prise among his tenantry, himself selecting at times a likely youth 
from the human output of such institutions. 

Whereas at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the 
nineteenth centm-y certain progi-essive English landowners were 
definitely and admittedly the leaders of the industry, to-day, and for 
the past sixty years, landowners have ceased tO' lead. Coke of Norfolk 
and his oontemix)raries in introducing developments which benefited 


the whole industry also benefited themselves and their whole environ- 
ment, because these improvements were introduced on sound business 
lines. Land to-day in the hands of British landowners is more than 
ever an amenity, and although there are many whose serious impoverish- 
ment operates as an inducement to put their estates upon a business 
footing, they are sadly conscious that they have not the knowledge 
to do so. The excessive development of urban and industrial interests, 
coupled with the relatively severe neglect of all rural development, is 
the fundamental cause of the present unpromising state of British agri- 
culture, which is affecting adversely the prosperity and security of the 
whole nation. 

One drawback to the English estate system is the size and character 
of the home farm. It is in but few cases that this has been conducted 
on business lines, and it has, therefore, proved unconvincing to the 
tenant farmers. Even where a high standard of live-stock or of cultiva- 
tion has been obtained, the working farmer has assumed that such 
methods are uneconomic, and therefore unworthy of imitation by one 
who has ' to make a living out of his farm. ' In this respect Germany 
has shown a pleasing contrast. The great estate of the typical East 
Prussian landowner was only in part farmed by his small 
tenants. He himself had a large demesne. With the agrarian 
revival, which dated from about 1870', these owners commenced 
farming their demesnes more intensively instead of finding more 
estate tenants. They realised the importance of the application 
of science to farming, and sought skilled scientific managers, and 
obtained them from the German agricultural colleges, notably from 
Bonn. This developed a valuable organisation, under which the well- 
trained young agriculturist could obtain his practical experience as an 
under-manager before he was selected to control the business of farming 
commercially a large area of land. In this country, where for many 
years science and practice have, in spite of the motto of the Eoyal 
Agricultural Society of England, existed largely in separate watertight 
compartments, with a tendency on the part of many of the more 
influential landowners (at their rent audit dinners and on other like 
occasions) to disparage the value of the former and evoke applause by 
so doing, such a development has been impracticable. If, for instance, 
at the present time an English landowner proposed to farm his 5,000 
or 10,000 acres as an industrial undertaking, he would have considerable 
difficulty in finding a trustworthy manager fully equipped for the post. 
Every year for many years past suitable men have been leaving the 
agricultural colleges, but they have found it impossible to obtain the 
necessary practical experience for the full commercial utilisation of their 
scientific equipment, owing to their inability to enter the business of 
industrial farming in a subordinate capacity. Experience on a single 
farm of average size does not fit a potentially capable man for the 
management of a big, highly organised farming business. He has not 
developed the right outlook. 

A good illustration of the weakness of ownership detached from 
occupation when the landlord ceases to have the necessary knowledge 
and experience may be seen in Italy at the present time. The metayer 
1922 R 


system, which is many centuries old, has of late years been breaking 
down, and the War has accelerated its downfall. The landowner, who 
was originally its creator and the main source of its stability, was too 
far detached from the soil to know how the system from time to time 
had to be modified. The result was that his tenants revolted, and have 
in many cases obtained for themselves conditions of tenancy to which 
they were not properly entitled, on the strength of their temporary 
prosperity resulting from the War. Throughout Eastern Europe, too, 
and particularly in Eumania and Czecho-Slovakia, there has been a 
land revolution. Great estates have been forfeited and their land sub- 
divided, solely because the owners have not during the last generation 
been active participators in the work of production. 

The absentee landlord, a rara avis in all Continental countries except 
Italy, is another example of the baneful effects of his non-industrial 
character in this country. Oblivious of the true meaning of ' manor ' ^ 
and ' mansion, ' he often separates himself entirely, not merely from 
the industry, but from the locality, in which he comes to be regarded as 
an unsympathetic stranger. 

The plight of the Irish landowner, and indeed of Ireland itself, might 
to-day be far less serious if, during the century prior to the last fifty 
years, the landowners of that unfortunate country had as a class made 
their homes amongst the rural population and identified themselves 
closely with their industrial welfare. 

It has come, perhaps unfortunately, to be assumed in this country 
that there are three classes or sections of the agricultural community, 
whose interests are distinct and largely divergent, and for whose partici- 
pation in the proceeds of the industry separate provision must be made. ' 
But the divorce of landownership from land cultivation is unnatural ; it j 
is not to be found universally prevalent in other countries, nor indeed 
has it always existed in our own. Its very existence is a deterrent to 
the full industrial development of agricultural land. It may be (and 
it is unfortunately the case to-day among many new occupying-owners),; 
that the producer's monetary resources do not suffice to provide him 
both with the land itself and with adequate capital for the business of] 
farming it. If, therefore, he can obtain his land, buildings and per-i 
manent equipment at a moderate rent, representing to the owner only 
2 or 3 per cent, on his capital, and without the added burden of mainten- 
ance and repairs, it is undoubtedly attractive as a commercial proposi- 
tion. But whatever provision may be made by the Legislature for 
securing to the cultivator fair compensation as the reward of his enter- 
prise, the latter must necessarily be restricted in respect of the full 
development of the property of another, and an adequate return for 
such full development (even if wise and prudent) can never be provided 
for by the State without imposing upon the owner of the land a pro- 
spective financial burden admittedly too heavy for him to bear or too 
risky for him to face. In fact, the unification of the roles of the land- 
owner and farm tenant is a condition precedent to the full, confident 
and enterprising development of the agricultural industry on economic 
lines. Moreover, although eighteenth-century economists laid stress 

' From Latin manere, to remain. 


upon the increase of rents as a factor in the enhancement of agricultural 
prosperity, it cannot be gainsaid, as an abstract economic truth, that 
an increase in the productivity of agricultural land as the result of the 
producer's enterprise redounds ultimately to the benefit of its owner 
or his successor. Also, the difficulties of ' tenant right ' inherent in the 
relation of landlord and tenant are apt to increase in direct ratio with 
a tenant's enterprise exercised on another's land, and must almost 
inevitably eventuate in dual ownership and the domestic antagonism 
of agricultural interests. 

Great, however, as are the advantages of occupying ownership to 
the nation and to the industry, it must be recognised that such a system, 
although capable of wide extension, cannot exist in this country to the 
entire exclusion of that of landlord and tenant, nor is it desirable. 
Some of the most skilled, progressive, and deservedly influential farmers 
in Great Britain are, and will continue to be, farm tenants. Their 
knowledge of their holdings and their productive capacity is a valuable 
asset, and promotes output and economy of administration. Although 
many men of this type have, under the pressure of circumstances, 
recently purchased their farms, the majority have not. Even if their 
farms were purchasable the diversion to land purchase of capital use- 
fully employed in its full exploitation would probably be imprudent and 
uneconomic. From these men their landlords can learn much; with 
such men they should strive to establish a relationship of friendly and 
mutually trustful co-operation in all measures which make for the 
enhanced prosperity of the farmers' business on the estate or in the 
district. They should also seek to create and maintain a similar entente 
cordiale between the various sectional organisations of the agricultural 
community wherever these exist locally. On the other hand, where the 
tenant is an obviously inefficient farmer, depreciating his landlord's 
property, and steadily impoverishing himself and his family, the land- 
lord, with the moral backing of his more efficient tenants and of the 
whole local working population, should boldly assume the responsibility 
of terminating his occupancy. The fact that County Agricultural 
Committees are now charged with the statutory duty of assisting land- 
lords in this process should accelerate the dispossession of the indus- 
trially incompetent. The Agiicultural Holdings Acts, while excellent 
in theory, have in practice operated to afford security of tenure to the 
bad tenant equally with the good, and have thereby tended to lower 
the standard of husbandry throughout England and Wales. The stand- 
point of the public welfare evolved by war conditions has created, 
fortunately, a saner outlook upon such matters, even among politicians. 
The trend of legislation has been in the past, and is even now, all 
against the active landlord. The tide, however, will assuredly turn when 
he makes it evident that his welfare and that of the State are identical. 

The land is unsparing oi her faithful devotees. So multifarious are 
the daily pre-occupations of the successful arable farmer, involving 
constant personal attention to detail and a readiness to meet unforeseen 
contingencies, that he can seldom devote time and attention to the 
work of organisation of the industry and of those engaged in it. This 
imposes all the deeper obligation upon the more leisured and probably 

1! 2 


more highly educated landowner who is not himself a farmer to take 
his full share in the execution of this indispensable task. In fact, the 
landowner's duty as an organiser increases in inverse ratio with his 
activity as an actual producer. 

No agent, however competent, can fully discharge the whole duties 
of the agricultural landowner. Still less can one who is incompetent, 
whose training is defective, or whose vision is myopic. Just as in 
Switzerland, where the conservation of forests is essential for the check 
of avalanches, the State compels a landowner to employ a State-trained 
forester for the management of his woodlands, so it might be in the 
national interest here to enact that either the landowner himself or the 
agent or factor whom he employs shall have passed some test of 
efficiency as an estate manager. 

English law and custom in relation both to the settlement of estates 

and to the letting of farms have obstructed the full utility of the English 

landlord as a producer and as an agricultural organiser. The Settled 

Land Acts, while in the public interest extending the power of a tenant 

for life under a strict settlement to sell the whole or part of a settled 

estate, have provided that all moneys realised by such alienation shall 

be held by trustees and applied for certain purposes only (for the 

assumed benefit of the inheritance), specifically prescribed either by the 

settlement or by these Statutes. They do not admit of the proceeds 

of sale of a part of a settled estate being applied to capitalise farming 

operations conducted on strictly commercial lines on another part of it. 

If, subject to proper safeguards concerning the capacity and trained 

experience of the life tenant, the Settled Land Acts could be amended 

in this direction, a considerable impetus would be given to farming 

enterprise on the part of limited owners, especially those who have 

no monetary resources outside their estates. Had such enterprise been 

thus stimulated in the past, the capital value of many an estate passing 

to a subsequent life tenant or to a remainderman would have been 

not merely maintained, but greatly enhanced — as was that of Coke of 

Norfolk — and the true object of the settlement would have been achieved, 

with immeasurable benefit to the nation at large. The Law of Property 

Act, 1922, while possibly aiding agricultural enterprise by the destruction 

of copyholds and customary tenures with their fines, heriots, and other 

feudal dues, may, by the abolition of primogeniture on an intestacy, 

stimulate and intensify the desire of many landowners to execute strict 

settlements, and thereby, in the absence of a fi-esh statutory extension 

of the powers of a limited owner, augment the difficulties of J 

their successors in the direction of industrial development. Thej 

settlement of landed estates has become so serious a hindrance 

to their industrial (including their agricultural) development by their! 

owners that it is highly questionable whether legislation may not bel 

desirable forbidding the process altogether as being contrary alike tol 

public policy and to private advantage. The heavy burden of recurrent! 

death duties tends in any case to diminish, and possibly to neutralise 

entirely, the effect of a transaction designed to ensure the continuous! 

devolution of an unimpaired heritage. 

Similarly, the old forms of covenant in farm agreements, whicl: 


date from the time wlien the owner had himself considerable knowledge 
of the industry and its economic possibilities, represented a higher 
standard of farming than the tenant would naturally adopt if left to his 
own uncontrolled inclinations. They have been the subject from time to 
time of well-merited criticism and of legislative interference on the part 
of the State, because they became harmful to the industry in conse- 
quence of their crystallisation by lawyers and their presei'vation when 
the conditions had changed. It was not so much the stringency of 
these farm agreements, but their lack of modification and adaptation, in 
view of the opening up of new markets and the development of fresh 
means of land fertilisation, which laid them open to censure. It was, 
in fact, ignorance arising from the owner's increasing detachment from 
the processes of agricultural production which, by stereotyping the 
conditions of his farm tenancies, retarded the enterprise of his tenants 
and degraded the standard of their husbandry. 

It may be suggested that present-day advocacy of the economic 
activities of landowners, although they be admittedly beneficial to the 
commonwealthj_ is inopportune in view of the growing impoverishment 
by taxation of the landowning class and the sub-division of many large 
estates which might have proved good units for effective industrial 
organisation. On the other hand, it may be urged that the. sale by many 
landowners possessing small commercial experience or aptitude of por- 
tions of their estates, and the investment of the proceeds in joint-stock 
industrial undertakings yielding at least twice the amount of their rent, 
has brought home to the minds of many of them that mere rent- 
receiving proprietorship was not good business, and that by the indus- 
trial or commercial development of their land more wealth was to be 
won for themselves and their families. Moreover, the sale or sub- 
division of estates has added to the landowning class many men 
possessing not merely great wealth but business acumen and wide 
commercial knowledge, some at least of whom are able to realise the 
unprofitableness of undeveloped land, or the political unwisdom of land- 
ownership detached from industry, and have acted accordingly. Con- 
spicuous among these are men of the type of the late Lord Manton, 
who with great foresight and public spirit have applied their surplus 
wealth to the conduct of research, and to the personal application of 
scientific discovery to the daily requirements of agricultural industry. 
There are, however, unfortunately all too many of those who have 
embarked in the purchase of landed estates wealth derived from urban 
industries or from mining who are not prepared to employ in their 
development those business methods which have led in the past to 
their enrichment. They are the rather prone to treat their properties 
as playgrounds, or as instruments for the enhancement of their social 

The process of territorial disintegration has largely augmented 
the number of those who combine w^ithin themselves the r6les of 
occupier and owner — the functions of rent producer and rent receiver. 
The number of agricultural landowners has thus been at least doubled 
in several counties by recruits from the ranks of the tenant farmers, 
and unless compelled by the current fall in prices to sell their 


properties, these new proprietors are likely to afford an appreciable 
accession of political stability to the whole landowning section 
of the community. On the other hand, many country squires, in face 
of financial stringency and even of domestic discomfort, have been 
estopped by the ties of family sentiment and tradition from seeking, by 
the alienation of their ancestral domains, a short cut to material pro- 
sperity or enhanced comfort. In such cases desirable estate improve- 
ments and sometimes necessary repairs have had to be abandoned, and 
eleemosynary gifts reduced to a minimum, causing thereby much heart- 
burning and compunction. How much better it would be, assuming 
that the estate is not subject to a strict settlement, rendering such a 
process ultra vires, if part of the estate were sold in order to provide 
the necessary capital for the cultivation or industrial equipment of the 
remainder of it ! 

It is here material to consider more closely to what extent the land- 
owner in Continental countries has b©en instrumental in advancing 
the prosperity of agricultural industry, economically, politically, 
and socially. 

On the Continent, speaking generally, the landowner had to derive 
his livelihood from his land, and in a large measure from its actual 
cultivation. Landowners with large invested funds were relatively 
scarce, and there was not any large influx of rich manufacturers whose 
ambition it was to acquire such power and social distinction as might 
be deemed to flow from territorial possessions. The Continental land- 
owner was generally forced to regard his occupation as landowner as 
the main business of his life, a business requiring proper training, a 
business to be steadily developed, and just as steadily maintained, as 
any commercial undertaking. From this personal and individual stand- 
point arose his sound and intelligent attitude towards the whole rural 
industry. He realised that if his own individual business was to 
achieve the maximum of success, the industry of which it was a part 
must be as highly organised as any other industry in the country. 

Speaking generally, in all Continental countries (whether they have a 
definite agrarian party or not) the political power enjoyed by agriculture 
is founded on the fact that agriculture is an organised industry. In 
Great Britain it is not. Foreign agriculturists realised that the effective 
and complete organisation of their industry was the surest path to 
political power, and in every case landowners became the leaders in this 
movement. Although in different countries its details may have varied, 
its underlying principle was the same. The great incentive to this 
development of agricultural organisation was the competition of the new 
world. On the Continent such competition was strenuously fought, 
and the aid of science was invoked in the contest. In Great Britain 
the same competition was not effectively met because organisation was 
wanting, and the landowner failed in the duty of leadership. As he 
reduced his rents, so the tenant-farmer reduced the labom' bestowed 
upon the land, and reduced, instead of augmenting, what he put back 
into the land with a view to its yielding an economic return. Agricul- 
turists and Governments were alike to blame. 

In Denmark sixty years ago the landowners co-operated with the 


clergy in inipiuviu'; llm land :uul in organising luial industry. Far- 
sighted landowners realised tliat the day of the big estate was past, 
and they joined forces with their Government to substitute, with all 
proper safeguards for economic success, the occupying-owner for the 
farm tenant. The success has been undoubted, and neither could the 
landowner complain of unfair treatment nor the tenant of having 
imposed upon him an undue financial burden. When in recent 
years force of circumstances compelled the disintegration of the 
great estates in England, many farm tenants had no option but to 
purchase their holdings, and the purchase was made under the 
worst possible conditions. The system of land banks on the Con- 
tinental model would have simplified the process of such transfer, 
and would have obviated in a large measure its inevitable 
risks. In Denmark the landowners have been the pioneers of all new 
methods and processes in farming, and the farmers in their neighbour- 
hood have followed their example. The fact that the standard of 
Danish farming is to-day very high and very level is mainly due to the 
Danish landowners. In the actual woi'k of the co-operative movement 
the clergy in Denmark, as in Belgium, have played an important part, 
often acting as secretaries to the co-operative societies, and by precept 
and example guiding the industrial activities of the smaller cultivators. 
In strong contrast the English rural clergy are relatively valueless from 
an economic standpoint, and thus lose much of the personal influence 
which they might otherwise possess. This was not always the case 
in English history. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the monks 
in England were resident landov/ners, and initiated most of the im- 
provements which were made in the practices of medieval farming. 
It was their influence which was mainly instrumental in the improve- 
ment of live-stock, drainage, reclamation, and the construction of roads 
and bridges. Further, the Danish landowner, in common with the best 
types oi his class in all Western European countries, because he applies 
business methods to the cultivation of his land, has been the means of 
increasing the aggregate yield from the soil of his country for the benefit 
of the nation, while as a reward for himself he has derived a profit from 
the process which surpasses what is generally conceived as possible 
throughout this country. Not only is his estate administered on the 
soundest commercial lines, and made to yield a fair return to him as 
proprietor, but because a considerable proportion, and often the whole, 
of it is farmed according to up-to-date methods he receives a large profit 
as a cultivator. 

Denmark, however, it must be remembered, is a purely agricultural 
country. An even better example for British comparison is Belgium, 
because that country possesses an industrial development similar to but 
even more intensive than that of the United Kingdom. Although its 
factory output is greater per head of population than in this country, 
its rural development has been considerable and progressive. The 
landowners have been pioneers in this work, while the priests have co- 
operated with a knowledge and enthusiasm unsurpassed in any other ' 
country. The result has been that poor and waste land has been 
brought into high productivity, and Belgium, in spite of her urban 


developments, has excelled all countries of the world in her production 
per acre of cultivated land. The landowners have taken a specially 
active part in agricultural production of every description as well as 
in stock breeding and dairying on their estates, and by championing the 
interests of the rural community in the agricultural societies and in the 
National Legislature. Many of them insist upon their sons making a 
specialised study of agriculture, and a considerable number of land- 
owners' wives are beginning to take an active interest in women's insti- 
tutes (Cercles de Fermieres) and in the Institut Menager Agricole of 
Laeken, in which prospective landowners' wives are properly trained 
to play an active part in the social life of the countryside. So well 
have the whole agricultural community, led by the landowners, per- 
formed their part that politicians and the general public alike in Belgium 
recognise that the welfare of their country depends ultimately upon a 
flourishing agricultural industry. Not only has considerable attention 
been paid to agricultural education in all grades of Belgian schools, 
but a certain modicum of instruction concerning the land and the national 
importance of its proper development is, even in the urban schools, 
inculcated in the minds of all future Belgian citizens, with the result 
that there exists throughout Belgium a sound public opinion in relation 
to agricultural problems. No such public opinion can be said to exist 
at the present time in this country. Our landowners are not as a 
class educational enthusiasts. 

In Germany also, which contains to a large extent an urban and 
industrial population, the Government has concentrated much attention 
upon the proper development of land and of agriculture. From the 
political point of view agriculture in Germany, as represented by the 
agrarian party, is probably stronger in proportion to its urban population 
than in any other country. It is, however, significant to note that 
there agricultural organisation for industrial needs preceded its organisa- 
tion for political purposes. There, too, prior to the War, the great 
landowners took the lead, and although in some parts of Germany 
the larger agricultural estates are administered more or less upon Eng- 
lish lines, the owner is almost invariably also a farmer, who conducts his 
farming operations on a strictly business footing. The first step in the 
organisation of Germany's agricultural industry may be said to have 
been taken when, in the latter part of the eighteenth century, the land- 
owners founded the Landschaft as a means of providing credit for estate 
purposes, recognising, as they did, that credit is the life-blood of the 
industry, if available on easy and attractive terms, but that in the form 
of a permanent mortgage it is apt to become a burden upon owner 
and occupier alike. Out of this landowners' bank, which in 1914 had a 
capital of 150,000,OOOL, grew the provision of credit for curx'ent agricul- 
tural needs through the medium of the Raiffeisen and Schulze-Delitzsch 
Banks, the former of which had a turnover in 1914 of over 3O0,OO0,OO0L 

In France most of the large landowners reside on their estates, which 
they cultivate themselves, either wholly or in part. They take a 
practical interest in all matters relating to the progress of agriculture, 
and are everywhere the promoters of co-operation in all its forms. 
In particular they are usually at the head of the important agricultural 


syndicates. Their influence is, however, essentially local, attached to 
the land, they concern themselves for the most part only with the 
interests of the population over which their influence directly extends. 
Very often a large landowner is the maire of the commune, or a member 
of the Arrondissement Council, or of the General Council of the Depart- 
ment, but very rarely is he a Senator or Deputy, as such positions 
necessitate prolonged periods of residence in Paris. The influence of 
the large landowner is specially felt by the ' metayers ' in those regions 
where metayage exists. This influence takes the form of the choice 
of their live-stock and fertihsers, and of advice as to the methods of 
cultivation. This is only possible where mutual confidence and friendly 
relations exist between the landowner and the ' metayers ' ; in districts 
where these relations are disappearing or weakening metayage tends to 
give place to rent-paying tenancy. 

In Italy, in those regions where large estates are the rule, the land- 
lord, usually an absentee, often lets his land to intermediaries, who are 
mere speculators, and who cultivate it extensively with a view to their 
personal profit without regard to the interests of the community. Else- 
where the landowners, where they themselves undertake the cultivation 
of their own properties, usually seek to introduce increasingly scientific 
methods of cultivation, and to draw advantage, in their own interests 
and that of the public, from the latest teachings of chemistry, biology, 
and agricultural mechanics. Even on the estates cultivated on the 
metayer system the landlords, on whom falls the management of the 
farms, have sought in the past to introduce all such improvements 
as will increase the yield of the land and improve the economic condi- 
tions of the metayers and their families. Latterly, however, the rela- 
tions between the landowners and the peasantry have, as already men- 
tioned, become somewhat strained; as the demands of the peasants 
threatened in many cases to exceed the limits of the productivity of the 
farms the landowners have felt themselves compelled to combine in 
association for the defence of their own proprietary interests. A close 
network of such associations has been formed, and these are affiliated 
to the General Confederation of Agriculture. This organisation, acting 
on behalf of its affiliated associations, proposes not only to safeguard 
the interests of the landowning class, but also to carry on propaganda 
in favour of the technical progress of agriculture and for the betterment 
of the conditions of the rural classes in general. Eecently there has 
also been formed an agricultural political party, to promote in Parlia- 
ment the interests of agriculture. 

The history of agriculture in the United Kingdom for the last 
seventy years does not redoimd to the credit either of landowners or of 
statesmen. The landowners, who should have given a lead to the 
industry, failed to do so, largely because they have not as a class been 
trained for their proper profession, and because in a greater or less 
degree they have regarded the land as an amenity, but never as a great 
national problem for the solution of which they were themselves 
primarily responsible. 

The British landowner, if he farms at all, being untrained to 
the task, often farms indifferently, and generally at a loss. If 


he produces live-stock of special merit; it is largely for the foreign 
and not for the home market. Often his farming operations are based 
upon his ambition to gain public distinction by excelling as a profes- 
sional exhibitor of prize stock at the leading agricultural shows, without 
any effort on his part to make such stock a medium for the improve- 
ment of the ordinary commercial stock of the country, or even of his 
own locality. One result of this is a marked and growing gap between 
the finest British live-stock, which may be reckoned as the best in the 
world, and the average live-stock of the ordinary commercial farmer, 
which is probably lagging behind the average standard now attained 
in many Continental countries. 

Although in soil and climate the land of Great Britain can com- 
pare favourably with most of the cultivated land on the Continent, 
the Continental landowner derives as a rule a net income of 
from 31. to 4Z. per acre, as compared with IL per acre in the United 
Kingdom. Moreover, the Continental landowner so manages his wood- 
lands that they yield, generally speaking, an annual average net profit 
at least equal to the rental of the agricultural land, and often very 
much more. 

Sir James Caird (the advocate of more liberal covenants in tenancy 
agreements) more than sixty years ago sounded the trumpet of warning 
in relation to the threatening decadence of British agriculture, which, 
however, passed unheeded by the bulk of those best able to profit by 
and act upon it.^ England's period of greatest agricultui-al depression, 
which followed twenty years later, synchronised with that of Germany's 
greatest agricultural enterprise. From that time the latter's agricultural 
progress, based on ascertained knowledge widely and wisely diffused, was 
steady and continuous. Germany's food- weapons during the late War 
were at least as deadly as her military weapons, and the fact that the 
former did not ultimately triumph cannot be placed to the credit of 
British landlordism. Fas est et ab lioste doceri. Owing to lack of 
enterprise and to the non-utilisation of scientific discovery the number^ 
of persons fed from 100 acres of cultivated land in Great Britain prior 
to the War fell far short of those fed from the same area in Germany,' 
while the average crop yields of Great Britain have for a generation 
been below those of Belgium and Denmark, although none of the three j 
can boast of a soil and climate more conducive to agricultural 
productivity. The same British acreage could well be made to produce 
at least twice the present output of human and animal food. That 
England should have 55 per cent, of her cultivable land under pasture as 
compared with only 18 per cent, in Germany is not creditable to the 
former. In Germany the occupier, if he is not also the owner, demands 
and enjoys the benefits of a long lease. Moreover, game preserving there 
is on a relatively small scale, and subsei'vient to the paramount claims of 

2 It is singular to note that Caird, in the preface to his exhaustive survey 
of British farming, selects for special emphasis two defects, (1) the lack of land- 
owners' initiative, and (2) the non-utilisation of sewage in promoting fertility. 
There is still room for land improvement from both sources. 

* ' The Recent Development of German Agriculti^re,' by Sir Thomas 
Middleton [Cd. 8305], 1916. 



food production, iieie the claims of property as such have over- 
ridden those of industry, which alone can hi the last resort justify 
property and at the same time enhance its value. The almost pathetic 
cry on the part of so many landowners of ' Property, property, property ' 
is a significant indication of the at least temporary decay of the squire 
of former days, who, although perhaps a feudal autocrat, was an 
integral part of the industrial machine, and was recognised and respected 
as such by the other parts. 

And yet only sixty years ago English landowners were still the 
acknowledged pioneers of agricultural improvement] The whole con- 
tinent of Europe — including especially France, Germany, and Switzer- 
land — were the confessed imitators of English agricultural methods as 
initiated and perfected by ' Turnip Townshend,' Coke of Norfolk, Lord 
Somerville, and the Dukes of Bedford. In France De Saussure, in 
Germany Thaer, and later Stockhardt (a disciple of Sir John Bennet 
Lawes), and in Switzerland Von Fellenberg, had preached the advan- 
tages of English methods, particularly in the matter of crop rotation. 
The name of the Squire of Eothamsted was a household word through- 
out rural Europe, and was stimulating more scientific treatment of the 
soil, while his own bucolic fellow-countrymen, mostly blind to his 
genius and to their own advantage, were sinking into a condition of 
static somnolence and smug contentment with the progress of the past. 
The Germans especially, unlike ourselves, thoroughly believed in the 
advantages of education and research, and their farmers, unlike ours, 
greedily absorbed the teachings of science as applied to agricultural 
processes, notably in the economic employment of feeding-stuffs and 

The present-day poverty of the landowning class will, no doubt, be 
urged, perhaps with some justification, in opposition to their adoptiot] 
of tlie r6le which I submit is properly theirs, and which is not capable 
of vicarious fulfilment, either by the State or by any agent or tenant. 
Their very impecuniosity, however, may best provide the much-needed 
driving power, especially if it be associated with knowledge. Coke of 
Norfolk derived his stimulus from the refusal of a farm tenant to pay 
what he considered an economic rent. He could boast eventually of 
having increased his estate income tenfold. His tenants applauded his 
enterprise and copied his methods. The increase of his rents, reflecting 
as it did increased national wealth, was even recognised by economists 
and statesmen as beneficial alike to the agricultural industry and to the 
State. Some of his improvements no doubt needed initial capital 
outlay, and this many a modern landlord may be powerless to provide. 
But co-operation has proved to be to a large extent a substitute for 
capital in those countries which have most developed their agricultural 
prosperity, and become our most formidable competitors, even in our 
own markets. To co-operative methods agincultural landowners must 
turn to promote the enhanced well-being of themselves and the whole 
rural community. Moreover, by the establishment of a system, not of 
State-imposed minimum wages but of friendly co-partnership, profit- 
sharing and practical human sympathy, untarnished by patronage, and 
coupled with greater simplicity of living, they must identify and unify 


their material interests with those of the rural employees upon their 
estates. Thus, and only thus, will the economic and perhaps, too, 
the political solidarity of presently diverse agricultural interests be 
established, wiiich can best promote on a permanent basis the maximum 
prosperity of British agriculture. 

The trained capacity to produce should be part of the equipment 
of every agricultural landowner. But still more important for the 
modern landowner, if he is to achieve his maximum utility, is the capa- 
city to organise. Without it he will never become a true leader, and 
British agriculture will become a prey to hostile competition from abroad 
and successful exploitation at home. 

The following are some of the methods by the adoption of which 
British agriculture, under the enlightened direction of trained, far- 
sighted, and progressive landowners, might, in spite of the competition 
of countries where labour is cheaper and taxation lower, be stabilised 
on a remunerative basis: — 

The organisation of credit facilities. 

The co-operative purchase in bulk of farm requisites and the co- 
operative sale and distribution of farm produce. 

The utilisation of mechanical energy on the farm by means of 
tractors, electric motors, oil-engines, potato- diggers and planters and 
other labour-saving devices. 

The utilisation of water-power for generating electricity and the 
employment of the latter for driving farm machinery. 

The grinding of every variety of corn (including beans and peas) 
and the substitution of concentrated foods grown on the estate for 
purchased milling offals, cattle cakes and meals. 

The mechanical mixing of foods for live-stock, and their conveyance 
without handling into mangers and troughs. 

The erection of silos, and the ensilage therein of bulky leguminous 
crops, as well as of oats, ryegrass, and maize. 

The utilisation of liquid manure from farm buildings after collection 
in tanks. 

The elimination of scrub bulls and the provision in every locality 
of live-stock sires of outstanding quality and good parentage. 

The establishment oi central dairies and bacon factories either for 
a single estate or for a larger area. 

The utilisation of all whey from cheese factories in feeding pigs 
or by conversion into lactose or lactalbumin. 

The preservation of milk or whey in times O'f glut by desiccation. 

The centralised manufacture of concrete for farm and estate 
buildings, and of lime and ground limestone for mortar and land 

The organised collection of orchard fruit, and its grading, packing, 
consignment, and retail sale, or its conversion into cider with portable 
cider-making plant, or in properly equipped central factories. 

The pulping of fruit and making of jam. 

The preservation of fruit and vegetables by bottling, canning, and 

The organised collection and preservation of eggs in the spring and 


summer, to place on the market in the late autumn and winter, when 
their commercial value is highest. 

The co-operative use of motor-lorries for carrying farm produce to 
populous centres of distribution. 

The co-operative ownership of portable timber-felling and centralised 
timber-seasoning plant. 

The conversion of the timber of one or (by joint ownership of plant) 
of several estates into planks, barrels, gates, fencing, mattock handles, 
clogs, &c., and its preservation by creosote or other preservative. 

The organisation of the cultivation of sugar-beet, and its conversion 
into beet-sugar, alcohol, and cattle foods. 

The establishment of co-operative central markets, auction marts, 
and slaughter-houses. 

The organisation of comprehensive schemes of local drainage. 

The use of draining machines for excavating drains and laying drain- 

The utilisation of village sewage in the production of osiers, and 
their conversion into baskets. 

The erection of centralised waste-product plants for the utiHsation 
as pig and poultry foods of animal carcases of low commercial value. 

The organisation of periodical pilgrimages of local farmers to centres 
of research and demonstration, or to skilfully worked and wisely 
equipped farms. 

And, above all, the elimination of superfluous and unnecessary 

There is probably no worse consequence of the lack of cohesion, 
organisation, and leadership in British agriculture than the extent and 
power of the middleman interest^ — unparalleled elsewhere in the civilised 
world — whose parasitic tentacles have slowly yet sm-ely fastened them- 
selves upon the industry and are sucking out its life's blood to the 
detriment of producer and consumer alike. It is largely a ' horizontal ' 
interest of useless speculators, and not a ' vertical ' interest of helpful 
distributors. While it thrives the industry decays. Where it is itself 
sufficiently organised it has even been known to dictate imperiously the 
price of some essential fai-m product to producer and consumer alike — a 
price which would have left no margin of profit to the former — and 
thereby to compel Government intervention in order to avoid helpless 
acquiescence, a dangerous departure and indicative of the inherent 
weakness of the industry. 

Apart from the heavy burden of local and Imperial taxation, the 
toll levied by the middleman is the main cause of the poverty-stricken 
condition of the English agricultural labourer. While companies whose 
main object and justification are the distribution of British agricultural 
produce are paying dividends of 25 per cent, or more, or issuing bonu>» 
shares to their urban shareholders and to those who ' toil not, neither 
do they spin,' the countryside is being slowly denuded of its physically 
and mentally robust manhood owing tO' the indigence of the agi-icultural 
producer, their emigration is being fostered by statutory enactment, and 
foreign produce of the same or a like description is being sold in increas- 
ing quantities in British markets. It is an unedifying spectacle which 



agricultural solidarity and leadership alone can efface. In no sphere 
of action can the leadership of the landowner be more profitably 
exercised ; in none is it more urgently needed. 

The disparity between the prices paid to the fanner for his produce 
and those paid by the consumer for the same produce, or even by the 
farmer himself for its by-products, may be illustrated by the following 
official figures furnished to me by the Statistical Branch of the National 
Farmers' Union: — 


Pe,r Ton. 






£ 5. 











Average pre -War ... 7 12 

















19 13 







August ... 

15 17 









13 13 









October ... 

11 19 









10 10 








10 13 









January ... 

10 11 










11 1 









12 6 








1 April 









12 18 








12 13 









* The price of wheat is based on the monthly average Gazette price published 
by the Ministry of Agriculture. 

The prices of English offals are those for the two varieties quoted officially 
by the Ministry of Agriculture. 

The price of flour is the average of the prices at the beginning and end 
of the month for London Straights quoted by The Times and incorporated in 
its index-number of prices. 



Expressing these prices as index-numbers, with the average pre-War 
prices quoted above taken as 100 in each case: — 

j Wheat 











August ... 










October ... 
















January ... 






























The most striking comparison of prices is provided by the months 
November and December 1921. In both these months the price of coarse 
middlings was actually higher than the price of wheat. The percentage 
increases on the pre-War levels are also instructive, viz. : — 

Percentage Increase 

English wheat 

„ coarse middlings 

,, bran 
Straight-run flour 



1 38 








Taking the respective food values of wheat, coarse middlings, and 
bran as represented by the figures 100, 85, and 65 respectively, the 
relative values to the pig-feeder, apart from dietetic considerations, 
would be as follows : — 




Average pre-War 

Nov. 1921 

Dec. 1921 

£ s. d. 

7 12 5 
10 10 
10 13 2 

£ 8. d. 

6 9 7 

8 18 6 

9 1 2 

£ 8. d. 
4 19 1 
6 16 6 
6 18 7 


Summer Contracts, 1922 (London Supply). 

Per Gallon. 

To Farmer 
Prices originally proposed and agreed 8d. delivered London, 

to {re J of supply) 

Equivalent to (average) 

Prices after Government intervention 
Equivalent to (average) 

To Coustimer 

carriage paid, 

6d. at fann I 

lO^d. delivered London | 

8id. at farm J 







Per Lb. deadweight {in pence). 

Index-H umber 

1st quality 

2nd quality 


of average 





•Average 1911-13 





































January ... 






























• Average prices of bacon pigs as quoted officially by the Ministry of 

Retail Bacon Prices.t 




per lb. 

■per lb. 

per lb. 

s. d. 

s. d. 

«. d. 

Pre- War (1911-13) 

I 3J 


1 H 



3 3i 

2 6i 

2 lOi 


3 2 

2 5i 

2 9} 


3 li 

2 4i 

2 9 


2 11 

2 li 

2 6i 

November. . . 

2 5i 

1 9 

2 li 


2 6£ 

1 lOi 

2 2i 


January ... 

2 6i 

1 9i 

2 2J 


2 6i 

1 10 

2 2i 


2 6i 

1 9| 

2 2J 


2 6i 

1 10 

2 2 


2 7f 

1 Hi 

2 3i 


2 7i 

1 Hi 

2 3i 

t These figures are obtained from five of the largest multiple stores in 

In the following table these prices are expressed as index-numbers 
(the pre-War price in each case being taken as 100) and compared 
with the corresponding index-number of prices of bacon as given 
above : — 




Retail Price of Bacon* 

Price of 
Bacon Pigs 

Back Side 

Pre-War (1911-13) 


100 100 


! July 






245 268 1 










































It is noteworthy that the disparity between the pre-War and post-War 

prices is most marked in the cheaper cuts. 

It may be mentioned incidentally that the current retail price of 
potatoes is at least six times and that of plums at least ten times the 
price being paid to their producers. 

England greatly needs, on the part of those lando'wners whose ma- 
terial resources admit, the provision of such factory or other equipment 
as will make agricultural estates to a greater extent self-contained indus- 
trial units depending less upon the outside world for the rf..w materials of 
the rural industry * and for the absorptiori or conversion of its output. 

Such estates personally managed by their owners as business 
concerns were to be found in many parts of the Continent, notably in 
Hungary. In Belgium those of JBaron Peers at Oostcamp and of the 
Chevalier de Vriere at Bloemendael, and in France that of the Viscomte 
Arthur de Chezelle (who introduced ensilage into England) at Le 
Boulleaume, Oise, may be mentioned as examples deserving of English 

There are probably few directions in which landowners can more 
usefully employ their salutary influence and organising capacity than 
in that of finding profitable outlets for the agricultural produce of their 
estates. As a good illustration of what can usefully be done in this 
direction may be selected the enterprise of potato-growers in the Wash 
district of Lincolnshire in catering for the special requirements of the 
chip-potato trade in the North of England, and of the Evesham market 
gardeners in satisfying the predilections of Lancashire mill hands in the 
production of spring onions of a special description and flavour. Both 
enterprises have resulted in the acquisition by their growers of 
considerable wealth and prosperity. 

■» M. Terentius Varro (b.c. 36) in his De Re Rustica, Lib. I., Cap. XXII., 
said : ' Quae e fundo sumi non poterunt, ea si empta erunt potius ad utilitatem. 
quam ob speciem, siimptu fructum non extenuabunt. Eo magis, si inde empta 
erunt potissimum, ubi ea et bona et proximo et vilissimo sint enii poterunt.' 
1922 s 


In all land policy it is difficult to reconcile, especially among a 
proletariat ignorant alike of economics and business, the social and 
political aspect of thei problem with sound economics, and the former 
being generally more popular and lending itself to makeshift opportunism 
is apt to dominate the counsels of Government, to the exclusion of those 
which may appear hard and unsympathetic, but which are often 
fraught with a wider and more continuous prosperity to the gi-eat masses 
of the population. Thus it was that the enclosure of the commons, 
which multiplied exceedingly the output of agricultural wealth, was 
strenuously resisted in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and 
only gained its great impetus and development in the latter half of the 
eighteenth century, when its undoubted advantages had become realised 
by many of those who most sympathetically championed the interests 
of the poor. Thus it is to-day with the artificial extension, under strong 
Government pressure, of statutory small holdings beyond the area of 
their possible absorption by experienced cultivators of sufficient capital, 
in thei absence of effective co-operation and during a period of falling 
markets. But social and political prejudices, even when directed 
against a class which on balance is an asset to the State, must be 
taken into' account in the balancing of economic advantage, and even 
more so now than in those expansive days when George III. was king, 
when agricultural landowners were the predominant political force, and 
when Arthur Young preached his illuminating economic gospel, which, 
in the practice of his disciples and with the assistance' of scientific 
discovery, carried the agriculture of Britain tO' its pre-eminent position 
amongst the nations of the world. 

It is often said of social revolutions, as it is being said of the post- 
War Russian Revolution, that the cause is to be found in the monopoly 
of land in the hands of a few great landowners. It is at least open 
to' doubt whether this has ever been the main cause of any revolution, 
and certainly was not so in the case of that which has been recently 
prevalent in Russia. In 1917, and for many decades previously, the 
great Russian landowners only owned one-tenth of the land ol Russia, 
the other nine-tenths belonging to the peasants, or rather to their com- 
munities. This land was managed by the Communal Council, or ' Mir,' 
which periodically met to allot landi for cultivation to members of the 
commune, who, as a result, occupied individual holdings, enjoying 
their use until another re-allotment took place. It is noteworthy, 
however, that the one-tenth of the nation's land under the control of 
the large individual landowners was that upon which the most care 
was bestowed and the most up-to-date methods were employed, with the 
result that the output of food from this one-tenth exceeded the total 
output of the other nine-tenths, which were under the control of the 
peasant communes, and which were badly cultivated and managed. 
It was when the Revolution drove out Russian landowners that the 
production of food decreased so seriously as to threaten the nation 
with the ho'rrors of starvation. 

Whereas a relative paucity of landed proprietors in a populous and 
preponderantly urban country engenders political a.ntipathy and an 
unsympathetic Government attitude, a multiplication oi small owners 


lacking individual initiative and enterprise encourages, and indeed 
compels, Governmental guidance, interference, and control. In France, 
for mstance (a nation of peasant proprietors), the State to a gi^eat extent 
takes the place and performs the economic functions of the large land- 
owner. But the State can take no risks in developing a commercial 
enterprise even when science points the way. It may encourage and 
subsidise scientific investigation, but it cannot compel its application to 
agncultural practice. In England it was private enterprise which re- 
clamied wastes, drained marshes, consolidated uneoonomic holdings, 
enclosed commons, and raised at one period the quality of British live- 
stock, and at another the standard of British cultivation, to a position 
of unchallenged supremacy throughout the world. 

The original ' Board of Aginculture, ' which was founded in 1793 
on the initiative and inspiration of Arthur Young, was for a time the 
chief agency by which a policy, dictated originally by the enUghtened 
self-interest of the larger landowners and fostered by the demands of a 
growing manufacturing population, was extended to the public advan- 
tage throughout the kingdom. It expired twenty-nine years later, 
during a period of acute agricultural distress, because it had exhausted 
Its usefulness, and was found to be less efficacious in promoting 
agncultural development than individual enterprise backed by the 
employment of individual capital. The Royal Agricultural Society of 
England, founded in 1838, became its legitimate and acknowledged 
substitute, and, in fact, marked the revival of rural prosperity which 
synchronised with the acceptance for a time by landlords of the duties 
of their position. In every civilised country the necessity for State 
guidance and State control is in direct ratio with the prevalence of 
small landowners. This control, while necessitated in France by a 
peasant proprietary, has there been kept within bounds by the powerful 
and widely diffused political strength of the agricultural industry. In 
England, in the absence of such strength, Government control as it 
extends is bound to be subordinated to urban interests and urban, and 
often ignorant, prejudices. In a country where the agi'icultural popula- 
tion are in a small and diminishing minority Government leadership and 
landowner leadership are mutually incompatible and mutually destruc- 
tive. The abandonment of the latter by a failm-e to found power upon 
the informed exercise of duty must ultimately lead to Land Nationalisa- 
tion. There is no small danger to an industry involved in its exclusive 
possession of a separate State Department necessarily swayed by in- 
constant and incalculable political currents. If some other Department 
of the State were to take over the administration of animal diseases 
and of milk control, and assuming that considerations of national 
economy were to result in the entire abolition of the Ministry of Agricul- 
ture, or at least in the limitation of its activities to the organisation of 
agricultural research, and if simultaneously landowners were to assume 
enlightened leadership of the industry and the Eoyal Agricultural Society 
were to carry out to the full the original intentions of its founders, 
British agriculture would probably acquire more permanent stability 
and the nation consequentially enhanced security. Failing the simul- 
taneous and improbable fulfilment of all these conditions, the growing 


enterprise of landowners should, in tlie public interest, obviate the 
necessity for ever-increasing Government intervention and control. 

The long-continued divorce until comparatively recent times of 
science and agiiculture in Great Britain was somewhat remarkable, and 
accounted to no small extent for the discontinuous progress and 
prosperity of the latter. The landowner, who, with the dissolution of 
the monasteries, alone governed the economic destinies of the country- 
side, was seldom a farmer and never a scientist. His own education 
fitted him for the profession of arms, court life, sport, politics, or 
diplomacy. His personal association with industry or commerce would 
have placed him outside the social pale. It was, it must be admitted, 
the tenant farmer — and notably Robert Bakewell, of Dishley — who in 
the Golden Age of agricultural progress was the pioneer of live-stock 
improvement. But it was the landowner who was the pioneer of im- 
provements in the cultivation and output of the soil. It was, however, 
as educated thinkers, alive to the economic needs of their times, rather 
than as agrarian experts, that men like John Evelyn and Sir Richard 
Weston in the seventeenth century, and JethrO' TuU, Charles, second 
Viscount To'Wnshend, Coke of Norfolk, and the fourth and fifth Dukes 
of Bedford (the latter the founder of the Smithfield Club) in the eighteenth 
century, advocated and carried through a veritable revolution in agi'icul- 
tural practice. Jethro TuU, a briefless barrister, was the originator of 
the horse-hoe, as well as of the drill for sowing wheat and oats. He 
and Lord Townshend, the statesman, by popularising the cultivation 
of turnips and of leguminous crops, led to the introduction of the four- 
course rotation as a noirmal agricultural practice, and established a 
definite link between pastoral farming (conducted mainly for the pro- 
duction of wool) a*id arable husbandly, rendering possible not merely 
the winter feeding and consequent preservation of live-stock, but also 
the largely augmented production of bread, corn, meat, and milk. So, 
too', Thomas Coke, the sportsman, society beau, and politician, by 
adopting and extending the methods of his Norfolk neighbour, not 
only multiplied exceedingly the agricultural wealth of a barren tract 
of countiy, ' which was little better than a rabbit warren, ' and induced 
his tenants at enhanced rents to copy his methods, but also by making 
his annual 'sheep shearings ' a fashionable rendezvous stimulated many 
other landowners to follow his example. The progressive and profitable 
activities of these pioneers were further advertised and contrasted with 
less enlightened methods both at home and abroad by the brilliant and 
indefatigable Arthur Young, who ' was not so much instrumental in 
conveying knowledge to the common farmer as in becoming the vehicle 
by which the latter 's want of knowledge was made known to experts.' ^ 
The same gospel was subsequently preached by Cobbett and Oaird. 

None of these great men, whatever may have been their superficial 
acquaintance with political economy, could be described as scientists. 
They knew nothing of chemistry, physics, or biology. They were, in 
fact, mere empiricists. Strangely enough, concurrently with the rapid 
advances in farming practice science was making giant strides in the 
direction of assisting the agricultural industry without the knowledge 

•■^ Russell Garnier's History of the English Lanclod Interest, 1893. 


of its participants, and in providing the true explanation of the success 
of many of their empirical processes. Wallarius, the Swede, about 
1760 was demonstrating the value of humus in promoting soil fertility. 
De Saussure, the Swiss, towards the end ol the century was explaining 
the nutrition of plants and their absorption of carbon from the air and 
ascribing, somewhat inaccurately, their physical stability to the action of 
phospliates. Thaer, the German (the Hanoverian physician of George 
III.), in 1804 was founding the first agricultural college in Europe, and 
pointing the way to Liebig in his discoveries of the ash constituents of 
plants. Finally, Boussingault, the Frenchman, about 1820, covering 
the whole range of agricultural chemistry and testing his theories on his 
estate at Bechalbronn in Alsace, was bringing his influence to bear 
directly upon the agriculture both of France and of England, and was 
affording the chief inspiration to Lawes and Gilbert in the successful 
conduct of their long and beneficent partnership, especially in the em- 
ployment of the statistical method in calculating the effect of fertilisers 
upon the growth of plants. It was not in fact until the time of Boussin- 
gault and I.awes, and after Sir Humphry Davy had, with all his great 
authority as a chemist, given, as it were, his iviprimatur, that the two 
separate and converging lines of scientific discovery and agi'icultural 
practice may be said to have met, and the tv.'o methods — the scientific 
and the empirical — to have become fused. What Davy, the chemist, 
foreshadowed, Lawes, the landowner, consummated. 

Throughout this period of agricultural enlightenment there were 
critics of the px-ogressive but not unfashionable industrial tendencies 
of the landowners of the day. As Lord Ernie recalls in his recent 
book,"^ Dr. Edwards in 1783 wrote: 'Gentlemen have no right to be 
farmers, and their entering upon agriculture to follow it as a business 
is perhaps a breach of their moral duty.' Nevertheless, large numbers 
of young men who were heirs to landed estates, as well as sometimes 
their younger brothers, began to go as pupils to farmers. 

Thus, too, in the earlier days of the eighteenth century the appellation 
of ' projectors ' was derisively applied to those enterprising amateur 
farmers who became the pioneers of modern farming. The adoption of 
any new system of husbandry, such as Jethro TuU's turnip drilling, was 
deprecated (especially in the Northern counties) by the rank and file 
of the farming community, on the ground that a rent was payable by 
the farmer to his landlord, and that the adoption of any innovation was 
consequently accompanied by grave financial risks. It was the dogged 
persistence of the ' projectors ' and the obviously remunerative results 
of their own improved methods which silenced the critics and compelled 

Fashion is an important factor in du-ecting the activities of persons 
of independent means, and fashion has frequently in the past been 
dictated by Eoyal example. Thus in the days of Edward I., who was 
a gardener, and in those of Edward II., who was a farmer and horse- 
breeder, there was a temporary and healthy enthusiasm on the part 
of successive Lords of Berkeley and other great territorial magnates to 
increase the productiveness of their lands by marling, paring, and 

6 English Farming, Past and Present, 3rd edition, 1922. 


burning, and such other methods of improvement as were recognised as 
beneficial in those primitive times. Again, the great revival of agricultural 
industiy dming the latter part of the eighteenth century was largely 
due to the example set by George III., who, under the assumed name 
of his shepherd, ' Ralph Eobinson, ' contributed to the monthly publica- 
tion known as the Annals of Agriculture, and W'ho made no secret of 
the fact that his interest in his farming operations exceeded that afforded 
him by affairs of state. He revelled in the title of ' Farmer George ' and 
t'ook a deep and personal interest in his flock of merino sheep and 
ids stall-fed oxen. So far as was practicable he turned Windsor Castle 
into a hug© farmhouse, and its grounds into an agricultural holding. 
His maximum happiness was achieved when comparing notes with a 
farming neighbour, quoting the dicta of Arthur Young, or personally 
supei-intending the drainage or cultivation of his Flemish or his Norfolk 
farm. Amongst those who followed the Eoyal example were Lord 
Bockingham at Wentworth, Lord Egremont at Petworth, and Sir John 
Sinclair, the President of the first Board of Agriculture. In more 
recent times the same traditions have been maintained or revived by 
men of outstanding enthusiasm and vision, such as Philip Pusey, Sir 
Thomas Acland, Albert Pell, and Lord Eayleigh. 

In the main, however, even the more enlightened and progressive 
landowners have during the last century failed to achieve much for the 
benefit of the industry through lack of a comprehensive and well- 
fthought-out plan, through discontinuity of effort, or through the con- 
;sciousness that they were failing to cany complete conviction to those 
engaged therein as a source of livelihood. 

It is worthy of note, and tends to confirm the cynical and 
■ftrite observation of Swift, that the duplication of a single ear 
'of com or a single blade of grass ' does more essential service to man- 
Jkind than the whole race of politicians put together, ' that the fame 
of the second Viscount Townshend, who was Secretary of Stat© under 
George I. and George II., and subsequently Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 
and Controller of the Foi'eign Policy of Great Britain, should have 
passed down to posterity as that of an agi'iculturist rather than as that 
of a statesman. As Arthur Young with prophetic vision says of him: 
' The importance of Embassies, Vice-Eoyalties and Seals is as transi- 
tory as that of personal beauty, and the memory of this lord, though 
a man of great ability, will in a few ages be lost as a Minister and 
Statesman and presented only as a farmer. ' 

It is an interesting fact that while during the eighteenth century 
landowners like Townshend and Coke were the pioneers of improvements 
in tillage, and tenant farmers of those in live-stock, the converse has 
been the case during the last 80 to 100 years. Prominent among farm 
tenants who in the former period established upon firm foundations 
various breeds of cattle and of sheep were Bakewell, Charles and Eobert 
Colling, Matthew and George Culley, the Booths of Warlaby, Bates, 
Benjamin Tompkins, Hewer, Quartly, and EUman of Glynde. The 
names of Treadwell, Hobbs, Prout, Dennis, Clare Sewell Eead, 
Jonas Weibb, and James Hope of Dunbar may be mentioned among 
modern farm tenants who maintained a high standard of arable 


liusbaiidiy (not uuaasociated with the niaintenaiicB ot good Hocks) 
during an age when there was relatively Uttle general progress in crop 
cultivation. Concurrently, however, and especially during the last fifty 
years, British live-stock of every description has steadily improved and 
has attained a position of acknowledged superiority throughout the 
world. This is largely attributable to the stock-breeding enterprise of 
three successive sovereigns, including King George V., and to the 
enthusiastic efforts of such other landowners as the late Duke of Rich- 
mond and Gordon, Lord Rothschild, Lord Fitzhardinge, Sir Nigel 
Kingscote, and Sir Walter Gilbey. But the enterprise of landowners 
in this respect has not, as a rule, been conducted on strictly commercial 
Imes, and has often been dissociated from the nationally more important 
task of land cultivation. 

It is an unfortunate fact which emerges from the annals of the 
English countryside throughout several centuries that the attainment by 
the landed proprietor of such a measure of wealth, whether arising from 
periods of agricultural prosperity or from external sources, as will leave 
a. fair margin over and above the reasonable requirements of family 
comfort, has produced an inclination toi exchange the position of wealth 
producer for that of rent receiver, and to become progressively detached 
m activity and interest from agricultural pursuits. Groping after 
political power, clambering after social elevation, excessive indulgence 
in sport and the adaptation or sacrifice of landed property to its demands, 
and the pursuit of careers evoking a stronger appeal to national senti- 
ment or conspicuous achievement, have all operated to detach the 
owners from the soil. Thoughtful patriots and economists of all ages 
have commented upon this tendency with regret. ' Our gentry, ' writes 
Pepys during the agiicultural depression of the latter part of the 
seventeenth century, ' are grown ignorant in everything of good 
husbandry,' and he deplores the fact that without their initiative 
progress is almost impossible. 

John Stuart Mill surely enunciated sound economic truth, as well 
as wise public policy, when, writing in 1848, he said : ' The reasons 
which form the justification ... of property in land are valid only in 
so far as the proprietor of land is its improver. ... In no sound 
theory of private property was it ever contemplated that the proprietor 
of land should be merely a sinecurist quartered upon it. ' 

Whenever agriculture is depressed fiscal Protection is sought as the 
chief remedy for its ills. Dependence upon Government is apt to destroy 
initiative, self-reliance and resourcefulness, and to breed inertia. It is 
at best a broken reed upon which to lean in an industrial country with 
a teeming urban population. If the imminence of threatened starvation 
in times of war evokes Government measures of artificial stimulation 
to the process of food production they are necessarily ephemeral and 
evanescent, and can afford no continuing stability. The prospect of 
relatively cheap seaborne food is sure to discredit among urban workers 
any policy which raises artificially the cost of that produced at home or 
extends its production by subsidies, provided mainly at the expense of 
the non-agricultural population. German agricidture flourished in pre- 
War days not in consequence of, but in spite of, its Protectionist policy 


It is not by increasing the cost of food, but by decreasing the cost 
of its production and the State-imposed burdens upon cultivated land 
that the economic salvation of British agriculture can best be secured. 
The former course can but reduce demand and antagonise urban 
interests, while the latter will have the contrary effect. 

The British agricultural landowner is to-day on his trial. Unless he 
justifies himself as such the Nationalisation ol the Land is inevitable. 
Public opinion will demand his extinction, and Parliament will endorse 
the demand. Most landowners have been for the last two generations 
mere rent receivers, and have possessed neither tlie knowledge nor the 
inclination personally to administer their own estates, still less to culti- 
vate them on commercial lines for their own and the nation's benefit. 
So far as they have been organised as a class of the community they 
have been organised, not as producers of wealth, but as defenders of 
property, and as such their organisation has, in a highly democratic 
country, afforded them but a small and steadily decreasing measure 
of security. They have^ thus lost their political power, because it had 
no economic basis. As individuals they have, in the main, done gooti 
service to the State. No class has consistently shown itself more 
patriotic, unselfish, and philanthropic, or more imbued with a high sense 
of public duty, inspired by lofty traditions unrivalled in any other 
country in the world. As statesmen and as local administrators they 
have, while occupying the position of the governing class, set a standard 
of political and commercial integi'ity which permeated the national life. 
They have been stigmatised, not wholly without justification, as 
ignorant, reactionary, and despotic. But at least it can be said that 
during the period when their power and influence in the State were 
greatest Britain attained to her outstanding position as the chief demo- 
cracy of the world, and as the great champion of liberty, alike of person, 
of speech, and of Press. 

Assuming that landowner organisation and landowner leadership as a 
condition precedent thereto are urgently necessary on the one hand 
for the welfare of the agricultural industry, and on the other for the 
greater security of the nation, through the material increase of its food 
and timber output, there would appear to be two alternative types of 
lando'wnership, and two only, likely to find justification in post- War 
Britain, namely, individual proprietorship based upon agricultural 
training and commercial experience, or the proprietorship of the State, 
effected through the Nationalisation of the Land. The former alterna- 
tive is still possible if landowners will but bestir themselves and take 
upon their shoulders the responsibility which is pre-eminently theirs, 
and which is incapable of effective delegation or vicarious execution. 

The factors which give promise that in the future the British 
landowner will once more take his proper place in affording an 
enlightened lead to the agricultural industry, and will thus bring about 
a rural renaissance comparable to that of 150 years ago, are, on the 
one hand, his present impoverishment, and on the other his growing 
desire to be suitably trained for his managerial duties. It was the 
poverty of the landowner which, in Denmark, Germany and Belgium, 
created the necessary impetus to agricultural progress in those countries 


in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Oxford, Cambridge, and 
our other universities, as well as the agricultural colleges, are to-day 
training large numbers of prospective landowners in the science and 
practice of agriculturei — a course which a generation ago would have 
been deemed vulgarly utilitarian, and inconsistent with the traditions 
of a liberal education — and many hundreds are flocking to avail them- 
selves of the opportunities thus afforded. Some, too, of our public 
schools, and notably Eepton, Oundle, and Christ's Hospital, alive to 
the new demand, are including in their curriculum the study of agricul- 
ture, while others, averse from early specialisation, are strengthening 
their science teaching as a prelude to more specialised instruction else- 
where. But such training, wherever acquired, to be really effective 
must not be that of the mere well-informed onlooker and critic. 
It must include personal acquaintance with the actual manual 
processes of husbandry if the rural employer and organiser of 
the future is to understand fully the daily tasks of the farm 
worker, his difficulties, his mentality, and his potential output. 
He should, if practicable, work as a labourer (as does many an enter- 
prising young Danish landowner) for at least a year on a well-conducted 
and well-organised arable farm, preferably before, and not after, he 
studies the scientific or even the commercial side of the business. The 
most efficient education is generally froin the concrete to the abstract, 
rather than the reverse. The lack of commercial training has ruined 
many a hard-working ' gentleman farmer. ' He should learn the 
rudiments of commerce and not be ashamed Lo do his own marketing. 
If possible, too, he should by means of travel learn something of 
the methods of husbandry practised on the Continent as well as in 
other parts of the United Kingdom, as did Archbishop Morton (the 
pioneer of the drainage of the Fens), Hartlib, and Sir Eichard Weston 
in Flanders, Jethro Tull both in Flanders and in France, Viscount 
Townshend in Hanover and Holland, and Arthur Young throughout 
France, Great Britain, and Ireland. He will ultimately embark upon 
his life's work — the pleasantest and most engrossing of all pursuits — 
with an equipment far exceeding that of Townshend or of Coke. They 
were empiricists, groping by experiment and often disappointing ex- 
perience towards the light, without the conscious aid of science. In 
the landowner of to-day the association of practice with science, and the 
capacity for leadership inherent in eveiy healthy Briton, should carry him 
to spheres of successful economic achievement to which they could never 
have aspired, and concurrently raise the reputation o^f British farming 
once again to a pinnacle of undisputed superiority above all its rivals. 

A leading land agent, speaking recently at a large gathering of the 
land agents' profession in London, significantly said: ' Our principals 
are getting even more difficult to manage than their estates.' Surely 
this intractability is a sign of grace, an evidence that the landowning 
fraternity are at last awakening from the irresponsible torpor which 
has for long benumbed their potential utility. 

Perhaps, however, the greatest stimulus to enterprise, born of 
increased confidence on the part of landowners, will prove to be their 
consciousness of the numerical reinforcement of the class to which they 



belong. The following tables, taken from the most recent official 
statistics of the Ministry of Agricultui-e, show the differences between 
the number of occupying owners and of their holdings in the years ]913 
and 1921 respectively: — 

Separate Occupations. 


Total Nurnber of ^X^I^^^Sr 
Holdings „^^g^ i,y occupiers 

Percentage of 
Holdings owned 


435,677 48,760 
420,133 70,469 





Total Area owned 
by occupiers 

Total Area under 
crops and grass 

Proportion of Total 

Area under crops and 






That the occupying owners should ha.V6 increased during the last 
eight years by 49 per cent, and the acreage which they occupy by 
nearly 100 per cent, is indicative of the augmented strength, numerical 
and geographical, of a class which was once deemed to be the backbone 
of the nation. If many of the new occupying owners are to secure 
permanent stability in then- present position, it is urgently desirable that 
the Government should afford them credit on easy terms in order toj 
enable them to discharge gradually and without undue embarrassment | 
the debts outstanding in respect of their recent purchases. The absence 
in this country of Land Banks similar to those existing for this purpose 
in several Continental countries is hampering alike to food output and 
to' financial security. 

So, too, the long overdue revision of the present system of Local | 
Taxation has become a matter of urgent necessity. A system which I 
dates from a period when real estate was the almost exclusive source J 
of national wealth is indisputably inequitable at a time when, as now, 
it comprises about one-tenth only of that assessable to income tax, and; 
especially so in the case of agricultural land, which represents less than 
one-eighth of the total property assessable to local rates, and upon which 
the burden falls with particular severity, owing to the large area of 
rateable property required for the purpose of a business yielding a 
relatively small income (see Appendices I. and II.). 

The annual aggregate assessment to income tax in respect of the 
ownership of land under Schedule A was by a curious coincidence almost 
identical in the years 1814-15 ^nd 1913-14— namely 37,0OO,O00L (It 
rose gradually from the former year until it reached its maximum of 
52,0O0,0O0L 'in 1879-80) (see Appendix III.). 

The capacity of landowners as a class to direct the organisation of 
agriculture must depend in some measure, as Continental experience 
demonstrates, upon their capacity to organise themselves. Otherwise 


their efloits will be nut national in their scope, but isolated and sporadic. 
In this connection the existence and growing strength of the Central 
Landowners' Association is a welcome augury of future corporate 
efficiency. Composed exclusively of agiicultural landowners, and rigidly 
excluding even land agents and professional advisers from its ranks, 
it already has local branches in all but two of the counties of England 
and Wales, and is beginning to enter into friendly negotiations with 
similar sectional organisations of farmers and agricultural workers for 
the advancement of the interests, both national gnd local, ol the 
industry as a whole. While primarily a political (although a non- 
partisan) association, its objects are not merely politically defensive, 
but to a growing extent economic and constructive. In any agrarian 
movement in the future it seems likely to play a conspicuous and useful 
part, and to help in cementing the solidarity of agricultural forces, 
without which continuous agricultural progress is difficult of attainment. 

What is most needed in rural Britain to-day is pride on the part of 
landowners, great and small, in their class, and a consciousness of 
their beneficent and reconstructive power, coupled with a stolid deter- 
mination to play their part — the leading part — with knowledge and 
sympathy in the building up of a well -organised and mutually helpful 
agricultural community, undeterred by transient difficulties, and un- 
shaken by the temptation to evade their high responsibilities by the 
entire alienation of their ancestral estates, or by evoking Government aid 
in the solution of economic problems which they alone can best solve. 
Their traditions are great, but their future destiny is greater, if they 
have but the vision, the courage, and, above all, the will to press reso- 
lutely forward towards the goal to which public duty and material 
advantage alike point the way. 

But nO' policy, however prudent, can gain public approbation and 
endorsement in the twentieth century which discounts the human 
factor — which in fact does not, in conformity with Jeremy Bentham's 
doctrine of ' Utilitarianism,' conduce to ' the greatest happiness of the 
greatest number.' Upon the prosperity of the industry depends the 
remuneration of the worker and his access to domestic comforts beyond 
the bare necessaries of life. Upon it depends the maintenance of the 
social and recreative side of village life. The disruption of landed estates 
is often accompanied by social disorganisation of the village community 
and stagnation of those activities and interests which afford an in- 
vigorating alternative to the routine of the wage-earner's toil, and tend 
to enhance his occupational keenness and efficiency. If, then, the wel- 
fare, economic and social, of the rural population rests ultimately upon 
that of the industry which affords them employment, and if this in 
turn depends upon the wise leadership of the landowning class, may not 
the moral ' Utilitarianism ' of Bentham be combined with the commer- 
cial utilitarianism of the twentieth century, and the decadence of the 
landowner be deemed to be synonymous with, or at least a prelude to, 
that of the rural worker ? If so, it will not be untrue — but may it never 
be necessary — (corrupting Goldsmith's famous couplet) to say : — 

' 111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, 
Where wealth accumulates and squires decay. ' 




Extracts from Reports of the Commissioners of His Majesty's 

Inland Revenue. 

Table 105. — Details of the Gross Income from the Ownership of Lands, 
Houses, etc., the deductions therefrom^ and the Income on which Tax was 
received for the Year 1912-13. 





Gross Income : — 





1. Lands, including 

Rent-charges under 

Tithes Commutation 

Act, Farmhouses, 

Farm Buildings, etc. 





2. Houses, Messuages, 

Tenements, etc. 





3. Other Property :— 

Manors, Fines, certain 

Tithes, certain Sport- 

ing Rights, etc. 





Total Gross Income 





Table 65. — Income from the Ownership of Lands, Houses, etc. ; Details of the 
Assessments made in the year 1918-19. 






Gross Income brought 





under the Review of 

the Department : — • 

*1. Lands, including 

Rent-charges under 

Tithes, Commutation 

Act, Farmhouses, 

Farm Buildings, etc. . 





2. Houses, Messuages, 

Tenements, etc. 





3. Other Property :— 

Manors, Fines, certain 

Tithes, certain Sport- 

ing Rights, etc. 
Total Gross Income 









* Under this head appears mainly the annual value (inclusive of tithe rent-charges 
under the Tithe Commutation Act) of farm lands and buildings. In addition to 
farm lands the heading includes farmhouses occupied by tenant farmers or farm 
servants, orchards, woodlands, lakes, etc., and any gardens or pleasure grounds held 
with mansions or houses in excess of one acre adjoining such properties. The value 
of such gardens or pleasure grounds up to one acre in extent is excluded from this 
head, and included under the second heading " Houses, etc." ; farmhouses of annual 
value of £20 or upwards not occupied (as above) by tenant farmers or farm bailiffs 
are also excluded, and appear under head (2) " Houses, etc." 




Rateable Property in England and Wales. 

(Hansard, V. 151, No. 20, Col. 898.) 


April 1920 

April 1921 

1. Rateable Value of rateable hereditaments : 

i. Agricultural land .... 
ii. Other rateable hereditaments . 

2. Annual Value of non-rateable Government 
property ...... 












Income Assessed in England and Wales for Income Tax Purposes, 

Year 1919-20 

Year 1920-21 

Gross Income brought under review 
Deductions for exemptions, repairs to pro- 
perty, wear and tear, etc. 
Actual Income liable to tax before deduc- 
tion of personal allowances, etc. . 








* Income from the Ownership of Lands and Houses. 
Gross Assessments— Schedule A. England and Wales. 

' Year 











































































































* Extracted from 'British Incomes and Property,' by Sir Josiah Stamp,- 
K.B.E., D.Sc. 



Seismologicai Inyesti&ations.~T wenty-seventh Report of Com- 
mittee (Professor H. H. Turner, Chairman; Mr. J. J. Shaw, 
Secretary; Mr. C. Vernon Boys, Dr. J. E. Crombie, Sir Horace 
Darwin, Sir F. W. Dyson, Sir E. T. Glazebrook, Dr. Harold 
Jeffreys, Professors C. G. Knott UMd H. Lamb, Sir J. Larmor, 
Dr. A. Crichton Mitchell, Professors A. E. H. Love, H. M. 
Macdonald, and H. C. Plummer, Mr. W. E. Plummer, Professor 
E. A. Sampson, Sir A. Schuster, Sir Napier Shaw, Dr. G. T. 
Walker). Drawn uji hy thp Chairman except where otherwise 


The Committee has again to deplore the loss of one of its most eminent 
members in Mr. G. W. Walker, who was Director of the Eskdalemuir Observa- 
tory from 1908 to 1912. He took a keen interest in the work of the Committee^ 
and in its twenty-second Report (1917) put forward his startling suggestion of 
a considerable depth for earthquake origins, to which he recurred in a paper 
to the Royal Society shortly before his death [Phil. Trans. A 222, 45-46). 
Recent work has provided evidence tending in the direction he indicated, as is 
mentioned later in this Report. 

The clerical work at Oxford is still being carried on in the ' Students' 
Observatory,' since the tenant of the house purchased by Dr. Crombie's benefac- 
tion declares himself still unable to find other quarters. But the loss of the 
expected greater convenience has not been allowed to interfere with the progress 
of the work. 

At the meeting of the International Union for Geodesy and Geophysics in 
Rome, May 2 to 10, a Section of Seismology was constituted, of which Professor 
Rothe of Strasbourg was elected Secretary and Professor Turner (Chairman 
of the Committee) President. Mr. J. J. Shaw (Secretary of the Committee) 
acted as English Secretary throughout the meeting. 

The French expressed a strong desire that the Central Bureau should be 
located at Strasbourg under Professor Rothe. Accordingly the President made 
this proposal from the Chair, though he would for certain reasons have preferred 
Oxford. But the most important of these reasons was the desire to maintain 
the continuity of the work started in England by Milne, and carried forward 
since his death by other members of this Committee; and this desire was 
essentially satisfied when the President was requested to continue the issue of 
the Bulletins of the Committee, and further to make them official bulletins of 
the Section of Seismology : 10,000 francs a year being set aside out of the 
funds of the Union towards the cost of them. It was understood that since the 
year 1917 has already been started in the name of this Committee, the conversion 
should commence with the bulletins for 1918. This arrangement is accordingly 
submitted for the approval of this Committee, and of the British Association 
and Royal Society, which have hitherto borne the expenses of this work. It 
should be explained, however, that the sum voted (10.000 francs annually) will 
not meet the expenses of computing and printing the bulletins as at present. The 
first instalment of 10,000 francs just received represents 193/. in English money. 
The British Association and the Royal Society have recently contributed 100/. 
and 300/. per annum respectively, making more than double the contribution 
which the Section of Seismology found itself able to afford at present. It is 
possible that the Section may increase its contribution in the future, but at 
Rome there was a general desire to go forward for some years without increasing 
the financial demands on Government if possible. Hence not only will the 100/. 
a year (permanently put at the disposal of the Seismological Committee by 
the British Association from the Caird Fund) still be necessary, but an additional 
100/. a year will only keep things going as they were : and there is still no 
provision for a Director of the work. The whole situation is. however, now 


clearer, and it will be possible for the Committee at an early meeting to 
consider it fully. 

Immediate anxiety has been avoided by the action of the Government Grant 
Board in renewing its contribution of 300?. for the present year at the meeting 
in March 1922. 


The Milne-Shaw seismograph in the basement of the Clarendon Laboratory 
at Oxford has worked well throughout the year. A most curious disturbance 
to which the trace was liable very occasionally, and of which for some time 
no explanation could be assigned, has now been identified as due to pressure 
on the floor above at a particular point, transmitted by a pillar between the 
two floors ; but further experiments will be made. 

Miniature copies of films, as suggested in the last report, have been received 
from Edinburgh, Helwan, and one or two other observatories, and found very 
useful. Attention is again called to them in the hope that other observatories 
will send such copies at their convenience. 

During the year Milne-Shaw machines have been despatched to Toronto (2) 
and Victoria, B.C. (2). In addition the opportunity of the eclipse expedition 
to Christmas Island was taken, with the approval of the Astronomer Royal, to 
send a Milne-Shaw equipment in the care of the eclipse observers, who will 
be on the island for some months. They were to set up the instrument as soon 
as the immediate requirements of the eclipse preparations were sufficiently 
satisfied, and to take records for the duration of their stay on the island. If 
a competent person could be found to take charge of the instrument after their 
departure it was to be left in his care ; if not, to be brought home again. The 
outcome of this experiment is awaited with considerable interest, for the 
neighbourhood is an important one. 

Bulletins and Tables. 

The bulletins for January-February and for March-April, 1917, have been 
published. May-June was sent to the printer in May of last year, but owing 
to a shortage of suitable type (now remedied) it was ultimately decided to print 
May alone. It is now being printed off, and will shortly be distributed. June 
(1917) has been received in proof ; July and August are ready for the printer, 
September and October nearly ready. Two reasons have contributed to this 
further delay (for in order to catch up arrears we must print in one year not 
less than twelve months but more). The first, the continued dropping in of 
new material — e.g. results for Vieques and Cheltenham in 1917 were only 
received a few days ago. It is true they were themselves in printed form, and 
printing has suffered in many ways lately ; but the opportunity may be taken 
to repeat the request to observatories to send results in MS. as soon as possible, 
so that they may be collated with others. Further, it may be remarked that 
when copies of results are manifolded sometimes almost illegible examples are 
received. It would be a real kindness, and facilitate work, if poor copies could 
be omitted or doubtful figures rectified by hand. 

The second reason originates in the gradual development of the work by 
the inclusion of smaller earthquakes. It is naturally these which give most 
trouble in identification, hut it was thought desirable to make trial whether 
their inclusion could be managed with our present facilities, and it has been 
concluded from experience that the effort should be made. It will suffice to 
refer to the paragraph on Periodicity as evidence of the value of these smaller 

Depth of Focus. 

On March 3, 1922, the subject chosen for the Geophysical meeting of the Royal 
Astronomical Society was the depth of earthquake foci, with special reference 
to Mr. G. W, Walker's suggestion of a considerable depth — comparable with 
0.2 of the earth's radius. The contribution made from this Committee was 
based on the study of the arrival of the first waves at the Antipodes, for which 
the standard formula 

20ra. 17s. — (180-A)2 x 0= -0235 



was found to give good results, with the reservation that any particular earth- 
quake is liable to show a systematic deviation from the formula at all the 
antipodal stations. (A is the distance in degrees from the end of the diameter 
through the epicentre. The name ' hypocentre ' was used for this point; but 
Mr. Davison calls attention to the fact that this name has been used, especially 
in Italy, for the focus ; and it may therefore be better to use ' anticentre ' for 
the antipodal point.) It was suggested that this systematic deviation is due to 
variation in depth of the focus ; and this suggestion was reduced to numerical 
form by the help of the calculations made by Professor C. G. Knott. It would 
thus appear that, if we call d the unknown depth of the focus corresponding 
to the adopted tables, the depth for different earthquakes in the years 1913 to 
1916 varied from d—.021 to d+.061, the earth's radius being unity. Hence 

The investigation has been printed as No. 1, Vol. I, of a series of Geo- 
physical Supplements to the IMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 
to which further reference may be made. 

Another contribution to the discussion was made by Dr. Dorothy Wrinch, 
of which she has kindly supplied the following summary : — 

In a problem such as that of the depth of earthquake foci, in which there 
is a tremendous variety of relevant data, it is important to select for first con- 
sideration those data which are the most fundamental. The data with respect 
to the speeds of P and S waves near the surface of the earth appear to be of 
prime importance in the discussion of this problem. 

1. The records of the Oppau explosion last year at Strasbourg, Zurich, 
Munich, and De Bilt give a value of 5.4 km. /sec. for the speed of the P 
waves. 1 (The data in question were obtained by the kind assistance of the 
Director of the Meteorological Office.) 

2. From the density and elastic constants deduced from the observations of 
Adams and Coker and others a speed of 5.38 km. /sec. was calculated for the 
P waves and a speed of 2.99 km. /sec. for the S waves near the surface of the 

Assuming these results, we may obtain an upper limit for the depth of the 
focus of an earthquake from P or S observations. It is well known that the 
speed of P and S waves increases when their paths are no longer restricted to 
the surface layer of the earth. An upper limit to the focal depth of any single 
earthquake can therefore evidently be obtained from the observations of that 
earthquake, if we find the depth at which the focus would lie if we use these 
observations and assume that the waves are propagated throughout their path 
with the velocity which they have in the surface layer. Making this assumption, 
we can deduce that if d is the depth of the focus. R the radius of the earth, 
V the velocity of the wave in question (P or S), the time t to a distance A is 
given by 


if terms of relative order (A/R)^are neglected. Now, in the case of earth- 
quake records taken at stations near enough to the distui'bunre for the terms 

of order ( 1 to be of no significance, when the probable experimental error 

of the records is taken into account, we obtain an upper limit for the depth of 
the focus of the earthquake by applying the formula above to the observations 
and inserting the values of v for P or S already agreed upon. This procedure 
in the case of the observations of the Calabrian earthquake of 1905, September 8. 
taken at stations at distances of between 40 and 220 km., yields 40-50 km. as 
an upper estimate of the depth. The same method applied to the observations 
of stations in the neighbourhood of the two Formosa earthquakes of 1906, 
April 14, yields a depth of order of 450 km. as an upper limit. (These investi- 
gations will be published in full shortly.) 

With this method of obtaining iiifininatioii about an earthquake focus only 
the observations at different stations of one disturbance are used in any one 

1 Cf. a forthcoming paper in collaboration with Dr. H. Jeffreys on this 

1922 T 


deduction, instead of the observations of one or more stations of different dis- 
turbances. This characteristic of the method offers one important advantage. 
For when we attempt to obtain information as to the depth of earthquake foci 
by using observations of various disturbances the number of unknowns (viz. 
the actual depths) is equal to the number of different disturbances recorded in 
the observations. When the observations are all associated with a single 
disturbance only one focal depth is involved. 

Depth of Focus for 1920, December 16. 

As an example of the first method a note may be given on the great Chinese 
earthquake, of which some particulars were furnished in the last report. Adopting 
the epicentre 35°.5 N. 105°. 5 E. and To = 1920 Dec. 16d. 12h. 5m. 46s., as given 
in the last report, the records from twenty-seven stations now available give a 
mean correction to To of only —0.5 sec. The mean numerical residual is 
+ 7.1 sec, so that the probable error of the mean of 27 is about 1 sec, and 
we may regard To as exceptionally well determined. If only we had as many 
stations near the anticentre we could determine the focal depth with great 
accuracy. But up to the present La Paz is the only station from which results 
have been received. The time atA= 160°. 2 was 20m. 12s. after To, or +4s. 
in excess of the adopted formula. So far as this evidence goes, then, the focus 
was slightly above the normal depth d ; but news from other stations in South 
America would be of the greatest interest. 

Earthquake Periodicity. 

Hitherto the periods considered in connection with earthquakes have been 
long; recently attention has been directed to some periods near 300 years, and 
even the fifteen months on which much work has been done is very long com- 
pared with that now to be mentioned, which is of only twenty-one minutes. But 
the results obtained are so startling, and yet so well supported, that, although 
they are only a few weeks old, it seems desirable to give some account of them. 

It is mentioned in a preceding paragraph that the work of collation has recently 
been extended to the smaller earthquakes, which are sometimes only scantily 
recorded and therefore difficult to identify. It is a great help that they often 
come from the same neighbourhood as a previous shock, and possibly, in many 
cases, from the same actual focus. At any rate, it is a convenience to refer 
them to the same focus, when discrepancies, if any, will be shown by the 

On August 3 to 10, 1917, some twenty shocks were recorded by Mizusawa and 
Osaka, which clearly came from the same focus, or nearly the same. It was 
natural to inquire whether there was any regularity in the intervals between 
shocks, and (without any special anticipation of finding it) a period of 
21m. presented itself. The half-period of 10.5m. and the third of 7m. are 
both liable to present themselves in one connection or another, but there seems 
little doubt that 21m. is the master-period. 

In a preceding paragraph it is mentioned that 21m. is approximately the 
time taken by a P wave to go right through the earth. In the investigation 
there mentioned 20m. 17s. appears ; but this is the time from a focus of the 
average depth to the opposite face, and must be shorter than the complete time 
from face to face. The defect from 21m. may therefore, if the interpretation 
suggested is correct, give us incidentally the depth of the average focus. But 
it is too early to consider this as more than a possibility. 

it follows that 21m. is also the time taken by a P wave to travel to the 
earth's centre and back again to the surface, i.e. it is the time for a possible 
pulsation. It is again too early to put forward this view of the following facts 
definitively, but it may help to co-ordinate the facts if this possibility is kept 
in mind. 

The following figures will show how the 21m. period appeared and what 
oart was played bv the half-period 10.5m. The first shock came at August 
8d. 5h. 25.0m., and was followed by two others 2x21m. and 8x21m. later. 
The actual intervals were not 43m. and 168m., but 45.9m. and 170.6m., so that 
the .shocks do not come precisely but only approximately at the expected 




moments. (The period of 21m. itself is, however, obtained in what follows 
•with remarkable precision to be 21.00155m.) 

The next shock, however, did not come at a whole multiple, but nearer the 
half-multiple, and seemed to start a new series which continued for eight more 
shocks, when a third series nearer the original series began to return, and, after 
a short overlap with the second series, took sole command. 

The three series may be given in tabular form showing simply the differences 
from an exact sequence of 21m., starting with the original shock as time-zero :— 

Series I. 


Series II. 






















+ 1-7 











+ 19-2 








+ 1-2 



+ 11-2 




+ 121 









+ 1-6 







-f 14-5 





















+ 4-0 







+ 18-7 





+ 1-3 



+ 2-2 

Mean +15-7 -I-2-2 

The strongest part of the evidence is the sequence of nine shocks from 
IV. to XII., after the first series has ended and before the third has begun. 

If we take these by themselves the mean value is +14.8 and the mean of the 
errors falls to + 2.0m. Vi^hen we have overlapping series there is the objection 
that we could always choose two points in a cycle of 21m. which would reduce 
the range of the residuals from + 10.5m., with mean of the errors ±5.2, to 
± 5.2m. with mean of the errors ± 2.6m., which is not much greater than those 
found. But this objection loses its force when we have a consecutive series of 
nine shocks without departure from the same reference point. 

Let us now consider the following two series of shocks from apparently the 
same epicentre (6°.0 S. 136°.0 E.), one set in July 1917 and one in Au£u«t 
1917. ^ 


Multiple Error 


Multiple Error 









July 27 








+ 14 





+ 1-0 










+ 0-9 





+ 2-8 





+ 1-4* 















+ 1-3* 















+ 3-2* 










+ 0-2* 






Mean + 1-5 

Mean +1-8 

In the six cases marked with an asterisk a half-period of 10.5m. has been 
subtracted from the actual error. The procedure is tolerably clear. In each 
set the starting point is chosen so as to make the mean of the errors zero and 
can be recovered from the top case by reversing the error. (The minutes for 
July 27 are thus 36.2+2.9 = .39.1, and "for August 7, 54.1-1.4 = 52.7.) 

The accident of preparing the bulletins month by month led to the treatment 
of these two series separately. But we can easily test whether they join together 

T a 



by dividing the intei'val between the last (standard) date in July and the first 
in August by 21m. We thus have : — 


h. m. 

Aug. 7 

15 52-7 

July 31 

3 151 

Diff. 516 x21m + 1-6 

The small difference of -} 1.6m. indicates a slight correction to the period. 
Spreading it over the interval between the means of the groups, which is about 
870 periods, the correction indicated is about 1.6/870=. 00134m., comparable 
with what we shall find below. 

The Periodicity not Local. 

Tne question thus arose whether this periodicity was confined to earthquakes 
from the same focus or was wider in scope. The July series above is of a few 
days only and might conceivably be a local phenomenon (in space and time), 
but the August series is scarcely in keeping with this view. If the earth 
generally is affected, we must find the space relationship at any particular 
moment. A few trials of shocks at about the same time in different localities 
suggested that the longitude is unimportant and that the effect spreads from 
the equator outwards to the poles. The rate of travel suggested that the journey 
from equator to either pole is completed in 21 minutes, but the first approxima- 
tion was found to require sensible correction, the rate being certainly slower 
near the equator. Ultimately the following (quite provisional) table was found 
to give good results : — 

Times for Different Latitudes. 






Time | 



























19-4 1 












The information about very high latitudes is scanty, and 21m. may be set 
down for the poles without much fear of contradiction at present. 

When all the earthquakes of 1917 were discussed in this way a distinct 
periodicity in 21m. was manifest, but with some curious features requiring 
further examination. After a good deal of work, and the use of all the large 
earthquakes from 1913-16, the following features of the earth movement 
emerged : — ■ 

(a) There is a distinct oscillation of the maximum in six months, the solstices 
and equinoxes being the epochs of extreme range, which is about 120°, or a 
one-third-period of 7 min. 

(6) There is no sensible annual oscillation, but 

(c) There is another oscillation, about 180° in amplitude (or 10.5 min.), in 
twenty-four months, with spring equinoxes as extreme epochs. To so unexpected 
a feature it is difficult at present to assign a meaning, but the very difficulty 
lends some support to its reality. To show the kind of evidence for it the 
following figures may be given. After removal of the six-month periodicity (a), 
the results were collected in groups of six months (which would render any 
still uncorrected six-monthly term insensible), and the maximum computed by 
harmonic analysis. The phases of the maxima came out as follows for the nine 
sets (of six months each) available, viz. two each in the years 1913, 1914, 1915. 
and 1916, and one in 1917 which is not yet fully reduced. They are placed in 
sets of four to show the 24-monthlv term : — 


Maximum Phases 

1913 and 1914 






1915 and 1916 






1917 . 





These figures sliow a fluctuation, with a slow increase. Comparing corre- 
sponding pairs at two years' interval we get for the increases : — 

+ 22°, +27°, +65°, +25°, +8° : mean +29° 

Considering the nature of the material, these are wonderfully consistent. 
Applying the appropriate correction (which represents, of course, error in 
adopted period) we get : — • 










The range is thus about 180° ; a more exact value cannot be assigned at present. 
The first column corresponds to March 1913, 1915, &c., and the third to March 
1914, 1916, &c. 

The correction to period is about 29° per two years, which contain some 
48,000 periods, and thus represents 0.000036m. per period. The value previously 
adopted being 21.001512, we have as the corrected period 21.001548m. 

Using this period and allowing for the 6- and 24-monthly fluctuations of 
maximum already mentioned, and using the table for latitude above given, the 
numbers of earthquakes in each minute of the twenty-one for the years 1913-16 
(taken together) and for 1917 January-September (incomplete, but with many 
more determinations of epicentres) are as follows. The starting point has been 
chosen so that the maximum falls in the middle of the series : — 




























Minute 1913-16 1917 


























1913-16 1 





















The middle column is thus sensibly, though not extravagantly, greater than 
the wings. But the special features of the variation are made clearer by 
arranging the series in two halves which are symmetrical with respect to the 
maximum. The number of minutes being odd, one item is left without a 
partner, and may be doubled as a rough expedient : — 

Minutes . 

11 10 

12 13 14 15 








































29 28 39 30 25 22 23 20 23 28 (22) 
















. 20 












. 49 












The special feature is clearest in the line of totals, but can be recognised in 
each of the others. The position assigned to the maximum by the harmonic 
of the first order is on the left, between the minutes 11 and 12 ; but the largest 
figures cccur symmetrically on either side of this point between minutes 9 and H 
or 14 and 15, i.e. about 35m. away from the mid-point, the total separation 



being about 7m., or one-third of the 21. It seems probable that this feature 
is related to the liability mentioned earlier but not yet illustrated. An example 
may now be given. In Seismological Notes No. 2 (dated March 1922 and 
received in the early stages of this investigation), Prof. Omori deals with 'The 
Severe Earthquake of December 8, 1921,' and his assistant, Mr. Yasida, gives 
a list of forty-four afte-shocks. If these are arranged in lengths of 21m., 
taking 21h. 31.7m., the time of the main shock, as origin, then the counts for 
consecutive minutes are as below : — 

Minute Count 






























Sum of Count 




















The sum of the three columns of counts given in the last column shows an 
obvious maximum and minimum. This was the way in which the matter pre- 
sented itself at the time— there is a noticeable third harmonic. But in the 
light of the remarks ju3t made we should now arrange the material symmetrically 
on both sides of the main shock (which is the zero-point) as below : — 











Minute . 

. & 





















Coimts . 





















Comparing this line with the ' Total ' line of 1913-17, we can hardly doubt 
that the feature, which is a plain fact of observation with regard to a simple 
series of repeated shocks, has been traced in the whole mass of earthquakes 
wherever they occur. It is not so emphatic as in the simple Tokyo case— that 
is scarcely to be expected, for several systematic terms have only been roughly 
evaluated, especially the correction for latitude— but it is clearly there ; and 
we can scarcely doubt that the earth generally is subject to some disturbance 
of an oscillatory character with this period of 21.001548m., which has been 
traced already over nearly five years and may possibly be permanent. The 
matter must be left at this point, but naturally investigations are being 

Tides. — Report of Committee to assist work on the Tides (Professor 
H. Lamb, Chairman ;I)r. A. T. Doodson, Secretary; Col. SirO. F. 
Close, Dr. P. H. Cowell, Sir H. Darwin, Dr. G. H. Fowler, 
Admiral F. C. Learmonth, Sir J. E. Petavel, Professor J. 
Proudman, Major G. I. Taylor, Professor D'Arcy W. Thompson, 
Sir J. J. Thomson, Professor H. H. Turner). 

Investigations carried out during the year, and still under consideration, at 
the Tidal Institute at Liverpool have been concerned with 

1. Attempts to reduce to law the residual semi-diurnal oscillations left from 

the tide-gauge record at Newlyn; 
2 Meteorological effects at Newlyn, Liverpool, and other places; 


3. Long-period tides at Newlyn ; 

4. The pei'turbations of harmonic constants. 

Considerable progress has been made, but as the problems are all connected 
together it is thought desirable to postpone publication. In the case of (4) the 
' constants ' of harmonic analyses over many years tor tides in Indian and 
Canadian waters show variations of period of nineteen years, indicating that the 
assumed theoretical variation of harmonic constituents in the period of revolution 
of the moon's nodes is not sufficiently accurate. The results so far show the 
presence of a harmonic term not present in the astronomical forces, agreeing 
with previous deductions from Newlyn as to the possibility of such new con- 
stituents. Hypotheses concerning the physical nature of these variations are 
being tested. 

Investigation of the Upper Attaosphere,—- Report of Committee 
(yir Napier Shaw, Chairman; Mr. 0. J. P. Cave, Secretary; 
Professor S. Chapman, Mr. J. S. Dines, Mr. W. H. Dines, Sir 
E. T. Glazebeook, Colonel E. Gold, Dr. H. Jeffreys, Sir J. 
Larmor, Mr. E. G. K. Lempfert, Professor F. A. Lindemann, 
Dr. W. Makower, Sir J. E. Petavel, Sir A. Schuster, Dr. G. C. 
Simpson, Mr. F. J. W. Whipple, Professor H. H. Turner). 

The Committee met in December 1921. A memorandum by the Chairman 
and Secretary was read leading up to four propositions as follows : — 

(1) That a representation of the desirability of inviting the co-operation and 
inter- co-operation, not only of the Directors of Institutes and Observatories, but 
also of Scientific Academies and Societies in the study of the upper air, should 
be put forward to the British National Committee with a view to the meeting 
of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics at Rome in April 1922. 

(2) That the attention of the authorities in charge of regular observations of 
the upper air should be drawn to the close correlation between variations of 
temperature in the middle layers of the atmosphere derived from Mr. W. H. 
Dines's observations and from Canadian observations, and that an examination 
of the observations in other localities from the same standpoint should be 

(3) That endeavour should be made to provide suitable instructions for 
observations with pilot-balloons of long carry both on sea and on land. 

(4) That endeavour should be made to enlist the cooperation of competent 
persons willing to carry out observations in localities of special interest, and 
particularly to obtain the co-operation of astronomical observatories on sites 
specially free from cloud. 

In respect of proposition (1) a memorandum for communication to the 
National Committee was approved. 

In respect of proposition (2) it was agreed that the subject should be raised 
and the suggestion incorporated in the report to the British Association. 

In respect of (3), that the question be referred to the Secretary and Captain 
1). Brunt, acting for the Director of the ;Meteorological Office, in order that 
definite proposals may be formulated. 

In respect of (4) it was suggested that communication should be held with 
Captain H. Douglas, formerly Head of the Naval Meteorological Service, 
Assistant Hydrographer, and now commanding a sur^ eying ship at Bermuda, 
as to whether it is possible to initiate pilot-balloon observations at Bermuda. 
Dr. Simpson undertook to conduct the communication, as the Meteorological 
Office was in a position to supply gear if necessary. 

The subjects suggested in propositions (1), (3), and (4) were incorporated in 
the programme put forward for consideration at Rome by the British Committee. 

The Committee has been informed that the subjects were approved by the 
Union, and that the Section for Meteorology was authorised to spend a sum of 
15,000 francs upon providing instruments for duly qualified observers by ballons 



sondes from on board ship or from aeroplane, and the Bureau of the Section was 
instructed to make an appeal to Yacht Clubs and Aero Clubs for assistance in 
obtaining observations from localities where otherwise no observations would be 
available. Further sums are at the disposal of the Section for the same purpose 
from the revenue of future years if progress with the inquiry in this direction 
is found to be practicable. 

The Committee has been further informed that the Section for Meteorology 
has instructed its Bm'eau to endeavour to seciu-e observations of the direction 
and velocity of the wind in the stratosphere by means of pilot-balloons, and for 
this purpose to appeal to the directors of astronomical or other observatories 
which have been placed in exceptionally favourable situations for clear atmo- 
sphere. Such observatories are generally located in the belt of high pressure 
for which observations of the stratosphere are specially desired. The Executive 
Committee of the Section has been authorised to devote a sum of 5,000 francs, 
and a like amount in the three succeeding years if necessary, in order to provide 
the instruments for making these observations, to be lent to the observatories 

With regard to Resolution (2), it may be recalled that in the ' Characteristics 
of the Free Atmosphere ' {Geophysical Mevioirs, vol. 2, p. 67), Mr. W. H. Dines 
gave a table of coefficients of correlation between pressure and temperature 
over England. The observations were dealt with in three monthly groups. 
The figures for Canada, obtained by Mr. J. Patterson with apparatus supplied 
by Mr. Dines, and forming a homogeneous series, have been similarly treated.' 
About sixty altogether, they are not numerous enough to group in separate 
quarters of the year. They show very high correlation for the year, which 
implies high temperature and high pressure in the summer and low pressure 
and low temperature in the winter. The dot diagrams show, however, that the 
relation extends also to the individual quarters. And in any case the extension 
of the cold in winter to eight kilometres in association with low pressiu-e is a 
very striking fact. 

Dr. van Bemmelen's observations at Batavia have also been examined from 
this point of view; and the CMef of the U.S. Weather Bureau has been asked 
for the individual values of the ascents in U.S.A. for the same purpose. 

The results are shown in the following table : — 


Table of Coefficients of Correlation Between Variations of Pressure 
AND Temperature in the Upper Air of England and of Canada. 




in km. 

Jan. — Mar. 

Apl. — .June 

July— Sept. 

Oct.— Dec. 


























































With regard to proposition (4), it is understood that the arrangements for 
observations with pilot-balloons at Bermuda are going forward. 

The Committee think that the Association may usefully keep the subject in 
mind, and therefore ask for reappointment. 

' Shaw, The Air and its Ways. C.U. Press, p. 101. 


Calculation of Mathematical Tables. — Report of Committee 
(Professor J. W. Nicholsox, Chairman; Dr. J. R. Airey, Secre- 
tary; Mr. T. W. Chaundy, Professor L. N. G. Filon, Colonel 
HippiSLEY, Professor E. W. Hobson, Mr. G. Kennedy, and 
Professors Alfred Lodge, A. E. H. Love, H. M. Macdonald, 
G. N. Watson, and A. G. Webster). 

Since the last report of the Committee in 1919, a number of tables of functions 
have been computed, including Bessel-Clifford and Lommel-Weber functions of zero 
and unit orders and Lommel-Weber and other related functions of equal order and 

Dr. Doodson contributes in Part I of this report a set of tables of the Riccati-Bessel 
functions in continuation of the tables already published in the 1914 and 1916 reports, 
M'here they are incorrectly described as Bessel functions of half integral order. 

Part II contains a table of the zeros of Bessel functions of high order to which 
reference was made in the 1916 Report. 

It is proposed to defer the publication of the following tables which have been 
calculated without the assistance of a grant from the Committee : — 

Sin and Cos 6 to fifteen places of decimals for 6 in circular measure from 1 to 
100 radians. These were originally computed to twenty-four places of decimals. 

Bessel-ClifEord functions, Co(.x') and Ci(x) to six places of decimals for a;=0'00 to 
20-00 by intervals of 0-02. 

Lommel-Weber functions, Qo{^) and Q.i{z) to six places of decimals for a;=0-00 to 
16-00 by intervals of 0-02. 

Bessel, Neumann, Sohlafli and Lommel-Weber functions to six places of decimals 
where the order and argument are equal or differ by unity, the values of the order 
ranging from to 10 by intervals of 0-25. 

Part I. 
Riccati-Bessel Functions. 

{X =0-1 to a; =0-9.) 

These functions are defined in the Reports of the British Association for the 
Advancement of Science, 1914 and 1916 .which contain tables for x=l, 2 ... 10, 
and a;=l-l, 1-2, . . . . 1-9, respectively. 

Note on a Method of Interpolation. 
The Riccati-Bessel functions are subject to the following relations : — 
E„(x) = C„{x)-v'^.S„{x) 


E„'(x) = E„_,(.r)-"-E„(a;) 


I . . I. 

From the first and second equations we may obtain respectively 

E«(X)=^' {E„(.)-(ji)E„.,(^)+2',(0>-.(-)-- • • . 

E„(X)=g{E,.W+(2^).E„_,(a:)+^,Qy':E„_,(x)+.... I • • - H, 
whore X'^=x'^+m'^. 



The Series of Type I for S„(a;) and the Series of Type II for C„(a;) are absolutelj' 
convergent for all values of m, n, x. 

The Series of Type I for C„(.t) is absolutely convergent for all values of n if x- —u > 
and the Series of T.ype II for S„(.r) . for all values of n if x'^ + w > 0. 

These series are of great use for interpolation purposes and are far more serviceable 
than the usual expansion by Taylor's Series : the latter involves the calculation of 
the derivatives and this is a troublesome matter as a rule. Within the range < w < x, 
it is best to use Type I for S„(a;) and Type II for C„(.r). 

Riccati-Bessel Functions. 

a;=0-l, 0-2, 0-9. 





















































Riccati-Bessel Functions — contd. 
























































-222- 1495 














Biccati-Bessel Functions — contd. 














S«(0.4) C„(0.4) |E«{0.4)p 




















—3894183 ' 1-0 
—5-809116 33-8125 
-93-65528 8771-3125 






- 1 





















Riccati-Bessel Functions — contd. 




' C„(0.5) 











' 2 





! n 






— 725^8602 
— 13559^978 
— 8044050- 













log|S„'(0^5)| , log|C/(0^5)| , log|E,/(0-5)|2 





T-6807212 0-0000000 

0-5552878 1-1139434 

1-6802018 3-3604041 


















Riccati-Bessel Functions — contd. 

n 1 








1 ' 



















6 i 























































•00001 11 





































Biccati-Beasel Func tions — contd. 



1 6 









( n 















































( n 







































































Riccati-Bessel Functions — contd. 

























3 1175994 























































































T- 8939430 
























1 6 



1 7 







































Part II. 
Zeros ot Bessel Functions of High Order. 

The roots of Bessel functions J„(x) where the order n is large are of importance 
m the solution of physical problems. The table calcnlated by Bourget' gives the 
first nine roots of the six functions J|i(xj to J.-,{x). 

For large values of n, p,„ the pth root of J„{x) is approximately found^ from 

p,=n(l + ^^+^'-...) where 

Ln [ 4 I8(4j;-1)7T I J 

For the first three roots, 

Pi = w + l-8579ii + l-OMn-i 

p.2 = n + 3-245n\ + 3-l58n-!s 

p3 = w + 4-382wi + 5-760M-i 

The table below was computed to six significant figures over a wide range of 
values of n by the method of successive approximation,' The colon is approxi- 
mately equivalent to 5 : e.g. 11 -0363(5) is the first root of .^^{x), nearly 

First ten roots of Jn(x). 

n = 

2-4048 : 









8-4172 : 


8-6537 : 

10-1734 : 

11-6198 : 


11-7915 : 


14-7959 : 

16-2234 : 


16-4706 : 



18-0710 : 

19-6158 : 



21-2116 : 



25-7481 : 

24-3524 : 

25-9036 : 

27-4205 : 



29-0468 : 











7-5883 : 



11-0863 : 




14-8212 : 


15-7001 : 



17-6159 : 



21 6415 : 

20 8269 



24-9349 : 


25-4303 : 

26-8201 : 















38-1598 : 

39-6032 : 

410307 : 

Normale, 3 (1866). Lord Rayleigh, Theory of Sound, 

' Annales de VEcole 
Vol. i., Table B, p. 330. 

2 ' Calculation of the Roots of Bessel Functions. ' Phil. Mag., Sept. 1917, p. 193. 
■'•' The Roots of Bessel and Neumann Functions of High Order.' Phil. Mag., 

July 1916, pp 

10 and 11. 


Zeros of Bzssel Functions of High Order — contd. 

« = 8 








160377 : 


18-4334 : 

24-2691 : 


20-8070 : 

22-0469 : 


22-9451 : 


25-5094 : 



27-5837 : 



29-5456 : 

30-8853 : 

32-2118 : 



34-1543 : 






45-4121 : 

39-2404 : 

40-6285 : 


48-7264 : 



45-2315 : 

52-0172 : 

w = 20 




25-4171 : 

36-0983 : 




41-0927 : 

52-0161 : 






37-7728 : 



72-1903 : 

41-4130 : 




44-9576 : 




48-4342 : 

60-7648 : 




64-3450 : 



55-2465 : 



92-0902 : 





M = 75 







312-577 : 







226-613 : 

330-191 : 


126-870 : 

232-986 : 




238-907 : 


108-821 : 

136-535 : 

244-502 : 


113-084 : 


249-848 : 












264-838 : 

372-793 : 

n = 400 

413-813 : 
433-065 : 
454-849 : 
473-447 : 
479-233 : 




779-826 : 
824-496 : 
831-902 : 
845-929 : 





1054-73 : 

1064-24 : 




1097-42 : 



Radiotelegraphiclnvestij^atlons. — Report of Committee (Sir Oliveb 
LoDGK, Chairman; Professor W. H. Eccles, Secretary; Mr. S. G. 
Brown, Dr. C. Chree, Sir P. W. Dyson, Professor H. S. 
Eddington, Dr. Erskine Murr.\y, Professors J. A. Fleming, 
G. W. O. Howe, H. M. M.\cdon.\ld, and J. W. Nicholson, Sir 
H. NoRM.\N, Sir A. Schuster, Sir Napier Shaw, Professor H. H. 
Turner). Drawn up by the Chairman. 

The Committee on Radiotelegraphic Investigations was appointed at tlie Dundee 
Meeting in 1912, after a discussion upon tiie unsolved proljlems of wireless 
telegraphy which was opened by Professor J. A. Fleming. In the course of 
the following year the Committee decided to concentrate upon two or three of 
the principal large-scale phenomena, such as the variations in tiie strength of 
signals that have travelled long distances, and the nature of the electric waves 
that cause the telegraphic distui'bances knovv^n as 'strays' or 'atmospherics.' 

The Committee therefore organised a scheme of simultaneous widespread 
observations and proceeded to obtain the co-operation and support of Govern- 
ment departments, commercial companies, scientific workers, and amateurs. 
They drew up a series of forms suitable for distribution to all types of wireless 
observers in various countries. 

During the winter of 1913-14 many forms were distributed, and many were 
duly filled and returned for analysis. The Committee's programme for the 
collection of observations was gradually extended to all parts of the English- 
speaking world and to several other countries. The Governments and the 
wireless companies of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, 
India, and the United States of America co-operated cordially. A special 
effort was made to obtain world-wide observations during the progress of the 
solar eclipse of August 31, 1914. But the outbreak of war sadly interfered with 
all these projects, especially in Europe. Nevertheless, sufficient information 
was collected to enable the preparation of the report presentejl at Manchester 
in 1915. The report discussed observations made in nearly every ocean and in 
many other parts of the globe, and is thought to constitute a landmark in the 
subject of large-scale radiotelegraphic investigation. 

Since the conclusion of the War the chief item of work undertaken by the 
Committee was in connection with the solar eclipse of IMay 29, 1919. Observa- 
tions were made in many countries, and a digest of the data collected formed 
the main substance of the report presented at Bournemouth in 1919. 

Nevertheless, in view of the formation of the International Union of Radio- 
telegraphic Science, the Committee decided to discontinue their work, which, 
in fact, had embraced an area practically coincident with that contemplated 
by the new International Union. At the first meeting of the Union, held in 
Brussels on July 24, 1922, this decision was formally communicated to the Union, 
and arrangements were made for the transference to the Union of such of the 
Committee's records as have not yet been analysed, and also such as are likely 
to be of interest to the Union. 

The expenditure of the Committee from the date of its inception in 1912 
amounts to a total of 479^. Is. G{d., and for this the Committee are indebted to 
the Caird Fund. Accounts and vouchers showing details of expenditure have 
been duly sent in. 

The Committee is appreciative of the way in which its Hon. Secretary has 
conducted its affairs through an unexpectedly troublous time. 

V 9 


Colloid Chemistry and its General and Industrial 
Applications. — Summary Report of Covimittee (Professor F. G. 
DoNNAN, Chairman; Dr. W. Clayton, Secretary, Dr. E. Ardern, 
Dr. E. F. Armstrong, Sir W. M. Bayliss, Professor C. H. Desch, 
Dr. A. E. DuNSTAN, Mr. H. W. Greenwood, Mr. W. Harrison, 
Mr. E. Hatschek, Mr. G. King, Professors W. C. Mc.C. Lewis 
and J. W. McBain, Dr. E. S. Morell, Professors H. E. Proctor 
and W. Eamsden, Sir E. J. Eussell, Mr. A. B. Searle, Dr. S. A. 
Shorter, Dr. E. E. Slade, Mr. F. Sproxton, Dr. H. P. Stevens, 
Mr. H. B. Stocks, Mr. E. Whympee). 

The publication of the Fourth Report was unavoidably delayed for many 
months, but it was published in August 1922 by H.,M. Stationery Office. The 
following papers, eight of academic nature and six on industrial subjects, are 
included in the Report : — 

Colloid Problems iv Analytical Chemistry. By Prof. H. Bassett, D.Sc, Ph.D., 
D. es So., F.I.C. (University College, Reading). 

The fundamental colloid phenomena underlying most analytical operations 
are discussed, especially in connection with the formation, purity, filtration, and 
washing of precipitates. The colloid properties of the filter-paper, surfaces of 
vessels, &c., are also discussed. The Report includes a selection of important 
analytical determinations in inorganic and organic chemistry, illustrating the 
colloid principles under discussion. 

Catajihoresis : The Motion of Colloidal Particles in an Electric Field. By Prof. 
E. F. Burton, M.A., Ph.D. (University of Toronto, Canada). 

This paper is a summary of the main points in connection with cataphoresis, 
and includes recent work carried out in Prof. Burton's laboratory on the tech- 
nique of cataphoresis. 

Colloid Systems in Solid Crystalline Media. By Prof. Cecil H. Desch, D.Sc, 
Ph.D. (University of Sheflfield). 

The dispersion of solid particles throughout a crystalline solid, when the 
state of subdivision is sufficiently fine, introduces colloidal characteristics of 
interest in metallurgv and mineralogy — e.g. the hardening of steel and of certain 
iron-ferrous alloys, by quenching from a high temperature, and the colouring 
matters in crystalline minerals. 

Molecular Attraction and the Phy-ncal Properties of Liquids. By Edwin Edser, 
A.K.C.Sc, F.Ph.S., F.Inst.P. (Minerals Separation, Ltd., London). 

The law of molecular attraction derived in this paper may be stated as 
follows : Two molecules attract each other with a force that varies inversely as 
a power of the distance separating them, and this power must be higher than 
the fifth. In all liquids the result of analysing the experimental data is to 
indicate that the molecules attract each other inversely as the eighth power of 
the distance separating them ; mercury, however, is not in good agreement with 
this law. 

It is deduced from this law that : (1) Of the energy which represents the 
surface tension of a liquid, 94 per cent, is located in the surface layer one 
rriolecule diameter in thickness, while the remainder is located at a greater 
distance from the surface ; (2) at a distance of one molecule diameter from the 
surface of a liquid the intrinsic pressure is 8.5 per cent, less than the maximum 
value in the interior of the liquid. 

Membrane, Equilibria. By VV. E. Garner, M.Sc. (University College, London). 

The remai-kable potential differences occurring at cell surfaces — i.e. at the 
surfaces of membranes in contact with electrolytes — are discussed in the liglit 
of the theories due to Ostwaid, Haber and Klemensiewicz, Loeb and Beutuer, 
and Donnan. Special consideration is given to Donnun's theory based on thermo- 
dynaniical treatment. 

Disperse Systems in Gases. By VV. E. Gibbs, D.Sc. (Chief Chemist, The Salt 

Union, Ltd., Liverpool). 

The methods of formation of disperse systems in gases are studied — e.y. 

(1) by the condensation of a gas or vapour in the presence of suitable nuclei; 

(2) by the disintegration and dispersion of a liquid or solid. Those systems 
in which the particles are too large to exhibit Brownian motion at ordinary 
temperature and pressure are termed ' clouds,' while the more highly disperse 
systems are called ' smokes.' 

The properties of these gas-solid and gas-liquid disperse systems are con- 
sidered in the following order : (1) their mechanical properties — the concentra- 
tion, the motion of the particles, and the degree of dispersion ; (2) their optical 
properties— the absorption, reflection, refraction, and diffraction of light by 
the system; (3) their thermal properties— the absorption and radiation ot heat; 
(4) tlieir electrical properties — the electrical charges upon the particles, their 
behaviour in an electric field ; (5) their chemical properties — the increased 
chemical activity of the disperse system, due to its high degree of dispersion. 

The industrial applications are dealt with, and tlie paper concludes with a 
section on Chemical Warfare. 

The Theory of Lubrication. By W. B. Hardy, M.A., F.R.S. 

' A theory of lubrication must be founded upon a general theory of friction. 
No such general theory, however, exists, but in its place there is a theory of 
internal friction or viscosity which refers the resistance to fundamental forces 
between molecules, and a theory of external or superficial friction which, standing 
where Coulomb left it in 1781, accepts accidental inequalities of the surfaces 
as a sufficient cause.' The theories of Coulomb, Reynolds, and others are dis- 
cussed, and a theory proposed, based on molecular orientation in surfaces, 
according to which one would expect ' that in general any good lubricant would 
be more strongly attracted by the bounding solid faces than a bad one. The 
expectation can only be a general one, because lubricating qualities depend not 
only upon the intensity of such attraction, but also upon the kind of orientation 
of the molecules produced by it, and the variation of potential energy in the 
lubricant and surf ace of the solid produced by traction.' 

The Aj)plication of Colloid Chemistry to Mineralogy and Petrology. By 
Alexander Scott, M.A., D.Sc. (Central School of Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent). 

The general principles of colloid chemistry are applied to important pheno- 
mena in mineralogy and petrology, and special attention is given to those rocks 
and minerals which exist in a colloidal form, or are derived from colloidal 
material. Weathering, cementation, adsorption, ore depcsits, concretionary and 
banded structures, dendritic structures, igneous rocks, &c., are discussed as 
colloid problems. Rocks and minerals in large number are considered in much 
detail, and investigations mentioned which are needed to extend our knowledge 
of the mechanism of well-known natural phenomena. 

Colloid Chemistry of Soap. Part II. The Soap Boiling Processes. By Prof 
J. W. McBain, M.A., Ph.D., and Ernest Walls, M.A. (The University, and 
Broad Plain Soap Works, Bristol). 

"The first part of the report deals with the actual works practice of soap- 
boiling. The second part treats of the theory of soap-boiling, under the head- 
ings : Historical, general review, hydration of the fibres in soap curd. The 
third part of the report is entitled 'Application of the Theory,' and deals with 
saponification, graining and washing, fitting and settling, and the colour and 
hardness of soaps. 


The C oncentrotion of Minerals by Flotation. By Edwin Edser, A.R.C.Sc, 
iF.Ph.S., F.Inst.P. (Minerals Separation, Ltd., London). 

The fundamental scientific principles underlying the flotation of minerals 
are treated in detail — e.g. surface tension, contact angles, air films, the surfaces 
of liquids and solids, flocculation and deflocculation, frothing or foaming. The 
practice of flotation is described and an account given of the various hypotheses 
advanced to explain flotation. This is an extensive paper on a difficult but 
exceedingly important subject. 

Colloids in Catalytic Hydrogenation. By E. F. Armstrong, D.Sc, F.R.S., and 

T. P. Hilditch, D.Sc. 

Colloid phenomena obtain in the hydrogenation of gaseous or liquid organic 
compounds : (1) because of the surface at which interaction occurs; (2) when 
catalysts in the colloidal condition are employed. Catalysts may be colloidal 
sols or finely divided metals, non-supported or supported. The various physical 
and chemical conditions involved are considered, as well as the various theories 
of catalysis. 

77(6 Eole of Colloids in Electrolytic Metal-Dejiosition. By Henry J. S. Sand, 
Ph.D., D.Sc, F.I.C. (Sir John Cass Technical Institute, London). 

The influence of colloids in electrolytic plating solutions on the metal deposits 
obtained has been discussed under the headings : Phenomena produced by 
addition-agents; inclusion of the addition-agent in the metal-deposit, and its 
colloidal nature ; adsorption and gold number of colloids in relation to their 
effectiveness as addition-agents; microstructure of deposits containing colloids; 
equilibrium potential of deposits containing colloids (transfer-resistance and 
polarisation) ; over-voltage produced by colloids in its relation to improved 
throwing-power of electrolytic baths, and to the sequence of electrolytic pro- 
cesses taking place at the electrodes ; nature of process by which the final 
structure of electrolytic metal deposits is brought about; colloids at the anode; 
colloids in applied metal deposition. 

Buhher. By Henry P. Stevens, M.A., Ph.D., F.I.C. 

In the first report (1917) Dr. Stevens gave a summary of the chief papers 
on rubber. This bibliography is now extended and brought up to date, and 
the properties of rubber are discussed from the colloidal view-point. Vulcanisa- 
tion is treated in detail. 

Colloidal Fuels: their Preparation and Properties. By A. E. Dunstan, D.Sc, 
F.I.C. (Chief Chemist, Anglo-Persian'Oil Co.). 

This paper is a brief summary of recent work, particularly in the United 
States, on colloidal fuels. 


Fuel Economy, — Fifth Report of Committee (Professor W. A. 
Bone,* Chairman; Mr. H. James Yates,* Vice-Chairman; 
Mr. Egbert Mono,* Secretary; Mr. Egbert Armitage, M.P., 
Mr. A. H. Barker, Professor P. P. Bedson, Dr. W. S. Boulton, 
Professor W. E. Dalby, Mr. E. V. Evans,* Dr. W. Galloway,* 
Mr. J. E. Hackford, Sir Egbert Hadfield, Bart.,* Dr. H. S. 
Hele-Shaw,* Mr. D. H. Helps, Dr. G. Hickling, Mr. A. 
Hutchinson,* Mr. S. E. Illingworth, Principal G. Knox, Pro- 
fessor Henry Louis,* Mr. H. M. Morgans, Mr. E. Myers, 
Dr. J. S. Owens, Mr. W. H. Patchell,* Mr. H. Stafford 
Eayner, Mr. L. L. Eobinson, Mr. A. T. Smith, Dr. J. E. Stead, 
Mr. C. E. Stromeyer, Mr. W. C. P. Tapper, Mr. W. Thorney- 
croft, Professor W. W. Watts,* and Mr. C. H. Wordingham *) 
appointed for the Investigation of Fuel Economy, the Utilisation 
of Coal, and Smoke Prevention. 

* Denotes a member of the E.xecutivc Committee. 

I. The Coal Situation. 

Since the Committee last reported, the fuel situation in this country has been 
dominated by the effects of the coal crisis of 1921. The output of coal from 
mines in Great Britain during the year ending Decpmber 31, 1921, fell to 163 
million tons, of which 24.66 million tons were exported, and a further 11 million 
tons (including about 133,000 tons of manufactured fuel) were consumed by 
steamers engaged in the foreign trade. There were also exported 443,565 tons or 
gas coke, 850,074 tons of manufactured fuel, and 292,648 tons of other sorts of 
coal fuel. Owing to the coal stoppage, there were importea into the country 
during the year (but chiefly during the three months April-July inclusive) 
altogether some 3.433 million tons of coal, and 136,424 tons of coke and manu- 
factured fuel. 

In its last Report the Committee drew attention to the effects of the then 
high coal prices upon the prospects of the iron and steel industry in this 
country ; and as this particular industry reflects almost better than any other 
the effects of coal prices upon production, the following observations may 
appropriately be made upon the present situation. 

The crisis of last year in the coal trade was the final cause of the severe 
depression which in the pig-iron and steel trade had gradually been setting in 
since the miners' strike in the autumn of 1920. The latter came upon the trade 
following a period of high prices and abnormally high demand, and precipitated 
a complete cessation of business and great difficulty in obtaining new orders. 
This was further accentuated by the general post-war economic conditions in 
the world's markets. At the sama time on the Continent there was a cheapen- 
ing in the cost of production, together with a serious drop in exchange values 
and pressure of the banks on the Belgian and 'French works to realise stocks, 
and in consequence the foreigner was enabled to deliver pig iron into Great 
Britain at a lower price than it could be made at home. Hence, whilst the 
pig-iron sales had been maintained fairly well up to the end of 1920, the first 
months of 1921 saw the importation of both pig iron and steel into Great Britain 
on a large scale, foreign pig iron being delivered into Scotland about thirty 
shillings per ton below the cost of manufacture in Great Britain. The coal 
crisis of the following months completed the disaster. 

The combined effect of these various causes is well shown by contrasting the 
production of pig iron and steel in the United Kingdom in the years 1920 and 
1921 respectively. During the year 1920 the output of pig iron was 8,034,700 















tons, and of steel 9,067,300 tons; in 1921 these figures had fallen to 2,611,400 
and 3,625,800 tons respectively. The following analysis of the corresponding 
productions for each quarter of 1921 is very instructive in this connection : — 

April- June 

2,611,400 3,625,800 

On operations being resumed at the mines, production at iron and steel 
works restarted on a very restricted scale, and with the low prices then 
prevailing was carried on at a heavy loss. Despite subsequent reductions in 
wages due to the operation of sliding scales and other mutual arrangements, 
and in the excessively high railway rates, which gave manufacturers less relief 
than had been hoped for, there still seems little hope of further reductions in 
the present prices of pig iron and steel, the cost of fuel delivered to the works 
being still too high. 

From a fuel-economy point of view the position is most unsatisfactory, 
because at present the prices of coke as compared with those of coking coals 
delivered at the works offer little inducement to iron and steel makers owning 
self-contained plants to start up the coke ovens connected with their steelworks, 
since coke can be bought at prices below the cost of making it in their own 
ovens, even after crediting the values of all the by-products produced in the 
process. This condition is entirely abnormal ; and it is hoped that with 
improved general trade, freedom from industrial disputes and unrest, and an 
increase in demand, more blast-furnaces and steelworks will be put into opera- 
tion, and that the demand for the raw materials will then tend to re-establish 
more normal conditions in the coal and coke trade, and thus restore the balance 
in favour of pursuing a policy which ensures the greatest fuel economy in the 
operation of plants, which is so desirable in the national interests. 

II. Oil Fuel Supplies— Present and Future. 

The Present Situation. — During the past year the Committee has had under 
consideration the important question of present and future supplies of oil fuel 
which are now needed for certain purposes (chiefly motor transport) for which 
at present coal cannot well be used. In this connection they have had the 
valued help of Mr. J. E. Hackford, who was co-opted on to the Committee on 
the nomination of the Institution of Petroleum Technologists. 

As a first step towards the exploration of the subject, the Committee decided 
to collect authentic information as to the importation of petroleum products into 
the United Kingdom during each of the five years 1917-1921 inclusive. For 
purposes of reference the data so collected have been analysed and tabulated 
as follows : — 

Table I. 

Imports of Petroleum Products into the United Kingdom for tlie years 1917 to 1921 








Crude Oil . 
Lamp Oil . 
Motor Spirit 

Gas Oil . 
Fuel Oil . 


































t-^ eO CO 1C5 <N 05 o «o o" M 

l-H CO ""^ ^ 





O M 
lO i-H 



f-H CD 
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D S O ft Ph fl< p? P3 PM O 








a o 

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■M bi 

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The Committee then proceeded to inquire into the origins of our present 
imported oil-fuel supplies, and for that purpose the statistics for the year ending 
1921 were analysed (see Table II.) so as to discriminate between the various 
countries of origin, and also to show how much of our total imported supplies 
of petroleum and petroleum products are being drawn from within the Empire 

The Committee considers it important that attention should be drawn to the 
fact that, inasmuch as the home production of shale oil is now very small, i owing 
to the relatively low cost of production of imported petroleum, we are at present 
dependent almost entirely on countries outside the Empire for the supplies of 
natural petroleum and petroleum products, a most undesirable and dangerous 
state of affairs from every point of view. 

The Gas and Coking Industries as Producers of Motor Spirit. — It would 
appear that the only practicable way in which future home supplies of motor 
spirit and fuel oils can be extended is by the carbonisation of bituminous coals 
at temperatures between 600° C. and 1200° C. By carbonising suitable British 
coals at high temperatures (1000° C. to 1200° C.) in gas retorts or by-product 
coke ovens there can be obtained between 3 and 6 per cent, of the weight 
of the dry coal as anhydrous tar, and between 0.75 and 1 per cent, of its 
weight as refined benzole (motor spirit). It should be borne in mind, how- 
ever, that, inasmuch as more than half of the coal so carbonised is for the 
production of hard metallurgical coke, the total production of motor spirit 
and tars by these methods depends very largely upon conditions in the iron 
and steel industries which fluctuate and at the present time are exceedingly 
bad. Supposing, however, that pre-war prosperity were restored to the iron 
and steel industries, a total high temperature carbonisation of some 40 million 
tons of coal per annum might reasonably be expected. Taking 1 per cent, of 
its weight as a probable outside limit for the ultimate production of refined 
benzole, the total potential production of the latter would not exceed 400,000 tons 
per annum, which is very little more than half the tonnage of the motor 
spirit actually imported into the country in the year 1921. Aloreover, of this 
potential supply nearly half would have to be drawn from the gasworks of 
the country, and it is at least problematical whether it would pay the gas 
companies to extract the benzole from their gas at present prices. Indeed, 
taking the present relative prices of gas and benzole, as well as the costs of 
recovering benzole from coal gas, it is probable that the cash value of the 
potential heating power of benzole is greater when left in the gas than it is 
when extracted therefrom and (after subsequent refining) sold as motor spirit. 

Low Temperature Carbonisation of Coal as a Future Source of Oil Fuels. — 
Therefore, it has to be recognised that the most promising internal supply 
of both motor spirit and fuel oils lies in the direction of the low-temperature 
carbonisation of coal, provided that methods can be devised for same which 
are sound both from the technical and the commercial points of view. A 
really successful solution of this problem is greatly to be desired, not only 
for the aforesaid reasons, but also because it would be a great factor in the 
abolition of the smoke nuisance, especially from domestic fireplaces. The 
Committee has paid close attention to the recent developments with regard to 
this matter which are taking place in this country. In this connection 
attention may be drawn to : — 

1. The description of the operation of the experimental plant at Barugh, 

near Barnsley, as published in Engineering of October 28, 1921. 

2. The Conference on low-temperature carbonisation which was held at 

Cardiff on April 20, 1922, under the auspices of the South Wales 
Institute of Engineers. 

3. The paper read on April 3 last on ' The Influence of Structure on the 

Combustibility and other Properties of Solid Fuels,' by Messrs. 

E. R. Sutcliffe and E. C. Evans, before the London Section of the 

1 Thus in the year 1920 the amount of oil-shale mined in Great Britain 
was 2,840,859 tons, from which it may be estimated that no more than about 
227,000 tons of oil would be produced. 

On fuel economy. 281 

Society of Chemical Industry (Jouni. Soc. C'/iem. hid., Vol. xli., 
p. 196 T.). 

4. The Report on Low Temperature Carbonisation recently issued by the 
Fuel Research Board (H.JNI. Stationery Office, 1922). 

Taken together, these publications give a fairly comprehensive view of the 
present position of affairs in regard to the low-temperature carbonisation in 
this country. The Committee is in general agreement with the view recently 
expressed by the Fuel Research Board that, although we have not yet reached 
the stage when a final answer can be given to the question whether or not it 
will be possible to establish on sound industrial lines a new industry based 
on the carbonisation of the tens of millions of tons of coal per annum which 
are at present being consumed in the raw state in this country, yet as the 
result of the pioneering work which has been done during recent years by 
various organisations such knowledge and experience has been gained as affords 
some ground for the expectation that we are approaching a conditional solution 
of the matter 

There still seems to be some difference of opinion as to whether from 
the commercial point of view it will be better to carbonise at temperatures 
round about 600° C. or at somewhat higher temperatures (say, 700° C. to 
750" C), but this may be regarded as a minor issue. It seems now to be 
established, as the result of fairly large scale trials, that the average yields 
of the various products now obtainable by carbonising suitable British 
bituminous coals at a temperature of 600° C. will amount (on the weight of 
the dry coal carbonised) to about 7.5 per cent, of tars, and about 2.5 gallons 
per ton of motor spirit, besides about 3,500 cubic feet per ton of a rich gas 
of a gross calorific value (say) of about 800 B.Th.Us.,^ and a 70 to 80 per cent, 
residue of smokeless semi-coke. 

Seeing that the cash value of the semi-coke residue far exceeds that 
of all the other products put together, and also that the price of fuel oil 
in this country will probably alao be determined by circumstances beyond 
our control, it seems as though the ultimate prospects of a low-temperature 
carbonisation industry will depend upon the price which the public will be 
willing to pay for a smokeless domestic fuel. There can be little doubt but 
that such a fuel, properly manufactured, is a very suitable one for domestic 
consumption ; it burns freely and smokelessly, and also, according to Dr. 
Fishenden's recent experiments (vide Fuel Research Board Special Report 
No. 3), it has a greater radiant efficiency than either coal or high-temperature 
coke. Its general adoption, however, will probably depend upon two other 
conditions being fulfilled. Firstly, it must be prepared and distributed 
in a form which will allow of its being freely handled without undue dis- 
integration. Secondly, if its ash content could be cheaply reduced to a 
low figure by subjecting the coal to some washing process such as froth 
flotation or the like before it is carbonised, its attractiveness as a domestic 
fuel would be undoubtedly greatly increased. Indeed, it seems possible that 
public opinion might soon be educated to regard with favour well-manufactured 
smokeless semi-coke of better combustibility and of smaller ash content than 
raw coal. 

From this point of view, the recent work of Sutcliffe and Evans upon the 
influence of porosity on the combustibility of solid fuels (loc. cit.) is of 
interest, inasmuch as it draws attention to a factor whose significance is not 
always sufficiently recognised in fuel technology. These authors consider the 
porosity of the cell walls of a carbonised fuel to be extremely important in 
determining its combustibility. Their suggestion that, before the coal is 
carbonised for the production of a free-burning smokeless domestic fuel, it 
should be finely pulverised and briquetted by pressure without the use of a 
binder, in order that the thermal availability of the resulting semi-coke may 
be raised to a higher level, deserves further investigation from both the technical 
and commercial standpoints, especially if it could be found practicable to 

2 The Fuel Research Board's Report gave figures which would average 
about 1,000 B.Th.Us., but the Committee has thought it better to adopt the 
more conservative estimate of 800 B.Th.Us. here. 


combine it with some preliminary wasliing process in order to reduce the ash 
content of the semi-coke. 

Supposing that further technical developments result in the establishment 
of a low temperature carbonisation industry for the manufacture of a smoke- 
less domestic fuel, it is of interest now to forecast the effect of such develop- 
ments upon the future home supplies of motor spirit and fuel oils. It 
may be provisionally assumed that the amount of coal which could be so 
carbonised to supply domestic fuel requirements would be at least 40 (and 
possibly even 50) million tons per annum. Taking the former of these two 
figures, this would mean a possible production of about 100 million gallons 
(or about 350,000 tons) of motor spirit, and 600 million gallons (or about 
2,750,000 tons) of anhydrous tars (fuel oils). 

Present Tendencies in the Use of OH Fuel. — Before the advent of the 
internal combustion engine, the term ' fuel oil ' was restricted to an oil intended 
to be burnt in furnaces and the like. In the early days of oil fuel practice, 
comparatively light oils were used. They were ' atomised ' and injected into 
the boiler furnace or the like by means of steam or air, and the burners used 
were often of a crude and unsatisfactory character. In recent years, however, 
more attention has been given to the proper design of such burners, and to 
the more effective combustion of the fuel oil. The consumption of air or steam 
by the oil burners has been considerably reduced, and, as they have attained 
a higher degree of mechanical efficiency, heavier oils have been successfully used 
in them. Methods have now been devised whereby heavy oils may be sprayed 
into the furnace under pressure alone, without the aid of either steam or air; 
and, therefore, it has become possible for heavy petroleum residues, such as 
asphaltum, to be employed as first-class fuels for land installations. A similar 
tendency has recently been manifested in the use of fuel oil in internal com- 
bustion engines. Until quite recently petroleum refiners prepared a very light 
fuel oil for these engines, but mechanical research is now being directed in 
order to render them capable of burning even the heaviest oils. Progress 
in this direction has been greatly helped by scientific investigations upon 
the spontaneous ignition temperatures of fuel oils. The outstanding question 
to-day is how to adapt a heavy fuel oil for use in low compression internal 
combustion engines; this is now receiving the close attention of scientific 
investigators, and it may be hoped that as a result of their work the public 
will in due course be enabled to use heavy fuel oil in the place of motor spirit. 

III. The Chemistry of Coal, 

Progress towards the solution of the problem of the constitution of coal 
substance can be recorded, notwithstanding the magnitude and complexity of 
the problem. The difficulties arise in no small measure from the absence from 
the products of such researches of bodies with crystalline habit or other well- 
defined physical characters by which the chemist is accustomed to identify the 
compounds he isolates. Still, the literature shows the subject has attractions for 
not a few chemists who, employing various methods of attack, seek to obtain in- 
formation as to the nature of the multifarious compounds which go to the 
make-up of coal. As, however, different investigators select for their study 
coals of varying origin and of different classes, it is not always easy to compare 
the results obtained. 

The work of Clark and Wheeler {Trans. CJiem. Soc. 1913. 103. p. 1704), 
combining the application of solvents with the study of the action of heat 
upon the extracts of the coal so obtained, has undoubtedly given much useful 
and valuable information. The results, however, still leave open to conjecture 
and theoretical explanation the true nature of the components of the several 
fractions. The classification of the coal components by Clark and Wheeler based 
upon the pyridine-chloroform treatment is too facile"; nor could it be expected 
to provide material for a complete explanation of the properties of coal. 

The breaking down of a bituminous coal by treatment with a mixture of 
pyridine and amyl alcohol yields an extract from which, by successive use of 
ether and light petroleum. Bone, Pearson, Sinkinson, and Stockings {Proc. Roy. 
iioc, A, vol. 100, 1922, p. 582) have succeedea in obtaining (1) a non-resinous 
wax-like substance, (2) a resin, to which the formula C31H32O3 is assigned, 


(3) a portion, insoluble in ether, consisting of non-resinous material, partially 
dissolved by alcoholic potash, and this they designate as ' humic substance.' 
The authors are satisfied that these humic substances are not ' resinic ' but 
' cellulosic ' in origin. The influence of these several fractions on the coking 
of a coal has been studied, with the result that, whereas the said resin is in 
part responsible, the main cause of the coking propensities was shown to be a 
series of substances of ' humic ' type which are soluble in chloroform but not 
in ether, and whose fusion temperatures are below those at which they undergo 
rapid decomposition. 

The acidic substances extracted by alkalis from the aforesaid humic bodies 
are precipitated by acids from these solutions, as bulky, dark-coloured, opaque 
jellies. These jellies on drying form black, brittle, lustrous, and structureless 
masses, with conchoidal fractures, suggestive of the material forming bright 
coal which Stopes has styled ' vitrain.' The consideration of these facts has 
led Bone and his co-workers to suggest that ' bright coal ' may have originated 
in a colloidal gel. 

In this connection attention may be directed to a like conclusion arrived at 
by Dr. J. A. Smythe in 1906, in a paper read before the University of Durham 
Philosophical Society^ which dealt with certain Peaty Deposits from a Pit-Fall 
at Tantobie, County of Durham. Amongst the substances described is a black 
jelly-like body, which Smythe styled ' black-stuff,' and this he showed by its 
composition and behaviour to solvents, notably to pyridine, suggests a similar 
relationship to bright coal. 

It has long been recognised that bituminous coals contain three easily 
distinguishable components, which until recently had usually been designated 
(a) 'mother of coal' or 'mineral charcoal,' (h) 'dull hard coal' (Ger. = 
' Mattkohle '), and (c) 'bright coal' (Ger. = ' Glanzkohle '), respectively, the 
last named being a structureless, lustrous substance with a conchoidal fracture. 
Recently Stopes {Proc. Roy. Soc, B. 90 (1919), p. 470) proposed new names 
for them, namely {a) fnxm'n, (b) durain, whilst (c) Is termed by her either 
clarain or vitrain, according as it does or does not contain recognisable plant 
tissues and structures. In putting forward these proposals Stopes recognised 
that none of the four said ingredients (with the possible exception of vitrain) 
are either homogeneous or chemical molecular units ; also that they do not even 
approximately represent the crystals in a petrological section of a rock. Pro- 
vided that such qualifications are kept clearly in mind, and that it be realised 
that clarain may prove to be merely vitrain in which plant structures occur in 
suspension, the Committee sees no great objection to the provisional substitution 
of the proposed new names for the older ones, regarding the matter more 
as one of convenience than 'as involving any new principle. 

The Committee also feels that the growing practice among coal-chemists 
to use the terms alpha, beta, (jamma, &c., to designate the severnl components 
obtainable from the coal substance by fractional extraction of it by means 
of various solvents, is one which, unless regularised in some definite way, is 
likely to lead to much confusion and obscurity, to the detriment of progress. 
It is obvious that coal may be ' fractionated ' in as many different ways as 
there are suitable solvents and modes of applying them ; and therefore unless, 
as the results of some particular treatment or procedure, components of a 
reasonable decree of purity and well-defined properties are isolated, it is 
undesirable that definite names should be assigned to them, as though they 
were the actual chemical constituents of the coal instead of unknown mixtures 
of them. The Committee, therefore, would suggest that the time has come 
when chemists should aeree in conference upon some common plan of labelling 
such 'coal fractions' which, whilst recognising them to be such, shall also in 
some way indicate how they have been obtained. 

Supposing, for example, that a particular investigator extracts a coal with 
two solvents A and B, he misrbt desio-nate the fraction which is insoluble in 
both as the a AB fraction, whilst (i AB might be used to denote the fraction 
which is soluble in A but not in B, and the 7 AB that which is soluble in 
both A and B, assuming all solvents to be used at their respective boiling 

3 University of Durham Philosophical Society Procrcdivgf, Vol. 2, pt. fi. 


points at atmospheric pressure. Thus, a fraction termed the ' a pyridine- 
chloroform ' fraction would mean the residual insoluble portion of a coal after 
successively extracting it with pyridine and chloroform at their respective 
boiling points ; the ' (3 'pyridine-chloroform ' fraction would be that portion of 
the pyridine extract which is insoluble in chloroform ; whilst the ' y pyridine- 
chloroform ' fraction would mean the portion of the coal which is soluble in both 
pyridine and chloroform, and so on. In cases where the coal is extracted at 
some particular temperature other than the boiling point at atmospheric 
pressure of the solvent employed, the actual temperature employed might be 
designated by putting it in small type above the name of the solvent, thus 
' -benzene i^° ' denoting that benzene had been used at 120° C 

IV. Brown Coals and Lignites. 

Although Great Britain itself is almost destitute of sub-bituminous coals 
and lignites (the Bovey Tracey deposit in Devonshire being the only important 
one in this country), the problem of using them efficiently is of great importance 
to several of the Dominions, and especially so to Australia, Canada, and India. 
Of the total estimated Canadian reserves, amounting altogether to 1,234,268 
million tons, no less than 1,072,627 million tons are of a sub-bituminous lignitic 
class occurring in the upper cretaceous formations of the province of Alberta, 
whilst in the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan tliere are both cretaceous 
and tertiary lignite reserves amounting to 59,812 million tons. The Dominion 
Government has set up a Lignite Utilisation Board for the purpose of investi- 
gating the best means of utilising these resources, and it is hoped that the 
approaching meeting of the Association at Toronto in r924 will afford an 
opportunity of discussing the problem in all its bearings. 

In Australia, the provincial Governments of Victoria, South Australia, and 
New South Wales are all interesting themselves in the utilisation of their brown 
coal and lignite resources. Of these, the celebrated Morwell deposits in the 
Gippsand district of Victoria, which are of phenomenal thickness without 
parallel elsewhere in the world, are of great scientific interest, as well as of 
economic importance for the future of Australia. It has been estimated that 
within an area of 50 square miles in the Latrobe Valley, and within 1,000 ft. , 
of the surface, there are 31,144 million tons of the coal. A bore-hole put downj 
near Morwell disclosed no fewer than seven beds of brown coal within < 
1,000 ft. of the surface, of a total thickness of 781 ft., the individual seams j 
(taken in order from the surface) running 29 ft. 8 in., 25 ft. 8 in., 23 ft. J 
227 ft. 10 in., 265 ft. 6 in., 166 ft., and 43 ft. 8 in. respectively. So far as] 
they have been examined, they were reported by the Victorian Advisory Com-J 
mittee on Brown Coal, in 1917, as consisting of ' a matrix of earthy brown 
coal, with sporadic inclusions of lignite . . . the matrix consists of pollen! 
grains, spore cases, and decomposed vegetable matter. . . . The coal varies! 
in colour between yellowish brown and black, but it always pulverises to| 
brown powder.' The raw coal usually contains about 50 per cent, of water;! 
the dry coal contains: Carbon = 62.5, Hydrogen = 4.85, Nitrogen =0.45, Sulphur! 
= 0.20, Oxygen = 28.00, and Ash = 4.00 per cent. Its gross calorific value isj 
about 5.600 K.C.Us. per kilogram. 

In the year 1917 the Advisory Committee appointed by the VictorianJ 
Government' to investigate the possibilities of generating electric power on^ 
a large scale from the Morwell coal reported that, notwithstanding its low 
grade, power could be more cheaply generated from it for the City of Melbourne 
than from black coal imported from New South Wales. It has been officially 
estimated that the cost of producing raw INIorwell coal at the mines will 
not exceed 2?. 6(7. per ton. The Victorian Government has already authorised 
the expenditure of 6,000,000?. upon the development of the Morwell coal 
deposits in the expectation that by the year 1924 electrical energy from thence 
will be supplied, not only to the City of ■Melbourne, but also throughout the 
whole State of Victoria. It has been calculated that the cost of such energy 
at the mine will be as low as 2Z. 17.«. 6rf. per horse-power per annum, and that 
it can be sold profitably to manufacturers throughout the State at an average 
price of 4?- 8s. per horse-power per annum. Large-scale steam trials are, or 
have been, in progress with a view to ascertaining how the coal may best be 


burnt under boilers, and a large electric power-station scheme at Morwell is 
rapidly materialising, and a large order for water-tube boilers in connection 
therewith has recently been placed in this country. 

The problem of how such low-grade fuel as brown coals and lignites can 
be most efficiently burnt in boilers has therefore become one of great importance. 
It is obvious that a prime condition of efficient combustion is that coal shall 
be dried before being burnt; and as this drying can be effected at the expense 
of some of the sensible heat in the waste gases from the boiler, provided that 
they contain not less than 10 per cent, of carbon dioxide, such a drying operation 
may be cheaply carried out as .an integral part of the boiler operation. Whether 
or not, as an addition to such drying operation, the coal should be subjected 
to a preliminary low-temperature carbonisation, using the residue therefrom as 
the boiler fuel, is a matter for future investigation to decide. In this connection 
attention may be drawn to the recent discovery made by Bone (Proc. Roy. 
Soc, A, vol. 99, 1921) whilst investigating Morwell brown coal, Saskatchewan 
and other typical lignites : — 

[a) that there is for each particular brown coal or lignite a certain definite 
temperature limit (usually between 300° C. and 400° C.) up to which 
it may be heated (in the dry state) so as to effect a considerable 
chemical condensation in its cellulosic or humic constituents, with 
simultaneous expulsion therefrom of steam and carbon dioxide, 
together with a small but variable proportion of carbonic oxide ; and 
that such chemical condensation is unaccompanied by any other change 
productive of either hydrogen or hydrocarbons ; 

(6) that, by means of such condensation, substantially the whole of the 
potential energy of the fuel may be correspondingly concentrated by 
suitable heat treatment (within the prescribed temperature limit) in 
the resulting carbonaceous residue, which may therefore be burnt with 
greater calorific intensity than the original coal; and 

(c) that, accordingly, such treatment constitutes a possible means of ' up- 
grading ' brown coals and lignites generally, thus improving their fuel 

V. Domestic Heating and Cooking Appliances. 

A good deal of valuable investigation work has recently been done by 
persons not actually engaged in the industries concerned in the direction of 
testing the efficiencies of domestic heating and cooking appliances, with results 
of considerable interest in connection with the important auestion of fuel 
economy in our homes, where are burnt not only some 40 million tons of coal 
per annum, but also the bulk of the gas and some of the coke sent cut from 
the country's gasworks. 

In the first place, physiological research has emphasised the intimate con- 
nection, from the point of view of health and comfort, between the coenate 
problems of heating and ventilation in regard to domestic apartments. More- 
over, the introduction of the Kata-thermometer has placed at our disposal a new 
method for estimating the ' cooling power' of the air, which has been shown to 
be a governing factor in regard to what may be termed ' comfort conditions ' 
in living rooms. Also, the physiological value of radiation from a red-hot 
incandescent surface, as distinct from convected heat, has become to be more 
clearly recognised than ever before. Indeed it may be said that the more nearly 
the conditions under which our living rooms are warmed and ventilated approach 
those of a warm summer's day — a cooling breeze blowing round the head, the 
varvin"' sinishine warming one side of the bodv. and the warm ground for the 
feet — the more comfortable and healthful will they be. The desirability of such 
conditions, which may be contrasted with the warm air of rooms heated by 
convection from steam coils, probably explains the Englishman's decided 
preference for the radiation from an open fireplace durinsr our dreary British 
winters over tlie various forms of central heating which are favoured in America 
and other countries where the winters are c^older but brighter. Therefore, 
having reg;ird to the character of British winters, the estimation of the ' radiant 
pfficiencies ' of domestic fires is of predominant importance. 


The ' radiant efficiency ' of a modern gas fire may be said to be about 50 per 
cent, on the net calorific value of the gas burat therein ; moreover, experiments 
made under Professor W. A. Bone's direction at South Kensington have proved 
that, within wide limits, such radiant efficiency is independent of the chemical 
composition and calorific value of the gas burnt, provided that the number 
of calories by combustion developed per hour is kept suitably constant for 
the particular size of fire. Gas fires are now available which are capable 
of ventilating rooms quite as well as an open coal fire; and it may be taken 
for granted that both these appliances are capable of providing a healthful 
source of radiation for the warming of living rooms without unduly heating the 
atmosphere thereof. With regard to electric radiators, whose radiant efficiency 
may be as high as 75 per cent., while these are very portable and therefore 
convenient for placing where the heat is required, they do not directly ventilate 
an apartment. 

The recent determination by Dr. Margaret Fishenden, for the Manchester 
Corporation Air Pollution Advisory Board, of the radiant efficiencies of coal, 
coke, and semi-coke when burnt in open fire-places (Fuel Research Board Special 
Report, No. 3) are of considerable interest. Her experiments have shown, not 
only that such efficiency is much greater than has generally been supposed, but 
also that there is not so much difference as might be thought between the 
efficiencies of different grates. 

Working with a number of coal-fired open grates, including what were 
supposed to be the best and the worst types, the radiant efficiency in all cases 
was found to lie between 20 and 24 per cent, of the heat of combustion of the 
coal actually burnt during each test. When dried coke was used as fuel, 
radiant efficiencies up to 25 and even 28 per cent, were obtained; the values 
were, however, materially diminished when wet coke was used. Tests made 
with the low-temperature carbonisation ' semi-coke ' gave radiant efficiencies of 
up to 33 per cent, in a grate which with ordinary coal gave 25 per cent. It 
is also to be noted that the tests showed that, within tlie limits likely to be 
encountered in practice, with domestic fire-grates the radiant efficiency was 
found to be independent of the draught intensity, and also confirmed previous 
experience that treatment of the fuel with preparations (consisting mostly of 
common salt), which are sometimes advertised as doubling the value of a ton 
of coal, had no appreciable effect upon its radiant efficiency. Altogether, then. 
Dr. Fishenden's investigations may be said to have gone far to remove from 
the open fire-place the stigma of gross inefficiency. 

The Fuel Research Board have also published some work by Dr. Fishenden 
which deals with the efficiency of kitchen appliances (Fuel Research Board 
Technical Paper No. 3 : ' The Efficiency of Low-temperature Coke in Domestic 
Appliances '), and, in addition, one of the members of our Committee (Mr. A. H. 
Barker) has also devoted considerable time to the difficult question of the 
determination of the efficiency of domestic cooking appliances. A memorandum 
by him on the subject is appended to this Report, the results of his experiments 
having been published in detail bv the Fuel Research Board (Special Report 
No. 4), 

Dr. Fishenden has concerned herself with the determination of the radiant 
efficiencies of the ranges examined, as well as their efficiency in the production 
of hot water, whereas I\Ir, Barker has concerned himself generally with the 
question of the efficiency of ranges when functioning for the production of 
hot water or for cooking. The latter Report also touches upon the question 
of gas and electri: cookers, but the Committee does not propose to comment 
upon this aspect of the case as it would r.ppear to require further investigation. 

Whilst perhaps it would be premature to express any final opinion as to the 
precise significance of the results obtained, in view of the fact that the work 
is from the experimental point of view in its infancy, and that rather marked 
differences in efficiencies are cited in the two Reports, due probably to differences 
in the type of range tested, the Committee desires to call attention to the 
very great interest of the work at the present juncture, and to the desirability 
of the inquiry being continued. 

The combination of several different functions, namely, of a fire-heated oven, 
a fire-heated hotplate, a fire-heated boiler, and also a fire to warm the kitchen, 
would appear to involve heavy fuel consumption, as compared with the fuel 



required for appliances designed to perform these functions separately. Thus, 
for example, Dr. Fishenden obtained ;i water-heating efficiency of 17 per cent, 
from an old-fashioned open kitchen range, whilst a later type of independent 
boiler — which also functioned as an open fire— gave an efficiency of 35 per cent, 
for water heating, and, in addition, an open fire radiation of 7 or 8 per cent. 
Moreover, Mr. Barker's tests yielded hot-water efficiencies varying from 7 to 
17 per cent, in kitchen ranges, as against efficiencies of 40 to 50 per cent, 
obtainable with separate hot-water supply apparatus. 

iMr. Barker's work indicates also that the existing designs sacrifice fuel 
economy to convenience in providing an exposed hotplate adjacent to the 
oven, and that the fuel consumption for oven cooking may be reduced by 
lagging the hotplate. It is difficult to assess the value of the house heating 
done by the present-day kitchen range, but any detailed review of the subject 
should make some endeavour to assess its value. 

in the Committee's Report in 1916 it was stated that ' the whole question 
of the domestic use of fuel bristles with difficulties and complications . . . 
the solution or recommendation of particular means or apparatus for domestic 
heating cannot always be based simply upon the question of thermal efficiency, 
because it also involves considerations of a physiological and even of a psycho- 
logical character. In the vast majority of houses inhabited by the artisan 
population, the kitchen fire or stove is the only place in the house where fuel 
is burned.' In addition, it might be added that in the latter type of house 
prime cost often becomes the determining factor, and sacrifices of efficiency have 
to be made to ensure a small capital outlay. 

The Reports under review appear to the Committee to justify a reconsidera- 
tion of the factors underlying the design of solid fuel types of domestic 
appliances with a view to determining whether improvement in fuel economy 
can be obtained without either an unreasonable sacrifice of convenience or an 
excessive addition to the cost of production. In very many cases the actual 
dweller has had no say in the selection of the kitchen range, nor has he the 
means or the facilities for replacing such as may have been provided for him. 

With regard to the existing types of combined range, it is felt that attention 
should be called to one point in Mr. Barker's Report, namely, that the CO2 
content of the flue gases did not exceed 5.5 per cent, in the best ranges 
tested, and that in several cases it was much below this, suggesting that in some 
cases sufficient attention has not been paid to the regulation of the air supply. 

The Committee would suggest the following three points for more general 
consideration : (1) The general adoption of means to reduce the excess of air 
drawn through the system by so enclosing the fire that air does not get to the 
combustion chamber otherwise than through the fire grate, although retaining 
a feature which characterises existing appliances in providing means to enable 
an open fire to be obtained for kitchen heating when the other functions of 
the range are not required; (2) the use of effective lagging of oven doors 
which is not generally adopted at present ; (3) the desirability of removing 
the ordinary hot-water boiler from the range and the substitution therefor 
of an independent boiler, separately fired; at present it would appear that 
such combinations are only provided in a limited number of middle-class 
houses, or in the case of very large ranges. 

VI. steam Raising and Power Production. 

The Committee desires to call attention to the great need there is for some 
more systematic effort on the part of steam users to improve the present 
admittedly unsatisfactory state of boiler practice throughout the country, 
especially in the direction of educational provision for the better training of 
stokers and power-station superintendents. Notwithstanding the greater atten- 
tion which is nowadays paid to the subject of ' efficiency ' in some of the larger 
steam-raising installations and power stations, there still exists in far too many 
cases a lamentable disregard for the elementary principles of good boiler manage- 
ment. Indeed it may be doubted whether, taking the country as a whole, the 
average efficiency of steam raisins: exceeds 60 per cent, on the calorific value of 
the coal burnt, whereas if scientific operations replaced rule-of -thumb working 
it misfht be raised to 75 per cent., with consequent great saving in fuel. 
1022 ' X 


The most frequent and serious cause of avoidable heat-wastage in current 
boiler practice arises from the fact that unnecessarily large excesses of air 
are usually drawn through the system owing to sheer neglect of some of the most 
obvious ijrecautions. With good management it should be possible, by careful 
damper regulation and maintaining a correct depth of fire, to burn completely 
an average quality of steam coal with no greater excess of air than would 
give about 12 per cent, of CO2 {without appreciable quantities of CO) in the 
chimney gases ; but far too frequently as much as twice such minimum excess 
of air is drawn through the system. It is not sufficiently realised how highly 
important to fuel economy are the proper regulation of the draught by dampers, 
the correct proportioning of grate area to the quantity and size of the coal burnt, 
and the avoidance of inleakage of cool air into the boiler setting by keeping 
the brickwork in good repair and well pointed, and efficiently caulking the joint 
between the brickwork and boiler shell. Proper attention to such elementary 
points would reduce the ' sensible heat ' lost in the chimney gases to 18 per 
cent, of the total calorific power of the coal burnt, whereas neglect of them 
often means twice such loss. 

Whilst the more general use of indicating and recording apparatus may be 
recommended as the best automatic aids to good management, yet unless these 
are supplemented by intelligence and watchfulness on the part of both stokers 
and boiler-house superintendents they will not avail much or may be actually 
misleading. The Committee, therefore, desires to impress upon both manufac- 
turers and the public education authorities the need there is not only of better 
boiler-house supervision but also of the better instruction and training of the 
boiler-house personnel. It cannot be urged too often upon steam users that 
considerable economies can be effected with existing plant and appliances, 
provided that they are run under the skilled supervision of properly trained 
men. In the case of large boiler installations it will usually pay to put them 
under the control of a well-trained fuel technologist, and there are several 
institutions in the country where such men are being scientifically as well as 
practically trained. Local education authorities could effectively help fuel 
economy by instituting in the various technical schools throughout the country 
properly organised classes for the instruction of stokers and the lower grades 
of boiler-house attendants. In addition to such classes, the institution in some 
of the larger centres of more advanced and specialised lectures, with opportunities 
for discussion, upon combustion, heat transmission, and boiler management 
generally for boiler superintendents and engineers, would undoubtedly be of 
great advantage. 

In connection with the production of electric power by Public Utility Under- 
takings, the Committee would point out that the Electricity Commissioners could 
render a great national service if, in their annual returns, they would publish 
such financial and detailed technical data as are necessary to show tlie actual 
fuel consumptions and total cost of production per unit of output in the various 
individual power stations throughout the country. The present annual returns 
are not sufficiently detailed for this purpose, and in particular do not show the 
circumstances (such as load factor) under which the current is produced. It 
would undoubtedly stimulate healthy competition, promote fuel economy, and 
reduce costs if the individual power stations were required to furnish for 
publication all the necessary technical data to enable fair comparisons to be 

VII. Smoke Abatement- 

During the past year the Departmental Committee appointed by the Ministry 
of Health 'to consider the present state of the law with regard to the pollution 
of the air by smoke and other noxious vapours, and its administration, and to 
advise what steps are necessary and practicable with a view to diminishing the 
evils still arising from such pollution,' has issued its Final Report. After full 
consideration of the matter, it was not thought practicable at present to propose 
legislation dealing with smoke from private dwelling-houses, although it was 
estimated that as much as 2^ million tons of potential fuel in the form of soot 
escape annually into the atmosphere from domestic fire-places, as against only 
500,000 tons from factory chimneys, which latter seems a very low figure. It 


was, however, recommended that the Central Housing Authority should have 
certain supervisory powers in regard to heating methods over housing schemes 
submitted by local authorities, and that the latter be empowered to m^ke 
by-lavrs requiring the provision of smokeless heating arrangements in new 
buildings other tlian private dwelling-houses. This is probably as far as it 
is practicable to go in the present state of public opinion ; for it seems wiser 
to rely upon its further education and enlightenment rather than upon vexatious 
legislative prohibition for the abatement of domestic smoke. 

With regard to the question of industrial smoke, it was recommended by 
the Departmental Committee : (1) that the Ministry of Health should be given 
clearly defined power to compel or act in place of any defaulting authority 
which refuses to perform its duties in administering the law with regard to 
smoke; (2) that, instead of the present absolute prohibition, which it is 
impossible to observe, there should be imposed upon all manufacturers, users 
and occupiers of any business premises or processes, engines or plant of any 
description whatever, a general legal obligation to use the best practicable 
means, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the question 
of cost, for avoiding pollution of the air by smoke, grit, or any other noxious 
emissions ; (3) that the same law should also apply to all Government establish- 
ments, and all rail and road locomotives and motor cars of whatever weight 
and type, and to steamers on rivers, estuaries, and lakes ; (4) that the Mini-stry 
of Health should be empowered to fix smoke standards from time to time ; 
(5) that the duty of enforcing the law with regard to the pollution of the air 
by smoke should be transferred from the local sanitary authorities, in whose 
jurisdiction it now rests, to the county authorities — i.e. the Councils of Counties 
and County Boroughs — albeit that minor authorities should still have the power 
to take proceedings, if they so desire ; (6) that for proved breaches of the law 
much larger fines should be imposed than at present ; and (7) that the Minister 
of Health should assign to one or more competent officers the duty of advising 
and assisting local authorities and manufacturers with regard to diflScult smoke 
problems, and that such officers should report annually on the steps which arc 
being taken, and the progress which has been made, in the suppression of 
avoidable smoke. 

Since its inception in 1915, this Committee of the Association has carefully 
considered data and proposals relating to the causes and prevention of industrial 
smoke, and has been pleased to note progressive improvement, due largely to 
the increasing study of fuel economy in its various branches in regard to smoke 
abatement throughout the country, and that the JNIinistry of Health has taken 
evidence with a view to passing further legislation on more rational lines than 
that at present existing, which has become very much of a dead letter by reason 
of the extreme remedies it proposes. 

It must be remembered that, even with the best appliances used with the 
greatest care, it is practically impossible altogether to prevent black smoke being 
produced for some small portion of the time when raw bituminous coal is burnt, 
and that in some industrial operations more smoke is apt to be produced than 
in others. It is evident, therefore, that no legislation should penalise the 
emission of what may be reasonably considered to be the minimum amount of 
smoke by competent judges who are familiar with the nature and the require- 
ments of the particular industrial operation concerned. Indeed, it may be 
predicted that any attempt to do so would probably be as ineffective as the 
present enactments, and would thei-eby merely defeat its ow'n purpose. 

This Committee, having carefullv considered the matter in its various aspects, 
has come to the conclusion that the best way of further aliating the pollution of 
the atmosphere by smoke would be the institution by the Ministry of Health 
of a national Smoke Inspectorate on similar lines to the already existing Alkali 
Inspectorate, which has admittedly worked well and with beneficial results to 
the industry concerned. 

Cfin?irfe.s in i\fcmbrr.?h)p. — Since its last reappointment the following changes 
have taken place in the membership of the Committee. Mr. E. Bury retired 
on ac