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(106th YEAR) 









Five Years' Retrospect, 1931-35 v 

Officers and Council, 1936-37 xvii 

Sectional Officers, Blackpool Meeting, 1936 xxi 

Annual Meetings : Places and Dates, Presidents, Attendances, 
Receipts, Sums Paid on account of Grants for Scientific 

Purposes (1831-1936) xxiv 

Narrative of the Blackpool Meeting xxviii 

Report of the Council to the General Committee (1935-36) .... xxxi 

General Treasurer's Account (1935-36) xliii 

Research Committees (1936-37) lvi 

Resolutions and Recommendations (Blackpool Meeting) lxi 

The Presidential Address : 

The Impact of Science upon Society. By Sir Josiah Stamp, 

G.C.B., G.B.E 1 

Sectional Presidents' Addresses : 

Trends in Modern Physics. By Prof. Allan Ferguson 27 

The Training of the Chemist for the Service of the Community. 

By Prof. J. C. Philip, O.B.E., F.R.S 43 

Palaeontology and Humanity. By Prof. H. L. Hawkins 57 

Natural Selection and Evolutionary Progress. By Dr. J. S. 

Huxley 81 

Mapping of the Colonial Empire. By Brig. H. S. L. Winter- 

botham, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.0 101 

Plantation Economy. By Dr. C. R. Fay 117 

The Engineer and the Nation. By Prof. W. Cramp 141 

The Upper Palaeolithic in the Light of Recent Discovery. By 

Miss D. A. E. Garrod . 155 

The Control of the Circulation of the Blood. By Prof. R. J. S. 

McDowall 173 

The Patterns of Experience. By A. W. Wolters 181 

The Uses of Fungi. By J. Ramsbottom, O.B.E 189 

The Future in Education. By Sir Richard Livingstone 219 

Soil Science in the Twentieth Century. By Prof. J. Hendrick 233 



Reports on the State of Science, etc 249 

Sectional Transactions 320 

Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies 447 

Discussion on Genetics and Race 458 

The Strain of Modern Civilisation. By the Rt. Hon. Lord 

Horder, K.C.V.0 464 

References to Publication of Communications to the Sections 471 

Evening Discourse. By C. C. Paterson 478 


A Scientific Survey of Blackpool and District 1 

Index 153 

Publications of the British Association (At end) 


Section A. President's Address. 

Page 37, line 18. For ' preceptual ' read ' perceptual.' 

Page 39, line 9 from foot. For ' correction ' read ' connection. 

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i93i~ I 935 

(Issued in April, 1936). 

This Summary Report is intended by the Council to be the first of a series 
dating from the beginning of the Association's second century, in 1931. 
Its principal purpose is, not to review the transactions of the annual meetings, 
but to illustrate by examples the perennial activities of the Association 
which arise from or are supplementary to those transactions. 

I. Annual Meetings. 
By way of introduction, however, a summary reference to the annual 
meetings themselves is desirable. The following table shows (1) the places 
of meeting, (2) the presidents of the Association, and (3) attendances of 

Year. (1) (2) (3) 

icm London Gen. the Rt. Hon. J. C. Smuts, P.C., C.H., 5,702 
y F.R.S. 

1932 York Sir Alfred Ewing, K.C.B., F.R.S. 2,024 

1933 Leicester Sir F.Gowland Hopkins, O.M.,Pres. R.S. 2,268 

1934 Aberdeen Sir James H. Jeans, F.R.S. 2,938 

1935 Norwich Prof. W. W. Watts, F.R.S. 2,321 
The following observations should be made concerning this table. 

It is common knowledge that the Association had never before 1931 held 
its annual meeting in London ; it is not ordinarily its function to do so, 
and its statutes lay down that the Association ' contemplates no invasion 
of the ground occupied by other institutions,' a disclaimer always under- 
stood as referring particularly to the other great learned societies whose 
headquarters are in London. Nevertheless, for the Centenary Meeting, 
in 1 93 1, London was chosen by common consent, at the expressed wish of 
the Corporation of the City of London, and with the generous co-operation 
of the London County Council, the University of London, and many 
other bodies. Accommodation for meetings was provided mainly by 
the Imperial College of Science and Technology. York was the birth- 
place of the Association in 183 1, but it was felt that so large a meeting as 
the Centenary was expected (and proved) to be could not be conveniently 
arranged there. The President and other officers and members made 
pilgrimage to York during the week-end of the Centenary, and the meeting 
in the following year was held there. 


To the list of presidents of the Association it is necessary to add the name 
of Sir William Hardy, F.R.S., who was elected to office for the year 1934. 
He died on January 23 of that year, and was succeeded by Sir James Jeans, 
F.R.S. At the Aberdeen Meeting one of the Evening Discourses was made 
a memorial lecture for Hardy ; it was given by Sir Frank Smith, K.C.B.. 
Sec. R.S., and dealt with the Storage and Transport of Food, illustrating the 
far-reaching results of Hardy's work. 

On the figures of attendances of members at the annual meetings it is to 
be remarked that there has never been previously a continuous succession 
of five years in each of which the numbers have exceeded 2,000. This is 
evidence of a widening of the appeal of the Association ; the fluctuation of 
numbers from year to year has little significance in this connection, since 
the attendance in any particular town is affected by various considerations, 
such as its size (which reacts upon the local membership for the meeting) , 
the existence of a university or other strong scientific element, the scientific 
interests of the locality, etc. 

In 1932 an important change was made in the period of the presidential 
office. It now coincides with the calendar year, instead of beginning with 
the annual meeting. The principal argument in favour of this change was 
that the President is responsible administratively for the major part of the 
preparations for the annual meeting over which he is elected to preside 
and his influence can be more directly brought to bear upon them. The 
first official act of the new President is now to preside over the joint meeting 
of the Organising Sectional Committees when, in January of each year, they 
lay down the main lines of the programme for the ensuing annual meeting. 

In this connection it is appropriate to refer to the strong demand recently 
encountered in the press and elsewhere that in the programmes of the 
Association more systematic attention should be paid to the bearings of 
scientific progress upon the welfare of the community. Efforts have been 
and are being made to meet this demand, and not only in the transactions 
of the annual meetings themselves. For in 1935 the Council decided to 
initiate a series of quinquennial reviews of the progress of science (without 
particular reference to the proceedings of the Association) : the first of 
these reviews, covering the period 1931-1935, is in preparation, and is 
intended to be published by Messrs. Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons in the autumn 
of 1936. 

In 1931-1932 the Council considered in detail those expenses connected 
with annual meetings which fall upon the locality in which the meetings 
are held, and are met each year by a local fund. It was felt that such 
expenses might tend, and indeed had tended, to increase unduly in sympathy 
with the general rise of prices in the past twenty years ; but the Council 
were able to make certain arrangements and proposals for the guidance of 
local committees which have counteracted this tendency. One result of 
this action has been the production of a systematic series of scientific surveys 
of each successive place of meeting and its neighbourhood, in place of the 
handbooks formerly produced by local committees on no fixed model and 
sometimes at very large cost. The new series has made for economy of 
production, and for a definite increase of scientific value inasmuch as in 
course of time large areas of the whole country will be covered by orderly 
studies of their outstanding scientific interests. These, moreover, will in 


future provide historical records of interest, when, in course of time, the 
Association revisits centres for which surveys have been previously compiled, 
as they will afford material for the study of changes during the periods 
intervening between visits. Out of the four surveys which have been pro- 
duced under this scheme (for the meetings at York, Leicester, Aberdeen, 
and Norwich), those for Leicester and Norwich were reprinted in sub- 
stantial quantity for educational use at the instance of the respective local 

II. Resolutions and Recommendations. 

Among the numerous duties of the Council of the Association (the execu- 
tive body which remains in session throughout the year and holds six ordinary 
meetings) is that of dealing with resolutions and recommendations formu- 
lated in the Sections or otherwise during the annual meeting. During the 
quinquennium twenty-nine such resolutions and recommendations were 
referred to the Council for consideration, and for action if desirable. They 
dealt, among other topics, with such diverse questions as : 

An inland water survey for Britain (1934). 

Preservation of the countryside, and national parks (1934, 1935)- 

Reduction of noise of motor vehicles (1932, 1935). 

Easement for the importation of technical scientific cinema films, 

apparatus, and specimens (1931, 1934). 
Establishment of a nature reserve in the Galapagos Islands (1935). 
The ill effects upon bird life caused by cutting hedgerows during 

nesting time (1935). 
Extermination of the muskrat in Britain (1933). 
Preservation of wild fauna in Africa (1931). 
Revision of Ordnance Survey Maps (1933). 
Extension of geodetic surveys in British colonies and dependencies 

(19.33). . 

Continuation of an atlas of geographical types (1934). 

Desirability of including maps showing relative density of population 
in census reports (193 1, etc.). 

Aerial photography of topographical features (1932). 

Disposal of finds from caves in Derbyshire (the exploration of which 
had long been supported by the Association) and the preservation 
of certain of the caves (1931, 1935). 

Specification for the lower yield-point of mild and moderately high- 
tensile steel (1935). 

Diseases of the cricket-bat willow (1933). 

Provision and publication of agricultural statistics (1932). 

Interchange of museum specimens (1932). 

The manner in which each resolution or recommendation has been dealt 
with is stated by the Council in their yearly report to the General Committee, 
and may be found by reference to the appropriate Annual Report of the 
Association (i.e., usually, that for the year following the date given in the 
preceding paragraph). The Council were able to deal with some of these 
questions by referring the resolutions forthwith to appropriate Government 


departments, or to other institutions more directly concerned than the 
Association. Some, however, were matters to which the mechanism of the 
Association itself could be more closely applied, and by way of example 
the procedure followed in connection with the first six subjects in the pre- 
ceding list will now be briefly outlined. 

The interest of the Association in a survey of the inland water resources 
of the country was awakened (or rather reawakened, for in earlier years 
committees of the Association had done work on certain aspects of this 
question) by a discussion at the York Meeting in 1932, after which a com- 
mittee was appointed to inquire into the position of inland water survey in 
Britain, and the possible organisation and control of such a survey by central 
authority. Its reports will be found in the Annual Reports of the Associa- 
tion for 1933 (p. 358), 1934 (p. 239), and 1935 (p. 324). Following upon the 
issue of the first of these reports, the co-operation of the Institution of Civil 
Engineers was secured, and a letter and memorandum on the desirability 
of a complete and systematic survey of the water resources of the country 
were addressed by the Presidents of the Association and the Institution 
to the Prime Minister. A representative deputation subsequently waited 
upon the Minister of Health to discuss the matter, and in February, 1935, 
it was announced that the Government had appointed a committee to advise 
on the inland water survey for Great Britain, on the progress of the measures 
undertaken , and on further measures required . The Council of the Associa- 
tion later appointed a watching committee in case occasion should arise for 
further intervention. Meanwhile (1934), in the same connection, a resolu- 
tion forwarded to H.M. Government had urged the compulsory registration 
of wells, borings and excavations exceeding 100 ft. in depth. 

Questions relating to the preservation of the countryside, national parks, 
and nature reserves have been brought before the Association more than 
once during the period under review, both in sectional meetings and in the 
appropriate setting of the annual conference of delegates from the corre- 
sponding societies (local scientific societies affiliated to or associated with 
the Association). As mentioned above, resolutions have been put forward 
urging, among other matters, more systematic instruction in schools con- 
cerning the preservation of natural vegetation, the protection of bird life 
by the avoidance of hedge- cutting during the nesting season, the more 
adequate provision of nature reserves, and the protection from building 
development of areas which might become national parks. In 1934 the 
Ministry of Health began to inform the Association of the progress of 
planning all over England and Wales under the Town and Country Planning 
Act, in order that the Council, if they thought fit, might call attention to the 
desirability of protecting any area or site of scientific interest. The Council 
informed the corresponding societies of this, and also appointed a panel of 
persons from whom expert advice might be invited in case of necessity. 
The Association, at the invitation of the Council for the Preservation of 
Rural England, was represented on a deputation which urged upon the 
Air Ministry the protection of Chesil Beach and the Abbotsbury Swannery 
from the effects of aerial bombing practice. 

The subject of noise, principally of motor vehicles and aircraft, has 
engaged the attention of the Engineering Section (G) and that of Mathe- 
matical and Physical Sciences (A) at more than one meeting. Resolutions 


have been addressed to H.M. Government (1932, 1935), and in 1933 a 
committee of the Engineering Section was appointed to review the know- 
ledge available for the reduction of noise. This committee informed 
itself by inquiry through the press as to public feeling against the various 
classes of noise emitted by motor vehicles and aircraft. Research upon 
the silencing of motor-cycle engines was carried out, and its results were 
effectively demonstrated at the Aberdeen Meeting in 1934. The Com- 
mittee's statement in the Report for that year (p. 252) indicates the results 
both of its public enquiry and of the research referred to. Subsequently 
to the appointment of this committee, a committee was set up by the 
Ministry of Transport to investigate the whole question. 

As the result of a report received, not through any Section of the 
Association itself but from the Association of British Zoologists, the Council 
in 193 1 appointed a committee to consider action with a view to the 
amelioration of customs regulations affecting the importation of scientific 
specimens and apparatus. The Custom House authorities supplied the 
Association with a memorandum on the reliefs from customs duties on 
scientific instruments and cinematograph films, in order that advice might 
be given as required to scientific workers, and also a note on the importa- 
tion of scientific specimens in spirit, which is published in the Report, 
1932, pp. xxi-xxii. In 1934 it was pointed out to the Council, by resolu- 
tion from Section D (Zoology), that although technical cinematograph 
films for the advancement of scientific knowledge may be imported duty 
free for exhibition before scientific institutions, there was no provision 
for the free importation of films for the teaching of science in universities 
and similar institutions. It was ascertained, however, from the British 
Film Institute l that an international convention was expected to be con- 
cluded to cover, inter alia, such cases as those reported to the Council. 

The Council were made aware in 1933 of measures in progress to 
establish a nature reserve in the Galapagos Islands. The interest of the 
Association is peculiarly engaged in this question, since Darwin's house 
at Downe, Kent, is in its charge as a national memorial (Section IV, 
below), and Darwin's investigations of the unique fauna of the Galapagos 
Islands helped fundamentally to influence the views which were given 
expression in The Origin of Species. The Council were subsequently 
informed of action by the Ecuadorean Government, which, by decree, 
made possible the reservation of certain of the islands and the protection 
of the fauna of scientific interest. The gratification of the General Com- 
mittee at this measure was conveyed from the Norwich Meeting (1935) to 
the Ecuadorean Government and was acknowledged, and the Council 
appointed representatives of the Association to act on any international 
or other joint committee which might be formed to expedite the establish- 
ment of the reserve. The centenary of Darwin's landing in the islands 
(September, 1835) was pleasantly marked by the receipt of a cablegram 
from the present H.M.S. Beagle, recalling that ' a hundred years ago 
our most distinguished passenger landed ' there, and continuing : ' the 
present Beagle salutes the British Association, the trustees of Science.' 

1 On the formation of this institute, see p. xii. 


III. Research. 

The average number of research committees appointed or reappointed 
by the General Committee at each annual meeting during the period, and 
carrying on their work during the ensuing year, was fifty-two. Of these, 
again on average each year, twenty-six received grants of money from the 
funds of the Association. The total expenditure on grants to research 
committees, during the nearest period to the quinquennium for which 
completed accounts are available, 2 was £6,173 I0S - 5^-> which is the highest 
in any quinquennial period since 1831, excepting one. 3 The average 
quinquennial expenditure on grants since 1831 has been £4,900. Some 
further reference to this aspect of the Association's activities will fall under 
the later heading of Finance (Section V). 

The Association has maintained its support of the researches carried 
on, under committees, by selected workers at the marine laboratory, 
Plymouth, the zoological station at Naples, and the freshwater biological 
station at Wray Castle, Windermere. Proposals for the establishment of 
a freshwater biological station originated at the meetings of the Associa- 
tion in 1927-28 ; the preliminary work of a committee formed thereafter 
was followed by the creation of the Freshwater Biological Association of 
the British Empire, and in 193 1 the Wray Castle Station was opened, with 
financial assistance from H.M. Government, the Royal Society, the 
Fishmongers Company, the Manchester Waterworks Committee, the 
Metropolitan Water Board, and other learned societies, institutions, and 

The prolonged connection of the Association with seismological research, 
the calculation of mathematical tables, the publication of the Zoological 
Record, and the collection and registration of geological photographs has 
been continued. 

The Seismology Committee — and no less the Association as a whole- 
lost an outstanding supporter on the death of Prof. H. H. Turner, F.R.S., 
in 1930. The publication of the International Seismological Summary, 
which he initiated, was continued. In 1933 the University of Oxford 
agreed to house and to meet part of the operating expenses of the I.S.S. 
Reports on earthquakes both in this country and abroad have been 
regularly presented, together with notes on research embracing such 
questions as periodicity, travel and transmission times, long-wave phases 
and prediction of earthquakes. In 1935 the Association published a 
Catalogue of Earthquakes for 1925-1930 inclusive (Annual Report, 1935, 
p. 230), based on the International Seismological Summary, and com- 
piled by Miss E. F. Bellamy in continuation of the previous catalogue 
compiled by Prof. Turner (1928). 

During the quinquennium the following volumes have been published 

* Viz. July 1, 1930, to March 31, 1935. The period is three months short of a 
complete quinquennium because the dates of the financial year were changed in 


3 This was the period 1866-70, when about ^8,600 was paid. A policy of 
accumulating funds had apparently been in force before that time but had been 
reversed ; moreover the Association was then devoting substantial sums to the 
committee charged with the maintenance of Kew Observatory, which was trans- 
ferred to the control of the Royal Society in 1872. 


under the direction of the Mathematical Tables Committee : (i) Circular 
and Hyperbolic Functions, Exponential Sine and Cosine Integrals, Factorial 
(Gamma) and Derived Functions, Integrals of Probability Integrals (1931) ; 
(2) Emden Functions (1932) ; (3) Minimum Decompositions into Fifth 
Powers (1933) ; (4) Cycles of Reduced Ideals in Quadratic Fields (1934) ; 
(5) Factor Tables (1935). In preparation are Bessel Functions, which are 
expected to extend to three volumes, the first of which was in the press 
at the end of 1935. The Cambridge University Press are now the 
publishers of these volumes. 

The Committee on Geological Photographs is that of longest lineage 
among existing research committees of the Association : it was first 
established in 1873. The Committee published two additional lists in 

1 93 1 and 1935, bringing the number of photographs in the collection to 
8,71 1 . The collection is housed in the library of H.M. Geological Survey, 
South Kensington, and was recently overhauled. Prints and lantern 
slides of certain of the photographs are on sale to the public. 

Further illustration of the scope of the Association's research work 
must be restricted here (with one exception) to examples of the work of 
committees which have completed their tasks. The work of the com- 
mittees on Inland Water Survey and on Noise has been mentioned in an 
earlier section (II). 

Provision for research in chemistry through other channels is so far 
adequate that this subject makes relatively little demand upon the Associa- 
tion (and the same applies to agricultural research). Nevertheless, in 

1932 a committee appointed to collect and tabulate all available data con- 
cerning the parachors of chemical compounds published a list giving in 
convenient form data for 638 substances (Annual Report, 1932, p. 264). 

In 1 93 1 a committee appointed to organise an expedition to investigate 
the biology, geology and geography of the Australian Great Barrier Reef 
presented its final report, which stated that the Trustees of the British 
Museum had undertaken the full publication of their work. A fitting 
sequel to the work of the expedition was the establishment, by the 
Queensland Government, of a Permanent Marine Biological Service, the 
huts, equipment, and scientific library of the committee forming the 
nucleus of the first marine laboratory to be established in Australia. 

In 1935 the Biological Measurements Committee published a booklet 
under the title Biological Measurements, being a revised edition of recom- 
mendations made previously (1927). This is intended to assist in bringing 
the biological sciences into line with certain aspects of the more exact 
physical sciences. 

The committee appointed with a grant in 1929 to facilitate the inves- 
tigations of Dr. M. C. Rayner on tree mycorrhizas (associations of 
fungi with living roots) finally reported in 1932. Dr. Rayner's further 
researches on this subject are now being assisted financially by the 
Forestry Commission. 

Among psychological researches, the committee on the Reliability of 
the Criteria used for assessing the Value of Vocational Tests presented 
in 193 1 a survey of their work. As a result, the Industrial Health 
Research Board started an extensive investigation in which the after- 
careers of some 2,000 apprentices were compared with their performances 


in scholastic and psychological tests at the time of beginning their 
apprenticeships. The investigation was the direct outcome of interest 
stimulated by the work of this research committee. 

A committee on Vocational Tests made a survey of tests by collecting 
and analysing these with a view to assisting in the work of vocational 
guidance. In its final report in 1933 appeared a valuable analysis of the 
factors involved in mechanical ability. A further investigation into the 
factors involved in manual dexterity arose out of this. The results 
obtained are of very great practical importance. 

In 193 1 the Committee on Educational Training for Overseas Life 
presented its final report, which was mainly concerned with overseas 
careers for pupils from secondary schools, and contains much information 
for boys and girls contemplating work in the Dominions. One thousand 
copies of this report were printed and distributed to all schools and institu- 
tions in the Empire which had contributed to its compilation. 

A report presented in 1933 reviewed the position which geography 
occupies in the curricula of the universities of the Empire, particulars 
being published for Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and 
Canada. It was shown that geography does not yet occupy the important 
position in Dominion universities that it does in the universities of the 
home country. The report was distributed to the universities concerned. 

A committee inquiring into the teaching of General Science in schools 
reported in 1933 (Annual Report, 1933, p. 312) that there was a general 
feeling that the traditional science curriculum comprising physics and 
chemistry had ceased to be adequate, and that biology was being widely 
introduced. The main difficulty was a shortage of competent teachers of 
biological subjects. This conclusion was endorsed by a separate com- 
mittee on the teaching of botany (1932). Research in educational subjects 
has been continued by committees appointed during the quinquennial 
period, e.g. one committee reported on Science Teaching in Adult Educa- 
tion (Annual Report, 1933, p. 330), and other enquiries have dealt with 
the teaching of anthropology and animal biology in schools and psychology 
in the universities. It should be added that in 1935 a committee was 
appointed to report on the teaching of geology in schools. 

The committee appointed in 1927 to enquire into various aspects of 
Documentary and Educational Films presented a first and very full report 
on technical questions relating to the use of films in schools which led to 
a general quickening of interest in this aspect of the use of films. Various 
members of the committee assisted in the enquiries, which culminated in 
the Report of the Commission on Educational and Cultural Films (June 
1932), in which report many abstracts from the committee's first report 
were included. The Commission's report The Film in National Life 
advocated the formation of a British Film Institute, a proposal which 
received effect in October 1933. 

Among other committees which completed their work during the 
quinquennium, reference is due to the Committee on the Distribution of 
Bronze Age Implements, whose work took the form of a catalogue now 
in the charge of the British Museum, where it is available for reference. 

Finally, the Committee on the Chronology of the World Crisis is one 
of those which remain in being, but its efforts have resulted in the issue 


in 1935 of an important work in economics under the title of Britain in 
Depression, published by Messrs. Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, with the 
authority of the Council. This is a record of British industries since 
1929 in which, in addition to chapters dealing with currency and banking 
and with industrial relations, there are twenty-one chapters dealing with 
separate industries by authoritative writers. 

IV. Down House. 

It was in 1929, and therefore outside the period of this review, that 
Mr. (now Sir) Buckston Browne, F.R.C.S., gave the Association Down 
House, Downe, Kent, the home of Charles Darwin from 1842 until his 
death in 1882, to be held in trust as a national memorial, freely open to 
the public. Appreciation of this most generous act of homage to the 
memory of one of the greatest names in the advancement of science has 
been so widely expressed as to need no repetition here. The memorial 
rooms and grounds have been visited, on an average, by over 7,000 persons 
each year during the period under review. During the Centenary Meet- 
ing of the Association (193 1), nearly 700 members of the Association 
visited the house, and the President (General Smuts) and Sir Buckston 
Browne entertained there a large number of distinguished guests. The 
house and grounds are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April to 
September, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October to March, including 
Sundays, but excepting Christmas Day. 

Sir Buckston Browne, with the aid of members of the Darwin family 
and others, had already in 1929 collected many articles of furniture, 
portraits and pictures, letters, and other objects, either Darwin's own or 
appropriate to the collection of Darwiniana ; and during the quinquen- 
nium under notice a number of further gifts have been received. Darwin's 
library has been restored to his own study, on loan from Dr. A. C. 
Seward, F.R.S., Professor of Botany in the University of Cambridge, 
the library having been left by Sir Francis Darwin to the holder of that 
chair for the time being. In one of the rooms portraits of past presidents 
and others appropriate to the history of the Association are shown, together 
with some of the former series of presidential banners, and here also is a 
repository of early records of the Association, all too scanty, but including 
some dating from its foundation, and lately recovered by Prof. Sollas, 
F.R.S., in the Geological Department of Oxford University, where they 
had been preserved by John Phillips, the first secretary of the Association, 
afterwards Professor of Geology at Oxford. The garden at Down, long 
uncared for before the house was acquired, has been enriched by gifts of 
plants from Kew Gardens and the John Innes Horticultural Institution. 

Many societies make Down House an objective in the course of excur- 
sions, and the Genetics Society held one of its meetings there in 1934. 
No regular scientific work has as yet been established there, though 
Miss Saunders of Goldsmiths College, and others, have been able to 
make some use of accommodation at the house for parties of teachers in 
training and other students working on plant ecology in the neighbour- 
hood. A recent gift to the house afforded opportunity for an interesting 
investigation. In 1934 a box of seeds of flowering plants and vegetables 


which had been Darwin's was found and presented to the house by Mr. 
Bernard Darwin, together with a letter from Alphonse de Candolle on his 
experiments. These are exhibited, but some of the seeds were with- 
drawn and tested for germination at Kew Gardens, and a few seeds of 
Trifolium germinated after a period of not less than fifty-three years and 
probably longer. 

Sir Buckston Browne settled a generous endowment upon the house, 
and the Pilgrim Trust made a grant of £150 per annum for five years, 
with a promise of review after the final payment, which will be made in 
1937. The Association, out of its general funds, had expended upon 
requirements incidental to the acquisition of the property, restoration, and 
subsequent maintenance, the sum of £3,751 down to the close of the 
financial year 1934-1935. It was decided in 1934 that any subsequent 
balance on the side of receipts should be placed in a suspense or main- 
tenance fund for the house : at present no such fund exists, and the House 
Committee in 1935 expressed the hope ' that all those friends of Down 
House who may be in a position to aid in the maintenance of this unique 
charge will not fail to do so.' 

V. Finance. 

During the period under review the financial position of the Association, 
has been in a measure strengthened, though not yet sufficiently to assure 
the future in respect of its work and commitments. 

On the side of accretion of its resources there have to be recorded : 

(1) The receipt of a legacy of £2,000, without conditions, under the 
will of the Hon. Sir Charles Parsons, K.C.B., F.R.S., ex-President and, 
during his lifetime, a generous benefactor of the Association. 

(2) The receipt of a legacy of £500, without conditions, under the will 
of Sir Alfred Ewing, K.C.B., F.R.S., ex-President. 

(3) The receipt of a legacy of £1,000 under the will of Mr. Bernard 
Hobson, to form a fund bearing his name, from which the income is 
applicable to the promotion of definite geological research. 

(4) A gift of £1,000 from the local committee for the Leicester Meeting, 
1933, being the unexpended balance of the local fund raised in connection 
with that meeting. The income is applied to the assistance of a student 
or students working for the advancement of science with preference 
where possible in favour of a Leicester or Leicestershire worker, or other- 
wise by way of grants to appropriate research committees. This gift is 
named the Leicester and Leicestershire Fund, and in accepting it the 
Council recorded ' their appreciation of the action of the Leicester Com- 
mittee in thus confirming, in a manner without precedent in the history 
of the Association, their interest in the advancement of science.' 

On the other hand, the Centenary Fund, raised in 1930-1931, failed, in 
spite of the generosity of over 500 subscribers, wholly to cover the extra- 
ordinary expenses of the Centenary Meeting, whereas it had been hoped 
that it would both do that and provide at least the nucleus of an endow- 
ment fund for the future. The reason for this ill-success was obvious : 
the general financial conditions which supervened about that time made 
it ' clearly inopportune,' as the General Treasurer's report showed, ' to 


press the appeal as strongly as it might have been pressed in favourable 
circumstances.' It is apparent from an earlier section of the present 
report that the Association has maintained, and even somewhat increased, 
its financial support of research ; moreover, it has initiated a contingency 
fund with a view to stabilising this support during any year when receipts 
from subscriptions may be unusually low or expenses unusually high — 
though it has not been possible to build up this fund at the intended rate 
of £500 per year for five years. Moreover, the Association is, and has been 
since 1926, dependent in respect of a substantial proportion of its annual 
liabilities upon the gift of £10,000 made in that year, for the general 
purposes of the Association, by the late Sir Alfred Yarrow, F.R.S., who 
made the condition that his gift should be completely expended, as to 
capital as well as interest, not later than 1947. The knowledge that it 
accorded with the donor's wish that this should be done has been welcome 
to the Council, especially when dealing with the finances of the Centenary 
Meeting and of Down House (referred to elsewhere) ; but his own fore- 
sight the more strongly prescribes that those concerned with the finances 
of the Association should look to the future. It is, therefore, appropriate 
to conclude with these two quotations from recent reports of Sir Josiah 
Stamp as General Treasurer : 

' The activities and liabilities of the Association have increased, and 
further endowment will be essential to consolidate the position it has 
attained at the close of its first century.' (1931.) 

' The expansion of the Association's membership and the strengthening 
of its financial foundations should be the object of all those who 
would further its interests.' (1933.) 






Sir Josiah Stamp, G.C.B., G.B.E., D.Sc, F.BA. 

Sir Edward B. Poulton, D.Sc, LL.D., F.R.S. 


The Mayor of Blackpool (Alderman 
W. Newman, J.P.). 

The Ex-Mayor of Blackpool (Alder- 
man G. Whittaker, J. P-). 

The Mayor of Fleetwood (Alderman 
Captain C. Saer, T.D., J .P.). 

The Mayor of Lancaster (Councillor 
J. G. E. Clark, J. P.). 

The Mayor of Lytham St. Annes 
(Councillor C. W. Urwin, J.P.). 

The Mayor of Morecambe (Councillor 


The Mayor of Preston (Councillor 

E. Ley, J. P.). 
The Mayor of Southport (Councillor 

T. Ball, J.P.). 
The Vice-Chancellor, Liverpool 

University (Sir H. J. W. Hether- 

ington, J.P). 
The Vice-Chancellor, Manchester 

University (Prof. J. S. B. Stop- 
ford, F.R.S.). 
The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Derby, 

P.C., K.G., G.C.B., G.C.V.O. 

The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Crawford 
and Balcarres, K.T., P.C., F.R.S. 

Sir J. Travis-Clegg, J.P. 

Sir George Etherton, O.B.E. 

Sir Cuthbert Grundy, J.P. 

Sir David Shackleton, K.C.B., J.P. 

The Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of 

The Rev. the Rector of Stonyhurst 

Rev. W. S. Mellor, M.A. 

Alderman R. Fenton, J.P. 
J. Bailey, J.P. 
. Rostron Duckworth, 

Councillor D. 
Councillor W 
J.P., M.P. 
Councillor F. 
Alderman H. 


Astley Bell, J 
Mrs. Percy Birley. 
H. Talbot de Vere Clifton. 
Ashton Davies, O.B.E. 
J. Roland Robinson, M.A., 

T. B. Silcock, J.P. 
Sir Albert C. Seward, F.R.S. 





(To be appointed.) 


Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, O.B.E., D.Sc, F.R.S. 


Prof. F. T. Brooks, M.A., F.R.S. I Prof. Allan Ferguson, D.Sc. 


O. J. R. Howarth, O.B.E., Ph.D. 


D. N. Lowe, M.A., B.Sc. 


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

Prof. F. Aveling. 

Prof. F. Balfour-Browne. 

Sir T. Hudson Beare. 

Rt. Hon. Viscount Bledisloe, 

G.C.M.G., G.B.E. 
Prof. R. N. Rudmose Brown. 
Dr. W. T. Calman, C.B., F.R.S. 
Sir Henry Dale, C.B.E., F.R.S. 
Prof. F. Debenham. 
Prof. W. G. Fearnsides, F.R.S. 
Prof. R. B. Forrester. 
H. M. Hallsworth, C.B.E. 
Dr. H. S. Harrison. 


Prof. A. V. Hill, Sec.R.S. 

Prof. T. G. Hill. 

Prof. G. W. O. Howe. 

Dr. Julian Huxley. 

Prof. R. Robinson, F.R.S. 

W. Campbell Smith. 

Dr. C. Tierney. 

Dr. W. W. Vaughan, M.V.O. 

Dr. J. A. Venn. 

Prof. Sir Gilbert Walker, C.S.I. 

Prof. F. E. Weiss, F.R.S. 
J. S. Wilson. 


Past-Presidents of the Association, the President for the year, the President and 
Vice-Presidents for the ensuing Annual Meeting, past and present General 
Treasurers and General Secretaries, and the Local Treasurers and Local Secretaries 
for the Annual Meetings immediately past and ensuing. 




Sir J. J. Thomson, O.M., F.R.S. 

Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S. (1913). 
Sir Arthur Evans, F.R.S. (1916-18). 
Prof. Sir C. S. Sherrington, O.M., 

G.B.E., F.R.S. (1922). 
The Rt. Hon. Lord Rutherford of 

Nelson, O.M., F.R.S. (1923). 
H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., 

D.C.L., F.R.S. (1926). 
Prof. Sir Arthur Keith, F.R.S. 


Prof. Sir William H. Bragg, O.M., 

K.B.E., F.R.S. (1928). 
Sir Thomas H. Holland, K.C.I.E., 

K.C.S.I., F.R.S. (1929). 
Prof. F. O. Bower, F.R.S. (1930). 
Gen. The Rt. Hon. J. C. Smuts, P.C., 

C.H., F.R.S. (1931). 
Sir F. Gowland Hopkins, O.M., 

Pres.R.S. (i933)- 
Sir James H. Jeans, F.R.S. (1934). 
Prof. W. W. Watts, LL.D., Sc.D., 

F.R.S. (1935). 


Prof. J. L. Myres, O.B.E., F.B.A. Sir Frank Smith, K.C.B., C.B.E. 

Prof. F. J. M. Stratton, D.S.O., O.B.E., M.A. 


Dr. Ezer Griffiths, F.R.S. | Dr. R. S. Whipple. 


Sir Buckston Browne, F.R.C.S. 


His Worship the Mayor, Alderman Walter Newman, J. P. 

Councillor W. Rostron Duckworth, J. P., M.P. 


Councillor F. I. Nickson. 


D. L. Harbottle, LL.B., Town Clerk. 
F. E. Harrison, M.C., M.A., Director 
of Education. 

W. Foster, Director of Publicity. 
E. W. Rees Jones, M.D., Ch.B. 
D.P.H., Medical Officer of Health. 

T. L. Poynton, Borough Treasurer. 


Edward Smith. 




J. E. Richards (Town Clerk) . 
H. A. S. Wortley (Principal, University College). 


J. W. Harding, M.B.E. 




President. — Prof. Allan Ferguson. 

Vice-Presidents. — Dr. F. W. Aston, F.R.S., A. P. M. Fleming, C.B.E.. Prof. 

H. Hilton, Rev. J. P. Rowland, S.J., Prof. Sir Gilbert Walker, C.S.I., 

Recorder. — Dr. Ezer Griffiths, F.R.S. 
Secretaries. — J. H. Awbery, M. G. Bennett, Dr. W. H. McCrea, Dr. D. M. 

Local Secretaries. — J. F. Judson, R. K. Melluish. 


President.— Prof. J. C. Philip, O.B.E., F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents.— Prof. E. C. C. Baly, C.B.E., F.R.S., C. J. T. Cronshaw, Sir 

Cuihbert Grundy, J. P., Prof. W. N. Haworth, F.R.S., Prof. I. M. 

Heilbron, F.R.S. 
Recorder. — Prof. J. M. Gulland. 
Secretaries. — Prof. J. E. Coates, T. W. J. Taylor. 
Local Secretary. — J. H. Bowman. 


President. — Prof. H. L. Hawkins. 

Vice-Presidents. — Prof. W. G. Fearnsides, F.R.S., Prof. G. Hickling, Prof. 

W. J. Pugh, Prof. H. H. Read, Prof. O. H. Schindewolf, Prof. W. W. 

Watts, F.R.S., Dr. W. B. Wright. 
Recorder.— Dr. A. K. Wells. 

Secretaries. — B. Hilton Barrett, W. H. Wilcockson. 
Local Secretaries. — H. J. Huskinson, D. T. Setterington. 


President. — Dr. Julian Huxley. 

Vice-Presidents. — Prof. F. Balfour-Browne, Prof. E. G. Conklin, Prof. F. A. 

E. Crew, Prof. W. J. Dakin, Prof. H. J. Muller. 
Recorder. — Prof. W. M. Tattersall. 
Secretary. — Dr. G. S. Carter. 
Local Secretary. — T. H. J. Field. 


President. — Brig. H. S. L. Winterbotham, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. 
Vice-Presidents. — Prof. R. N. Rudmose Brown, Prof. F. Debenham, Councillor 

W. Rostron Duckworth, M.P., Prof. C. B. Fawcett, Brig. M. N. MacLeod, 

Prof. E. G. R. Taylor. 
Recorder. — H. King. 

Secretaries. — J. N. L. Baker, Dr. R. O. Buchanan. 
Local Secretaries. — J. J. Breeze, Miss E. Tarver. 



President. — Dr. C. R. Fay. 

Vice-Presidents. — J. N. Bell, Prof. A. M. Carr-Saunders, Prof. G. W. Daniels, 

Prof. E. R. Dewsnup, Councillor F. I. Nickson, Prof. J. G. Smith, F. J. 

Recorder. — Dr. K. G. Fenelon. 
Secretaries. — Dr. P. Ford, E. D. McCallum. 
Local Secretary. — W. I. Curnow. 


President. — Prof. W. Cramp. 

Vice-President. — J. S. Wilson. 

Recorder. — Wing-Commander T. R. Cave-Browne-Cave, C.B.E. 

Secretaries. — H. M. Clarke, C. W. J. Taffs. 

Local Secretaries. — J. H. Peel, R. B. Warburton. 


President. — Miss D. A. E. Garrod. 

Vice-Presidents. — A. L. Armstrong, Miss G. Caton-Thompson, F. H. Cheetham, 

Dr. G. M. Morant, Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, F.R.S. 
Recorder. — R. U. Sayce. 

Secretaries. — Miss Clare Fell, K. H. Jackson. 
Local Secretary. — S. G. Harries. 


President. — Prof. R. J. S. McDowall. 

Vice-Presidents. — Prof. D. Burns, Prof. P. T. Herring, Dr. E. W. Rees Jones. 

Recorder. — Prof. H. P. Gilding. 

Secretaries. — Dr. L. E. Bayliss, Prof. R. C. Garry. 

Local Secretary. — Dr. Elsie B. Dickinson. 


President. — A. W. Wolters. 

Vice-Presidents. — R. J. Bartlett, Prof. Madison Bentley, Dr. Ll. Wynn 

Jones, Prof. C. W. Valentine. 
Recorder. — Dr. Mary Collins. 

Secretary. — Dr. S. F. J. Philpott, Dr. P. E. Vernon. 
Local Secretary. — F. C. Thomas. 


President. — J. Ramsbottom, O.B.E. 

Vice-Presidents. — F. T. Brooks, F.R.S., Prof. J. M. F. Drummond, Dr. M. 

Knight, Prof. J. McLean Thompson, D. W. Young. 
Recorder. — Dr. B. Barnes. 

Secretaries. — Dr. G. Taylor, T. Thomson, Dr. S. Williams. 
Local Secretary. — Miss M. E. Lyon. 


President. — Sir Richard Livingstone. 

Vice-Presidents. — Dr. A. W. Pickard-Cambridge, Councillor W. Rostron 
Duckworth, J. P., M.P., Prof. J. F. Duff, Alderman Sir W. Hodgson. 


Recorder. — A. Gray Jones. 

Secretaries. — S. R. Humby, N. F. Sheppard. 

Local Secretaries. — Miss D. Bailey, P. E. Meadon, H. S. Perkins. 


President. — Prof. J. Hendrick. 

Vice-Presidents. — W. E. Hale, T. Norcott, T. B. Silcock, Dr. J. A. Venn, 

Prof. J. A. S. Watson. 
Recorder. — Dr. E. M. Crowther. 
Secretary. — W. Godden. 
Local Secretaries. — J. J. Green, O. J. Pattison. 


President. — Dr. A. B. Rendle, F.R.S. 

Secretary. — Dr. C. Tierney. 

Local Secretary. — Dr. G. A. Armstrong. 




Date of Meeting 






Sept. 27. 
June 19 
June 25 
Sept. 8 . 
Aug. 10. 
Aug. 22 , 
Sept. 11. 
Aug. 10 , 
Aug. 26. 
Sept. 17 
July 20 , 
June 23 , 
Aug. 17. 
Sept. 26. 
June 19 
Sept. 10, 
June 23 
Aug. 9 . 
Sept. 12. 
July 21 . 
July 2 . 
Sept. 1 . 
Sept. 3 . 
Sept. 20, 
Sept. 12. 
Aug. 6 . 
Aug. 26. 
Sept. 22. 
Sept. 14. 
June 27 
Sept. 4 , 
Oct. 1 . 
Aug. 26. 
Sept. 13. 
Sept. 6 . 
Aug. 22 . 
Sept. 4 , 
Aug. 19. 
Aug. 18, 
Sept. 14. 
Aug. 2 . 
Aug. 14. 
Sept. 17. 
Aug. 19, 
Aug. 25, 
Sept. 6 . 
Aug. 15. 
Aug. 14. 
Aug. 20. 
Aug. 25. 
Aug. 31, 
Aug. 23, 
Sept. 19. 
Aug. 27. 
Sept. 9 , 
Sept. 1 . 
Aug. 31 , 
Sept. 5 . 
Sept. 11. 
Sept. 3 . 
Aug. 19. 
Aug. 3 , 
Sept. 13 
Aug. 8 . 
Sept. 11, 
Sept. 16, 
Aug. 18. 
Sept. 7 ■ 
Sept. 13. 

Where held 

York , 



Edinburgh , 

Dublin , 






Plymouth , 

Manchester , 



























































Viscount Milton, D.C.L., F.R.S 

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

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

Sir T. M. Brisbane, D.C.L., F.R.S. ... 
The Rev. Provost Lloyd, LL.D., F.R.S. 
The Marquis of Lansdowne, F.R.S. ... 

The Earl of Burlington, F.R.S 

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 

The Earl of Rosse, F.R.S 

The Rev. G. Peacock, D.D., F.R.S.... 
Sir John F. W. Herschel, Bart., F.R.S. 
Sir Roderick I. Murchison, Bart.,F.R.S. 
Sir Robert H. Inglis, Bart., F.R.S. ... 
The Marquisof Northampton, Pres.R.S. 
The Rev.T. R. Robinson, D.D., F.R.S. 

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

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

Lieut. -General Sabine, F.R.S 

William Hopkins, F.R.S , 

The Earl of Harrowby, F.R.S 

The Duke of Argyll, F.R.S 

Prof. C. G. B. Daubeney, M.D., F.R.S. . 

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

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

H.R.H. The Prince Consort 

The Lord Wrottesley, M.A., F.R.S. ... 

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

The Rev. Professor Willis, M.A., F.R.S. 
Sir William G. Armstrong, C.B., F.R.S. 
Sir Charles Lyell, Bart., M.A., F.R.S. 
Prof. J. Phillips, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S. 

William R. Grove, Q.C., F.R.S 

The Duke of Buccleuch, K.C.B., F.R.S. 

Dr. Joseph D. Hooker, F.R.S 

Prof. G. G. Stokes, D.C.L., F.R.S. ... 
Prof. T. H. Huxley, LL.D., F.R.S. ... 
Prof. Sir W. Thomson, LL.D., F.R.S. . 

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

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

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

Sir John Hawkshaw, F.R.S 

Prof. T. Andrews, M.D., F.R.S 

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

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

Prof. G. J. Allman, M.D., F.R.S 

A. C. Ramsay, LL.D., F.R.S 

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

Dr. C. W. Siemens, F.R.S 

Prof. A. Cayley, D.C.L., F.R.S 

Prof. Lord Rayleigh, F.R.S 

Sir Lyon Playfair, K.C.B., F.R.S. ... 
Sir J. W. Dawson, C.M.G., F.R.S. ... 

Sir H. E. Roscoe, D.C.L., F.R.S 

Sir F. J. Bramwell, F.R.S 

Prof. W. H. Flower, C.B., F.R.S 

Sir F. A. Abel, C.B., F.R.S 

Dr. W. Huggins, F.R.S 

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

Prof. J. S. Burdon Sanderson, F.R.S. 
The Marquisof Salisbury, K.G.,F.R.S. 
Sir Douglas Galton, K.C.B., F.R.S. ... 
Sir Joseph Lister, Bart., Pres. R.S. ... 

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

Sir W. Crookes, F.R.S 

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

Old Life 

New Life 






































42 " 



















































































a Ladies were not admitted by purchased tickets until 1843. 

t Tickets of Admission to Sections only. 
[Continued on p. xxvi. 





Sums paid 









on account 
of Grants 

for Scientific 



















— . 
































— . 

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 6 









345 18 









391 9 7 









304 6 7 


















380 19 7 



10 1 






480 16 4 









734 13 9 









507 15 4 









618 18 2 









684 11 1 









766 19 6 









mi 5 10 









1293 16 6 









1608 3 10 









1289 15 8 









1591 7 10 









i75o 13 4 









1739 4 




































1472 2 6 



























1151 16 
















2 774 


1092 4 2 









1128 9 7 









725 16 6 









1080 11 11 









731 7 7 









476 8 1 









1126 1 n 









1083 3 3 









1173 4 


















995 6 









1186 18 









1511 5 









1417 n 









789 16 8 









1029 10 









864 10 









907 15 6 









583 15 6 









977 15 5 









1104 6 I 









1059 10 8 


3 2 7 
















1430 14 2 


J Including Ladies. § Fellows of the American Association were admitted as Hon. Members for this Meeting. 

[Continued on p. xxvii. 



Table of 

Date of Meeting 


1920, Aug. 24 . 

192 1, Sept. 7 . 

1922, Sept. 6 . 

1923, Sept, 

1924, Aug. 

1925, Aug. 

1926, Aug. 

1927, Aug. 

1928, Sept. 

1929, July 

1930, Sept. 

1931, Sept. 

1932, Aug. 

1933, Sept. 

1934, Sept. 

1935, Sept. 

1936, Sept. 

6 . 

4 • 

31 • 

5 ■ 

3 • 

Sept. 5 ... 
Sept. 11... 
Sept. 10... 
Sept. 9 ... 
Aug. 17... 
Aug. 15 ... 
Aug. 1 .., 
July 31 ... 
Sept. 2 ... 
Aug. 25 .., 
Aug. 31 ... 
Aug. 30 . . , 
Sept. 4 .., 
Sept. 10... 
Sept. y ... 
Sept. 5 ... 

Sept . 9 . . 

Where held 






South Africa 












(No Meeting) 

(No Meeting) 


Cardiff .... 
Edinburgh . 

Liverpool .... 





South Africa 



Norwich ... 


Sir William Turner, D.C.L., F.R.S. ... 
Prof. A. W. Riicker, D.Sc, Sec. R.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. Ray Lankester, LL.D., F.R.S. 

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

Dr. Francis Darwin, F.R.S 

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

Rev. Prof, f . 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 Arthur Evans, F.R.S \ 

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

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. 

Sir Ernest Rutherford, F.R.S 

Sir David Bruce, K.C.B., F.R.S. .. 

Prof. Horace Lamb, F.R.S 

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K 


Sir Arthur Keith, F.R.S 

Sir William Bragg, K.B.E., F.R.S... 
Sir Thomas Holland, K.C.S 

K.C.I.E., F.R.S 

Prof. F. O. Bower, F.R.S 

Gen. the Rt. Hon. J. C. Smuts, P. 

("* TT T? R ^ 
Sir AlfredEwi'ng, 'k.c'.B."f.'r"s'.'"! 
Sir F. Gowland Hopkins, Pres. R.S. 

Sir James H. Jeans, F.R.S." 

Prof. W.W. Watts, F.R.S 

Sir Josiah Stamp, G.C.B., G.B.E 

Old Life 













New Life 















1 Including 848 Members of the South African Association. 
1 Including 137 Members of the American Association. 

* 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 Francaise at Le Havre. 

* Including Students' Tickets, 10s. 

* Including Exhibitioners granted tickets without charge. 

* Including grants from the Caird Fund in this and subsequent years. 
' Including Foreign Guests, Exhibitioners, and others. 



l/iiaia! Meetings — (continued). 



££ Ladies 




Sums paid 

on account 

of Grants 


Members Members 




for Scientific 

£1072 10 



80 1 











920 9 n 













688 365 




845 13 2 





338 317 




887 18 11 


937 1 


430 181 




928 2 2 




817 352 




882 9 




659 251 




757 12 10 





166 222 




1157 18 8 


290 3 


789 90 




1014 9 9 




563 123 




963 17 




414 81 








1292 359 




845 7 6 




1287 291 




978 17 1 



4160 3 

539" — 




1861 16 4 6 




628* 141 




1569 2 8 




251* 73 




985 18 10 




— — 




677 17 2 



— — 



i — 

326 13 3 




688* 153 







Annual Members 
















1272 10 

1251 13 o 8 









2599 15 

518 1 10 






235 s 



1699 5 

722 7 



mentary 7 








2 735 15 

777 18 6' 









3165 19 

o 10 

1197 5 9 









1630 5 











917 1 6 









2414 5 

761 10 









3072 10 

1259 10 




1227 11 




1477 15 

2193 2 1 









2481 15 

631 1 9 









4792 10 

1319 9 6 









1724 5 

1218 13 11 









2428 2 

562 19 ii 18 



2 73 






2900 13 


1423 4 9 









2218 14 


1649 2 4 









2006 14 

1098 1 1 


8 The Bournemouth Fund for Research, initiated by Sir C. Parsons, enabled grants on account of 
scientific purposes to be maintained. 

* Including grants from the Caird Gift for research in radioactivity in this and subsequent years 
to 1926. 

10 Subscriptions paid in Canada were $5 for Meeting only and others pro rata ; there was some gain 
on exchange. 

11 Including 450 Members of the South African Association. 

8 Including 413 tickets for certain meetings, issued at 5s. to London County Council school-teachers. 
18 For nine months ending March 31, 1933. 
14 Sir William B. Hardy, F.R.S., who became President on January 1, 1934, died on January 23. 



On Wednesday, September 9, at 8.30 p.m., the Inaugural General Meeting 
was held in the Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens, when His Worship 
the Mayor of Blackpool (Alderman W. Newman, J.P.) welcomed the 
Association to Blackpool. The President of the Association, Sir Josiah 
Stamp, G.C.B., G.B.E., delivered an address (for which see p. 1) entitled 
The Impact of Science upon Society. A vote of thanks to the President 
was proposed by Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S., and seconded by Prof. E. G. 
Conklin, President of the American Association for the Advancement 
of Science. 

On Friday, September 11, in the Co-operative Hall, at 8.15 p.m.. 
Mr. C. C. Paterson, O.B.E., delivered an Evening Discourse on Science 
and Electric Lighting, for which see p. 478. 

On Tuesday, September 15, in the same hall, at 8.15 p.m., Capt. F. 
Kingdon Ward delivered an Evening Discourse on Plant-hunting and 
Exploration in Tibet. 

A public lecture was given by Dr. W. F. Bewley on Science and the 
Glasshouse Industry, in Marton Parochial Hall, Blackpool, on Friday, 
September 11, at 7.30 p.m. 

Lectures to school children were given in Blackpool as follows : 

Brigadier H. S. L. Winterbotham, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. : How Maps 
are made, on Friday, September 11, at 3 p.m., in the New Technical 
College, Palatine Road. 

Mr. D. Seth Smith : Favourites of the London Zoo, on Tuesday, 
September 15, at 3 p.m., in the Co-operative Hall. 

External public lectures were given as follows : 

Lytham St. Annes, Lowther Pavilion, Thursday, September 10, at 
7.30 p.m. The Scope of Photography. — Dr. Olaf Bloch. 

Preston, Guild Hall, Friday, September 11, at 8.0 p.m. Who were the 
Greeks ?— Prof. J. L. Myres. 

Southport, Cambridge Hall, Lord Street, Friday, September 11, at 
8.0 p.m. Some Recent Advances in Astronomy. — Sir James Jeans, F.R.S. 

Poulton-le-Fylde, Church Hall, Vicarage Road, Monday, September 14, 
at 7.30 p.m. Applications of Science to Poultry Farming. — Mr. P. A. 

Fleetwood, Marine Hall, Tuesday, September 15, at 7.30 p.m. Common 
Shore Animals. — Prof. C. M. Yonge. 


Thornton Cleveleys, St. Andrew's Memorial Hall, Tuesday, Sep- 
tember 15, at 7.30 p.m. Joy in Scientific Discovery. — Prof. D. Fraser- 

Preston, Guild Hall, Wednesday, September 16, at 8.0 p.m. Splashes 
and what they teach. — Prof. Allan Ferguson. 

Rochdale. The above lecture by Prof. Allan Ferguson was repeated 
at Rochdale on Thursday, September 17. 

A summary of Sectional Transactions on September 10, u, 14, 15, 
and 16 will be found on pp. 320 and following. 

The Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool (Alderman W. Newman, J. P., 
and Miss Newman) entertained members of the Association at a Reception 
and Dance in the Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens, on Thursday 
evening, September 10. 

A Garden Party was given by the Headmaster of Rossall School 
(Mr. H. G. M. Clarke) at the School on Tuesday, September 15. 

On Saturday, September 12, a general excursion was arranged to the 
Lake District, when a number of the members travelled as guests of the 
President, Sir Josiah Stamp, G.C.B., G.B.E., Chairman of the London, 
Midland and Scottish Railway. During the return journey the President 
broadcast from the train at Oxenholme station to Blackpool a speech 
inaugurating the autumn illuminations. Other excursions and visits 
devoted to the interests of special sections are mentioned among the 
Sectional Transactions in later pages. 

A special service was held at St. John's Parish Church on Sunday 
morning, September 13, when officers and other members of the Associa- 
tion accompanied the Mayor and Corporation in state. The preacher 
was the Rt. Rev. P. M. Herbert, Lord Bishop of Blackburn. Special 
services were also held in other places of worship. 

At the final meeting of the General Committee, on Wednesday, 
September 16, it was resolved : 

That the British Association places on record its warm thanks for the 
reception afforded to it by the County Borough of Blackpool. The generous 
co-operation of the Mayor and Council, and the thorough preparations 
made by the local officers and committee, have been deeply appreciated. 
The Association also extends most cordial thanks to the commercial, 
industrial, and educational institutions in Blackpool and the neighbour- 
hood, which have so generously provided accommodation and facilities 
for meetings, excursions, and visits. The Association, having broken new 
ground in this, its one-hundred-and-sixth year, with a first meeting in 
Blackpool, records with special satisfaction the unqualified success of this 


Visit to the Isle of Man. 

After the meeting, a number of members took pan in a visit to the 
Isle of Man (September 16-21), by invitation of the island authorities. 
Parties were conducted each day to sites of archaeological, geological, 
biological, and botanical interest in various parts of the island. The 
visitors were received on successive evenings (Sept. 17, 18, 19) by His 
Honour the Deemster Farrant, Chairman of the Manx Museum and 
Ancient Monuments Trustees (when H.E. the Lieutenant-Governor, 
Sir Montagu Butler, K.C.S.I., and Lady Butler were present), by His 
Worship the Mayor and Corporation of Douglas, and by the Manx 
Museum and Ancient Monuments Trustees. 

The Council subsequently conveyed their thanks and those of the 
visitors to the island authorities concerned. 


Death of H.M. King George V, Patron of the Association. 

I. — The following Address was forwarded to His Majesty King 
Edward VIII :— 

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 
May it please Your Majesty, 

We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the President and 
Council of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 
humbly beg leave to offer to Your Majesty our deep and heartfelt sympathy 
in the grievous loss that has befallen Your Majesty, the Members of Your 
Royal Family and the British peoples. We of the British Association 
deplore the loss of a Sovereign who has ever encouraged us in the 
advancement of Science and the rightful application of scientific knowledge 
to the enlargement of the happiness of His peoples ; and has honoured 
the Association by becoming its Patron and by conferring upon the 
Association the high privilege of its Royal Charter. 

While thus expressing our grief, we most humbly beg leave to offer to 
Your Majesty our congratulations on Your Majesty's accession to the 
Throne, and we earnestly pray that Your Majesty may long reign over 
Your peoples throughout the Empire. 

The following acknowledgment was received by the President : — 

Home Office, 

ijth March, 1936. 
Sir, — I have had the honour to lay before The King the Loyal and 
Dutiful Address of the President and Council of the British Association 
for the Advancement of Science on the occasion of the lamented death 
of His late Majesty King George the Fifth, and have received The King's 
Command to convey to you His Majesty's grateful Thanks for the 
assurances of sympathy and devotion to which it gives expression. 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

John Simon. 

The Royal Patronage. 

II. — The President, on behalf of the Council, forwarded the following 
letter :— 

To the Private Secretary 

to His Majesty The King 

Sir, — I have the honour to inform you that the Council of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science have voted a humble address 
of condolence to His Majesty The King. 




The address refers gratefully to the honour which King George V 
conferred upon the Association by becoming its Patron. The Council, 
in voting the Address, directed me to express the respectful hope that 
His Majesty may be graciously pleased to follow his august Father in the 
Patronage of the Association. We are ever mindful of the signal honour 
which His Majesty conferred upon the Association by becoming its 
President for the year 1926. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

J. C. Stamp, 


The following reply was received : — 

Privy Purse Office, 

Buckingham Palace, S.W. 

23rd March, 1936. 

Dear Sir, — I am commanded by The King to inform you that His 
Majesty has been graciously pleased to grant his Patronage to the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Yours truly, 

Keeper of the Privy Purse. 


III. — The Council have had to deplore the loss by death of the following 
office-bearers and supporters : — 

Prof. J. H. Ashworth, F.R.S. 

Sir J. F. Beale, K.B.E. 

Mr. F. A. Bellamy 

Dr. H. Bolton 

Prof. J. D. Cormack, C.M.G., 

Mr. G. F. Daniell 
Sir A. Denny, Bt. 
Prof. A. C. Dixon, F.R.S. 
Prof. A. F. Dixon 
Dr. R. V. Favell 
Prof. H. S. Foxwell 
Miss Marion Frost 
Sir R. T. Glazebrook, K.C.B., 

F R S 
Prof. J. S. Haldane, F.R.S. 

Prof. P. F. Kendall, F.R.S. 
Dr. W. J. S. Lockyer 
Sir J.C.McLennan, K.B.E. , F.R.S. 
Prof. C. Lloyd Morgan, F.R.S. 
Mr. R. D. Oldham, F.R.S. 
Prof. H. Fairfield Osborn, For. 

Mem. R.S. 
Prof. Karl Pearson, F.R.S. 
Sir J. E. Petavel, K.B.E., F.R.S. 
Miss I. M. Roper 
Dr. F. C. Shrubsall 
Mrs. Henry Sidgwick 
Dr. Bernard Smith, F.R.S. 
Miss Grace Stebbing 
Prof. J. E. A. Steggall 


IV. — Representatives of the Association 
follows : — 

have been appointed as 

Centenary Celebration of the University of 
London, June 29-July 3 

Sir Josiah 


REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1935-36 xxxiii 

Quinquennial Congress of Universities of 

the Empire, Cambridge, July 13-17 . Mr. F. T. Brooks, 

F.R.S., General Sec- 

Resolutions and Recommendations. 

V. — Resolutions and recommendations, referred by the General 
Committee to the Council for consideration, and, if desirable, for action, 
were dealt with as follows. The resolutions will be found in the Report 
for 1935, p. xlvii. 

(a) The Council, on learning that the late Prof. J. H. Ashworth, 
F.R.S., had presented a fuller version of his paper on the life of Charles 
Darwin as a student in Edinburgh to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 
procured reprints for preservation at Down House and for distribution 
as requisite. (Resolution of the General Committee.) 

(b) The Council appointed a watching committee to co-operate, as 
occasion should arise, with the Ministry of Health Committee on 
Inland Water Survey. (Resolution of Sections A, Mathematical and 
Physical Sciences ; C, Geology ; E, Geography ; G, Engineering.) 

(c) The Council communicated to the Ministry of Transport the 
resolution on the silencing of motor vehicles recommended by Sections 
A (Mathematical and Physical Sciences) and G (Engineering), excepting 
the concluding paragraph. 

(d) The Council appointed a committee, and invited representatives 
thereon from other institutions, to consider what steps could be taken, 
in co-operation with similar bodies in other countries, to assist in giving 
effect to the legislation of the Government of Ecuador relating to the 
preservation of the fauna of the Galapagos Islands. (Resolution of 
Section D, Zoology.) 

In connection with the above, Prof. W. W. Watts, F.R.S. (President, 
1935), communicated to the Council a cablegram received from the 
present H.M.S. Beagle on the day of the centenary of Darwin's landing 
from the vessel of that name in the Galapagos Islands. The cablegram 
was in the following terms : — 

To-day one hundred years ago our most distinguished passenger 
landed. The present Beagle salutes the British Association the 
Trustees of Science. 

The President stated that he had forwarded a reply as follows : — 

Deeply appreciate your message referring Darwin's landing from 
Beagle. Good luck to present ship. 

(e) After consideration of the recommendation of Section F 
(Economics), supported by Section J (Psychology), that the Association 
might indicate the importance which it attaches to the development of 
the social sciences by appointing a third General Secretary, who would 
be specially associated with this group of studies, the Council resolved 
to appoint a committee to consider how the Association might indicate 

xxxiv REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1935-36 

the importance which it attaches to the development of the social 
sciences, either by appointment of a third General Secretary or by 
other appropriate means. 

On the report of this committee, it was resolved that the appointment 
of a third General Secretary should not be recommended to the General 
Committee, but effect has been given to the following recommendations, 
with the collaboration of the Organising Sectional Committees :— 

That certain selected communications in the programme at the 
Annual Meeting should be distinguished, by inclusion in a separate 
group with a collective series-title or other appropriate means, as of 
special bearing upon the relations between Science and the interests of 
the community. Under this proposal : 

(a) An Organising Sectional Committee might request that any 
discussion or individual paper might be included in this series. 

(b) A Sectional President might request that his address should 
be included in this series. 

(c) It is submitted that the Council should arrange at least one of 
the Evening Discourses with a view to inclusion in this series. 

The Committee believe that this procedure, without involving any 
violent reform of the programmes, would provide the evidence which 
public opinion demands that the Association does in fact discharge its 
function of ' obtaining a more general interest for the objects -of 

A further proposal made in the Council itself was that at least one 
discussion in each annual programme should deal with the application 
of science to social problems. 

The above arrangements have been put into force in connection with 
the programme of the Blackpool Meeting. 

(/) The specification of the lower yield-point of mild and moderately 
high tensile steel, recommended by Section G (Engineering), was 
communicated to the British Standards Institution. 

(g) The recommendation of Section H (Anthropology) relating to 
the preservation of certain caves in Derbyshire was forwarded to 
H.M. Commissioner of Works, and it was understood that this question 
would be submitted to the Ancient Monuments Board. 

(h) The Council for the Preservation of Rural England kindly 
promised to take into consideration the desirability of preventing 
hedge-cutting, etc., at such season as to interfere with nesting birds. 
It was subsequently stated that the matter had been brought before the 
County Councils Association, which, while sympathising with the objects 
of the recommendation, did not consider it practicable to make any 
proposal to County Councils, especially in view of the provisions of the 
Corn Production Acts (Repeal) Act, 1921, regarding the destruction of 
injurious weeds. The matter, however, was further mentioned at a 
recent meeting of county surveyors in London. (Recommendation of 
the Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies.) 

(i) The Council requested the Corresponding Societies Committee 
and the appropriate Sectional Committees to specify, if possible, 

REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1935-36 xxxv 

particular areas which might be scheduled as national parks on grounds 
of special scientific interest. (Resolution of the Conference of Delegates 
of Corresponding Societies.) 

(j) It was stated in the Report for 1935, p. xxi, that the Council 
brought to the notice of the Lord President of the Council and the 
Minister of Agriculture the desirability of accelerating the revision of 
large-scale maps of the Ordnance Survey. It was learned that the 
Chartered Surveyors' Institution was taking similar action, and that 
Institution was kept informed of the Council's action. It was under- 
stood that the matter was receiving the attention of the Minister and 
of H.M. Government. (Resolution of Section E, Geography, sup- 
ported by other sections.) 

A request from the Chartered Surveyors' Institution, for support of 
the proposals to be brought before the Ministry of Agriculture by 
the Institution in favour of the revision of large-scale Ordnance Survey 
maps, was considered, but it was resolved that, in view of the previous 
action taken by the Council in this connection, no further action was 
necessary. Subsequently the Departmental Committee on the Ordnance 
Survey invited observations from the Association on certain aspects 
of the revision, and the Council, with the generous help of Brigadier 
H. S. L. Winterbotham, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., took measures to 
obtain these from appropriate sources. 


VI. — The Council have received reports from the General Treasurer 
throughout the year. His account has been audited and is presented to 
the General Committee. 

The Council have received with regret the resignation of Prof. A. L. 
Bowley as an hon. auditor, and have conveyed to him their thanks for 
his services. 

VII. — A contributory superannuation scheme has been arranged on 
behalf of members of the office staff other than the Secretary, for whom 
such a scheme already exists. 

VIII. — The legacy of £500 received under the will of the late Sir Alfred 
Ewing, K.C.B., F.R.S., past President, as stated in the Report, 1935, 
p. xxi, has been invested. 

A donation of one hundred guineas was forwarded to the Association 
by the Local Committee for the Norwich Meeting, 1935, out of the 
surplus on the local fund. The thanks of the Council were conveyed 
to the Committee, and it was resolved that the sum should be used to 
meet grants to Committees dealing with subjects of special scientific 
interest in East Anglia, such as pre-history, ornithology, etc., as and when 
occasion should arise. 

A sum of £900 has been received (in successive payments of £500 and 
£400) on account of the Herbert Spencer bequest. In respect of the first 
payment, the Council adopted a proposal, supported by the Down House 
Committee, that this sum (£500) should be earmarked to meet temporarily 

xxxvi REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1935-36 

the cost of repairs and other works on the Down House property, and the 
provision of facilities for scientific work there as occasion should arise. 

IX. — The Council made the following grants from funds under their 
control : — 

From the Caird Fund. 

Committee on Seismology ..... 
,, ,, Mathematical Tables 

,, ,, Zoological Record 

,, ,, Naples Table .... 

,, ,, Rods and Cones in Retinas of Animals 



From the Bernard Hobson Fund. 

Committee on Reptile-bearing Oolite of Stow-on-the-Wold . . 30 

,, ,, Critical Geological Sections : such part as the income 

allows of a contingent grant of £40. 

From the Leicester and Leicestershire Fund. 

Committee on Routine Manual Factor in Mechanical Ability . . 30 

,, ,, Chronology of the World Crisis .... 10 

„ ,, Noise ......... 10 

., ,, Promotion of Educational Research .... 5 

British Science Guild. 

X.— In 1927-28 a proposal for the amalgamation of the British Science 
Guild and the British Association was before the Council and the General 
Committee of the Association. Certain conditions attached to the 
proposal did not fully commend themselves to either party ; but the 
proposal was not rejected in principle, and it was recorded in the Report 
of the Council, as adopted by the General Committee in 1928, that 
' further action by the Council of the British Science Guild is awaited.' 
Such action has now been taken, and the Council, after full inquiry and 
report by the General Officers, recommend the incorporation of the Guild 
into the Association under the conditions set out below. The General 
Officers take this opportunity of acknowledging the generous collabora- 
tion of Sir Richard Gregory and Sir Albert Howard throughout the 

The stated object of the British Science Guild is ' to promote the 
application of scientific method and results to social problems and public 
affairs.' The same object is implicit in those of the Association, and the 
programmes of its recent meetings have given evidence of a greater 
concern for these problems than was commonly exhibited in former years. 
It is believed that the proposed union of the two bodies would strengthen 
the Association in the discharge of its public functions, and it is suggested 
that, through the Committee proposed below, the Council might be 
assisted in keeping itself informed as to matters concerning the application 
of scientific method and results to social problems and public affairs. 

The capital funds of the Guild, to which reference is made below, would 
be transferred to the Association after the discharge of certain liabilities. 

REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1935-36 xxxvii 

The proposed conditions of incorporation of the Guild into the 
Association are as follows : — ■ 

1. That the Council of the British Association should be asked to 
appoint a Committee to be called the British Science Guild Committee. 

2. That the British Science Guild Committee should consist of six 
members, of whom not more than three should be nominated initially by 
the British Science Guild, and three by the British Association. 

3. That the last act of the Guild before winding-up should be to 
constitute the present members of its Council an Advisory Council to 
nominate the three members of the British Science Guild Committee of 
the British Association, representing the British Science Guild. 

4. That the British Science Guild Committee should be a Committee 
of Council of the British Association, and should be entrusted with 
arrangements for lectures already initiated by the British Science Guild, 
and for any others of similar character which may be approved by the 

5. That the Norman Lockyer Lecture should be delivered annually, 
and should deal with the application of scientific method and results to 
social problems and public affairs. 

6. That the Alexander Pedler Lecture should be offered annually to 
one of the Corresponding Societies of the British Association, or be 
delivered in some centre outside London. 

7. That Life Fellows of the British Science Guild be offered Life 
Membership of the British Association without further payment, and that 
Life Members of the Guild should be invited to become Life Members 
of the Association on payment of the difference between the subscription 
to the Guild and to the Association. 

(Note. — There were as at January 7, 1936, 62 life fellows of the Guild 
of whom 5 were honorary, and of whose addresses 6 were unknown. 
Eleven of these were life members of the Association and 7 were or had 
recently been annual members. There were 273 life members of the 
Guild, of whose addresses 60 were unknown ; of these 45 were life 
members of the Association, and 23 were or had recently been annual 

8. That annual subscribers of the Guild should be invited to become 
annual subscribers of the Association. 

(Note.— The annual subscribers of the Guild as at June 25, 1935, 
numbered 242.) 

Financial note. — The market value of the capital funds of the Guild as 
at January 3, 1936, is £4,355. It is understood that inquiry is in progress 
as to any liability which, in the event of the proposed incorporation being 
effected, would or might fall upon these funds in respect of life members 
not desiring transfer, the Guild staff, etc. The Norman Lockyer and 
Alexander Pedler lectures carry fees (ten guineas each) and involve 
certain incidental expenditure. For the two lectures together, including 
fees but excluding the printing of the lectures and postage, the total 
expenditure in 1935 was £36. 

It is further understood that if the incorporation is carried out, Lady 
Lockyer intends to bequeath the sum of £1,000 to the Association. Sir 

xxxviii REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1935-36 

Albert Howard intends to bequeath a like sum, for the purpose of en- 
dowing an annual lecture to young people at that centre at which the 
annual meeting of the Association is held. 

President (1937), General Officers, Council and Committees. 

XL — The Council's nomination to the Presidency of the Association 
for the year 1937 (Nottingham Meeting) will be announced to the General 
Committee at trie Blackpool Meeting. 

XII. — The General Officers have been nominated by the Council as 
follows : — 

General Treasurer, Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, F.R.S. 

General Secretaries, Mr. F. T. Brooks, F.R.S. , Prof. Allan Ferguson. 

XIII. Council. — The retiring Ordinary Members of the Council are: 
Prof. J. Drever, Prof. W. T. Gordon, Prof. Dame Helen Gwynne- 
Vaughan, G.B.E., Dr. C. W. Kimmins, and Prof. A. M. Tyndall, F.R.S. 

The Council have nominated as new members Dr. F. W. Aston, F.R.S., 
Prof. F. Debenham, and Mr. W. Campbell Smith ; leaving two vacancies 
to be filled by the General Committee without nomination by the Council. 

The full list of Ordinary Members is as follows : — 

Dr. F. W. Aston, F.R.S. H. M. Hallsworth, C.B.E. 

Prof. F. Aveling Dr. H. S. Harrison 

Sir T. Hudson Beare Prof. A. V. Hill, O.B.E., Sec.R.S. 

Rt. Hon Viscount Bledisloe, P.C., Prof. G. W. O. Howe 

G.C.M.G., G.B.E. Dr. Julian Huxley 

Prof. F. Balfour-Browne Prof. R. Robinson, F.R.S. 

Prof. R. N. Rudmose Brown W. Campbell Smith 

Dr. W. T. Caiman, C.B., F.R.S. Dr. C. Tierney 

Sir Henry Dale, C.B.E., F.R.S. Dr. W. W. Vaughan, M.V.O. 

Prof. F. Debenham Dr. J. A. Venn 

Prof. W. G. Fearnsides, F.R.S. Prof. SirGilbertWalker,C.S.L, F.R.S. 

Prof. R. B. Forrester Prof. F. E. Weiss, F.R.S. 

XIV. General Committee. — The following have been admitted as 
members of the General Committee, mainly on the nomination of 
Organising Sectional Committees under Regulation 1 :— 

Prof. T. Alty Dr. Murray Macgregor 

Dr. T. H. Bennet-Clark Prof. J. H. J. Poole 

Prof. A. H. Cox Capt. R. S. Rattray, C.B.E. 

Mr. O. Davies Prof. R. W. Reid 

Mr. H. Dewey Mrs. C. G. Seligman 

Mr. A. T. J. Dollar Rev. E. W. Smith 

Prof. J. M. F. Drummond Prof. H. H. Swinnerton 

Dr. W. L. H. Duckworth Dr. G. Taylor 

Miss E. D. Earthy Dr. F. S. Wallis 

Mrs. H. W. Elgee Mr. W. H. Wilcockson 

Dr. R. V. Favell Dr. S. Williams 

Miss D. A. E. Garrod Dr. W. B. Wright 

Mr. K. H. Jackson 

REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1935-36 xxxix 

XV. Corresponding Societies Committee. — The Council resolved to 
inquire into the status of the Conference of Delegates of Corresponding 
Societies, and appointed a committee to consider and report upon this. 
The committee made the following recommendations, which the Council 
adopted : — 

(1) An active liaison between the Association and the Conference by 
the regular attendance of the General Officers at its meetings. 

(2) A policy of mutual co-operation between the Conference and the 
Sections of the Association. 

(3) Additional representation of the Conference on the Committee of 
Recommendations (i.e. by the President and one other member). 

(4) The Corresponding Societies Committee to consist of the President 
and General Officers of the Association (as at present), together with not 
more than six of the Delegates to be nominated at the annual conference, 
one-third of whom (i.e. the delegate representatives) shall retire annually 
and shall not be eligible for immediate re-election. 

It is assumed that the retiring President of the Conference would be 
eligible to fill one of the delegate vacancies occurring on the Committee. 

Future Meetings. 

XVI. — It has been found desirable to determine the date of the Cam- 
bridge Meeting (1938) as soon as possible, and, following correspond- 
ence with the Vice-Chancellor of the University, the period of Wednesday, 
August 17, to Wednesday, August 24, is recommended. 

The Council have received and gratefully acknowledged an invitation 
from the Town Council of Swansea to meet at Swansea whenever the 
Association so desires. 

The formal invitation of the Indian Science Congress Association 
(accepted in principle by the General Committee in 1935) for the British 
Association to send a party to hold a joint session in India in January 
1938, when the Indian Science Congress Association would celebrate 
its Silver Jubilee, was duly received and accepted by the Council under 
authority of the General Committee. 


XVII. Statutes. — The following discrepancy in the Statutes has been 
brought to the notice of the Council : — 

Chap. XI, 3. The Delegates of Corresponding Societies . . . shall 
constitute a Conference, of which the President and other officers shall 
be appointed by the Council. 

Chap. 11,4. The General Committee shall . . . (x) Elect the officers 
of the Conference of Delegates. 

Having regard to the fact that the Statute first quoted above is that 
under which the appointments in question are made, it is recommended 
that the line ' (x) Elect the officers of the Conference of Delegates ' be 
deleted from the Statutes. 

b 2 


XVIII. Quinquennial Reports. — It was stated in last year's Report 
(p. xxv) that the Council had considered suggestions for the publication 
by the Association of (a) a quinquennial report on the advancement of 
science, and (b) a short statement for general distribution, summarising 
the various activities of the Association. Effect has been given to these 

Messrs. Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons will publish in the autumn, on behalf 
of the Association, and without cost to it, the first quinquennial review 
of the progress of science (1931-35), by a number of authors, to whom 
the Council take this opportunity of expressing their gratitude. 

The short statement on the activities of the Association, referred to 
above, was drafted in the office and has been issued under the title Five 
Years' Retrospect. The Council here record their gratitude to sectional 
Recorders for kindly reading this statement in draft. 

XIX. Overseas Representatives. — -The Council resolved that a letter 
should be issued, with the preliminary programme of the Annual Meeting, 
to Dominion and Colonial universities and research institutions, indicating 
that members of their scientific staffs on leave in England would be 
welcome as guests at Annual Meetings. 

XX. Earth Pressures Committee. — A letter has been received from the 
Institution of Civil Engineers, proposing that the work of the Earth 
Pressures Committee should be taken over by the Institution, and stating 
that the Council of the Institution had authorised the contribution of 
£200 per annum for the next two years in order that this research might 
be continued at the Building Research Station, with the existing com- 
mittee as a sub-committee of the Institution's research committee. 
A letter from Mr. F. Wentworth-Sheilds, Secretary of the Committee, 
was also received. The Council resolved to accept the proposal, and ex- 
pressed their satisfaction to the Institution and to Mr. Wentworth-Sheilds. 

XXI. A Sequel to the Norwich Meeting.— Prof. W. W. Watts, F.R.S. 
(President, 1935), informed the Council that in response to his personal 
appeal for contributions from visiting members at the Norwich Meeting 
toward the restoration of the cathedral cloisters there, a sum of £140 10s. 
had been received. 

XXII. Armorial Bearings. — A suggestion has been made that the 
Association should possess armorial bearings, and the Council are making 
sympathetic inquiry into the possibility of giving effect thereto. 

Down House. 

XXIII. The following report for the year 1935-36 has been received 
from the Down House Committee : — 

The number of visitors to Down House during the year ending June 6, 
1936, has been 7,022, compared with 6,658 in 1934-35. 


Thanks to the kind offices of the Director of the Victoria and Albert 
Museum and the generosity of the Board of Education, two hats which 
formerly were Darwin's have been handed over to the Association from the 
Museum and are now exhibited at Down House. Original letters of 
Darwin's, presented by Prof. Van Dyck and Prof. G. D. Hale Carpenter, 
have been added to the collection. A sculptor's model of a seated figure of 
Darwin, the history of which is not at present known to the Committee,' 
has been presented by Mr. J. Peacock. 

Members of the Urban District Council of Orpington (in which district 
Down House is situated) were received at the house by Prof. W. W. Watts, 
F.R.S. (President), Sir Buckston Browne (Hon. Curator) and other members 
of the Committee on July 28, 1935. They were afterwards entertained at 
tea at the Buckston Browne Research Farm by invitation of Sir Arthur 
Keith, F.R.S. 

The Committee are interested to learn that the Secretary, Dr. Howarth, 
is now chairman of the Town Planning Committee of the Urban District 

A new series of photographs of the house and grounds has been made 
and placed on sale : copies of some of them have been presented to appro- 
priate learned societies for exhibition. 

Considerable damage was done to buildings, trees and fences by the gale 
of September 23, 1935. 

The Committee have obtained from a qualified architect a structural 
survey of the property with a view to informing themselves as to repairs 
and renewals which are or will become necessary in the next few years. 
They have given careful consideration to this and to kindred questions. 

They have also constantly in mind the possibility of establishing on the 
property scientific records dependent upon instruments which it would be 
within the competence of the staff to read — and, indeed, of making any 
appropriate use of the property for purposes of research. 

They therefore desire to support the proposal, which they understand 
the General Treasurer will bring before the Council, that a sum of money 
from the Spencer bequest or other funds of the Association should be ear- 
marked to meet temporarily the cost of repairs and other works on the 
property, and the provision of facilities for scientific work as occasion may 

The following financial statement shows income and expenditure on 
account of Down House for the years ending March 31, 1935 and 1936 : — 


By Rents receivable 

Income Tax recovered 

Interest and Dividends 

Donations .... 

Sale of Postcards and Catalogues 

Pilgrim Trust Grant 

Balance, being excess of expenditure 

over income, 1934-35, transferred to 

Suspense Account 


figures, 1934-35 




£ 5. d. 






186 15 




826 8 6 




4 14 




24 15 2 





84 13 1% 

£1,327 9 9 £i,4i8 5 9\ 










To Wages of Staff . . ... 







,, Rates, Insurance, etc. 







,, Coal, Coke, etc. 







„ Lighting and Drainage (including oil 

and petrol) .... 







,, Water 







,, Surveyor's Fee 




,, Repairs and Renewals 







„ Garden and Land : Materials 









„ Donations to Village Institutions 





„ Household Requisites, etc. 







,, Transport and Carriage 







„ Accountants' Fees 







„ Printing, Postage, Telephone 


Stationery .... 






„ Balance, being excess of income 


expenditure, 1935-36, transferred 

to Suspense Account 






£1,327 9 9 £i,4i8 5 9\ 


1 93 5-3 6 



Balance Sheet, 




31st March, 


£ *. d. 

General Purposes : — 
Sundry Creditors . 

£ s. d. 

195 5 11 




Hon. Sir Charles Parsons' g 


(£10,000) and legacy (£2,000) 



The late Sir Alfred Ewing's legacy 


Yarrow Fund 

As per last Account £5,473 14 


Less Transferred to In- 

come and Expendi- 

ture Account under 

terms of the gift 

358 8 


•illS fi 4 

Life Compositions 

w>> 1 IJ \J T^ 

As per last Account 

2,748 12 


Add Received during 



2,916 12 


Less Transferred to In- 

come and Expendi- 

ture Account 

25 10 

2,891 2 2 

Contingency Fund 

As per last Account 

1 ,224 6 


Add Amount trans- 

ferred from Income 

and Expenditure 


273 1 


1,497 7 6 

Accumulated Fund 

. , 


16,488 9 

3S,052 10 2\ 




Special Purposes : — 

Caird Fund 

Balance at 1st April, 

1935 . 


9,806 3 10 

Less Excess of Expenditure over In- 

come for the year 



15 16 11 

Mathematical Tables Fund 




9,806 3 10 

Sundry Donations 



2 110 

Receipts from Sales transferred 

from Income and 





66 3 7 




Cunningham Bequest 

Balance at 1st April, 

1935 . 


1.549 3 4 

Less Excess of Expenditure over 1 


come for the year 

. a 


194 17 6 

1,549 3 4 

Carried forv 










31st March, 1936 



31st March, 


£ t. d. 

38,052 10 2\ 


£ s. d. 
General Purposes : — 

Investments as scheduled with Income 
and Expenditure Account, No. 1 . 38,204 3 7 

Sundry debtors and payments in ad- 
vance ...... 

Cash at bank . . . . 

Cash in hand . 

9,806 3 10 

1,549 3 4 

Special Purposes : — 
Caird Fund 

Investments (see Income and Ex- 
penditure Account, No. 2) . 

Cash at bank . . . 

Mathematical Tables Fund 
Cash at bank . 

Cunningham Bequest 

Investments (see Income and Ex- 
penditure Account, No. 3) . 
Cash at bank . 

90 1 10 

349 9 7 
43 15 11 

9,582 16 3 
207 10 8 

1,305 7 2 
48 18 8 

£ '■ d. 

38,687 10 11 

Carried forward 

9,790 6 11 

68 14 7 

1,354 5 10 
49,900 18 3 



Balance Sheet, 


31st March, 
£ *. d. 

182 18 10 

1,044 16 

1,034 4 2 

20,150 12 8 

71,820 9 0\ 

Brought forward 
Toronto University Prese 
Revenue . 

Bernard Hobson Fund 


Revenue — Balance per 
last Account . 

Less Excess of Expen- 
diture over Income 
for the year 

LIABILITIES {continued) 

£ s. d. 
tation Fund 

£ s. d. 

£ s. d. 
49,900 18 3 

* • • 

• • • 

178 11 4 
4 7 6 

182 18 10 


44 16 

14 13 10 

Leicester and Leicestershire Fund, 1 933 
Capital .... 
Revenue — Balance per 

last Account . . 34 

Excess of Income over Ex- 
penditure for the year 3 1 

4 2 

4 2 

30 2 2 


65 8 4 

1,030 2 2 

Down House 

Endowment Fund 
Sundry Creditors and 

Suspense Account 
Excess of Income over 

Expenditure for the 

year . 
Less balance at Debit 

thereof, at 1/4/35 . 

1,065 8 4 

. 20,000 

43 10 11 

64 2 1 

39 3 5 

(Total of Special Funds 

24 18 8 

£33,560 6 3) 

NOTE. — There are contingent Liabilities in respect of grants voted 
to Research Committees at Norwich in 1935 but not 
claimed at 31st March, 1936, amounting to £429 14s. 3d. 

The amount which should, in accordance with Council's resolu- 
tion, have been in the Contingency Fund at 31st March, 1936, 
was £1,875, but the surplus income available for this purpose 
has been insufficient by £377 12s. bd. to meet the full annual 
amounts transferable. 

20,068 9 7 

£72,247 17 2 

I have examined the foregoing Account with the Books and Vouchers and certify 
and the Investments, and the Bank have certified to me that they hold the 


A. L. Bowley 
Ezer Griffiths 


31st March, 1936 (continued) 




31st March, 


£ s. d. 

182 18 10 

1,044 16 

1,034 4 2 

20,150 12 8 

ASSETS (continued) 

£ s. 

Brought forward . . 

Toronto University Presentation Fund 

Investments (see Income and Ex- 
penditure Account, No. 4) . 

Cash at bank .... 

Bernard Hobson Fund 

Investments (see Income and Ex- 
penditure Account, No. 5) 
Cash at bank .... 

Leicester and Leicestershire Fund, 1 933 
Investments (see Income and Ex- 
penditure Account, No. 6) 
Cash at bank .... 

Down House 

Endowment Fund Investments (see 
Income and Expenditure Account, 
No. 7) .... 

Cash in hand .... 

Sundry debtors and payments in 
advance ..... 

Stock of catalogues 

178 11 
4 7 


















71,820 9 0\ 

£ s. 

49,900 18 


182 18 10 

1,030 2 2 

1,065 8 4 

20,068 | 9 7 

the same to be correct. 
Deeds of Down House. 

£72,247 17 2 

I have also verified the Balance at the Bankers 

W. B. Keen, Chartered Accountant. 

23 Queen Victoria St., London, E.C. 4. 
28th May, 1936. 




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


Seismological investigations. — Dr. F. J. W. Whipple [Chairman) , Mr. J. J. Shaw, 
C.B.E. [Secretary), Miss E. F. Bellamy, Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, O.B.E., 
F.R.S., Dr. A. T. J. Dollar, Sir Frank Dyson, K.B.E., F.R.S., Prof. G. R. 
Goldsbrough, F.R.S., Dr. Wilfred Hall, Mr. J. S. Hughes, Dr. H. Jeffreys, 
F.R.S., Mr. Cosmo Johns, Dr. A. W. Lee, Prof. E. A. Milne, M.B.E., F.R.S., 
Prof. H. H. Plaskett, F.R.S., Prof . H. C. Plummer, F.R.S., Prof. A. O. Rankine, 
O.B.E., Rev. C. Rey, S.J., Rev. J. P. Rowland, S.J., Prof. R. A. Sampson, 
F.R.S., Mr. F. J. Scrase, Capt. H. Shaw, Sir Frank Smith, K.C.B., C.B.E. , 
Sec. R.S., Dr. R. Stoneley, F.R.S., Mr. E. Tillotson, Sir G. T. Walker, C.S.I., 
F.R.S. £150 (Caird Fund grant). 

Calculation of mathematical tables. — Prof. E. H. Neville [Chairman), Dr. L. J. 
Comrie [Secretary), Prof. A. Lodge [V ice-Chairman), Dr. J. R. Airey, Dr. 
W. G. Bickley, Prof. R. A. Fisher, F.R.S., Dr. J. Henderson, Dr. E. L. Ince, 
Dr. J. O. Irwin, Dr. J. C. P. Miller, Mr. F. Robbins, Mr. D. H. Sadler, Dr. 
A. J. Thompson, Dr. J. F. Tocher, Dr. J. Wishart. £150 (Caird Fund grant). 


To co-ordinate the activities of Sections A, B, I, as regards joint symposia, etc., 
in so far as these relate to the Sciences lying on the border-lines between 
Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology. — Prof. David Burns, Prof. J. M. Gulland, 
Dr. P. B. Moon, Prof. H. S. Raper, C.B.E., F.R.S. , Prof. S. Sugden, F.R.S., 
Dr. D. M. Wrinch. 



The direct determination of the thermal conductivities of rocks in mines or 
borings where the temperature gradient has been, or is likely to be, 
measured. — Dr. Ezer Griffiths, F.R.S. [Chairman), Dr. D. W. Phillip 
[Secretary), Dr. E. C. Bullard, Dr. H. Jeffreys, F.R.S. [from Section A) ; 
Dr. E. M. Anderson, Prof. W. G. Fearnsides, F.R.S., Prof . G. Hickling, F.R.S., 
Prof. A. Holmes, Dr. J. H. J. Poole. £25 (Part from Bernard Hobson Fund). 



The possibility of quantitative estimates of sensory events. — Prof. A. Ferguson 
(Chairman), Dr. C. S. Myers, C.B.E., F.R.S. (V ice-Chairman), Mr. R. J. 
Bartlett (Secretary), Dr. H. Banister, Prof. F. C. Bartlett, F.R.S., Dr. Wm. 
Brown, Dr. N. R. Campbell, Prof. J. Drever, Mr. J. Guild, Dr. R. A. 
Houstoun, Dr. J. O. Irwin, Dr. G. W. C. Kaye, Dr. S. J. F. Philpott, 
Dr. L. F. Richardson, F.R.S., Dr. J. H. Shaxby, Mr. T. Smith, F.R.S., 
Dr. R. H. Thouless, Dr. W. S. Tucker, O.B.E. 



To excavate critical geological sections in Great Britain. — Prof. W. T. Gordon 
(Chairman), Prof. W. G. Fearnsides, F.R.S. (Secretary), Prof. E. B. Bailey, 
F.R.S., Mr. H. C. Berdinner, Mr. W. S. Bisat, Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, O.B.E., 
F.R.S. , Prof. W. S. Boulton, Prof. A. H. Cox, Miss M. C. Crosfield, Mr. 
E. E. L. Dixon, Dr. Gertrude Elles, M.B.E., Prof. E. J. Garwood, F.R.S., 
Mr. F. Gossling, Prof. H. L. Hawkins, Prof. G. Hickling, F.R.S., Prof. V. C. 
Illing, Prof. O. T. Jones, F.R.S., Dr. Murray Macgregor, Dr. F. J. North, 
Dr. J. Pringle, Dr. T. F. Sibly, Dr. W. K. Spencer, F.R.S., Prof. A. E. 
Trueman, Dr. F. S. Wallis, Prof. W. W. Watts. F.R.S., Dr. W. F. Whittard, 
Dr. S. W. Wooldridge. £25 (Contingent grant). 

To investigate the reptile-bearing oolite of Stow-on-the-Wold, subject to the con- 
dition that suitable arrangements be made for the disposal of the material. 
— Sir A. Smith Woodward, F.R.S. (Chairman) , Mr. C. I. Gardiner (Secretary), 
Prof. S. H. Reynolds, Mr. W. E. Swinton. £25 (Bernard Hobson Fund grant). 

To investigate the bone-bed in the glacial deposits of Brundon, near Sudbury, 
Suffolk.— Prof. W. B. R. King, O.B.E. (Chairman), Mr. Guy Maynard 
(Secretary), Mr. D. F. W. Baden-Powell, Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, O.B.E. , 
Mr. J. P. T. Burchell, Mr. J. Reid Moir, Mr. K. P. Oakley, Mr. C. D. Ovey. 
Dr. J. D. Solomon, Sir A. Smith Woodward, F.R.S. £25 (Bernard Hobson 
Fund grant). 

To consider and report on questions affecting the teaching of Geology in schools. 
— Prof. W. W. Watts, F.R.S. (Chairman), Prof. A. E. Trueman (Secretary), 
Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, O.B.E., F.R.S., Mr. C. P. Chatwin, Prof. A. H. 
Cox, Miss E. Dix, Prof. W. G. Fearnsides, F.R.S., Prof. A. Gilligan, Prof. G. 
Hickling, F.R.S., Prof. D. E. Innes, Prof. A. G. Ogilvie, O.B.E., Prof. H. H. 
Swinnerton, Dr. A. K. Wells. 

The collection, preservation, and systematic registration of photographs of 
geological interest. — Prof. E. J. Garwood, F.R.S. (Chairman), Prof. S. H. 
Reynolds (Secretary), Mr. H. Ashley, Mr. C. V. Crook, Mr. G. Macdonald 
Davies, Mr. J. F. Jackson, Dr. A. G. Macgregor, Dr. F. J. North, Dr. A. 
Raistrick, Mr. J. Ranson, Prof. W. W. Watts, F.R.S. 

To consider and report upon petrographic classification and nomenclature. — 
Mr. W. Campbell Smith (Chairman and Secretary), Prof. E. B. Bailey, F.R.S., 
Dr. R. Campbell, Dr. W. Q. Kennedy, Mr. A. G. MacGregor, Dr. S. I. 
Tomkeieff, Dr. G. W. Tyrrell, Dr. F. Walker, Dr. A. K. Wells. £3. 


To nominate competent naturalists to perform definite pieces of work at the 
Marine Laboratory, Plymouth. — Prof. J. Stanley Gardiner, F.R.S. (Chair- 
man and Secretary), Prof. H. Graham Cannon, F.R.S., Prof. H. Munro Fox, 
Dr. J. S. Huxley, Prof. H. G. Jackson, Prof. C. M. Yonge. £50 (Caird 
Fund grant). 

To co-operate with other sections interested, and with the Zoological Society, 
for the purpose of obtaining support for the Zoological Record. — Sir Sidney 
Harmer, K.B.E., F.R.S. (Chairman), Dr. W. T. Caiman, C.B., F.R.S. (Sec- 
retary), Prof. E. S. Goodrich, F.R.S., Prof. D. M. S. Watson, F.R.S. £50 
(Caird Fund grant). 

To investigate British immigrant insects. — Sir E. B. Poulton, F.R.S. (Chairman) , 
Dr. C. B. Williams (Secretary), Prof. F. Balfour-Browne, Capt. N. D. Riley. 

To consider the position of animal biology in the school curriculum and matters 
relating thereto. — Prof. R. D. Laurie (Chairman and Secretary), Mr. P. 
Ainslie, Mr. Cousins, Dr. J. S. Huxley, Mr. Percy Lee, Mr. A. G. Lowndes, 
Prof. E. W. MacBride, F.R.S., Dr. W. K. Spencer, F.R.S., Prof. W. M. 
Tattersall, Dr. E. N. Miles Thomas. 


The progressive adaptation to new conditions in Artemia salina (Diploid and 
Octoploid, Parthenogenetic v. Bisexual). — Prof. R. A. Fisher, F.R.S. (Chair- 
man), Dr. K. Mather (Secretary), Dr. J. Gray, F.R.S. , Dr. F. Gross, Dr. J. S. 
Huxley, Dr. E. S. Russell, O.B.E., Prof. D. M. S. Watson, F.R.S. £15. 

To confer with the Museums Association on matters concerning the place and 
function of the Museum in Zoologv. — Dr. J. S. Huxley (Chairman), Dr. A. C. 
Stephen (Secretary), Dr. W. T. Caiman, C.B., F.R.S., Prof. W. M. Tattersall, 
Prof. C. M. Yonge. 


To aid competent investigators selected by the Committee to carry on definite 
pieces of work at the Zoological Station at Naples. — Prof. E. W. MacBride, 
F.R.S. (Chairman and Secretary), Dr. Margery Knight, Prof. Sir Joseph 
. Barcroft, C.B.E., F.R.S., Dr. J. Z. Young. £50. 


To aid competent investigators selected by the Committee to carry out definite 
pieces of work at the Freshwater Biological Station, Wray Castle, Winder- 
mere. — Prof. F. E. Fritsch, F.R.S. (Chairman), Prof. P. A. Buxton (Secretary) , 
Miss P. M. Jenkin, Dr. C. H. O'Donoghue (from Section D) ; Dr. W. H. 
Pearsall (from Section K), £75. 

Co-ordinating committee for Cytology and Genetics. — Prof. Dame Helen 
Gwynne-Vaughan, G.B.E. (Chairman), Dr. F. W. Sansome (Secretary), 
Prof. F. T. Brooks, F.R.S., Prof. F. A. E. Crew, Dr. C. D. Darlington, 
Prof. R. A. Fisher, F.R.S., Mr. E. B. Ford, Prof. R. R. Gates, F.R.S., Dr. C. 
Gordon, Dr. Hammond, Dr. J. S. Huxley, Dr. T. J. Jenkin, Dr. W. B. 
Turrill, Dr. C. H. Waddington. 


To inquire into the present state of knowledge of the human geography of 
Tropical Africa, and to make recommendations for furtherance and develop- 
ment. — Prof. P. M. Roxby (Chairman) , Prof. A. G. Ogilvie, O.B.E. (Secretary), 
Dr. A. Geddes (Assistant Secretary), Mr. S. J. K. Baker, Miss D. M. Doveton, 
Prof. C. B. Fawcett, Mr. W. Fitzgerald, Prof. H. J. Fleure, F.R.S., Mr. R. H. 
Kinvig, Mr. J. McFarlane, Brig. M. N. MacLeod, D.S.O., Prof. J. L. Myres, 
O.B.E. , F.B.A., Mr. R. A. Pelham, Mr. R. U. Sayce, Rev. E. W. Smith, Brig. 
H. S. L. Winterbotham, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. £3. 

To co-operate with bodies concerned with the cartographic representation of 
population, and in particular with the Ordnance Survey, for the production 
of population maps. — (Chairman), Prof. C. B. 

Fawcett (Secretary), The Director General of the Ordnance Survey, Col. Sir 
Charles Close, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., F.R.S., Prof. H. J. Fleure, F.R.S., 
Mr. A. C. O'Dell, Mr. A. V. Williamson. 

Insolation and population. — Prof. R. N. Rudmose Brown (Secretary), Prof. F. 
Debenham, Dr. L. Dudley Stamp. £25. 


Chronology of the world crisis from 1929 onwards. — Prof. J. H. Jones (Chairman) , 
Dr. P. Ford (Secretary), Prof. G. C. Allen, Dr. C. R. Fay, Mr. H. M. Halls- 
worth, C.B.E., Mr. R. F. Harrod, Mr. A. Radford, Prof. J. G. Smith. £10 
( £7 unexpended balance) . 


To review the knowledge at present available for the reduction of noise, and 
the nuisances to the abatement of which this knowledge could best be 


applied. — Sir Henry Fowler, K.B.E. (Chairman), Wing-Commander T. R. 
Cave-Browne-Cave, C.B.E. (Secretary), Mr. R. S. Capon, Dr. A. H. Davis, 
Prof. G. W. O. Howe, Mr. E. S. Shrapnell-Smith, C.B.E. £10 (unexpended 

Electrical terms and definitions. — Prof. Sir J. B. Henderson (Chairman), Prof. 
F. G. Baily and Prof. G. W. O. Howe (Secretaries), Prof. W. Cramp, Prof. 
W. H. Eccles, F.R.S., Prof. C. L. Fortescue, Prof. A. E. Kennelly, Prof. 
E. W. Marchant, Prof. J. Proudman, F.R.S., Sir Frank Smith, K.C.B., 
C.B.E., Sec. R.S., Prof. L. R. Wilberforce. 


To co-operate with a committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 
assisting Miss G. Caton-Thompson to investigate the prehistoric archaeology 
of the Kharga Oasis. — Dr. H. S. Harrison (Chairman), Prof. J. L. Myres, 
O.B.E., F.B.A. (Secretary), Miss G. Caton-Thompson, Mr. H. J. E. Peake. £25. 

To report on the probable sources of the supply of copper used by the Sumerians. 
— Mr. H. J. E. Peake (Chairman), Dr.'C. H. Desch, F.R.S. (Secretary), 
Mr. H. Balfour, F.R.S. , Mr. L. H. Dudley Buxton, Prof. V. Gordon Childe, 
Mr. O. Davies, Prof. H. J. Fleure, F.R.S., Dr. A. Raistrick, Dr. R. H. Rastall. 

To co-operate with the Torquay Antiquarian Society in investigating Kent's 
Cavern.— Sir A. Keith, F.R.S. (Chairman), Prof. J. L. Myres, O.B.E., F.B.A. 
(Secretary), Mr. M. C. Burkitt, Miss D. A. E. Garrod, Mr. A. D. Lacaille. £5. 

To excavate the Roman fort at Brancaster, Norfolk. — Mr. M. C. Burkitt (Chair- 
man), Mr. V. E. Nash Williams (Secretary), Mr. K. H. Jackson. £20. 

To investigate blood groups among primitive peoples. — Prof. H. J. Fleure 
(Chairman), Prof. R. Ruggles Gates, F.R.S. (Secretary), Dr. J. H. Hutton, 
CLE., Dr. F. W. Lamb, Mr. R. U. Sayce. £10. 

To co-operate with a Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute in the 
exploration of caves in the Derbyshire district. — Mr. M. C. Burkitt (Chair- 
man), Mr. A. Leslie Armstrong (Secretary), Prof. H. J. Fleure, F.R.S., Miss 
D. A. E. Garrod, Dr. J. Wilfred Jackson, Prof. L. S. Palmer, Mr. H. J. E. 
Peake. £25. 

To carry out research among the Ainu of Japan. — Prof. C. G. Seligman, F.R.S. 
(Chairman), Mrs. C. G. Seligman (Secretary), Dr. H. S. Harrison, Capt. 
T. A. Joyce, O.B.E., Rt. Hon. Lord Raglan. 

To report on the classification and distribution of rude stone monuments in the 
British Isles. — Mr. H. J. E. Peake (Chairman), Dr. Margaret A. Murray 
(Secretary), Mr. A. L. Armstrong, Mr. H. Balfour, F.R.S., Mrs. E. M. 
Clifford, Sir Cyril Fox, Mr. T. D. Kendrick. 

To conduct archaeological and ethnological researches in Crete. — Prof. J. L. 
Myres, O.B.E., F.B.A. (Chairman), Dr. G. M. Morant (Secretary), Mr. L. 
Dudley Buxton, Dr. W. L. H. Duckworth. 

To report to the Sectional Committee on the question of re-editing ' Notes and 
Queries in Anthropology.' — Prof. H. J. Fleure, F.R.S. (Chairman), Mr. Elwyn 
Davies (Secretary), Dr. H. S. Harrison, Dr. G. M. Morant, Prof. C. G. Seligman, 
F.R.S., Mrs. C. G. Seligman. 

To investigate early mining sites in Wales. — Mr. H. J. E. Peake (Chairman), 
Mr. Oliver Davies (Secretary), Prof. V. Gordon Childe, Dr. C. H. Desch, 
F.R.S., Mr. E. Estyn Evans, Prof. H. J. Fleure, F.R.S., Prof. C. Daryll 
Forde, Sir Cyril Fox, Dr. Willoughby Gardner, Dr. F. J. North, Mr. V. E. 
Nash Williams. £5. 


To deal with the use of a stereotactic instrument. — Prof. J. Mellanby, F.R.S. 
(Chairman and Secretary) . 



To develop tests of the routine manual factor in mechanical ability. — Dr. C. S. 

Myers, C.B.E., F.R.S. {Chairman), Dr. G. H. Miles (Secretary), Prof. C. 

Burt, Dr. F. M. Earle, Dr. LI. Wynn Jones, Prof. T. H. Pear. £30 (Leicester 

and Leicestershire Fund grant). 
The nature of perseveration and its testing. — Prof. F. Aveling (Chairman), 

Dr. W. Stephenson (Secretary), Prof. F. C. Bartlett, F.R.S. , Dr. Mary Collins, 

Mr. E. Farmer, Dr. P. E. Vernon. £10 (Leicester and Leicestershire Fund 



Transplant experiments. — Sir Arthur Hill, K.C.M.G., F.R.S. (Chairman), Dr. 
W. B. Turrill (Secretary), Prof. F. W. Oliver, F.R.S., Prof. E. J. Salisbury, 
F.R.S., Prof. A. G. Tansley, F.R.S. £5. 


To consider and report upon the place of Science in Adult Education. — Dr. A. W. 
Pickard-Cambridge (Chairman), Mr. A. Gray Jones (Secretary), Mrs. V. 
Adams, Prof. W. B. Brierley, Prof. L. E. S. Eastham, Sir Richard Gregory, 
Bart., F.R.S., Mr. A. E. Henshall, Prof. R. Peers. £10. 


Corresponding Societies Committee. — The President of the Association (Chairman 
ex-officio), Dr. C. Tierney (Secretary), the General Secretaries, the General 
Treasurer, Dr. Vaughan Cornish, Mr. T. S. Dymond, Sir A. E. Kitson, C.M.G., 
C.B.E., Dr. A. B. Rendle, F.R.S., Mr. T. Sheppard, Dr. G. F. Herbert Smith. 



The following resolutions and recommendations were referred to the 
Council by the General Committee at the Blackpool Meeting for con- 
sideration and, if desirable, for action : 

From Section B {Chemistry). 

The members of Committee of Section B, in agreement with the views 
expressed in their President's address regarding science and warfare, 
request the General Committee to secure all possible publicity for the follow- 
ing : (i) The extent to which Chemistry is applied for beneficent purposes 
in connection with the industry of the British nation and the health of its 
citizens, is enormously greater than the scope of its employment for purposes 
of warfare. (2) Whilst the individual must remain free to determine his 
own action in relation to national defence, chemists as a body view with 
grave concern the increasing use of science for destructive ends. 

From Section C {Geology). 

The Committee of Section C desire to call the attention of Council to 
the Report which has been drawn up for them on the Teaching of Geology 
in Schools. Enquiries have shown that the subject is practically excluded 
from all but a few schools. This is already producing a dearth of able 
students at the universities, with a consequent narrowing of the basis of 
recruitment for professional geologists, and it is likely to produce a decline 
in the standard of research in this country. 

From Section C {Geology). 

The Committee of Section C draw the attention of Council to the report 
of their research committee on climatic change, and request them to take 
such steps as they think fit to implement the suggestions contained therein. 

From Section G {Engineering). 

The members of Section G desire to call the attention of the Association 
to the manner in which applications of science to industry are impeded by 
the present unsatisfactory legal procedure in connection with patent actions. 
They recommend that a committee be established to collect information in 
this matter and to frame possible improvements in procedure in technical 
cases having particularly in mind improved means whereby issues can be 
more expeditiously examined in the light of technical knowledge and sum- 
marised for submission to the judge. 

From the Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies. 

Resolved : to request the Council of the British Association to bring to 
the notice of the respective Councils for the Preservation of Rural England, 
Scotland, and Wales the increasing menace to health and amenity, of rubbish 


dumping in places of natural beauty and scientific interest ; and to request 
the said Councils to make representation to the responsible administrative 
authorities concerned with a view to its mitigation. 

From the Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies, supported 
by Sections C, D, E, K. 

Resolved : to request the Council of the British Association to support 
the Council for the Preservation of Rural England in its endeavour to 
stimulate His Majesty's Government to consider and take action upon the 
Report of the Government Committee on National Parks. 

« OffiB 1937 

jSrifisIj %BBocxKtian for % ^bbanrtmtni 

ai Srientc. 





Sir JOSIAH STAMP, G.C.B., G.B.E., LL.D., Sc.D., D.Sc, F.B.A. 


During the past year we have had to mourn the loss of our Patron, 
King George V, but to rejoice in the honour done us by His Majesty 
King Edward VIII, himself our most illustrious past President, 
in taking that office. 

Since the beginning of this century the British Association has, 
till now, added only one new place of meeting in this country to 
its list. Blackpool can certainly do for science in the North all that 
Bournemouth achieved in the South : give our record new vigour 
and itself a new friend. 

The reactions of society to science have haunted our presidential 
addresses with various misgivings for some years past. In his 
great centenary address General Smuts, answering the question 
' What sort of a world picture is science leading to ? ' declared that 
one of the great tasks before the human race is to link up science 
with ethical values and thus to remove grave dangers threatening 
our future. For rapid scientific advance confronts a stationary 
ethical development, and science itself must find its most difficult 
task in closing a gap which threatens disruption of our civilisation, 
and must become the most effective drive towards ethical values. 
In the following year a great Engineer spoke as a disillusioned man, 
who watched the sweeping pageant of discovery and invention in 
which he used to take unbounded delight, and concluded by de- 
ploring the risk of losing that inestimable blessing, the necessity 


of toil and the joy of craftsmanship, declaring that spiritual better- 
ment was necessary to balance the world. Then came the President 
of the Royal Society, a supreme Biochemist, on the perils of a leisure 
made by science for a world unready for it, and the necessity for 
planning future adjustment in social reconstructions. Followed 
the Astronomer, deploring man's lack of moral self-control ; in 
knowledge man stands on the shoulders of his predecessor, whereas 
in moral nature they are on the same ground. The wreck of civilisa- 
tion is to be avoided by more and not by less science. Lastly, the 
Geologist gloried in the greatest marvel of millions of centuries of 
development, the brain of man, with a cost in time and energy that 
shows us to be far from the end of a mighty purpose, and looking 
forward confidently to that further advance which alone can justify 
the design and skill lavished on such a task. So the Geologist 
pleads then for scientific attention to man's mind. He has the 
same faith in the permanence of man's mind through the infinite 
range of years 

' Which oft hath swept this toiling race of men 
And all its laboured monuments away,' 

that is shown at the Grand Canyon, where, at the point exposing, 
in one single view, over a billion and a half years of the world's 
geological history, a tablet is put to the memory of Stephen Tyng 
Mather, the founder of the National Park Service, bearing what is 
surely the most astonishing scientific expression of faith ever so 
inscribed : 

' There will never come an end to the good that he has done.' 

We have been pleading then in turn for ethical values, for spiritual 
betterment, for right leisure, for moral advance, and for mental 
development, to co-ordinate change in man himself with every 
degree of advance in natural science in such a harmony that we may 
at last call it Progress. This extension of our deeper concern beyond 
our main concern is not really new, but it has taken a new direction. 
I find that exactly one hundred years ago there was a full discussion 
of the moral aspects, a protest that physical science was not indeed, 
as many alleged, taking up so much of the attention of the public as 
to arrest its study of the mind, of literature and the arts ; and a 
round declaration that by rescuing scientists from the narrowness 
of mind which is the consequence of limiting themselves to the 
details of a single science, the Association was rendering ' the pre- 
vailing taste of the time more subservient to mental culture.' A 
study of these early addresses shows that we are more diffident to- 
day in displaying the emotions and ideals by which I do not 
doubt we are all still really moved. But they also show that we 


are preoccupied to-day with some of the results of scientific dis- 
covery of which they were certainly then only dimly conscious. A 
part of that field, which ought itself to become scientific, is my 
theme to-day. 

What do we mean by impact ? My subject is not the influence 
or effect of science upon society — too vast, varied and indeterminate 
for such an occasion. We may consider the position of the average 
man, along a line of change we call ' progress,' at the beginning 
of a certain interval of time and at its end. We might then 
analyse how much is due to a change in the average man himself, 
his innate physical and mental powers, and how much to other 
influences, and particularly to science. We may debate whether 
the distance covered is great or small by some assumed standard, 
and whether progress has been rapid. We might ask whether the 
direction has been right, whether he is happier or better — judged 
again by some accepted standard. But our concern here is with 
none of these questions. I ask whether the transition has been 
difficult and distressing, in painful jerks and uprootings, costly, 
unwilling, or unjust ; or whether it has been easy, natural, and 
undisturbing. Does society make heavy weather of these changes, 
or does it, as the policeman would say, ' come quietly ' ? The 
attitude of mind of our order may be either that change is an 
interruption of rest and stability, or that rest and stability are a 
mere pause in a constant process of change. But these alternatives 
make all the difference to its accommodating mechanisms. In 
one case there will be well developed tentacles, grappling irons, 
anchorages, and all the apparatus of security. In the other, society 
will put on casters and roller bearings, cushions, and all the aids 
to painless transition. The impact of science will be surprising and 
painful in the one case, and smooth and undamaging in the other. 
Whatever may be the verdict of the past, is society and its institu- 
tions now learning that change is to be a continuous function, and 
that meeting it requires the development of a technique of its own ? 
Science itself has usually no immediate impact upon institutions, 
constitutions and philosophies of government and social relations. 
But its effects on people's numbers, location and habits soon have ; 
and the resistance and repugnance shown by these institutions 
and constitutions to the changed needs may rebound or react through 
those effects upon scientific enterprise itself and make it more pre- 
carious or more difficult. Thus the effect of applications of 
electricity and transport improvements is clearly to make the original 
areal extent of city or provincial governments quite inappropriate, 
and the division of functions and methods of administration archaic. 
If these resist change unduly they make it more difficult and fac- 
tional, and the applications of science less profitable and less readily 


acceptable. Time makes ancient good uncouth. When two bodies 
are violent or ungainly in impact, both may be damaged. If the 
written constitution of the United States, devised for the ' horse and 
buggy ' days, still proves not to be amenable to adjustment for such 
demands, it will be difficult to overstate the repercussion upon 
economic developments and the scientific enterprise that originates 
them. Let the Supreme Court Decision of unconstitutionality on the 
Tennessee Valley experiment in large scale applied science to natural 
problems on a co-ordinated plan bear witness. Such unnecessary 
resistance may be responsible for much of what has been aptly 
called ' the frustration of science.' Avoidable friction in the recep- 
tion given to scientific discovery not only deprives the community 
of advantages it might otherwise have enjoyed much earlier, or 
creates a heavy balance of cost on their adoption ; it may also 
discourage applied science itself, making it a less attractive and 
worthwhile pursuit. In that sense we are considering also the 
impact of society upon science. This too is not new. The Associa- 
tion had as one of its first objects ' to obtain a more general attention 
to the objects of Science, and a removal of any disadvantages of a 
public kind which impede its progress.' The first address ever 
offered affirmed that the most effectual method of promoting science 
was the removal of the obstacles opposing its progress, and the 
President instanced the very serious obstacles in the science of 
optics due to the regulations relating to the manufacture of glass. 
To-day perhaps the scientist places more stress upon the failure 
of governments to encourage, than upon their tendency to dis- 
courage. So much then for the idea of impact. Is the scientist 
or inventor responsible for impact, and if not, who is ? 

Elsewhere I have retouched Jeremy Bentham's poignant picture 
of the inventor of over a century ago, plans and cap in hand, on the 
doorstep of the rich or influential, waiting for someone to believe 
in him. From this type of external ' sport ' amongst engineers and 
scientists came much or most industrial innovation, external to the 
processes of business. To-day, in the older and applied sciences 
affecting industry the solo scientist is the exception and, with the 
large research departments of particular businesses and trade research 
associations, the picture is quite different — the expenditure higher, 
but the results much more rapid and numerous even if for a time 
they may be kept secret. Although records of finished work may 
be available over the civilised world, there is much overlapping of 
current work, but the price of this as a whole is a far smaller fraction 
of the total result, if we omit from our consideration the first magni- 
tude discoveries of epoch-making influence. The industrial com- 
munity is now far more amenable than hitherto to scientific influence, 
indeed it is often the instigator in the mass of minor advances. The 


new epoch of concerted industrial research dates really from the 
end of the great war. During all that time I have held some middle 
position of responsibility between the research laboratories and 
institutes on the one hand, and the costing and profit and loss 
accounts on the other, and my impression is that the proportion of 
work in which the initiation comes from the business end is steadily 
increasing. In studies of the periods of scientific and industrial 
gestation respectively, I have elsewhere defined scientific gestation 
as the time elapsing between the first concept of the idea and its 
public presentation to society in a form substantially that in which 
it ultimately finds extensive use without important modification ; 
and industrial gestation as the period elapsing from this point to the 
date when in an economic or industrial sense the innovation is 
effective. Both periods are difficult to determine exactly in practice, 
but on a broad view, the period of industrial gestation, with which 
alone I am here concerned, appears to me certainly to have shortened 
materially, though possibly at greater social cost. It would ob- 
viously be so if industry is actively encouraging research. ' Faraday's 
discoveries came at the beginning of the great steam era, and for 
fifty years there would have been no difference in transport even if 
those discoveries had not been made,' for the telegraph was the 
only material influence upon it, and practical lighting was delayed 
till 1900. 

In nearly every scientific field there is sub-division of labour, and 
it is rare that the worker who digs out new truth ' at the face,' so to 
speak, is also responsible for bringing it to the surface for the public 
use, still less for distributing the new scientific apparatus or ideas 
broadly, and even less for the profitable exploitation of the whole 
process. These functions are nearly always distinct, even though 
they are embraced under the one general popular description : 
chemist, engineer, etc. But in few cases is it any part of the pro- 
fessional training in the subject itself, to study how new products 
or processes affect the structure or welfare of society. I have 
questioned many scientific workers and find them, of course, keenly 
alive to the positive and direct beneficial effects of their work, but 
they have rarely any quantitative ideas as to negative, indirect and 
disturbing consequences. All these discoveries, these scientific 
infants, duly born and left on the doorstep of society, get taken in 
and variously cared for, but on no known principle, and with no 
directions from the progenitors. Nor do the economists usually 
acknowledge any duty to study this phase, to indicate any series of 
tests of their value to society, or even of methods and regulation of 
the optimum rate of introduction of novelty. These things just 
' happen ' generally under the urge of profit, and of consumers' 
desire, in free competition, regardless of the worthiness of new 


desires against old, or of the shifts of production and, therefore, 
employment, with their social consequences. The economist 
rightly studies these when they happen, but he is not dogmatic 
about them not being allowed to happen at all in just that way on 
account of the social disturbance or degradation of non-economic 
values which they may involve. It is truly a ' no-man's land ' for 
it is rarely that the functions of government begin until a vested 
problem exists. Especially in Britain we do not anticipate — 
' Don't worry, — it may never happen.' Problems with us are 
usually called ' academic ' until we are ' going down for the third 
time.' It is a maxim of political expediency not to look too far 
ahead, for it is declared that one will always provide for the wrong 
contingency. The national foresight over wireless was exceptional, 
and it has to be contrasted with the opportunist treatment of the 
internal combustion engine. In reply, it can, of course, be urged 
that no one can foresee just how a scientific idea will develop until 
it is tried out, rough and tumble, in economic society, and to make 
anticipatory rules may even hinder its development. 

It is rightly stated that the training of the scientist includes no 
awareness of the social consequences of his work, and the training 
of the statesman and administrator no preparation for the potentiality 
of rapid scientific advance and drastic adjustment due to it, no 
prevision of the technical forces which are shaping the society in 
which he lives. The crucial impact is nobody's business. 

When the research worker lifts his attention from his immediate 
pursuit and contemplates its hinterland, he has three possible areas 
of thought. He may dwell upon its practical applications and seek 
to make them as immediate and realistic as possible ; moved by the 
desire not to be merely academic, he may return to his task, to focus 
his attention primarily on what is likely to be of practical utility, 
rather than on what is intellectually intriguing. Or he may think of its 
ultimate social consequences, and speculate on the shifts in demand, 
the unemployment, the loss of capital, the ultimate raising of the 
standard of life that may result — in other words, he may engage in 
economic prevision and social and political planning for the results 
of his efforts. Or in the third place, he may listen and watch for 
hints from other fields of scientific study which may react upon his 
own, and suggest or solve his problems. I do not attempt to give 
these priority. Economic and political prevision is the most difficult 
and precarious, because it needs a technique different from his own, 
and is not given by the light of nature. Specialist scientists have no 
particular gifts for understanding the institutional processes of social 
life and the psychology of multiple and mass decisions. It is a 
tortuous and baffling art to transmute their exact findings into the 
wills and lives of unscientific millions. But quite a number engage 


in the pursuit and have not much greater aptitude as amateur 
ministers of foresight than statesmen would have in planning 
research. Fewer are skilled, however, in what should be the most 
appropriate auxiliary to their work — the synthesising of scientific 
knowledge. The more penetrating they are in their main pursuits, 
the less may they absorb through analogy or plain intimation from 
outside. We constantly hear that the average clinical application 
lags much farther behind the new resources of diagnosis from the 
laboratory than circumstances compel. But it may be the other 
way round. The strongest hint of the presence of a particular factor 
— a positive element in beri-beri — was given by the clinician to the 
bio-chemist, who relied entirely on the absence of a particular factor, 
a negative element, no less than fifteen years before the bio-chemist 
took serious notice, looked for it, and found it. Bacteriology and 
chemistry await the advance of the bio-chemist before they come 
effectively to each other's assistance. The cause and prevention of 
the obstinate degree of maternal mortality are objects pursued ad hoc, 
with hardly a casual glance at the direct appeal of the eugenist to 
observe the natural consequences of an improvement in female infant 
mortality two decades earlier. 

I do not then pretend to dogmatise as to how far the scientist 
should become a social reformer. One physicist welcomes the 
growing sense of social responsibility, among some scientists at 
least, for the world the labours of their order have so largely created, 
though he deplores that in this field they are still utterly unscientific. 
Then another great authority, Sir Henry Dale, declares that it is the 
scientists' job to develop their science without consideration of the 
social uses to which their work might be put. 

I have long watched the processes by which the scientific specialist 
1 makes up his mind ' in fields of enquiry outside his own. It seems 
still a matter for investigation whether the development of a 
specialist's thinking on balance impairs or improves the powers of 
general thinking compared with what they might otherwise have 
been. We do not know the kind or degree of truth that may rest 
in Anatole France's aphorism : ' The worst of science is, it stops 
you thinking.' Perhaps this was more subtly expressed in the 
simpler words of the darkie mother : ' If you haven't an education, 
you've jest got to use yoh brains.' 

My own experience is that when the attempt to deal with social 
consequences is made, we quickly find ourselves either in the field 
of larger politics debating the merits of the three prevalent forms of 
state government, or else performing miracles with fancy currencies 
and their blue prints reminiscent of the chemical engineer. 

But there are some essential features of the impact which must be 
dealt with under any form of society and government and with any 


machinery for regulating values. They involve man's abilities, his 
affections, and his tools, all of which have been brusquely treated in 
the past, and might be scientifically treated in the future. An indus- 
trial civilisation is unthinkable without division and, therefore, 
specialisation, of labour, and without tools and capital instruments. 
Then life itself is not much worth living without social ties and the 
allegiances of place and kin. These three indispensable elements of 
the good life bring out defensive mechanisms for their protection. No 
one likes to see a man highly trained for a special service or specially 
fitted by natural aptitudes cut off from opportunity to use his powers 
and reduced to the level of an unskilled biped. No one likes to see 
the results of abstinence and specially directed labour which is 
embodied in a great machine or factory rendered impotent long 
before it has given its life's usefulness. Waste of skill and of capital 
are alike grave faults by which we should judge and condemn an 
industrial organisation. And since man does not live by bread 
alone, if a ruthless industrial organisation continually tears up the 
family from its roots, transferring it without choice, to new surround- 
ings, destroying the ties of kin, home and social life, of educational 
and recreational environments, it is far from ideal. Human labour 
can never be indefinitely fluid and transferable in a society that has 
a soul above consumption of mere commodities. These three 
obstructions to change are not final and rigid limitations upon it. 
Men die, their skill and home associations with them. Plant and 
equipment wear out. Their successor presents a natural opportunity 
in each of the three cases for the introduction of change in position, 
in aptitude, in purpose or design, without waste or human distress. 
The length of working life and the durability of materials mark the 
natural phase or periodicity of a smoothly changing society — its 
quanta, so to speak. But the impetus for change or the irritant has 
no such intervals. It proceeds from various causes : varying 
harvests, changes in natural forces ; changing human desires and 
fashions ; differences in the rate of growth of population in its 
different parts ; the collective psychological errors of optimism and 
pessimism in business in an individualistic society ; variations in 
gold supplies and credit policies based thereon. All or any of these, 
without invoking any disturbances from the impact of scientific 
discovery, would serve to make adjustments necessary outside the 
natural phases to which I have referred, in a society with parts that 
are interdependent through division of labour, and localisation of 
industry, joined by foreign trade and convenient transport. These 
alone would bring about a changing world with incomplete adapta- 
tions, loss of capital, and so-called frictional unemployment. It is 
easy to exaggerate the adjustment necessary for the addition of inven- 
tion and science to these causes of change. But with the intensifica- 


tion of scientific effort, and the greater sub-division of industry, the 
possible dislocation becomes more frequent and the ways of meet- 
ing such change of greater public importance. This field of inquiry 
includes widely diverse questions, e.g., patent laws, invention clear- 
ing, obsolescence accountancy and costing regulation, taxation 
adjustments, local rating pooling, trade union regulations, price 
controls, technical education, age and other discriminations in 
unemployment relief, transfer bonuses, pension rights, housing 
facilities, and more selective direction of financial support of intensive 
scientific research. In this neutral field the specialist scientist and 
the politician are both amateurs. It is to be covered by each 
extending his studies, and by specialists who treat impact and 
change as an area of scientific study. 

I do not propose to go over all the ground, so old, so constantly 
renewed, as to the effect of machinery upon employment. It is 
known as an historical induction that in the long run, it makes more 
employment than it destroys, in providing work in making the 
machinery, in reducing price so that far greater quantities of the 
commodity concerned may be consumed, and in enabling purchasing 
power to be diverted to increase other productions. It has even 
facilitated the creation of a larger population, which in turn has pro- 
vided the new markets to work off the additional potentiality of the 
machinery. It does all this in ' the long run,' but man has to live 
in the short run, and at any given moment there may be such an 
aggregation of unadjusted ' short runs ' as to amount to a real 
social hardship. Moreover, it comes in this generation to a people 
made self-conscious by statistical data repeated widespread at 
frequent intervals, and to a people socially much more sensitive to 
all individual hardship and vicissitude which is brought about by 
communal advance. 

There are two important aspects of the change induced by science 
which are insufficiently realised, and which makes a profound 
difference to the direction of thought and inquiry. The first I will 
call the ' balance of innovation ' and the second the ' safety valve ' 
of population. 

The changes brought by science in economic life may be broadly 
classified as the ' work creators ' and the ' work savers.' The latter 
save time, work, and money by enabling the existing supply of par- 
ticular commodities to be produced more easily, and therefore at 
lower cost, and finally at lower prices. People can spend as much 
money as before upon them and get larger quantities or they can 
continue to buy their existing requirements at a lower cost. In this 
second event they ' save money ' and their purchasing power is 
released for other purposes. By a parallel process, producing or 
labouring power is released through unemployment. The released 


working force and released purchasing power can come together 
again in an increased demand for other products which, to this extent, 
have not been hitherto within effective demand. The supply of this 
increase may go part or all of the way to absorb the displaced labour. 
But this process takes time, and the labour displaced is not at once 
of the right kind nor in the right place. More important, however, 
is the invention of quite new objects of public demand, which may be 
desired in addition to the supply of old ones. This brings together 
released labour and released purchasing power in the most decisive 
way. The most orderly and least disturbing phases of progress will 
be found when these two types of innovation are reasonably balanced. 
Of course, few new objects of purchasing ambition are entirely 
additive ; most of them displace some other existing supplies. 
Artificial silk displaces some cotton consumption, radio may displace 
some types of musical instruments. Recently the German produc- 
tion of pianos and guitars has been at a very low percentage of 
capacity, and part of this has been made good by the demand for 
radio sets. The dislocations caused by labour-saving machinery 
can most easily be made good by a due balance of new labour 
creating commodities. 

A natural increase of population is the best shock absorber that the 
community can possess, especially if accompanied by an extension 
of territory such as the United States enjoyed in the constant west- 
ward movement of the frontier in the nineteenth century, or Britain 
in the period of overseas emigration. A moment's reflection will 
show why this is the case. Assume that 1,000,000 units of a com- 
modity are made by 100,000 men, and that there is an increase of 
population of 2 per cent, per annum, so that in five years 1,100,000 
units will be consumed and employ 110,000 men. Now assume the 
introduction of a new invention which enables 1,100,000 units to 
be made by 100,000 men. There will be no displacement of existing 
labour, but only a redirection of new and potential labour from that 
industry to other fields. Again, a considerable reduction in demand 
per head can be sustained without dislocation, if the actual aggregate 
of production demanded is maintained by increasing numbers. The 
affected industry can remain static and need not become derelict. 
New entrants to industry will be directed to those points where 
purchasing power, released through labour-saving devices, is creating 
new opportunity with new products. New capital is also naturally 
directed into the new channels, instead of into additions to the old 

Now the problem before all western industrial countries is the 
fact that their populations are shortly becoming stationary (and then 
will begin to decline noticeably) and this safety valve of increasing 
population will no longer be available. Every transfer of per capita 


purchasing power to new directions must then be a definite deduction 
from the old directions, no longer made good by the steady increase 
in the numbers demanding less per head from those old sources. 
The impact of science upon a stationary population is likely, ceteris 
paribus, to be much more severely felt than upon a growing popula- 
tion, because the changes of direction cannot be absorbed by the 
newly directed workers. Of course, the effects of a static population 
can be mitigated if the per capita income is increasing, because a new 
direction of demand can be satisfied out of the additional purchasing 
power without disturbing the original directions of demand provided 
by the original purchasing power. But the change from a growing 
to a static or declining population is only one type of difficulty. 
While the aggregate is altering but slowly, the parts may be changing 
rapidly. Thus, in this country 40-4 millions in 1937 becomes 40-6 
in 1942, 40 in 1947, 39-8 millions in 1952, 38-9 in 1957 and 37-5 in 
1962. But the children aged 16 — which I take because of its influence 
on schools, teaching and industrial entry — have been estimated, 
taking those in 1937 as 100, to be 85 in 1942, 73 in 1952 and 62 in 
1962. A fall of this magnitude means that industries and institutions 
dependent upon the present numbers must not be merely static but 
actually regressive. On the other hand, the old people from 65 to 
74 will increase in this ratio- — 100, 113, 127, and 133. These 
problems of static populations at home are accentuated by the 
possibility of a similar tendency abroad, and need thought in advance. 
The Australian farmer is more affected by the British conditions of 
population than by his own. 

We have thus the first difficulty, that of a static total demand, the 
second, that the safety valve of new industrial entrants is becoming 
smaller, but a third difficulty comes from the present tendency of that 
class. A stationary elderly population must be veryinflexible to change, 
but a stream of new young life, even if it is to be smaller, would give the 
opportunity for just that change of direction, in training and mobility, 
which society needs. But unfortunately, in practice this does not 
now seem to be very adaptable . For we learn from certain Unemploy- 
ment Insurance areas that while the older people will willingly take 
jobs at wages a few shillings in excess of the unemployment relief, 
the younger men are more difficult. For every one that will accept 
training under good conditions to suit them for eligible work, ten 
may refuse, and the number who will not go any distance to take 
work at good wages is also in excess of those who do. Attachment 
to place for older people is understandable, and has been accentu- 
ated by housing difficulties — one learns of miners unemployed in a 
village where the prospects of the pit reopening are negligible, while 
at the same time, only twenty miles away new miners are being 
created by attraction from agriculture to more extended workings in 


their area. The very social machinery which is set up to facilitate 
change or to soften dislocation, aggravates the evil. The first two 
difficulties are unalterable. This third difficulty is a subject for 
scientific examination. 

So much for the effect of change of any kind upon employment. 
Now let us narrow this to scientific changes. At any given moment 
the impact of science is always causing some unemployment, but at 
that same time the constructive additional employment following upon 
past expired impacts is being enjoyed. But it is easy to exaggerate 
the amount of the balance of net technological unemployment. 
For industrial disequilibrium arises in many ways, having nothing 
whatever to do with science. Changes of fashion, exhaustion of 
resources, differential growth in population, changing customs and 
tariffs, the psychological booms and depressions of trade through 
monetary and other causes, all disturb equilibrium, and, therefore, 
contract and expand employment in particular places. Our analytical 
knowledge of unemployment is bringing home the fact that, like 
capital accumulation, it is the result of many forces. A recent 
official report indicated that a quite unexpected amount or percentage 
of unemployment would be present even in boom times. We know 
already that there may be a shortage of required labour in a district 
where there is an 8 or 10 per cent, figure of unemployment. So, in 
this country there may well be a million unemployed in what we 
should call good times — it is part of the price we pay for the high 
standard of life secured by those who retain employment. For a 
level of real wage may be high enough to prevent every one being 
employable at that wage — though that is by no means the whole 
economic story of unemployment. Of this number probably 
200,000 would be practically unemployable on any ordinary basis — 
the ' hard core ' as it is called. Perhaps seven or eight hundred 
thousand from the perpetual body, changing incessantly as to its unit 
composition, and consisting of workers undergoing transition from 
job to job, from place* to place, from industry to industry, with 
seasonal occupations — the elements of ' frictional ' unemployment 
through different causes. Out of this number, I should hazard that 
not more than 250,000 would be unemployed through the particular 
disturbing element of net scientific innovation. This is the maximum 
charge that should be laid at the door of science, except in special 
times, such as after a war, when the ordinary application of new 
scientific ideas day by day has been delayed, and all the postponed 
changes tend to come with a rush. At any given moment, of course, 
the technological unemployment that could be computed from the 
potentiality of new processes over displaced ones, appears to be much 
greater. But such figures are gross, and from them must be deducted 
all recent employment in producing new things or larger production 


of old things, due to science. If we are presenting science with part 
of the responsible account of frictional unemployment at any moment, 
it will be the total technological reduction due to new processes and 
displacement due to altered directions of demand, less the total new 
employment created by new objects of demand. This has to be 
remembered when we are being frightened by the new machine that 
does with one man what formerly engaged ten . Perhaps birth control 
for people demands ultimately birth control for their impedimenta. 

The rate of introduction of new methods and the consequent 
impact upon employment may depend upon the size and character 
of the business unit. If all the producing plants for a particular 
market are under one control, or under a co-ordinated arrangement, 
the rate of introduction of a new labour-saving device will be 
governed by a simple consideration. It can be introduced with each 
renewal programme for each replacement of an obsolete unit, and 
therefore without waste of capital through premature obsolescence. 
But this applies only to small advantages. If the advantages are 
large, the difference in working costs for a given production between 
the old and the new types may be so considerable that it will meet 
not only all charges for the new capital, but also amortize the wasted 
life of the assets displaced before they are worn out. In neither case 
then is there any waste of capital, and the absorption of the new idea 
is orderly in time. But it is quite otherwise if the units are in 
different ownerships. Excess capacity can quickly result from new 
ideas. A new ship or hotel or vehicle with the latest attractions of 
scientific invention, quite marginal in their character, may obtain the 
bulk of the custom, and render half empty and, therefore, half 
obsolete, a unit built only a year before. The old unit has to compete 
by lower prices, and make smaller profits. The newer unit is called 
upon to bear no burdens in aid of the reduced capital values of the 
old. It may be that the enhanced profits of the one added to the 
reduced profits of the other make an average return upon capital 
not far different from the average that would result in a community 
where orderly introduction on a renewal basis is the rule. Or per- 
haps the community gets some of its novelties rather earlier under 
competitive conditions and pays a higher rate of interest for them 
as a net cover for the risks of obsolescence. Waste of capital would 
be at a minimum if the ' physical ' life before wearing out were as 
short as the ' social ' life of the machine. To make a thing so well 
that it will last ' for ever ' is nothing to boast about if it will be out 
of fashion in a few years. 

Scientists often look at the problem of practical application as if 
getting it as rapidly as possible were the only factor to be considered 
in social advantage, and this difference in the position of monopoly 
or single management in their ability to ' hold up ' new ideas is 


treated as a frustration in itself. Thus it has been said ' the danger 
of obsolescence is a great preventative of fundamental applications 
to science. Large firms tend to be excessively rigid in the structures 
of production.' Supposing that the obsolescence in question is a 
real factor of cost, it would fall to be reckoned with in the computa- 
tion for transition, whatever the form of society, and even if the 
personal ' profit ' incentive were inoperative. It cannot be spirited 
away. A customary or compulsory loading of costs for short life 
obsolescence would retard uneconomically rapid competition of 
novelties and could be scientifically explored. 

Now let us look at displaced labour and the costs of it. If the 
effect of diversion of demand through invention is to reduce the 
scope or output of particular industries or concerns in private 
management, they have no option but to reduce staff. If the pressure 
is not too great, or the change too rapid, this does not necessarily 
result in dismissals, for the contraction of numbers may be made 
by not filling up, with young people, the vacancies caused by natural 
wastage, through death and retirement. But where dismissals are 
inevitable, re-engagements may take place quickly in the competing 
industries, otherwise unemployment ensues. Any resulting burden 
does not fall upon the contracting and unprofitable industry — it has 
troubles enough of its own already. Nor is it put upon the new 
and rising industry, which is attracting to itself the transferred 
profits. In the abstract, it might be deemed proper that before the 
net gains of such an industry are computed or enjoyed it should 
bear the burdens of the social dislocation it causes by its intrusion 
into society. In practice, it would be difficult to assess its liability 
under this head, and in fact even if it could be determined, new 
industries have so many pioneer efforts and losses, so many failures, 
so many superseded beginnings, that it might well be bad social 
policy to put this burden upon them, for they would be discouraged 
from starting at all, if they had to face the prospect of such an 
overhead cost whatever their results. It would, of course, be 
theoretically possible to put a special levy on those new industries 
that turned out to be profitable, and to use it to relieve the social 
charges of dislocation of labour. But much the same argument 
could be used for the relief of obsoletism of capital. The distinction 
would, however, be that in the case of the capital it could be urged 
that the investor should have been wide enough awake to see the 
possibilities of the rival, whereas the worker, induced to take up 
employment in such a superseded industry, was a victim, and could 
not be expected to avoid it by prevision. In any case, the prevailing 
sentiment is rather to encourage developing industries, than to put 
special burdens upon them, in order that the fruits of science may 
be effectively enjoyed by society with as little delay as possible. 


In the upshot, therefore, the injuries to labour, though not to 
capital, are regarded as equitably a charge to be borne by society 
in general through taxation, and to be put upon neither the causing 
nor the suffering business unit. 

And it may well be assumed that taken throughout, the gains of 
society as a whole from the rapid advance are ample enough to cover 
a charge for consequential damages. But society is not consciously 
doing anything to regulate the rate of change to an optimum point 
in the net balance between gain and damage. 

The willingness of society to accept this burden is probably mainly 
due to the difficulty of fairly placing it, for we find that when it can 
actually be isolated and the community happens fortuitously to 
have a control, or the workers a power to induce, it will be thrown, 
not upon the attacking industry, if I may so call it, but upon the 
defender. Thus in the United States recently, the price of consent 
to co-ordinating schemes made for the railroads to reduce operating 
expenses, has been an agreement on this very point. If staff is 
dismissed, as it was on a large scale in the depression, because of 
fewer operations and less stock in consequence of reduced carriage 
through the smaller volume of trade, or through road and sea com- 
petition, no attempt is made to put any of the social cost upon the 
railroads, and the dismissed staff become part of the general unem- 
ployed. But if the self-defence of the companies against competition 
takes the form of co-operation with each other to reduce operations 
and stock and, therefore, costs, any resultant dismissals are made 
a first charge upon them. The agreement is elaborate, and has the 
effect of preventing any adjustments which an ordinary business 
might readily make when it throws the burden on society, unless 
those adjustments yield a margin of advantage large enough to pay 
for their particular special effects. Thus the rapidity of adjustment 
to new conditions, not to meet the case of higher profits to be made 
at the expense of workers, but rather to obviate losses through new 
competition, is materially affected, and a brake is put upon the 
mechanism of equilibrium in this industry which does not exist in 
its rivals, or in any others where the power exists to throw it upon 
the community. A similar provision exists in the Argentine, and it 
is imposed by Act of Parliament in Canada, but as one of the concerns 
is nationally owned, and the current losses fall upon the national 
budget, its charge is really socially borne in the end. In this 
country such provisions were part of the amalgamation project of 
1923, and of the formation of a single transport authority in London 
in 1933 and, therefore, did not arise through steps taken to meet 
new factors of competition. But the opportunity for their imposi- 
tion came when rights to road powers and rights to pooling arrange- 
ments were sought by the railways— both of them adjusting mechan- 


isms to minimise the losses due to the impact of new invention — 
and this was clearly a specialised case of keeping the burdens off 
society. In the case of the electricity supply amalgamation of 1933, 
brought about for positive advantages rather than in defence against 
competition, similar provision was made, and parliamentary powers 
for transfers to gas and water undertakings, also not defensive 
against innovation, have been accompanied by this obligation. In 
the case of such uncontrolled businesses as Imperial Chemicals and 
Shell Mex, rationalising to secure greater profits, rather than fighting 
rearguard actions to prevent losses, obligations to deal with re- 
dundancies had been voluntarily assumed. In such cases the public 
obloquy of big business operations inimical to society can be a 
negative inducement, but some freedom from radical competition 
in prices provides a positive power to assume the burden initially, 
and pass it forward through price to consumers, rather than back 
against shareholders. The third case, however, of making it a net 
charge on the improved profits, is quite an adequate outlet. If the 
principle of putting this particular obstacle in the way of adjust- 
ments to meet new competition (as distinct from increasing profits) 
is socially and ethically correct, it is doubtful whether it is wisely 
confined to cases where there is quite fortuitously a strategic control 
by public will. 

It will be clear that the difference between the introduction by 
purely competitive elements involving premature obsolescence and 
unemployment, and by delayed action, is a cost to society for a 
greater promptness of accessibility to novelty. The two elements 
of capital and labour put out of action, would have supplied society 
with an extra quantity of existing classes of goods, but society prefers 
to forgo that for the privilege of an earlier anticipation of new 
things. I estimate this price to be of the order of three per cent, 
of the annual national income. But when we speak of social 
advantage, on balance, outweighing social cost, we dare not be so 
simple in practice. If the aggregate individual advantage of adopt- 
ing some novelty is ioox and the social cost in sustaining the 
consequential unemployed is 90X, it does not follow that it is a 
justifiable bargain for society. The money cost is based on an 
economic minimum for important reasons of social repercussions. 
But the moral effects of unemployment upon the character and happi- 
ness of the individual escape this equation altogether, and are so great 
that we must pause upon the figures. What shall it profit a civilisa- 
tion if it gain the whole world of innovation and its victims lose 
their souls ? 

So far I have treated the problem of innovation as one of un- 
economic rapidity. But there is another side — that of improvident 
tardiness. Enormous potentialities are seen by scientists waiting 


for adoption for human benefit, under a form of society quicker to 
realise their advantage, readier to raise the capital required, readier 
to pay any price for dislocation and to adjust the framework of 
society accordingly. A formidable list of these potentialities can 
be prepared, and there is little doubt that with a mentality adjusted 
for change, society could advance much more rapidly. But there 
is a real distinction between the methods of adopting whatever it 
is decided to adopt, and the larger question of a more thoroughgoing 
adoption. In proportion as we can improve the impact of the 
present amount of innovation, we can face the problem of a larger 
amount or faster rate. Unless most scientific discoveries happen 
to come within the scope of the profit motive, and it is worth some- 
one's while to supply them to the community, or unless the com- 
munity can be made sufficiently scientifically minded to include 
this particular demand among their general commercial demands, 
or in substitution for others, nothing happens — the potential never 
becomes actual. It has been computed that a benevolent dictator 
could at a relatively small expense, by applying our modern know- 
ledge of diet, add some two inches to the average stature and seven 
or eight pounds to the average weight of the general population, 
besides enormously increasing their resistance to disease. But 
dictators have disadvantages, and most people prefer to govern their 
own lives indifferently, rather than to be ideal mammals under 
orders. To raise their own standard of scientific appreciation of 
facts is the better course, if it is not Utopian. It has been clear for 
long enough that a diversion of part of the average family budget 
expenditure from alcohol to milk would be of great advantage. 
But it has not happened. If the individual realised the fact, it 
certainly might happen. It is ironically remarked that the giving 
of free milk to necessitous children, with all the net social gain that 
it may bring about, has not been a considered social action for its 
own sake, but only the by-product emergency of commercial pres- 
sure — not done at the instance of the Ministry of Health or the 
Board of Education, but to please the Milk Marketing Board by 
reducing the surplus stocks of milk in the interests of the producer ! 
Scientists see very clearly how, if politicians were more intelligent, 
if business men were more disinterested and had more social 
responsibility, if governments were more fearless, far-sighted, and 
flexible, our knowledge could be more fully and quickly used to the 
great advantage of the standard of life and health — the long lag could 
be avoided, and we should work for social ends. It means, says 
Mr. Julian Huxley, ' the replacement of the present socially irrespon- 
sible financial control by socially responsible planning bodies.' Also, 
it obviously involves very considerable alterations in the structure 
and objectives of society, and in the occupations and pre-occupations 


of its individuals. Now a careful study of the literature of planning 
shows that it deals mainly with planning the known, and hardly at 
all with planning for changes in the known. Although it contem- 
plates ' planned ' research, it does not generally provide for intro- 
ducing the results of new research into the plan, and for dealing 
with the actual impact — the unemployment, redirection of skill, 
and location, and the breaking of sentimental ties that distinguish 
men from robots. It seems to have not many more expedients 
for this human problem than our quasi-individualist society with its 
alleged irresponsibility. It also tends to assume that we can tell in 
advance what will succeed in public demand and what will be super- 
seded. There is nothing more difficult, and the attempt to judge 
correctly under the intellectual stimulus of high profits and risk of 
great losses is at least as likely to succeed as the less personally vital 
decision on a committee. Would a planning committee, for example, 
planning a new hotel in 1904, have known any better than capitalist 
prevision that the fifteen bathrooms then considered adequate for 
social demand, ought really to have been ten times that number if the 
hotel was not to be considered obsolete thirty years later ? Prevision 
thought of in terms of hindsight is easy, and few scientists have 
enjoyed the responsibility of making practical decisions as to what 
the public will want far ahead. They, therefore, tend to think of 
prevision in terms of knowledge and appreciation of particular 
scientific possibilities , whereas it involves unknown demand schedules , 
the unceasing baffling principle of substitution, the inertia of 
institutions, the crusts of tradition and the queer incalculability of 
mass mind. Of course, in a world where people go where they are 
told, when they are told, do what they are instructed to do, accept 
the reward they are allotted, consume what is provided for them, 
and what is manifestly so scientifically ' good for them ' these 
difficulties need not arise. The human problem will then be the 
' Impact of Planning.' I am not here examining the economics of 
planning as such, but only indicating that it does not provide auto- 
matically the secret of correct prevision in scientific innovation. 
When correct prevision is possible a committee can aim at planning 
with a minimum disturbance and wastage (and has the advantage 
over individuals acting competitively), but for such innovation as 
proves to be necessary it does not obviate the human disturbance or 
radically change its character. The parts of human life are co- 
ordinated and some are more capable of quick alteration than others, 
while all are mutually involved. One may consider the analogy of a 
railway system which has evolved, partly empirically and partly 
consciously, as a co-ordinated whole. Suddenly the customary 
speed is radically changed, and then it may be that all the factors are 
inappropriate — distance between signals, braking power, radius of 


curves, camber or super-elevation, angles of crossings, bridge stresses. 
The harmony has been destroyed. Especially may this be the case if 
the new factor applies to some units only, and not to all, when the 
potential density of traffic may be actually lessened. The analogy 
for the social system is obvious, and its form of government matters 
little for the presence of the problem, though it may be important 
in the handling of it. 

I have spoken as though the normal span of life of men and 
machinery themselves provides a phase to which scientific advance 
might be adjusted for a completely smooth social advance. But 
this would be to ignore customs and institutions, even as we see 
in Federal America, Australia and Canada, constitutions which 
lengthen that phase and make it less amenable as a natural transition. 
At one time we relied on these to bring about the economic adjust- 
ment necessary. But technical changes take place so rapidly that such 
forces work far too slowly to make the required adaptation. Habits 
and customs are too resistant to change in most national societies 
to bring about radical institutional changes with rapidity, and we 
patch with new institutions and rules to alleviate the effects rather 
than remove the causes of maladjustments. The twenty mile speed 
limit long outstayed its fitness, and old building restrictions remained 
to hamper progress. Edison is reported to have said that it takes 
twenty-five years to get an idea into the American mind. The Webbs 
have given me a modal period of nineteen years from the time when 
an idea comes up as a practical proposition from a ' dangerous ' left 
wing to the date when it is effectively enacted by the moderate or 
' safe ' progressive party. This period of political gestation may be a 
function of human psychology or of social structure. We do not 
know how ideas from a point of entry, permeate, infiltrate or saturate 
society, following the analogues of conduction, convection, or lines 
of magnetic force. 

Our attitude of mind is still to regard change as the exceptional, 
and rest as the normal. This comes from centuries of tradition and 
experience, which have given us a tradition that each generation will 
substantially live amid the conditions governing the lives of its 
fathers, and transmit those conditions to the succeeding generation. 
As Whitehead says : ' we are living in the first period of human 
history for which this assumption is false.' As the time span of 
important change was considerably longer than that of a single human 
life, we enjoyed the illusion of fixed conditions. Now the time 
span is much shorter, and we must learn to experience change 

I have so far discussed modification of impact to meet the nature 
of man. Now we must consider modifying the nature of man to meet 


Sociologists refer to our ' cultural lags ' when some of the phases 
of our social life change more quickly than others and thus get out of 
gear and cause maladjustments. Not sufficient harm is done to 
strike the imagination when the change is a slow one, and all the 
contexts of law, ethics, economic relations and educational ideals 
tend towards harmony and co-ordination. We can even tolerate by 
our conventions, gaps between them when preachers and publicists 
can derive certain amusement and profit from pointing out our 
inconsistencies. But when things are moving very rapidly, these 
lags become important ; the concepts of theology and ethics, the 
tradition of the law, all tend to lag seriously behind changes brought 
about through science, technical affairs and general economic life. 
Some hold that part of our present derangement is due to the lack 
of harmony between these different phases — the law and govern- 
mental forms constitutionally clearly lag behind even economic 
developments as impulsed by scientific discovery. An acute American 
observer has said that ' the causes of the greatest economic evils of 
to-day are to be found in the recent great multiplication of inter- 
ferences by Government with the functioning of the markets, under 
the influence of antiquated doctrines growing out of conditions of 
far more primitive economic life.' It would be, perhaps, truer to 
say that we are becoming ' stability conscious ' and setting greater 
store, on humanitarian grounds, by the evil effects of instability. 

In the United States it would be difficult to find, except theoreti- 
cally in the President, any actual person, or instrument in the 
Constitution, having any responsibility for looking at the picture of 
the country as a whole, and there is certainly none for making a co- 
ordinated plan. Indeed, in democracy, it is difficult to conceive it, 
because the man in public life is under continual pressure of particular 
groups, and so long as he has his electoral position to consider, he 
cannot put the general picture of progress in the forefront. White- 
head declared that when an adequate routine, the aim of every social 
system, is established, intelligence vanishes and the system is main- 
tained by a co-ordination of conditioned reflexes. Specialised training 
alone is necessary. No one, from President to miner, need under- 
stand the system as a whole. 

The price of pace is peace. Man must move by stages in which he 
enjoys for a space a settled idea, and thus there must always be 
something which is rather delayed in its introduction, and the source 
of sectional scientific scorn. If every day is ' moving ' day, man must 
live in a constant muddle, and create that very fidget and unrest of 
mind which is the negation of happiness. Always ' jam to-morrow ' 
— the to-morrow that ' never comes.' If we must have quanta 01 
stages, the question is their optimum length and character, not 
merely the regulation of industry and innovation to their tempo, 


but the education of man and society to pulse in the same rhythmic 
wavelength or its harmonic. 

In some ways we are so obsessed with the delight and advantage 
of discovery of new things that we have no proportionate regard for 
the problems of arrangement and absorption of the things discovered. 
We are like a contractor who has too many men bringing materials 
on to the site, and not enough men to erect the buildings with them. 
In other words, if a wise central direction were properly allocating 
research workers to the greatest marginal advantage, it would make 
some important transfers. There is not too much being devoted to 
research in physics and chemistry, as modifying industry, but there 
is too much relatively to the research upon the things they affect, 
in physiology, psychology, economics, sociology. We have not begun 
to secure an optimum balance. Additional financial resources should 
be applied more to the biological and human sciences than to the 
applied physical sciences, or possibly, if resources are limited, a 
transfer ought to be made from one to the other. 

Apart from the superior tone sometimes adopted by ' pure 
science ' towards its own applications, scientific snobbery extends to 
poor relations. Many of the hard-boiled experimental scientists 
in the older and so productive fields, look askance at the newer 
borderline sciences of genetics, eugenics and human heredity, 
psychology, education, and sociology, the terrain of so much serious 
work but also the happy hunting ground of ' viewey ' cranks and 
faddists. Here the academic soloist is still essential, and he has no 
great context of concerted work into which to fit his own. But 
unless progress is made in these fields which is comparable with the 
golden ages of discovery in physics and chemistry, we are producing 
progressively more problems for society than we are solving. A 
committee of population experts has recently found that the expendi- 
ture on the natural sciences is some eight to ten times greater than 
that on social sciences. There is hardly any money at all available 
for their programme of research into the immense and vital problems 
of population in all its qualitative and quantitative bearings. An 
attack all along the front from politics and education to genetics and 
human heredity is long overdue. Leisure itself is an almost unex- 
plored field scientifically. For we cannot depend wholly on a hit 
and miss process of personal adaptation, great though this may be. 
There must be optimal lines of change which are scientifically 
determinable. We have seen in a few years that the human or social 
temperament has a much wider range of tolerance than we had sup- 
posed. We can take several popular examples . The reaction to altered 
speed is prominent. In the Creevey Papers, it is recorded that the 
Knowsley party accomplished 23 miles per hour on the railway, and 
recorded it as ' frightful — impossible to divest yourself of the notion 


of instant death— it gave me a headache which has not left me yet — 
some damnable thing must come of it. I am glad to have seen this 
miracle, but quite satisfied with my first achievement being my last.' 
In the British Association meeting for 1836, an address on Railway 
Speeds prophesied that some day 50 miles an hour might be possible. 
Forty years ago we may remember that a cyclist doing 15 to 18 miles 
an hour was a ' scorcher ' and a public danger. Twenty-five years 
ago, 30 miles an hour in motoring was an almost unhealthy and 
hardly bearable pace. To-day the fifties and sixties are easily borne, 
both by passenger and looker on. Aeroplane speeds are differently 
judged, but at any rate represent an extension of the tolerance. 
Direct taxation thirty years ago in relation to its effect on individual 
effort and action seemed to reach a breaking-point and was regarded as 
psychologically unbearable at levels which to-day are merely amusing. 
The copious protection of women's dress then would have looked 
upon to-day's rationality as suicidal lunacy. One hesitates to say, 
therefore, that resistances to scientific changes will be primarily in 
the difficulty of mental and physical adjustments. But there can be 
little doubt that with the right applications of experimental psycho- 
logy and adjusted education, the mind of man would be still more 
adaptable. Unfortunately, we do not know whether education as 
an acquired characteristic is in any degree inheritable, and whether 
increasing educability of the mass is a mere dream, so that we are 
committed to a sisyphean task in each generation. Nor do we know 
whether this aspect is affected by the induced sterility of the age. 
It may not be a problem of changing the same man in his lifetime, 
but of making a larger difference between father and son. The 
latest teachings of geneticists hold out prospects for the future of 
man which we should like to find within our present grasp, and 
recent successful experiments with mammals in parthenogenesis 
and eutelegenesis bear some inscrutable expression which may be 
either the assurance of new hope for mankind or a devil's grin of 

What is economics doing in this kaleidoscope ? 

The body of doctrine which was a satisfactory analysis of society 
twenty-five years ago is no longer adequate, for its basic postulates 
are being rapidly changed. It confined itself then to the actual 
world it knew and did not elaborate theoretical systems on different 
bases which might never exist. It is, therefore, now engaged in 
profoundly modifying the old structures to meet these new con- 
ditions. Formerly it assumed, quite properly, a considerable 
degree of fluid or competitive adjustment in the response of factors 
of production to the stimulus or operation of price, which was 
really a theory of value-equilibrium. Wherever equilibrium was 
disturbed, the disturbance released forces tending to restore it. 


To-day many of the factors formerly free are relatively fixed, such 
as wage levels, prices, market quotas, and when an external impact 
at some point strikes the organism, instead of the effect being ab- 
sorbed throughout the system by adjustments of all the parts, it now 
finds the shock evaded or transmitted by many of them, leaving the 
effects to be felt most severely at the few remaining points of free 
movement or accommodation. Unemployment is one of these. 
The extent to which this fact throws a breaking strain upon those 
remaining free points is not completely analysed, and the new 
economics of imperfect competition is not fully written out or 
absorbed. The delicate mechanism of price adjustment with the 
so-called law of supply and demand governed the whole movement, 
but with forcible fixation of certain price elements consequences 
arise in unexpected and remote quarters. Moreover, the search 
for a communally planned system to secure freedom from malad- 
justments involves a new economics in which the central test of price 
must be superseded by a statistical mechanism and a calculus of 
costs which has not yet been satisfactorily worked out for a com- 
munity retaining some freedom of individual action and choice. 
The old international currency equilibrated world forces and 
worked its way into internal conditions in order to do so. But the 
modern attempt to prevent any internal effect of changes in inter- 
national trade, or to counteract them, and the choice of internal 
price stability at all costs against variable international economic 
equations, has set economic science a new structure to build out of 
old materials. At this moment when elasticity is most wanted, 
stability leading to rigidity becomes a fetish. The aftermath of war 
is the impossibility of organising society for peace. 

The impact of economic science upon society to-day is intense 
and confusing, because, addressing itself to the logic of various sets 
of conditions as the likely or necessary ones according to its ex- 
ponents' predilections, it speaks with several voices, and the public 
are bewildered. Unlike their claims upon physics and mathematics, 
since it is dealing with money, wages, and employment, the things 
of everyday, they have a natural feeling that it ought to be easily 
understandable and its truth recognisable. Balfour once said, in 
reference to Kant, ' Most people prefer a problem which they 
cannot explain, to an explanation which they cannot understand.' 
But in the past twenty years, the business world and the public 
have become economics-conscious, and dabble daily in index 
numbers of all kinds, and the paraphernalia of foreign exchange and 
statistics of economic life. The relativity of economic principle to 
national psychology baffles the economists themselves, for it can 
be said truly at one and the same time, for example, that confidence 
will be best secured by balancing the Budget, and by not balancing 


it, according to public mentality. The economics of a community 
not economically self-conscious are quite different from those of a 
people who watch every sign and act accordingly. Thus the 
common notion that economics should be judged by its ability to 
forecast (especially to a particular date) is quite fallacious, for the 
prophecy, if ' true ' and believed, must destroy itself, inasmuch as 
the economic conduct involved in the forecast is different after the 
forecast from what it would have been before. The paradox is 
just here, for example : if a people are told that the peak of prices 
in a commodity will actually be on June 10, they will all so act that 
they anticipate the date and destroy it. Economics, thoroughly 
comprehended, can well foretell the effects of a tendency, but hardly 
ever the precise date or amount of critical events in those effects. 
The necessity for a concentration upon new theoretical and analytical 
analysis, and upon realistic research, is very great. But so also is 
the need for widespread and popular teaching. For a single chemist 
or engineer may by his discovery affect the lives of millions who 
enter into it but do not understand it, whereas a conception in 
economic life, however brilliant, generally requires the conformity 
of the understanding and wills of a great number before it can be 

But not alone economics : if the impact of science brings certain 
evils they can only be cured by more science. Ordered knowledge 
and principles are wanted at every point. Let us glance at three 
only, in widely different fields : man's work, man's health, man's 
moral responsibility. The initial impact of new science is in the 
factory itself. The kind of remedy required here is covered by the 
work of the National Institute of Industrial Psychology. Some of this 
improves upon past conditions, some creates the conditions of greater 
production, but much of it combats the evils arising from new 
conditions created by modern demands, speed, accuracy and 
intensity. It invokes the aid of many branches of science. It is the 
very first point of impact. Yet its finance is left to personal advocacy, 
and commands not 10 per cent, of the expenditure on research in 
artificial silk, without which the world was reasonably happy for 
some centuries. We can judge of the scope of this by the reports 
of the Industrial Health Research Board. Again, the scientific 
ancillaries of medicine have made immense strides. Clinical medi- 
cine as an art makes tardy, unscientific and halting use of them. 
The public remain as credulous as ever, their range of gullibility 
widened with every pseudo-scientific approach. (We do not know 
what proportion of positive cases can create the illusion of a signi- 
ficant majority in mass psychology, but I suspect that it is often 
as low as twenty per cent.) For a considerable range of troubles 
inadequately represented in hospitals, the real experience passes 


through the hands of thousands of practitioners, each with too small 
a sample to be statistically significant, and is, therefore, wasted from 
a scientific standpoint. Half-verified theories run riot as medical 
fashions, to peter out gradually in disillusionment. If the scattered 
cases were all centralised through appropriately drawn case-histories, 
framed by a more scientifically trained profession, individual idio- 
syncrasy would cancel out, and mass scrutiny would bring the theories 
to a critical statistical issue of verification or refutation in a few 
months. This would be to the advantage of all society, and achieve 
an even greater boon in suggesting new points for central research. 

A suggestion has been made for an inventions clearing house, to 
' co-operate the scientific, social and industrial phases of Invention, 
and to reduce the lag between invention and application ' managed 
by a committee of scientists and a committee of industrialists and 
bankers. The proposal came to me from New York, but London 
was to be the home of the organisation, which was to adopt a code of 
ethics in the interests of inventors, industry and social progress. This 
brings me to my third example, the field of ethics, which needs the 
toil of new thought. The systems of to-day, evolving over two 
thousand years, are rooted in individualism and the relations between 
individuals. But the relations of society to-day are not predominantly 
individual, for it is permeated through and through with corporate 
relations of every kind. Each of these works over some delegated 
area of the individual's choice of action, and evolves a separate code 
for the appropriate relationship. The assumption that ethical 
questions are decided by processes which engage the individual's 
whole ethical personality is no longer even remotely true. The 
joint stock company may do something, or refrain from doing some- 
thing, on behalf of its shareholders, which is a limited field of ethics, 
and may but faintly resemble what they would individually do with 
all other considerations added to their financial interests. The whole 
body of ethics needs to be reworked in the light of modern corporate 
relations, from Church and company, to cadet corps and the League 
of Nations. 

In no case need we glorify change : but true rest may be only 
ideally controlled motion. The modern poet says : 

* The endless cycle of idea and action, 
Endless invention, endless experiment, 
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness.' 

But so long as we are to have change — and it seems inevitable — let 
us master it. T. S. Eliot goes on : 

1 Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge ? 
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information ? ' 


My predecessors have spoken of the shortcomings of the active 
world — to me they are but the fallings short of science. Wherever we 
look we discover that if we are to avoid trouble we must take trouble 
— scientific trouble. The duality which puts science and man's other 
activity in contrasted categories with disharmony to be resolved, 
gaps to be bridged, is unreal. We are simply beholding ever-extend- 
ing science too rough round the edges as it grows. 

What we have learnt concerning the proper impact of science 
upon society in the past century is trifling, compared with what we 
have yet to discover and apply. We have spent much and long upon 
the science of matter, and the greater our success the greater must be 
our failure, unless we turn also at long last to an equal advance in the 
science of man. 






Our Section has suffered heavy losses in the twelve months that have 
passed since the Norwich Meeting, and it is fitting that we should here 
pay due honour to the memories of McLennan, Glazebiook, Petavel and 
Pearson, who have, each in his own characteristic fashion, played so 
great a part in the advances made during this century. 

The genius and vigour of Sir John McLennan were quick to seize on 
and to develop those ideas which were fermenting at Cambridge in the 
last years of the nineteenth century and to impress on them a character 
peculiarly his own. His energy and versatility are shown equally in his 
early studies of penetrating radiation, in his discovery of the single line 
spectrum of zinc and cadmium, in his later work on the spectrum of the 
aurora and the nature of the famous green line, and in those studies of 
supraconductivity to which his last years in Toronto were given. His 
return to England found him unconquerably young in spirit and prepared 
to play his part in important investigations in radium beam therapy. 
He presided over the deliberations of this Section at the Liverpool Meeting 
of 1923, and those of us who were present at that meeting have vivid 
memories of an address which reviewed some of the major problems 
of atomic structure — an address which, the latest word on the matter in 
1923, reads to-day as an ancient tale. The laboratory at Toronto which 
bears McLennan 's name bears witness also to his genius as a leader of 
research and to his gifts as administrator and director. 

Sir Richard Glazebrook belonged to the elder generation — he presided 
over Section A so long ago as 1893 — and to the last occupied himself 
with certain aspects of those problems of macroscopic physics which 
dominated the science of his century. His early papers on the Fresnel 
wave-surface are admirable examples of accurate work accomplished 
with the aid of simple apparatus ; and his experiments on the relation 
between the British Association unit of electrical resistance and the 
absolute unit marked the first step on a lifelong journey. Felix opportuni- 
tate mortis, illness was spared him, and death laid a kindly hand on his 
shoulder while he was still in the full tide of mental activity, still pursuing 
those studies which had been his companions for more than half a century. 
The National Physical Laboratory, which, opening in 1902 with two 
departments and a staff of twenty-six, had in ten years expanded to eight 


departments and a staff of a hundred and twenty-six, is Glazebrook's 
enduring monument. 

The work of this great laboratory, stimulated by the conditions of 
the world-war, was further developed by Sir Joseph Petavel ; under 
his guidance the laboratory has steadily grown in prestige and in the 
range of its activities, which now demand the services of a staff of nearly 
seven hundred. In the counsels of our Association, Sir Joseph Petavel 
ranked as an engineer — he presided in 191 9 over the work of Section G — 
but we of this Section are not unmindful of his contributions to physical 
science : of his studies of the emissivity of platinum at high temperatures, 
of the effect of pressure on arc-spectra, of his interest in the problem 
of aeroplane stability. 

Genius, both in its creative aspect and on that side which has been 
condensed by Edison into a whimsical phrase, marked all to which Karl 
Pearson put his hand. His ordered development of statistical theory 
wherein new light is shed on the fundamental problems of frequency 
distribution, correlation, and probable errors, formed a firm foundation 
for a superstructure impressive in its height and extent ; he never lost 
that early interest in elasticity shown in his completion of Todhunter's 
massive History of the Theory of Elasticity ; and his Grammar of Science, 
overlooked by the majority of our present-day physical-philosophers 
(though there is perceptible a movement in a direction which shows that 
its thesis is again finding favour), develops a point of view which should 
not prove unhelpful to the student of to-day who would fain remain 
a physicist without of necessity becoming a metaphysician. 

These men, whose memories we honour to-day, were trained in a 
tradition which differs toto coelo from that in which our present generation 
lives and moves. It seems, therefore, not unfitting that one of the 
presidents whom you have honoured by election to this chair should 
endeavour to put before you a picture which may show something of 
these changes and tell something of the facts that have caused them — 
if it be permissible to use a phrase which apparently commits one to a 
deterministic outlook. 

The world-picture of the older generation was, as we look back on it 
to-day, extraordinarily simple. It is, or has been, the fashion to describe 
nineteenth-century science as materialistic. There certainly was Buchner, 
and there was Tyndall's Belfast address. But D?-. Stoffkraft had neither 
a long reign nor an influential following, and we shall be nearer to the 
truth if we look upon Victorian science as showing a simple realism — 
the realism of the man in the street — not wholly unrelated to that simple 
realism of to-day which sees in an alpha-ray track evidence for the existence 
of an atom of the same order as that furnished by a diffraction photograph 
(or, for that matter, of our own eyes) for the existence of a star. 

That is by no means the whole story, as far as Victorian science is 
concerned — Karl Pearson tells a very different tale ; but more of that 

What we have learned to call the classic outlook was based on those 
notions of velocity, acceleration, momentum and force which were 
first formed into an ordered scheme by the genius of Newton — a scheme 


which sufficed to describe, succinctly and clearly, the series of perceptions 
involved in such phenomena as the motion of a pendulum, a billiard 
ball, a railway carriage, and (with certain reservations concerning fine 
points) the complex motions of the bodies of the solar system. The 
physical science of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was occupied 
in extending and clarifying these concepts, although eighteenth-century 
science in England was hampered by an excessive devotion to the memory 
of Newton, which committed the English mathematicians to the fluxional 
notation. It required the formation of a society at Cambridge ' to 
inculcate the principles of pure J-ism, and to rescue the University from 
its dot-age,' before the British physical school could rival the advances 
of their continental brethren. 

As we have said, the attitude of the physicist to the fundamentals of 
his science was, in general, naively realistic. Mass was quantity of 
matter, and matter itself was defined as ' that which can be acted upon 
by, or can exert force,' or alternatively ' that which may have energy 
communicated to it from other matter.' Obscurum per obscurius, with a 
vengeance ! 

Quantitatively, mass was defined, following Newton, as the product 
of volume and density ; and even Thomson and Tait are roused to a hint 
(without attempting to resolve the difficulty) that such a process results 
in a circular argument, inasmuch as we have no other way of defining 
density than as the ratio of mass to volume. 

Early in the nineteenth century discoveries, mainly in the realm of 
chemistry, gave fresh interest to atomic doctrines, and the simple concept 
of the billiard-ball atom proved to be brilliantly successful in explaining 
old happenings and in predicting new ones. It is not immediately 
obvious that an extrapolation of those laws which described the motions 
of bodies of the dimensions of a locomotive or a planet down to bodies 
of the indescribably minute dimensions given to an atom or molecule is 
likely to be successful in subsuming certain perceptual events ; the 
extraordinary thing is, not that such an extrapolation should break down 
somewhere, but that it should have any validity at all. And the triumphs 
to be put to the credit of the hypothesis are sufficiently remarkable, 
as afty treatise on the kinetic theory of gases will testify. 

It is an odd fact that these days of probability and indeterminacy 
mark a period in which atomic and molecular constants have been 
evaluated to a degree of accuracy of which electrical standards need 
hardly be ashamed. And we may perhaps be pardoned a little local 
patriotism when we remember that a Manchester man, James Prescott 
Joule, made the first determination of an absolute molecular magnitude — 
the mean speed of a hydrogen molecule, which he evaluated as 6,055 ft- 
per second at the freezing point of water. This paper, which was 
published in 1848, is not the paper which was denied publication in 
extenso by the Royal Society, concerning whose refusal Joule remarked 
to Schuster, ' I was not surprised. I could imagine these gentlemen in 
London sitting round a table and saying to each other : " What good can 
come out of a town where they dine in the middle of the day ? " That 
particular paper dates back to 1840, and marks an important stage in the 


story of nineteenth-century physics, for in it Joule described the experi- 
ments on which his famous C 2 R law is based, and enunciated the law. 1 
Indeed the story of the identification of heat with energy, in its novelty 
and the difficulty of its adoption, is as outstanding a feature of nineteenth- 
century physics as is the story of the equivalence of mass and energy 
in the physics of the twentieth century. 

No survey of the physical science of the last generation would be 
complete did it contain no reference to radiation and to the nineteenth- 
century concept of the mechanism by which radiation is conveyed. 
Despite the difficulty of framing a theory of the ether which should 
satisfy dynamical laws — ' Why should it ? ' we might remark incidentally 
to-day — the concept of an ether of space was so brilliantly successful in 
correlating and predicting so many and so diverse phenomena — we need 
but instance that bending of light round corners which we call diffraction, 
that alternate heaping up and destruction of light which we term inter- 
ference, and that remarkable refraction of a ray of light by certain crystals 
as a cone of rays — as to draw from Lord Kelvin the downright statement, 
' This thing we call the luminiferous ether ... is the only substance we 
are confident of in dynamics. One thing we are sure of, and that is the 
reality and substantiality of the luminiferous ether.' Strange reading, 
to-day ; and reading which might well introduce a note of hesitation into 
some of the confident declarations of present-day realities. 

Molar mechanics, the billiard-ball atom, the ether : the nineteenth 
century had built on these apparently stable foundations an immense 
structure of ordered knowledge. The closing years of the century were 
fated to show cracks in the superstructure and weaknesses in the founda- 
tions. The facts of radio-activity and the discovery of the electron showed 
that the concept of the atom must increase in complexity were it to 
remain competent to subsume the additional perceptual facts. And the 
experimental study of the radiation from a hot body revealed a state of 
affairs inexplicable on the lines of classical theory. A hot body radiates 
energy, and if the radiations are passed through a prism they may be 
drawn out into a spectrum. How is the energy of the radiation distri- 
buted between the different wave-lengths of the spectrum ? Experiment 
gives a clear answer to this question, and the undisputed fact is tftat, if 
we plot a curve showing values of the energy associated with a certain 
wave-length as ordinates against the corresponding wave-lengths as 
abscissas, we obtain a curve of a cocked-hat shape with a definite maxi- 
mum of energy associated with a certain wave-length. If we repeat the 
experiment with the radiating body at a higher temperature, a similar 
curve is obtained with the maximum shifted into the region of shorter 

1 In this paper, and in a paper published in the Philosophical Magazine in 1841, 
Joule used the term resistance in its ordinary electrical sense (' the resistances of 
the . . . wires were found to be in the ratio 6 to 5-51'). The term was used by 
Cavendish (' therefore resistance is directly as velocity ') in his now famous 
anticipation of Ohm's Law in January 1781 — though his words were not printed 
until 1879. Wheatstone is sometimes quoted as an early user of the term in his 
Bakerian Lecture for 1843. It is all the more curious, then, that the Shorter 
Oxford English Dictionary should give i860 as the date at which the term was 
first used in print. 


wave-length. What have nineteenth-century theories of radiation to say 
to this ? Their answer is clear, and gives a curve which coincides with 
the cocked-hat curve in the region of long wave-lengths but exhibits 
no maximum, and moves completely away from the experimental curve 
as the wave-length decreases. It was this complete disharmony between 
classical theory and experimental fact that led Planck, in the last year of 
the nineteenth century, to supply a solution giving a curve which closely 
fits the cocked-hat curve, which has revolutionised physical science and 
which has incidentally provided the language with a new verb, ' to 
quantise.' What do we mean when we speak, for instance, of quantising 
energy ? To quantise a physical quantity is to restrict its magnitude 
to a number of discrete, separated values, which are integral multiples of a 
certain selected unit. Planck assumed that a hot body consisted of a 
number of oscillators which in their simplest form may be conceived as 
massive particles oscillating in straight lines with definite frequencies, 
in simple harmonic fashion. The energy of such an oscillator is easily 
enough calculated, and the drastic assumption made is that the possible 
values of the energy of the oscillator are to be restricted to a series of 
integral multiples of a unit which is itself proportional to the frequency, 
so that the unit may be written as hn, where n is the frequency and h is a con- 
stant known as Planck's constant. And energy is emitted in integral bundles 
or quanta, the indivisible unit of measurement having the magnitude hn. 

Turn now to another experiment, quite inexplicable on the lines of the 
older wave-theory. An insulated negatively- charged plate of zinc, when 
exposed to ultra-violet light, loses its charge— loses electrons, that is, in 
terms of our picture. Certain facts emerge from a close study of the 
experimental conditions. If, for example, the frequency of the light is 
below a certain threshold value, then, however great the intensity may be, 
and whatever the length of time of the exposure, the zinc plate keeps its' 
charge. If, however, the frequency is raised above this threshold value 
the charge begins to leak away at once, and this, though the intensity of 
the incident light be so small that, on the basis of the wave-theory, it 
would take days to accumulate sufficient energy to release an electron 
with the kinetic energy which it is observed to possess. Moreover, the 
rate of emission of electrons increases proportionately with the increase 
of intensity of illumination. If we take the view that light consists of 
photons, bundles or quanta of energy each of magnitude hn, travelling 
with the velocity of light, then if, say, a surface atom is struck by a photon, 
and emits an electron which has to do work in freeing itself from the 
surface, we may equate the sum of this work and the kinetic energy with 
which the electron leaves the surface to the energy possessed by the original 
photon. A little consideration will show that this explanation meets 
observed facts in a way quite impossible to a classical wave-theory. 

Here, then, in this so-called photo-electric effect, and in the experi- 
mental facts of the distribution of energy in the spectrum, we have two 
simple happenings which cannot in any way be squared with classical 
theory. Consider, now, very briefly some of the elementary facts of 
spectroscopy— another region of physics to which quantum ideas have 
been applied with brilliant success. We have travelled far to-day from 


the primitive concept of the nuclear atom, with its nucleus composed of 
( x -j_ #) protons and * electrons, so that the nuclear charge was ze (e being 
the electronic or protonic charge), and electrical neutrality was assured 
by assuming that z satellite-electrons (z being what is called the atomic 
number) circulated in orbits around the nucleus. 

The inevitable consequences of the existence of such atoms radiating 
according to classical laws, was an unstable universe in which the satellite- 
electrons, radiating energy as they revolve, would spiral down towards 
the nucleus and finally collapse therein. Quantum notions saved the 
concept, and one of the peaks in the development of twentieth- century 
physics is the story of the Bohr atom, in which it is assumed that only a 
restricted number of stable orbits, or states, is possible ; that electrons 
in these orbits do not radiate ; that an electron in moving from one orbit 
to another radiates or absorbs quanta of energy equal to the difference 
between the energy states of the two orbits, and that the angular momen- 
tum is quantised, that is, is restricted to a number of discrete values, the 
magnitude of the value in the JVth orbit being Nh /zn. 

The application of a little simple algebra to the expression of these 
postulates results in an equation which represents the disposition of the 
lines in the spectrum of a single- electron atom, such as hydrogen, or ionised 
helium, with considerable accuracy. The theory is easily extended to 
elliptic orbits, though here, having to deal with a varying radius vectorand 
varying radial momentum, we have to quantise this latter quantity and two 
quantum numbers become necessary, the so-called azimuthal quantum 
number (k) which quantises the angular momentum, and what is called 
the radial quantum number, the sum of the two being set equal to the 
total quantum number (N). 

But the theory in this form was quite inadequate to cope with any 
system more complex than a single electron system. To deal with these 
more complex systems , quantum notions were extended on quasi- 
empirical lines and resulted in what may be called a vector model of the 
atom in which were visualised the possibility of electron and nuclear 
spins, with further possibilities in the way of quantisation and quantum 
numbers. If these quantum numbers are shared between the satellite- 
electrons of an atom in such a way as to agree with an empirical exclusion 
principle which states that no two electrons in an atom may have all their 
quantum numbers identical, we may arrive at a distribution of the satellite- 
electrons as regards their energy-levels which gives a model capable of 
explaining many complex spectroscopic (and other) facts. 

But space presses and we must return, in this rapid survey, to a con- 
sideration of that dualism of outlook which appeared so early in the story 
of twentieth-century physics. The discovery of the Compton effect 
further emphasised this corpuscular aspect of radiation. 2 

2 When X-rays are scattered by impact with the more lightly bound electrons 
in an atom, the radiation scattered at an acute angle has a smaller frequency 
than the frequency of the incident radiation, a simple explanation of the 
change being at once forthcoming if the problem is treated in the manner of 
the treatment of the impact of elastic spheres. Thus a light quantum hn 
communicates kinetic energy to an electron by impact. The scattered 
quantum hn' will have less energy, and hence ri will be less than n. 


Suppose we carry this dualism into concepts that are fundamentally 
corpuscular and assert that matter may have a wave aspect ? This is 
the notion put forward by Louis de Broglie, who postulated that, associated 
with a particle having momentum mv, there is. a wave of wave-length X 
given by X = hjtnv. As radiation which shows the fundamental wave- 
property diffraction also exhibits corpuscular properties, so electrons 
which are conceived primarily as corpuscular may be expected to exhibit 
wave- properties ; and they do so. If a beam of electrons be passed 
through thin foil, diffraction phenomena are observed which are perfectly 
consistent with the wave-length postulated by de Broglie. If, moreover, 
leaving the sub-atomic world, we deal with molecular rays of hydrogen or 
helium, we may allow them to be reflected from a crystal surface and may 
observe diffraction phenomena consistent with a de Broglie wave-length 
of the right magnitude ; and we may collect the reflected waves as an 
ordinary gas. 

But all this merely emphasises the dualism of the wave and corpuscular 
aspects of matter — a dualism which is now disappearing under the analysis 
of the last few years. The analysis, which is essentially mathematical, 
has introduced the notion of probability into our estimates, say, of position. 
We describe the wave which accompanies a corpuscle by means of an 
equation which will contain an expression for the amplitude of the wave ; 
and the amplitude at any point gives us a measure of the probability of 
finding the corpuscle at that point ; if the amplitude vanishes anywhere 
the probability of finding the corpuscle at that point vanishes also. The 
concept of an electron as a definite entity at a definite point in space is 
replaced by a probability pattern which, very dense in a certain locality, 
rapidly thins as we move away from that locality. In fact, if we fix our 
attention on the densest part of a given pattern, the probability of finding an 
electron at a distance of io~ 13 cm. therefrom becomes vanishingly small, and 
most of us may be content to use the concept of an electron almost in our 
accustomed manner, realising that it has become a little fuzzy at the 

Despite the impending disappearance of this dualism, the story of the 
discovery of sub-atomic particles is most easily told in particle fashion. 
The discovery of the electron is now more than a generation old, as is the 
discovery of the a-, (3- and y-rays of radium, and the a-rays or particles — 
fast-moving helium nuclei — provided an atomic projectile which in the 
hands of Rutherford became a most potent weapon for exploring the 
intricacies of atomic structure. 

Electrons, a-particles and protons are electrical in origin ; they may 
therefore be deflected by electrostatic fields. They move and so con- 
stitute an electric current ; they may, therefore, be influenced by magnetic 
fields. Information concerning their charges and masses may therefore 
be deduced from their behaviour when subjected to such fields. Further, 
special means have recently been devised for the generation of controlled 
fields of high potential which may be used to accelerate charged particles 
subjected to their influence. In this manner it has been found possible 
to produce swift protons which may be used to bombard various elements. 
We can in fact now load, aim and discharge our atomic rifle almost at 


will, and with very remarkable results. For example, the bombardment 
of lithium with high velocity protons results in the formation of a-particles, 
a process which may be described by saying that the lithium nucleus 
whose atomic mass-number is 7 when bombarded by a proton whose 
mass-number is 1, gives rise to two a-particles, each of mass- number 4. 

With this advance in technique has come a corresponding advance in 
discovery. Thus the bombardment of a light element such as beryllium 
by a-particles results in the production of y-rays together with a radiation 
which does not ionise the air through which it passes, but may be recog- 
nised by its effect on the nuclei which it itself bombards, producing, as 
it does, ionisation tracks due to the protons expelled from these nuclei. 
We have to deal, then, with a massive uncharged particle, whose mass 
may be deduced from a study of the tracks made by the nuclei with 
which it collides. The mass of the particle is very nearly equal to that 
of the proton, and it has been called the neutron. 

For long it has been known that radiation of high penetrating power 
exists in the atmosphere, a radiation which increases in intensity, that 
is, in its power to discharge an electroscope, with increasing height. 
This is the so-called cosmic radiation, which may be assumed to have its 
origin in interstellar space. Investigations on cosmic radiation, using the 
Wilson cloud chamber placed in a strong magnetic field, disclosed the 
fact that when cosmic radiation passed into such a chamber tracks were 
produced, some curved in one direction, some in the opposite sense. 
This opposite curvature might be produced by a reversal of the sign of the 
charge or it might be due to the fact that the particle was moving in a 
direction opposite to that of its fellows of opposite curvature. It was not 
difficult to rule out this latter possibility, and we are thus provided with 
another sub-atomic entity of mass equal to that of the electron, and with 
a positive charge equal to the electronic charge. 

This is the positron. 

The identification of heat and energy — a commonplace to-day — was, 
as we have remarked, not established without difficulty. The twentieth 
century has seen a possibly more remarkable identification — that of mass 
and energy — an identification which was made, to within a factor of |-, 
by Hasenohrl and was put forward in its present form in 1905 by 
Einstein. In this form the energy (E) possessed by a mass (w) is given 
by E = mc 2 , where c is the velocity of light. Increase of mass of a system 
means increase of energy and conversely. And if mass be destroyed a 
corresponding amount of energy appears as radiation, if conservation 
laws hold. These conservation laws have been arrived at from a study 
of large-scale phenomena, and there is no a priori reason why they should 
be expected to hold when applied to atomic happenings far outside the 
perceptual scheme of things. Indeed, one is tempted to ask, Why should 
the concept of energy have any meaning, let alone any validity, when 
applied to such systems ? The necessary and sufficient answer is the 
pragmatic one. 

The possible invalidity of this law of conservation is no new concept. 
Twelve years ago Bohr and his colleagues put forward a theory in which 
an atom in an excited state emits radiation continuously, radiation which, 


falling on another atom, may make more probable its transition to a higher 
energy-state. It may be shown that such a theory involves a contradic- 
tion of the conservation law in single atomic processes, and experiments 
carried out to test the theory were best explained on the assumption of 

Recently the supposition of conservation which, as we have seen in 
the Compton effect, was invoked to explain the changes of frequency 
involved in the impact of a light quantum and an electron, has again been 
called into question as a result of experiments made, using modern 
counting apparatus, on the scattering of y-rays. 

If we apply the conservation laws to nuclear transformations involving 
protons and neutrons we find that energy is conserved quantitatively, the 
kinetic energy liberated in a reaction being accurately accounted for by 
the disappearance of mass which occurs. It is different when we consider 
atomic processes which involve high speed particles — electrons, say, 
moving with velocities comparable with that of light. Such processes 
are not in agreement with the conservation principle, and to pull them 
into line a new particle, the neutrino, has been introduced, possessing 
no charge and, if Fermi be right, a negligible mass. Such a particle is 
not likely to be detected by direct experiment ; its principal function is to 
' explain ' continuous (3-ray spectra. 

Obviously we have a considerable range of choice in our atomic build- 
ing materials, and the supposition that the nucleus is composed of 
protons and electrons in suitable numbers may need modification. The 
a-particle, long described as made up of four protons and two electrons, 
may also be considered as composed of two protons and two neutrons, 
and there are good reasons for this supposition. But whether the neutron 
is an elementary particle and the proton may be written as neutron + 
position, or whether we have more justification for considering the 
neutron as proton + electron are matters which cannot be discussed in 
detail here. 

One of the most remarkable of the discoveries of recent years has 
been that of artificial radio-activity. Rutherford's fundamental discovery 
of 191 9 was that transmutations may result from bombardment by 
a-particles. Thus, for example, the bombardment of nitrogen by 
a-particles results in the transmutation described by the nuclear equation 

N^ + He^CV'+JV 

[Read : The nitrogen nucleus of atomic mass-number 14 and atomic 
number 7 when disintegrated by an a-particle yields the isotope of 
oxygen of atomic mass-number 17 and atomic number 8 together with 
a proton.] 

Radio-active bodies, on the other hand, are bodies that break down 
spontaneously. We have various particles at hand with which to effect 
transformations by bombardment of nuclei, and for the most part the 
products resulting from such transmutations are stable. It might, however, 
happen that a product is produced which spontaneously disintegrates, 
and we then have the phenomena of artificial radio-activity. The 
bombardment (e.g.) of aluminium with a-particles resulted in the 


emission of neutrons (the neutron w x being a particle whose mass-number 
is unity and nuclear charge zero). 
Hence we have 

A1 27_l_„4_^.p 30 I „ 1 
A1 13 I a 2 ^ r 15 I "0 > 

the resulting product being an isotope of phosphorus. But if the bom- 
bardment ceases we find that positrons are emitted, the positron (p) 
being a particle of negligible mass and unit positive charge. The isotope 
of phosphorus produced is in fact radio-active and the nuclear equation 

Pl5 3 °-^Si u 30 +A 

the final product being an isotope of silicon. Bombardment by protons, 
neutrons, or deuterons may produce disintegration products which are 
unstable ; the unstable products resulting from bombardments by 
oc-particles or deuterons pass over into stable species, sometimes with the 
emission of positrons, sometimes with the emission of electrons ; this 
latter species of decay — -the p-active species — is often accompanied by 
y-radiation, so that artificially produced radio-active substances behave 
in the manner characteristic of natural p-active substances. Neutron 
bombardment, when it produces radio-elements, produces elements which 
are p-active. 

By nothing has the world-picture of to-day been so transformed from 
that of a generation — nay of a decade — ago than by the introduction of 
the uncertainty principle and by its effect on our notions of causality. 

It can be shown that of two conjugate quantities — time and energy, 
or position (x) and momentum (/>)— the product of their uncertainties 
of determination can never be less than the quantum h. Thus an increase 
in the accuracy of the determination of one quantity necessitates a corre- 
sponding decrease in the accuracy of the conjugate quantity, and in 
particular the exact determination of one quantity leaves the other com- 
pletely undetermined. An attempt to determine the position of a 
particle involves its illumination by light of suitable wave-length, and 
decrease of the wave-length in order to improve the definition of its 
position involves an increase in the magnitude of the recoil due to the 
Compton scattering process. 

Following a suggestion of Dr. Flint, let us fix our attention on the 
quantities position and momentum and consider a co-ordinate system in 
which momentum (p) is plotted along one axis and position (x) along 
the other. The co-ordinate space gives us the possible simultaneous 
values of x and p. Suppose this space divided into rectangles each of 
area h. Then the uncertainty principle, which asserts that the product 
(SxSp) of the uncertainties of the determination of position and momen- 
tum can never be less than h, may be illustrated by resuscitating Maxwell's 
demon and permitting him to push a point about at will within any one 
of the rectangles. The movement of the point, that is, the corresponding 
changes of position and momentum, will not be detected, for they do 
not correspond to any detectable change in the world of sense. 

Unfortunately the word ' indeterminism,' which has other connotations, 
has become associated with the statement of the principle. Many of us- 


remember Clerk Maxwell's immortal account of the proceedings of our 
Section at the Belfast Meeting sixty-two years ago, when Mr. Herbert 
Spencer regretted ' that so many members of the Section were in the 
habit of employing the word Force in a sense too limited and definite 
to be of any use in a complete theory of evolution. He had himself 
always been careful to preserve that largeness of meaning which was too 
often lost sight of in elementary works. This was best done by using 
the word sometimes in one sense and sometimes in another, and in this 
way he trusted he had made the word occupy a sufficiently large field 
of thought.' 

Is it heresy to suggest that some of us who have sung Canticles in 
praise of indeterminism and the disappearance of causality have given 
a similar generousness of meaning to these words ? 

Similar considerations apply to the term observable, which has suffered a 
sea-change in transference from its ordinary usage in the realms of per- 
ception. There is quite as much complicated physical theory lying between 
the perceptually observable marks on a photographic plate and the 
inferred frequencies, as there is between similar preceptual observables 
and the non-observable electron orbit or state which was inferred in order 
to subsume the perceptual facts. A similar generosity of treatment is 
accorded to the term observe when it is applied to the conceptual experi- 
ment for the determination of the position of a particle such as an electron. 

Which brings us round to the starting-point of this discourse. Many 
of us who desire to proceed with our measurements untrammelled by 
these philosophic doubts have asked if there is not some canon by which 
the plain man could test his everyday beliefs. I suggest that a starting- 
point at least to this end is provided by a study of Karl Pearson's work, 
and that, with certain reservations and additions to the method discussed 
in the Grammar of Science, we may develop a canon which will serve 
as a guide through the jungle of additional perceptual facts which 
the physical science of the twentieth century has added to that of its 
predecessors. 3 

Those who discuss the doctrine of causality do so with little reference 
to the attitude taken by the philosophers, and it may not be without 
interest — it certainly has some bearing on present-day thought — to con- 
sider the development of the notion of cause since the time of Newton. 
The views of Locke, Newton's elder contemporary, are clear and simple. 
He remarks : ' Thus, finding that in that substance which we call wax, 
fluidity, which is a simple idea that was not in it before, is constantly 
produced by the application of a certain degree of heat, we call the simple 
idea of heat in relation to fluidity in wax the cause of it, and fluidity the 
effect. ... So that whatever is considered by us to conduce or operate 
to the producing any particular simple idea, whether substance or mode, 
which did not before exist, hath thereby in our minds the relation of a 
cause and so is denominated by us.' 

Newton, dominated as he was by the principle of causality and ever 

3 In what follows I have drawn on the material of an article which I wrote 
some four years ago (Nature, vol. 45, 1932, p. 130). See also Broad, Perception, 
Physics and Reality. 


searching for a clear physical picture of the results of his investigations, 
was capable of a philosophic breadth of view which needs surprisingly 
little modification to-day. He makes, for example, a physical picture of 
matter as formed in ' solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable par- 
ticles,' and assumes that they have not only a Vis Inertice, but are moved 
by certain active principles, such as gravity. These principles are to be 
considered ' not as occult qualities . . . but as general Laws of Nature 
. . . their Truth appearing to us by Phaenomena. . . . To tell us that 
every Species of Things is endowed with an occult specifick Quality by 
which it acts and produces manifest effects, is to tell us nothing ; but to 
derive two or three Principles of Motion from Phasnomena and afterwards 
to tell us how the Properties and Actions of all corporeal Things follow 
from these manifest Principles would be a very great step in Philosophy, 
though the Causes of those Principles were not yet discovered ; and 
therefore I scruple not to propose the Principles of Motion above 
mentioned, they being of very general extent, and leave their Causes to 
be found out.' Evidently Newton takes the view that we have made an 
important step forward when we have subsumed a number of perceptual 
facts under a general formula. 

It is to Hume, though he may owe something to Glanvil and other 
predecessors, that we are indebted for a clearly ordered statement of the 
experientialist doctrine of causation. The generalisation, for example, 
that the earth attracts a stone is explained as a generalisation from thousands 
of observations. ' Adam . . . could not have inferred from the fluidity 
and transparency of water that it would suffocate him, or from the light 
and warmth of fire that it would consume him. No object ever discovers 
by the qualities which appear to the senses, either the causes which pro- 
duced it or the effects which will arise from it ; nor can our reason, 
unassisted by experience, ever draw any inference concerning real existence 
and matter of fact.' 

Mill further developed the experientialist doctrine in the statement that 
the law of causation ' is but the familiar truth that invariability of succes- 
sion is found by observation to obtain between every fact in nature and 
some other fact which has preceded it, independently of all considera- 
tions respecting the ultimate mode of production of phenomena, and of 
every other question regarding the nature of things in themselves.' To 
the doctrine of succession in this simple form the objection has been urged 
that day may be regarded as the cause of night and conversely. Mill 
meets this objection by pointing out that invariable sequence does not 
necessarily involve causation. To involve causation the sequence must 
not only be invariable but unconditional. The day-night sequence is 
conditional by the sun and so does not conform to this test. ' We may 
define, therefore, the cause of a phenomenon to be the antecedent, or the 
concurrence of antecedents, on which it is invariably and unconditionally 

It is difficult to sum up Pearson's attitude to the problem of causality 
and to the general problem in a few sentences. Perhaps Kirchhoff's 
dictum concerning mechanics : 'Die Mechanik ist die Wissenschaft von 


der Bewegung ; als ihre Aufgabe bezeichnen wir : die in der Natur vor 
sich gehenden Bewegung vollstdndig und auf die einfachste Weise zu 
beschrieben,' touches very nearly the root of the matter. 

We live, in fact, amid a mass of perceptions ; and it is the business of 
physical science to correlate, in as simple a fashion as may be, a certain 
section of these facts. To this end the physicist devises a conceptual 
world of atoms and molecules, from which he builds up a system — a 
world- picture — of molar masses whose motions correspond to the routine 
of our sense impressions. Given a frame of reference, we can formulate 
laws of motion for two isolated particles in a conceptual world which may 
be summed up in the statement that whatever be the positions and 
velocities of the particles the ratio of their accelerations is always constant ; 
this ratio is defined as the inverse mass-ratio of the particles ; and in virtue 
of this we have the relation that — 

Mass of A x acceleration of A = Mass of B x acceleration of B. 

We give the name force to this product, and hence obtain the law that 
action and reaction are equal and opposite. On the basis of such de- 
finitions we can build up a structure of bodies in the conceptual world 
the motions of which, predictable under the descriptive laws formulated, 
will agree with the routine of our world of sense perceptions. We have 
in fact explained certain phenomena. 

There is, of course, no logical reason why, in this description, we 
should stop short at the second derivative — acceleration — or go forward 
to it for that matter. We are concerned to find the simplest and most 
consistent explanation, and this procedure provides it. Indeed something 
of assthetics may also influence our choice. 

The atom, whatever its complexity, whether the concept remains sharp 
as that of a billiard ball or a miniature solar system, or whether its outlines 
disappear in a probability-smear, remains a concept outside the realm of 
perceptual happenings which it is the business of the concept to correlate. 
It may or may not emerge into the perceptual world ; unless and until it 
does discussion of its reality is beside the mark. 

Planck, defining the causal condition in the statement that an event 
is causally conditioned if it can be predicted with certainty, goes on to 
remark that the possibility of making a correct prediction has not to be 
interpreted as anything more than a criterion for a causal correction, but 
not that the two mean one and the same thing. Day is not the cause of 
night, although we may be able to predict the advent of night in the day- 
time. Day is therefore a causally conditioned event. 4 

Taking the definition as it stands, we find that in the realm of quanti- 
tative physical events we cannot, purely as a matter of measurement, 
predict accurately in advance any one physical event — this, without 
introducing quantum considerations. Prof. Planck escapes from the 
indeterminist position by transferring the definition to a conceptual 

4 This definition should be carefully examined in the light of the arguments 
of Hume (Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, Section VII) and of Mill 
(Logic, Book III, Chap. V). 


world in which exact measurements may be made and events correctly 
predicted. He assumes, in fact, in its broad outlines, the thesis of the 
Grammar of Science. He thus retains the principle of causality, as 
defined above, in the happenings of the conceptual world, remarking that 
the relation between events in the perceptual and conceptual worlds is 
subject to a slight inaccuracy. 

The introduction of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle necessitates a 
corresponding process in dealing with perceptual problems from the 
point of view of quantum physics. A conceptual world of quantum 
physics is framed in which a strict determinism reigns. True, the world 
has not so many points of resemblance to the perceptual world as had 
the older schemes — billiard-ball and solar-system atoms have disappeared, 
and the wave-function, which does not refer to ordinary space, is not so 
easily interpreted in terms of the world of sense. But the philosophical 
problem of the transfer is the same. 

Whatever the form of the picture the hard-pressed physicist of to-day 
remains on firm ground if he refuses to confuse the concept — the world- 
picture — with the percept ; if, making this distinction, he studies the 
question of the reality underlying phenomena as philosopher rather than 
as physicist ; if he is as ready to discard outworn models as ever Maxwell 

There is no finality in these matters, and solutions of these difficulties 
are solutions for a day ; but it is interesting and heartening to know that 
Planck, the initiator of the movement which has revolutionised physical 
thought, has, a generation later, pointed a way to a resolution of the funda- 
mental doubts and difficulties which his genius has raised. 

It must not be assumed that the discussion of uncertainty has passed 
beyond the region of fundamental criticism. In two recent papers in the 
Philosophical Magazine, Dr. Japolsky has developed a theory of elementary 
particles — electrons, protons, positrons, and so forth — which are con- 
sidered as systems of Maxwellian electromagnetic waves. On this basis, 
using classical electrodynamics, he develops the usual quantum and 
relativity relations, including the de Broglie equation. The interaction 
of the particles follows the inverse square law (breaking down at small 
distances), and demands a mass-ratio between proton and electron which 
happens to be that deduced from experiment. 

It is impossible to conclude a sketch of the trend of modern physics 
without touching upon the remarkable advances made in large-scale and 
applied physics ; equally impossible is it to do more than mention a 
selection from such topics. The flotation process for the separation of 
minerals may be instanced as one, now of large-scale importance, which 
depends on a knowledge of physical quantities of very academic interest. 
In the practice of this process the powdered ore is churned in water 
which contains some substance capable of producing a stable froth. 
The mineral which it is desired to concentrate must cling to the surface 
and so remain in the froth, the gangue sinking to the bottom, and a reagent 
must be added whose action will ensure this. Obviously some very nice 
physical and physico-chemical problems are involved. In particular, a 


knowledge of contact-angles — a rather neglected subject — is of great 
importance, and during the last year or two, much attention has been 
given to the measurement of contact-angles and to the application of the 
results to flotation processes. Indeed, a knowledge of surface-constants 
has many applications to industrial and to purely scientific problems, 
and it may not be out of place to draw attention to the curious shape of 
the curves showing the march of surface tension with temperature for 
certain crystalline liquids. 

A most interesting application of classical atomic physics has recently 
been made in certain extensions of the theory of the Brownian movement. 
Measurements have been made of the Brownian movement of delicately 
suspended balances, movements due, of course, not to mass-motion of air 
or draughts but to irregular molecular bombardment, and a remarkably 
good value of Avogadro's number results from a determination of the 
amplitudes of such movements. Obviously if instruments become so 
delicate that their Brownian motion is appreciable, it becomes possible 
that Brownian motion may set a limit to the use of the instrument ; this 
question has recently received consideration. 

Electron diffraction has been applied with success to problems in 
technical physics. The very small penetration of even the swiftest 
electrons employed makes them peculiarly suitable for the study of surface 
structure, and the method has been used to attack such problems as the 
poisoning of oxide-coated filaments, and the study of lubrication. 

Of the remarkable progress made in low-temperature research, we shall 
hear during the meeting of the Section. One other matter may be 
mentioned in passing — the development of precision methods in calori- 
metry which may make it possible to study accurately the temperature- 
variation of the specific heats of liquids (deuterium oxide, for example) 
available only in small quantities. 

Of recent years our Association has concerned itself more and more 
with a study of the repercussions of the advancement of science on the 
fabric of our society. Never in the history of mankind have more 
powerful weapons for good and for evil been placed in the hands of the 
community as a direct result of the growth of scientific knowledge ; and 
never has it been more necessary for the scientist to develop some awareness 
of the effects of his activities on the well-being of that community of which 
he himself is a responsible member. 

We are most of us ready enough to discuss the ' Impact of Science on 
Society,' so long as we restrict ourselves to an enumeration of the benefits 
which science has bestowed upon mankind ; and on occasion we may 
make a rather snobbish distinction between cultural and vocational 
values. But we have to remember actively that there are dysgenic appli- 
cations of scientific knowledge, and if the scientist claims, as he rightly 
does, that place in the counsels of the nation which the importance of his 
work warrants, he must cease his worship of what Professor Hogben calls 
the ' Idol of Purity,' must be prepared to discuss all the social implications 
of his work and to educate himself, as well as his less fortunate brethren 
trained in the humanity schools, in a knowledge of these implications. 

c 2 


Our Association is peculiarly fitted to develop and discuss such know- 
ledge ; in our own Section we have made a beginning but we have as yet 
touched on but few of these interactions. Our steps are naturally at 
first a little halting, but with increasing knowledge there will come, I 
trust, an increased power in elucidating those complex and difficult social 
problems which the astonishing developments of the last generation have 
forced on the civilised world. 




PROF. J. C. PHILIP, O.B.E., D.Sc, F.R.S., 


My immediate predecessors in the presidency of this Section devoted 
their addresses to a review of recent progress in special fields of chemical 
knowledge, to the extension of which they themselves had materially 
contributed. On the present occasion I invite your attention to a topic 
of a different and a less technical character, namely, the chemist's place 
in the modern community and the kind of training necessary for an effi- 
cient discharge of his professional duties. One aspect of this topic was 
discussed at the Toronto meeting in 1924 by Sir Robert Robertson, who 
chose ' Chemistry and the State ' as the subject of his address to Section B. 
The gradual growth in the official status of the chemist was traced from 
the point at which he was perforce summoned to assist in the defence of 
the State to his association in the post-war period with a variety of Govern- 
ment Departments and Government activities. This association has 
steadily extended in the intervening period, but, apart altogether from 
State activities, the science of chemistry and its applications are touching 
the life of the individual citizen more and more closely every day. 

We have indeed moved far from the point of view expressed by 
Lavoisier's judge : ' La Republique n'a pas besoin de savants,' but even 
now there is often in influential quarters an inadequate grasp of the place 
and potentialities of the scientist. In the popular mind, and indeed by 
many who, to judge from their position, should be better informed, the 
chemist is still frequently associated merely with pharmacy or warfare, 
in neglect of the innumerable contacts of chemistry with the industry 
of the country, with the activities of the State, and with the health and 
comfort of its citizens. Let me begin by enlarging on these contacts 
and by emphasising the varied ways in which chemists are serving the 

In relation first to those essential activities of any society which is intellec- 
tually alive — the pursuit of new learning and the cultivation of the spirit 
of inquiry — chemistry is in the forefront. For the promotion of natural 
knowledge and the increase of our understanding of the universe, the 
chemist has laboured with extraordinary success, both in his own fields 
and in those borderlands where chemistry marches with other sciences. 


It is perhaps worth while glancing at one or two of the chief avenues 
in the region of chemical knowledge opened up by such fundamental 

While our knowledge of atomic structure is to be credited mainly to 
the work of physicists, the chemist's technique has revealed the mole- 
cular architecture of the most complex natural products, and on the basis 
of this knowledge the same materials can be synthesised in the laboratory. 
One has only to think of the sugars, the alkaloids, the anthocyanins, to 
realise the astounding results which have been achieved in this field of 
investigation, while such elusive substances as the vitamins and the sex 
hormones are rapidly yielding their secrets to the strategy of the organic 

Take again that region in the scale of size which lies between the 
molecule and the visible particle — the colloid region — the ' world of 
neglected dimensions ' as it was once described. In this region, as the 
physical chemist has shown, the relatively great extent of surface is marked 
by quite special behaviour, and the labile systems encountered exhibit 
peculiar characteristics — characteristics which are highly significant for 
the understanding of physico-chemical changes in the living organism. 
Our knowledge of this field of surface chemistry is still extending rapidly. 

Once more, think of the tracking down of the factors which affect the 
rate of chemical change and the elucidation of the mechanism of their 
operation : a little moisture, a speck of dust, a trace of acid, a roughened 
surface, a ray of light, a rise of temperature : any of these may have a 
notable influence on the rate of a reaction. The physical chemist has 
been remarkably successful in unravelling the role of these various 
factors and in interpreting their significance. It is in such a field as this 
— the field of kinetics and catalysis — that the progress of chemical science 
from the qualitative and descriptive way of treating phenomena to the 
rational and quantitative has been particularly marked. 

These are only one or two of the directions in which the pioneering 
work of the chemist has opened the way to a fuller knowledge of Nature, 
especially in the more delicate aspects of her balance and her trans- 
formations. In the pursuit of natural knowledge for its own sake, the 
chemist has indeed travelled far and his exploration has yielded an 
abundant harvest of discovery. For the pioneer himself it is an adventure, 
and original research may provide thrilling experiences. All this, however, 
is far from the common ways of men, and the investigator in the field of 
pure chemistry moves in a region mostly inaccessible to ordinary folk, 
and he speaks an unintelligible language, as indeed is true of specialists 
in other sciences. The so-called ' jargon ' of science, inevitable as it is 
to some extent, presents a real difficulty in the transmission of knowledge 
and ideas from the specialist to the average educated man, but it should 
not be forgotten that other specialists besides scientific workers have a 
jargon of their own: to wit, lawyers, financiers, and even sportsmen. 

It has been maintained that the pursuit of learning for its own sake 
is a selfish occupation ; that knowledge should be a means to life, 
not an end in itself, that knowledge is of value only in so far as it leads 
to action, directly or indirectly. With this view I have much sympathy, 


but it has become abundantly clear, so far at least as knowledge and dis- 
covery in the realm of pure chemistry are concerned, that we must take 
a very long view indeed in assessing their practical value. Again and again 
in the history of the science observations and discoveries have been made, 
which at the time were of purely scientific interest but which later received 
important practical applications. The laboratory curiosities of a former 
generation, such as aluminium and tungsten, have become the industrial 
commonplaces of the present. The application of exact methods of 
measuring density revealed the presence of a new gas in the atmosphere — 
a discovery of purely scientific interest in the first place — which has led 
to a whole train of remarkable consequences, from a drastic revision of our 
ideas about the elements to the widespread development of illuminated 
signs. Just one hundred years ago, at the Bristol meeting of the Asso- 
ciation in 1836, Edmund Davy announced the discovery of a ' new gaseous 
bicarburet of hydrogen,' now familiar as acetylene. Decades passed, 
however, before the novel gas acquired any practical significance, and indeed 
it was not until 1892, when a large-scale method for producing calcium 
carbide was discovered, that acetylene became of industrial importance. 
Since then its applications have gone ahead rapidly, and its uses in illumina- 
tion, in welding, in metal-cutting, and in the synthetic production of 
organic chemicals are known to us all. In view of these lessons from 
the history of chemical science one hesitates to apply the epithet ' useless ' 
to any specific observation or discovery, however ' academic' Reflection 
indeed suggests that the really big changes in the material conditions 
of human life have generally had their origin in a search for knowledge 
on its own account. 

There is, however, much more to be said on this matter of fundamental ox 
academic research. A solution of the most practical of chemical problems 
on rational and scientific lines is possible only because of our accumulated 
knowledge of natural phenomena and natural laws. It is only against 
the background provided by the pure research of yesterday that the techni- 
cal problems of to-day can be viewed in their proper setting and tackled 
with a reasonable prospect of success. I would submit, therefore, that 
work in pure science, remote as it generally is from the practical issues 
of the moment, is building up a real reserve of knowledge and technique 
on which future generations of practical workers will be able to draw. 

Apart from the chemists who are engaged, mostly in our Universities 
and Colleges, but to some extent also in the larger research institutes, 
in the general task of extending the boundaries of knowledge, there are 
many more who are carrying on what may be called ' directed ' research. 
Their work aims at the solution of some specific problem, concerned, 
it may be, with the improvement of an industrial process, the elimination 
of waste, the safeguarding of health, the utilisation of by-products, the 
synthesis of antidotes. More definitely, and by way of example, the object 
may be to discover a fast blue dye, to purify a water supply, to find a 
rustless steel, to produce petrol from coal, to isolate a vitamin, to make a 
non-inflammable film or a creaseless cotton fabric. The general public, 
however dubious about pure research, would probably admit thatj 4 the 
satisfactory solution of any one of these problems would be of service to 


the community ; but it must be emphasised once more that the chemist 
can do these things only by virtue of his inheritance of knowledge and 
technique. The attack on such problems, to have a reasonable chance 
of success, must be organised on the basis of what is already known 
and what has already been achieved ; nay, more, one has abundant 
ground for belief that the attack, so organised, is bound to succeed, even 
though it may be ' in the long run.' 

In the last twenty years the amount of directed chemical research in 
this country has increased enormously. Industries of the most varied 
description have begun to realise the potential value of the trained chemist 
in solving their special problems and putting their manufacturing processes 
on a more rational basis. In this general movement the State, through 
the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, has taken a promi- 
nent part by fostering Research Associations. The work of these organ- 
isations — such as those dealing with rubber ; with paint, colour and varnish ; 
with cotton or wool ; with non-ferrous metals ; with sugar confectionery 
— is in many cases largely chemical or physico-chemical in character. 
The Research Associations have not only shown how general problems 
affecting an industry as a whole can be solved by joint research efforts, 
but their existence and activities have induced a notable degree of 
' research-mindedness ' in the individual associated firms. Financially, 
the work is based on co-operation between the State and industry,- on 
the principle that the State helps those who help themselves. 

The State itself has founded a number of organisations for the study 
of chemical problems of national importance, and has thus formally 
recognised the significance of directed research for the community. 
Six years ago one of my predecessors in this Chair, Sir Gilbert Morgan, 
gave an account of one of the most notable of these State experiments, 
namely, the establishing of the Chemical Research Laboratory at Tedding- 
ton, and the investigation there of various important problems by a large 
staff of trained chemists. The work carried out at Teddington has in- 
cluded the study of synthetic resins and low-temperature tars and the 
exploration of chemical reactions occurring under high pressure, as well 
as research on metal corrosion, chemotherapy and water softeners. 

Fuel and food are two notable cases in which State-aided investigation 
is being carried out, and problems connected on the one hand with 
pulverised and colloidal fuel or the low-temperature carbonisation of 
coal, and on the other with the storage of fruit or the preservation of fish 
and meat, are being intensively studied at appropriate centres. Reference 
might be made also to the work of the Building Research Station, where, 
amongst other matters, the factors detemining the weathering qualities 
of stone are being studied. Other experts than chemists are naturally 
concerned in the investigation of these problems, but the chemical and 
physico-chemical aspects are frequently the predominating ones. 

Again, the serious question of river pollution has been taken in hand 
with State help, and some years ago a chemical and biological survey of 
the river Tees was set on foot, the Tees being chosen for investigation 
because of the great variety of factory effluents discharged into it both in 
tidal and non-tidal reaches. Some of the newer industrial developments in 


Britain are presenting important problems in this direction. It has been 
estimated, for example, that if the waste waters from all the beet sugar 
factories in this country were discharged into our streams they would 
cause as much pollution as untreated sewage from a population of four 
or five millions. The effluents from dairies and factories making milk 
products present a similar problem. Thanks, however, to research activity, 
largely at the instance of the Water Pollution Research Board, the disposal 
or purification of these and other trade effluents is being effectively 

The question of river purification demands for satisfactory handling, as 
already indicated, the collaboration of other scientists with the chemist, and 
indeed the attack on many such problems, especially those affecting the 
health of the community, is likely to be successful only by the co-operation 
of teams of scientific workers from different fields. Smoke and fog, 
which not only present the scientist with interesting phenomena but 
constitute also a social and industrial problem of vital importance, concern 
the physicist, the physical chemist, the analyst, the fuel engineer and the 
meteorologist, and it is only when the knowledge and experience of these 
workers are pooled that there is any hope of interpreting the phenomena 
and solving the problem. Again, recent developments in cancer research 
make it clear that apart from the pathologist, who is mainly concerned, 
the chemist has a very definite contribution to make to our knowledge 
of this baffling disease. Some of the most fruitful scientific investigation, 
indeed, is co-operative in character. 

Research, whether fundamental or directed, is by no means the only 
outlet for the chemist's knowledge and craftsmanship. The works control 
of chemical processes, the examination of factory products, the safe- 
guarding of the purity of food, and the supervision of water supplies and 
sanitation, are examples of other activities of a more routine character 
in which large numbers of chemists are engaged. These are, so to speak, 
the general practitioners of the chemical profession, and their contribution 
to the smooth running of industry and to healthy living is far greater 
than most people suppose. I have myself been surprised, in a recent 
survey of the present occupations of my former students, by the extra- 
ordinary variety of the work in which chemically trained men may be 
engaged. This survey shows that photographic emulsions, beer, high- 
speed steel, printing ink, linoleum, dental cream, gramophone records, 
bank notes, and mineral waters, are a few of the materials with the pro- 
duction of which the chemist is concerned, either in the laboratory or 
the works. It is true to say that in the industry of the country the chemist 
is ubiquitous. 

A few moments ago I spoke of the ' chemical profession,' and the 
phrase was used deliberately ; it is really time that the British public 
and its leaders recognised the validity and the implications of the term. 
A profession is a vocation demanding high educational and technical 
qualifications, and it connotes also the body of those who by virtue of 
their qualifications are able to serve the needs and welfare of society in 
some particular field. On all these counts chemistry should have a 
place beside medicine, law, and engineering. That the public is so slow 


in recognising this claim may be due to the fact that the chemical profession 
is not yet unified to the same extent as the others just mentioned ; but it 
is due also to a lack of realisation of the fundamental and widespread 
character of the service which the chemist renders to the community, 
and which I have emphasised in the foregoing part of this address. 

A just estimate of the chemist's function is almost impossible for those 
who associate him chiefly with explosives and poison gas and regard him 
as a particularly devilish kind of scientist. Such a picture is hopelessly 
out of relation with the facts. It is, of course, true that chemists have 
produced dangerous and poisonous substances, but most of these were 
discovered originally in the general quest for knowledge, and many 
have legitimate and valuable applications ; their use for destructive 
purposes is a perversion. Phosgene, for example, one of the so-called 
poison gases, was discovered more than ioo years ago, and is an important 
material at the intermediate stage in the manufacture of certain dye- 
stuffs. Nitrates, which are the basis for the manufacture of most 
explosives, play a prominent role as fertilisers in agriculture, and ex- 
plosives themselves are indispensable in mining operations. 

The truth is that the employment for other than beneficial ends of the 
substances discovered by the chemist is due, not to his especial wickedness, 
but to the weakness and backwardness of the human spirit. Like other 
scientists, the chemist normally has a constructive point of view, and he 
cannot but deplore the fact that, as Sir Alfred Ewing said in his Presi- 
dential Address : ' The command of Nature has been put into man's 
hands before he knows how to command himself.' I think I speak for 
the vast majority of my fellow- chemists in saying that we dislike intensely 
the present world-wide prostitution of knowledge and skill to destructive 
ends. The sooner this is eliminated, and the less call there is for lethal 
and devastating materials, the greater will be our satisfaction. 

There are, indeed, welcome signs that scientific workers are increasingly 
impatient at the extent to which their knowledge is made to serve inhuman 
ends. The possibilities before humanity have been fairly set out by a 
recent historian, H. A. L. Fisher : ' The developing miracle of science is 
at our disposal to use or to abuse, to make or to mar. With science we 
may lay civilisation in ruins, or enter into a period of plenty and well- 
being, the like of which has never been experienced by mankind.' To the 
clearing of this conflicting situation, the scientist has not always made the 
constructive contribution which he might have done : he has been content 
to adopt an objective and detached attitude, suggesting sometimes com- 
plete indifference to the wider human issues at stake . Unfortunately, if one 
may judge from a recent play by J. B. Priestley, this attitude is commonly 
regarded as typical of the scientist. Gridley, a ship engineer, addressing 
Fletherington, a research chemist, says ' You're all wrong. You're a 
nuisance. You're a menace.' Fletherington : ' I'm not, I'm simply a 
chemist, a scientist.' Gridley : ' I know, I know, and to-day you're trying 
to blow us up and to-morrow you'll be trying to dose us with poison gas. 
What do you want to go and make the foul stuff for ? Before you've 
finished you fellows'ull do the lot of us in.' Fletherington : 'I'm very 
distressed to hear you talking like this, Mr. Gridley. I've never willingly 


hurt anybody in my life. All I do is to research.' Gridley : ' Yes, and 
look at the result. Blowing us up, burning us alive, poisoning us. Just 
stop your damned research.' 

This view of research, although it may be crude and ill-informed, 
nevertheless confronts the scientist with the question whether he is not 
assenting too readily to the misuse of his knowledge and skill. Impelled 
by patriotic motives, most scientists have put themselves freely at the 
disposal of the State in time of need, but many are hesitating to admit 
that patriotism must always override considerations of humanity. 
Whatever be our individual attitude in this matter, it is time for chemists 
and scientists in general to throw their weight into the scale against the 
tendencies which are dragging science and civilisation down and debasing 
our heritage of intellectual and spiritual values. 

Reference has already been made to the increasing recognition by the 
State of the value of chemical research, but it is surprising how slowly 
those responsible for the machinery of government learn to appreciate 
the real scope of the chemist's work. A comparatively recent instance of 
the lack of clear thinking on this matter was furnished by the first draft of 
the formal rules dealing with the manufacture of pharmaceutical prepara- 
tions containing poisons. Those allowed to control the manufacture 
were required to possess ' qualifications in chemistry,' and on this basis 
general medical practitioners were to be eligible equally with pharmacists 
and trained chemists. The idea that the general medical practitioner has 
qualifications in chemistry is ludicrous and the later drafts of the Poison 
Rules showed that this had been realised. The contention put forward 
in a Home Office Memorandum on these Rules that certain operations can 
be pharmaceutical but not chemical was equally ill-informed. 

Inadequate realisation of what the chemist even now means for the 
community and failure to grasp his potentiality for development and 
progress may have unfortunate consequences in the commercial world. 
How often is it the case, although there are notable exceptions, that an 
industrial concern depending essentially on the successful operation of 
chemical or physico-chemical processes is controlled by a board of directors 
elected solely by virtue of their financial qualifications. Such men, as a 
rule, are without real appreciation of scientific method and scientific 
research, and, in the absence of a technical member who can speak with 
authority on these matters — a technical employee obviously cannot carry 
the same weight — such a board may make serious mistakes of omission 
or commission. No amount of financial manipulation, however skilful, 
can make up for the lack of enlightened scientific control. 

If we chemists feel, as we certainly do, that the fundamental and 
widespread part which our science now plays in the community is not 
sufficiently realised, and if we consider that our profession should have 
greater influence in commercial, industrial, and national affairs, the 
remedy lies to some extent with ourselves, both individually and collect- 
ively. May I suggest that the phrase ' serving the community ' not only 
describes what has already been extensively achieved by the chemist, but 
stands also for a high aim, such as has inspired, for example, the best 
traditions of the medical profession ? The idea of service as a background 


for life is not new — it is at least 1900 years old — -but I believe it to be true 
to-day as always that the finest work in any sphere is linked with that ideal. 
The cynic will, of course, declare that the idea of ' service ' in the present 
connection is both sentimental and irrelevant, and that concern for profits 
and pay need not be tempered with any less material considerations. 
Against this so-called realism I would urge that the spirit of narrow 
commercialism and professionalism, without vision of the potentialities 
of science for humanity, and without concern for the social issues 
involved, gives colour to the false view that science is anti-social. 

Whatever may be our individual views on these questions, practical 
considerations suggest, and even demand, the formation of a corporate 
body to represent the common views and stand for the common interests 
of chemists as a whole. Much has been done already in this direction, 
but formal unification to the extent which prevails in the medical pro- 
fession, for example, has not been achieved. The very diversity of the 
spheres of work with which chemistry is concerned means that the points 
of view and the interests of chemists vary widely : the outlook of the public 
analyst is not that of the research chemist or the man operating a chemical 
process on the factory scale. It is not surprising, therefore, that progress 
in the collaboration of chemists has been slow, and it is improbable that 
the chemical profession can ever become unified as closely and exclusively 
as the medical profession — even supposing it were desirable. 

If for the moment we regard as ' trained chemists ' all those who have 
taken an Honours Degree in Science with chemistry as the principal 
subject, or who have equivalent qualifications, their number in Great 
Britain is probably in the neighbourhood of 12,000. The majority of 
these are members of one or more of the three large chartered bodies 
concerned with chemistry — the Chemical Society, the Institute of 
Chemistry, and the Society of Chemical Industry. The Chemical 
Society, which is the oldest of the three and celebrates its centenary in 
1941, has had for its chief objects the publication of new knowledge in 
pure chemistry and the building up of a comprehensive library — aims 
which have been achieved to a notable extent. The formation of this 
Society took place at a time when the professional and industrial aspects of 
chemical science were still in the background. 

At a later date — over fifty years ago — the Institute of Chemistry was 
founded as a definitely professional organisation, designed to ensure the 
possession of adequate qualifications by those engaged in the practice of 
chemistry. The Institute, now the largest of the three chartered bodies, 
has had a considerable influence on the training of chemists, more especially 
for consulting and analytical practice, and membership of the organisation 
is, for certain kinds of chemical work, taken as a necessary and sufficient 
guarantee of professional competence. Unfortunately, however, there is 
not yet in existence a complete and authoritative register of trained 

The rapid growth of interest in the applications of chemical science led 
to the forrriation in 1881 of the Society of Chemical Industry, which aims 
at the promotion of applied chemistry, by regular publication of relevant 
information and discussion of the latest developments. The members 


are linked to one another in Local Sections, which are not confined to 
Great Britain, and by Subject Groups, which provide a common meeting 
ground for those interested in Chemical Engineering, Road and Building 
Materials, Plastics, and Food, respectively. 

In addition to these three main bodies there are numerous smaller 
organisations concerned with chemistry in one way or another, such as the 
Biochemical Society, the British Association of Chemists, the Faraday 
Society, the Institute of Brewing, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, 
or the Society of Public Analysts, and the number of these is in itself a 
testimony to the variety of the chemist's activities. 

Within the last two years a notable step has been taken towards the 
consolidation of the science and profession of chemistry by the formation 
of the Chemical Council, which is based on the three chartered organisa- 
tions already mentioned, as well as on the Association of British Chemical 
Manufacturers, representing important industrial and commercial interests. 
The Chemical Council, set up in the first instance for a period of seven 
years, aims at securing a joint foundation for undertakings which have 
hitherto been the concern of separate organisations, and at enlisting the 
support of industry in this matter. The publication of new knowledge, 
either in the form of original communications or in the form of summaries 
of papers which have already appeared, is of the first importance in a 
science growing so rapidly as chemistry. For every chemist, whatever be 
his particular field of work, some acquaintance with new views, new 
discoveries, new applications, is essential, and the publication of new 
knowledge in the appropriate form is really a concern of the whole pro- 
fession. The successful prosecution of this enterprise is a vital matter 
also for the industries which depend for their smooth running and their 
progressive development on the application of chemical knowledge and the 
furtherance of chemical research. 

If the newly established Chemical Council can unite the chemical 
profession and the chemical industry in support of publications and other 
objects of similarly wide appeal, such as a central library, it will have 
achieved a notable advance. Its formation is the earnest of further moves 
in the direction of consolidation and unification of the chemical profession, 
such as the acquisition of adequate central premises and the establishment 
of a complete register of trained chemists. 

This leads me to consider the kind of preparation which is necessary 
in order that a man shall be qualified for such registration. The training 
of chemists, as of other professional men, has for its necessary basis a 
broad general education for character, culture and citizenship — in the 
achievement of which the teaching of science can play a distinctive part. 
Regard for accuracy in observation and in statement, understanding of 
logical reasoning, interest and delight in the natural world, appreciation 
of scientific discovery and its meaning for human life — all these are, in 
some measure at least, within the grasp of the child under the guidance of 
a live teacher. In this connection it is unfortunate that the elements of 
biology are taught in comparatively so few schools. It is admittedly 
easier to arrange for elementary instruction in the physical sciences than 
in biology, but, as things are at present, boys, especially, see as a rule 


only one side of science — they find themselves in a physics-chemistry 
groove, and this groove may become a rut. My own experience of 
students from secondary schools (including public schools) proceeding to 
a university honours degree in chemistry shows that not more than i in 12 
has had any previous contact with biological science. Apart from the 
special and intimate relationships between chemistry and vital phenomena, 
such a state of affairs is regrettable on general and cultural grounds. 

After the School Certificate stage our future chemist appropriately 
begins some specialisation in science, either during his last years at school 
or during his first year at University or College. The special science 
teaching in secondary schools now reaches in many cases a high level of 
excellence, but owing to various causes, notably scholarship requirements, 
the extent of specialisation in physics, chemistry and mathematics during 
these last two years has become excessive. Not only does this involve a 
reduction of time and energy for desirable cultural subjects, such as history 
and English language and literature, but it may mean that the student comes 
to the University without a mastery of the tools which he will later need 
in his specialist work. In the case of the chemist this applies especially 
to the German language, and at the moment we have the absurd position 
that many University Departments of Chemistry are finding it necessary 
to teach their students German, while the schools on the other hand are 
busy giving specialist instruction of University standard. 

The student who has passed the Intermediate Science stage and who 
has decided to become a chemist has two or three years' training in front 
of him before he enters for his final examinations. In what way can the 
most profitable use be made of this time ? The attempt to answer this 
question in detail would be out of place here, but there are a few general 
considerations which should not be forgotten in connection with this stage 
in the training of the chemist. In the earlier portion of this address 
emphasis was laid on the extreme diversity of the tasks which the chemist 
may be called upon to undertake in his professional career, and clearly, 
therefore, it is the basic principles of the science that should mainly occupy 
his attention during his University curriculum. His training must be on 
broad fundamental lines, and any attempt to plan a University under- 
graduate course with a view to preparation for some specific chemical 
occupation, such as paper-making or dyestuff manufacture, is entirely mis- 

On the other hand, the breadth of the chemist's undergraduate training 
may be sacrificed to intensive and perhaps excessive study of some 
academic aspect of the subject. The criticism is made to-day — and in my 
view it has some justification— that our graduates in chemistry are weak 
in their grasp of the fundamentals of the science. It is said that they can 
talk at length about nuclear spins, valency angles, electron sinks, energy 
levels and so on, but are astonishingly uncertain about more elementary 
and practical matters. The explanation is not far to seek. Discoveries 
in atomic physics, radioactivity and other fields have revolutionised the 
outlook ; our basic ideas about matter and energy have been radically 
altered and extended ; chemical properties and reactions have been re- 
interpreted in terms of the electron and the quantum. The interest and 
significance of these developments are obvious, and all sound chemical 


education must incorporate the new knowledge and the new ideas. It 
does appear, however, that the attempt to present these in all their detail 
to the undergraduate chemist has involved correspondingly sketchy treat- 
ment of less novel, but still fundamental, elements of his training. Further, 
in the chemical and physico-chemical fields opened up by these new 
developments there has been a luxuriant growth of theory and speculation, 
often ephemeral in character and rendered impressive only by a buttressing 
of mathematics. A good deal of this enters into the university teaching of 
chemistry, but much of it has merely an examination value and contributes 
nothing to the permanent equipment of the average student — the man 
whose interests must be kept steadily in view. 

The present prominence of this ' armchair ' chemistry suggests that 
there is another consideration which we academic people are apt to forget. 
So far at least as the service of the community is concerned chemistry is 
a practical science and the most of the students under training are to be 
practising chemists. Academic purists may protest that chemistry is a 
philosophical discipline, not a bread and butter affair, and that any- 
thing savouring of vocational training is foreign to the function of a 
University. It is, however, to the national interest that knowledge and 
action should be co-ordinated and that our Universities should not be 
divorced from practical affairs. The existence of our Faculties of 
Medicine and Engineering shows that in other important fields of national 
service the Universities have accepted the burden of putting vocational 
training on a broad foundation of scientific knowledge. In the training 
of the chemist, then, knowledge of fundamental principles must be 
coupled with practical competence, craftsmanship and technique, and 
here I would stress the importance of accurate quantitative analysis as one 
essential element in the education of the chemical student. Apart from 
its value as enforcing the essentially exact nature of chemical reactions, 
experience shows that the successful solution of organic or physico- 
chemical problems depends in a great many instances on some accurate 
analytical operation. Laboratory practice and craftsmanship in general, 
the value of which is discounted by certain schools of physicists to-day, is 
indeed an indispensable feature of the training of the chemist. 

Along with the laboratory I should like to emphasise the importance of 
the library, and here I refer, not to general university facilities, but to a 
departmental library, small it may be but workmanlike, and run as a real 
element in the chemist's training. With their eye on examinations many 
students regard lectures and laboratories as providing the sum total of all 
wisdom, and yet it is essential that they should have direct access to the 
original sources of information and learn how to use them. This is best 
done in a departmental library, accessible and up to date, but success will 
be achieved only when responsible members of the staff take a real interest 
in this side of the student's training, and make the library a live affair. 

No single science is self-contained and no man can be a chemist without 
some knowledge and experience of cognate fields. Hence it is appropriate 
that the undergraduate student of chemistry should study physics or 
biology, for example, as a subsidiary subject, and this is generally provided 
for in the courses which lead to an Honours Degree in Chemistry as the 


main subject. Where the interval between the Intermediate and the Final 
Honours Examinations is only two years, time-table considerations un- 
fortunately may forbid the study of more than one subsidiary subject. 
There is much to be said for a minimum period of three years, which would 
not only relieve the congestion of a two years' specialist course in chemistry 
but would enable the student to acquire a broader outlook on related 
fields of knowledge. In some Universities where the three-year interval 
between Intermediate and Final Honours is in force, the chemistry 
student takes a general degree — or its equivalent — in three subjects before 
proceeding to the Final Honours year, and this arrangement has much to 
commend it. 

As to the subsidiary subject or subjects themselves, there should be 
much elasticity, and the student's own aptitudes and interests should be 
the determining consideration. Thus while all chemists should have a 
working knowledge of mathematics up to the calculus, it would be a 
mistake to make more advanced work in this field obligatory as a subsidiary 
subject, irrespective of the student's individual capacities and interests. 
On the other hand, the chemistry student who has a real flair for mathe- 
matics — in my experience he is a rare bird — should have every encourage- 
ment, both before and after graduation, to cultivate his special talent. 
Such encouragement is specially effective if it is backed by members of 
the mathematics staff with some appreciation of the chemist's outlook and 

The Honours course in pure chemistry which is current in our Univer- 
sities is itself very specialised and, in my judgment, lacks flexibility. 
Many chemical undergraduates are frankly more interested in the practical 
application of the broad principles of chemistry than in the refinements and 
subtleties which figure largely in our honours courses of lectures. Such 
highly specialised instruction may be appropriate for those who are to 
spend their lives working in the field of pure chemistry, but it has limited 
value for those who are less interested in knowledge for its own sake than 
in its application for practical ends. In physics the necessity of providing 
for these two types of workers has long been recognised and our Univer- 
sities welcome students of electrical engineering as well as students of 
pure physics. In view of these considerations serious attention should be 
devoted to Chemical Engineering as a degree subject. Experiments in 
this direction have already been made in one or two places, and the 
question has been raised afresh by the recent proposal of the Imperial 
College that an undergraduate course in Chemical Engineering should be 
instituted, covering three years after the Intermediate stage. It is essential 
that any course such as that proposed should be based on the fundamental 
principles of physics and chemistry, with the requisite mathematics, and 
should cover their general application in the field where the chemist and 
the engineer have common interests and common problems — a field which 
is very largely that of physical chemistry. 

The oft-repeated criticism that the man trained on the lines proposed 
would be neither a chemist nor an engineer is merely formal and un- 
convincing ; the water-tight separation of the two professions is entirely 
artificial, for in chemical industrial practice there are many who are 


primarily chemists but who have to handle large-scale operations on 
engineering lines. Why should this fact not be faced and the appropriate 
adjustments made in our University courses of training ? It is true that 
at the present time some men trained in pure chemistry take a post- 
graduate course in chemical engineering, but this is a piecemeal way of 
acquiring the relevant knowledge and technique, and the welding of the 
two disciplines in a balanced curriculum should produce much better 
results. If the Universities will take this matter in hand, the training of 
the chemical engineer will be moulded on lines consistent with that study 
of fundamental knowledge which it is the function of the Universities to 

As in medicine, the man who is at the end of a chemical undergraduate 
training is only at the beginning of that experience of life and practice 
which will make him a mature member of his profession. In some cases, 
depending on aptitude and temperament, it is best that this further 
experience should be begun outside the University and that the new 
chemical graduate should at once exchange the comparative calm of 
academic lecture-rooms and laboratories for the rough and tumble of 
industrial conditions. These are the cases in which sufficient technical 
basis is provided in the undergraduate course for a career which will lie 
more in the field of production management and administration than in 
that of scientific control and development. 

On the other hand, in the majority of cases, the chemist who has just 
completed his first degree curriculum is well advised to spend one or two 
post-graduate years at the University, either in research or advanced 
study, securing in this way the opportunity for more intensive and 
deliberate work in some special field. While I do not consider that 
research should invariably be the occupation of the post-graduate chemist, 
it is essential that all those with distinct originality and with ambition to 
extend the boundaries of knowledge should have the chance of learning 
the art of the pioneer and of experiencing the thrill of discovery. It is from 
the ranks of such post-graduate workers that the Davys and the Faradays, 
the Ramsays and the Perkins of the future must be recruited, and 
accordingly joint research by staff and students should be a prominent 
feature of all chemical departments in our Universities and Colleges. 
If the investigations proceeding in any one department are of a varied 
character, so much the better, for where a single field is being explored 
on established lines, an individual worker may be little more than a cog 
in a wheel, with only slight benefit to himself. 

In the case of those who have no apparent talent or inclination for 
research, the post-graduate period is more profitably spent in acquiring 
special knowledge of some particular field. With a thorough under- 
graduate training in chemistry as a background, intensive work in, say, 
biochemistry, agricultural chemistry, metallurgy, or the chemistry of 
food and drugs, provides technical qualifications of a valuable order. At 
the same time, it must not be forgotten that, however good the post- 
graduate training in research or advanced study may have been, the chemist 
will be faced with new problems and new situations when he enters the 
works laboratory or the factory. This marks the opening of a fresh 


chapter in his training, and although he may already have acquired a sound 
knowledge of specific principles and scientific method, he is but a beginner 
in other respects, and the new situation may make a heavy call on his 
adaptability and common sense. Real achievement at this stage depends 
largely on character and personality, the possession of which is outside 
the guarantee of University degrees. For the chemist who has not only 
intellectual ability and technical competence, but also qualities of leader- 
ship and judgment, there is abundant opportunity, and our industries 
could profitably absorb many more men of this calibre. 

Since the war there has been a notable increase in the number of openings 
for trained chemists and there is a steadily growing demand for such men. 
It is imperative, however, that the standard of training shall be maintained 
at a high level with the objects of scientific progress and professional 
competence always in view. There is no doubt that, given adequate 
financial and commercial co-operation, chemists trained in our Univer- 
sities and Technical Schools will be able to meet all demands on their 
skill and knowledge and to make their full contribution to the industrial 
and social needs of the community. 

Consideration, indeed, of the scientific and industrial developments 
of the last few decades warrants the view that all technical requirements 
of the community in goods and services can be met sooner or later. While, 
however, knowledge and skill increase, wisdom lingers, and it looks as if 
the real problem at the moment before the nation — before all civilised 
nations — is not any difficulty in technical service or technical production, 
but the wise use and distribution of the natural and synthetic products 
which science has put at our disposal in such abundant measure. 






Few branches of scientific research are less familiar to the general public 
than Palaeontology. Restorations of extinct animals, glowering in 
museums or quivering on the screen, do little to provide an understanding of 
the subject ; they savour unduly of the temptation to start reading a novel 
at the wrong end. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that to most people, 
and not to the illiterate alone, the activities of palaeontologists are unknown 
or mysterious. In many quarters a fossil-hunter is still looked upon as 
perhaps amiable, and probably harmless ; while the small economic value 
of his treasures is a clear index to the abnormality of his mind. Most of 
us who work in the field still experience the difficulty of convincing casual 
observers that the specimens we collect and cherish are objects worthy of 
the attention of grown men who are also sane. 

It is not my intention to comment here on a system of education that 
omits to give to its victims an intellectual appreciation of the world in 
which they live. Any such diatribe would be dismissed, like all criticisms 
of established custom, as the product of a biased mind. But I hope 
that the facts and logical deductions that I am about to put before you, 
from the privileged position in which you have placed me, may reach 
beyond the walls of this room (where we are all of the true faith) and 
convince sceptics that Palaeontology has a message of vital importance to 
mankind. With this intent I propose to pass over the obvious geological 
applications of the science, concentrating attention upon its biological 

Palaeontology is, by name and nature, an historical study. Its aim is to 
decipher the records of past life, and to translate the story into human 
language. Without some knowledge of this sort, true appreciation of 
life in the present is impossible. One of the main factors in human 
progress has been an ability to learn from the experience of past generations. 
That mankind is often lamentably ' slow in the uptake ' in this respect 
only emphasises the importance of his faculty ; for when discredited 
experiments are repeated progress is postponed. 

The old-fashioned type of biologist who ignored or rejected fossil 
evidence was in the position of a man who, suffering from loss of memory, 
might try to understand the present international situation with no other 
guides than this morning's papers. This forlorn type is now virtually 


extinct ; but we still have hosts of earnest workers, battling with problems 
directly concerned with mankind, who either know nothing of man's 
place in nature or even deny that he is subject to natural laws. In such 
cases ignorance and prejudice are far more dangerous than when they 
inspired opposition to Galileo ; to living beings the laws of life are more 
directly important than those of planetary motion. 

It is difficult to recapture the sense of amazement that must have 
assailed the minds of those who first observed and pondered over fossils. 
The ideas aroused by the ' figured stones ' must have seemed grotesque 
and incredible even when they fell short of profanity. Many and various 
hypotheses were devised to explain away facts whose obvious interpre- 
tation did violence to accepted tradition. During the seventeenth 
century, mongrel mixtures of imperfect observation and misread Scripture 
appeared in polemic succession as ' Theories of the Earth.' These 
treatises can never become out of date. Much as they resemble guides to 
Wonderland written by the White Knight, they are good illustrations of 
the perennial danger of logic based on incomplete premisses. 

Fossils were ascribed to astrological conjunctions, meteoric showers, 
thunderbolts, and even to the machinations of the Arch-fiend. Belief 
in the celestial, or at least cosmic, origin of fossils was very general ; 
perhaps it was fostered by the abundance of ' Shepherds' Crowns ' on the 
ploughed fields. The five-rayed pattern of these casts of sea-urchins, 
no less than the stellate structure of nodules of pyrites, linked all ' ex- 
traneous fossils ' with the stars. Sounder reasoning, in the light of the 
knowledge then available, prompted a belief (championed strongly by 
Nicholas Lang) in some fertilising essence that generated fossils in rocks 
as it did jelly-fish in sea-water. 

At last, as evidence accumulated, the inevitable and (to us) obvious 
interpretation of fossils became accepted by all who studied them ; 
although then, as now, the opinionated felt qualified to deny truths of 
which they were ignorant. The situation was admirably summed up in 
1732 by J. P. Breynius in his treatise on the reputed petrified melons of 
Mount Carmel. He showed convincingly that these objects were crystal- 
filled geodes ; but in so doing he was anxious to avoid casting doubt on 
the organic nature of true fossils. He expressed the opinion that, after 
the revelations made by Columna, Steno and Scilla, ' he who would doubt 
the truth of the assertion [that the Glossopetra of Malta were true 
sharks' teeth] must assuredly have a fungus for a brain.' 

Real progress in the study of fossils had to wait until a change of fashion 
allowed persons of intelligence and refinement to leave the chaste shelter 
of libraries and cabinets and to expose themselves to the rigours of the 
open country. Hitherto savants had been content (for the most part) to 
speculate and debate over specimens brought to them by illiterate yokels ; 
and they often wove into their theories the fantastic stories with which 
the discoveries had been embellished. The greater part of two centuries 


had been wasted in ' empty speculation ' (as Scilla described the efforts of 
his contemporaries) before philosophers learned the value of physical 
labour, with its accompaniment of honest dirt, as a clarifier of the mind. 

And so we come to the heroic period of the late eighteenth and early 
nineteenth centuries, when students of Geognosy began to collect fossils 
for themselves. Immediately two sciences sprang to birth. Geology, 
as we understand it to-day, found in fossils the link that gave continuity 
to a mass of disconnected observations ; and Palaeontology took its place 
as the science of the succession of life. The discovery that ' Strata [can 
be] identified by Organised Fossils ' must surely rank among the greatest 
episodes in the history of human thought ; for to it we can trace directly 
our conception of geological time and our realisation of the fact of 
evolution. Throughout the past century both of these revelations were 
hotly contested ; for since the days of Elijah truth has always been at 
variance with orthodoxy ; but a recognition of the orderly succession of 
events in the history of the world, inorganic and organic alike, gradually 
dawned on all but the most benighted minds. To-day we can, with such 
concessions to modern delicacy as may be appropriate, apply the dictum 
of Breynius to those who doubt, and especially to those who deny, the 
established facts of history. 

Since I propose to exploit to the full a Presidential licence for generalisa- 
tion, it becomes necessary to remind myself and you of the value of the 
evidence on which the generalisations are based. The depth and range 
of the conceptions of which Palaeontology treats, and the importance of 
the conclusions to which they lead, are such that a critical audit is period- 
ically imperative. Evolution is a principle that interests and influences 
every man, whether he likes it or not ; and for that reason it is in constant 
danger of becoming discredited by wild generalisations. Every teacher 
knows the absorbent nature of the student-mind which willingly accepts 
as doctrine suggestions that were not meant to be the commandments even 
of men. We spend our lives in disproving the axioms of our youth. I 
is, then, most important that palaeontologists, who alone can speak with 
authority on the course of organic evolution, should be careful of what 
they say. Heaven forfend that they should ever cease to theorise and 
speculate ; but they will do so better if they remember occasionally the 
nature of the foundation on which the apex of their logical pyramid rests. 

In any kind of historical research there must always be a vast quantity 
of undiscovered, and indeed unrecorded, facts. Many of these lost data 
are doubtless best served by oblivion {vide the daily Press) ; but, in the 
intricate ramification of affairs, apparently trivial incidents may prove 
critically important. Nevertheless, a few average samples of news, 
selected on a definite principle, will give a fairer picture of historical truth 
than a welter of flashy details that are ' news ' because they are abnormal. 

The imperfection of the geological record is patent and inevitable, for 
all stratigraphical history is written in palimpsest. The palaeontological 
record is inseparably involved in the geological ; so that disjointed scraps 
of evidence are all that we can expect. Even when no obvious mutilation, 


such as angular unconformity, defaces the record, there is no reason to 
assume that the story is consecutive. Just as a net has been described 
as a set of holes held together with string, so a series of strata must 
often represent a succession of non-sequences separated by films of 

In addition to the accidents of destruction inherent in the nature of the 
geological record, there are many gaps due to biological factors. Not 
only do organisms devoid of hard parts perish, usually without trace, 
but many of all kinds are destroyed in providing food for their successors. 
The biological palimpsest immortalised on Ilkla Moor is almost universal. 

Apart from accidental occurrences that are too rare to provide more 
than surprise, fossils consist of the ' hard parts ' only of the creatures they 
represent. While in some cases these structures may consist of toughened 
organic material (as, for example, wood or chitin), they are usually 
built of mineral matter secreted or excreted by the organism. Such shells 
and skeletons are valuable to their owners for protection or support ; but 
at best they have a secondary significance in that they are the least ' alive ' 
parts. Skeletons are closely associated, and intergrown, with living 
tissues ; but shells have no closer connection with their builders than any 
other kind of homespun garment. 

There is thus a serious limitation, in both quantity and quality, of the 
amount of direct evidence available for the appraisement of the characters 
of extinct organisms. Paleontologists share with anatomists the dis- 
advantage of studying life after it has gone ; but they are further penalised 
by having access only to those parts of the living mechanism that were 
never more than half alive. When we superpose on this Ossa of imper- 
fections the Pelion of the human factor (in the matter of collection, pre- 
servation and interpretation of specimens), there does not seem much left. 

As regards the quantity of evidence available, its limitation is our 
salvation. However short it may fall of the total amount possible, it is 
enormous. In many respects we understand the principle by which it 
has been selected, so that we are in a position to estimate its proportionate 
value. Moreover, such material as is preserved for us has been kept in 
its right chronological order. The fact of succession gives ample com- 
pensation for shortcomings in other ways. 

The quality of fossil evidence is, in effect, far higher than might be 
expected. Although fossils represent but portions of organisms, they are 
not therein unrepresentative. In the laboratory of research in Scotland 
Yard, a mere finger-print is known as a sure criterion for identification. 
A finger-print suffices not only to show some inborn and peculiar character 
of its maker, but often includes features that reveal something of his 
habits and experiences. Most fossils, certainly those on which conclusions 
of importance are based, are far more than finger-prints. In spite of a 
need for caution owing to the vagaries of convergent development, a single 
character is generally enough to serve as a basis of identification of an 
organism. The plumage of birds, the wing-scales of Lepidoptera, or the 
pollen-grains of plants are even better indices of the several species of a 
group than many more intimate anatomical features. Indeed, experience 
shows that ' vital ' structures are very uniform throughout families or even 


orders of organisms ; the differences that distinguish genera and species 
are usually trivial and superficial. Hence the restrictions laid on palaeonto- 
logists, though regrettable, are in no sense crippling. 

Skeletons and shells are particularly informative as to the relation of an 
organism to its environment, and thus of its habits of life. In this matter 
a double check is available. Not only can we study the connection between 
the skeletal and shelly structures of living types and their environment, 
and so infer the significance of similar characters in extinct forms ; but by 
a study of the lithology of the sediments in which fossils are found we can 
deduce the physiographical conditions prevalent at the time of their 
burial. There is, indeed, little to choose between the opportunities of 
neontologists and palaeontologists for studying the relation between 
structure and environment, and, with the shifting scene of geological 
history, palaeontologists have a unique opportunity to observe the reaction 
of structures to environmental change. It is here that Palaeontology can 
make a contribution to biological philosophy no less important than its 
addition of extinct types to the storehouse of biological facts. 

A short digression into the subject of taxonomy will be useful at this 
point. In matters of classification Palaeontology has proved a disturbing 
agent. The so-called ' natural ' classifications of the past, based on 
conveniently fixed characters, were delightfully simple as well as useful ; 
but they are out of date and even misleading to-day. Whatever other 
principles may or may not have been proved by Palaeontology, it has been 
shown beyond cavil that the characters of organisms do not remain fixed 
for long. Indeed, it is impossible to hold any longer a belief that they 
are fixed at all. The new problem thus confronting systematists can be 
expressed by analogy. The old classification aimed to produce a cata- 
logue or dictionary in which each item or word was defined as an entity ; 
the new classification has to devise an etymological concordance, where 
the history and context of each word is more important than its ephemeral 
usage. Modern systematists deserve every sympathy as, with scissors 
and paste, they try to re-edit into a new design the myriad items of their 

Considerable confusion has arisen through the unavoidable differences 
in the bases of classification used in Palaeontology and Neontology. A 
neontologist can, and should, invoke all the morphological, embryological, 
ecological, physiological and psychological qualities of an organism as 
criteria in taxonomy ; a palaeontologist can observe only a fraction of the 
first three of these qualities. But he can study the chronological order of 
succession by way of compensation for the rest. There is actually little 
to choose in the quantity of evidence of taxonomic value available in the 
two lines of inquiry ; but the emphasis falls differently. In practice a 
palaeontologist recognises that the chronological factor outweighs all 
others in significance ; but he envies and borrows from the wide range of 
information available in Neontology. A neontologist is rarely content 
to-day to restrict his inquiries to the ephemeral matters that are his 
rightful scope ; he steals the palaeontological ' thunder ' of succession to 


give verisimilitude to an ' otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.' 
The distinction between Neontology and Palaeontology is fading ; and with 
its passing all other taxonomic boundaries grow dim. 

There is, however, a real difference in the two attitudes towards classi- 
fication, and a difficulty in correlating them. This is due to the vastly 
greater series of characters possessed by a living creature compared with 
the small number that persist after its death. Zoologists and botanists 
can study ontology and ontogeny, whereas the student of fossils must be 
content with partial morphology and morphogeny. Fortunately, in the 
nature of things, the various organs of an organism are so intimately 
related that any one of them may give presumptive indications of the 
rest ; but this is not invariably true, and scarcely ever convincing. There 
is room between the valves of a Pelecypod shell for any or all of the 
anatomical peculiarities on which Pelecypods are classified, and very 
little likelihood that the shell will show which of the many possibilities 
it actually enclosed. This difficulty applies in the case of all shell-bearing 
organisms ; it is less acute where skeletal structures are concerned. 
We do not know how many gills the Ammonites had, and so their true 
position among the Cephalopoda is unproved ; but we do know the 
disposition of the water-vessels in fossil Echinoderms, and the course of 
blood-vessels and cranial nerves in extinct Vertebrates. 

Most of the characters regarded as of specific importance in modern 
types are superficial. They are real enough, but only skin-deep. The 
colour of feathers, the hairiness of foliage, or the proportions and 
ornament of shells, may serve to differentiate between forms that, though 
otherwise structurally similar, are completely different in habits, distri- 
bution and fertility. A palaeontologist can hope, therefore, to recognise 
in fossil shells specific characters comparable with those so regarded by 

Generic characters, in so far as they can be defined, involve structural 
differences of a more deep-seated nature. Most of them are revealed 
only by dissection, and most are found among the softer tissues. Such 
characters may often have a visible influence on skeletal structures, but 
they rarely affect shells. In Echinoderms, Vertebrates and Plants it is 
possible for a palaeontologist to distinguish sections that are virtually 
equivalent to the neontologists' genera, and to follow consistently up into 
higher groupings. 

We find, therefore, that a palaeoconchologist can classify shells speci- 
fically, and usually no further ; while his colleague who deals with 
skeletal structures can recognise ordinal and generic, but no smaller, 
characters. In effect, a fossil shell is naturally recognised as a species, and 
arbitrarily placed in a genus ; while a fossil skeleton may be naturally 
classed into a genus, and cannot properly be described specifically. That 
it is usually so described upsets the balance of classification ; but since 
taxonomy is at best an artificial scheme, the trouble is not serious so long 
as it is realised. 

Whatever may be the requirements of his stratigraphical colleagues, 
a biological palaeontologist is less concerned with genera and species than 
with series and trends. His interest lies in the progressive modification 


of certain accessible structures ; there he can find facts, whereas his 
excursions into phylogeny must always have some speculative element. 

This limitation is by no means so serious as it may appear. Any 
organism consists of a mass of interrelated characters, each of which 
should rightly contribute to the harmonious working of the whole. It 
is obvious that many of the characters of an individual suffer change 
during its lifetime, and that these changes are not attained at a uniform 
rate. Indeed, individual life can be likened to a chord which is per- 
sistently modulated by alteration in value of its component notes, until 
the time comes when one or more of the notes is so altered that it produces 
discord, a sure foreboding of disease and death. As a consequence, a 
careful watch on the changes that affect a few characters will suffice to 
show both the nature of such changes and their influence on the well- 
being of the organism concerned. 

Palaeontologists thus study the history of organic structures rather than 
that of organisms, thereby indirectly watching the fate of the owners 
of those structures. In large measure the application of generic and 
specific names (an arbitrary habit even in Neontology) is tentative. It gives 
convenient, but often false, means of expressing morphological qualities. 
Such familiar ' genera ' as Gryphcea and Exogyra can be shown to represent 
stages in the morphogeny of oyster-shells belonging to manifestly different 
lineages, so that they are not genera in any strict sense. They correspond 
to such epithets as ' crony ' or ' gaffer ' as applied to stages in human 

There is a wide range of variation in the durability of fossil types in 
geological time. This variability affects all grades in classification except 
perhaps the highest, and may be assumed, granted a sufficiently long 
perspective, to affect all. Some classes, such as the Spire-bearing 
Brachiopoda, lasted no longer than two eras, while others, such as the 
Atreme Brachiopoda, have endured throughout the known record. The 
families into which such classes are divided often show proportionate 
durability ; the spire-bearing Atrypidae, for instance, being limited to 
about two periods, while the atrematous Lingulidae have persisted from 
Ordovician times to the present day. Similarly, the genera and species 
of such families follow, in general, the fashion of the groups to which they 
belong. If we consider a stratigraphical hemera as analogous with a year, 
and a genus as an individual unit, it would be fair to recognise some 
genera as annuals, some as biennials, and others as perennials of varied 
longevity. It is worth noting that a precisely comparable variability of 
expectation of life applies in the case of individuals ; so that, accidents 
apart, an oak tree will live longer than a sycamore and a man than a mouse. 

Within the framework of a class there is actually much variability 
of time-range. In the contrasted cases of the Brachiopoda cited above, 
the family Spiriferidaj persisted through four geological periods, whereas 
several families of atrematous Brachiopoda seem to have been limited to 
the Cambrian period. Again, among the Echinoidea, the small regular 
sea-urchin Hemipedina appeared at the outset of the Jurassic period, 


and still survives ; whereas Diademopsis, a type, so similar as to be almost 
the despair of systematists, appeared at the same time and failed to 
outlast the Jurassic period. 

There is also a wide range of difference in the geographical distribution 
of genera and species, seemingly independent of the time-range. While 
it is, of course, natural that planktonic forms, such as some of the Grapto- 
lites, should be drifted far and wide by ocean currents, it must be realised 
that most marine organisms pass through a planktonic stage in development. 
Not all of them take advantage of this opportunity for wide dispersion. 
In view of the uncertainty as to the truly specific identity of fossils that 
are apparently alike, and of the incidence of orthogenetic and con- 
vergent trends in morphogeny, the problems raised by the study of palaso- 
geographical distribution are too hypothetical to be considered here. 

These diversities of quality, in duration and dispersion, of fossil types 
in all grades of classification are strikingly reminiscent of the differences 
of longevity and migration that may occur in different individuals of a 
single species, or even of a single generation born of the same parents. 
Whatever may be the explanation (and we know the causes of such diver- 
sity to be infinitely complex in the case of members of our own species), 
the tendency towards, or capacity for, the differences seems to exist as a 
general principle throughout living matter. Palaeontology merely shows 
here that a quality of life with which all of us are personally familiar 
applies equally in the larger histories in which individuals or generations 
are but transient incidents. 

In the perspective given by geological time, we may hope to detect 
some of the outstanding characters that accompany, and perchance in- 
fluence, the success or failure of a group of organisms. We lose sight of 
the innumerable trivial accidents that determine the fate of an individual, 
so that more fundamental tendencies become clearer. In this particular 
instance we can observe the characters that history has proved to be 
associated with longevity or its reverse. 

Without enumerating actual cases (which would be tedious for those 
who know and still more so for those who do not) we can make at least one 
generalisation that seems to be true. Simplicity of structure, so long as it 
is combined with reasonable efficiency, is associated with palaeontological 
longevity; while complexity of structure, however efficient, implies 
relatively brief duration. We need not at this stage look for a reason for 
the existence of such qualities, but it is patent that they exist. The 
reason for their effect, however, is so manifest that it could be adumbrated 
even if proof were lacking. Any organism must of necessity be in tune 
with its environment if it is to survive. Elaborate structures can fit only 
a special type of environment, whereas simple structures have a wider 
scope of possible harmonies ; just as a chord of many notes is less easily 
harmonised with another than a single note. In geological time, environ- 
mental changes are inevitable, so that simple structures will have a better 
chance of survival than complex ones. The platitudinous nature of this 
statement is well shown in everyday experience, for the ignorance of a 
thoroughgoing specialist of any but his peculiar brand of knowledge 
is notorious. 


Study of the ' survival-value ' of various types in groups whose palae- 
ontological history is adequately known reveals many points of interest. 
Every group includes some types that are relatively persistent and others 
that are relatively ephemeral. For example, among the sea-urchins, 
Cidaris has persisted with no important modification from the Triassic 
period to the present day ; the family of the Cidaridae ranges back to the 
Carboniferous period . Echinocystis, a sea-urchin that appeared long before 
any of the Cidarida;, was limited in range to the Upper Silurian. Hetero- 
salenia, appearing first in the Upper Jurassic, disappeared in the Upper 
Cretaceous. Now Echinocystis and Heterosalenia were both much more 
elaborate in structure than Cidaris, so that their short ranges illustrate the 
generalisation made above. But Bothriocidaris, an early Echinoid far 
simpler in structure than Cidaris, appeared and became extinct within 
the Ordovician period. A closely parallel series of cases could be cited 
among Brachiopoda or Mollusca. In these groups the persistent genera 
Lingida, Nncula and Patella were neither the earliest to appear nor the 
simplest in structure. They represent, however, like Cidaris, the simplest 
types capable of living with a fair measure of efficiency in the circumstances 
appropriate to their kind. Such types never attain the temporary import- 
ance often reached by highly specialised types ; they remain compara- 
tively obscure members of the fauna : but they remain. No imagination 
is needed to see in a limpet the modern representative of a type that was 
ancient before the first Vertebrate appeared. A trace of poetic insight 
would show that its humility has been its salvation. 

The harmony that exists between the structures of organisms and their 
environment would be incredible were it not commonplace. But the 
explanation of that harmony is not yet available, although from the days 
of teleology to the present it has been the ultimate aim of most biological 
research. Do organisms endowed with certain structures deliberately 
select suitable environments (as a Red-underwing moth chooses an elm- 
bole as a resting-place), or does the environment impress on, or extract 
from, the organism appropriate reactions (as the grime of a city seems 
to induce melanism) ? Even to-day the only safe reply to this question is 
to repeat another about a hen and an egg. 

Nevertheless, in one aspect of the question there is definite evidence. 
On individual organisms environment can at least exert the power of 
a final veto. Environment the executioner is so potent in individual life 
that it may, indeed it must, accelerate the extinction of any series of 
organisms whose structures fail to conform to its requirements. A con- 
stant environment is a sure means of maintaining constancy in the char- 
acters of successive generations ; any deviation from the permitted pattern 
cannot fail to prove less perfectly attuned than the orthodox plan. In 
geological time, however, environment is sure to change, so that a group 
of organisms will inevitably drop behind the times unless it can adjust 
its characters or its distribution to the shifting demands of its surroundings. 

Ample evidence of the soundness of this argument can be found in 
Palaeontology. Although groups of organisms may become extinct at 


any time in the geological cycle, there is a marked increase in their mor- 
tality coincident with the major physiographical paroxysms. Indeed, at 
the Caledonian, Hercynian and Alpine ' revolutions,' something akin to 
wholesale massacre overwhelmed once successful groups. Even when a 
group, such as the Trilobites or Reptiles, survived such a storm, it did 
so in greatly reduced numbers and importance. There are significant 
exceptions to this common fate. The Ammonoidea, for instance, came 
through the Hercynian revolution unscathed ; but they collapsed at the 
first rumours of the Alpine troubles. Such exceptions are peculiarly 
valuable in their relation to the phenomena of evolution, and will be 
considered later. For the present we can be content to realise that the 
bulk of evidence points to the fatal effect of environmental change on 
a large proportion of the flora and fauna exposed to it. 

Environment has, then, a powerful influence for destruction ; but the 
question as to its effect, if any, on the introduction of new types to replace 
its victims is not so easily answered. The record of palseontological 
succession certainly shows this replacement to be speedy and thorough. 
The collapse of the Nautiloids in Hercynian times was compensated by the 
rise of the Belemnoids, and the retirement of the Reptiles was followed 
almost at once by the advance of the Mammals. The world seems never 
to wait long for a full complement of novices to replace fallen veterans. 

One partial explanation of this is clear. Physiographical changes, by 
depleting the ranks of the current population, reduce the incidence of the 
biological factor. of the struggle for existence, so that active competition 
is temporarily abated. Without competition, the offspring of the sur- 
vivors have better individual chances of life, and multiplication with its 
accompaniment of variation will be almost unrestrained. This explana- 
tion, like most of its kind, leaves the main problem unanswered. It fails 
to show why conditions that were fatal to one group should stimulate 
another with similar habits and needs ; and it leaves open the question 
as to the selection of one group for destruction and another for advance- 
ment. Surely, if depletion of the population improves individual prospects 
for the offspring of one race, it should have the same beneficent influence 
on the next generation of any other with similar propensities, including 
the race that has just been decimated. It would be absurd to postulate 
that a group of organisms living and flourishing in all parts of the world 
could have been immolated at one fell swoop by a universal cataclysm ; 
so that there must be some other factor that decides between the doomed 
and the preferred. For the moment we must defer further discussion 
of this difficulty. 

The longevity of some types of organisms as compared with others 
shows clearly that some are less- susceptible to the -lethal influence of 
environmental change than others. We have already seen that the 
types that weather the storms of time are those with relatively simple 
structures, while those prone to collapse before them have more complex 
structures. Both types of structure agree in their admirable suitability 
in an appropriate environment ; but it is obvious that a wider range 


of conditions can be appropriate to simple structures than to complex. 
Indeed, we may go further, and conclude that simplicity implies catholicity 
and complexity implies specialisation. A simple type, with simple needs, 
is long-suffering under change ; a complex type, with peculiar needs, is 
distraught if those needs are not met in their entirety. A Jack-of-all- 
trades has a better prospect of finding a job than a specialist. 

This principle, while explaining the longevity of simple types, can 
only explain the shortness of the careers of complex types if we assume 
that such types are incapable of modification consonant with changes 
of environment. Although there are very many cases where a stereo- 
typing of structure has undoubtedly had a fatal sequel for this very reason, 
there are also cases where highly elaborate types have come through 
physiographical crises unharmed. One of the most notable of these 
cases is found in the Ammonoidea. The Permo-Carboniferous members of 
that group were at least as complex in structure as any before or since 
that time, but the Hercynian revolution had little or no effect upon their 
quality or dominance. Their success is made the more dramatic by the 
spectacular collapse at about that time of the Nautiloidea, an allied group 
with much the same habits of life. Evidently complexity is not necessarily 
fatal, although it is more dangerous than simplicity. 

In an endeavour to find an explanation for the patent fact of varying 
reaction to environment, recognition of the principle of evolution becomes 
inevitable. If all types were irrevocably fixed in character, the meek 
would long ago have inherited the earth ; all complex and specialised 
types would have met their doom during the succession of geological 
changes. But in fact, although a steady undercurrent of simple types 
flows unchecked through the record of palaeontological history, the 
frequent and spectacular disasters, like the bursting of bubbles, that have 
befallen the complex types have but opened the way for others of equal 
complexity to rise to the surface. 

One of the most stimulating glimpses into the mode of evolution was 
given by the work of Alpheus Hyatt and his successors, notably C. E. 
Beecher and R. T. Jackson. The main thesis of their interpretation con- 
sists of a kind of extension of the neontological theory of recapitulation to 
fossil forms. When recapitulation was found to continue after the em- 
bryonic or larval stages, and to persist throughout the life of an individual, 
a much more satisfactory element was brought into the theory. Larval 
stages are often passed under conditions that could never have been 
tolerated by the adult forms that they are supposed to recall ; whereas there 
is no reason why an adolescent or adult individual should not occupy an 
environment similar to that of its ancestors. Moreover, the relatively 
slow rate of growth and development after the larval stage makes the 
discrepancy between the speed of evolution and that of ontogeny less 

By application of this principle, especially to the cases of Ammonites 


and Brachiopods, Hyatt and Beecher were able to find the adult character- 
istics of later types represented in the adolescent stages of earlier ones. 
They found in the growth-stages of a single individual a succession of 
characters that agreed with the palaeontological succession of its kindred. 
R. T. Jackson applied the method of study to Pelecypods, and enlarged 
the scope of the theory by his recognition of ' localised stages in develop- 
ment ' in forms, such as Echinoderms and Plants, where early features are 
modified or destroyed during life. 

Although the principle of perpetual recapitulation has stimulated a vast 
bulk of palgeontological research, it has scarcely attracted among neon- 
tologists the attention it deserves. Work along these lines on recent 
material has generally been done by palaeontologists, for there still exists 
a perverse tendency among neontologists to give but scant attention to 
the hard parts of their victims. Especially does one note with regret 
that developmental studies seem, for the most part, to stop when the 
embryo is hatched, even if they extend beyond gastrulation. 

Just as a blind faith in the infallibility of embryological recapitulation 
led to such absurdities that the whole principle was in danger of discredit, 
so uncritical acceptance of Hyatt's principle of post-larval recapitulation 
has at times been brought into disrepute. Especially has this occurred 
when developmental stages were accepted as evidence of phylogenetic 
descent without the precaution of checking the assumed succession by 
field evidence. The order of occurrence, like the order of superposition 
In stratigraphy, must always be the final test of any scheme based on other 
evidence. It must be admitted that the formidable, and largely un- 
necessary, terminology whose invention seems to have been a passion with 
Hyatt, made unpalatable and obscure the facts that it was designed to 
elucidate ; and also that some of the illustrations he used were un- 
fortunately chosen. But no amount of criticism or scepticism can vitiate 
the discoveries of Branco, Beecher and Carruthers ; the principle is sound 
even if some of its exponents have been mistaken. 

Post-larval recapitulation, with its extension into senile prophecy, 
provides a link between racial evolution and individual life. Most of 
Hyatt's terminology was based on analogy with individual life ; the seven 
ages of man became symbols of the stages of morphogeny and phylogeny. 
In its fullest implications, it completes the tale of the uniformity of natural 
laws working on different scales. Just as the history of a family is similar 
to, but longer than, that of one of its component genera, and that of a 
genus than that of one of its species, so the evolution of a species is shown 
in an abbreviated and bowdlerised form in the life of one of its individual 
members. Inception and extinction of species have their counterparts 
in the birth and death of an organism, and the phases that intervene can 
be matched in each case. It is usual, and proper, to speak of a genus or 
species as representing an early or late stage in the evolution of its line ; 
it is often possible to demonstrate that these terms have the same sort of 
significance as the words young or old when applied to individuals. In 
short, the delightfully simple conception emerges that the life of an 


individual is to all intents and purposes the evolution of its species seen 
through the wrong end of the telescope ; or conversely that the evolution 
of a species (or any larger group) is but the life of one of its members 
extended into geological perspective. 

This generalisation may appear to some to suffer from over-attractive- 
ness ; it seems too simple to be true. Such an attitude would imply that 
individual life is simple — an absurd travesty of the truth. But even if it 
were, the history of all scientific research teaches that simplicity is a 
characteristic of Nature, and complexity a reflex of human ignorance. In 
the physical world a few simple principles work uniformly on galaxies and 
atoms ; it is only to be expected that in the organic world there should be 
a common control of the lives of phyla and cells. The same law of 
dynamics controls a see-saw or the Tower Bridge ; why should not one 
law of evolution apply equally to individuals and to the races to which 
they belong ? These arguments seem reasonable, but they would be 
mere sophistry were not the facts of Palaeontology explicable on no other 
assumption. In the light of our knowledge, we are justified in declaring 
that the way ' life ' is lived is the way of evolution, whether it be from 
the Cambrian to the Holocene or from the cradle to the grave. 

It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the corollary to this conception. If 
all living things are in continuous contact with varying conditions, those 
that are adaptable will enjoy greater prospects of success than those that 
are stereotyped. Youth implies plasticity, and old age is synonymous 
with stiffness. Whether physically or mentally, the young are flexible, 
the old more rigid ; changes of circumstance that stimulate a youth will 
kill his grandfather. In evolution this means that a group will, in its 
early stages, be able to keep pace with, and be moulded by, its changing 
environment, while when it has passed its prime it will be in deadly 
danger from similar changes. Although we are far from an understanding 
of the mechanism by which this result is attained, the result itself, and its 
causes, are repeated a myriad times in the palaeontological record. 

In view of the fragmentary evidence afforded by Palaeontology, any 
attempt to produce a ' genealogical tree ' for an individual or group must 
be largely speculative, and of doubtful value. It is hard enough to trace 
the descent of human beings whose ancestors were born in recorded 
wedlock ; but the mating of most creatures, particularly of marine in- 
vertebrates, achieves a degree of promiscuity unattained even in Hollyr 
wood. Nature is no stud-farm ; and, although there are stern laws to 
limit hybridisation, cross-breeding is infinitely complex. Those who 
seek to detect lineages among fossils are seeking the non-existent. 

In his address to this Section in 1920, my late friend and mentor 
Dr. F. A. Bather laid stress on the distinction between succession and 
descent. He illustrated the danger of confusing the two concepts by 
reference to the succession of English sovereigns, where logical adherence 
to a well-founded theory of descent would ' make James I the son of 
Elizabeth.' This mistake would be disreputable in the light of known 
facts ; but, with all deference to the memory of the Virgin Queen, it would 


be immaterial in palaeontological perspective. Both James and Elizabeth 
were of royal ' blood,' and were indeed fairly closely akin. There were 
many strands common to the tangled ancestry of both ; and, since they 
belonged to successive generations, Elizabeth could, without disrespect 
or inaccuracy, be described as in loco parentis to James. Perhaps this 
idea can be expressed more clearly by prolonging Dr. Bather's analogy. 
A glance at Cromwell's portrait or behaviour would suffice to show the 
improbability of his having been the son of Charles I ; and even a palae- 
ontologist would see in him the introduction of a new lineage. With the 
coming of Charles II a manifest restoration of the earlier lineage is evident ; 
and the question as to whether he was the son, grandson or nephew of 
Charles I is of minor importance. 

Among fossils, a lineage must be considered as a succession of members 
of a freely interbreeding stock ; no more precise definition is possible or 
necessary. Even then it has but a theoretical interest ; in reality the only 
lineages that can be detected are those of morphogenetic succession. 

The palaeontological evidence of evolution is complicated by the 
incidence of environmental change. So subtle and complete is the sym- 
pathy between structure and environment that there is a point of view 
that claims environment, and its corollary the ' struggle for existence,' 
as a determining factor in, if not a prime cause of, evolution. If, however, 
we accept the view that environment is an educator, such glorification of 
its influence appears ridiculous. Education can transform an ignorant 
child into a learned man, or a normal flea into a performing one ; but it 
cannot change a gorilla into a chimpanzee nor a whippet into a race- 
horse. Common sense shows that there must be limits beyond which the 
call of environment is powerless to evoke response. 

There is a vast body of evidence to show that evolution is, in some 
measure at least, independent of the incidence of environment. The 
most satisfactory evidence of this nature is to be found in the fauna of the 
Chalk. There, in the stillness of the floor of an open sea, conditions 
remained constant (save for slight temporary irregularities in the depth 
of the water) for a very long period of time. Many groups of animals 
persisted through considerable parts of the Chalk stage, and it is reasonable 
to assume that their representatives in the successive layers of the Chalk 
are in as direct lines of descent as can ever exist. When we discount 
slight, often transient, differences of shape that can be correlated with 
bathymetrical changes, we find clear proof of continuous and directional 
evolution in many characters. The case of the genus Micraster is classical ; 
but those of Echinocorys, Conulus, Bourgueticrinus and Inoceramus are 
equally convincing. In a later paragraph I propose to use Micraster as an 
illustration of many important phenomena of evolution. 

The two striking aspects of the nature of morphogeny as shown by 
' inch-by-inch ' collecting of fossils from the Chalk are, first, the intrinsic 
character of the successive changes and, second, their directional quality. 
The course of evolution, seen in a long succession free from appreciable 
external influence, proves to be straight, or at least direct. Whether 


its direction was predetermined at the outset, or whether it was induced 
and selected by circumstances at an early stage, we cannot tell ; but when 
once it has been fairly started, it continues inexorably to its limit. It 
must be admitted that this view of evolution is out of favour with many 
neontologists, . to whom the word ' orthogenesis ' is anathema. The 
attitude of these critics has a precedent in that of the physicists of a past 
generation who were convinced that the sun could not have existed long 
enough for geological history to have happened. Inability to explain a 
fact is no evidence of its fallacy ; and palaeontologists can proceed un- 
ruffled to record the facts of orthogenesis. 

Whatever may be the influence, direct or indirect, of environmental 
changes on the course of evolution, there is certainly this other factor at 
work. The several organs of an organism have considerable independence, 
although they must keep a harmonious balance if disaster is to be averted. 
In the nature of things, palasontological evidence is most adequate for 
appreciation of the evolution of such structures as shells. These external 
organs are at once intimately concerned with the environment, and capable 
of much modification without affecting the welfare of the organism of which 
they are a part. The dual nature of morphological evolution in cases of 
this kind is very clearly shown in the Ostrea-Gryphcea lineage worked 
out by Trueman. 

If we consider a flat oyster-shell, such as Ostrea liassica, affixed by the 
greater part of one valve, two obvious imperfections appear. Only a 
limited number of individuals can occupy a definite space if they have this 
posture ; and the valves will open near ' ground-level ' where the water 
may be gritty. Whether by some intrinsic impulse, or by selection of 
chance variations, such a type of oyster tends, in the course of many 
generations, to reduce the area of fixation, and, by curving the released 
part of the valve upwards, to reach purer and less crowded water. In 
course of time this tendency is pushed back into earlier stages of develop- 
ment, until a type appears which is fastened by a very small area only, 
and in which the direction of growth has been rotated through 90 degrees. 
In this state the oyster has rectified both of the disadvantages inherent 
in its first condition, for now many shells can stand erect where previously 
one lay prone, and all open into the water above the mud-level. 

So far in the story (which is demonstrably true) it is possible to invoke 
the influence of environment as a causative and selective influence. But 
the story does not end here. Gradually, in direct continuation of what 
had happened hitherto, the area of fixation becomes more and more 
reduced and the curvature of the shell more pronounced, until once again 
the opening of the valves is bent downwards towards the sea-floor, and the 
area occupied by the individual is again large. Still, as we follow the 
sequence, the rotation continues, until the final spot of fixation is 
obliterated, and the shell, with one valve curved through a semicircle, 
lies loose. Freed from the restraint 6f fixation, this valve becomes pro- 
gressively more enrolled, until it assumes the familiar spiral form seen in 
Gryphcea incurva. As a compensation for freedom, and the inconvenience 
and danger thereby caused, the enrolled part of the valve becomes enor- 
mously thickened, so as to ensure uprightness of posture by the same 


principle as that used in celluloid dolls with leaden bases. Once more 
the shell stands upright, and all seems well. But the tendency to secrete 
great quantities of carbonate of lime becomes, as Lang has shown in the 
case of Polyzoa, an obsession. A full-grown G. incurva, when opened, 
shows very little accommodation for the oyster in contrast to the bulk and 
massiveness of the shell. With progressive increase in solidity, and 
continuous further curvature of the once fixed valve, the shell becomes 
unwieldy, and that particular lineage of oysters disappears. 

The tragic story of Gryphcea is in no sense unique, nor is it of a kind 
peculiar to Mollusca. An exactly parallel case, or series of cases, can be 
found among the Brachiopoda. The story of Productus could be told in 
almost the same words as that of Gryphcea ; while there is hardly a family 
of Brachiopoda that does not include some types in which undue curvature 
of the ventral valve has obliterated the pedicle. Whatever ingenious 
devices may have been employed to compensate for this condition, by 
local weighting or spinous growths or coral-like cementation, there was 
no long future in store for a Brachiopod stock that dissipated its birth- 
right by destroying its pedicle. 

We have, of course, no direct evidence as to the changes, if any, that 
occurred in the soft structures of oysters and Brachiopods whose shells 
underwent such alterations. Probably some readjustment would be 
needed to fit the change of posture, but it need not have been drastic. It 
is, however, evident that the utmost perfection and efficiency of all the 
other organs would avail nothing if and when the shell became unmanage- 
able. Heart-failure will kill an otherwise healthy body. 

The account of morphogenetic evolution can be extended and amplified 
by a further ' Analysis of the Genus Micraster.' Rowe's work on this 
type, although not the first of its kind, deserves to be regarded as a classic 
in evolutional studies. Perhaps its chief value lies in its avowedly strati- 
graphical aim ; the chronological succession was recorded without regard 
to any possible biological implications. Moreover, an Echinoid is an 
exceptionally satisfactory type for palaeontological study. Its hard parts 
include a great variety of structures, and the mesodermal and yet peri- 
pheral character of its test ensures intimate association with the living 
tissues and close contact with the environment. For our present purpose 
it will suffice to select three distinct structures of the test, and to consider 
only the simplest aspect of their progressive modification during the 
period of the Upper Chalk. 

The interporiferous tract of the ambulacral petals is almost smooth in 
such types as M. corbovis and M. leskei, species from the base of the Upper 
Chalk. In the highest zones to which the genus persists, these tracts are 
highly ornamented with granules, and marked by a pronounced groove 
along the median line. Every gradation between these two extremes can 
be found ; and, in spite of occasional slight irregularities, the chrono- 
logical sequence of the gradations is remarkably straightforward. It is 
not easy to suggest any functional difference of vital importance that this 
change could indicate ; rather the steady increase in elaboration seems 


a wholly gratuitous embellishment. It may well have had a significance 
that will be mentioned in the following paragraph ; but taken on its own 
merits it seems to show a trend of evolution as automatic as unnecessary. 

The thickness of the test of Micraster is another progressive character. 
M. corbovis has a very thin test in proportion to its not inconsiderable 
size, while at the upper extreme M. rostratus has a smaller but much thicker 
test. Again the chronological sequence is almost perfect from thin to 
thick. In this case various reasons can be postulated for a change that 
cannot have been wholly without influence on the bionomics of the animal. 
It has been suggested that life in an environment of calcareous ooze made 
absorption and secretion of calcite a sort of disease. This suggestion, 
however, leaves quite unexplained the delicacy of the tests of several of 
Micraster s contemporaries and associates, and the extreme flimsiness of 
many recent sea-urchins that live in comparable surroundings. Explana- 
tions based on variation of depth of the Chalk sea are no more satisfying, 
for that quality undoubtedly fluctuated, while the thickening of the test 
is steadily progressive. There is, in short, no sign that this character was 
either enforced by the environment or advantageous to the animal, but 
it developed notwithstanding. By analogy with the case of the petaloid 
ornament, we might suggest that the building of a test (that is, a tend- 
ency to secrete calcite) was a quality which, once started, continued 
regardless of convenience or necessity. Perhaps this is no analogy, but 
all part of the same story ; for the packing of the interporiferous tract 
with granules until it is flush with the surface of the test may well indicate 
a storage of surplus calcite in a place where it would be least in the way. 
Since a similar embarrassment of mineral wealth seems to overwhelm a 
large proportion of the organisms that come within palaeontological reach, 
it may be taken as provisionally true that mineralisation, however useful 
it may be in moderation, becomes gradually a disease. 

The third character in the test of Micraster that we can select for 
analysis is that of the labrum, a shovel-like prolongation of the ' lower ' 
lip of the peristome. In this feature progressive change is again in evi- 
dence. Low-zonal species have a scarcely recognisable labrum, while in 
high-zonal forms the structure may be so strongly developed as to project 
beyond the anterior end of the body. There can be no question that, 
for an animal with the habits of a Micraster, a well-developed scoop 
is an aid to efficiency in feeding. The food-bearing ooze or silt is, in part 
at least, directed towards the mouth by the anterior sulcus of the test, 
and any device at the peristome to ensure its entry into the mouth would 
avoid waste. It seems reasonable to conclude that some stimulus, 
possibly that of friction during use, encouraged the initiation of a labrum, 
and that the labrum continued, perhaps under the same stimulus, to in- 
crease in size as one generation followed another. Such a suggestion 
raises the spectre of the inheritance of acquired characters ; but this is 
not the place to worry about warring hypotheses. The fact is that the 
genus Micraster began with practically no labrum, and that that structure 
progressively increased in size as time went on. But (and here is the 
significant feature), after the labrum had reached adequate proportions, 
it continued to grow until, in the latest types, it had so far outgrown 



its functional value as to project beyond the anterior sulcus into a position 
of maximum risk and minimum usefulness. Almost immediately after 
that stage was reached, the genus Mia aster disappeared and was no more 

Here again we are driven to the conclusion that a structure, once 
initiated with the best intentions in the matter of utility, continued to 
increase regardless of its own efficiency or the welfare of the organism 
of which it was a part. 

Lastly in this connection, we can record a feature in the morphogeny 
of Mia aster that often causes difficulty to stratigraphers. When we 
consider the two outstanding characters of petal-ornament and labrum 
together, occasional anomalies appear. It is unsafe to use only a fragment 
of a test for zoning purposes, because the ambulacral character may be 
either before or behind its ' time ' in the succession, and the same con- 
dition may apply to the peristomial features. If, however, we find a 
test with relatively ' low-zonal ' ambulacral petals and relatively ' high- 
zonal ' labral structure, stratigraphy will always enable us to prove that 
the proper chronological place of that specimen is somewhere between 
the extremes indicated by each character separately. In other words, the 
whole test shows the correct zonal position of the specimen ; it is the 
average result of the conjunction of its various parts. In practice, this 
leads to a very safe, but scarcely mathematical, usage. A practised 
eye can tell by a general look at a Micraster its correct zonal position, 
whereas laborious analysis of each character separately often leads to 
contradictory and confusing results. It is a process closely analogous 
to our recognition of our human acquaintances : we do not consciously 
remember (if we ever really knew) every detail of each feature. Even 
lovers, who may be expected to indulge in fairly close investigation, are 
not always able to recite a reliable catalogue of the facial peculiarities of 
the object of their regard. 

The general principle that seems to emerge from this scrutiny of 
some of the features of Miaaster can be expressed in simple terms. 
Each character has some measure of independence, and follows a morpho- 
genetic trend (whether of increment or reduction) irrespective of the other 
characters and even of its own utility. The organism as a whole seems 
to hold a kind of balance between the several characters, so that if one 
of them is precocious another will be backward. 

Although this principle has been illustrated here by reference to the 
history of a single genus (and, for the sake of clearness, of a few characters 
only), it can be recognised in most of the groups of organisms of which 
we have much palasontological knowledge. In effect, it is merely a state- 
ment of the fact of over-specialisation ; but it seems to explain in some 
degree the danger inherent in that disease. For if the function of the 
whole organism is to ensure a balance between independent and perhaps 
antithetic trends of evolution among its components, specialisation in one 
respect must inevitably involve reduction in others. There is no evidence 
to suggest that the structures that become highly specialised are necessarily 
the most vitally useful (although if they are of that calibre their over- 
development will soon neutralise their value) ; so that over-emphasis 
of an unimportant or harmful feature must lead to starvation and reduction 


of others that may be of vital importance. No organism can thrive 
unless its components work in harmony ; no harmony can be held for long 
when the several structures follow their own rates and directions of 
modulation. Doubtless this self-evident condition affects every com- 
ponent of every organism ; to the palaeontologist the note that seems 
doomed to modulate into discord is that of mineral secretion. 

It must be obvious to all that the course of morphogeny just sketched 
is closely analogous with the history of individual life ; or, for that matter, 
of political and economic affairs. The whole issue boils down to the 
simple proposition that structures, organisms or states arise, gradually 
reach maturity, and then pass beyond it to destruction. An important 
aspect of the matter, however (again platitudinous, but often overlooked), 
is that the smaller and unconsidered ingredients may often be the final 
arbiters. It avails nothing for an organism or a body politic to be in 
otherwise perfect order if one of its ingredients is out of proportion. 
An organism or a kingdom, if divided against itself, cannot stand. 

There is thus a twofold Nemesis awaiting all living creatures. Environ- 
mental change may outpace their powers of adaptation, and so destroy 
them ; or, if this external disaster is avoided, the means adopted to elude 
it proceed relentlessly towards a disproportion that means failure. The 
gloomy conclusion we have now reached implies nothing more unexpected, 
or more encouraging, than that for races, as for individuals, there exist 
but two alternatives, natural or accidental death. 

We are now in a position to summarise the palaeontological evidence 
as to the manner of evolution. Palaeontology gives no direct evidence 
as to the origin of groups, of whatever taxonomic grade ; its scope is 
limited to records of the later stages in the careers of groups already 
in existence. This is not to deny that the presumptive evidence for the 
birth of new types is overwhelmingly strong ; but actual tangible proof 
of their parentage and generation is lacking. A palaeontologist is more 
of an undertaker than a midwife. 

Again, fossil evidence cannot give convincing demonstration of the 
origin of structures in organisms ; its scope is restricted to observation 
of the fate of those structures after they have appeared. There must 
always be a theoretical quality in attempted explanations of the develop- 
ment of new characters ; there are facts recording what happens to them 
in course of time. 

The only language which adequately expresses the nature of morpho- 
geny is that used in description of individual life. Structures, once 
originated, pass through stages of development, modification and ampli- 
fication that are closely analogous to the phases of personal history, both 
physical and psychological. There is a continuous duplicity, in that 
intrinsic characters are involved with external requirements ; environment 
is educative but not creative. There is a limit to the response to environ- 
ment possible for any structure ; if that limit is exceeded, disaster results. 
Every character of an organism, like every complete creature, is more 
responsive to environmental influence in its early history than later. 
Directions of development induced or encouraged by environment 


become gradually ingrained ; just as practices oft repeated become in- 
eradicable habits. In contrast with modern municipal tendencies, trolley- 
buses are transmuted to trams. 

The several characters of an organism are at once independent and 
inseparable ; each can follow its own line of development, but unless a 
balance is kept within the whole series, collapse is certain. ' Just as different 
groups of organisms show very different evolutionary speed, so the various 
structures in a single organism become modified at varying rates. The 
attainment of mature perfection from a stage of immaturity can never be 
more than a transient phase on the way to a fresh disproportion com- 
parable with senility. 

Structures, and with them the organisms to which they belong, grow old, 
exhausted or hypertrophied by their own intrinsic expenditure of evolu- 
tional ' effort ' amid an ever-fluctuating embarrassment of circumstance. 

We come to the conclusion that the oracular recommendation to know 
ourselves is a guide to the secret of evolution. Physically and (in the 
human case) psychologically we live our lives as compromises between 
hereditary tendencies and environmental requirements. As we grow 
older our accumulated load of compromise becomes an obsession, reducing 
our capacity for further efforts of the kind ; and our environment never 
tires in its changefulness. 

If we consider these principles in the light of the struggle for existence, 
we find that those types which can attain the most perfect harmony with 
their environment will flourish proportionately. But their success brings 
Nemesis in its train ; for speedy evolution towards dominance implies 
continuous speed ; the perfection point is passed by the same momentum 
that reached it. Undoubtedly the victor in the struggle for existence 
wins the prize : but the prize is death. 

When we attempt to apply to human affairs the principles of evolution 
as shown in Palaeontology, many difficulties appear. Not the least of 
these is the impossibility of a dispassionate outlook ; we are proverbially 
unable to see ourselves as others see us. Another serious difficulty arises 
from the shortness of the time during which our species has existed, and 
the paucity of reliable evidence that it has left of its history. 

At the outset we must admit that the basis of our analysis of mankind 
will be on a different plane from that which we employ in the case of other 
organisms. Morphological and physiological characters change so slowly 
that we cannot expect to find much alteration during our brief career ; 
and in any case there is practically no evidence of that sort available. 
But if the conclusions already reached as to the universality of the law 
of evolution are accepted, it matters not a whit which particular attribute 
of an organism we select for study. Behaviour is but an expression of 
the reaction between the qualities of an organism and its environment, 
and civilisation is a kind of behaviour. This argument is not so specious 
as it may appear, for the evidence available to check its validity is ample. 

Before following that line further, it will be well to attempt an estimate 
of the qualities of the human species as they appear to a palaeontologist. 
This is a dangerous part in this address ; for I am bound to omit, for the 


time being, reference to many human attributes. I must appeal for your 
patience, assuring you that I am as fully aware as any of you of the incom- 
pleteness of the analysis I am about to make ; and that later on, in a des- 
perate attempt to arrive at a happy ending, I propose to give consideration 
to those qualities in man that truly differentiate him from other animals. 

If it be asked how a student of ' lower ' orders of organisms (and those 
defunct) can presume to include the human race in his purview, a plea 
of justification can be made on two grounds. Mr. Tony Weller gave it 
as his opinion that ' the man as can form a ackerate judgment of a animal 
can form a ackerate judgment of anything.' This generalisation, like 
all others, may be debatable ; but the course of human history, in so far 
as it is known, shows features typical of the course of evolution revealed by 

The outstanding physical peculiarity of the human species is its upright 
posture, a feature to which many of its bodily structures are far from com- 
pletely adapted. In spite of its relatively large size, the human body cannot 
be claimed as exceptionally capable. A man stripped of the instruments 
of his devising, left to compete on equal terms with the other occupants 
of his restricted environment, would stand no better chance than they. 
It is true that he could perform most of the actions expected of land animals, 
but none of them superlatively well. Were he compelled to rely on his 
bodily characters alone, there would be little more reason to single him 
out for special consideration than there would be the capacity to do so. 

The mental powers of man are those that place him in a category 
apart from other creatures. By the exercise of his wits he can find 
compensation for structural shortcomings, and challenge, defeat and 
control all other living things. With the help of the machines that he 
invents, he can project himself successfully beyond the normal range of 
terrestrial animals, transporting his body and his habits over the sea and 
through the air. He can, within fairly wide limits, overcome the influence 
of environment. 

With no intent to belittle the mechanical achievements that have 
brought man to his commanding position, we must admit that few of 
them can be claimed as original. They are copies, often improved edi- 
tions, of devices that already existed in the animal creation, coupled with 
applications of natural forces that are as old as the world. Man's capacity 
for generalisation has enabled him to foresee the effects of his inventions, 
and so to reduce the time that would otherwise have been spent on the 
costly method of trial and error. He can transmit his experiences to 
his own and following generations, so preventing (for those who listen) 
a wasteful repetition of mistakes. The speed with which he has beaten 
all other creatures at their several games is commensurate with the degree 
of his success. Paradoxically he has become supremely generalised by 
the exercise of a highly specialised faculty. 

It is difficult to find any type of animal behaviour in which man cannot 
excel. Whether in the strictly mechanical processes, such as locomotion 
or building, or in the more subtle qualities of affection and aspiration, 
he stands revealed as an exaggerated animal. There are no activities, 
constructive or destructive, and no habits, pleasing or loathsome, in 
which he cannot outdo the most accomplished animal. 


This analysis leads to a somewhat equivocal result. On the one hand, 
the high cerebral specialisation that makes possible all these developments, 
and the extraordinary rate at which success has been attained, both point 
to the conclusion that this is a species destined to a spectacular rise and 
an equally spectacular fall, more complete and rapid than the world 
has yet seen. On the other hand, the wide range of directions into which 
the specialisation extends, and the measure of control over environment 
that it entails, seem to suggest a peculiar kind of plasticity that might pass 
for generalisation, with the consequent hope of a long time-range. In 
this uncertainty we must look for such facts as are available, facts of 
history which are at least comparable with the record of Palaeontology. 
But first we must estimate the relative value of the evidence afforded by 
human history. 

Fossils and historical documents alike give but a fraction of an account 
of the matters of which they treat. In both cases the story of the early 
stages of racial progress is imperfect and often mythological ; the episodes 
of decline and fall are more fully documented. But, in contrast to 
palaeontological evidence, human accounts are always suspect. Written 
records of events represent an impression made on one, or at best a few, 
minds ; they may, indeed they must, be tainted with prejudice and ignor- 
ance even when they are not deliberately falsified. The impious rebellion 
of one writer is the glorious revolution of another. Whatever may be the 
criticisms levelled at the transcribers of Natural History, no doubts can 
be cast on the essential truth of the record they try to interpret. As an 
academic proposition, it may be debated as to whether a misread fact 
is preferable to a misread falsehood ; but there is at least a chance of 
finding the truth in the former case. 

Again, the bulk of human history is the record of the performance of a 
few actors on a specially selected stage ; Palaeontology, with all its im- 
perfections, gives a picture of events in fairer proportion. The parts of 
human history usually recorded represent the activities of man the in- 
tensified animal rather than of man the half-fledged angel. The behaviour 
of the animal is the more rational, and so easier to remember and describe. 
But from very early times another factor has entered into human affairs — ■ 
a factor illogical and wayward, but every bit as real to a man as his animal 
qualities. This factor, which we may call ' altruistic,' makes human 
actions often unintelligible in the present, and still more so in the past. 
For example, it is easier to find a rational explanation of the presence and 
characters of a Micraster in the Chalk than to form a plausible hypothesis as 
to the meaning of the Stonehenge that men erected over it. Man can 
safely claim to be unique, for he is the only irrational creature in the world. 
A palaeontologist may be excused for looking askance at a record of 
creatures like that written by one of themselves. 

Nevertheless, man leaves other traces of his activities besides written 
screeds, and many of these records are as revealing, and as unintentional, 
as the shell of a mollusc. By piecing together archaeological materials, 
and fitting documentary accounts into the plan of this mosaic, a conception 
of human history can be gained that comes within measurable distance 


of scientific evidence. We have more established knowledge of the 
Belemnites than of the Incas, but perhaps we know almost as much about 
the Romans as about the Trilobites. 

It would be wearisome to reiterate the various features wherein the 
history of human affairs corresponds with the course of evolution in other 
groups. Whether we consider individual lives, dynasties or empires, the 
same depressing story applies. Some races, once dominant in their 
particular sphere, have disappeared entirely ; others, fallen from high 
estate, linger in inglorious decay. But all of those brave civilisations and 
empires of which we have records seem to have shown a succession of 
similar histories. They have risen from obscurity through possession of 
successful attributes, and have reached the peak of their power only to 
pass it. Some have rotted away quietly, others have fallen before the onset 
of less rotten stocks or perhaps of extra-human disaster. Many of the 
early empires were on so small a scale that their rise and fall had merely 
local effect ; others have been more comprehensive, and their dissolution 
has spread havoc over wide areas of the world. 

Until comparatively recently, there has been a persistent proportion of 
' backward ' types, unaffected by the civilising influence of the progressive 
powers. These have remained as a quiet background to the transient 
pyrotechnics of the others. They remained to provide a new upstart 
when the current one had crashed. To-day there are few races of this 
kind left; almost all of mankind has encountered civilisation and either 
perished or been transmuted. The fatal complexity of civilisation grips 
the whole species, crushing it into unity. 

The specific causes of the collapse of once dominant races are doubtless 
varied ; but there is general agreement that one universal factor in dis- 
integration is complexity, an aspect of over-specialisation. The units of 
an empire, be they individuals or factions, tend to work together in 
harmony during the period of upward struggle ; but when a position of 
dominance is won, they continue to struggle. When there are no new 
worlds to conquer they begin to fight among themselves. Selfish aims 
replace patriotic ones, and the community becomes discordant. 

The correspondence between this state of affairs and the morphogenetic 
trends in other races of animals is so close that it needs no elaboration. 
Those who deny that human institutions are subject to the laws of 
organic evolution know either no history or no Palaeontology. Many 
proverbs give epigrammatic statements of the principles of evolution in 
imaginative terms. 

' 111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, 
Where wealth accumulates and men decay.' 

The history of extinct empires, which should be studied as a cautionary 
tale, is commonly regarded as providing an example to be followed. 
Human nature has the curious trait of gambling against the laws of cause 
and effect. We always hope that the fate that befel our predecessors will 
pass us by. Babylon, Egypt, Rome, Spain all traversed the same track ; 
and to-day we follow in their footsteps hoping to reach some different goal. 


If this were all, man's outlook would indeed be dark. According to 
temperament we might as well sit with folded hands in a darkened room 
awaiting the inevitable end, or meet the crash with ribaldry and riot. 
Our peculiar quality of superior mentality seems but a suicidal acquisition, 
hastening and intensifying the imminent doom. But the human mind is 
more than a fabricator of evanescent institutions. It can transcend 
utilitarianism (wherein it but exaggerates animal qualities) and can form 
idealistic conceptions. 

Ideas of chivalry, honour and self-sacrifice have no place in the struggle 
for existence ; but they are inherent in all but hypersophisticated minds. 
Among ordinary folk, conceptions such as these are stronger incentives 
to action than animal impulses, as even the most rascally demagogue 
knows. Learning, philosophy and art are realities to which men will 
devote their lives, creating rather than copying, with no ulterior or 
mercenary aim. The arts and virtues bring a new and incalculable 
feature into the story of evolution. Some, at least, of their achievements 
outlive kingdoms and empires, seeming immortal. 

Men are, for the most part, enthusiastic admirers of virtue, even to the 
extent of devising laws to ensure its maintenance. Very many of them are 
actual exponents of virtue in their personal relations ; but in public affairs 
and in the mass they are often content to behave as animals rather than 
as men. ' Manners makyth man ' is perhaps the most concise specific 
diagnosis ever published. But there is only one law of evolution, common 
to individuals and races alike. If mankind as a whole neglects its ' manners,' 
it abandons any claim it may have to qualitative difference from other 
animals. There is no doubt of man's ability to become the most successful 
type of animal that has ever existed ; but the reward of success in that 
direction is death. 

The love of truth, greatest of all virtues, is especially an attribute of men 
of science. In this we are idealists, for the truth is unattainable, how- 
ever worth the seeking. We know that all the progress that our species 
has made, in material as well as in mental affairs, is the result of the 
search for truth. We find ourselves strangers in a world riddled with 
more or less blatant deceit ; but we still follow our ideal, confident that all 
other paths are blind. We recognise in the conception of truth something 
eternal, not subject to the laws of change and decay. 

We know that idealism is the goal and incentive in all actions that can 
truly be described as human. To the idealist environment is something 
to be overcome or adapted into service ; the story of human progress is 
one of triumph over circumstances. The self-styled ' realist,' who 
advocates acceptance of, and submission to, his temporary environment, 
is less than a man ; he follows in the tradition of the beasts that perish. 

To idealists Palaeontology has no message, save to welcome them as 
something new in Nature. To realists, who seek material success in the 
struggle for existence, Palaeontology, with millions of years of history as 
its authority, declares emphatically ' You have been warned.' 




J. S. HUXLEY, M.A., D.Sc, 


The Multiformity of Evolution. 

Biology at the present time is embarking upon a phase of synthesis after 
a period in which new disciplines were taken up in turn and worked out 
in comparative isolation. Nowhere is this movement towards unification 
more likely to be fruitful than in the many-sided topic of evolution ; 
and already we are seeing its firstfruits in that reanimation of Darwinism 
which is such a striking feature of post-war biology. 

With the reorientation made possible by modern genetics, evolution 
is seen to be a joint product of mutation and selection. Contrary to the 
view of Darwin and the Weismann school, selection alone has been shown 
to be incapable of extending the upper limit of variation, and therefore 
incapable by itself of causing evolutionary change. Contrary to the 
views of the more extreme mutationists and the believers in ortho- 
genesis, mutation alone has been shown to be incapable of producing 
directional change, or of overriding selective effects. The two processes 
are complementary. 

The students of a particular aspect of evolution are prone to think 
that their conclusions are generally applicable, whereas they usually are 
not. The palaeontologists unearth long evolutionary series and claim that 
evolution is always gradual and always along a straight course, which may 
be either adaptive or non-adaptive. However, as Haldane has pointed out, 
their conclusions apply almost entirely to abundant and mostly to marine 
animals. In some land plants, on the contrary, we now have evidence of 
a wholly different method of evolution — namely, the discontinuous and 
abrupt formation of new species. And in rare forms the course of evolu- 
tion will not run in the same way as in abundant and dominant types. 

Meanwhile the naturalist and the comparative physiologist are struck 
by the adaptive characters of animals and plants : to them the problem of 
evolution becomes synonymous with the problem of the origin of adapta- 
tion, and natural selection is erected into an all-powerful and all-pervading 
agency. The systematist, on the other hand, struck by the apparent 
uselessness of the characters on which he distinguishes species and genera, 
is apt to overlook other characters which are adaptive but happen to be 
of no use in systematics, and to neglect the broad and obviously adaptive 
characters seen in larger groups and in palaeontological trends. 


The paleontologist, confronted with his continuous and long-range 
trends, is prone to misunderstand the implications of a discontinuous 
theory of change such as mutation, and to invoke orthogenesis or Lamarck- 
ism as explanatory agencies. Since there exist more rare than abundant 
species, the biogeographer will have to discount the fact that he is dealing 
mainly with processes irrelevant to the major trends of evolution regarded 
as a long-range process ; while the ecologist and the pure physiologist, 
appalled by the complexity of the phenomena, are apt to give up any 
quest for evolutionary explanation. 

Selection in a Mendelian World. 

In our attack upon the problem, we must first mention some implica- 
tions of recent genetics. Essentially, the modern conception may be 
put as follows. The notion of Mendelian characters has been entirely 
dropped. Instead of a given gene having a constant effect, its actual 
effect is dependent upon the co-operative action of a number of other 
genes. Mutations which in one gene-complex are pathological, in 
another may be perfectly harmless, and in yet another advantageous. 
The adjustment of such mutations to the needs of the organism may 
occur entirely through recombination of existing modifiers, or, after a 
preliminary and partial buffering by this means, the final adjustment 
may have to wait upon further mutation. 

Thus evolution need not occur by a series of sharp single steps ; each 
such step is immediately buffered by ancillary changes in genes and gene- 
combinations. What evolves is the gene-complex ; and it can do so in 
a series of small if irregular steps so finely graded as to constitute a con- 
tinuous ramp. 

When we reflect further that it is theoretically possible for a gene to 
alter its character radically by mutating step by small step from one 
multiple allelomorph to another, we shall see that the discontinuity in- 
herent in Mendelian genetics is no obstacle to the visible continuity 
revealed in palaeontological evolution. 

Nor is the pathological character of many mutations at their first 
appearance necessarily a bar to their final evolutionary utilisation by the 
species. Let us take some examples of this last-named process. The 
mutant gene eyeless in Drosophila was originally described as considerably 
reducing the size of the eyes, in some cases to complete absence, markedly 
decreasing fertility, and depressing viability. When, however, a 
stock for eyeless was inbred for a number of generations, it was found 
that practically all had normal eyes and showed little reduction in either 
fertility or viability. On outcrossing to the normal wild type and re- 
extracting the recessives in F2, it was found that these once more mani- 
fested the original characters of eyeless, though in even more variable 

The explanation of these facts is that the manifestations of eyeless 
are readily influenced by other genes, and that in general those modifiers 
which make for normal viability and fertility also make for normality 
in eye-size. Thus natural selection acting upon the recombinations of 
modifiers present in the stock speedily saw to it that the combinations 


making for the manifestation of reduced eyes were eliminated. In 
competition with the wild-type allelomorph, eyeless would be eliminated ; 
but in stocks pure for eyeless, the genes to be eliminated will be the plus 
modifiers of the mutation. 

Selection of this type, it now appears, is a constant and indeed normal 
process. It has become almost a commonplace in animals used for genetic 
analysis to find that mutant types which at first are extremely difficult 
to keep going, after a few generations become quite viable. This has 
repeatedly occurred in Gammarus, for instance, as well as in Drosophila, 
and is also known in mice and nasturtiums. The explanation is 
essentially similar to that for the case of eyeless. 

R. A. Fisher has extended this concept to explain dominance and 
recessiveness in general. Mutation is always throwing up new genes ; 
the majority of these will inevitably be deleterious, and will also be re- 
peatedly produced. Obviously the great majority will be carried in 
single dose, so that it will be an advantage to minimise any activity shown 
by them while in this heterozygous state. Thus a harmful mutation will 
inevitably be forced into recessivity by selection acting on the rest of the 
gene-complex. Haldane has given a somewhat different explanation of 
the origin of the recessive character of most mutations, based upon multiple 
allelomorphism ; but this too involves selection acting upon other genes 
than the mutant. On either hypothesis, dominance and recessiveness 
are to be regarded as modifiable characters, not as unalterable inherent 
properties. Dominant genes, or most of them, are not born dominant : 
they have dominance thrust upon them. Mutations become dominant 
or recessive, through the action of other genes in the gene-complex. 

There remains the difficulty that most mutations so far investigated 
are deleterious. If mutations are the raw material of evolution, some of 
them in some cases must be, or must become, advantageous. However, 
this also is not so serious as at first sight appears. Since the gene- 
complex is an elaborately co-ordinated system, any changes in it are much 
more likely to act as defects rather than as improvements. Further, 
the larger the change the less likely is it to be an improvement ; and in- 
evitably the geneticist will detect large changes more readily than small. 
Recent analysis, however, has revealed numbers of gene-differences 
with extremely small effects, down almost to the limit of detectability. 
It is not only possible but probable that among these are to be sought 
the chief building blocks of evolutionary change, and that it is by means 
of a series of small multiple-allelomorphic steps, each adjusted for via- 
bility and efficiency by changes in the genie background, that an organism 
usually achieves gradual but well-defined alteration. 

But in addition to the initial or intrinsic usefulness of certain small 
mutations, we have also the fact that mutations which are deleterious 
in what may be described as normal conditions may become advantageous 
either in an altered environment or in an altered genie background, 
and the further fact that many mutations or Mendelizing variations 
cannot be described as intrinsically useful or harmful, but vary in their 
selective effects with variation in environmental conditions. 

Let us take a few illustrative cases. In conditions near the optimum, the 
vestigial-winged mutant of Drosophila is much shorter-lived than the wild 


type. But if vestigials and normals are kept together without food and water, 
the vestigials survive longer. Thus, in environments which occasionally 
become very unfavourable, the vestigial type might even oust the normal. 

In dandelions, Sukatschew has carried out elaborate experiments on 
a number of pure lines. Altering the density of total numbers of plants 
per plot may completely alter both the survival of the seedlings and the 
fertility of the survivors, so that a pure line which is inferior in one set 
of conditions will oust the rest in other conditions. This conclusion is 
entirely in accord with the work of Stapledon and others showing the effect 
of varying intensity of grazing on the survival and reproduction of 
different species and strains of pasture plants. 

A striking case of rather a different nature concerns a variety, probably 
due to mutation, observed in tobacco. The new variety failed to flower 
until the ratio of light to darkness was altered to correspond with what 
would prevail in a semi-tropical summer, when it became a better per- 
former than the type. Any competition between mutant and type would 
thus be decided according to latitude. 

I ought also to mention the case, described by Harrison, of the light 
and dark varieties of the moth Oporinia autumnata. The relative abun- 
dance of these in a dark pinewood and an adjacent light birchwood is 
quite different, and so, but inversely, is the intensity of selection, as re- 
vealed by the number of wings left by birds. The result is that in the 
dark environment the dark variety is sixteen times the commoner, in the 
light environment six times the rarer. 

Thus, whatever other processes may possibly be at work, it is clear 
that selection is constantly operative. A difference in environment may 
decide between two genes with sharply contrasting effects ; quantitative 
differences in conditions may lead to a complete reversal of advantage 
between varieties ; the gene-complex may be selected so as to protect 
the species from the deleterious effects of mutations, or so as to minimise 
the ill effects of an otherwise advantageous mutant. In these and other 
ways natural selection proves itself to be a pervading, active agency. 

Having dealt briefly with the modus operandi of natural selection in a 
Mendelian world, we must now discuss the processes of evolution and 
the role which selection may play in them. Darwin himself happened 
to confuse the issue by calling his greatest book the Origin of Species. 
Evolution, however, must be dealt with under several rather distinct 
heads. Of these one is the origin of species — or we had better say 
the origin of minor systematic diversity. Another is the origin of 
adaptations. A third is extinction. And a fourth, and in many ways the 
most important, is the origin and maintenance of long-range evolutionary 
trends. It is of course true that these all overlap and interlock. None 
the less, the distinctions are real and important. 

The Origins of Species. 

First, then, we have the origin of species. It is logically obvious that 
every existing species must have originated from some pre-existing 
species, but equally clear on the basis of recent research that it may do so 
in one of several quite different ways. A single species as a whole may 


become transformed gradually until it comes to merit a new specific 
name. Or it may separate, also gradually, into two or more divergent lines. 
Sometimes the separation into mutually infertile groups may occur 
suddenly, but the subsequent divergence may yet be gradual. Or it may 
hybridise with another species and the hybrid product then, by doubling 
of the chromosomes (allopolyploidy), give rise at one bound to a new 
species. Here, instead of one species diverging to form two, two converge 
to form one. (It is possible that such sudden origins of new species by 
means of chromosome or genome aberrations may also occur without 
hybridisation, from a single instead of a dual origin.) Finally, in certain 
groups of plants, the minor systematics are in an inextricable tangle, so 
that no two authorities agree even approximately as to the number of 
species involved and their limitations ; in these cases hybridisation, 
apparently involving many more than two forms, together with recom- 
bination, chromosome-doubling, and apogamy, appears to have been and 
still to be at work. Thus species-formation may be continuous and uni- 
linear ; continuous and divergent ; abiupt and convergent ; or what, 
following a recent writer, we may call reticulate, dependent on constant 
intercrossing and recombination between a number of lines, and thus 
both convergent and divergent at once. 

Palaeontology provides numerous evidences of gradual specific trans- 
formation ; these have been preserved almost exclusively in aquatic 
animals, though also in a few land vertebrates such as the horses ; but 
similar changes must, it is clear, have been generally at work. In some 
cases at least, as in the shift of the mouth in the sea-urchin Micraster, 
the change seems to have been an adaptive improvement. 

Divergent splitting must clearly be postulated on a large scale, if only 
to account for the rapid increase of the number of forms in newly evolved 
groups such as the higher placental orders. It is not easy to obtain direct 
evidence of divergence from palaeontology, since this demands good series 
in two separate but crucial areas. But what without question are different 
stages of the process are yielded by a study of geographical distribution. 
This reveals all stages of geographical divergence, from dubious to sharply 
defined subspecies, and thence on to species and genera. 

Physiological subspecies, such as the races of gall-forming insects 
restricted to different host plants, are of a similar nature, though their 
distinctive characters are not among those which appeal to the museum 

In all these cases isolation, whether geographical or physiological, 
is involved. Although sometimes, as in many of the geographical colour- 
varieties of the mouse Peromyscus, the differences seem definitely to be 
adaptive, in others subspecific distinctions appear as biologically meaning- 
less, as do many specific differences between allied species. We cannot 
be sure whether isolation simply makes it easier for selection to cause 
adaptive divergence in relation to local conditions, or whether in some 
cases at least, by some method as yet obscure, it permits the fruition of 
mere random and biologically useless variation. 

An interesting case in which we must presume the isolation to have been 
suddenly effective is that of Drosophila simulans, which so closely resembles 
D. melanogaster that it was wholly overlooked by the systematists. 


Genetical analysis showed that it differed from melanogaster in having 
a large section of one chromosome reversed. This must have occurred 
suddenly, and, once established in homozygous condition, would inhibit 
the fertility of any heterozygotes. The bar to fertility once established, 
other differences between the two types could accumulate, though they 
are still very slight. 

It does not, however, matter in principle whether isolation is effected 
gradually or abruptly ; in any case subsequent divergence will be gradual 
(except in some of the cases to be described later, where the isolating 
process itself produces marked differences in appearance). 

We often know the approximate date at which isolation of an island has 
occurred, and can see that, broadly speaking, the degree of divergence is 
proportional to the time that has since elapsed, as well as to the effective- 
ness of the isolation. It is thus a legitimate deduction that geographical 
variation provides us with a cross-section of a temporal process, and that 
isolational divergence has been constantly operative, throughout evolution, 
as an agency promoting minor systematic diversity. 

The sudden convergent formation of new species as a result of hybridisa- 
tion has only been established in quite recent years. So far we know of 
it only in plants. Several cases are known, of which Primula kewensis 
is the classical example ; but the most striking is that of the rice-grass 
Spartina Townscndi. This, it now seems certain, is an allopolyploid 
derived from the crossing of the European S. stricta and the imported 
S. alterniflora ; most interesting from an evolutionary standpoint is 
the fact that it is for some reason better equipped than either of its parents, 
and not only kills them out in competition, but is extending its range 
beyond theirs. In addition the chromosomal and genetic analysis of 
various of our most important cultivated plants indicates that they too 
owe their origin to this process. 

The common existence in plants of species within a genus with different 
multiples of a basic chromosome-number is also proof of discontinuous 
species-formation. In some cases this may have been due to autopoly- 
ploidy, and would be therefore not convergent but divergent. 

The two classical examples of reticulate evolution are the roses and 
the willows, though similar cases exist in other groups of plants in which 
species-crossing and chromosome or genome aberrations are prevalent. 
So far it is not known to exist in animals, except in man. Here it assumes 
a somewhat different form, since the crossing has been between units of 
lower than specific rank and no complications of polyploidy, apogamy, 
and the like have intervened. Thus the result is a single species with 
a unique degree of variability, in which recombination is the major factor. 
The evolution of such a group is clearly reticulate. 

Biologists have realised for some time that the term species is loose and 
difficult of definition. However, whether we can define species or not, or 
whether we ought to emphasise the distinctions between different kinds of 
species by refinements of terminology, it remains true that species are 
genuine biological units . On the other hand , we can distinguish in principle 
between the causes of their isolation and the causes of their divergence. 
Groups separated by geographical isolation are species only in posse. 
Their separation into good species is a slow and subsequent process, 


accompanying the gradual process of character- divergence. In other 
cases, such as Drosophila simulans, the two groups must be regarded as 
species from the outset, although they may be indistinguishable in any 
character save that which isolates them. At the opposite extreme are 
those cases in which the factor inducing isolation simultaneously produces 
considerable character-difference. This is so in Spartina Townsendi and 
most cases of convergent and reticulate species-formation. Further 
character-divergence may of course occur later. 

From the standpoint of natural selection, species will then fall into 
two contrasted categories. On the one hand we have those in which 
natural selection can have had nothing to do with the origin of the basic 
specific characters, but merely acts upon the species as given, in competition 
with its relatives. These include all species in which character-diver- 
gence is abrupt and initial. On the other hand we have those forms in 
which character-modification is gradual. Here natural selection may, 
and on both deductive and inductive grounds often must, play a part in 
producing the characters of the species. This helps to bring home the 
heterogeneity of the processes which we lump together as ' evolution.' 

Adaptation and Selection. 

We next come to the origin of adaptations. It has been for some years 
the fashion to decry the study or even to deny the fact of adaptation. I 
have not the space to discuss the anti-adaptational attitude ; I will only 
say that I believe it to be a passing fashion, and that, both structurally 
and functionally, every organism is a bundle of adaptations, more or less 
efficient, co-ordinated in greater or lesser degree. 

How has adaptation been brought about ? To-day biology rules out 
special creation or divine guidance, frowns on entelechies and purposive 
vital urges, and repudiates Lamarckism. 

Most biologists also look askance at orthogenesis setisu stricto, as im- 
plying the inevitable grinding out of results predetermined by some 
internal germinal clockwork. As Fisher has cogently pointed out, the 
implications both of Lamarckism and of orthogenesis run directly counter 
to the observed fact that the great majority of mutations are deleterious. 

There remains natural selection. Before discussing some concrete 
examples of selection at work to produce adaptation and of adaptations 
illustrating the work of natural selection, a few general points deserve to 
be made. In the first place, there is the aged yet perennial fallacy that 
such-and-such an arrangement cannot be adaptive, since related organisms 
can and do exist without it. This is, quite frankly, nonsense. It is on 
a par with saying that electric refrigerators are not useful because many 
people manage to get on happily without them. 

There are numerous possible explanations of such a state of affairs. 
It may be that mutations in that direction did not crop up, or were not 
available before the stock started specialising along other lines ; there 
may be differences in the genetic make-up or the environment of the two 
forms which make such an adaptation less advantageous to one than to 
the other. For instance, rare species are not likely to show the same 
adaptations as abundant ones. 


All that natural selection can ensure is survival. It does not ensure 
progress, or maximum advantage, or any other ideal state of affairs. A 
type may survive by deceiving its enemies with a fraudulent imitation of 
a nauseous form just as well as by some improvement in digestion or 
reproduction, by degenerate and destructive parasitism as much as by 
increased intelligence. 

Then we must invoke natural selection whenever an adaptive structure 
involves a number of separate steps for its origin. A one-character, single- 
step adaptation might clearly be the result of mutation. But when two 
or more steps are necessary, it becomes inconceivable that they shall have 
originated simultaneously. The first mutation must have been spread 
through the population by selection before the second could be combined 
with it, the combination of the first two in turn selected before the third 
could be added, and so on. Most adaptations clearly involve many 
separate characters, and when we can study their actual evolution with 
the aid of fossils, we find that it is steadily progressive over tens of millions 
of years, and must therefore have involved a large number of steps. 
The improbability is therefore enormous that they can have arisen without 
the operation of some agency which can gradually accumulate and combine 
a number of contributory changes : and natural selection is the only such 
agency that we know. 

R. A. Fisher has aptly said that natural selection is a mechanism for 
generating a high degree of improbability. This is in a sense a paradox, 
but it expresses epigrammatically the important fact that natural selection 
is all the time achieving its results by giving probability to combinations 
which would otherwise be in the highest degree improbable. 

This important principle clearly removes all force from the ' argument 
from improbability ' used by many anti-Darwinians, such as Bergson. 
It helps us also to detect another fallacy. T. H. Morgan, followed 
by Hogben, has asserted that natural selection merely preserves certain 
among the hosts of recombinations : in the absence of natural selection, 
in addition to the known forms of life a vast assemblage of other types 
would exist which have been destroyed by selection. 

Actually this is on a par with saying that we could expect the walls 
of a room to collapse on occasion owing to all the molecules of gas inside 
the room moving simultaneously in one direction. Both are of course 
only improbabilities — -but they are improbabilities of such a fantastically 
high order as to be in fact entirely ruled out. Each single existing species 
is the product of a long series of selected mutations ; to produce these 
adapted types by chance recombination in the absence of selection would 
require a total assemblage that would fill the universe and overrun 
astronomical time. 

This is perhaps the place to discuss pre-adaptation. According to 
this view, variations occur which would be adaptive in some new environ- 
ment or way of life, and their possessors then find their way into that 
environment or take up that way of life. However, what we have pre- 
viously said makes it clear that this can only apply to the early stages of an 
elaborate adaptation, not to its whole history. 

A mutation such as that discovered by Banta for altered temperature- 
resistance in a Cladoceran may be described as potentially pre-adaptive ; 


and so may that previously mentioned (p. 83), adjusting a plant to another 
rhythm of light and darkness. Doubtless such potentially pre-adaptive 
mutations are not uncommon, and may play an important role in widely 
dispersed types, and during periods of changing environment. 

That selection can influence adaptive characters is shown by a number 
of lines of evidence, experimental as well as indirect. Cesnola found 
experimentally that the colours of Mantids exerted a protective effect in 
relation to enemy attacks. We have already mentioned the results of 
Heslop Harrison on the colours of certain moths. 

Then there is now a large body of experimental evidence showing that 
insects with warning colours are on the whole rejected, while those with 
protective colours are on the whole accepted. One of the most interesting 
pieces of evidence as to the efficacy of selection in maintaining mimetic 
adaptation is afforded by unpublished data for which I am indebted to 
Mr. E. B. Ford. The butterfly Papilio dardanus has several mimetic 
types of female. Random collections were made from two areas. In 
one of these the models were far more numerous than the mimics, while in 
the other, on the limit of the models' range, the models were actually less 
abundant ; the actual ratios were 17-6 : 1 and 0-24 : 1. The collections 
showed that whereas in the former case the mimetic resemblance was very 
close (mimics classified as imperfect being below 4 per cent.), in the latter 
it was far from exact (31*5 per cent, of imperfect mimics), and the varia- 
bility of the mimics much greater. 

The evidence that we possess goes to show, first, that selection can be 
very efficacious in altering the mean of a population within the range of 
existing variability ; secondly, that a relaxation of selection will allow 
the type to deviate away from adaptive perfection, quite outside the range 
of variability to be found where selection is more stringent ; and, thirdly, 
that adaptive characters may advantage their possessors in such a way 
as to exert definite selection- pressure in their favour, and that accordingly 
selection can have a continuous guiding effect towards adaptive perfection. 

Some Fallacies. 

Here we must turn aside to consider long-range evolutionary trends. 
It is quite clear that many of these are adaptive. So obvious is this fact 
that it has found expression in the current phrase adaptive radiation. 
When palaeontological evidence is available the adaptive radiation is 
seen to be the result of a numebr of evolutionary trends, each tending 
to greater specialisation — in other words, to greater adaptive efficiency 
in various mechanisms subservient to some particular mode of life. 
Specialisation continues steadily for a considerable time, which in the 
higher mammals at least seems to last between ten and forty million years ; 
eventually change ceases, and the specialised type either rapidly becomes 
extinct or else continues unchanged for further geological periods. 

It is hard to understand why the trends seen in adaptive radiation 
have been adduced as proof of internally determined orthogenesis. 
Whenever they lead to improvement in the mechanical or neural basis 
for some particular mode of life, they will confer advantage on their 
possessors and will come under the influence of selection ; and the selec- 


tion will continue to push the stock further and further along the line of 
development until a limit of perfection has been reached. 

This limit is usually determined by quite simple mechanical principles. 
A horse cannot reduce its digits below one per foot, nor can it complicate 
the grinding surface of its molars beyond a certain point without making 
the grinding ridges too small for the food to be ground. The selective 
advantages of mere size, which must often be great in early stages of a 
trend, will be later offset by reduction of speed, or difficulties of securing 
sufficient food, or, in land animals, by the relative increase of skeleton. 
There is a limit to the acuity of vision, the streamlining of aquatic form, 
or the length of a browser's neck, which can be useful. When these 
biomechanical limits have been reached, the trend ceases, and the stock, 
if it is not extinguished through the increasing competition of other 
types, is merely held by selection to the point it has reached. 

The only feature inviting orthogenetic explanation is the directive 
character of the trends, their apparent persistence towards a predeter- 
mined goal. But on reflection this too is seen to be not only explicable 
but expected on a selectionist viewpoint. Once a trend has begun, 
much greater changes will be necessary to switch the stock over to some 
other mode of life than to improve the arrangements for the existing 
mode of life ; and the further a specialised trend has proceeded, the deeper 
will be the groove in which it has thus entrenched itself. Specialisation, 
in so far as it is a product of natural selection, automatically protects 
itself against the likelihood of any change save further change in the same 

However, that this apparent orthogenesis is determined functionally 
is excellently shown by the evolution of the elephants. These began 
their career by an elongation of the muzzle involving the enlargement of 
both jaws and both upper and lower incisor tusks. Before the beginning 
i of the Pliocene, this process had reached what appears to have been a 
mechanical limit. In the later evolution of the stock the jaws were 
shortened, the trunk elongated, and the lower tusks abolished. The 
effective reach of the animal for its food was continuously increased ; 
but the structural basis was wholly altered. It is impossible to stretch 
the principle of internal orthogenesis to cover a process of this type. 

While on this subject, we may deal with a cognate point, the so-called 
law of the irreversibility of evolution. This is an empirical fact of pate- 
ontology, but that it involves no intrinsic necessity is shown by the 
experimental findings of Sewall Wright on guinea-pigs. He was able 
to build up a stock which was in full possession of the hind little toe 
that the wild species genus, and family, had definitively lost. Thus 
Nature no more abhors reverse evolution than she abhors a vacuum. 

The same principles would seem to apply in general to small-scale 
adaptations as to long-range adaptive trends, except that since such 
adaptations frequently concern only one particular function and not the 
organism's main way of life, it should be easier for evolutionary direction 
to be changed, and for adaptation to set off on a new tack. 

An important difference will be found between abundant and scarce 
species. In the latter, competition will be more with other species, 
while in the former it will be more between members of the species 


itself. In general this latter or intra- specific type of selection is more 
widespread than the inter-specific. 

It is a common fallacy to think of natural selection as first and foremost 
a direct struggle with adverse weather, with enemies or with the elusive 
qualities of prey. The most important feature of the struggle for 
existence is the competition of members of the same species for the means 
of subsistence and for reproduction. Surprise has been expressed by 
some biologists at the fact that in New Zealand, domestic pigs which 
have become feral have, in spite of the absence of predatory enemies, 
reverted to something like the wild type ; but in competition for food 
and reproduction the leaner and more active wild type must clearly 
have a strong relative advantage over the fatter and more sluggish domestic 

It is another fallacy to imagine that because the major elimination 
of individuals occurs in one period of life, therefore selection cannot 
act with any intensity on the phase of minimum numbers. It has, 
for instance, been argued that because the main elimination of butter- 
flies takes place during the larval stage, therefore elimination of the 
imagines by birds or other enemies can have no appreciable selective 
effect, and that therefore any protective or warning or mimetic colouring 
which they exhibit cannot have any adaptive significance. However, 
it is the adults which reproduce, and a one per cent, advantage of one 
adult type over another will have precisely the same selective effect 
whether the adults represent ten, one, or one-tenth of one per cent, of 
the number of fertilised eggs produced. The same applies to those plants 
in which the main elimination occurs during the seedling stage. Selection, 
in fact, can and does operate equally effectively at any stage of the life- 
cycle. Further, elimination is far from being the only tool with which 
selection operates. Differential fertility of the survivors is also important, 
and in man and many plants is probably the more influential. 

Rate- Genes and Selection. 

But, as Haldane has stressed, the results of selection at one period of 
the life- cycle may have repercussions on other periods and affect the 
species as a whole in unexpected ways. Perhaps the best example which 
he gives is that of intra-uterine selection in polytocous mammals . Here there 
must be intense competition, since a considerable percentage of every 
litter dies in utero and rapidity of growth must be at a premium. Haldane 
suggests with some plausibility that any rapidity of pre-natal growth 
thus acquired is likely to be transferred in whole or in part to post-natal 
life as well, and that intra-uterine selection may thus help to account for 
the progressive increase in size seen in so many mammalian lines during 
their evolution. At any rate, the converse seems to hold, namely that 
on account of intra-uterine selection it would be impossible for a poly- 
tocous mammal to slow down its rate of development. One of the most 
characteristic features of man is precisely such a slowing down of general 
rate of development. Without it he could not in all probability have 
become fully human or biologically dominant. This condition could not 
have occurred in a polytocous form. It was only after man's ancestors 


ceased to have litters and began to bring forth a single young at a birth 
that the further evolution of man became possible. 

The slowing of human development further had numerous corollaries. 
The typical adult human condition of hair on the head but almost 
complete absence of hair on the body, the hymen of the human female, 
and the smooth orthognathous form of the human face and skull appear 
to be based upon characters automatically transferred from earlier to 
later stages of the life-cycle. 

This general slowing down of man's post-natal development is doubtless 
due in part to its possessing selective advantage. But, as Haldane points 
out, it may also be in part the indirect carry-over from a slowing of pre- 
natal development. In the circumstances of primitive sub-man a foetus 
is on the whole better nourished and less exposed to danger than a new- 
born infant, so that pre-natal slowing is here as advantageous as pre-natal 
acceleration in a polytocous mammal. 

This prolongation of a more protected early phase may also apply to 
the larval period, for instance in insects with their ccenogenetic larvae, 
which are often highly adapted to their secondary mode of life. One 
need only think of the mayfly with its imaginal phase reduced both in 
structure and in duration. 

Sometimes this reduction is carried to its logical extreme and the adult 
phase is wiped out of the life-history by neoteny. This has demon- 
strably occurred in various beetles, and in the axolotl. It has probably 
taken place in ourselves as well, with the heavy brow-ridges and pro- 
truding jaws of our ancestors. 

Haldane in an interesting paper discusses these and similar phenomena 
from the standpoint of the time of action of the genes controlling them. 
A more comprehensive view, however, would include as still more im- 
portant the genes' rate of action. 

A large number (possibly the majority) of genes exert their effects 
through the intermediation of a process operating at a definite rate. 
The speeds of processes which such rate-factors control are not abso- 
lute, but relative — relative to the speeds of other processes of develop- 
ment and of development in general. It is also found that a decrease 
in rate of process is in general accompanied by a delay in the time of its 
initial onset, and vice versa. Furthermore, such processes do not neces- 
sarily continue indefinitely. Often they reach an equilibrium ; when this 
is so, the level of the equilibrium is correlated with the rate of the process. 
This is so, for instance, with eye-colour in Gammarus, and probably in 
man. In addition to such rate-factors, others are known which appear 
only to affect the time of onset of a process and not its rate. 

Attempts have been made by representatives of the Morgan school 
to minimise the importance of these discoveries, by asserting that they 
constitute only a redescription of old phenomena and add nothing truly 
new. On the contrary, I would maintain that they are of first-rate 
importance. I need not go into their bearings upon physiological genetics. 
Here we are concerned with their evolutionary implications. 

In the first place, since rate-genes are common, it is a legitimate pro- 
visional assumption that the rates of developmental processes in general 
are gene-controlled. Further, the simplification introduced into an 


analysis of development by the concept of relative rates of processes 
makes it desirable to try this key first of all when attacking any problem 
involving development. 

It then provides a great simplification of the facts of recapitulation 
and anti-recapitulation. Whenever the rate of a process is correlated 
with time of onset and final equilibrium-level, a mutation causing an 
increase in rate will produce recapitulatory phenomena. It will drive 
the visible onset of the process further back in ontogeny, will add a new 
' hypermorphic ' character at the end of the process, and will cause all 
the steps of the original process to be recapitulated, but in an abbreviated 
form, during the course of the new process. This will account, for in- 
stance, for many of the recapitulatory phenomena seen in the suture lines 
of ammonites. 

Conversely, a mutation causing a decrease in rate will have anti- 
recapitulatory effects. It will prolong the previous phase longer in ontogeny, 
it will not only slow the process down but stop it at a lower level of 
completion, and it will remove certain previous adult characters and push 
them off the life-history. Many of the phenomena of so-called ' racial 
senescence ' in ammonites, including the gradual uncoiling of the shell, 
may be due to phenomena of this type. 

As de Beer has pointed out, when ccenogenetic changes occur in the 
embryo or larva, the adult remaining unchanged, neither palasontology 
nor comparative anatomy would register any phylogenetic advance. But 
if now neoteny or fcetalisation occurs, the old adult characters may be 
swept off the map and be replaced by characters of a quite novel type. 
This process he calls clandestine evolution. Garstang has suggested 
that it has operated on a large scale in the ancestry of vertebrates and of 
the gastropods. 

A clear-cut small-scale example comes from the snail Cepea. Its 
non-banded varieties are produced not because their genes cause the 
total absence of pigment, but because they slow down pigment-formation 
and delay its visible onset relatively to general growth, to such an extent 
that growth is completed before any pigment can be formed. 

This is a comparatively unimportant effect ; but when major pro- 
cesses are affected such as metamorphosis, sexual maturity, or general 
rate of growth or development, the results may be far-reaching. Paedo- 
genesis is caused by relative acceleration of the processes leading to 
sexual maturity. Neoteny in the axolotl and presumably in insects is 
due to the slowing down of the processes leading to metamorphosis. 
The condition seen in man should not strictly be called neoteny, but rather 
fcetalisation, or perhaps juvenilisation : this would seem to be produced 
by a general slowing of developmental rate, relative both to time and to 
sexual maturity. 

The existence of rate-factors has an important bearing upon the problem 
presented by apparently useless characters. For alterations in the rate 
of a process will often automatically produce a number of secondary 
and apparently irrelevant effects. Numerous examples of such ' corre- 
lated characters,' as Darwin called them, are now known. 

I will take a simple example from Gammarus. Here, the depth of eye- 
colour depends upon the rate of deposition of melanin. But it depends 


also on eye-size — when the eye is smaller, the melanin is more crowded 
and the eye looks darker. Thus a mutation affecting the relative rate of 
eye-growth alters the depth of eye-pigmentation. 

It would seem inevitable that many of the apparently useless features 
used in diagnosing species are correlated characters of this type. Not 
only this, but the development of such correlated characters during 
evolution may simulate orthogenesis. One of the most convincing bits 
of evidence for orthogenesis was the discovery of Osborn that horns of 
the same type arose independently in four separate groups of Titanotheres. 
The study of relative growth, however, has provided a simpler explanation. 
The horns of Titanotheres are, like most horns, allometric, increasing 
in relative size with the absolute size of the animal, and not appearing 
at all below a certain absolute size. Given the potentiality of frontal 
horns in the ancestral stock, their independent actualisation in the different 
groups becomes inevitable so soon as a certain threshold of body-size is 
reached. Increase of body-size is probably advantageous up to a limit ; 
if so, the horns are the useless correlate of a useful character. It would 
be more accurate to say initially useless, since presumably once they ap- 
peared they were employed in fighting. That they later became useful 
is rendered probable by the brilliant analysis of Hersh, who has shown 
that after a certain period in their evolution the allometry of the horns 
became intensified. 

Generally speaking, change in absolute size is almost certain to produce 
numerous correlated changes in proportions, and change in relative size 
of an organ is quite likely to be accompanied by correlated changes in 
various characters. In addition, continued increase in absolute size will 
so increase the relative size of an allometric organ that it will eventually 
approach the boundary of disadvantage. Selection may then operate 
to reduce its rate of growth, or, if conditions alter rapidly, the organism 
may be caught napping in an evolutionary sense, and be extinguished. 
This may apply to the antlers of the Irish elk and the fantastic horns 
of some beetles. 

The claim that the concept of rate-genes is important would thus seem 
to be justified. It has illuminated the evolutionary aspect of recapitu- 
lation, neoteny, fcetalisation, clandestine evolution, and apparently useless 
characters, as well as helping to a simpler understanding of the innumerable 
cases of quantitative evolution. 

The Results of Selection, Good and Bad. 

Examples such as those of polytocous mammals, of abundant versus 
rare species, and of allometric organs, show how the type and course of 
evolution may be altered according to the type of organism or of biological 
machinery on which it has to work. We may mention a few other cases 
to illustrate this general principle. The most striking is, I think, that 
of the social insects. Haldane has demonstrated that only in a society 
which practises reproductive specialisation, so that most of the individuals 
are neuters, can very pronounced altruistic instincts be evolved, of a type 
which ' are valuable to society but shorten the lives of their individual 
possessors.' Thus, unless we drastically alter the ordering of our own 


reproduction, there is no hope of making the human species much more 
innately altruistic than it is at present. 

Another example concerns the reproduction of the higher plants. In 
them the pollen-grains may be affected in various ways, including the 
rapidity of their growth down the style, by the genes they bear. As a 
result of this, certation, or a ' struggle for fertilisation ' between genetically 
different types of pollen-grain, often occurs. Nothing of the sort, 
however, appears to take place in the sperm of higher animals, where 
the genes exist in a condensed and apparently inactivated form. Thus 
genes for rapid pollen-growth will be at a premium in plants, and their 
effects may spill over into other phases of the life-history ; whereas in 
animals no such effects can occur. 

It is a common fallacy that natural selection must always be for the good 
of the species or of life in general. In actual fact we find that intra- 
specific selection frequently leads to results which are mainly or wholly 
useless to the species as a whole. The protection afforded by a cryptic 
or a mimetic resemblance of moderate accuracy might approach the limit 
so far as its value to the species is concerned, if there were any way in 
which selection could be restricted to effects on the species as a species. 
Actually intra-specific competition between individuals will often lead 
to the process of adaptation being continued until almost incredibly 
detailed resemblances are reached — for instance, in some of the leaf- 
butterflies. Such ' hypertely ' is sometimes held up as a disproof of 
natural selection. In point of fact, it is to be expected from natural 
selection when intra-specific. 

In other cases intra-specific selection may even lead to deleterious 
results. This is especially true with intra-sexual competition, between 
members of the same sex of the same species. When polygamy or 
promiscuity prevails, the selective advantage conferred by characters 
promoting success in mating will be very high indeed ; and accordingly 
in such forms (for instance, peacock and Argus pheasant) we meet with 
male epigamic characters of the most bizarre sort which, while advantaging 
their possessor in the struggle for reproduction, must be a real handicap 
in the struggle for individual existence. In such cases, of course, a balance 
will eventually be struck at which the favourable effects slightly outweigh 
the unfavourable ; but here again extinction may be the fate of such 
precariously balanced organisms if the conditions change too rapidly. 

We may, however, go further and proclaim with Haldane that intra- 
specific selection is on the whole a biological evil. The effects of com- 
petition between adults of the same species probably, in his words, ' render 
the species as a whole less successful in coping with its environment. No 
doubt weaklings are weeded out, but so they would be in competition with 
the environment. And the special adaptations favoured by intra-specific 
competitions divert a certain amount of energy from other functions.' 

Intra-specific competition among pollen-grains has led to a real over- 
production of pollen by anemophilous plants ; intra-sexual competition 
among male mammals has led to unwieldy size or to over-developed 
weapons and threat organs ; intra-specific competition among parasites 
has led to their often monstrous exaggerations of fertility and complications 
of reproductive cycle. 


There can be little doubt that the apparent orthogenesis which has 
pushed groups ever further along their line of evolution until they are 
balanced precariously upon the edge of extinction, is due, especially in its 
later stages, to the hypertely induced by intra-specific competition. 

This conclusion is of far-reaching importance. It disposes of the 
notion, so assiduously rationalised by militarists and laisser-faire economists, 
that all man needs to do to achieve further progressive evolution is to 
adopt the most thorough-going competition : the more ruthless the com- 
petition, the more efficacious the selection, 'and accordingly the better 
the result. But we now realise that the results of selection are by no 
means necessarily ' good,' from the point of view either of the species 
or of the progressive evolution of life. They may be neutral, they may 
be a dangerous balance of useful and harmful, or they may be definitely 

Natural selection, in fact, though like the mills of God in grinding 
slowly and grinding small, has few other attributes that a civilised religion 
would call divine. It is efficient in its way — at the price of extreme 
slowness and extreme cruelty. But it is blind and mechanical ; and 
accordingly its products are just as likely to be aesthetically, morally, 
or intellectually repulsive to us as they are to be attractive or worthy of 
imitation. Both specialised and progressive improvement are mere 
by-products of its action, and are the exceptions rather than the rule. 
For the statesman or the eugenist to copy its methods is both foolish 
and wicked. Not only is natural selection not the instrument of a God's 
sublime purpose : it is not even the best mechanism for achieving 
evolutionary progress. 

Evolutionary Progress. 

This question of evolutionary or biological progress remains. I have 
discussed elsewhere at some length the meaning to be attached to this 
term, so that here a few points will be sufficient. In the first place, it 
is not true that the use of the word progress is a mere anthropocentrism. 
There has been a trend during evolution which can rightly be called 
progressive and has led to a rise in the level of certain definable properties 
of organisms. The properties whose rise constitutes biological progress 
can be defined in the broadest terms as control over the environment 
and independence of it. More in detail they consist in size and power, 
mechanical and chemical efficiency, increased capacity for self-regulation 
and a more stable internal environment, and more efficient avenues of 
knowledge and of methods for dealing with knowledge. 

One-sided progress is better called specialisation. For progress must 
not merely be defined a priori : it must also be defined on the basis of 
results. These results have consisted in the historical fact of a succession 
of dominant groups. And the chief characteristics which analysis reveals 
as having contributed to the rise of these groups are improvements that 
are not one-sided but all-round and basic, such as temperature-regulation 
or placental reproduction. 

It might be held that biological inventions such as the lung and 
shelled egg, which opened the world of land to the vertebrates, are 
after all nothing but specialisations. Are they not of the same nature 


as the wing, which unlocked the kingdom of the air to the birds ? 
This is in one sense true ; but in another it is untrue. The birds, 
although they did conquer a new section of the environment, in so 
doing were as a matter of actual fact cut off from further progress. 
Theirs was only a specialisation. The conquest of the land, however, 
not only did not involve any such limitations, but made demands upon 
the organism which could be and in some groups were met by further 
changes of a definitely progressive nature. Temperature- regulation, for 
instance, could never have arisen through natural selection except in an 
environment with rapidly changing temperature. 

As revealed in the succession of steps that led to new dominant forms, 
progress has taken diverse forms : at one stage, the combination of cells 
to form a multicellular individual, at another the evolution of a head ; 
later the development of lungs, still later of warm blood, and finally the 
enhancement of intelligence by speech. But all have, though in curiously 
different ways, increased the organism's capacities for control and for 
independence ; and each has justified itself not only in immediate results 
but in the later steps which it made possible. 

So much for the fact of progress. What of its mechanism ? It will 
be clear that if natural selection can account for adaptation and for long- 
range trends of specialisation, it can account for biological progress too ; 
for progressive changes have obviously given their owners advantages. 
Sometimes it needed a climatic revolution to give the progressive change 
full play, as at the end of the Cretaceous with the mammal- reptile differ- 
ential of advantage : but when it came, the advantage had very large 
results — -wholesale extinction on the one hand, wholesale radiation of 
new types on the other. It seems to be a general characteristic of evolution 
that in each epoch a minority of stocks give rise to the majority in the next 
phase, while, conversely, of the rest the majority become extinguished 
or are reduced in numbers. 

There is no more need to postulate an elan vital or a guiding purpose 
to account for evolutionary progress than to account for any other feature 
of evolution. 

One point is of importance. Although we can quite correctly speak 
of evolutionary progress as a biological fact, this progress is of a particular 
and limited nature. It is an empirical fact that evolutionary progress 
can only be measured by the upper level reached ; for the lower levels are 
also retained. It is of course a fallacy to use this fact as an argument 
against the existence of progress. To do so is on a par with saying that 
the invention of the automobile does not represent an advance, because 
horse-drawn vehicles remain more convenient for certain purposes, or 
pack animals for certain localities. 

One somewhat curious fact emerges from a survey of evolutionary 
progress. It could apparently have pursued no other course than that 
which it has historically followed. 

Multicellular organisation, triploblastic development, a ccelom and a 
blood system were clearly necessary to achieve a reasonable level of size 
and organisation. Among the ccelomates, only the vertebrates were eligible, 
for only they were able to achieve the combination of active efficiency, size, 
and terrestrial existence needed as a basis for the later stages of progress. 
The arthropods are not only hampered by their moulting, but their land 


forms are restricted by their tracheal respiration to very small size and 
therefore to cold-bloodedness and to a reliance on instinctive behaviour. 
Thus lungs were one needful precursor of intelligence. 

Warm blood was another, since only with a constant internal environ- 
ment could the brain achieve stability and regularity for its finer functions. 
This limits us to birds and mammals. Birds were ruled out by their 
depriving themselves of possible hands in favour of actual wings. 

Remain the mammals. Most mammalian lines cut themselves off from 
ultimate progress by concentrating on immediate specialisation of limbs, 
teeth, and sense of smell. As Elliot Smith has set forth, the penultimate 
steps in human development could never have been taken except in the 
trees, where the forelimb could be converted into a hand, and sight 
inevitably ousted smell as the dominant sense. But for the ultimate step 
it was necessary for the anthropoid to descend from the trees before he 
could become man. This meant the final liberation of the hand, and 
placed a higher premium upon intelligence. Further, the fcetalisation 
necessary for a prolonged period of learning could only have occurred in 
a monotocous species. 

The final step taken in evolutionary progress to date is that to con- 
ceptual thought. We see, however, that this could only arise in a 
monotocous mammal of terrestrial habit, but arboreal for most of its 
mammalian ancestry. All other known groups of animals are ruled 
out. Conceptual thought is not merely found exclusively in man : it 
could not have been evolved on earth except in man. 

Evolution is thus seen as a series of blind alleys. Some are extremely 
short — those leading to new genera and species that either remain stable 
or become extinct. Others are longer — the lines of adaptive radiation 
which run for tens of millions of years before coming up against their 
terminal blank wall. Others are still longer — the lines that have led to 
the development and advance of the major phyla ; their course is to 
be reckoned in hundreds of millions of years. But all save one have 
terminated blindly. 

Only along one single line is progress and its future possibility being 
continued — the line of man. If man were wiped out, it is in the highest 
degree improbable that the step to conceptual thought would again be 
taken, even by his nearest relatives. In the ten or twenty million years 
since his ancestral stock branched off, these relatives have been forced into 
their own lines of specialisation, and have quite left behind them that 
more generalised stage from which a conscious thinking creature could 
naturally develop. 

The Evolutionary Future. 

What of the future ? In the past, every major step in evolutionary 
progress has been followed by an outburst of change, whether by exploiting 
anew the familiar possibilities of adaptive radiation, or by peopling new 
environmental realms, or by improving the fundamental progressive 
mechanism itself. 

Conscious and conceptual thought is the latest step in life's progress. 
It is, in the perspective of evolution, a very recent one. Its main effects 
are indubitably still to come. What will they be ? Prophetic phantasy is 
a dangerous pastime. But at least we can exclude certain possibilities. 


Man is not destined to break up into separate radiating lines. For the 
first time in evolution, a new major step in biological progress will produce 
'but a single species. We can also set obvious limits to the extension of 
his range. Thus the main part of any large change in the biologically 
near future must be sought in the improvement of the brain. 

First let us remind ourselves that with our human type of society we 
must give up any hope of developing such altruistic instincts as the social 
insects. It would be more correct to say that this is impossible so long 
as our species continues in its present reproductive habits. If we were to 
adopt some system for using the gametes of a few highly endowed indi- 
viduals, directly or from tissue-cultures, to produce all the next generation, 
then all kinds of new possibilities would emerge. Man might develop 
castes, and some at least of them might be endowed with altruistic and 
communal impulses. 

Meanwhile there are many obvious ways in which the brain's level of 
performance could be raised. If for all the main attributes of mind the 
average of a population could be raised to the level now attained by the 
best endowed ten-thousandth or even thousandth, that alone would be 
of far-reaching evolutionary significance. Nor is there any reason to 
suppose that such quantitative increase could not be pushed beyond 
its present upper limits. 

Further, there are other faculties, the bare existence of which is as yet 
scarcely established : and these too might be developed until they were 
as commonly distributed as, say, musical or mathematical gifts are to-day. 
I refer to telepathy and other extra-sensory activities of mind, which the 
work of Rhine, Salter and others is now forcing into scientific recognition. 

In any case, one important point should be borne in mind. After 
most of the major progressive steps taken by life in the past, the pro- 
gressive stock has found itself handicapped by characteristics developed 
in earlier phases, and has been forced to modify or abandon these to realise 
the full possibilities of the new phase. This evolutionary fact is perhaps 
most obvious in relation to the vertebrates' emergence from water on to 
land ; but it applies in other cases too. 

Man's step to conscious thought is perhaps more radical in this respect 
than any other. By means of this new gift, man has discovered how to 
grow food instead of hunting it, and to substitute extraneous sources of 
power for that derived from his own muscles. And for the satisfaction 
of a few instincts he has been able to substitute new and more complex 
satisfactions, in the realm of morality, pure intellect, aesthetics, and 
creative activity. 

The problem immediately poses itself whether man's muscular power 
and urges to hunting prowess may not often be a handicap to his new 
mode of control over environment, and whether some of his inherited 
impulses and his simpler irrational satisfactions may not stand in the way 
of higher values and fuller enjoyment. The poet spoke of letting ape 
and tiger die. To this pair the cynic later added the donkey, as more 
pervasive and in the long run more dangerous. The evolutionary bio- 
logist is tempted to ask whether the aim should not be to let the mammal 
die within us, so as the more effectually to permit the man to live. 

Man seems generally anxious to discover some extraneous purpose to 
which humanity may conform. Some find such a purpose in evolution. 


The history of life, they say, manifests guidance on the part of some 
external power ; and the usual deduction is that we can safely trust that 
same power for further guidance in the future. 

I believe this reasoning to be wholly false. Any purpose we find 
manifested in evolution is only an apparent purpose. It is we who have 
read purpose into evolution, as earlier men projected will and emotion 
into inorganic phenomena like storm or earthquake. If we wish to work 
towards a purpose for the future of man, we must formulate that purpose 
ourselves. Purposes in life are made, not found. 

But if we cannot discover a purpose in evolution, we can at least 
discern a direction — the line of evolutionary progress. And this past 
direction can serve as a guide in formulating our purpose for the future. 

As further advice to be gleaned from evolution there is the fact that 
each major step in progress necessitates scrapping some of the achieve- 
ments of previous advances. But this warning remains as general as 
the positive guidance. The precise formulation of human purpose 
cannot be decided on the basis of the past. Each step in evolutionary 
progress has brought new problems, which have had to be solved on their 
own merits ; and with the new predominance of mind that has come 
with man, life finds its new problems even more unfamiliar than usual. 

The future of man, if it is to be progress and not merely a standstill 
or a degeneration, must be guided by a deliberate purpose. And this human 
purpose can only be formulated in terms of the new attributes achieved 
by life in becoming human. Human purpose and the progress based 
upon it must accordingly be formulated in terms of human values ; 
but it must also take account of human needs and limitations, whether 
these be of a biological order, such as our mode of reproduction, or of a 
human order, such as our inevitable subjection to emotional conflict. 

Obviously the formulation of an agreed purpose for man as a whole will 
not be easy. There have been many attempts already. To-day we are 
experiencing the struggle between two opposed ideals — that of the 
subordination of the individual to the community, and that of his intrinsic 
superiority. Another struggle still in progress is between the idea of a 
purpose directed to a future life and one directed to this existing world. 
Until such major conflicts are resolved, humanity can have no single 
major purpose, and progress can be but fitful and slow. 

But let us not forget that progress can be achieved. After the dis- 
illusionment of the early twentieth century it has become as fashionable 
to deny the existence of progress, and to brand the idea of it as a human 
illusion, as it was fashionable in the optimism of the nineteenth century 
to proclaim not only its existence but its inevitability. The truth is between 
the two extremes. Progress is a major fact of past evolution ; but it is 
limited to a few selected stocks. It may continue in the future, but it is 
not inevitable ; man must work and plan if he is to achieve further progress 
for himself and so for life. 

Our optimism may well be tempered by reflection on the difficulties to 
be overcome. None the less, the demonstration of the existence of a 
general trend which can legitimately be called progress, and the definition 
of its limitations, is a fundamental contribution to thought ; and we 
zoologists may be proud that it has been made, chiefly from the zoo- 
logical side, by evolutionary biology. 






It seems ridiculous, from this chair, to begin with cycles and waves. 
Yet I feel compelled to do so. We, as geographers, owe our own progress 
very largely to the innumerable impulses recorded by the advances of 
other sciences, and of other branches of knowledge. Their wave-lengths 
of progress — their cycles of advance and research — may be different from 
ours, but none the less geography is, at once, their debtor and their catalyst. 
Our environment is both physical and human. Our analysis and our 
correlations are at fault if we do not study and profit from any advance 
in the knowledge of environment, and man's reaction to it. No new find 
at Babylon or in the Tombs of the Kings but adds to our bill of fare. 
We wait upon the explanation of climatic changes in Greenland as eagerly 
as does Geodesist or Geologist, and we find trade cycles as important as 
those of sunspots. It is a fact that the study of man's reaction to his 
environment is so wide that we must draw our raw material from all sides 
and from all authorities. Our progress is, in large measure, dictated by 

In one important particular, however, geography, in the original sense 
of that difficult word, provides its own raw material. To take proper 
stock of our world we must map it. A globe, a map, a plan, a chart — 
these are not only records of our physical environment, but provide the 
background against which all other factors may be shown. My dis- 
tinguished predecessor in this chair, pointing out that most of us are still 
immobile in this world of ours, said that we still have to take our im- 
pressions of regions other than our own from picture or narrative. No 
doubt that is true. We may get an impression of the Highlands of 
Scotland from Sir Walter Scott's Waverley amplified by the attractive 
advertisements of sundry hydropathics. 

But if we want the facts we turn to the i-inch map, the geological map, 
the agricultural atlas and the population map. Later on, in his interesting 


survey of the polar regions, Prof. Debenham gets drawn into maps as 
naturally as every geographer is bound to be. He complains of projec- 
tion difficulties, foresees a ' germ-density ' map, and fears that the political 
maps may become too highly coloured. Indeed no one could expect a 
representative of that ancient seat of learning to do anything else than 
face the facts of life. It would be a waste of time to beat about the bush. 
Maps are potted information about environment, and about man. They 
are ndispensable to us and, at the moment, we are, as regards their 
production, in the trough and not on the crest. We are living through 
a cycle of indifference and we are forgetting the lessons of history. 
That is the reason, as you all know, why one who has no claims to geo- 
graphical eminence speaks to you to-day. It is because the illustrator is 
of significance even if he pales before the author. The mapping cycle 
is of as much, if not more, importance than any other. 

The bald statement that we are in the trough of the wave may take 
many by surprise. For over a century we have had reason to be proud 
of the mapping of the British Isles. For much of that period we have 
known ourselves to be the best mapped country in the world. The 
survey of India has had an extraordinary fine record, and for a period of 
twenty years or so we tackled the mapping of Africa, largely to illustrate 
its partition, with zeal. Then came the war, and, since that time, whether 
in the short boom or in the long depression, survey departments have 
shared in a neglect similar to that of the fighting services. In England 
itself the reason for this neglect is curiously difficult to find. Our maps 
and plans might serve a military purpose just as a London omnibus, or a 
screw factory, might. Their primary purposes are to help the work and 
the play of the nation as a whole. For example, no revision of the plans 
shows the railway system of the Kentish coal-fields, or records the growth 
of Scunthorpe, and so, up and down the land, innumerable interests have 
had to map themselves and pay double for it. No revision of the maps 
is complete in showing the full effects of the road programme. 

To get closer to geographical matters ; on what maps may we study the 
growth of industrialism in the south, or where shall we look for a record 
of the expansion of Birmingham ? What 6-in. plans of the Highlands 
will explain in detail the water power schemes of to-day ? What is 
Kinlochleven like now? 

A distinguished American — President of the International Union of 
Geodesy and Geophysics — remarks that the principal reason for the very 
backward state of the mapping of the United States lies in the fact that 
that country has been rich enough to survive the handicap of inadequate 
mapping. Are we rich enough to survive the handicap of losing the 
value of our original survey ? and to pay through the nose for overlapping 
work on the rates ? In 1922 we had both to live frugally and to build a 
' land for heroes.' On the one hand we began ambitious building pro- 
grammes and started to recast our road communications, whilst on the 
other we cut the survey votes to the bone. Building means supply 
services and drainage, and we had, before us, the warnings of the cholera 
epidemic of 1841 with its enforced and overlate expenditure on town plans. 


Roads mean adjustments of property and administration and we had the 
warnings of the waste of two millions on the poor and local surveys of the 
tithe maps ; and the demands of legal and administration authorities 
which doubled the survey of 1880. It is as if an elderly gentleman, 
overstout for his shabby suit, reluctantly ordered another from his tailor 
with strict injunctions to use a yard less material. In this particular, the 
revision of ordnance maps and plans of Great Britain, things look like 
improving. The Ordnance Survey, tucked away in that onetime asylum 
in Southampton, keeps on doing its best, and its difficulties are, at last, 
being considered. None the less all British geographers have a duty in 
thi; matter. We ought to see that our house is kept in order, and that 
the staff of the Ordnance Surevy is not ha'ved jus" when the changes of 
development are doubled. 

We must have the maps, indeed, not only for what they show, but for 
what they can be made to show. Against the black background of map 
detail any subject can be illustrated in colour. There is no need to talk 
distribution maps to an audience of geographers, yet it is astonishing how 
little has been done. Geology was the first science to map itself, and the 
Ordnance Survey has done much for the mapping of archaeology and 
history. Within limits it is perhaps easiest for that department to pro- 
vide the appropriate and contemporary outline. A population map, 
perhaps only in tentative form, illustrates the 193 1 census. It seems to 
me important that distribution maps for subjects of first-rate national 
importance should be made and revised at stated intervals so that, in 
the future, comparisons may be based on unimpeachable evidence, and 
tendencies identified and studied. Intensive studies of small areas are 
the realm of geographers themselves. They can be well illustrated in black 
and white, and the records will be found in geographical magazines. But 
there is always need of a more general and wider stretching picture. It 
is not a necessity that every geographer should be word perfect on land 
utilisation in Glen Clova, but it is a necessity that he should be well aware 
of the differences of population density in Great Britain. Here we come 
back to a national field, and one into which we are just entering. 

It may be of interest to see what the national survey has done in the 
question by recording the genesis of some of our editions. In the first in- 
stance the Geological Survey started as the ' Ordnance Geological Survey.' 
The 10-mile map began as a map for the River Commissioners. The J-inch 
map was first produced at a joint call of archaeologists, geologists and 
soldiers, the i/M to answer a request from an international assemb'y of 
geographers. Physical editions at various scales have been made at the 
request of British geographers. Population maps were made to help 
in the delimitation of interstate boundaries, and, at the special request of 
this section, to illustrate the 1931 census. Archaeological and historical 
maps are a case of spontaneous combustion, and are, as a matter of fact, 
a by-product of the mapping of the relevant sites, which is a normal 
function of the Ordnance Survey. 

On the whole, in Great Britain, the situation is none so bad as far as 
the geographer is concerned. Municipal administration, town and regional 


planning, land transactions, and comfort of motor travel, have suffered 
more than geographical analysis. It is a very different story if we turn 
to the vast areas under the British flag overseas. Here I am not going 
to talk of the Dominions, for they are masters of their own affairs. It is 
enough perhaps to suggest that they, too, are wealthy enough to survive 
the handicap of inadequate mapping. The Anglo-Saxon abroad does not 
seem to start with any very definite convictions on the question of good 
stocktaking. Let us turn to the areas under the Colonial Office. The 
first, best, and to us most natural, preliminary is to see what our forbears 
did, and thought, about it, so that we may avoid the pitfalls they fell into 
and start where they left off. 

At the close of the eighteenth century, Major-General Roy, Surveyor- 
General of the Coasts, Fellow of the Royal Society, Mapper of the 
Highlands, and spiritual father of the Ordnance Survey, had died. The 
connection between the Observatories of Greenwich and Paris had been 
established by triangulation. The Master-General of the Ordnance had 
appointed a small staff, and set about the mapping of the British Isles, 
and the question arose, ' What about the Colonies ? What about maps 
of foreign parts ? ' The Ordnance Survey was domestic. We wanted 
something at once imperial and diplomatic. 

The first step taken was to install, in 1803, the ' Depot of Military 
Knowledge,' a branch of the Quarter-Master-General's Department, and it 
included a ' drawing room ' for the copying and storing of maps and plans. 
It is comforting to note that it was to be watched over by ' an officer of 
approved knowledge,' and that one of the clerks ' conversant with foreign 
tongues ' was to receive js. 6d. a day. 

Thereafter Napoleon was finally vanquished ; these tiresome new ideas 
ceased to worry us for a time ; and a minor boom and a major depression 
came as usual to rub in the consequences of war. The Depot of Military 
Knowledge experienced, in that post-war period, what the Ordinary 
Survey suffered in a later one, and it was not until the Crimean War that 
the matter was revived. 

Major Jervis, a retired Sapper, had been employed on survey work 
in India. He had refused, unbelievably enough, the appointment of 
Surveyor-General in India, but he had tasted the joys of map-making 
and knew what he was talking about. In 1846 he wrote to the then 
Foreign Secretary, Lord Aberdeen, as follows : 

' Great Britain is the only country of note which has no geographer 
attached to the Government, and no national depot of geographical 
maps and plans. The Ordnance Survey is exclusively directed to British 
territories ' (he meant the British Isles) ; ' the Hydrographic Office to 
nautical charts ' — and so on to the wisdom of equipping the Foreign 
Office, in particular, with reliable maps on which to study the problems 
of territorial diplomacy. I ask you to note the underlying idea. Because 
it was suggested by a soldier it would be assumed, to-day, that it was 
aimed at destruction, and meant to be conducted in the darkest secrecy. 
No such thing. The idea was a national office for the production of 
oversea maps required by government departments. 


The next stage is pure farce. The idea was good but nothing was 
done. The Crimean War was casting its shadow ahead, and Major 
Jervis, in a foreign capital, copies Russian and Austrian staff maps of the 
relevant areas. The war duly breaks out. Major Jervis reappears with 
the most priceless maps. He is told that there is no precedent for supply- 
ing soldiers gratis with maps, but that some will, no doubt, be bought, if 
he makes them himself. One can almost see the peremptory hall porter 
asking to see his pass as he left the War Office of the day. But, stout 
fellow that he was, he accepted the challenge. Making his own map 
office he printed his maps which were, of course, invaluable. 

By 1855 this new idea had had time to become respectable. The 
' Topographical and Statistical Department ' was formed, and Jervis, 
reminded of his ' varied attainments,' and of the ' great attent'on ' he had 
paid to ' geographical Science ' was offered the command, together with 
a coach-house and stables in Whitehall in which to start his dark and hidden 

Let us examine his own draft for his terms of reference. 

' 1. Compilation and printing of all maps required for military and 
political purposes. Collection of maps published at home and abroad, 
and of topographical and statistical information about the colonies and 
foreign countries.' 

Note again — ' political ' and ' Colonies.' 

In 1857 Colonel Jervis, as significant a figure in British topography, as 
perhaps, General Roy, was gathered to his fathers, and we find Lord 
Panmure, ' Secretary at War,' calling a committee to consider what had 
been done, and what should follow. 

The committee recommended that the department should be an inde- 
pendent branch of the War Office empowered to employ officers and men 
from any branch of the British and Indian armies or from civil life, and 
that it should aim at ' procuring topographical information.' Lord 
Panmure's instructions are even more significant. 

' Lord Panmure is desirous that you direct an early attention to the 
subject of Colonial surveys, ascertaining as far as possible what works of 
this nature are in progress at the expense of Colonial legislatures, and report- 
ing whether it may not be possible to establish a system, under which your 
department, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State for the Colonies 
may assist in their systematic prosecution, His Lordship being satisfied that 
whether from a military, scientific, or a national point of view, it is of much 
importance to bring all the topographical operations of the British Colonies 
into harmony with one another, and to collect all information respecting 
them at a central establishment accessible to government.' 

For some years this ' Topographical Department ' and the Ordnance 
Survey were coalesced under the direction of General Sir Henry James. 
Then the i-in. of Great Britain was finished, the large scale survey 
(10 ft., 5 ft., and 25-in. to the mile) began, and War Office votes could 
not be stretched, it was thought, so far. The departments fell asunder 

E 2 


again : the Ordnance Survey to be the national and domestic map maker. 
the ' Topographical Department ' to be the national and overseas (but 
predominantly colonial) mapmaker. Both, however, were the suppliers 
and advisers for all departments of state. 

Is it in any way curious that the War Office should father a national 
institution of this sort ? Is it curious that Astronomers Royal should 
shelter under the wings of their Lordships of the Admiralty, or that the 
Meteorological Office should flourish under the Air Ministry ? Should 
they all be under a ' Ministry of Applied Science ' ? But it is the privilege 
of the ' Golden Bough ' to wander, delightfully from point to point, and 
I must back to mapping. 

The Topographical Department continued to grow and to subdivide. 
It gave birth to ' Military Intelligence ' and to ' Military Operations.' 
As so often happens the sons overtopped the father. The department 
was, for a time, under the hand of the late Lord Cromer, it has been the 
nursery for many distinguished soldier surveyors, and we bring it up to 
the time of the Boer War with a brief reference to the two germs from 
which, in spite of all its good work, it did suffer. These are : — 

(a) The germ of anaemia, due to starvation when no peril threatened. 

(b) The germ of hypertrophy, due to taking too seriously the minor 
lessons of the last war (whichever it was). 

At the beginning of this century the department was, as for some time 
it had been, the institution which provided the trained officers and men 
for boundary commissions and topographical surveys abroad ; which had 
the best map library in the country ; which provided topographical maps 
and advice to all departments of state, and which was closely in touch 
with the Colonial Office on matters pertaining to the Colonial Survey 

The Topographical Department was now rechristened the Geographical 
Section of the General Staff (or M.I. 4 for short), and it is time to consider 
its work under two the normal subheads : 

(a) The compilation and publication of maps of unsurveyed, or only 
partially surveyed, areas. 

(b) The actual survey on the ground — the real mapping — of the 

For making the best possible use of all knowledge preceding survey — 
the routes of travellers, the occasional observed latitude and longitude, 
the rare railway or river plan, and the still rarer record of local surveying — 
the Geographical Section acquired a staff of draughtsmen probably 
unequalled in Great Britain. The first maps of Africa made by the 
Section were the i/M and the 1/250000 series. These were compiled 
from all sorts of information, included many inaccuracies, but for some 
ten years were by far the best maps of the continent. Another large and 
important series was the 1/250000 of Asia Minor, which was still the best 
map of those parts when the war broke out. With a prescience which 


became proverbial the Section also mapped the Sinai Peninsula, and South 
Palestine, and with that geographical instinct characteristic of its then 
Chief, Sir Charles Close, put the international i/M on a firm basis. We 
should notice, in passing, the significance of the 1/250000 scale so much 
used in these early maps. If we take the J-in. as being practically 
identical with it, and compare the areas of the world mapped at those 
three alternative small scales 1/250000, 1/200000, and 1/300000 we find 
that they are in the proportions 13,3 and 1. 

Since the war those two great series — the 1 /4M of Asia and the 1 /2M 
of Africa — have proved enormously useful, and it is right to mention 
them in passing, because it is just for such painstaking reliable maps as 
these that we look to the Geographical Section. I have no doubt at all 
that the best maps of Abyssinia to-day are the sheets on both these series 
(which overlap in Arabia Felix and Abyssinia), and that they are the basis 
of all other maps, recently published, of that country. Here is one part 
of the original terms of reference well kept up. 

But to-day I want to speak of the other side — item (b) reliable survey 
on the ground. In the first years of colonial expansion a general map 
compiled from odd routes and sketches may suffice. Even so administra- 
tion finds all sorts of difficulties. One is, everywhere, dependent on a 
guide. There is no stocktaking of the country and its peoples. There is 
no guide to tribal and trade movements, to the grazing grounds of the 
different seasons, the limits of this or that local custom, or the places 
where conflicting interests may result in friction. Then come the problems 
of development. Where shall the railway run (we are nearly always 
caught napping over that) ; how shall the road system develop ; where 
are the raw materials (of which we hear so much to-day). It is absurd to 
try to solve all these by trial and error. And finally there are many 
vitally interested people at home, such for example as ourselves, who can 
form no accurate mental picture without a map to work on. 

The first land surveyors to begin work in the Colonies were not, 
however, always, or necessarily, directed by the Geographical Section. All 
over the world, and from the earliest times, you will find that surveying 
originates in two distinct ways, serves two separate purposes, works at 
different scales, and survives almost everywhere, save in Great Britain, 
in the form of overlapping survey departments to-day. The one is the 
property survey which safeguards property rights and forms the basis 
of land taxation, and the other the topographical survey, usually based on 
triangulation, which is the national stocktaking. The former is generally, 
or was generally, carried out by a private practitioner for a client ; the 
latter by state surveyors normally soldiers. The former is always measur- 
ing lengths, the latter usually angles ; the former is not concerned with 
altitudes, the latter finds much of his work in contouring. In colonial 
expansion both these sides are required, but whereas the necessity for 
the property surveyor is immediately obvious, the greater significance of 
the topographer, promising rewards of the future rather than of the 
present, is generally overlooked. 

Since, however, the property surveyor comes first in time (he was 


active in Sumeria) we will take him first in Africa. He dates back, here, 
to the earliest days of Dutch settlement at the Cape. Naturally in the 
busy times of the great trek his work was of the sketchiest. He improved 
with the times and with competition. He became subject to certain State 
inspections ; presently he had to show certain diplomas ; he turned into 
the ' licensed surveyor.' In his native land (the Dominion of S. Africa) 
he has never made a map, but he has first-rate education in instrumental 
surveying and can deal readily enough with a least square adjustment. Then 
presently the Rhodesias, British East Africa, and the West Coast colonies 
began to call for his like, and he came. With him came others trained in 
similar schools for similar work from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, 
but, with very rare exceptions, never from England. Here, at home, 
large scale surveying had been taken over by the State, and the profession 
was extinct. Thus were born the Colonial Survey Departments of Africa, 
just as they had been in earlier times in Ceylon and Bermuda, in Jamaica 
and Mauritius, in British Guiana and Hong Kong, although in these 
surveyors from England took more part. 

Fortunately for colonial expansion, there have been, generally, Royal 
Engineers somewhere handy. To them we owe the first roads, railways, 
cathedrals, government houses, town-planning, canals, and, of course, 
maps. It was part of our policy in former years that there should be, 
always, a large number of these Royal Engineer officers on survey work, 
and every ex-Director-General of the Ordnance Survey still surviving 
found his topographical training at that duty. In a small part of Hamp- 
shire within a circle of some eight miles radius live the three who had 
most to do with framing our very successful, war surveys. Between them, 
in their earlier years, they surveyed in almost every part of Africa. Such 
Royal Engineer officers, sometimes on the Colonial pay-roll, sometimes on 
that of the War Office, sometimes drawing partly from both, but always 
chosen and directed (even if indirectly) by the Geographical Section, 
began the topographical mapping of Africa. 

A third element appears, however, before the fusion of property and 
topographical surveying. In Great Britain the Ordnance Survey was 
always greatly helped by the Astronomers Royal. Airy, for example, was 
one who was closely in touch with its development. The Astronomer 
Royal in Cape Town early in this century was Sir David Gill, and it was 
due to his energy and persistence that the geodetic triangulation of South 
Africa was undertaken and completed. His great ambition was to see it 
carried on through the heart of Africa till, joining up with the Egyptian 
tri angulation, it should form a continuous arc, roughly along the meridian 
of 30 E. of Greenwich. It is noteworthy that most of the officers con- 
cerned in the measurement were Royal Engineer officers lent by the War 
Office. The great arc will appear again and again in considering the 
recorded geography of Africa because its prosecution and completion are 
entirely vital to any reasonable survey of East Africa. As we all know the 
Isle of Wight could be mapped on a basis of a little plane trigonometry, 
but Great Britain required a primary triangulation. We never boggled 
at the triangulation inevitable for India, and yet with all this African 


territory to administer and improve we cannot find it possible to finish 
even the first and most vital preliminary. 

Let us return for a moment to what one may describe as imperial 
surveying, under the immediate leadership of the Geographical Section. 
Early in the century a ' Colonial Survey Section ' was formed. Its object 
was topographical mapping with the theodolite and plane-table, and its 
subject the Colonies. Starting with Mauritius and St. Helena, hitherto 
charted but unmapped, we find it at work in the then Orange River Colony 
from 1905 to 191 1. The result of that survey is a reliable |-in. map. A 
large part of Northern Cape Colony was mapped on the J-in. scale, as 
was Basutoland, by officers individually selected by the Geographical 
Section. The Colony (or peninsula) of Sierra Leone, Pemba Island, 
and many parls of the Transvaal were also mapped before 1912. A 
reconnaissance survey of Northern Nigeria was finished in the same 
imperial fashion, whilst substantial portions of Asia were tackled in the 
same way. 

More significant still, however, were the geographical results of boundary 
Commissions. It is the British practice, or was until quite recently, 
not only to see that the boundary is correctly placed on the earth's surface, 
but to map a strip of territory on each side, in order to facilitate a decision, 
if there is disagreement, to examine thoroughly the resources and lie of 
the land through which the dividing line is to run, and to make it easy to 
find and to restore the boundary marks. From 1900 to 1913 no less 
than 10,000 miles of African boundary line were placed on the ground, 
by astronomical observation and by triangulation, permanently marked, 
and mapped to some considerable depth on either side. Some of these 
surveys were connected to Gill's arc, which by 1913 had reached the 
southern end of Lake Tanganyika (a distance of 1900 miles). Most, 
however, were based on independent datum points, and remain to be 
incorporated, one day, in a general triangulation. 

We may say, at this moment, that most of the mapping of Africa under 
the British flag is hung upon and controlled by Gill's arc, or the boundary 
commission triangulations. 

Now turning again to the Colonial Survey Departments we come to 
the birth of the ' Colonial Survey Committee.' Its formation was inspired 
by Colonel Sir Charles Close, who was, at that time, the chief of the 
Geographical Section. Its object was to strengthen that vital element in 
the terms of reference of the section ' to assist in the systematic prosecu- 
tion . . . of topographical operations of the British Colonies . . . with 
the concurrence of the Secretary of State for the Colonies.' 

The Committee began its labours with Ceylon. It insisted upon and 
secured a topographical survey long overdue. In Africa it began to realise 
that fusion between property and topographical surveying is essential if 
these departments are to follow the British model of making but the one 
general survey of the country and of avoiding overlap of responsibility. 

The first stage in this matter is to provide a triangulation upon which all 
survey may rest. An indefeasible title to land and title requires it just 
as much as a general map. The idiotic waste of money implied in per- 


petual measurements along the ground, and in a fresh azimuth for every 
field or homestead ; that overlapping effort which, in Great Britain ' fell 
as a heavy burden upon the whole community ' before the days of the 
Ordnance Survey, had to be eliminated. There seems to be something 
fatally soporific about a general truth to which everybody can assent 
'in principle, but in respect of which no one feels compelled to get 
busy at once. How many political illustrations have we not had lately 
of this curious fact ! It will be best to give a concrete illustration 
of what triangulation does do. In Northern Nigeria lies that Bauchi 
Plateau inhabited by pagans and tin-miners, which has seen so 
much alienation of land for mining concessions, and from which so 
much of the world's tin has come. Very early in the development of 
Northern Nigeria it became a problem how to keep pace with applica- 
tions. A party of Royal Engineer officers and men was called for. A 
hasty triangulation was made and the arrears were caught up with. But 
then came the war. The party was recalled. The officer who had made, 
and computed, the triangulation was killed, and his records were lost in 
the confusion of the times. After the war the rush started again. Appli- 
cations were now dealt with in the ancestral fashion of property surveying. 
Each concession was a problem all of its own. Measures were dupli- 
cated, and arrears began to mount up. At last another imperial party 
was borrowed. A good and permanently marked triangulation was 
extended from the growing primary triangulation of the colony. Arrears 
were promptly overtaken, and now each fresh concession can be surveyed 
at quarter the time and cost. 

In pursuance of the policy of amalgamating the two sides of survey the 
War Office, which, in 1913, had 100 Royal Engineer officers on survey 
duty, lent many officers and men to the Colonial Survey Departments. 
In West Africa activity was general. In Kenya and Uganda a really good 
triangulation was extended from the Boundary Chains, and a great deal 
of really sound mapping was finished at i-in. and £-in. scales. In some 
cases the Colonial Survey Department was put under a Royal Engineer, 
in others imperial parties were lent to the Surveyor- General to get on 
with the mapping and triangulation. Whilst these activities were in 
progress an imperial party, fresh from the boundary between Uganda 
and the Belgian Congo, started to measure a portion of Gill's arc along 
the 30th meridian in Uganda. Finally a complete tour of inspection 
was carried out by the late General Hills, visiting each survey in turn, 
and bringing coherence into the aims, and methods, of the various 

Having now considered a period of thirteen years (1900-19 13) it will 
be as well to recapitulate the achievements. 

Period 1900-1913 (Africa only). 

Triangulation (or astronomical or traverse control). 
(a) The completion of the geodetic survey of South Africa. 

E.— GEOGRAPHY 1 1 1 

(b) The arc of meridian 30 E. of Greenwich : 

1900 miles, Port Elizabeth to Lake Tanganyika. 
150 miles in Uganda. 

(c) Boundary Commissions, 10,000 miles. 

2. Reliable mapping. 

Boundary Commission maps, topographical surveys of 
parts of the Gold Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cape Colony, 
Kenya, Uganda, Transvaal, and the whole of the Orange Free 
State and Basutoland, and subsequent publication on the 
1 in., J-in. and J-in. scales. Total Area 330,000 square 

3. Compilation Maps. 

The i/M, and 1/250000 series of all Africa then under the 
British flag. 

4. Administrative. 

Formation of Colonial Survey Committee. The building 
up of Colonial Survey Departments. The first general 

The war period brought the mapping and revision of Great Britain 
to a full stop. In Africa it did not have quite the same effect. We learnt, 
of dire necessity, a good deal about East Africa, and improved the com- 
pilation of the more generalised maps. A more important consequence 
was the unfortunate renewal of the divorce between the topographical 
and property surveying sides. Royal Engineers were either recalled or 
employed on other duties. The survey of Kenya, for example, has never 
recovered its pre-war usefulness, and even the maps of that delightful 
land, made before the war, lie neglected and now out of date. This 
department — too small in strength to undertake triangulation or mapping — 
has reverted wholly to the cadastral. There is a bright spot to notice 
about the war. On many a battlefield the regular and the temporary, 
the topographical and the property surveyor, met and learnt, often in the 
Field Survey Battalions, each other's methods and technique. There is 
going to be small difficulty in broadening out when administration learns 
that maps are as indispensable to a knowledge of human factors as to 
the development and exploitation of natural resources. 

In considering what has been done since the war, why it is so little, 
and what can be done to augment it, we can take the period of thirteen 
years, from 1922 to 1935, and so achieve a direct comparison with the 
former period of 1900 to 19 13. But, alas ! there is little good to record. 

Let us consider first the framework — the geodesy ; for land surveying, to 
be consistent and continuous, must be held together by a rigid framework. 
Mudge in England, Everest in India, made no mistake in their beginnings. 
First a triangulation to hold together the areas of their task, and then 


topography. They worked from the whole to the part. In that con- 
tiguous and vast country from the Limpopo to the Egyptian border we 
must equally work from the whole to the part, unless, in the future we 
are content to scrap this or adjust that. At present we are working from 
five parts. This it was that Sir David Gill hoped to avoid. His great 
and controlling arc coming up from the south is like a steel rod with one 
fixed, and one vibrating, end. A section lies nearly in place ready to be 
bolted on. A long stretch remains open, and the clamp at the northern 
end waits on the final connection. From 1900 to 191 3 2050 miles were 
measured ; from 1922 to 1935 only 360 ! During my tour of inspection 
in Africa (next in sequence after that of General Hills) this enterprise 
got to be derisively known as the ' arc of the covenant.' It was indeed 
difficult to explain its fundamental importance to minds more apt with 
the Humanities. Yet something — if only 3 60 miles — came of my strivings : 
a really absurd contribution to a subject which affects every geographical 
position from Capetown to Cairo. 

On the west coast much more of this fundamental programme has been 
tackled. There had been much activity in triangulation there before 
the war, and after it Sir Gordon Guggisberg, first as Surveyor-General 
and then as Governor of the Gold Coast, kept up a well-organised pro- 
gramme. In these later days the Surveyors-General of Nigeria and the 
Gold Coast have greatly enlarged and strengthened his earlier work. 
It is true that on the Eastern Plateau some triangulation has been done. 
The surveyors themselves have done their best, but in doing so are aware 
that all their present triangulations must some day be corrected and that 
the longer it is put off the greater will be the burden and cost of 

The next point of importance is to build, as have Great Britain and 
India, departments economical in production and graded into specialised 
groups. It might be very amusing to build the whole of a motor car 
with one's own fingers, but it would be singularly uneconomical. The 
first Colonial Survey Department to appear in order to make settlement, 
and alienation of land, possible, is composed, as stated before, of the pro- 
perty or cadastral element. It is staffed by men who are trained to carry 
out, with their own hands, any and every type of instrumental measure- 
ment of land, and thereafter to provide a finished drawing. The field 
books containing their measurements are the records, and the justification, 
for their finished work. Could India have ever been surveyed by a col- 
lection of individualists each doing everything in turn ? All big survey 
departments rest indeed upon a staff designed for mass production. The 
trigonometrical observer is not his own computer ; the detail surveyor is 
not the draughtsman ; and no one of the four attempts lithography. For 
the mapping of Africa this is a vital point. Methods and processes must 
be simplified and divided up until the staff can be doubled without 
increase of cost. In 1907 General Hills pointed this out, during his tour 
of inspection, and on the west coast General Sir Gordon Guggisberg, 
began to raise a corps of native surveyors. 

These native surveyors have done well because the methods in which 

E.— GEOGRAPHY 1 1 3 

they have been trained are simple and undeviating. It is curious to note 
that they are very much those of Roy and Mudge. During the first (and 
indeed only) topographical surveys of Great Britain (since 1855 all the 
maps of Great Britain have been made by direct reduction from the plans) 
the compass and chain were used instead of the plane-table, because the 
use of the latter demands a visibility rare in this country. It is equally 
rare in the forest belt of West Africa. Kitchener was ill-advised to 
introduce these traverse methods into Cyprus and Palestine, but Guggis- 
berg made no mistake in basing his west coast surveys upon them. A 
remarkable instance of what can be done in this way is offered by Sierra 
Leone where the whole of the hinterland has been mapped at the i-in. 
scale by native surveyors under the supervision of officers of the Royal 
Engineers. It is an equally striking commentary on our methods that 
the greater part of this excellent series remains in manuscript, and does 
not look like publication for many a long day. In the higher and drier 
plateaux of East Africa the natural implement is the plane-table. So far, 
however, no topographical native plane-tablers have been trained. I am 
convinced that they could be raised, trained, and made efficient. It 
seems to me absurd to maintain that the standard of intelligence is lower 
amongst the Bantus than among the Negroes. Whenever the question 
has been discussed, however, it has been assumed that instrumental and 
mathematical questions are at stake. They are not. Plane-tabling 
demands qualities of craftsmanship and honesty, but has practically 
nothing to do with instrumental or mathematical surveying. Presently, 
no doubt, common sense will have its way. Meanwhile native labour 
comes in slowly with the beginnings of printing, and gradually the 
Colonial Surveys of Africa will follow the model of the surveys of India, 
Ceylon, and Malaya. It is, however, due to the lack of proper organisa- 
tion that the amount of reliable survey in our second period is not more 
than a third of that contributed by the first. 

It is at this point that the intelligent modern layman begins to talk of air 
survey. This term was invented for the sake of brevity, and means ' The 
survey (by any one of a variety of methods) of ground from photographs 
taken of it from the air.' The photographic image is a perspective view 
of a solid body (of three dimensions). To extract the plan of two dimen- 
sions and to add the third in the form of contours is perfectly possible at 
a scale not smaller than 2\ in. to the mile (smaller than that the photo- 
graph becomes unreadable). As a method it is invaluable where surveyors 
cannot get on the ground, and is probably without a rival at such a scale 
as the 6-in. No one who was able to get to the ground would dream of 
making a \- or J-in. map of an open plateau in this way because of the 

It may be taken as proved that we need not hope for topography from 
the existing staffs of Colonial Survey Departments. They are not in 
sufficient numbers, and the value of their education and training implies 
a salary higher than should be paid for the work. 

None of these factors, however, affects the solution employed during our 
first period, viz. from 1900 to 191 3. Then the topographical mapping was 


done by parties of Royal Engineers. It could be done equally well in that 
way now. Why is it not being done ? It is not because these African 
Colonies are ' rich enough to survive the handicap of inadequate mapping,' 
and it is not because we do not want the invaluable training for those who 
might have to map in war. It was, indeed, lucky that we had had that train- 
ing in the pre-war period, for the officers and men so trained quickly raised 
our war mapping (and kindred matters) to the highest level amongst not 
unskilful rivals. The War Office has now 30 officers of the Royal 
Engineers engaged on survey work. This is less than one-third of the 
pre-war number, and includes just four who are learning, under the 
proper conditions, how to survey under difficulties. The remainder are 
busy on the surveys of Great Britain and India in the Geographical Section 
and in training establishments. Nevertheless the War Office wants the 
training, the Colonies want the mapping, and Africa is still with us. 
Incidentally one of the most obvious jobs is to revise the maps made in 
the pre-war period, and very easy it would be. Let us hope that an 
equitable bargain may soon be struck ! 

Although the advantages of a topographical survey are difficult to bring 
home to the public, and to the administration, both seem content to pay 
large sums for surveys disguised under other budgets. Almost every 
colony has authorised special surveys for railways, roads, water projects, 
draining schemes, and the like. These special surveys would, in large 
part, be avoided by good mapping, and they are unpublished and play no 
part in the general development. Yet it is not to be wondered at if we 
reflect that Great Britain paid two million pounds for a poor collection 
of tithe maps (also unpublished) rather than begin that large scale ordnance 
survey, which had to be begun shortly afterwards. There is one of our 
most charming West Indian Islands which insists on remaining unmapped, 
and which burdens the fruit industry with an annual expenditure of some 
thousand pounds for its own (unpublished) mapping. In Africa the 
geologists, I am sure much against their better judgment, are often made 
to turn themselves into topographers, and are sometimes given trained 
topographers to supervise. The results of such labours are also un- 
published surveys and also a subterfuge for putting off the inevitable. 
But no doubt geology brings up delicious thoughts of gold or copper, 
and a booming budget ! 

Another post-war factor of significance is a change in the practice of 
boundary demarcation. In many recent instances local officials have 
been employed, instead of imperial parties. Often when this has been 
done we have failed to secure the proper mapping of the boundary. The 
geographical results have fallen off not owing to any lack of ability on the 
part of the survey staff, but because they cannot supply topographers 
unless Royal Engineers are attached to the party. Thus, whilst the later 
period has given us 4,600 miles of boundary determination in Africa, it 
has given us no more than 3,500 miles of reasonable topography, and 
that much restricted in depth. Boundary demarcation is one of the finest 
trainings in quick triangulation and mapping that the world affords. Yet 



such men as may be wanted in war have, perforce, been put to train in 

We can now summarise the results of our later period, and it will be as 
well to make a comparative table, and show things for the two periods 
side by side. 

Triangulation (or good control) 
(a) Geodetic survey 

(b) Arc of 30th meridian 

(c) Boundary Commission 


Geodetic sur- 
vey of South 

2,050 miles. 
10,000 miles. 


Geodetic sur- 
vey of Nigeria 
and part of the 
Gold Coast. 
360 miles. 

3,500 miles. 

Published Topographical Maps 

Resulting from reliable 
survey and including 
boundary commissions 
and local surveys . . 480, 000 sq. miles. 170,000 sq. miles. 

Note. — During the later period our African responsibilities had grown 
by no less than 743,000 square miles. 

The problem of mapping Africa is not being tackled in fact. Where 
is the machinery at fault ? The Geographical Section has not been idle. 
It has inaugurated periodical conferences of the survey officers of the 
empire, and most useful they are. It has started the Empire Survey 
Review, which is, perhaps, the best survey periodical in the world. It 
inspired the design and manufacture of that best of all theodolites, made 
by Cook, Troughton & Siemens, and called the ' Tavistock.' It has given 
ready help on all technical questions. The Colonial Surveyors themselves 
have realised a complete fusion between the various aspects of their work. 
Such powder as they have in the magazine is dry. It is the trust in higher 
beings which has failed. 

The fault is that public opinion, with many urgent matters to consider, 
is as slow to grasp the position in Africa as it was to do so in Great Britain, 
and there is no force, in beHng, strong in proportion as the matter is urgent, 
to call attention to the ultimate economy of starting a definite and pro- 
gressive programme. In Africa to-day, as in England yesterday, the 
public suffers because there is no reliable map on which to work. Every 
private interest and every government department must fend for itself. 
Lack of maps, or unorganised and piecemeal mapping, amount to the 
same thing in this particular. They cause a heavy financial burden to 
fall on the whole community. 

There are some generalisations which experience allows us to make. 
Thus, just as history cannot be divorced from geography, so neither can 


social, economic, industrial development be divorced from land surveying. 
Mapping is indeed one of the vitamins necessary to the growth of the 
body politic. It is for us geographers to forward this matter. We know 
that we are failing not only to secure the maps on which we ourselves may 
study, analyse, and suggest, but we are also failing our friends the geolo- 
gists, engineers, airmen, settlers, business men, and the people themselves. 
Never, for a century, have we treated our geographical duties so lightly. 




C. R. FAY, M.A., D.Sc, 


i. The Nature of Plantation Agriculture. 

The Royal Commission on Agriculture in India of 1928 in its brief 
notice of plantations remarks on their importance to the export agriculture 
of India. ' The three main planters' crops are tea, coffee and rubber, 
but sugar-cane is important in Bihar as are spices in the South of India. 
The area under indigo in Bihar, where it was formerly the principal 
planters' crop, is now negligible. The total area under tea, coffee, rubber 
and indigo in 1925-26 was 1,169,000 acres, of which 982,000 acres were 
in British India ... A little cinchona is also grown by planters. The 
value of their crops is out of all proportion to their acreage. In 1926-27 
the value of the total exports, including spices, amounted to Rs. 34.59 
crores or about 18 per cent, of the value of all agricultural products 
exported. By far the greater part of this was accounted for by tea, the 
value of the exports of which amounted to Rs.29.06 crores.' (Report, 
p. 597.) A crore is 10,000,000 and a lakh is 100,000, of persons, things, 
or money : and the present value of the rupee is is. 6d. The Commission 
appends plantations to its chapter on horticulture as a special type of 
intensive agriculture, and it does not even raise the question whether the 
staples of agriculture such as cotton and wheat in the years to come may 
adopt the plantation system and thus cause Indian agriculture to exhibit 
a structure which would resemble outwardly the collective farms of Soviet 

The Royal Commission on Labour in India of 1931 has four chapters 
on plantations, dealing respectively with general survey, recruitment of 
labour, wages, health and welfare. It studies them as a distinctive and 
important section of wage labour in a country where factory employment 
is relatively rare ; and it defines the system succinctly thus : ' The 
plantation system connotes the acquisition of a limited but fairly extensive 
area for the cultivation of a particular crop, the actual cultivation being 
done under the direct supervision of a manager, who in some cases may 
himself be the actual proprietor. A considerable number of persons (the 
number may run as high as 4,000) are employed under his control in the 
same way as the factory workers are under the control of the factory 
manager, but there is one important difference in that the work is 


essentially agricultural and is not concentrated in a large building.' 
(Report, p. 349.) 

The plantation has behind it a long history. It was the creation of the 
English overseas, beginning with the plantation of Ulster, extending to 
America and finding its modern home in the East. In old usage the word 
is synonymous with colony ; and as Cunningham well says, ' English 
colonisation was, in its beginning and in its growth, the expansion of the 
landed interest.' 1 Now in early Canada and the early relations of England 
with India we are confronted not with plantations but with factories and 
forts, factories for trade and forts for the protection of trade. The plan- 
tation flourished in the West Indies and on the American sea-board, and 
was the economic instrument whereby colonies were established there. 
The Commissioners of Trade and Plantations embraced the two sides of 
imperial economy, trade by sea and plantation of the land. 

On the mainland the first planted commodity was tobacco, which so 
monopolised the life of the southern colonies that they were called the 
tobacco colonies. Sugar held a similar pre-eminence in the West Indian 
islands. From the end of the seventeenth century the range of plantation 
produce was widened on the mainland. In 1694 rice was introduced 
into South Carolina from Madagascar; in 1745 indigo into South Carolina 
from Montserrat in the French West Indies ; in 1794 sugar, the main 
produce of the West Indies, into Louisiana ; in 1797, most crucial of all, 
sea-island cotton into Georgia from the West Indies via the Bahamas. 
But already before 1800 on the mainland, in contrast with the West Indies, 
the plantation had ceased to be the only form of agriculture exploited by 
settlers. The planter employing hired labour, at first white indentured 
labour and before long coloured slave labour, found a rival in the white 
settler employing only his family and himself. The free settler won in 
the end, and his triumph furnished the outstanding crisis of American 
social history. He was essentially a pioneer, and as the interior of the 
continent was settled, he and his type prevailed increasingly. The 
plantation, it was observed in early Virginia, hugged the tide water, 
whilst the free settlers pushed inland ; this was typical of all plantation 
history. Apart from the short-lived reign of the great ranches, with their 
cattle kings, and of the bonanza wheat farms, the unit of enterprise in 
American agriculture has been small ; and when the North by its victory 
in the Civil War ended slavery, it dissolved the plantation into similar 
small parts. The integrated enterprise of the slave owner gave place to 
a loose system under which tenants held on money or shares from 
indigent landlords and lived in a state of debt either to these landlords 
or to strong commercial middle-men. In the West Indies, as in Cuba, 
the sugar plantations survived, but the slaves freed in 1833 would not 
work properly on them, and their survival into modern times was only 
made possible by the introduction of coolie labour from the East. Our 
colonial empire is a great producer of sugar to-day, and the sugar plan- 
tation, though it exists in places, does not predominate on the whole. 
In all cases the organisation of production centres round the factory. 
But in the West Indies and Mauritius sugar factories buy both from 

1 W. Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce, vol. ii. pp. 1 19-120. 


outside planters and peasant farmers, though sometimes they have plan- 
tations of their own ; and in Fiji, where the industry is under the control of 
the Colonial Sugar Refining Co. of Australia, almost all the cane used is 
bought from peasant farmers occupying their own lands or lands leased 
from the company. Only in British Guiana and East Africa is there in 
general that complete integration, to be met with in the tea industry, in 
which the cane is grown on estates connected with particular factories 
and under the same ownership and control. Nor is peasant cultivation 
falling away. The tendencies in recent years have been towards (i) in- 
creased size and centralisation of factories ; and (ii) greater development 
of peasant farming as the most economical method of producing cane. 2 
Everywhere in North and South India one notices the small and isolated 
clumps of sugar-cane. Over broad, continuous sugar fields, one is told, 
the jackals would plunder without hindrance. There is thus a balance 
between large and small. Sir William Ashley taught us to recognise the 
complementary relation between first and final producers — -the former 
large, the latter small, in the old-time textile and metal industries of 
England. In sugar we have a similar relationship, with the difference 
that the first producer is the small peasant and the final producer the 
large factory. 

The course of land settlement in Australia was different from that in 
North America, being dominated by the large sheep run of the pastoralist, 
which has held its place in the Australian economy. The sheep property 
is, indeed, not a plantation, but structurally it is not far removed. It 
has a large area, it requires a manager and at certain seasons, though not 
throughout the year, it has an important labour force on it, the sheep- 
shearers. It may be owned by capitalists overseas, such as the Australian 
Estates and Mortgage Company, which administers sheep and cattle 
properties, operates stud farms and has an agency business as well. The 
desire for agricultural settlement makes these properties difficult to 
administer, especially at long range ; and while the large property may 
be a permanency in the dry interior, it is likely to disappear in time, at 
any rate as an investment for overseas capital, in other parts of Australia. 
Messrs. Drabble Brothers, the Buenos Ayres representatives of Geo. Fraser, 
Son and Co., of Manchester, a cotton business with which the writer's 
father was connected for over sixty years, formed with capital raised in 
Manchester the River Plate Estancia Company. After yielding 10 per cent, 
in dividends for many years it was wound up in 1 910 as the result of the area 
coming into demand for building and other purposes, and over a million 
pounds was available for distribution among the shareholders of a com- 
pany with a nominal capital of £80,000 only. Fruit-growing, however, 
has not been developed by the company fruit ranch. Alike in California 
and Australia, it is the stronghold of relatively small-scale and highly 
intensive agriculture. Perhaps if oriental labour had not been excluded 
from America and Australia, horticulture would have developed on the 
plantation pattern. 

Outrivalled and dispossessed in North America, kept out in our own 
time by the policy of government from the tribal economy of West Africa, 
2 Cf. Economic Survey of the Colonial Empire, ed. 1935, p. 515. 


the planters found a new home in the East : in particular in the British 
and Dutch East Indies. And to-day plantation denotes not only a system 
of agriculture but a system which chiefly grows plants from wood as 
opposed to plants from grass : tea, coffee, rubber, cocoa, coco-nut, cin- 
chona. No doubt the capital investment required in raising wood plants 
has been instrumental in bringing these products under the plantation 
system, though it has not made it impossible for native growers, e.g. in 
rubber, to produce for themselves. There are no cotton or tobacco 
plantations in India and only a few sugar plantations ; and although 
indigo is a grass plant and provided the first form of plantation in India, 
it has all but disappeared through the supersession of indigo in commerce 
by aniline dyes. In method of exploitation, therefore, the plantation of 
to-day is closer to certain forms of forestry than it is to grain crops or 
roots. One may think of it with advantage as intensive forestry conducted 
in regions of hitherto sparse population. 

2. The History of Indigo. 

Indigo and saltpetre are the two export specialties of Indian economic 
history : the former a crop yielding a textile dye, the latter a deposit, not 
a mineral but a human and animal deposit, used in the making of gun- 
powder. Neither is a foodstuff: and both have been superseded, the 
one by aniline dyes, the other by nitrate of soda (Chile saltpetre). Be- 
tween Latin America and the Tropical East there has been a many-sided 
and age-long rivalry of supply. Cinchona and rubber were taken to the 
East from their habitat in South America, and the planted product of the 
East has ousted the wild product. Similarly, around 1830, in a battle of 
the insects, the lac of India, which yielded the scarlet red of soldiers' 
uniforms, displaced the cochineal of Central America. On the other 
hand, coffee, first supplied to the European market from Mocha in Arabia 
and later from South India, Ceylon and Java, to-day has its centre of 
production in Brazil, which provides 60 per cent, of the world's coffee 
and could easily provide the whole. Indigo has shared the same geo- 
graphic pull. As the name signifies, its origin was in India, where the 
English and Dutch competed as merchants for the finished native product, 
but towards the close of the seventeenth century the trade was lost to 
Latin America, to reappear at the end of the eighteenth century, when 
there arose a new demand for ' navy blue ' and when the West Indies 
were distracted by revolution, as in Haiti, or switching, as in the British 
West Indies, to more profitable crops such as cotton. 

The revival of indigo production towards 1800 was the work of 
European planters in Bengal ; and they were assisted by the East India 
Company, which advanced large sums of money to the industry, en- 
couraged its servants to take up planting, and relaxed, in favour of the 
planters, its monopoly of trade. Hitherto the Europeans had been 
merchants, buying in certain markets of West, North and East India the 
village-made product. The planters of the seventeenth century were the 
peasants themselves, but they were not independent producers. For 
the Dutch trader, Pelsaert, writing in 1626, states that when supply is 


short, it is prudent to avoid running around the villages, as the hungry 
Armenians do, and better to buy in the town ' from the substantial 
Hindu or Moslem merchants who live there and have been many years 
in the trade, and who have made advances against indigo some months 
beforehand, binding the debtors to sell to no one else.' 3 The European 
planters took the place of the Indian merchants and something more : 
for they set up factories in the areas of supply and manufactured the 
raw produce by improved machinery, drawing on the personnel and prac- 
tice of the West Indies. Like Samuel Oldknow in eighteenth-century 
Lancashire, they advanced from merchant capitalism to factory owner- 
ship. As the land was already in the hands of the ryot, they were not 
able to set up the slave plantation system, in which the planter owns and 
operates both factory and land ; and they endeavoured to ensure supplies 
by intensifying the debtor relationship which existed already between 
native merchants and native cultivators. They made advances of money 
which gave them a lien on the ryots' crop at a fixed price and reinforced 
their position as creditor by acquiring zemindar (landlord) rights over 
the cultivator. Sons succeeding to their fathers' property and debts 
inherited, so they believed, the compulsion to grow indigo. This was 
what the ryots detested and the planters desired ; for, as one of the latter 
observed in i860, ' to encourage any ryot to pay off his balance would be 
virtually to close the factory.' 4 The situation became intolerable when 
the planters, having formed a Planters' Association, divided up the terri- 
tory and maintained a fixed price which was much below the cost of 
production at a time when other crops and the expenses of cultivation in 
labour and draught animals were rising rapidly. The result was a 
growers' strike, accompanied by disorders, which led to the appointment 
of a Royal Commission, and its Report of i860 is a document of the first 
importance. It shows that the planters had been guilty of illegal seizures 
and detentions of ryots, and that the contract to grow, though believed to 
be hereditary, was not really so. It evinced a determination to protect 
the peasant, but was so dominated by current doctrines of non-interference 
that it was opposed both to penal legislation against the cultivator and to 
any protective legislation in his favour that ' fetters the free agency of 
the contracting parties.' 5 

But throughout the nineteenth century the indigo planters owned some 
land and to that extent were true planters. This was called Nij-joti 
(' it may be likened in some respects to a home farm managed by the 
proprietor of an estate in England '), 6 and the majority of it was on land 
of new alluvial formation annually inundated and occurring mainly in 
Eastern Bengal. On this class of land indigo was the crop most suited 
to the soil, and there were few disorders here in i860. But so long as the 
ryot was compelled to deliver indigo at much less than the cost of pro- 
duction, the major part of the supply was virtually subsidised, and the 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, in commenting on the findings of the 

3 F. Pelsaert, Jahangir's India, ed. Moreland, p. 16. 

* Report of Indigo Commission, Parliamentary Papers, 1861, xliv. s. 109. 

5 Ibid., s. 188. 

•* Ibid., S. 20. 


Commission, pointed out that ' the real planter who grows and manu- 
factures his own plant is, in fact, injured by the manufacturer who under- 
sells him, because he gets his plant at a less price than any free system 
cultivator in his senses would grow it for.' 7 However, both he and the 
Commission believed that it would be impossible for nij cultivation to 
replace ryot cultivation, even if the contract system was abolished, 
inasmuch as the ryots were already in possession of the good lands and 
planters could not here obtain compact estates. It would be a slow 
business for the planter to move his servants and ploughs from place to 
place, whereas the ryot on the spot could turn out with his own plough 
and sow the moment the weather was favourable. Therefore, after i860, 
the planters were still dependent on the ryots and now assured themselves 
of supplies by procuring leases or other forms of control over ryot land. 
A planter would make loans and receive as compensation a sub-lease of 
the ryot's holding, thus becoming often a sub-tenant of his own tenant, 
over whom he already had general zemindar rights. It was only towards 
the end of the indigo period that the full plantation system was adopted, 
immigrant hillmen working in the factories and their women and children 
in the planters' fields. In 1890 about half of the 240,000 acres under 
indigo in Bihar was thus cultivated. 

Inasmuch as indigo was superseded by synthetic dyes, we must turn 
to a commodity in new demand on already occupied land, to find out 
how a prosperous indigo industry might have evolved under twentieth- 
century conditions. Tobacco furnishes a good example. The British- 
American Tobacco Company, through its associated companies, is some- 
thing more than a merchant and manufacturer in India, yet it is not a 
planter. The centre of its operations is Gunthur in Madras Province. 
India is, after the United States, the greatest producer of tobacco in the 
world, and the great majority of it is consumed locally. Of some 900- 
1,000 million lb. of Indian tobacco, the British-American Tobacco Com- 
pany handles about 40 million. Its task has been to introduce tobacco 
of the Virginian type to Indian consumers on the lines of its earlier 
work in China, and then, under the stimulus of a protective tariff, to 
manufacture this kind of leaf in India itself. Its problem was to secure 
adequate supplies of the right type. Therefore, in addition to its factories, 
it has a Leaf Development Company, which teaches the ryot how to 
grow improved varieties and supervises the growing. The seed is issued 
by the company's staff of expert botanists, and the company contracts to 
purchase crops of selected ryots whose output can be expected in a normal 
year to reach a certain figure. It thus exerts in a paternal way the influence 
which Messrs. Chivers, fruit and jam manufacturers at Histon, Cambridge- 
shire, exert on the surrounding fruit growers. When the indigo planters 
tried to improve their product by the issue of selected seed, the ryots 
refused to take it, lest this should count as a money advance of the old 
type, which would put them in permanent bondage. But the British- 
American Tobacco Company has no such designs on the peasant and his 
land. The ryots grow the new varieties eagerly and well ; and I saw the 
rich green of the highly cultivated tobacco land around Gunthur. 
7 P.P., 1861, xlv. s. 25, p. 76. 


A second example is supplied by sugar. For in India since the war 
sugar-cane production has been increased by the aid of tariffs and 
subsidised sugar factories. The research stations of the Government, 
e.g. that of Heppal outside Bangalore in Mysore State, play the part of 
leaf development companies to the suppliers of sugar. What role co- 
operation among growers may one day play in tobacco and sugar is hard 
to forecast. I suggest that, co-operation for credit apart, it will take the 
form of a collective bargaining association, as among the milk producers 
of America, rather than of a processing organisation like that of the fruit 
growers of California or the dairy farmers of Denmark and New Zealand. 
The capitalisation and technique are too advanced to allow of the peasant 
undertaking the co-operative management of sugar factories. In tobacco, 
as contrasted with butter or sugar, a further difficulty is present. It is 
exceptional for any tobacco product to be manufactured exclusively from 
a single grade of leaf. Nearly all are blended from a variety of leaves 
possessing different qualities, and the expert blender, who makes these 
mixtures, must be satisfied that the leaf offered to him possesses the 
qualities which he requires. 

3. Tea as a Commodity. 

The bulk of the tea consumed by Great Britain is grown in one of 
three districts, Assam (with adjoining territory), South India and Ceylon. 
Java is a competitor in lower-priced teas, and China grows its special 
China tea. The production is highly localised, and tea tends to drive 
out any rival. Climate and altitude are important, and Ceylon is 
favoured in both respects. First of all it has two monsoons : the south- 
west, June, July, August, September ; and the north-east, November, 
December, with the tail end in January ; and the rainfall is sufficient 
to promote growth virtually the whole year round. In Assam, which 
is outside the Tropics, there is only the one monsoon, the south- 
west ; and for a part of the year there is no growth owing to the winter 
cold, and the plantations are closed down. South India has a shorter 
off-season, though in parts there may be a five-month drought, when 
growth is slow. Of Ceylon, though not of India, it may be said 
that the higher the land the better is the quality of the tea. 8 Just 
as in Canada the best apples are grown near the frost line, so in Ceylon 
the best tea comes from the high land. Ceylon distinguishes between 
three classes of plantation land, the low coastal land which is devoted to 
coco-nut plantations, the middle land which has rubber, cocoa and tea, 
and the high land which has been all but monopolised by tea since tea, 
fifty years ago, took the place of coffee. But even in Ceylon the range of 
tea is wide ; and the Colombo market reports distinguish between high, 
medium and low elevation teas. The handicap of Ceylon is its relatively 
small area and the consequent high price of land. In South India along 
the Western Ghats plantations are of more recent growth and there is 

8 The tea plant grows wild in the lowland jungle of Assam, and perhaps the 
finest tea in the world is grown in the Brahmaputra Valley at only a little above 
sea -level. 


more room for expansion. On the middle land in Ceylon tea and rubber 
are seen side by side, but the interplanting of tea with rubber is rare. 
After the rubber slump of a few years ago a certain amount of inter- 
planted rubber was removed and the whole left to tea. Strong regionali- 
sation, conforming to natural requirements, has been reached as the 
outcome of experience. 

The Royal Commission on Labour in India continues : ' Factories 
are to be found on certain plantations. Most tea gardens have their own 
factories for dealing with the harvested crop. A number of the coffee 
plantations in South India also have their own factories, but in them the 
process of manufacture is only a preliminary stage, the coffee being cured 
and finally prepared for export in factories outside the plantations ' 
(p. 349). 9 This quotation calls attention to an important feature in tea. 
Every tea estate has on it, or adjoining it, a tea factory ; and in this factory 
tea leaf is carried to its final processed form. When it arrives overseas, 
it only has to be blended to be ready for consumption. Moreover, when 
blended it is ready for final consumption. It is not, like cocoa, the raw 
material of a further industry such as chocolate. Coffee again is different ; 
for on the coffee estate processing is confined to the removal of the two 
coffee berries from the containing skin or cherry. When the cherry has 
been removed, the berry is sent in parchment form to curers on the coast, 
and finally is roasted and ground overseas. The coffee estate is very far 
from turning out the finished article. Similarly with rubber the latex 
comes in liquid form from the trees and, after the impurities have been 
strained off, it is coagulated into sheet or crepe rubber, baled and exported. 
These processes require a very elementary factory in comparison with 
the sequence in a tea factory or rubber and tyre factory. 

As a plant, tea is distinguished by a further feature. It is a leaf and 
not a fruit, and its yield is both continuous and reliable. It is like having 
one's hair cut every week or fortnight. But a fruit such as the orange 
or the coffee berry has a flowering season, and damage to flowering may 
hurt the crop beyond remedy, whereas in a foliage crop, although certain 
conditions may arrest growth and hurt the quality, yet these adverse con- 
ditions may be followed by good conditions favourable to further growth 
and a restoration of quality. Finally, because it is a leaf no spraying is 
possible. To spray a whole tree would be too large a task and might leave 
deleterious matter on the leaf. Of course, when the tree is being pruned 
and out of use, this objection does not hold. 

4. The Tea Factory. 

Let us enter a South Indian or Ceylon tea factory and watch the 
sequence of operations. 

1. Withering. — The leaf on entering the factory is taken to lofts where it 
is spread on tats, strips of hessian cloth on which the leaf is thinly spread. 
It remains here for a minimum period of eighteen hours, after which 
it is in a withered state. The required degree of wither is checked by 

a Tea ' gardens ' I take to be the language of China and Assam. Does it derive 
from the time when tea was grown by the villagers of China in little gardens ? 


one of the factory staff, and should be taken to a stage of approximately 
58 per cent., 42 per cent, of moisture being removed. In certain con- 
ditions of weather it is necessary to wither the leaf artificially by hot 
air. Modern atmospheric conditioning plant working automatically opens 
up great possibilities for the future. One thinks of the perfect control 
given by the ' humidifier ' in the modern cotton mill. 

2. Rolling and Breaking. — The leaf is collected and fed to a roller 
consisting of a large box-like arrangement with a brass table. About 
350 lb. are taken on to a roller and rolled for three to five periods of 
about half an hour each. The object is to put a twist on the withered 
leaf and to break it up gently. The small leaf passing through the mesh 
is collected and taken away to a cool room to ferment. This is called 
' fine bulk.' The bigger bulk, which is carried off the end of the roll 
breaker, returns to the roller, where the process is repeated. This is 
called ' coarse bulk ' and goes also to the fermenting room. Over- 
rolling would reduce the leaf to a mush and break the fine tips. 

3. Fermenting. — In the fermenting room the leaf is evenly spread on 
a tray and exposed to air. The object is to improve the liquor and 
flavour of the tea under chemical action. It takes about three hours, 
and at a certain stage the leaf gives out a smell which informs the tea- 
maker that it is ready to be fired. If it were left for twenty-four hours, it 
would be ruined and the smell would be offensive. 

4. Firing. — The tea is now passed over revolving trays, dropping 
from one to the other. As it goes over the trays, hot air is passed con- 
tinually through it. The object of firing is to make the tea black and crisp, 
and the process corresponds to the roasting of coffee. It is now quite 
black. Green tea comes from the same plant ; but if green tea is required, 
the leaf is heated by steam to a degree at which fermentation cannot occur 
and stays green in colour. 

5. Sifting and Packing. — On the next day the teas thus made are taken 
to another room on the ground floor, where they are sifted and cut and 
sorted into a series of evenly graded clean teas, the final products being 
classified thus : broken orange pekoe (B.O.P.), broken pekoe, pekoe, 
pekoe su, B.O.P. fannings, B.P. fannings, dust, fluff (this comes from the 
hairs on the tip of the leaf and, though formerly used as a dye, is now 
used only as manure). ' Orange ' pekoe is so named because of the 
bright golden pieces of tea, which are the buds of the bush. The Oxford 
English Dictionary says, under ' pekoe ' : ' Chinese, from pek white + ho 
down. A superior kind of black tea, so called from the leaves being 
picked young with the down still on them.' 

5. The Tea Plantation. 

We step now outside the factory to inspect the factory from without 
and the estate itself. 

The factory, with its roof and walls of corrugated iron, painted brick- 
red or left plain, has a basement of brick and mud and cement floors, 
and it is built on steel framework panelled with wood. It is not so gaunt 
as a grain elevator in Canada, and its background is always pleasing. It 


will be a little way inside the limits of the estate, and usually near the 
bottom of it, and it is reached by a winding road. Near-by are the super- 
intendent's bungalow, the coolie lines and a store. The chug of the 
engine is audible some distance away. 

Where, as in tea- or butter-making, the raw material is processed close 
to its place of growth, the conveyance of the raw material to the factory 
is economically important. There are five different ways in which the 
tea leaf may come to the factory : (i) the whole way in baskets on the heads 
of the girls, to be weighed at the factory door ; (2) on the bullock with 
side bags, which is now out of date ; (3) in the bullock cart ; (4) on the 
wire shoot, using gravity, with overhead carriages, resembling the ap- 
paratus on which cheese is slung in the Alps ; (5) in the motor truck. The 
truck is now ousting the bullock cart and represents the best modern 
practice. The tea is weighed from the basket into the truck at the road- 
side, and the babies are fed at the same time ! Lorry leaf, because it comes 
so expeditiously, arrives in better condition. Similarly, the source of 
power for the operation of the factory is closely bound up with its neigh- 
bourhood. The usual fuel is wood taken from the jungle, or stump wood 
from the estate itself, when it is being cleared. Wood fuel favours the 
dispersion of factories in such a way that each will have around it an 
adequate fuel supply. The wood is used in two forms : (1) as heated 
charcoal, made by estate labour, which gives off gas for the generation of 
power in an internal combustion engine ; (2) as logs for firing the furnaces 
which heat the pipes through which air is taken into the drying machines. 
But in the Anamalais (South India) group of the English and Scottish 
Joint Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd., three factories have been 
recently electrified to take power from the Pykara Dam, and in its Manan- 
toddy group the possibilities of Cauvery water have been considered. 
Ceylon is rich in hydro-electric power, but very little has been developed. 
Any general adoption of hydro-electric power would be a force favouring 
the concentration of production at one or more central points in a group 
of estates. 

The work on the estate embraces three distinct tasks : (1) clearance and 
planting ; (2) cultivation and soil conservation ; (3) the plucking of the 

(1) A planter must be an engineer, road-builder, technical agriculturist 
and labour manager all in one ; and at the outset a labour force must be 
assembled which is ready to turn its hand to every task that is required. 
The area to be cleared is first of all surveyed for roads and levelled. The 
jungle wood is felled, dried and burnt ; unburnt residue being cut up 
and reburnt. Large roots are taken out. Lines are then laid, normally 
north-south, and pitted for tea bushes. The estate is roaded, drained and 
planted. All this requires a period of about six months, from felling in 
October to planting in May, in readiness for the south-west monsoon. 
In the same interval protective trees are planted. 

The tea seed either is raised in a nursery and the plant lifted after eighteen 
months or more, or else after germination it is put in a basket in which 
it is shortly taken to its position in the field. It is then left to grow for 
a period (during which the planted area is weeded, dug and cleaned), 


and after a light pruning yields tea. Whether it is nursery or basket plant, 
the interval between planting in the field and coming into bearing may 
be reckoned at z\ to \\ years, according to climate and elevation. Thence- 
forward the trees are pruned on a two- to three-year cycle : the object of 
pruning being to control the tree and get an even spread of leaves. It is 
a serious operation, to which only healthy trees respond properly. Bushes 
in use are 3 to 4 ft. high, but left wild they would grow to a height of 
20 to 30 ft. or more, and would have small white flowers all over them 
at blossom time. It is interesting to remember that in New Zealand in 
spring the white flower of the manuka shows up prominently. It is called 
the tea tree because the earlier settlers made a drink resembling tea from 
it, and it is sometimes spelt incorrectly ' ti ' tree, as though it were a Maori 

(2) An estate in bearing is cultivated each year as well as pruned 
periodically. Growth is permitted during the wet season to resist erosion, 
but after the rains must be cleared. The digging is done with a four- 
pronged fork, and its purpose is to turn and aerate the soil, bury weeds 
and absorb water. (In parts of South India the division of labour is 
carried to the point at which two men work one spade, one man inserting 
and raising the spade, and another jerking the contents to one side by 
means of a small cord attached to the neck of the spade.) In pruning the 
branches are cut away and stacked in rows, and, when the foliage has 
dropped, they are removed for firewood or manure. The leaves them- 
selves are scraped into heaps and forked in with the help of the worker's 
feet above the bushes. Compost manure is humus made from the waste 
products of agriculture such as leaves, sweepings and cattle dung. 
Heaped rubbish engenders great heat, takes up nitrogen and kills lice. 
It is finally dug into the soil between the bushes, say five tons to the 
acre. The value of this organic manure is now generally recognised, 
and it is customary to apply it with a chemical concentrate such as bone 
meal and potash. 

Though tea is the only plant on the estate grown to yield a cash return, 
yet there are other trees planted on it to help the tea tree by way of pro- 
tection and nourishment. The most common shade tree is the tall grey 
Grevillea robusta, commonly called the silver oak. The stouter Albizzia 
yields good wood as well as shade. The Dadap is a quick-growing nitro- 
genous shrub, which is lopped for its leafage. In Ceylon a common 
catch crop is the yellow-flowered Crotolaria, which is cut down and forked 
in. The deciduous leaves of the Grevillea, when they lie on the ground, 
protect the soil from the baking effects of the sun and act as a mulch, 
preventing soil washing. 

There is thus on the estate, even when cleared, a continuous pro- 
gramme of cultivation, which is done by male labour. Any slackening 
of cultivation is punished by attacks from couch grass, allock, lantana 
and other noxious weeds. These have to be eradicated by continuous 
forking and burning, after which it is possible to re-establish high-shade, 
medium-shade and green nitrogenous plants. 

(3) Tea-plucking falls into two parts. The first plucking is on the young 
trees to bring them to a level, and it is done three times over. Then comes 


the regular plucking once every week or ten days or more until the tree 
is rested for pruning — provided of course that, as in Ceylon, all-year 
picking is possible. Only the tips of the bush (' two leaves and the bud ') 
are picked. The small tap leaf (which is about the size of one's little 
finger), together with one leaf above that, is left on the bush, and only 
-the tender leaves at the top are taken for manufacture. Inside these leaves 
rests the orange-coloured bud. The lower leaves would be too coarse 
and bitter ; they are not left because of any scheme of restriction. 

Plucking is done by women under the supervision of a maistry or 
foreman, and is the crucial operation on which the wage economy of the 
plantation rests. It corresponds to the shearing of sheep, the harvesting 
of wheat, and the stripping of cotton. Shearing is done once a year by 
itinerant shearers using machine clippers, harvesting by the aid of the 
harvester which both strips (or cuts) and thrashes, cotton-picking either 
by hand or by the mechanical stripper. But there is no machine for 
tea-picking, and for technical reasons there is never likely to be one. If 
there were, it would upset the balance of the labour force. For the men 
workers and women workers with their families live and work on the estate. 

6. Optimum Size and the Agency System. 

What is the optimum size of the tea plantation ? The figure generally 
given for a mature estate is 500 acres. In East Africa, where tea-planting 
is new, there is no restriction of export as such, but a recent arrangement 10 
provides that planters with 100 acres and upwards shall be allowed to 
expand to 500 acres, which is conceived of as the working optimum. 
In India and Ceylon it was determined historically by the capacity of the 
individual planter in pre-motor days to finance and supervise the develop- 
ment of the estate, its cultivation and working and the treatment of its 
product in the factory on the estate. With primitive roads and bullock 
carts the daily delivery of the leaf made an estate of much over 500 acres 
impracticable ; and many private estates lacking finance would remain 
smaller than this. But the days of the proprietary planter are over, and 
now one meets not with planter owners but salaried superintendents — one 
superintendent to each estate. Moreover, several estates, say two, three 
or four, are grouped together to form a ' group ' with a group manager. 
The latter superintends the other estates on his group and in addition 
manages one estate directly. A large company will have a number of 
groups in different districts. 

Normally the position still is one estate, one tea factory, but not always. 
There is a growing tendency for the factory to be enlarged, so that it can 
take the produce of several estates. For example, recently in the Sheikal- 
mudi (Anamalais) group of the English and Scottish Joint Co-operative 
Wholesale Society in South India, four estates have been feeding one 
factory, and the two factories thereby put out of action are kept as stand- 
bys for use in the rush season. From the estate superintendent's 
point of view this development may be unwelcome. As one of them 
(not in this group) said to me, ' You will have no end of complaints about 
10 Report of the International Tea Committee, 1934-35, p. 7. 


the quality of your tea if you do not make your own leaf.' Mechanical 
transport and electrical operation indicate a figure closer to 800 than to 
500 acres as the optimum size of a single estate in the future. 

As the result of evolution there are four different types of plantation 

1. The Proprietary Planter. — He is almost extinct. The man who is 
called a planter is in fact a salaried superintendent. In 1909-10 perhaps 
30 per cent, of the planters were proprietary planters (except in the coco-nut 
plantations, which have always been either a village or a company enter- 
prise). But to-day it is rare to meet one. 

2. The Small Companies. — These, with their agents at the coast, 
are the most representative type of plantation in Ceylon to-day. They 
have their London shareholders and directors and their agents in Ceylon, 
and they may employ the services of visiting agents to report on the 
condition of the estate from time to time. I visited the estates of two 
such companies : the Nayabedde Estate Company Ltd. at Passara, Ceylon, 
and the Dimbula Valley Tea Company Ltd. at Bearwell, Ceylon. 

3. The Large Companies. — Examples are the Ceylon Tea Plantations 
Ltd., which acts as its own agent, and the Anglo-Ceylon and General 
Estates Ltd. These large companies produce rubber and coco-nut as 
well as tea, thus diversifying their interests. The Ceylon Tea Planta- 
tions Company has the following acreage in bearing : tea, 9,456 ; rubber, 
5,193 ; coco-nut, 2,414 acres. Its profits for 1935 were £54,000, dividend 
10 per cent., by comparison with the prosperous days of the 1920's, when 
— e.g. 1925 — profits were £332,000 and dividend 60 per cent. 

4. The Consumer Companies. — These companies have in Great Britain 
their own wholesale and retail organisations for the disposal of tea, and 
they operate estates from which they derive a portion of their supplies. 
Such are Lipton, Brooke Bond, and the English and Scottish Joint 
Co-operative Wholesale Society. 

The small companies above mentioned could hardly exist in their 
present small form if they were not commercially integrated by the great 
coastal agencies. These agents play a dominant part in the commercial 
and industrial life of the East. The evolution of their contact with 
plantation agriculture may be studied in the indigo industry. ' They 
[the Calcutta agency houses of the 1830's] also became Calcutta agents 
for the plantations and received commissions on purchases and various 
other transactions, including 2 per cent, on all sales. Mortgages were taken 
on the property, but the risks were great. The investments in buildings 
and land were not nearly so substantial as the outlays for advances to 
cultivators.' u And there is a strong analogy in the stock and station agents 
of Australia and New Zealand, like Dalgety, Goldsbrough Mort and the 
New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency, which have served as the 
financial spine of the pastoral industry in those parts. The agents' 
functions are very miscellaneous. They act as shipping agents, as import 
agents and as export agents. Some of them are almost exclusively con- 
nected with plantation produce, and in particular with tea. A large agency 

11 D. H. Buchanan, Development of Capitalistic Enterprise in India (1934), 


firm will be agent for perhaps forty or fifty plantations, they may have a 
financial interest in them, and though not technically the managers of the 
estate they may be virtually so. They supply their estates with planters' 
requirements and they handle the produce of the estates, selling it at the 
auctions in Colombo or sending it to London for auction there. At the 
auction they are present both as buyers and sellers, and if the lot of tea 
on offer comes from one of their own estates and they want it for a 
customer, other buyers (I was told) do not bid against them. Leading 
agencies are : Harrison and Crossfield, James Finlay & Co. of Calcutta, 
Carson's of Colombo, George Steuart & Co. of Colombo. The managing 
agency is applied in India to factory industry also. But whereas 
in factory industry the commission is usually paid on a profits basis, 
in plantation industry it is paid on a quantity basis, calculated on purchases, 
shipments or sales. Its penetration is, therefore, less complete here : 
the agents manage the plantation in an indirect fashion only. 

The English and Scottish Co-operative does not employ agents. It 
started on the coast as a merchant and then pushed inland to own and 
manage tea estates, the produce of which it despatches to the English 
and Scottish Wholesale Societies, who jointly own it, in Great Britain. 
It procured its estates by the purchase both of planted and unplanted 
land. The nucleus of its South Indian properties was bought by Sir 
Fairless Barber, who later became the general manager. In Ceylon it 
sent its commercial manager from the Colombo depot to take charge of 
its estates when it acquired them there. Being structurally a buying 
agency which has pushed inland, the English and Scottish Co-operative 
has naturally followed other agents in developing an inward as well as 
an outward business. Not only does it supply its estates with require- 
ments, but it also in Calicut does a general business of import, selling to 
wholesalers in the district. It sells where it can the products of the 
factories of the Co-operative Wholesale Society itself, but except in 
proprietary lines this has not been easy to develop owing to Japanese 
competition. A similar attempt with somewhat similar results has 
attended the efforts of the Co-operative Wholesale Society to develop 
a reciprocal trade between itself and the dairy farmers of New Zealand. 

7. Labour Conditions. 

Where tea is grown in hilly regions or in an area that has hitherto been 
jungle, the problem of labour is in the first instance one of recruitment 
from a distance. It is a special case of that larger problem which we 
call migration. Migration is of two kinds : from village life in one country 
to village life in another, and from village life to town life inside the same 
country. Estate labour migration comes midway between the two. 
It is migration from one rural existence to another, but the discipline of 
the estate is not far removed from that of the urban factory. However, 
unlike many factories, the plantation requires the whole labour force 
of the family, the terrain is rural and the environment is pleasant. There 
is thus in plantation labour no marked hostility to the employment as 
such. The workers are not thinking the whole time of the village at 


home to which they will return when they have made enough money. 
In time the plantation becomes their home, and the return to their own 
country is a holiday away from home rather than an escape to it. 

The problem of recruitment differs according to the area. First, 
North India. In the Darjeeling area much of the land is too high 
for the plains people, and the labour is derived from the voluntary 
migration of near-by hill peoples from Nepal and Sikkim. Many 
of these workers have lived on the estate since birth. 12 Assam was 
the difficult district to settle. Seventy years ago it was uncultivated, and 
nearly uninhabited, jungle. It was a rude and insecure region close to 
the frontier of India. In the nineteenth century planters had to obtain 
and hold their labour by a system which had many harsh features in it. 
It was virtually a system of indentured labour with severe penal contracts 
attached. Recruitment was prohibited in certain districts outside 
Assam— for example, in parts of the United Provinces — and the planters 
obtained their main labour from primitive tribes people of the Santal 
Parganas and Chota Nagpur by methods which degenerated at times 
into a system approaching to slavery. Even before the war this was 
greatly changed. The penal contract had been modified, and propaganda 
and advertisement by recruiting agencies forbidden. There has, however, 
to be some method of recruitment, and, in the absence of organised 
agents on the one hand or a Government system of labour exchanges on 
the other, there grew up a highly expensive system of informal recruiting 
by the foremen of the estate, themselves ex-workers. Under this system 
it cost before the war Rs.200 to Rs.500 to recruit one labourer, and in 
1930 Rs.150. The foreman (sardar) abused his position. About one- 
half of them did not recruit a soul, and about one-third did not even 
return themselves, according to the Royal Commission in 1931. More- 
over, it became customary to make everyone who was returning home 
a sardar, because that was the simplest means of assisting his return. 
4 It is only in the case of Assam that neither the employer nor anyone else 
can assist the labourer who is willing to migrate except by the expensive 
and cumbersome expedient of sending down a garden sardar to sponsor the 
recruit.' 13 The Commission therefore recommended that a recruiting body 
representing Indian as well as European planters should be allowed to 
open recruiting depots, and that assisted recruits should not be forwarded 
except through these depots; while, to protect the workers on arrival, 
a Protector of Immigrants with powers to work inside Assam should be 
appointed. The problem is likely to diminish ; for it is computed that over 
600,000 ex-garden labourers were settled on Government land in Assam 
in 1 92 1, the total number of foreigners in the province attributable to the 
tea industry being one and one-third million, i.e. one-sixth of all Assam. 
With tea restriction and the acclimatisation of foreign-born workers to 
Assam they will to an increasing degree find a place of retirement within 
Assam itself. 

The position in South India is rather different. The country is newer, 

12 The Dooars, a submontane tract to the south of Darjeeling, derive their 
labour from the same sources as Assam, but there has been no penal contract. 

13 Report of Royal Commission on Labour in India, p. 70. 


and the problem of recruitment is easier because in Madras Province, 
and especially in Malabar, there is a great mass of labour seeking work. 
The existence of ' distressed ' areas, where poverty was extreme and 
perennial, facilitated recruitment at the outset. The labour comes to 
the estates and returns to a near-by home once a year, for the tea year is a 
ten-month year, and in the two idle months the workers go home. This is 
the inland side of that great overseas movement which until recently took 
place year by year from the west coast of Madras to the rice fields of the 
Irrawaddy Delta in Burma. 

In Ceylon there are, from an agricultural standpoint, four distinct 
divisions of population : (i) the European commercial and planting 
community ; (2) the native Sinhalese, who are the officials, the lawyers, 
and the ordinary agriculturists of the island, but though some Sinhalese 
are employed incidentally on the estates, they are rarely part of its labour 
force ; (3) the old immigrants from South India, the Jaffna Tamils, who 
are also agriculturists — Jaffna being a rich agricultural district which, 
inter alia, grows tobacco for the South Indian market ; (4) the estate 
labourers, also Tamils from India, who supply the labour force of the 
estates. It is estimated that in 1935 the estate population of men, women 
and children numbered 688,000, or one-ninth of the island population. 
The movement of labour is strictly controlled, and there are no abuses. 
They have paid in the past periodic visits to their old homes, but more and 
more the younger workers are coming to regard the estate where they 
work and perhaps were born as their home. 

I did not visit Assam, therefore I will draw my examples of wages and 
living conditions from South India and Ceylon. In South India the 
methods of wage payment (16 annas = R.i, 1 anna — a penny) are 
as follows : 

A male worker earns 6 to 7 annas a day and is given a definite task of 
digging, etc. , to perform in the working day. The women work by piece- 
rate, so much per pound of green leaf plucked. In the hot weather, 
when the crop is short, they may earn only 2 to 3 annas a day, but in the 
flush season perhaps a rupee. Under restriction the working week is 
a five-day one, with no plucking on Saturday or Sunday. The earnings 
of the worker are not, however, paid out each day or week, or even each 
month. They are credited to him or her on the worker's check roll 
account and paid out as follows : each week to each man and woman 
4 annas for the whole week (also 2 to each working child), this payment 
being called selvado, together with a ration of rice, say 11 annas' worth 
per adult worker. During the season one or more advances will be made 
to enable the worker to pay off village debts or to incur some outlay, such 
as purchasing a marriage sari (dress). Finally, at the end of the season, 
the worker draws a lump sum in cash, being the balance of what is due 
to him after all deductions. This sum the workers take home with them, 
but it is said that many are already so greatly in debt to a near-by money- 
lender or trader that the lump sum earned is in their possession only for 
a moment. 

In Ceylon (100 cents = R.i, 6 cents = a penny) the system is 
different. First of all there is a legal basic rate, which is fully enforced. 












Secondly, payment of the whole wage due is made once a month, the 

standard rates being as follows : 

Cents a day. Rs. a month. 
Man ...... 50 11 

Wife ...... 40 9 

Two children . . . -3° 14 

Careful estimates of budgets have been compiled, to ensure that the 
wage rate is sufficient for reasonable subsistence. The monthly ex- 
penditure is calculated as follows : 

Rice 1 bushel at current rates for the man 
>> j >) )> i> it >> wire 

,, 1 ,, ,, ,, „ ,, 2 working children 

A further Rs.7 and 50 cents is allowed for other grains, such as gram, 
dhal (a pea), and soya beans. Thus the family bill for the main food- 
stuffs is about Rs.20 a month against a family income of Rs.34. To this 
must Be added expenditure on oddments such as chillies, spices, sugar. 
I inspected the edibles in several of the co-operative stores run by the 
planters on their estates, and they represented over half the total trade 
of the store. 

The remaining trade was in cooking vessels made of clay, and clothing, 
of which the chief items were saris (women's dresses), vertis (men's skirts), 
shirts, loin cloths, head cloths, and rain shawls with hood attached. The 
vertis and head clothing were the only products coming from Lancashire. 
The shirt is frequently native- or Indian-made, from homespun khaddar. 
But the bulk of the clothing is Japanese. When, in pursuance of the 
Ottawa agreement, textile quotas were imposed by proclamation on 
Japanese textile imports, as from July 31, 1934, the Japanese in part 
got round the quotas by sending in the finished article, which was not 
quota'ed, instead of piece goods. ' The imports of Japanese made-up 
apparel have intensified during the past three years. This development not 
only represents an increase of possibly 50 per cent, of the Japanese quota, 
but has also caused considerable hardship to the local tailoring commun- 
ity.' u I found a widespread condemnation of the textile quota. It came at 
a time when the earning power of the population had been heavily reduced 
by distress and disease, and it was forced by London on Colombo. But 
for the reduced cost of clothing due to the Japanese imports the real 
earnings of the working population of Ceylon, and in particular those of 
the general agricultural population, whose returns vary with the price of 
their produce, would have fallen below subsistence level after 1929. 

It is noteworthy how frequently the Royal Commission on Labour in 

India quotes with admiration the methods of Ceylon. The tea company 

itself, the Ceylon Government and the Government of India's agent 

from Madras (who resides in Kandy and is entitled to visit the estate and 

11 Extract from the Ceylon Customs Administration Report 0/1935. 


inspect pay-sheets) all look after the coolies' welfare. And when Indian 
planters objected to this or that proposal, the Royal Commission was 
able to argue with effect that this very proposal had been introduced in 
Ceylon at the demand of India's representative in Ceylon, so that India 
was only being asked to follow the practice which she had helped to 
impose on Ceylon. 

I was in Ceylon at the tail end of the great malaria epidemic, which, 
in conjunction with famine, in the space of a year and a quarter destroyed 
around 100,000 lives. A full account of its cause, course and consequences 
is given in the Reports of Colonel Gill of the Indian Medical Service 
(September 1935), of Dr. Briercliffe, head of the Medical Department 
of Ceylon (September 1935), and of the special relief Commissioner, 
Mr. H. E. Newnham, Ceylon Civil Service (March 1936). Dr. Gill 
emphasises the cumulative damage wrought by the epidemic. First, 
the actual sickness and mortality which attended it. Secondly, the ac- 
companying privation and starvation. Thirdly, the paralysis of village life. 
Fourthly, the debility and sickness consequent upon it. The cause of the 
malaria epidemic, as well as of the famine, was the abnormal drought of 
1934 and 1935, so that rivers which normally flowed strongly were 
reduced to stagnant pools in the sand and rock of the river-bed. In these 
the mosquito [Anopheles culifacies) found an ideal breeding gVound. 
Malaria is endemic in parts of Ceylon and in the East generally, but there 
was no epidemic in those parts of the country which normally suffer the 
most. The epidemic was confined to certain river systems, flowing in 
the main to the west coast. The area included all but the higher situated 
tea plantations. At the height of the epidemic in certain regions every 
other person was stricken. It was the duty of Mr. Newnham to organise 
the programme of relief. He testifies in his Report to the excellent response 
of the native self-governing legislature in the crisis and to the honourable 
conduct of the large majority of those who were relieved. He quotes 
cases of abuse, but they were in the minority, and he is able also to quote 
cases of villagers refusing supplies, on the ground that the needs of their 
neighbours were greater than their own. The blow to the economic 
life of the country was so complete that it was necessary to organise relief 
works. The lack of technical experts in sufficient numbers was found 
a major obstacle in instituting suddenly a largely increased programme of 
road building. Moreover, the workers were themselves in poor condition. 
Therefore at first anti-mosquito measures, such as clearing stagnant 
water and spraying river streams, proved the most suitable light work to 
those recovering from malaria. In addition to clearing streams they 
removed undergrowth, filled hollows and burnt rubbish. Thereafter 
they were employed on road-making and irrigation works. But the 
financial drain on the State was heavy and, though aid was given freely 
while the crisis lasted, the State Council felt compelled to curtail its 
works programme as soon as these were unnecessary for relief ; and 
Mr. Newnham laments the resulting loss, for ' meanwhile the rain 
descended and the floods came and beat upon the earthwork, and for want 
of culverts, etc., some hundreds of miles of roads were becoming derelict.' 15 

16 Report, p. 37. 


Colonel Gill's Report emphasises the fine work done by the planters. 
Both in South India and Ceylon the hospital facilities on the estates are 
of a high order ; for the planters have to maintain a continual fight not 
only against malaria but also against the hook-worm, which enters through 
the bare feet of the workers when they tread on infected matter. During 
the epidemic the planters took charge of their own people and also of 
adjacent villages. Dr. Gill concludes that in certain rural areas, and more 
especially on estates, the prevention of malaria epidemics is a practicable 
proposition. He ventures the opinion that another major epidemic is 
unlikely within the next five years, and meanwhile he submits a pro- 
gramme of preparation and co-ordination of effort. It is useless, for 
example, for the planters to clear their estates if the neighbouring village 
land continues to breed the mosquito. 

A final thought emerging from this crisis concerns the relation between 
plantation agriculture and village agriculture. Too often the hope of 
village agriculture is thought to lie in the export market when there is 
a better one at home. The plantations by their great demand for supplies 
offer a considerable local market. Secondly, though the workers on them 
have hitherto been immigrants, it is by no means certain that they will 
always be, especially as the standard of living on the estates rises. It 
may be expected, therefore, that there will not be the disinclination 
which there has been in the past on the part of the native Sinhalese to 
work as daily paid ' coolies ' under a regimen which to him was servitude. 
In the old days the housing on the estates was not what it is to-day. Now 
in addition to excellent medical facilities and (in a few cases) to excellent 
co-operative stores, the housing itself of the labourers has been greatly 
improved. Thus the new lines which I saw on the estate of the English 
and Scottish Co-operative at Westhall, Kotmale district, Ceylon, are 
Government-standard huts made of cement, with concrete walls, iron 
frames, and verandas 6 ft. wide with a low wall in front, inside which the 
family can rest and play when it is too hot or too wet to be outside, while 
some yards away in the rear, and apart, are tidy latrines, also made of 
cement. Each room has its own chimney and fireplace, three or four 
inhabitants to the room. It must be remembered that the climate is 
such that much of the day throughout the year can be spent out of 
doors, while the nights are often so hot that many prefer to sleep in 
the veranda. 

8. Tea Control. 

It is customary to use the leading cash crop of a country as the source 
from which funds are derived for purposes common to the growers con- 
cerned ; and in addition the Government may add in this way to general 
revenue. In the Canadian wheat pools expenses were met by deductions 
from growers' receipts, and at any pool meeting or general agricultural 
conference it was frequent to hear suggestions that this or that desirable 
purpose could be thus financed. The planters of Ceylon have their 
Planters' Association, to which the members subscribe on an acreage 
basis. But the tea planters in addition pay a number of export taxes or 


' cesses.' They amounted in April 1936, per 100 lb. of tea exported, 
to the following : 

a. Customs duty (taken to general revenues) 

b. Medical wants on estates 

c. Tea research ..... 

d. Tea propaganda .... 

e. Tea control ..... 

Rs. Cents. 

2 00 

o 14 

° 75 
o 11 


The restriction scheme is more properly called a regulation scheme ; 
and it is concerned with the regulation of exports. In Ceylon it takes 
no account of domestic consumption, but in India it is accompanied at 
present by a gentleman's agreement under which producers agree not 
to manufacture for sale in the domestic market more than a certain 
percentage (in 1936, 12 per cent.) of the estate's basic crop. It does, 
however, in both countries, provide for a prohibition of new planting, 
save in special cases, and then only up to \ of 1 per cent, of the total 
area under tea. Replanting is limited to replanting on the same area 
which has been uprooted, and the nursery acreage may not be increased 
permanently. The scheme came into force on April 1, 1933. There 
was a precedent for it in the post-war scheme of rubber restriction 
known as the Stevenson Scheme. The latter eventually failed, because 
in addition to being rather greedy and very inelastic it did not include 
the Dutch East Indies, where an enormous impetus was given to new pro- 
duction, especially by native producers. But this time Holland herself 
took the lead ; and the tea scheme of April 1, 1933, was followed by the 
new rubber scheme of June 1, 1934, Holland again being a member in 
respect of the Netherlands Indies. Inasmuch as the schemes in each 
country have the force of law, all producers must conform. Tea restriction 
has borne with exceptional severity on the activities of the English and 
Scottish Joint Co-operative Wholesale Society in South India. Since 
19 14 the English and Scottish Co-operative has added largely to its 
acreage, its policy being to produce as much as possible of its own 
consumption. What it already produces is a fraction only of this con- 
sumption. But now it cannot add to this except to a slight degree by the 
purchase of other producers' export rights. 

Regulation was the final item in a long chapter of voluntary co-operation 
for other ends. The planters of Ceylon first came to co-operate closely 
with one another for the recruitment and regulation of labour and the 
organisation of medical services. Their next step was to co-operate for 
research. Before the war research was done in the Royal Botanical 
Gardens at Peradeniya, which in 19 14 were transferrred to the Department 
of Agriculture to serve as its technical nucleus. After the war the 
tea-planters began to feel that there was need of tea research by the planters 
themselves ; for the Agricultural Department now desired to pay more 
attention than before to the ordinary village agriculture of the island. 
A tea research scheme accordingly was drawn up, supported and financed 
by the tea industry and established by colonial ordinance. The Institute 


was opened in 1926 and acquired its present habitation in 1929. This is 
the St. Coombs Estate. 

Research hitherto called upon to assist expansion is now helping the 
difficult task of restriction. The supply of tea is not a tap that can be 
turned off and on at will. The produce cannot be left like tin or copper 
to lie in the ground until the market is better. But restriction being a 
fact, it must be carried through with the least financial and technical 
damage. A large company with numerous estates, some on high and 
some on low land, is in the better postion. It will consider whether it is 
not better to close up one estate and put it down to ' care and maintenance,' 
allowing the other estates to work to capacity. A small company has 
less scope for this kind of rationalisation. It must decide whether it 
will (a) buy export coupons from others, so as to produce as much as 
before ; (b) export only the higher grades of tea, putting the lower grades 
on the home market ; (c) restrict production to its quota by discarding the 
poorer fields. But the home market is a small one and crowded with 
native small-holders, who are in the same case ; while cutting out particular 
fields may bring a small company down to a production level which is 
well below the technical optimum. Therefore the Institute is engaged 
in working out the kind of reduction which is least harmful technically 
for estates in different situations. 

The Export Control regulations are as follows : — 

The International Tea Agreement fixes for each country a standard 
output. ' The standard upon which regulation is based shall be fixed 
on the maximum exports of tea from each producing country reached in 
any of the three years 1929, 1930 and 193 1.' For each crop year the 
international committee sets a regulation figure, which so far has been 
at the following rates : 1933-34, 85 per cent, of standard exports ; 1934-35, 
87! per cent, of standard exports ; 1935-36, 82^ per cent, of standard 
exports. The reduction in 1934-35 was at the request of the tea trade, 
but it proved excessive and therefore the rate was raised by 5 points 
for the ensuing year. 

It is the task of each country to assign to its own producers their 
individual share in the country's quota. Thus in Ceylon each estate is 
given export coupons for a certain quantity of tea based on past production 
as shown by the estate books. Native small-holders are allowed so many 
coupons per acre, inasmuch as they had no books showing their poundage. 
As the industry consisted in the main of companies possessing statistical 
records, the control scheme escaped the inaccuracies and ' overstatements ' 
(for which it may or may not be possible to work out a ' coefficient of 
mendacity '), which obstructed the initial operations of production control 
in the tobacco industry of the United States. 16 The coupon is a quantity 
and not a quality coupon. The owner may export so many pounds weight 
of tea, not so much rupees' worth of value ; and pro tanto the scheme 
favours quality production. But this has been neutralised by the recent 
increase of 2d. per lb. in the British import duty, which is expected to 
prejudice quality production by diverting British consumers to cheaper 

16 Cf. H. B. Rowe, Tobacco under the A. A. A. (Brookings Institution), 1935, 
pp. 164-181. 

F 2 


teas. In point of fact it is very customary for the small-holders to sell 
all their export rights, leaving their holding idle. There is a regular 
market for export coupons, as in the parallel rubber scheme. 

On Monday, March 16, 1936, I attended the tea auction at Colombo. 
The great majority of the tea is sold with export rights attached ; and 
prices ranged, according to quality, from about 60 cents per lb. upwards, 
but at the end of the auction some parcels of native tea were sold without 
export rights, and the prices were in the neighbourhood of 20 to 30 cents. 
This would be for tea of a lower quality than that which is exported. To 
give elasticity to the scheme it is allowable for a country or a company to 
carry over its quota from one crop year to the next. 

The international authority is the International Tea Committee. From 
its two Reports, 1933-34 and appears that the scheme has worked 
well and with but few changes. When nations mean a thing to work, 
there is no insuperable difficulty to international agreement. Loopholes 
have been stopped up. The Report of 1934-35 (pp. 16, 17) draws atten- 
tion to the steps which have had to be taken to prevent tea smuggling 
across the overland frontier of India. Ceylon administers both the tea 
and rubber schemes in a single office under a single head, though in 
separate departments. The office is not a part of the Government 
secretariate, and is close to the harbour for the convenience of merchants. 
There has recently been introduced in Ceylon a coco-nut board, but this 
is not part of an export control scheme and there is no question of coupons. 
It is regulated by ordinance and has a central sales room for the display 
of coco-nut products ; and its work is confined to the stimulation of the 
sale of these products at home and abroad and to the general encourage- 
ment of the coco-nut industry. The tea and rubber schemes, being 
international agreements, have a definite duration — tea to March 1938 and 
rubber to December 1938. 

The reports of the International Tea Committee indicate satisfaction 
with results achieved to date. But the Committee is concerned with the 
danger of a decrease in consumption and has therefore instituted propa- 
ganda designed to expand the market. One small evidence of this is the 
shop on Colombo pier, where couponed tea can be purchased by 
passengers. Another is seen in the advertisement lighting along and 
around Colombo harbour. More serious is the campaign which has 
been launched in the United States to increase consumption there. 

The British Empire is easily the largest producer of tea. Taking the 
figures for 1933-34, gross world exports amounted to 800 million lb. : 
from regulated countries 650 millions, from other countries (mainly 
China and Japan) 150 millions. Of the 650 million lb. 520 came from 
India and Ceylon, the proportionate export of the regulated countries 
being roughly India 3, Ceylon 2, the Netherlands East Indies i\. In 
rubber the British Empire is again the leading producer, though the con- 
tribution of India and Ceylon is trifling. The basic export quota of 1935 
was for the whole world 1 • 1 million tons, of which Malaya was given 
538,000, Netherlands Indies 400,000, Ceylon 79,000 tons. The Dutch 
have managed the control of native production by a heavy export duty on 
such produce, which is now being replaced by export licences such as 


are required from the European planters. It must be remembered that 
in Sumatra, the leading producer of Netherlands Indies, much British 
and American capital is engaged. 

In consumption of tea the British Empire again leads, for the United 
Kingdom and the Dominions consume respectively 430 + no = 540, 
out of 860 million lb. consumed in 1933-34. But in consumption of 
rubber the position is different. A foreign non-producing country, the 
United States, consumes far more than the United Kingdom. 

9. Plantation Produce and Forestry. 

Plantation economy throws light on forest economy and vice versa. 
In the United States crop restriction, which in its first form was pro- 
nounced unconstitutional, is now being sought in indirect fashion by 
measures for soil conservation ; and this involves afforestation, i.e. more 
forest produce. But the time when the produce will mature is so far 
ahead that no attention is being paid to the increase of timber which the 
policy will cause. In any case there is a fear of scarcity rather than of 
abundance ; and forests are desired not only for their yield, but for the 
help which they give to the conservation of moisture and the like. ' And 
thus do we by indirections find directions out.' 

In New Zealand there is conflict between two points of view. The 
public authorities (the Central Government and the municipalities) are con- 
cerned to conserve forests, protect water catchment areas and encourage 
native species where these will grow to advantage. The other point of 
view is represented by a commercial, and rather speculative, venture, 
which under the title of ' Perpetual Forests, Ltd.,' has planted large areas 
to a soft wood, Pinus insignis. It has financed itself by selling bonds not 
only in Australia and New Zealand but in many countries of the East ; 
such bonds entitle the buyer to a share in a unit of the forest. Some of 
these plantations are now reaching maturity, and the problem has to be 
faced of how their physical increase is to be turned into cash by ex- 
ploitation of the maturing timber. Asiatic holders, no doubt, would be 
glad to take the plot itself and build a bungalow on it, but the law against 
immigration forbids them to put their bodies inside. 

Precious woods are at the other end of the scale. In Mysore State 
sandalwood is a government monopoly, and here there is a kind of restric- 
tion scheme which in principle resembles those for tea and rubber. 
The recent industrial depression spoilt the European market for sandal- 
wood oil. The Government, which owns the wood and converts it into 
oil in its own factories, summoned the buyers and asked them how much 
they would take at or near the old price ; and it has endeavoured to restrict 
sales to this amount. The difficulty is the competition of Australia, 
which produces more than twice the amount of Mysore and (in Mysore's 
opinion) has a much inferior product, improperly admitted recently to 
the British pharmacopoeia. The technical problem involved in sandal- 
wood restriction is this, that only dead wood is cut for treatment. The 
present restricted cutting leaves much dead wood in the forest, where 
it is liable to theft or damage. If cut and stored in the depot, there would 


be heavy charges for storage and insurance. Madras has a little sandal- 
wood, which is marketed by Mysore ; and Madras, apprehensive of the 
difficulties of restriction as at present operating, would prefer that sandal- 
wood was sold up to the dead wood limit. It points out with reason that 
India is in fact making the market for Australia. There has therefore 
been recently an effort to associate Australia with the scheme ; for the 
lesson of rubber is that a scheme is likely to break down if it has outside 
it a formidable competitor. 

In view of the high record of plantation economy in the nineteenth 
and twentieth centuries it is almost comical to remember that ' to send to 
the plantations ' signified in earlier days a sentence to penal servitude. 






The object of the British Association is to make known, as widely as 
possible, not only the aims and achievements of every science, but also 
the bearing of each advance upon world conditions. The very fact that 
engineering was the seventh section to be formed shows that there never 
was any intention to restrict the activities of the Association to ' pure ' 
as distinct from ' applied ' science. Our President was strictly in order 
when he suggested, last January, that Sectional Presidents should not 
hesitate to deal with current difficulties and misconceptions in their 
particular fields of work, and with the reactions of that work upon the 
community. These are matters that concern the engineer very closely, 
since his activity is linked with the national life and often consists in the 
application of knowledge previously secured by the physicist, chemist, 
and metallurgist. He himself is not thereby debarred from fundamental 
researches. On the contrary, he is frequently led to investigate in detail 
problems half solved by the physicist, or to discover phenomena which 
the chemist has missed. No better example could be quoted than the 
arc-rectifier, which from its humble beginning in the investigations of 
Cooper-Hewitt to its present position as the most important converter 
in heavy electrical engineering, is entirely the work of engineers. 

Pure Science and Engineering. 

But though engineering has for so many years been regarded as a branch 
of science by the British Association, there are great and fundamental 
differences between those engaged in pure science and the engineers. 
The former may, if they so choose, indulge in a life of ardent detached 
curiosity, devoting themselves to the observation of behaviour and to the 
construction of a framework of principles neatly fitting the collected 
observations. To such men, the known is just a key to the unknown, 
and the unknown is the one thing worth knowing. This is called the 
pursuit of truth as distinct from the pursuit of learning. Around each 
hypothesis, prediction becomes possible ; but should new results be 
incompatible with previous theory, the worker does not hesitate to alter 
his construction to accommodate the fresh knowledge. Such a life 
brings great happiness, since it entails self-forgetfulness, the satisfaction 


of curiosity, the exercise of reason and the joy of constructiveness and of 
wonder. When pursued under the best conditions, it is as free from 
worldly care and responsibility as was that of the mediaeval monk, and for 
that very reason it is apt to be incomplete and ill-balanced. Such self- 
forgetfulness is not true freedom from ego-consciousness, since it is only 
temporary. It is not altruism. But the blissful dream-life of the 
laboratory may easily become as entrancing as the paradise of the opium 
addict. The man of science is happily almost free from the jealousy 
and exhibitionism which afflict the artist, but his joyous Nirvana may make 
him oblivious of others, and his interest in things may obscure his interest 
in persons. As I have said elsewhere, it is probable that Mrs. Faraday 
spent too many lonely evenings in the garret of the Royal Institution x — 
and even the university professor, whose human interest should be sus- 
tained by daily contact with students, may fall a victim to the dope of 
research. Thus, a certain French professor, when asked how many 
students he had, replied : ' as few as possible ; I find that they interrupt 
my work.' 

The function of the engineer is to apply the co-ordinated knowledge 
of the pure scientist and the experience of the ages to the satisfaction of 
human desire, and to the increase of the amenities of life. He is the 
link between human experience and scientific knowledge, and, as such, 
he cannot perpetually live in a rarefied atmosphere of detachment. 
He must be in daily contact with humanity and learn to understand 
human psychology as well as human needs. As a result, he is less 
specialised, more balanced, more adaptable and understanding than his 
colleague in pure science. His judgment in human affairs is more 
developed ; he is a better ' mixer.' A nation of pure investigators would 
be calm and peaceful, but cold as Scotland Yard. A nation of engineers 
might be quite a pleasant community. 

Engineering and Civilisation. 

In its purest form, engineering is the greatest instrument of civilisation 
that the world has ever seen, in the sense that it continually tends to 
promote a closer contact, a greater intimacy, and therefore a more profound 
understanding between individuals and nations. Three-fourths of the 
work of the engineer is devoted to the development of communication. 
Roads, canals, bridges, railways, harbours, ships, motor-cars, aeroplanes, 
telegraphs, telephones, television, all these and many more are humanity's 
hyphens. Their natural effect is to foster friendliness and dissolve 
differences. Left undisturbed by the politician, the scaremonger, and 
the patriot, the engineer would demolish the Tower of Babel and render 
war impossible. Build a channel tunnel ; then Calais and Dover become 
neighbours and Anglo-French understanding ensues in all senses. Place 
transmitters in the trenches with receivers and televisors at home ; then 
war becomes unthinkable. The very first thing that a government does 
on going to war is to seize and control every means of communication 
and every engineering device that might otherwise serve to unite the 
1 Faraday and Some of His Contemporaries (Pitman & Co.), pp. 60, 61. 


combatants. Then ensues that apotheosis of wicked absurdity which 
was to be seen in Switzerland during the Great War. A works normally- 
devoted to machinery for the preparation of cereals, consisted of two long 
bays. Up and down one bay went the inspectors of the Central Powers, 
checking the production of their shells. Up and down the other bay 
walked the inspectors of the Allies on similar work for their countrymen. 
And this ironical madness still exists ; for only a few weeks ago I received 
a letter from an old student, which contains the following sentence : ' The 
torpedo works where I am at present working is very busy. We are 
producing these instruments of war for most of the European nations, 
and, as far as I can gather, the works will be up to full capacity for several 
years.' Verily for the promotion of peace and understanding, engineering 
easily outclasses every religion ; and for battle, murder, and sudden death 
it has no equal. 

Status of the Engineer. 

To each nation then, as well as to the world, the activities of the engineer, 
and the uses to which they are put, are matters of supreme importance. 
His position in peace and war is very different from that of the devotee 
of pure science. True, great physicists and great chemists may be called 
upon in times of emergency, but they then renounce their ordinary occupa- 
tion to take up employment akin to the normal work of the engineer. At 
all times, in peace or in war, the engineer must be intimately concerned 
with human relationships. This fact gives him proportionately greater 
opportunities both for the development and for the loss of character : 
his chances of salvation and of damnation are alike increased. For 
character does not mature in cloisters and exposure is necessary to prove 

To what extent do his fellow subjects recognise this national im- 
portance and this difficult dual role ; and to what extent does the engineer 
abuse his unique position or allow himself to be made the tool of less 
scrupulous men ? In short, what attitude does this nation adopt towards 
the engineer, and how does the engineer respond ? 

In any community, the status of an individual should depend upon the 
extent to which his occupation is fiduciary, upon the measure of responsi- 
bility which he incurs, and the nature of the services he renders. The 
doctor is held in esteem largely because his patients are dependent upon 
his honour and good faith, as well as upon his knowledge and skill. He 
is in a position of trust as well as of responsibility, and his conduct is 
expected to be unaffected by the lure of private gain. His motto is, or 
should be, noblesse oblige, not caveat emptor. On these assumptions, 
the status accorded to him is deservedly high. It is nationally defined 
by the General Medical Council and jealously guarded by the British 
Medical Association and the legal insurance societies. The present 
period of training for a general practitioner is six to seven years from 
matriculation. At the end of that time, he steps straight into a great 
profession with a tradition of noble service and unhesitating devotion to 
duty. The protection afforded him is proportionately great. He may 


make technical blunders in diagnosis or in treatment, involving even death, 
or he may neglect panel patients ; but neither patient nor relative dare move 
against him for fear of the professional organisation of which he is now a 
part. On the other hand, except in extreme cases, he knows that his 
colleagues will view mercifully any untoward ' accidents,' and his certifi- 
cate of death will rarely be questioned. 

Fortunately, the great majority of the medical profession are men whose 
lives are beyond reproach, but that this protection may sometimes go too 
far is shown in the following instance. A relation of mine died in the 
nursing home of a well-known surgeon. I discovered afterwards that this 
surgeon had for some time been addicted to the drug habit. It had such 
a hold upon him that even in the operating theatre he would slip behind 
a screen to give himself an injection. Such a weakness could not be un- 
known to the doctors and nurses ; and indeed it was a nurse who first 
told me and a doctor who confirmed the statement. Notwithstanding 
this common knowledge, no action was taken, and for at least five years 
after the events mentioned this surgeon continued to practise. Ultimately, 
of course, his brain was affected, and he died in a mental home. 

Contrast this with the position of the engineer. His training also takes 
about six years from matriculation, but he then has no status that is 
nationally recognised. Yet he is held to be legally and financially 
responsible if he fails to apply such knowledge as is in keeping with the 
' state of the art,' and he has no legal assistance from his professional 
Institution when he is attacked. The example of the Johannesburg 
engines aptly illustrates this point, but there are many instances of far 
less importance where the courts have held the engineer responsible. 
I remember a case in which, under exceptional circumstances, an iron 
staircase collapsed, and the engineer was held liable for the faulty design 
or material of the brackets that supported it. 

The fact is that, as the years pass, even at home, each one of us becomes 
more and more dependent upon the skill, knowledge, and good faith of the 
engineer. Three simple examples will illustrate this point. 

(i) Gas authorities all over the country are at present actively pushing 
the use of the gas-cooker on which the engineer has provided an outlet 
for a flue connection. Even where stoves are installed by a municipal 
authority, it is rare to find this outlet connected to a chimney or flue. 
Consequently, all the products of combustion and cooking pour into the 
room until the air of a small kitchen becomes foul, and acid-laden moisture 
runs down the walls. In this instance it is usually the commercial man 
who is to blame. The engineer is not allowed to control what is obviously 
an engineering matter. 

(ii) Coke is sent to many houses for central heating, etc. It is often 
delivered with 20 per cent, of water in it. Suppose that the price of coke 
is 305. per ton. Then for every twenty tons of coke ordered, the sales- 
man delivers sixteen tons of coke and four of water. Dirty water at 
305. per ton is dear. It is said that the water is due to the quenching 
of the coke as it leaves the retorts, and therefore the engineer is to blame. 
That, of course, is no excuse. The engineer would be quite willing to 
dry the coke, or alternatively, to declare the moisture content, so that a 


proper allowance could be made. This, however, would not suit the 
salesman, and so we have a new form of an old rhyme : — 

' Little drops of water in a bag of coke 
Fill the gas-works coffers. Good then ; let it soak ! ' 

The engineer, moreover, knows that this is not the end of the mischief. 
He is aware that part of the heat of the coke must be used in evaporating 
the water bought at 30.V. per ton. 

(iii) I lately had an electric kettle installed. I insisted that it should 
have a three-pin plug and be properly earthed. The contractor carried 
out my instructions, but told me that he was constantly putting in such 
apparatus yet never took this precaution unless the householder insisted. 
This is an instance where the Institution is quite definite in its rules, but is 
without the power to enforce them. I need not remind members of this 
Association of the unfortunate deaths due to such neglect. 

It may be objected that this contrast is unfair, since the responsibility of 
the engineer is far less than that of the doctor. But is it so ? Three- 
quarters of a doctor's daily work consists in visiting and prescribing for 
routine cases, where nothing more than ' pidv rhei et sac alb ' or their 
equivalents are needed. When serious matters arise, the modern practi- 
tioner often sends his patient to the specialist. The responsibility of the 
engineer even in so simple a thing as house-wiring is far greater ; and when 
such matters as the design of high-speed machinery, the brakes and steering 
gear of a motor-car, or the stability of a structure are considered, there is 
no comparison at all. Where the doctor's neglect kills one man, the 
engineer's mistake may kill 100. But the doctor can bury his accident 
behind a death-certificate which he himself issues, while the engineer 
must submit to a public legal inquiry. The loss of prestige attaching to 
faulty design or workmanship after such an inquiry, constantly urges the 
engineer towards greater and greater care, and this in the last resort is the 
safeguard upon which the nation relies. Such a liability will serve as 
the best antidote to an abuse of privilege, but it can only be justified as the 
concomitant of recognised status. The engineer now has the liability 
without the status. The doctor or barrister has fairly acquired the status ; 
but the organisation to which he belongs tends, as I think unwisely, to 
shield him from the healthy breeze of liability. 

Remuneration of the Engineer. 

As regards remuneration, the contrast between the engineer and the 
members of other professions is equally striking. A medical man just 
qualified is admitted to His Majesty's forces at a salary of £387 per 
annum for a period of five years, and if he then leaves the service he 
receives a gratuity of £1,000. Thus at the age of say 26, he is regarded 
as being worth nearly £600 per annum. If the same man accepts work 
as a 'locum,' he will demand as a minimum £10. 10s. per week, with 
free accommodation and the use of a motor-car. It is not difficult for a 
youngster who is not too scrupulous to reach an income of £1,000 


per annum by means of panel work within three years of putting up 
his plate. 

The corresponding pay of an engineer at the end of his training is 
£200 per annum, and after a further three years he is lucky if he 
reaches £400. I have known engineers responsible for the design of 
high-speed turbo-generators whose remuneration never exceeded £750 
per annum. 

It is appropriate here to point out that the high pay of the young 
doctor has a reaction upon the progress of medical research. Every 
university has a certain number of post-graduate scholarships to offer of 
about £100 per annum. An engineer will willingly accept one of these 
for the sake of training in research, though it often entails a considerable 
sacrifice. As a rule, the medical student will not consider them at all. 
He asks for £250 to £350 per annum if he is to take up research, and 
for such scholarships no funds are available. Consequently, the output 
of original work from the medical schools is small compared with other 
branches of pure and applied science. 

Charges against the Engineer. 

The conclusions to be drawn from this analysis will be mentioned later. 
It is necessary to point out that, besides the responsible work which he 
undertakes and the legal liabilities to which he is exposed, the engineer is 
called upon to answer certain charges laid against him by the preacher and 
the press. The first is that he is equally willing to lend himself to works 
of utility and to works of death and destruction. Remember, however, his 
dual role. Pure science has nothing to do with ethics ; she recognises no 
moral obligations whatsoever. The same explosive that releases coal 
underground can also kill men in battle. The telephone is useful alike 
in the home and in the front line trenches. The same bacteria may be 
beneficial in one case, harmful in another. The same principles that 
bring the stars within our ken also control the range-finder. There is no 
scientific apparatus that cannot be misapplied ; and to every advantage 
there is a corresponding drawback. The ear that relishes music is the 
more sensitive to discordant noise. Not until beauty is seen to be beautiful 
can ugliness be defined. To the extent that the engineer is a scientist, 
the use to which his discoveries shall be put does not concern him. But, 
it will be urged, the engineer on the human and commercial side designs 
and makes armaments for profit. And if he does, shall he not be credited 
with at least as much honesty of purpose as the politician who de- 
clares war and orders the guns ? May he not be persuaded, profits 
apart, like the Archbishop of York, that 'the great war was a thousand 
times worth while ' ? These are matters that have nothing to do with 
engineering per se, but with Man — the embodiment of creed and con- 
science. The engineer is in such matters exactly on a par with the rest of 

Again, the engineer is charged with some responsibility for the existing 


economic chaos. ' There should be a moratorium as regards scientific 
research and development,' said one preacher to the British Association. 
' The world would have been a better place if the internal combustion 
engine had not been invented,' said another. ' If it were not for the 
immense increase of automatic machines and of labour-saving devices, 
we should not have the problem of unemployment,' says the press. True 
enough, we should not. But the invention of a machine does not compel 
the use thereof. Let him who holds these views, return home, smash his 
lawn-mower and his wife's sewing-machine, and engage gardeners to cut 
the grass with shears, and seamstresses to hem by hand the household 
sheets. To rid the world of machines needs a change of attitude towards 
occupation, a love of monotonous work for its own sake, a real desire for 
real work and not merely for the reward thereof. Que messieurs les 
assassins commencent ! 

Yet another view was often urged during the period of blackest 
depression, and still is sometimes heard : ' If our inventors were more 
fertile and our engineers more enterprising,' it is said, ' they could introduce 
new industries in the distressed areas.' But the man who writes thus 
can have little knowledge of the real facts. It is not merely that the 
Englishman is essentially cautious and conservative, nor that the inventor 
is unduly optimistic — though these things are true enough. The whole 
legal system in this country is framed in such a way as to thwart the 
inventor who would create a new industry. Generally, the only way to 
proceed is by taking out a patent. This is of no use unless pirates can be 
restrained. To defend a patent, or to attack an alleged infringement, 
involves incredible legal expense ; and large firms, knowing this, will 
unblushingly copy an invention, relying on the inability of the patentee to 
finance an attack. The Patent Office, having granted the letters patent, 
takes no further interest. Let me give an illustration of the course of a 
patent action from my own experience. ' A ' sued ' B ' for infringement. 
Each party immediately promised to indemnify his users against a demand 
for royalties if he lost. In the first court, after three weeks' hearing, ' A ' 
lost. The case went to appeal and ' B ' lost. ' A's Counsel, coming 
from court after the appeal, happened to meet the judge of the former trial. 
The judge asked how the appeal had gone. ' Your judgment was 
reversed, my Lord,' was the reply. ' Ah,' said the judge, ' I thought it 
might be ; I could hardly understand a word about it ! ' ' B ' could not 
afford to carry the case to the Lords and, in fact, went bankrupt, so that his 
users received no protection from the indemnity. The case cost in all 
£30,000 ; more than half of which was incurred in trying to get a decision 
before a judge who admitted that he could not understand the technicalities. 
The costs were swollen by Counsel, who pressed for Juniors and introduced 
side-issues, which, I thought, lengthened the hearing unnecessarily, and 
thus entailed too many ' refreshers.' There is no hope for the patentee 
in this country under such a clumsy, ineffective system ; but to change it 
will be difficult. It will be necessary to break through the resistance of a 
thoroughly case-hardened Bar, and engineers know what that means. I 
believe that this Association is the only body with the necessary prestige 


and influence to produce the desired effect. I hope that this Section 
will urge the Council to take steps to bring about a reform that is so long 

In France, thanks largely to Napoleon's short way with legal privilege, 
the case given above, with an appeal, cost less than one- tenth of the hearing 
in the English courts. There, to the best of my recollection, the system 
is as follows. The courts sits to determine if there is a case. Having 
decided in the affirmative, three technical experts are appointed, one by 
each litigant and one by the judge. These three have access to all 
apparatus, experiments and documents. Each presents an independent 
report to the judge, and on these the issue is decided. 

As a further example of these ills, I remember an opinion being sought 
upon a point of patent law. The barrister did not answer for three weeks 
and the matter became urgent. A director of the firm who had sent the 
inquiry, met the barrister by chance near Lincoln's Inn and reminded him 
of the case. Counsel said ' Let's see ; what was it about ? Have you 
the papers here ? ' The director produced a copy of the letter. The 
man of law, standing on the pavement, scanned the document hastily and 
said ' I should say " No," ' and hurried away. Next week the firm 
received a bill for forty guineas for this ' opinion.' No legal redress 
seemed possible ; for the directors were told by their solicitor that if 
they refused payment, no barrister would in future act for them. 

But it is. not only in the law-courts that invention is penalised. In 
Government Departments and in some large firms the decision to adopt. or 
to reject a new idea (as well as the reward to the inventor) is too often in 
the hands of men whose opinion on the subject is worth nothing : financiers, 
accountants, lawyers and men with no scientific training. Many firms 
expect all new ideas to emanate from their own staff. If advised by their 
technical men to take up a particular invention, they will almost invariably 
reply ' Can't you get round it ? ' — which is an incitement to dishonesty 
difficult to withstand, but made easier to accomplish by the legal system 
already described. As an example of Government Departments, the 
Board of Admiralty at once comes to mind. This body has many 
technical matters to decide ; yet it is entirely composed of admirals and ' 
politicians, an arrangement which, at the time that Board was formed, was 
no doubt sound ; but is it not now an anachronism ? 

Attitude of the Engineer towards the Nation. 

Having thus roughly observed the attitude of the nation towards the 
engineer, we may cross the road and look at the matter from the other side. 
Here I know that I am on difficult ground ; for the engineering depart- 
ments of universities are much beholden to their colleagues in industry 
and gratefully acknowledge the many courtesies and great help which they 
receive so often. At the same time, I know my professional brethren too 
well to think that they will resent comments born of experience, especially 
when my sole object is to obtain for the engineer that recognition of which 
he is at present deprived. The question at issue is that of professional 


conduct ; and it is made all the more difficult by the commercial conditions 
from which the engineer cannot altogether escape. Curiously enough, 
this ' honourable behaviour,' ' scale of values,' call it what you will, seems 
to be an attribute of the round soul of the man and almost independent of 
home influence or educational environment. Things ' not done ' when 
wearing the old school tie, seem to be regarded as permissible in after life. 
Consider the following instances : 

A man, whom I will call Smith, was brought up in a wealthy and cultured 
home, sent to a renowned public school and then took his degree in the 
Mechanical Sciences Tripos at Cambridge. He next entered the large 
engineering business created by his father, where he soon became 
managing director. A contract for a building and equipment in which the 
local town council was financially interested was to be placed, and it was 
known that there were only three firms in the country, ' A,' ' B,' and ' C,' 
who could supply the machines required. Of these ' A ' was controlled 
by Smith, ' B ' was equally capable and controlled by a friend of Smith's, 
and ' C ' was of minor importance. It was agreed between Smith and 
his friend that each should include in his tender a sum of £1 ,000 to be paid 
by the winner to the loser. Firm ' A ' obtained the order, and the private 
account of Smith was credited by his firm with £1,000, that he might 
send his private cheque to his friend, who presumably paid a like amount 
into the account of ' B.' As an ironical corollary, Smith later became 
mayor of the very town whose contract had been tampered with in this 

It may be argued that co-operation of this kind to repay a firm for the 
cost of getting out an unsuccessful tender is justifiable. I should agree if 
it were done openly and recognised. But the very secrecy surrounding 
the cheque suggests in this instance that both Smith and his friend were 
really ashamed of the transaction. 

My second example concerns an engineer of similar standing who had 
secured a large order for a complete plant. His customer asked him to 
advise on the selection of engines and boilers. He agreed to act as 
consulting engineer for a fee of 5 per cent, on the cost of the power plant. 
When the tenders came in, however, he passed over the best offer in favour 
of a maker who would reserve for him a further 5 per cent. This 
commission was not, of course, divulged to the purchaser. Subsequently, 
this same man took a similar secret commission on a building in South 
America, and the invoices for the machinery were falsified to avoid 
customs dues. 

Another form of temptation which assails the engineer because of the 
dual nature of his work is illustrated by the following example : 

A firm of engineers whose directors had learnt the value of scientific 
investigation through their university training, embarked upon a series of 
tests. The object was to find out whether the machines that they made 
were capable of a greater output without an inordinate increase of power. 
It was proved conclusively that by increasing the speed about 20 per cent, 
the output went up proportionately, while the power was only raised by 
about 5 per cent. Further tests showed that there was in each case a 


' most efficient speed,' which was considerably higher than that recom- 
mended in their catalogue. Those results have never been, and I suppose 
never will be, published. The catalogue speeds have not been changed. 
For it was evident that, if the customers once realised the facts, no 
extensions of their works would be needed for some time. 

In none of these examples were the engineers in need of money. In 
the first two, the standard of values that should have been absorbed at 
home, school, and college was abandoned for an increase of income that 
was trifling. In the third case, the university had inculcated a spirit of 
scientific inquiry, but the firm would not sacrifice private profit to the 
advancement of science. In all three cases, the serious consequence is 
that once a man slips so far, he is ripe to take his part in questionable 
collective action. A small blot on a single page may soak through the 
leaves of a large volume. 

Engineering Associations. 

It is an aphorism of political life that trusts and combines grow well in 
the shelter of tariff walls, and the protection afforded to various sections 
of the Engineering industry by the war and since 191 8 has certainly 
confirmed this dictum. Cement, tubes, steel, cables, instruments, 
electric lamps and, to some extent, electric motors, are now controlled by 
Associations of manufacturers, of which probably the Cable Makers' 
Association and the Electric Lamp Manufacturers' Association are the 
most powerful. The purchaser may not now buy where he likes, nor is 
there any competition to regulate prices automatically. The individual 
firms have little control over prices, and I have known instances where 
goods ordered from one firm have been supplied by another without the 
courtesy of a reference to the purchaser's wishes. 

The avowed object of these Associations is to standardise and to maintain 
the quality of the goods, and to eliminate unnecessary duplication of 
administrative work, wasteful tendering and unfair price-cutting. It is 
asserted that such co-operation must benefit the buyer by reducing over- 
head charges, thus enabling the maker to supply as good an article at a 
lower price, with a fair margin for research, for development, and for 

It may be argued that such organisations are the work of financiers and 
commercial men, and have nothing to do with engineering. But that is 
not always true ; for in some instances engineers are largely responsible 
both for their formation and management ; and where it is true, the 
engineer suffers from their mistakes. The subject also has a special 
interest for this Association, since in his Presidential Address to Section G 
at York, Professor Miles Walker insisted that a cure for the present 
economic chaos could be found in a world governed by engineers. The 
Associations are a test of that theory. 

It will be agreed that the objects in view (as expressed above) are both 
laudable and logical, but it is fair to ask whether those objects are in fact 
achieved without detriment to the community as a whole. In two 



instances at least (viz. cables and lamps), the Associations have thoroughly 
established and well maintained the quality of their wares, and the trading 
profit has been such as to enable the makers to spend very large sums upon 
development and research, and to support generously such undertakings 
as the Electrical Research Association. That the profits are at least 
adequate is shown not only by the large sums placed to reserve, but also 
by the declared dividends and the market price of the shares. This is 
illustrated by the following table relating to four leading cable companies. 
The prices are for July 1936. 



Last Dividend 

Market Price 
of Share 


Ordinary £1 

15 per cent, 
excluding bonus 

£5 v- (> d - 


do. do. 

15 per cent. 

£i 2s. 6d. 


do. do. 

15 per cent, 
excluding bonus 

£7 7*- 6^- 


do. do. 

25 per cent. 

£5 5 s - od - 

From these results, it might be argued that the Association had achieved 
rather more than its object in one direction, and had not yet begun to 
pass on the benefit to the buyer. This view is emphasised by the fact 
that most electrical firms ardently support the Electrical Development 
Association, whose aim is the furtherance of every application of electricity. 
It is clearly difficult to strike a balance between the desire to achieve those 
ends and the opportunity to benefit by the elimination of competition and 
the helplessness of the buyer, who has no remedy but by a question in the 
House of Commons. 

There is, however, another side to the activities of some of these 
Associations, which from the national point of view is perhaps more 
disquieting. I mean the discrimination against the home market in 
favour of the foreigner. In some instances, it is theoretically possible 
for an agent abroad to import British goods, re-export them to Britain and 
sell them there at a good profit against similar goods that have not made 
the double journey. I heard of an Egyptian who played this cunning 
game until his supplies were stopped. What offence has the poor Briton 
committed that he should be so heavily penalised by his compatriots ? 
Heaven forbid that I should do anything to fan the flame of economic 
nationalism, but it does seem reasonable to ask that an Englishman at 
home should be allowed to buy from an English firm at as low a price as a 
foreigner abroad. Do not manufacturers always owe something to the 
country in which their industry is carried on, and will they not in return 
resist the temptation to squeeze the inhabitants of the very state which, 
by its protective tariffs, has rendered their monopoly possible ? 


It is certain that no trade combine can continue to operate unchecked 
in England, unless informed with a spirit of reasonableness that is self- 
commending. There is nothing that the Englishman hates more than 
misused private power. He would not have it from King, Barons or 
Church ; and if he once believes that he is being driven by a trade 
organisation, he will insist either upon state interference or a democratic 
constitution for the offending body. The only tyranny to which he will 
submit is one that is self-imposed, because he thinks that it can be ended 
when he pleases. It is certainly desirable that those who direct the 
activities of trade associations should be well acquainted with ' 1066 and 
all that.' 

It would be very unjust if any of these comments were regarded as 
applicable to the Electrical Research Association. That body only 
concerns itself with large scale investigations of electrical engineering 
problems. It has nothing to do with sales or prices. It has carried out, 
and honestly published, a vast amount of original work at a great cost to 
the industry and a very small cost to the nation. The ' Buried Cables ' 
Report alone has saved the nation literally thousands of pounds, and Eng- 
land is exceedingly fortunate in having a voluntary body working so con- 
sistently in the public interest. It is a strange psychological phenomenon 
that some of those engineers who loyally aid this beneficent organisation 
are also among the supporters of Trade Associations pursuing a different 


This brief investigation of the relations between the engineer and the 
nation points to the necessity for certain reforms. Of these, the first is 
the provision of some body with statutory powers to define the qualifica- 
tions and status of those who may use the title Civil Engineer, Mechanical 
Engineer, Electrical Engineer, etc., to prevent unqualified persons from 
jeopardising life and to check unprofessional conduct. At present, the 
three great Institutions try to fulfil that role, and the Institution of Consult- 
ing Engineers has also done its best. But as none of these bodies has 
statutory powers, the rules that they frame cannot be enforced. The late 
Professor S. P. Thompson told me that when he was President of the 
Institution of Electrical Engineers, he found it his duty to call the attention 
of a certain member to flagrant breaches of the professional code. The 
member did not reply but continued his naughty conduct. Dr. Thompson 
then tried to make his protest libellous by repeating the charges on a post- 
card. To this he received the following answer : — ■ ' Dear Prof. Thomp- 
son, I think it is now time that this correspondence ceased. Yours, 
etc. . . .' In the face of such bravado, what can one do ? The answer 
is that, by means of an organisation that has grown up in one generation, 
the medical fraternity has progressively improved the standard of qualifica- 
tion, and has earned the nation's gratitude by getting rid of humbugs, 
charlatans and quacks. The engineer asks for a similar recognition and a 
like opportunity. But the medical profession and the Bar have also 


achieved a measure of immunity from liability for which the engineer 
does not ask ; believing that therein temptation may be lurking amid the 
slime of self-interest. 

The second reform is the proper representation of science upon all 
governing bodies in industry, and upon all technical departments in the 
state. Here I think this Association can do the nation a service by passing 
a resolution asking for more adequate representation on the Board of 
Admiralty and similar state bodies. I should like to see a small Com- 
mittee of this Section appointed at this meeting to explore the matter 

A third reform, dependent to some extent upon the first and second, is 
some machinery which in technical matters will prevent the engineer 
from being over-ruled by the commercial man. This is a very difficult 
subject ; but at least a beginning could be made with government and 
municipal undertakings, where the evil is very pronounced. The three 
examples on pp. 144-145 illustrate this point exactly. It is not right that 
the citizen should run risks of life or health to save trouble or expense to a 
trading department. The county and borough councils have the remedy 
in their own hands. On engineering questions the engineer should 
always have the last word. 

The fourth reform is a drastic alteration of the patent procedure in the 
law courts. Here, again, I think this Association should help by recognis- 
ing the existence of this evil and recommending that a Royal Commission 
be appointed to investigate the subject at once. 

The fifth reform concerns the Trade Associations and can only take the 
shape of a suggestion. To obviate unpleasant suspicions, and to enable 
these bodies still to carry on that part of their work which is so beneficial 
to the nation, I would most strongly advise them to make their Councils 
fully representative of all the three interests, viz. : makers, contractors, 
and buyers. I think that if they fail to do this, they will slide by degrees 
into a slough of self-interest, until questions in the House of Commons, 
or the advent of a Socialist Government, leads to state interference with 
their organisations. 

Finally, there is the question of the general professional code of the 
engineer, as illustrated in the examples on pp. 146 and 147. Everything 
possible under existing conditions had been done to give those sinners a 
high code of honour, and yet they failed to respond. The only conclusion 
possible is that the existing conditions of training are lacking in some 
essential factor. The modern curriculum both in school and university 
has become so crowded, the teaching so vocational, and the objects so 
material, that a real perspective of life is impossible. Youths and maidens 
sail away from the university with excellent intellectual training, but with 
no sheet anchor to which they can trust in distress. This is true of every 
faculty : of arts as well as of science and medicine. The result is that 
when they meet a strong current of self-interest, they drift helplessly, 
and we see them exhibiting that unsocial behaviour of which I have 
given so many instances. The remedy lies in the hands of parents and 
of those who control educational institutions : it is urgent and of national 


importance. I commend its consideration to the Board of Education, 
the Committee of Vice-Chancellors, and to the members of Section L. 
British engineers have, in the past, earned a great reputation for reliability 
and straight-dealing. This is a national asset of real value ; which can 
only be maintained if, as in our national games, we continually place 
integrity before personal advantage. 






The last twelve years have seen a new impetus given to prehistoric studies 
by the multiplication of researches outside Europe. Excavations in 
Africa, the Near East, Asiatic Russia and China have opened up a new 
field for speculation, and at the same time have revealed the unsuspected 
complexity of many problems which to De Mortillet and other pioneers 
seemed relatively simple. Gone for ever is the straightforward succession 
of Palaeolithic cultures from Chellian to Magdalenian as laid down in 
the Musee Prehistorique. Even as early as 1912, when Breuil produced 
his classic paper on the subdivisions of the Upper Palaeolithic its foundations 
were sapped, and the discoveries of the last decade have merely completed 
its demolition as a system of world-wide application. 

I need not insist that De Mortillet's scheme, as corrected by Breuil, 
who first pointed out the true position of the Aurignacian in western 
Europe, was the best that could be devised given the very incomplete 
information, relating to a very limited area, possessed by workers at 
that date. The fault of De Mortillet's disciples lay in their canonisation 
of a system which could only be applied locally, and which in any case 
contained enormous gaps. The attempt to bring into this framework the 
first discoveries made outside Europe inevitably led in many cases to 
forcing of the evidence, and it was not until the old orthodoxy had been 
dethroned that the new material could be made to give its full measure. 

In the old system the Palaeolithic cultures appeared as a straightforward 
succession with clear-cut horizontal divisions, as in a diagrammatic 
geological section. For the Fathers of Prehistory these cultures developed 
logically one from the other in an orderly upward movement, and it was 
assumed that they represented world-wide stages in the history of human 
progress. To-day prehistory has suffered the fate of so many of the 
component parts of the orderly Universe of the nineteenth century. 
New knowledge has given a twist to the kaleidoscope, and the pieces are 
still falling about before our bewildered eyes. The main outline of the 
new pattern is, however, already beginning to appear. We can distin- 
guish in the Old Stone Age three cultural elements of primary importance. 
These are manifested in the so-called hand-axe industries, flake industries 
and blade industries, and we know that the first two, at any rate, run side 


by side as far back as we can see, and we are beginning to realise that 
the origins of the third may have to be sought much farther back than we 
had suspected. Only a moment of reflection is needed to see that we 
have here the old divisions of Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, 
but with a new axis. The diagram has been manipulated like one of those 
patterns which oculists twirl before the eyes of astigmatic patients, so 
that not only have the horizontal lines become vertical, but, as to the 
astigmatic eye, the divisions which were formerly so clearcut are now 
blurred. I want to insist on this blurring, because in the ardour of 
conversion some prehistorians are tending to make the new vertical 
divisions as rigid as the old horizontal ones. In fact these culture-streams 
do not run parallel and independent ; such a view of human history would 
be absurdly artificial. They are perpetually meeting and influencing 
each other, and sometimes they merge to produce a new facies. 

In the creation of this new outlook (as in so much else) it would be 
difficult to overestimate our debt to the Abbe Breuil. I think it is true 
to say that he was the first prehistorian to develop a genuine world- 
outlook, and his investigation and correlation of a mass of evidence from 
widely-separated areas has led directly to that change of axis which 
to-day we are beginning to take for granted. 

In the attempt to present in an intelligible form our new vision of man's 
earliest history we are hampered by a vocabulary which is out of date. 
In his monumental Weltgeschichte der Steinzeit Menghin has recently 
attempted to produce a terminology which will meet the situation, but 
although this remarkable book contains ideas which are interesting and 
utilisable, it is open to criticism on several grounds. Instead of using 
the general division into hand-axe, flake and blade cultures which un- 
doubtedly gives the best results when we are dealing with the Old Stone 
Age, Menghin treats flake and blade cultures as one, and creates a third 
class for bone cultures. That his framework is in fact artificial and far 
too rigid is proved by the fact that it leads him into a number of contra- 
dictions, as when he classifies Predmost as a hand-axe culture on account 
of the presence of primitive Solutrian types, and then is obliged to bring 
the pure blade culture of Mezin into the hand-axe class because its art is 
so clearly related to that of Predmost. He fails also in dealing with one 
of the chief difficulties of the old system, which is that the terms Lower, 
Middle and Upper Palaeolithic are used at the same time in a chronological 
and a typological sense. At the time when the system was created this 
was quite logical, but it cannot be made to work to-day. Nevertheless 
we seem unable at the moment to get free from this entanglement, and 
nine prehistorians out of ten continue to use these terms as more or less 
synonymous . with hand-axe, flake and blade industries respectively. 
Menghin attempts to meet this by re-baptising the Lower and Middle 
Palaeolithic as Protolithic, and the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic as 
Miolithic, and assigning to each its own groups of hand-axe, flake and bone 
cultures, but he thereby perpetuates the idea of a discontinuity between 
the Protolithic and Miolithic, an idea which we are coming more and 
more clearly to see is contradicted by the evidence. Moreover, by using 
the terms Epiprotolithic and Epimiolithic for industries which are of 


Protolithic and Miolithic type respectively, but later in time, he betrays 
that he has not freed these terms of typological significance. The time 
has come when the labels Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic should 
be used exclusively in a chronological sense, without any typological 
connotation whatsoever, to cover approximately the periods from the 
beginning of the Pleistocene to the end of the Riss Glacial, from the end 
of the Riss to the middle of the Wurm, and from the middle of the Wiirm 
to the close of the Pleistocene respectively. For purposes of typological 
classification the three main groups of hand-axe, flake and blade cultures 
are essential, but should not be made too rigid, and it will be necessary 
to multiply names derived from type-stations to denote the many variations 
found within these groups. Here again, however, a warning seems to 
be needed, for there is a tendency to-day unnecessarily to create distinct 
labels for industries which are essentially the same, though found in 
widely separated areas, and this practice tends to obscure those migrations 
of culture over wide areas which it should be our major interest to trace 
and interpret. 

These general considerations are necessary to clear the ground for 
the subject with which I am going to deal — those cultures whose appearance 
in Europe towards the close of the Pleistocene marks the extinction of 
Neanderthal man and the arrival of Homo sapiens. In the main these 
are essentially blade cultures, though in certain areas industries of 
Mousterian tradition lingered on into Upper Palaeolithic times. Now it 
is clear that these blade cultures must have passed through the early 
stages of their development somewhere outside Europe, during Middle 
or even Lower Palaeolithic times, but we have at present only the faintest 
clues as to how and where that development took place. In dealing with 
them we are therefore in fact dealing mainly with that period which 
we have defined as Upper Palaeolithic, but we should bear clearly in 
mind that this limitation is due only to a limitation of our knowledge, 
and should guard against falling into the error of applying the term 
Upper Palaeolithic to the industries themselves. 

Before showing how recent discovery has modified and enlarged our 
views on this subject it will be necessary to give an outline of the situation 
as it stood roughly twelve years ago. In western Europe, at any rate, 
the succession of blade cultures was pretty clear. We had the Lower 
Aurignacian with its curved points, the Audi stage followed by the 
Chatelperron stage ; the various levels of the Middle Aurignacian, with 
keeled and nose-scrapers and notched blades ; the Upper Aurignacian, 
subdivided into the Gravette and Font-Robert stages ; the Lower, 
Middle and Upper Solutrian ; and finally the six stages of the Magdalenian. 
Outside Europe the only blade industry which had been studied at all 
seriously was the Capsian of North Africa, and this was regarded as the 
parent of the Aurignacian, the generally accepted view being that the 
Lower and Upper Aurignacian represented successive Capsian invasions 
of Europe, while the Middle Aurignacian developed in situ at a time when 
contact with Africa was temporarily broken. The Solutrian was recog- 
nised as an intrusion from central Europe, the special form which it 
assumed in the West being due to contact with the Upper Aurignacian 


already in possession. Finally, the Magdalenian was regarded as a highly 
specialised local development of the Aurignacian, though the possibility 
of Eastern influence was not excluded. 

It was recognised that central and eastern Europe presented certain 
peculiarities. In particular the Upper Aurignacian of Moravia, as 
represented in the great loess station of Predmost, contained a remarkable 
range of objects made of bone and mammoth ivory, ornamented with 
geometric designs of a type unknown in the West. A Solutrian of a 
primitive kind, unmixed with Aurignacian forms, had been found in the 
caves of Hungary, and it seemed clear that this was the centre of dispersion 
from which this culture had spread on the one hand into France, and on 
the other into Poland, where it underwent less change than in the West. 
A Magdalenian corresponding roughly to the Magdalenian III and IV 
of France was somewhat sparsely distributed in central Europe, and 
reached even into south-west Poland, while the final stages of the 
Palaeolithic appeared to be represented both in Moravia and Poland by 
the industry of Font- Robert tradition which has since been named 
Swiderian, and which continues into the Mesolithic. 

Of the Palaeolithic of Russia very little was known, but that little 
suggested that it would prove to be of great importance. An industry 
of Upper Aurignacian type with objects in bone and ivory resembling 
those of Predmost had been found at Mezin in the Ukraine ; at Kostenki, 
on the middle reaches of the Don, a similar station, further characterised 
by shouldered flint points identical with those of Willendorf and Predmost, 
had yielded a female statuette carved in mammoth ivory. Much farther 
to the east, in southern Siberia, G. von Merhart had excavated a number 
of stations on the upper reaches of the Yenisei, and had found a rather 
puzzling industry in which stone implements of both Mousterian and 
Aurignacian types were associated with objects of bone and ivory, such 
as points or awls with longitudinal grooves and a single specimen of a 
pierced baton of reindeer antler. The fauna of these stations included 
rare specimens of mammoth and woolly rhinoceros, and Merhart considered 
that they should be placed at the end of the Pleistocene. Still farther 
east, at the Verscholensk Mountain near Irkutsk, B. E. Petri had excavated 
a site containing a stone industry with the same mixed characters as that 
of the Yenisei, associated with double-edged harpoons of reindeer antler, 
apparently rather of Azilian than of Magdalenian type. Mammoth and 
woolly rhinoceros were absent from the fauna, so this station was pre- 
sumably later than those excavated by Merhart, and might even be of 
Mesolithic age. These Siberian industries, judging from the very 
inadequate accounts available, could not easily be fitted into the general 
framework of Eurasiatic prehistory, but they were generally referred to 
as an Oriental facies of the Magdalenian, with the implication that they 
were in some way related to the Magdalenian of the West. 

To what extent has this general picture been modified by recent 
discoveries within and outside Europe ? To begin with, it has become 
very much more complicated ; in particular it is now recognised how 
large a number of diverse strains have hitherto been grouped together 
under the single heading Aurignacian. Furthermore, we have to revise 


our views about the possible centre or centres of dispersion of the blade 
industries, and to envisage the possibility that they had already developed 
their main characteristics at a surprisingly early date. 

I propose to consider one by one the regions which have yielded 
significant evidence in this matter, beginning with Europe. I cannot 
pretend to discuss every discovery of the last decade, but only to consider 
in a general way those which either throw fresh light on our problems, 
or introduce new and significant complications. 

I begin with Perigord, a classic region for prehistoric studies, which 
might be supposed to have yielded long ago all the information which 
it had to give. Here we have to do, not with any new and startling 
discovery, but with patient and meticulous observations made during 
many years by Peyrony. The result of these is to emphasise the close 
relationship, already noted by Breuil and others, between the Lower and 
Upper stages of the Aurignacian, in contrast with the intrusive character 
of the Middle stage. Moreover Peyrony has found at Laugerie Haute 
an industry of blunted-back blades, underlying the true La Gravette 
level, which he compares with the industry of Bos del Ser in the Correze, 
excavated by Canon Bouyssonie, and with the upper Chatelperron level of 
La Ferrassie. This he considers to be the stage of transition between 
the Lower and Upper Aurignacian, and he suggests that at Laugerie 
Haute it represents an occupation of the shelter contemporary with the 
classic Middle Aurignacian of the neighbouring site of Gorge d'Enfer. 
He concludes that in the Chatelperron-Bos del Ser-La Gravette succession 
we are dealing with a culture totally different from the so-called Middle 
Aurignacian, and, in the Vezere basin at least, completely uninfluenced 
by it, and he proposes to group all those industries characterised by the 
blunted-back blade under the title of Perigordian, reserving the old 
name of Aurignacian for the industry of Gorge d'Enfer, Cromagnon, 
etc., which is marked by keeled scrapers, nose-scrapers, beaked burins, 
and by the split-base bone point, or pointe d'Aurignac. 

This theory has been criticised by Breuil, who, while admitting the 
reality of the contrast between the Middle Aurignacian and the Chatel- 
perron- Gravette levels (a contrast which he himself had already 
emphasised) considers Peyrony's view of the complete independence of 
the two traditions in the Vezere basin as too absolute, and points out 
that there is no stratigraphical proof of the contemporaneity of the Gorge 
d'Enfer and the Bos del Ser level of Laugerie Haute. He emphasises, 
however, that the notion of a double element in the Aurignacian must 
not be lost sight of, and we shall see later that discoveries in the Near 
East underline this view. 

Quite recent work has thrown an unexpected light on the blade 
industries of the Iberian Peninsula. It has always been assumed that 
Spain was a purely Capsian province (with the exception, of course, of 
the Cantabric region, which showed the same succession as the French 
Pyrenees), but it is now clear that this view must be greatly modified. 
It had long been recognised that the wall paintings of the cave of La 
Pileta, in the province of Malaga, had close affinities with Franco- 
Cantabric art, but this isolated occurrence was regarded as a puzzling 


anomaly. Quite recently, however, Senor Cabre has discovered re- 
markable parietal engravings in pure Aurignacian style in the caves of 
La Hoz and Las Casares, in the province of Guadalajara, not far from 
Madrid. Still more cogent proof that hunters from the north penetrated 
even into southern Spain is furnished by the excavations of Senor Pericot 
Garcia in the cave of Parpallo, in the province of Valencia. This site 
has yielded an apparently complete succession from Middle Solutrian to a 
Magdalenian corresponding more or less closely to the early Magdalenian 
of France. The Upper Solutrian, it is true, showed a great development 
of special forms, such as winged and tanged points, which seem to fore- 
shadow the Neolithic — a peculiarity for which we were already prepared 
by discoveries in Catalonia — but the industries of the other levels conform 
to the classic Franco-Cantabric types. Painted and engraved limestone 
plaques were abundant in the Upper Solutrian and Magdalenian layers, 
and Obermaier has pointed out that the style of these works has affinities 
with that of the East Spanish group of rock paintings. 

Obermaier still regards the Franco-Cantabric cultures as intrusive 
in the southern part of the Peninsula, and a re-examination of sites 
excavated by Siret in Almeria and Murcia, and of other stations of this 
region, leads him to suggest there is a parallel development from a more 
or less typical early Aurignacian to a rather poorly characterised late 
industry for which he proposes the name epi-Aurignacian. He points 
out that it is only in the final stages of this development that Capsian 
influences appear, an observation which agrees with the late dating for 
the Capsian now proposed by Vaufrey. This theory of a local culture 
running side by side with the Solutrian and Magdalenian is still not 
very securely based, but it does appear that something of the kind is 
needed to account for the East Spanish rock paintings, which, in spite 
of affinities with the art of Parpallo, have many distinctive features which 
mark them off from the Franco-Cantabric tradition. 

In text-books written before 1928 references to the Palaeolithic of 
Italy were very sketchy, and for the Upper Palaeolithic it was usual to 
cite only the Grimaldi caves in the extreme north-west and the cave of 
Romanelli near Otranto. Vaufrey has now made a careful study of the 
subject, and has shown that the Italian blade industries present a single 
facies corresponding in time with the whole period of the Aurignacian, 
Solutrian and Magdalenian in France. This culture, which is characterised 
by shouldered points of flint and by a multitude of notched blades, is 
closely related to the Upper Aurignacian of the loess stations of Lower 
Austria, of which Willendorf is the type. Vaufrey proposes for it a 
separate name, Grimaldian, and this has now been generally adopted. 
The late and impoverished facies of this culture which is found in 
Sicily is not altogether unlike the Oranian or Iberomaurusian of North 
Africa, but Vaufrey rejects the idea of a direct connection between 
the two. 

In Italy, then, as in Spain, we find in late Palaeolithic times a close 
relation with the regions lying immediately to the north, with a tendency 
to local variations due to an isolated geographical position. The third 
great peninsula of the northern Mediterranean, Greece, has so far yielded 


no Palaeolithic remains of any kind, but it is difficult to believe that none 
exist. If and when they are found, they will almost certainly prove to 
be related to the cultures of Central and Eastern Europe. 

If we now turn to the latter region, we find that in the last ten years 
nothing has been found to modify the general sequence already established 
for Upper Palaeolithic times, though some supplementary evidence has 
been gained. In Moravia, Absolon's excavations at Vistonice have 
brought to light an astonishing collection of works of art associated with 
an Upper Aurignacian of the type of Willendorf, characterised by tanged 
and shouldered points and Gravette points. The excavator apparently 
considers this industry to be older than that of Predmost, but an unfor- 
tunate delay in the scientific publication of his results makes it very 
difficult for other workers to appreciate the evidence on which this con- 
clusion is based. It would not appear, however, that the difference in 
time can be very great, since Predmost also yielded an industry of 
Willendorf type. The works of art from Vistonice include seven female 
statuettes and a number of animal figures modelled in a material which 
has been found on analysis to consist of bones ground to powder and 
baked or burnt, mixed with loess and worked into a plastic mass with 
water or fat — a new and rather surprising technique, unknown in any 
other age. 

In Rumania Breuil had noted in 1925 the presence of a rough laurel- 
leaf tool of Hungarian type in a collection from the neighbourhood of 
Brasov, in Transylvania — -an isolated find in a region which had otherwise 
yielded only an impoverished Middle Aurignacian. N. Morosan has 
now proved the existence, in stratified deposits in Moldavia and Bessarabia, 
of a Solutrean industry containing laurel-leaf tools of Hungarian type 
associated, as in western Europe, with Upper Aurignacian forms — a 
discovery which extends notably the area of distribution of the Solutrean. 

The Swiderian of Poland is now established as of early Mesolithic 
date, and as forming one of a group of tanged-point cultures which 
spread across northern Europe from Belgium to the Ukraine at the be- 
ginning of the pre-boreal period. These cultures, however, undoubtedly 
have their origin in the Palaeolithic, perhaps even in the final stage of the 
Aurignacian with its tanged and shouldered points. Schwantes and 
Rust have recently discovered near Hamburg an industry with tanged 
and shouldered points and reindeer antler harpoons which can be dated 
to the close of the Ice Age, and must therefore be in part contemporary 
with the final Magdalenian. In view of this discovery it is interesting 
to recall the reappearance of tanged and shouldered points in the 
Magdalenian VI of Perigord. The presence in Poland of a similar 
Palaeolithic precursor for the Swiderian has not been definitely estab- 
lished, but it is considered possible that the three stations of Mielnik 
represent an early stage of this culture. 

In Russia the last twelve years have been marked by discoveries of 
first-rate importance, associated with the names of Zamiatnin, Efimenko, 
Bontch-Osmolovski, Gerassimov and others. Up to the present, however, 
publication has admittedly not kept pace with discovery. The sites 
explored fall into four geographical groups ; the open-air stations of the 


South Russian plain, the caves of the Crimea, the caves of Transcaucasia, 
and the open-air stations of southern Siberia. 

In the South Russian plain it has been possible to work out a probable 
succession of blade industries, though this is not yet confirmed at all 
points by stratigraphical evidence. The earliest group includes sites 
contained in loess or loess-like deposits lying either on the middle terraces 
of rivers, or on the slope of ravines, all of which date from a time before 
the laying down of the lower terrace deposits. Typologically these 
stations fall into two divisions, the first characterised by an industry of 
Willendorf type with shouldered points, and the second by a rather 
generalised Upper Aurignacian, with small blunted-back blades, round 
scrapers and angle-burins. The first division, which Russian workers 
consider the earlier of the two, includes such important stations as 
Kostenki I, Gagarino and Borshevo I, all on the upper reaches of the 
Don, and Berdysh in the Dnieper basin. We have already seen that a 
female statuette in mammoth ivory was found in this level at Kostenki I, 
and to this may now be added seven figurines of the same type from 
Gagarino, one of which bears a very close resemblance to the Venus of 
Willendorf. Associated with these were a number of points, needles 
and pendants in bone and ivory. The identity of this culture with that 
of Willendorf, Vistonice and Grimaldi is fully recognised by Zamiatnin, 
Efimenko and other Russian workers. 

The second division includes Timonovka and Suponevo, on the Desna, 
and the well-known station of Mezin. Although the shouldered point 
is absent at this stage, the predominance of angle-burins and above' all 
the geometric decorations on mammoth ivory of Mezin and Timonovka 
provide a link with Predmost, while the highly conventionalised objects 
from Mezin interpreted by Breuil as female statuettes represent the last 
stage of degeneration from the more naturalistic figures of Kostenki and 

The next stage in the South Russian succession is represented by the 
stations of Kostenki II, III and IV, which have yielded a rather rough 
industry characterised by a very high proportion of polyhedric burins, 
associated with abundant remains of mammoth. I have not seen any 
drawings of this industry, but the description given by Efimenko suggests 
a possible analogy with the latest Aurignacian level in Palestine, to be 
described presently. 

The final stage of the Upper Palaeolithic sequence in South Russia 
is represented by the site of Borshevo II, which lies in the deposits of 
the lower terrace of the Don, and in part below the present level of the 
river. There are three culture layers, all of which contain an industry 
characterised by angle-burins, blunted-back blades and small round 
scrapers. The description and drawings given by Efimenko suggest 
that this has affinities with the level of Timonovka and Mezin, but the 
bone industry contains only simple points, awls and needles, without 
decoration. The lowest level of Borshevo II contained mammoth bones 
in abundance, but these became rarer in the middle stage and disappeared 
entirely in the most recent level, which Efimenko places at the beginning 
of the Mesolithic. The industry of this level, while remaining essentially 


the same as that of the lower horizons, shows a certain evolution towards 
the type of the so-called Azilio-Tardenoisian stations of the South 
Russian plain. The final stage of the Upper Palaeolithic represented 
in the lower level of Borshevo II is found also at Honey on the Udai 
river, and in the upper level of the site discovered in 1897 in the Saint 
Cyril Street at Kieff. 

It is noteworthy that no blade industry earlier than that of Kostenki I 
and Gagarino has yet been found in the South Russian plain, and that 
earlier Palaeolithic stages are represented so far by a single Mousterian 
station on the Derkul river. Efimenko suggests that the swampy con- 
ditions which prevailed in this region in the Lower and Middle Pleistocene 
were unfavourable to human settlement. Certainly there is no geological 
evidence to suggest that the stations of the Gagarino group are not 
approximately contemporary with similar sites in central and western 

In Southern Siberia, roughly two thousand miles to the east of the 
group of stations just described, Gerassimov has excavated a hut site at 
Malta, not far from Irkutsk. This contained a most remarkable series of 
objects in bone and ivory, including points, needles, rods and pendants, 
some of which are decorated with very small crescentic incisions giving 
the effect of punctuations. Twenty female statuettes carved in bone 
are more roughly made and, with few exceptions, less corpulent than 
those of Gagarino, but clearly belong to the same family. A group of 
curiously shaped objects supposed by the discoverer to represent 
birds are interpreted by Breuil as highly conventionalised human figures, 
but Gordon Childe insists that they are in fact birds. The lithic industry 
of Malta shows, in a lesser degree, the same mixture of Mousterian and 
Aurignacian forms as was found in the Yenisei stations and at the 
Vercholensk Mountain. The fauna, however, includes mammoth, woolly 
rhinoceros, musk ox and glutton, so the site is clearly older than the 
Vercholensk Mountain, and probably antidates the Yenisei stations also. 
The female statuettes form a link with the South Russian plain, but the 
bone objects as a whole have a very exotic look, and cannot at present 
be compared exactly with those from any other site. The mixture of 
Mousterian and Aurignacian forms in the stone industry is a feature 
which suggests possible connections with the Far East, since in 1924 
Father Licent and Father Teilhard de Chardin found an industry of 
similar mixed character in the loess along the course of the Shuitungkou 
river in northern China. This culture Father Teilhard dates as Upper 
Palaeolithic and himself compares it with the Yenisei finds. 

The Crimea, although it lies so near to the South Russian plain, appears 
to belong to a different industrial province, and its caves were inhabited 
from the final Acheulian onwards. In the cave of Syuren I Bontch- 
Osmolovski has discovered a blade-industry sequence which appears to 
correspond rather closely with that of Palestine. It begins with an early 
form of Middle Aurignacian in which rough keeled scrapers are associated 
with small, delicately retouched blades. This is followed by a classic- 
Middle Aurignacian, and the sequence closes with a not very typical 
Upper Aurignacian in which abundant polyhedric burins are associated 


with microlithic blunted-back blades and rare Gravette points. Bontch- 
Osmolovski considers that this sequence represents the earlier stages 
which are absent in the South Russian plain, and places the stations of 
Gagarino type immediately after the Upper Aurignacian of Syuren I. 
Gordon Childe, however, suggests that this relative dating, based on 
typology, may be misleading, and I am inclined to agree, on the ground 
of the resemblance of the Crimean sequence with that of Palestine, which 
is known to cover the whole of the Upper Palaeolithic. 

Not much is known so far of the blade-culture sequence in Trans- 
caucasia, but the description given by Zamiatnin of finds made up to the 
present suggests a general resemblance with the Crimea. This is what 
we should expect, since it is presumably by this route that the blade 
industries entered the peninsula. 

The next link in the chain is found in the Middle East. In 1928 
I was associated with a joint expedition of the American School of 
Prehistoric Research and the Sladen Memorial Fund to investigate the 
Palaeolithic of Southern Kurdistan. In the caves of the Sulaimani 
district we found a highly developed Aurignacian of Willendorf type, 
with Gravette points, shouldered points, small notched blades, and 
microlithic lunates and triangles — the last named, however, being con- 
fined to the top of the layer. At the time of publication of these finds 
information from Russia was very scanty, and I mentioned the Austrian 
loess stations and the Grimaldi caves as the nearest comparable sites. 
I now realise that the Kurdistan industry, though possibly later in time, 
should be linked with that of Kostenki I and Gagarino, only 600 miles 
away to the north. At the same time, the microlithic forms and small 
round scrapers resemble those from the cave of Gvardzhilas Klde in 
Transcaucasia, a site which must also date from the very end of the 

The next region which has been investigated at all seriously is Palestine, 
where the excavations of the Institut de Paleontologie Humaine under 
Neuville and Stekelis, and the Joint Expedition of the American School 
of Prehistoric Research and the British School of Archeology in Jerusalem 
have established more or less clearly the sequence of blade cultures. 
These begin with a lower Aurignacian whose most characteristic imple- 
ment is a triangular point with bulbar face flaking at the base, which 
occurs also sporadically in the Aterian of North Africa. Associated with 
this are blunted back blades, more or less of Chatelperron type, burins 
and end-scrapers. The industry as a whole, however, is more delicate 
and less primitive in appearance than that of the Chatelperron level in 
the West. It is followed by a Middle Aurignacian of primitive type 
with rough keeled scrapers and microlithic points, which appears to 
correspond with the earliest Upper Palaeolithic stage of the Crimea. 
Next comes, as in the Crimea, a rich industry of classic Middle Aurignacian 
type, with keeled scrapers, nose-scrapers and beaked burins. The 
bulk of the Aurignacian of Palestine can be referred to this stage, and it 
is clear that it must cover the whole of the period which in the West is 
occupied by the Middle and Upper Aurignacian and the Solutrean. 
The industry of Antelias and the Nahr el-Kelb, near Beirut, described 


by Zumoffen in the early years of the century, belong to this cycle, and 
Pittard has recently identified a similar facies in a rock shelter near 
Adi Yaman, in southern Anatolia. The closing stages of the Upper 
Palaeolithic in Palestine are represented by an industry in which steep 
scrapers and polyhedric burins predominate, in association with occasional 
Chatelperron points. This does not correspond very closely with any 
other blade industry so far known, but descriptions given by Efimenko 
and Bontch-Osmolovski suggest, as I have already pointed out, a possible 
analogy with a late stage of the Upper Palaeolithic in South Russia 
and with the final stage in the Crimea, though the Chatelperron point 
is apparently absent in those regions. Finally, it should be noted that, 
in contrast with the West, bone tools are excessively rare in the Aurignacian 
of Palestine, and so far no specimen of the split-base point has been found. 

When we pass into Egypt we enter a world which was apparently 
cut off from the main line of development in Upper Palaeolithic times, 
since blade industries proper are unknown before the appearance of 
the microlithic cultures which mark the close of the Pleistocene. Their 
place is taken by the Aterian, whose Upper Palaeolithic dating 
has been demonstrated by G. Caton Thompson and E. W. Gardner 
in the Kharga Oasis, and by a peculiarly Egyptian culture, the 
Sabylian of Vignard, an industry of diminutive Levallois cores and 
small truncated flakes which at its first appearance has Levalloiso- 
Mousterian affinities, but eventually leads up to a form of Tardenoisian. 
For Vignard, indeed, the Sabylian is the parent of all the microlithic 
industries which surrounded and spread out from the Mediterranean 
basin in Mesolithic times, but this extreme view is not generally accepted, 
and most prehistorians would give greater weight than he does to regional 
differences in this stage. 

I have said that until recently North Africa was regarded as the region 
from which successive Aurignacian invasions entered Europe. This 
part of the world still awaits systematic excavation, but Vaufrey's recent 
investigations have done much to discredit the old view, and it now 
seems more probable that in Little Africa the true blade cultures arrived 
late, their place in early Upper Palaeolithic times being taken, as in 
Upper Egypt, by an industry in which Mousterian tradition was strong — 
the Aterian, in which triangular points and racloirs are associated with 
burins and end-scrapers and a peculiar, characteristic tanged point. 
The true blade industries fall into two groups, the Capsian proper, which 
is now perceived to be an inland culture, with its centre in the region of 
Gafsa, and the Oranian, or Iberomaurusian, which occupies the coast-line, 
its present identified limits being, roughly, Tunis on the east and 
Casablanca on the west. 

Vaufrey has shown that the former division of the Capsian into a 
lower stage characterised by large angle-burins and curved points, and 
an upper stage in which microliths appear, is based on faulty methods 
of excavation. His own soundings in various sites have proved that 
microliths, and even micro-burins, occur already in the Lower Capsian, 
side by side with the larger tools. It therefore becomes impossible to 
correlate this stage with the Chatelperron level of Europe ; it must fall 


at the extreme end of the Upper Palaeolithic, if not in the Mesolithic, 
and the Upper Capsian must, by definition, be later still. The only 
alternative to this view is to suppose that the microlithic facies appeared 
in Africa much earlier than in Europe — a theory for which at present 
there is no evidence. 

The Oranian — I adopt the name suggested by Vaufrey, since it is now 
clear that the so-called Iberomaurusian does not occur in Spain — is a 
poor and monotonous industry. The bulk of its inventory consists of 
small blunted-back blades ; end-scrapers and burins are very rare. 
The typical nucleus, made from a small pebble, resembles the Sabylian 
core, and, as in the Sabylian, miniature Levallois cores sometimes occur. 
In the Oranian sites excavated by Arambourg at Afalou-bou-Rhummel, 
in the department of Constantine, no micro-burins were found, but 
Vaufrey records that geometric microliths and micro-burins occurred in 
all the Oranian sites which he investigated, and he concludes that this 
industry is probably contemporary with the Upper Capsian. It is not 
excluded that some part of the Oranian may be rather older than Vaufrey 
thinks, but it seems probable that, like the Capsian, it belongs at most 
to a very late stage of the Upper Palaeolithic. 

Finally, a very interesting proof of connection between the Oranian 
and the Aterian was obtained at the open-air site of El Hank, near Casa- 
blanca. This was very carefully excavated by Lieutenant Brouaux, and 
the industry has been described by Vaufrey. El Hank contained two 
archaeological levels, of which the uppermost yielded a typical Oranian, 
and the lower an industry showing on the one hand definite Aterian 
affinities, in the presence of Mousterian points and tanged points, and 
on the other equally definite links with the Oranian, especially in its 
cores, which were identical with those of the upper level. 

The rock paintings of North Africa Vaufrey now places in the Neolithic, 
since at all the sites which he examined the only implements to be found 
belonged to the Neolithic of Capsian tradition, and Obermaier, working 
on the basis of style and of the fauna represented, supports this view. 

It is impossible in the time at my disposal to deal with the African 
continent as a whole ; nor is the chronology of African prehistory suffi- 
ciently sure to make correlation with Eurasia anything but hazardous 
at present. On the whole I am inclined to agree with Vaufrey that 
Africa in Upper Palaeolithic times was something of a backwater, and 
that more or less all over the continent industries of Mousterian type 
lingered on until and after the arrival of blade cultures in a relatively 
late stage of development. I would suggest that this is possibly the 
case even in Kenya, where Leakey has claimed a great antiquity for the 
Aurignacian. The only well-developed blade industry known at present 
(apart, of course, from admittedly late ones, such as the Elmenteitan) is 
the Upper Kenya Aurignacian, which is later than the second maximum 
of the Gamblian pluvial. By correlating Gamblian II with Wiirm II 
Leakey makes this stage contemporary with the Upper Aurignacian and 
Solutrian of western Europe, but in view of the fluid state of opinion 
in the matter of pluvials and glacials such a correlation can only be 
regarded as tentative. Vaufrey, and more recently S. A. Huzzayin, 


suggest for Gamblian II a correlation with the final glacial stages 
(Buhl, etc.), and this agrees better with the typological evidence, since 
the Upper Kenya Aurignacian, with its microliths, micro-burins and 
pottery, has a definitely late appearance. Vaufrey points out that, putting 
aside the pottery, it is in fact an almost typical Capsian. Such a dating 
would also rejuvenate the last phases of the Kenya Stillbay, since in 
Gamble's Cave a layer of this type was found between the Upper Kenya 
Aurignacian and the Elmenteitan. If we now turn backward in time we 
find that the Lower Kenya Aurignacian, which occupies the period 
from the beginning of Gamblian I to the second Gamblian maximum, 
is not at present known as a separate industry, but that crude backed 
blades do in fact occur side by side with Mousterian tools in deposits 
of Lower Gamblian age. Leakey makes out a good case for regarding 
these blades as belonging to a separate culture and not as part of the 
Mousterian, but he does not prove that this Aurignacian must necessarily 
be regarded as exceptionally early ; it can equally well be argued that 
the Mousterian is a late survival. Here, again, the dating depends on 
the correlation of Gamblian I with Wurm I, which has yet to be proved. 
I do not mean to suggest by this criticism that Leakey's correlations 
are necessarily incorrect, but simply that they are at present hypothetical, 
and give no solid ground for supposing that the Kenya Aurignacian is 
older than the Eurasiatic blade industries. On the other hand, the late 
survival, as in Little Africa and Egypt, of a culture of Mousterian tradi- 
tion — in this case the Kenya Stillbay — is certain, even on Leakey's own 

We have now worked round to our starting-point, and it remains to 
see what general conclusions can be drawn from the material at our 
disposal. A point which stands out at once, and very clearly, is the 
diversity of the strains which have so far been grouped together under 
the name Aurignacian. As long as we were dealing only with Western 
Europe this did not matter very much, as everyone knew what was meant 
by the Lower, Middle and Upper Aurignacian, but when we come to 
regions in which the sequence is not the same, the use of these terms, 
with their chronological implications, is definitely misleading. Peyrony, 
as we have seen, proposes to retain the label Aurignacian for the culture 
so far known as Middle Aurignacian, and to group all the industries 
characterised by the blunted-back blade under the heading Perigordian. 
This undoubtedly corresponds with a first, very important distinction, 
which has been recognised for some time, but it does not go far enough. 
Perigordian, like the former Aurignacian, is made to cover too much. In 
spite of fundamental resemblances which certainly suggest relationship, 
it is doubtful if the passage from the Chatelperron to the Gravette level 
is the simple evolutionary process supposed by Peyrony. The blade 
cultures, after all, have an immensely wide distribution, and it is unlikely 
that the key to their development is to be found in southern France. 
If we take more distant regions into account it becomes clear that the 
French sequence is the result of successive immigrations, superimposed, 
perhaps, on a certain amount of local variation and development in place. 
Since, however, this sequence is so familiar, and has for so long been 


accepted as a standard, I propose to make it my point of departure, 
and to examine its various stages in the light of the evidence now available, 
trying to trace each one back to its original centre. Afterwards it will 
be possible to shift our point of observation, and taking a wider view 
of the distribution map thus plotted, to see what general pattern 

The first blade industry to reach Western Europe is that of the 
Chatelperron stage, Peyrony's Perigordian I, which is the former lower 
Aurignacian. The distinctive implement of this industry is, of course, 
the curved blunted-back blade, or Chatelperron point. The Chatel- 
perron level — which, for convenience I shall provisionally call Chatel- 
perronian — has not so far been found in Central and Eastern Europe, 
but a similar though not identical industry occurs at the base of the 
Upper Palaeolithic sequence in Palestine. This, however, is less primitive 
in appearance than that of France, and seems already to be in process 
of evolution towards something resembling the La Gravette stage. We 
have seen that the Lower Capsian, which is characterised by curved points, 
was formerly regarded as the parent of the Chatelperron industry, but 
that Vaufrey has demolished this theory by demonstrating that it is 
later in time. On the other hand, the Lower Kenya Aurignacian appears 
to be more or less of Chatelperron type, and may be in part contemporary 
with this stage in France. We thus have at the beginning of the Upper 
Palaeolithic three areas which may in a wide sense be called Chatel- 
perronian, two of which, Palestine and East Africa, may have been in 
touch with each other through Arabia and across the Bab-el-Mandeb, 
while the third remains apparently isolated. The problem of how the 
Chatelperronian entered Western Europe without leaving any traces on 
the way is one that awaits solution. 

Although the Chatelperronian only appears as a distinct industry at 
the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic we can trace its essential features 
much farther back than this. The Levalloiso-Mousterian of Palestine, 
which covers a very long period, has yielded throughout a small pro- 
portion of well-made curved points, burins and end-scrapers and in the 
Tabun cave on Mount Carmel typical Chatelperron points, end-scrapers, 
and blades with abrupt retouch were relatively abundant all through a 
well-determined zone within the Final Acheulian. In Kenya also 
Leakey has found backed blades associated with the Upper Acheulian, 
and he suggests that the so-called Lower Aurignacian — the Chatel- 
perronian — may have developed from the contact of the Acheulean and 
Levalloisian cultures, the makers of the Acheulian hand-axes borrowing 
from the Levalloisian the idea of making use of long narrow blades. 
This is not impossible, of course, but it should be noted that in the 
Upper Acheulian of Palestine, as in Western Europe, the flake industry 
which is actually associated with the hand-axes is in the Clactonian 
tradition, and the Chatelperronian tools look markedly out of place and 
intrusive, while in the Kharga Oasis, where a Levalloisian flake industry 
actually forms part of the late Acheulian, no Chatelperronian forms have 
been found. I should like to put forward the alternative suggestion that 
the Chatelperronian already had an independent existence at this time, 


having developed in some centre still unknown, and that it is an intrusive 
element in the Acheulian. In trying to trace this centre, we must take 
into account the fact, which seems to me significant, that the two regions 
in which the presence of backed blades in the late Acheulian is clearly 
established are precisely those in which a distinct Chatelperronian industry 
appears at the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic. If — -as I am inclined 
to do — we reject the theory that the Chatelperronian developed within 
the Acheulian, we cannot accept either Palestine or East Africa as its 
original home, but must place this somewhere within reach of both. 
An Asiatic centre seems inevitable, but it is impossible at present to be 
more precise. Investigation of that region which from the point of view 
of the pre-historian still justifies its name of the Empty Quarter should 
help to prove or disprove this theory, since it supposes that one line 
of migration passed through southern Arabia. 

After the early stages of the Upper Palaeolithic the Chatelperronian 
proper apparently ceases to exist. In Palestine, however, the Chatel- 
perron point reappears unexpectedly in the final stage, which must be 
roughly contemporary with the Magdalenian, and it is present in the 
Lower Capsian at approximately the same moment. Now, Vaufrey's 
theory of the late arrival of the Capsian still leaves us in the dark as to 
its origin. In its general lines it is unlike either the Sabylian or the 
blade industries of Palestine. We have seen, however, that the Upper 
Kenya Aurignacian is a nearly typical Capsian, which seems to have 
developed in place from the so-called Lower Kenya Aurignacian. I would 
suggest that East Africa may possibly be the centre of origin of the 
Capsian, which would thus enter Little Africa already fully developed 
by way of the Sahara. The Capsian would thus derive many of its features 
direct from the Chatelperronian, though outside influences may also 
have played their part, especially in the development of the microlithic 
element. It is, for instance, unlikely that so specialised a type as the 
micro-burin should have developed independently in the Sabylian and 
the Capsian. 

As for the peculiar industry which closes the Upper Palaeolithic sequence 
in Palestine, it is quite definitely Aurignacian rather than Capsian, in 
spite of the presence of Chatelperron points, and it may conceivably be 
a local development, arising on the fringes of our hypothetical Chatel- 
perronian centre and the Aurignacian province of the Near East. 

Turning back to the Western European sequence we now reach the 
Aurignacian proper, the former Middle Aurignacian. Peyrony claims 
that this does not represent a real break in the sequence, but that the 
Perigordian continued to develop in certain sites side by side with the 
neighbouring Aurignacian. The stratigraphical evidence for this is, 
however, insufficient. Even if there is a certain overlap, as is probable, 
all the known facts are in favour of a general separation of the Chatel- 
perron and La Gravette levels by the layers containing the Aurignacian. 

This industry can be traced right across Europe, through Lower Austria, 
Hungary, Rumania, the Crimea, Transcaucasia and Anatolia into Palestine, 
where it is very abundant and covers a much longer period than in the 
West. This suggests that the East Mediterranean coast is not very far 

g 2 


from the Aurignacian centre of dispersion, and I would suggest tentatively 
that this should be sought somewhere in the Iranian plateau. 

It has not been possible to distinguish in Palestine the various sub- 
divisions of the Aurignacian which have been worked out for France, 
and which to some extent must represent local developments. It should 
be noted, however, that the French divisions are based in part on the 
bone tools found at different levels, and in Palestine, although animal 
bones are usually abundant, bone tools are excessively rare. A possible 
explanation of this may be that the bone tools of the West had wooden 
prototypes in the Near East. The large amount of charcoal found in 
Aurignacian layers in Palestine shows that wood was still readily obtainable, 
though the fauna points to gradually increasing desiccation. 

It is an open question and a very difficult one, how far the Aurignacian 
and Chatelperronian have ultimately a common origin. Certain forms, 
such as the burin and end-scraper, are found in practically all blade 
industries, but the Aurignacian, with its use of types derived from cores 
and consequent development of a fluting technique, has distinctive features 
which point at least to independent evolution from an early date. 

The next stages in the French sequence are those of La Gravette and 
Font-Robert, formerly grouped together as Upper Aurignacian, which 
Peyrony has labelled Perigordian IV and V. This industry has clear 
affinities with the Capsian, and in view of the possibility that the Lower 
Capsian may be roughly contemporary with it, the question of African 
influence must be re-examined at this point. For various reasons, 
however, I think it must be ruled out. Already in the Lower Capsian 
two very distinctive forms, the micro-burin and the microlithic lunate, 
are present, and if this industry were the parent of the Gravette -Font- 
Robert stage of Europe it would seem inevitable that these should occur 
there also. In fact, however, they enter Western Europe only with the 
Tardenoisian culture at a much later date. Again, if the Lower Capsian 
passed into France it must have been through the Iberian Peninsula, and 
we have seen that in that region Capsian influences appear only at the 
close of the Upper Palaeolithic sequence. Finally, the Gravette-Font- 
Robert industry has a very wide distribution in central and eastern 
Europe, and its remarkable development in this region points rather 
to a Eurasiatic origin. If further evidence were needed, one could cite 
the complete absence in Little Africa of the very distinctive female 
statuettes which are constantly associated with this culture in Europe. 
It does not follow that there is no link between the Capsian and the 
Gravette-Font-Robert industry ; I would suggest that both are derived 
from the Chatelperronian, but that their common features are due in 
part to convergent development, certain forms, such as the Gravette 
point, being evolved almost necessarily from their Chatelperronian 

I have suggested that an Eastern origin is indicated for the Gravette- 
Font-Robert industry, and we must now examine this rather more 
closely. In France the distinction between the Gravette level with its 
typical blunted-back blades, and the overlying Font-Robert level with 
tanged and shouldered points is quite clear, but the two are nevertheless 


very closely related. In Central and Eastern Europe the shouldered 
point stage predominates and is associated with a distinctive decorative 
art and apparently a great development of the cult of which female 
statuettes are the expression. I would suggest for these two very closely 
related levels the names of Lower Gravettian and Upper Gravettian 
respectively, the label Grimaldian being reserved for the special develop- 
ment and prolongation of the Upper Gravettian in the Italian Peninsula. 

The theory of an eastern centre of dispersion for the Gravettian is 
based, of course, on this exceptional development in Central and Eastern 
Europe. I am influenced also by the fact that the female statuettes, 
whose close connection with the Upper Gravettian is incontestable, 1 are 
very abundant in Russia, but occur only sporadically in Western Europe, 
where they have an unmistakably alien appearance in comparison with 
the indigenous naturalistic animal art which had already begun to develop 
in the Aurignacian. 

Assuming an Eastern origin, we cannot regard Central Europe as the 
centre of dispersion, because we have clear evidence that the Gravettian 
is there preceded by the Aurignacian proper. In South Russia it is indeed 
the oldest blade industry so far found, but the geological evidence does 
not suggest that it is necessarily very early, though it may quite well be 
contemporary with the Aurignacian of the West. I do not think, however, 
that the centre of dispersion can lie very much farther to the East, because 
the lithic industry of Malta, which must be approximately contemporary, 
is not Gravettian at all, though the presence of statuettes and certain 
decorative motifs suggests either that Siberia was reached by influences 
from South Russia or that the particular cult of which female statuettes 
were the expression came to the Gravettian from the Far East. 

We must now consider by what route an industry ancestral to the 
Gravettian could have passed into North-east Europe from our 
hypothetical Chatelperronian centre. We have seen that in Palestine 
the true Gravettian is absent, and that in southern Kurdistan it probably 
represents a relatively late migration from Russia. In Palestine, however, 
the Chatelperronian level which lies at the base of the Upper Palaeolithic 
sequence already shows signs of evolution towards the Gravettian type, 
and it is possible that an industry of this character had already penetrated 
into the neighbourhood of the South Russian plain before the westward 
moving Aurignacian invasion had reached the Mediterranean coast. 

I need not dwell on the Solutrian episode, which forms the next stage 
in the French sequence, as this is already well known and understood. 
The only addition to our knowledge in recent years has been the demon- 
stration that the Solutrian penetrated farther to the east than was 
originally supposed from its Hungarian centre. 

With the Magdalenian we reach a stage when migration on a wide 
scale gives way to local variations of the cultures already in possession. 

1 At Sireuil and Brassempouy female statuettes were apparently associated 
with the Aurignacian proper, but in neither case is the evidence absolutely 
conclusive. Should the association be proved, however, these two isolated 
instances might suggest an early intrusion from an already established Upper 
Gravettian province in the East. 


Apart from the Magdalenian itself, which is undoubtedly the most in- 
teresting and the most vital of these variations, we have the Grimaldian 
in Italy, in South Russia a degenerate industry of Gravettian tradition, 
in Palestine a kind of hybrid Aurignacian which may extend into the 
Crimea, in Egypt the Sabylian, in England the Creswellian, while the 
retreat of the ice sheet in northern Europe made way for the Hamburg 
culture which is apparently derived from the Upper Gravettian. To 
round off completely the story of the Palaeolithic blade cultures it would 
be necessary to pursue a number of these branches into the Mesolithic, 
but the time at my disposal makes this impossible. In any case the 
close of the Pleistocene, for general purposes, marks the end of an epoch 
in human history, and although no catastrophic change is visible, with 
the dawn of the Mesolithic a new order is already on its way. 

If we now take a last general view of this theoretical picture, we see 
the Chatelperronian, the earliest identifiable phylum of the blade cultures, 
already emerging in Lower Palaeolithic times, in some as yet unidentified 
Asiatic centre. Ultimately it sends out two branches, one into East 
Africa, to give rise to the Capsian, the other into North-east Europe, 
to develop into the Gravettian. Meanwhile another stock, the Aurig- 
nacian, pushes westward, and separates these two great provinces. 
From the Aurignacian and Gravettian centres migrations pour into 
Central and Eastern Europe along the southern edge of the ice-sheet, 
and cultures which in their homelands tend to remain distinct and 
exclusive suceed and influence each other, until at the extreme limit of 
their journey we get the characteristic French sequence, which for so 
long was used as a standard for the rest of the world. Meanwhile along 
the fringes of the original provinces interpenetration necessarily takes 
place, and we find the Upper Gravettian filtering along the valleys of the 
Zagros Arc into southern Kurdistan, while the Aurignacian penetrates 
northward into the Crimea. Finally, at the close of the Pleistocene, 
migration on a large scale comes to an end, and numerous local varia- 
tions spring up all over the Palaeolithic world. 

Outside all this, meanwhile, lies the still mysterious Far Eastern province, 
with its mixed flake and blade culture. In its early stages this may con- 
ceivably have played a part in the evolution of the Aurignacian proper, 
and in this connection it is perhaps significant that Gordon Childe reports 
the presence of a split-base bone point at Malta. 

The picture which I have outlined is admittedly largely speculative, 
and the most that I hope for this address is that it will ultimately stimulate 
discussion and disagreement. I am prepared to be accused of domination 
by a mirage orientate, but to that I would reply that some of my colleagues 
seem to me at the moment to be unduly influenced by a mirage africain. 
Only further discovery will make it possible to decide between us. 




PROF. R. J. S. McDOWALL, M.D., D.Sc, F.R.C.P. (Edin.), 


It is now more than 300 years since William Harvey discovered the 
circulation of the blood, but we are yet far from understanding its control — - 
a fact which is brought home to us when we realise that each year thousands 
of people die from failure of the circulation other than heart disease. 
Indeed it can fairly be said that certain diseases of the circulation are 
definitely diseases of civilisation and are on the increase. 

The purpose of the blood circulation is to supply the tissues with 
nourishment and particularly with oxygen, and since the different parts of 
the body vary enormously in their activity from time to time, their needs 
vary also. 

In this address I shall endeavour to indicate the various kinds of 
mechanisms which work together in order to provide adequate blood 
supply to any part of the body, whatever its activity or whatever the 
posture of the body. 

For the sake of simplicity I shall confine myself to the effects of physical 
exercise, since most of the mechanisms which I shall describe are brought 
into operation thereby, although they are also used for other purposes. 

When a tissue, say a muscle, increases its activity, it needs more oxygen 
and fuel and therefore more blood supplied to it per minute, and this increase 
is brought about in two ways : (1) by the same blood being pumped 
round the body more rapidly — that is, by increased activity of the heart, 
or pump ; and (2) by utilising blood which previously went to other less 
active and for the moment less important parts of the body — that is, by re- 
distributing the blood. This is accomplished by varying the calibre of 
the blood vessels and has two effects. It alters the resistance to the 
blood flow to any particular region, and it alters the capacity of any organ 
or part of the body, but since there is only a limited amount of blood in 
the body, it is evident that, if the circulation is to be maintained, vessels 
opened up must not exceed the capacity of those closed down. 

Variations in the Activity of the Heart. 

This I shall summarise rapidly, as much of it is sufficiently old to be 
in most of the text-books, and perhaps I should say that throughout I shall 


dwell particularly on those parts of the subject which are as yet less generally 

The heart is not like an ordinary pump which sucks fluid from one tube 
and pushes it into another. The veins are so thin that any degree of suction 
would cause them to close. The heart is filled by the pressure of the blood 
which reaches it during the time it is relaxed, and adjusts the force of its 
stroke to the amount of blood in it at the beginning of contraction. The 
more blood reaching it, the more it pumps out, within limits. This is 
made possible by the fact that the force with which the heart contracts is 
increased if the heart muscle is stretched. 

The heart can also change its rate. In the past it has been usual to 
describe the heart as being under two sets of controlling nerves, one the 
sympathetic, which when stimulated makes the heart go fast, and the other 
the vagus, which makes the heart go slower. Now we know that this is 
only part of the story. The evidence is almost complete that the heart 
is really under the control of two sets of reflexes which have this function. 
The difference between these statements is that the second involves an 
afferent pathway to the central nervous system, for the sympathetic and 
the vagus are constantly carrying down impulses to the heart, and if they 
are cut off the heart goes slow or fast as the case may be. In the case of 
the sympathetic we do not know accurately as yet the exact source of the 
afferent impulses, but the fact that stimulation of any sensory nerves 
causes cardiac acceleration suggests that the source is stimulation from the 
outside world. This is not necessarily conscious, for it has been shown 
that a sound may accelerate the heart of a person who is asleep but during 
waking hours the higher centres undoubtedly play a part in the accelera- 
tion. I shall refer to this further in relation to the vaso-motor centre. In 
the case of the inhibitory impulses which slow the heart the source of the 
afferent impulses is known. These arise from certain sensitive regions 
within the circulation itself. These are situated in the left side of the heart, 
the arch of the aorta and the carotid sinuses, which are small dilatations at the 
bifurcation of the common carotid artery in the neck. We know these 
facts because section or anaesthesia of these nerves has the same effect 
as section of the vagus side of the reflex arc, and it can be demonstrated 
that nerve impulses which can be recorded electrically are constantly 
passing up the nerves from these regions. The normal method of stimu- 
lation has been shown to be the change of blood pressure in these parts of 
the circulation at each beat of the heart. 

When exercise is taken, two changes occur : the sympathetic accelerator 
impulses increase and in particular the vagus impulses are reduced. The 
evidence for this rests on the effect of exercise and other procedures on the 
heart rate before and after section of the vagi and with and without the 
sympathetic. It has been shown, for example, that if the vagus nerves 
have been cut the increase of the heart rate is, during the exercise, not 
nearly so great as it was before they were cut. It is not possible for me 
to discuss here how the change is brought about, except to say that it is 
in part due to the action of the higher centres and to a rise of venous pressure. 
The increased temperature of the blood and adrenaline liberated by the 
suprarenal gland enhance the effect of the nervous changes ; but there 
is not time to go into this in detail. 

What I do want to emphasise is that the range of acceleration is deter- 


mined by the degree of activity of the cardio- inhibitory reflexes : indeed, 
it has been recently shown in Belgium that the capability of dogs to 
withstand sustained activity is apparently enhanced by removal of the 
sympathetic. The extent to which the animals have then to rely on the 
reduction of vagus activity is thereby increased. This of course does 
not mean that the maximum effort for short periods is increased. To show 
this it is necessary to time the running of the animal over short distances. 
It has been shown that in athletes during mild exercise the cardiac 
output is increased with a trivial increase in cardiac rate — that is, the increase 
is chiefly produced by an increased output per beat. I shall, however, 
return to this point. Meantime I should like to leave you with the 
question : The heart increases its output ; where does it get its blood ? 

Experimentally it can be demonstrated that the vagus restraint of the 
heart is extremely variable — not only in different animals, but in the same 
animal under different conditions, as may be seen if we block the vagi. 
For example, if we give an animal nitrogen to breathe, the normal vagus 
restraint can be shown to have disappeared. Or we can increase the re- 
straint by previous sensory stimulation. This last experiment is of special 
interest, as it may give a clue as to how the normal vagus restraint is 
built up. We know that animals and human beings which take large 
amounts of exercise have slow hearts. How exactly this slow heart is 
produced is not yet clear. All we can say at the moment is that certain 
procedures such as sensory stimulation or asphyxia increase the heart 
rate, partly by reducing vagus activity, but that subsequently this reduc- 
tion is followed by an increase in the activity of the vagus. I would 
indeed be glad if anyone could make any suggestions on this point. 

Variations in the Calibre of the Blood Vessels. 

As I have said, it may be taken as a general principle that in physical 
exercise the blood is distributed to the active tissues at the expense of 
the less active tissues. This local dilatation of vessels, combined with a 
rise in the general blood pressure which is the result of increased cardiac 
output and constriction of vessels in less active tissues, results in an enor- 
mous increase in blood flow through the active muscles. This increase has 
been measured for the vessels of the lower lip of the horse, and may be 
demonstrated in an anaesthetised animal. The dilatation is brought about 
by chemical and nervous means, and on this point an enormous amount 
of work has been carried out in recent years. 

The cause of the chemical dilatation has been a matter of considerable 
debate. It has been demonstrated that blood issuing from tetanised 
limbs has a vasodilator action. There are first to be considered the 
products of carbohydrate metabolism — carbon dioxide and lactic acid. 
Each of these has been observed to cause vasodilatation if applied in suitable 
concentrations to capillaries under the microscope. I emphasise the con- 
centration because larger concentrations have the opposite effect. It may 
be demonstrated also that, if the vessels of the hind limb of a chloralosed 
animal are perfused with the nerves intact and carbon dioxide is adminis- 
tered, the perfused vessels constrict because of the action of the carbon 
dioxide on the vasomotor centre, but the blood-pressure does not neces- 


sarily rise, presumably because there has been a compensatory dilatation 
of vessels in the rest of the animal. A number of workers, especially 
Fleisch, have demonstrated that vessels are sensitive to most minute changes 
of hydrogen -ion concentration, even that which is produced by the addition 
of the normal amount of carbon dioxide to the blood, and personally I 
think that normally this is the most important factor concerned. 

There is, however, evidence that certain substances of protein origin 
may be involved. Of these the most important is histamine. It has 
recently been shown by Anrep that the vasodilator substance which is 
liberated into the venous blood gives all the known biological reactions for 
histamine, and it is possible to demonstrate that extensive tetanisation of 
muscles may produce a state which is a very similar one to histamine 
shock. There is at the same time a constriction of pulmonary vessels 
such as is produced by histamine. This liberation of histamine — if it be 
histamine — is of interest, as biochemists have reported that, compared with 
other tissues, muscles contain relatively little histamine. It is, however, 
somewhat doubtful if we are justified in considering that what happens 
during a severe artificial tetanus necessarily occurs in normal exercise. 

It has been suggested also that other substances of protein origin, such 
as adenylic acid, may be concerned. Whatever the agent it seems likely 
that some metabolic products are responsible, if not for the dilatation 
during exercise, certainly for the continued dilatation which continues 
after the exercise. 

The nervous dilatation is, judging from the work of Cannon and his 
associates, probably sympathetic. Here we see a dual function of the 
sympathetic, for its constrictor action is much better known. It has been 
known for some time that the sympathetic contained vasodilator fibres. 
Indeed, Dastre, a successor of Claude Bernard, states that, had Bernard 
chanced to use a dog instead of a rabbit for his classical experiments on 
the sympathetic, he would have been more impressed with its vaso- 
dilator than with its now much better known vasoconstrictor action. 
In order to show the vasodilator fibres in the sympathetic, it is necessary 
to paralyse first the vasoconstrictor fibres with ergotoxine (Dale), or to 
use slow rates of stimulation. In this connection it may be remarked 
that this slow rate of stimulation may be an imitation of what normally 
occurs, since presumably ordinary muscle contraction may give rise to 
similar stimuli. It is interesting to note that the dilator action is easily 
shown in the dog, but it has not been possible to show it in the cat ; but 
the exact significance of the point is unknown. 

Once the exercise has begun it seems likely that local vasodilator 
reflexes, similar to Loven reflexes, are set up by afferent impulses arising 
within the muscles themselves, possibly as a result of the mechanical and 
chemical changes which take place. The evidence is somewhat scanty, 
but it is impossible to ignore any longer the possibility of the existence of 
a nutrition reflex as suggested by Hess and supported more recently by 
Fleisch. By this is meant the fact that oxygen lack in a part sets up afferent 
impulses which result in reflex dilatation. 

Capacity effects. — Now it has been shown by Krogh that when a muscle 
is active an enormous number of hitherto closed capillaries open up. 
The best evidence of this is probably his well-known Indian ink experiment. 


This opening up of vessels previously closed necessitates the provision 
of blood, and as there is only a limited amount of blood in the body, it 
must be provided from other regions, otherwise the blood pressure 
would fall and the circulation through the tissues be reduced. 

It is probable that practically all parts of the body, except possibly 
the voluntary muscles, the heart muscle and the brain, provide the blood 
necessary for the active muscles. It has been shown that any exercise, 
actual or even contemplated, causes vasoconstriction. Constriction of the 
spleen and of the intestine in animals has been observed. This was the 
subject of a presidential address to this Section by Barcroft some years ago. 
In man it has been shown that the vessels of the skin constrict under any 
emotional stress or even anticipated activity. This, indeed, was one of 
the first facts discovered by Mosso with his plethysmograph. 

In regard to the sympathetic constriction of the vessels, we are in the 
same difficulty as we were in relation to the sympathetic acceleration of 
the heart. We do not know how the actual nerve impulses which originate 
the constriction arise. For convenience we say that they begin in the 
higher centres of the brain. It is, however, probably preferable, it seems 
to me, to consider that it is a sensory stimulation from the outside world, 
which is the point in time which determines the psychical reaction which 
results in motor movement. Certainly we know that stimulation of a 
sensory nerve causes generalised vasoconstriction and commonly a rise of 
blood pressure, and that similar changes but of lesser degree may be 
recorded in a sleeping man. 

It has been usual to ascribe the shutting down of the blood vessels 
solely to sympathetic activity, just as it was usual to ascribe cardiac 
acceleration solely to such action. In the case of the heart we have clear 
evidence that the reduction of the vagus restraint is just as important by 
increasing the range of cardiac activity and creating a cardiac reserve. It 
has now become evident that there probably exists an exactly parallel 
mechanism which increases the range of vascular activity and similarly 
enhances the reserve. 

The Maintenance of the Vascular Reserve. 

Just as we have the restraint of the heart by the vagus, which determines 
the range of cardiac acceleration, so we have in relation to the blood vessels 
a set of reflexes which determines the magnitude of the vasoconstriction of 
the blood vessels. That is, they maintain the vessels of the body generally 
in an actively dilated state. The afferent impulses which are concerned 
in these reflexes have an exactly similar origin to those responsible for the 
vagus restraint of the heart. They arise from the cardio-aortic region and 
the carotid sinuses, and pass up the medulla by the aortic and carotid 
depressor nerves. The evidence for this statement is essentially that if 
the afferent impulses from these regions are cut off, there results a con- 
striction of practically all the blood vessels in the body. It may be 
remembered that for many years the existence of such tonic dilator control 
of the vessels was denied, but the experiments on the carotid sinus by 
Hering, Heymans and their co-workers have placed it beyond doubt. 
Like the cardio-depressor reflexes the vascular-depressor reflexes are 
operated by the intravascular pressure in these regions. 


It has been generally assumed that the primary function of this control 
of the vessels is to* maintain the arterial pressure at a constant level, and 
this is quite reasonable, for a constant mean pressure is desirable to main- 
tain a steady flow of fluid at rest from the capillaries to the tissues. It 
can be shown that if these reflexes are put temporarily out of action, 
considerable variation in pressure is liable to occur because of the 
spontaneous contraction of certain vascular regions such as the spleen. 

More recently it has become evident that these reflexes may have another 
and possibly more important function. Several facts led to this suggestion : 
(i) that in physical exercise or mental stress, the blood pressure, like the 
heart rate, does rise in spite of the reflexes ; (2) that the response of blood 
pressure to posture may be normal if the reflexes are destroyed — a fact 
which shows that the maintenance of mean pressure is not wholly 
dependent on the reflexes ; (3) that as in the case of the vagus, different 
animals, or even the same animals in slightly different circumstances, 
show great variability in the activity of the reflexes — often it is possible 
to throw the reflexes out of action without affecting the blood pressure 
materially ; and (4) as might almost be anticipated, the conditions 
which reduce the activity of the vagus also reduce the activity of the 
depressor reflexes. Two procedures which produce most striking results 
are the raising of venous pressure by the rapid injection of fluid and the 
injection of adrenaline. It may be remembered that Bainbridge showed 
that the rapid injection of fluid into the veins causes reflex cardiac accelera- 
tion, partly by reducing the action of the vagus. This was the experiment 
which led to the discovery of the right auricular reflex usually associated 
with his name. 

Now since in exercise the venous pressure is increased and, if the stress 
of the occasion is sufficient, adrenaline is secreted, we may consider what 
happens to the circulation when the vasodepressor reflexes are thrown 
out of action. As I have said, there is a rise of arterial pressure and a 
generalised constriction of the vessels. It has become usual to consider 
that this rise of arterial pressure is the result of an increased peripheral 
resistance to the flow of blood from the arteries. Were this wholly true 
we should expect to find that there is a reduced flow of blood to the veins. 
If the animal, however, is in good condition, the reverse is the case : there 
is an increased flow to the veins. It is as if there were at the periphery a 
sponge-like reservoir which, when it is contracted, drives its store of blood 
into the veins. In this connection it is interesting to remark that Bayliss 
when investigating the aortic depressor nerve found that stimulation 
caused not only a fall of arterial pressure, but a fall also of the venous 
pressure — that is, an increased capacity of the circulation. He did not 
consider the reverse possibility, since the then unknown function of the 
carotid sinus prevented his discovery of tonic dilator impulses. 

When the depressor reflexes are cut off, the reverse, however, does not 
necessarily occur experimentally. An increased flow into the veins does 
not necessarily result in a rise of venous pressure, because at the same 
time the heart is stimulated and the increased pressure is rapidly dealt 
with. It can, as might be expected, be shown at the same time that there 
is an increased output of the heart. It is not possible to measure the 
output of the heart by the cardiometer method without there being some 


degree of shock or permanent increased capacity of the circulation from 
the absorption of toxic products. As a result, the increased cardiac 
activity more than balances any increased flow in the veins, and the venous 
pressure may actually fall. Commonly it remains unchanged in such 
experiments. However, if the animal is not subjected to any severe 
operative procedure, a small rise of venous pressure is the rule. Perhaps 
I should say that several workers using the Fick method have shown an 
enormously increased output of the heart when the impulses from the 
carotid sinus are cut off. 

In doing such experiments we must attempt to imitate physiological 
possibilities. If, for example, we cut off all the depressor reflexes com- 
pletely and suddenly, there is such an enormous rise of venous pressure and 
arterial pressure that the heart may fail and the cardiac output be reduced. 

What we can imagine happens in exercise or emotion is, then, that just 
as the vagus restraint of the heart becomes reduced, so also the depressor 
restraint of the vessels becomes reduced, more blood is thrown into the 
circulation and is dealt with by the heart, which at the same time 
increases both its rate and its output per beat. It is to be anticipated 
that we shall eventually get evidence that the extent of the activity of the 
vasodilator reflexes varies in different animals just as the activity of the 
vagus varies. 

The sympathetic and adrenaline. — All the mechanisms which I have 
described are probably still further enhanced by the vasoconstrictor 
action of the sympathetic and the action of adrenaline, which is apparently 
secreted whenever the emotional stress of the occasion is sufficient. 
Adrenaline in physiological amounts constricts the vessels of the skin 
and splanchnic region and dilates the vessels of the muscles. Here I 
should like to emphasise that probably the physiological dose of adrenal- 
ine is minute, and may even be insufficient to raise the blood pressure. 
Certainly the dilatation of muscle vessels is not a result of the rise of blood 
pressure which may occur, for it can be shown that the dilatation occurs 
with doses which do not raise the arterial blood pressure. An increased 
blood flow through the limbs can also be shown to be brought about by 
doses which do not raise the blood pressure. In such circumstances the 
constriction just counterbalances the dilatation. Why adrenaline should 
constrict some blood vessels and dilate others is a major problem in the 
study of the circulation. Since so far as we know the vessels themselves 
have the same structure in different parts of the body, we must assume 
that the difference is due to the different environment. I had hoped by 
this time to have obtained some definite evidence on this point, but so far 
the experiments have not been completely successful. 

It is interesting to observe the effect of adrenaline on the depressor 
reflexes. If the hormone is injected it is found that some minutes after- 
wards, even after the usual rise of blood pressure has passed off, it is not 
possible to affect the heart by a degree of stimulation of the vagus which 
was previously effective, and at the same time the effects of cutting off the 
impulses from the carotid sinus are markedly reduced or completely 
abolished. This, of course, is exactly what would be expected if ad- 
renaline were secreted in the same circumstances in which the action of 
the depressor reflexes and the vagus are reduced, as in exercise. 


A further corroboration of this somewhat new view of the function of 
the vasodilator reflexes comes from a study of the effect of exercise and 
of emotion on man. It is well known that when a man takes exercise 
on a stationary bicycle his systolic blood pressure goes up, but falls even 
below normal the moment the exercise stops. This fall has been explained 
by Cotton, Slade and Lewis as due to the accumulation of blood in the 
vessels of the dilated muscles, but from what I have said in relation to the 
diminution of the peripheral resistance in muscle, it is evident that the 
fall is in part due to a diminution of this resistance. Now if a careful 
comparison be made of the psychical effect of intended exercise and that 
of exercise, it has been found by Gillespie that there is no difference. In 
other words, the rise of arterial pressure in exercise is the result of psychical 
changes. If exercise could be taken without psychical zest being involved, 
we might expect the blood pressure to fall. This, indeed, has been found 
to occur in the horse. In man, too, it has been found that if the exercise 
is slight, although the systolic arterial pressure rises, the diastolic pressure 
falls. This means that more blood is being pumped out of the heart per 
beat, but that blood escapes from the arteries more rapidly than normally 
before the next systole. In other words, from psychical causes alone there 
is a rise of arterial pressure from an increased cardiac output per beat, 
which can only be the result of more blood reaching the heart. In 
emotion too it is known that the systolic pressure rather than the diastolic 
rises. Since we have seen from the experiments of Mosso with the 
plethysmograph, of Barcroft on the exteriorised spleen and of Florey and 
Florey on the exteriorised colon, that generalised vasoconstriction is an 
accompaniment of psychical effort, we must assume that the increased 
output of the heart is in part, if not wholly, the result of the vaso- 
constriction which calls into use the reserves of blood and thus the circu- 
lation is maintained in spite of the greatly increased capacity of the active 

I am afraid that as I have gone along you have gradually become aware 
of the complexity and difficulty of the problem. The difficulty is en- 
hanced by the fact that in the circulation we have so many variables, and, 
the moment we attempt to isolate one, we are at once liable to introduce 
abnormal conditions. 

In discussing changes which may occur in exercise, I have tried to give 
you an idea of the circulation as a working whole. For a physiologist the 
investigation of such questions is something interesting to do, but we must 
remember it is these same mechanisms which the body uses and develops 
for physical exercise which the body uses to defend itself against disease 
and injury. It is well that we should remember the words of the late 
A. D. Waller to this Section some years ago : 

' Physiology must be studied for its own sake, but the physiologist 
whose immediate motive is the want to know may not deny his debt of 
service to the community of which he forms a part and whose services he 
enjoys. And the channel through which he can repay some part of that 
debt lies first of all in the service he may be able to render to the practice 
of medicine — to the knowledge and power of the physician whose immediate 
motive is the want to help.' 






Only two years ago our lamented Past-President, Dr. Shepherd Dawson, 
gave an admirable summary of the contributions which psychology is 
making to the life of the modern world. As I considered the choice of 
a subject for this address I concluded that it was too early to cover that 
ground again, and I decided that it was consistent with the duties of a 
President of Section J to put forward certain of his own reflections, 
which are related to and, indeed, largely stimulated by contributions to 
the sectional programme of the previous year. While thinking over the 
Aberdeen address it occurred to me that any comprehensive review of 
psychological progress is bound to skim rather lightly over many matters 
which are highly controversial. These controversies, and the conflict 
of authorities, provide a ready weapon for the critics of psychology, of 
whom there are still too many who base their objections upon ignorance 
and prejudice. May I spend a moment of my time in a short, active 
defence of my colleagues ? 

Every natural science has as many vigorous controversies as psychology. 
The only difference is that since our science has so far had neither the 
time nor the number of workers to acquire so great a content of established 
fact as the other disciplines, the student finds himself facing controversies 
at a very early stage. But controversy is the breath of life to science. 
Is it not the case that every scholar loses interest in a topic as soon as it is 
settled ? They who value knowledge so highly, value still more highly 
the process of coming to know. Appearing in public as the high priests 
of knowledge, they worship privately at the shrine of the unknown. 
Behind my metaphor lies the distinction between science and the scientific 
text-book. Science grows by discussions, which the outside world calls 
disputes. So let us not be ashamed of our civil wars, though the smoke 
of battle may hide from the general public the solid progress which is being 
made. Now, it is a fair deduction from this, I think, that those who 
surrender themselves too completely to a ' school ' are wilfully fettering 
their minds. It is impertinence to suggest that the distinguished workers 
along any one line can be entirely wrong, and it is obvious that they cannot 
all be right. So a judicious and critical selection from opposing theories 
is a reasonable attitude. No doubt, however, members of each and every 
school of thought will find stinging retorts to this eclectic speaker. I 
freely grant that eclecticism can be carried too far, and that its results 
are of little worth unless pulled together by a personal point of view. I 
propose, then, to put my own point of view again, and to take as my texts 
two papers read before the Section last year at Norwich. My regard 


for them is certainly not diminished by the fact that the views they express 
closely resemble my own. But, fortunately, even if there are prejudices 
observable in this paper they will but be additional illustrations of the 
opinions expressed therein. Psychology should begin at home. 

The first of these papers is the impressive address by Prof. Rubin, 
devoted to the ' ways of seeing.' Summing up his important contri- 
butions to the psychology of perception, he demonstrated to us that 
perceptual cognition is shot through with suggestions of movement and 
direction which are not reducible to the geometry of the object. The 
mind contributes structural principles to its own experience. Like many 
scientific theories this was not new. Many besides Rubin, and many 
earlier than he, have suggested that the mind, at least in part, makes its 
own experience. The value of his contribution lies in the beauty of his 
experimental development of the theme, and in the detailed application of 
it. But at least one of his demonstrations at Norwich was so new to most 
of us as to be thrilling. Those of you who were present will remember 
vividly how we were brought to recognise that pictures in European art 
have a definite left-to-right character, upon which their meaning and 
aesthetic appeal largely depend. I reported this to Mr. Betts, the head 
of the School of Art in my university. We went through his stock of 
lantern slides, and found that in nearly every case Rubin was clearly 
right. But our most exciting moment was that in which we discovered 
a drawing in which Rembrandt had gone astray. My colleague suggests 
that Rembrandt made his sketch from a mirror, a quite usual method, 
so that having posed his model correctly — that is, as Rubin would have 
had him do — and being absorbed by the technical problems of his sketch, 
he overlooked the extraordinary and unpredictable effect of the lateral 

It seems clear that there are pre-established manners of seeing, and we 
must expect the same to hold in the other modalities of sense. This 
implies that the patterns of our perceptual experience are dependent 
upon the mind, in some cases, perhaps, upon its original endowment, 
in others upon acquired factors. Thus Rubin suggested that the left- 
to-right direction of European pictures was derived from reading left- 
to-right script. Mentioning this to one well known in another section 
of the British Association, Mr. Peake, I was advised to try out the theory 
on cave drawings. I have not had the leisure to do so extensively, but 
in some at least there appears to be the same suggestion, and I have not 
yet observed the contrary direction in any case. So far as this evidence 
goes, it tends to confirm my suspicion that right-handedness is among the 
determinants of perceptual direction. But whether we accept Rubin's 
view as sufficient, or add my own suggestion to it, it appears that perception 
can be shaped by factors extrinsic to the material experienced. Under 
their influence the mind is creating, is actively patterning its experience, 
so that in some sense and to some degree (the limits being determinable 
by experiment) the mind makes the world it knows. 

If controversy be good for science, we have reached a fruitful spot. 
The objections raised by some philosophers that on our view no genuine 
knowledge of reality is possible, need not trouble us. If the facts force 
us to the conclusion that the perceived structure of the universe contains 


an important subjective factor, we cannot be deterred by the conse- 
quences of our belief. Indeed, if the percipient mind only registered 
the objective world, could there be any important psychology of cognition ? 
However, work such as that of Katz and Thouless on colour and size 
constancies, work already brought to the notice of this Section, proves 
sufficiently how autocratically the mind can deal with its sensory material. 
The more relevant psychological questions raised by recent developments 
of Gestalt-psychology are too large to be treated incidentally. It is enough 
here to express admiration for the persevering and ingenious research 
which they have stimulated. So to speak a little dogmatically, I hold 
that the mind informs its sensory material, making the percept consistent 
with certain subjective principles. This implies that the patterns of 
experience are in some sense already latent in the subject's mind as he 
confronts the world. Can we say how ? 

Alas, not very well. We must be content for the present with a small 
but useful advance to be made along the following path. If one says that 
perceiving is a response of the organism, meaning what one says, it 
follows that the distinction between cognition and conation is not an 
ultimate one. The general utility of the traditional division is not in 
question, but in the end we have to recognise that the process of coming 
to know is an activity, a piece of behaviour linked up with and sub- 
ordinated to other behaviour. Conation must be the fundamental con- 
cept, because the first duty of every organism is to remain alive, and it 
needs to manage and control its environment to that end. Let us look 
for a moment at other forms of behaviour. 

It is agreed that behaviour exhibits certain regularities of sequence 
which entitle us to formulate laws. In describing the phenomena the 
phrase which comes most readily to the tongue is that they exhibit 
patterns. The word has of recent years been very freely used. It 
requires no technical knowledge to understand the statement that a man's 
business activities show a constant pattern, no matter how varied the details 
with which he has to deal at different times. Our insight into the character 
of acquaintances mainly rests upon the observation of their behaviour 
patterns. It is very difficult to describe them, and still more difficult to 
analyse them, but they are easily recognisable. They are, in fact, the 
constancies without which social life would be impossible. The out- 
standing example of patterns of behaviour is presented by the instincts. 
In them we have themes which can be recognised as essentially the same 
while the details of the activity vary thoroughly, just as the theme of a 
symphony can be recognised through its development. But to say this 
is to apply the term ' pattern ' as an objective description, and not as an 
explanation. Whether in this field you prefer to speak of urges and drives, 
or of fields of force and closure, is indifferent to the present argument, 
which requires only two points conceded to it : first, that these patterns 
of behaviour are observable, it being in virtue of them that the adjective 
' instinctive ' is applied, and, second, that the character of the organism 
is among the causes which produce them. We note that the behaviour 
of the human individual displays patterns which are similar in their 
outline to those of animals, and which, arguing from them, we must 
assert to depend upon the connate character of the organism. 


To argue the obvious a little more fully, if a pattern is observable in 
behaviour, it must be dependent either upon the detailed events themselves, 
or upon the organism. In many cases, such as the behaviour of insects 
or nest-building in birds, there seems to be no sense in the first alternative, 
and consequently we take the patterns to be determined by the nature 
of the organism. This is to assert that the pattern is latent in the organism. 
But not after the manner of a blue-print. The latent pattern is not open 
to inspection. It exists, to use an old and respectable term, formally. 
There is a character of the organism which gives a distinctive pattern to 
its reactions. But there are also patterns observable in acquired activities, 
and in this case we have an everyday term to designate the quality of the 
agent which produces it. We call it a skill, and regard it as inherent in 
the subject whether he is or is not engaged in the activity at the moment. 
But once more it is not inspectable as the pattern of the activity is. All 
we can observe is that A by economical and coherent actions consistently 
achieves success in a given field, while B as consistently fails in it. Believing 
that all phenomena have a cause, we ascribe to A a skill which B lacks. 
So far as language goes, we can say either that A is skilled or that he 
possesses a skill. Both expressions are admissible, but I would suggest 
that the former is better in psychology, since we can neither observe, 
nor by deduction describe a skill in itself. When we attempt to do so we 
usually find ourselves describing again the pattern of the activity. Let 
us take a skill to be a character of the individual, a manner in which he 
has been psychologically shaped by racial or individual experience. 
To say that a person is skilled means that he is prepared to deal ade- 
quately with situations of a particular kind, but prepared in an outline, 
flexible manner which is sensitive to the varying details of the moment. 
Skill is in this respect on a higher plane than tropism, reflex or habit. 
The organism's skill is displayed in controlling and organising material 
on the way to achieving a goal. 

Now we can return to our original problem of perception. No present- 
day psychologist can be content to regard perceiving as no more than 
reflecting the material world, or as a process to be studied in isolation. 
It is a preparatory reaction, prior to more far-reaching activities, its im- 
mediate goal being the organisation of sensory data into manageable forms. 
So we come to the conclusion that the predetermined ' ways of seeing ' 
of which Rubin spoke to us belong to the vast family of skills, and can 
be treated with the others. The range of processes in which the pattern 
of behaviour, and the pattern resulting from the behaviour, depend upon 
the mental characteristics of the agent would appear to cover the whole 
extent of human life. At the London Meeting in 1931 I read a paper 
advancing the hypothesis that what is termed conceptual thinking can 
be dealt with in terms of skill, saying that what are termed concepts are 
best considered as outline preparations for response, and not as mental 
entities. I endeavoured to show that the behaviour of animals displays 
patterns parallel with those of a higher grade in human beings. I intro- 
duced the term schematic preparation, or more shortly ' schema,' as a 
name for this subjective character (1). Prof. Bartlett has also used the 
term, with greater profit than myself, and I quote from him a good state- 
ment of what the word is taken to mean. ' " Schema " refers to an active 


organisation of past reactions, or of past experiences, which must always 
be supposed to be operating in any well-adapted organic response. . . . 
There is not the slightest reason, however, to suppose that each set of 
incoming impulses, each new group of experiences persists as an isolated 
member of some passive patchwork. They have to be regarded as con- 
stituents of living momentary settings belonging to the organism, or to 
whatever parts of the organism are concerned in making a response of 
a given kind, and not as a number of individual events somehow strung 
together and stored within the organism ' (2). This seems to me an ex- 
cellent description of the growth of a psychological organism, emphasising 
that at all moments reactions are dependent upon the integrated effects 
of experience, which determine the character of the agent when confronted 
with any emergency. I see this living, momentary setting of the organism 
as the end-product of its history, and in so far as there is continuity 
in the settings they form a skill. 

In once more advancing the views expressed in this address, maintaining 
the two points, first, that racial and individual experience results in 
schematic or outline preparation for future activity, thereby determining 
the pattern of the experiencing (for example, of cognising) and the pattern 
experienced (for example, the perceptual object cognised), and secondly, 
that these preparations or schemata are best regarded as modifications of 
the psychological organism, I do not pretend that I am stating anything 
very original, or greatly advancing science. But I am concerned to 
maintain that this line of thought is important because so unifying. In 
my earlier paper I applied it to thinking, and only hinted that the principle 
might be extended to other activities. Five years later, fortified by the 
parallel advance of Prof. Bartlett in another part of the field, I am bold 
enough to claim that our conception will cover all parts of animal and 
human psychology, pulling together into a system many heterogeneous 
results. The second part of my address will be an attempt to apply it 
in a department which I have not yet mentioned. 

The most proper field for our study in Blackpool is obviously Social 
Psychology, and the Sectional Programme shows that the Organising 
Committee have recognised this. Can we apply the outcome of the pre- 
vious discussion here ? If not, my claims were invalid. So I was forced 
to undertake a new enterprise, passing from perception and thinking to 
a consideration of social behaviour. The term ' social pattern ' is in 
common use, and perhaps is employed with dangerous facility. In the 
first place it appears to mean an observable system of relationships between 
individuals and their activities, constituting a unity of a higher order of 
complexity than that of any one of its members. Secondly, the social 
group is a part of the environment of each of its members and of persons 
who make contact with it from outside. It is a system of facts to which 
individuals have to adapt their behaviour. In this it is parallel to the 
inanimate environment, and since the principles of behaviour will re- 
semble those already encountered the matter may be left for a moment 
at that level. Thirdly, social groupings present a puzzling combination 
of determinacy and flux. To live in society is rather like rowing in rough 
water. Within a quite characteristic pattern of the whole there is an 
inconvenient mobility of the elements, which requires continual varia- 


bility of response. The patterns of society are determinate but dynamic, 
and to react successfully to them demands skill. To deal with this problem 
in a little more detail I turn to another paper read before Section J at 
Norwich, one by Prof. T. North Whitehead, since published in The 
Human Factor (3). A group of five girls working at the same tasks 
came in time to form a real social group with a complex but readily 
discernible pattern. An objective record of it was obtained by study- 
ing the relations between the output of individuals, and the writer was 
able to reduce these to a clear diagrammatic form. Since conversation 
is the chief instrument of social relationship, the seating arrangements 
proved largely decisive for the pattern. When an experimental change 
was made in the seating order the social and psychological pattern was 
broken and a new one had to be formed, output being adversely affected 
during the process. I hope that the memory of my hearers can carry 
them back to the curiously exciting effect of taking a new seat in the 
class-room, and the consequent disturbance of their work. 

Prof. Whitehead's interesting report is concerned mainly with the objec- 
tive study of the group. There are, however, important implications on 
the subjective side. In the first place, like everything else society is 
only apprehended by individuals, whose perception will be shaped in 
ways analogous to those revealed by Rubin in simpler material. This is 
the common handicap of all science, and no more need be said of it than 
to remind ourselves that each person must react to society as he sees it. 
A more important matter is that society, whose dominating influence we 
realise more and more, has proper significance for psychology only in its' 
impact upon individual lives. It is, indeed, only actualised in those 
moments. Its components are individuals acting, and their behaviour 
is informed by the principles studied earlier. Yet their activities form 
a system, and we have to reconcile that with individual psychology. 

A group only exists in virtue of conative tendencies developed by 
individuals in the course of accommodating their behaviour to each 
other's. It requires skill to live socially, and I see no reason why we 
should not treat this as we did others. Social skills are predetermined 
schematic preparations for adaptive responses to situations presented by 
the presence of other persons whose behaviour forms a reciprocally inter- 
acting system, and so it is the psychological character of individuals which 
chiefly determines the social pattern. I should like to adapt a famous 
conclusion of Rousseau, and say that society becomes a topic for psycho- 
logy just because it exists immanently in the minds of its members. 
Whitehead's subjects did not build up a real unified group merely through 
the seating arrangements. The effects of the removal of the one who 
had become the leader show this. The unity of the group broke up, 
and though her successor became even more popular it was never fully 
reconstituted. So, at least, the writer maintains. But I venture to think 
that there was formed a new and firmly integrated pattern of a kind too 
subtle and intimate to be revealed by the test of correlative fluctuations 
of output. How otherwise can we account for the odd fact that when 
the former leader came back to replace her temporary successor the group 
was entirely broken up through the newly developed hostility to her, 
formerly the outstanding member of the group ? What the experiment 


depicts is the gradual orientation of individuals to each other — in other 
words, their learning ways of living with each other. When the social 
environment is changed a new set of behaviour tendencies has to be 
established, until in the final setting an environment was found to which 
the girls could not react successfully. But they had done so at an earlier 
stage, and we must conclude that in the intervening period some change 
had occurred in the other girls. The earlier objective conditions were 
repeated, but there was no unity. Can we avoid the conclusion that the 
unity had existed in the minds of the members, and those minds had 
changed to such an extent that the old reactions had become impossible ? 
An objectively observable group pattern is a product of the skill-characters, 
or behaviour schemata, of the constituent members. So a problem of 
group psychology reduces itself to one of individual psychology. 

Social patterns are largely manifested in institutions and current ideas, 
and often in combinations of the two. The English Common Law 
provides an excellent example of the last. This remarkable invention 
of our race has been maliciously described as consisting of a vast body of 
decisions and pronouncements, all readily deducible from a very few 
simple and universally accepted principles, though no one knows what 
they are. I cannot say whether this description is true, but there is no 
psychological difficulty in it. Common Law principles are the ways of 
living together developed by English people, and like all skills (for skills 
they are) they were developed in pursuit of ends which did not include 
the purpose of inspection. Pursuing a purpose and thinking about the 
pursuit are quite different processes. So for a long time, possibly always, 
they would not be amenable to analysis or description. To describe 
necessitates the development of a new skill directed to the material 
provided by the prior one. This is in essence Bartlett's illuminating 
distinction between schemata as the instruments of reaction and schemata 
as objects to which reaction is directed. The Common Law is the ex- 
pression of the directive tendencies of citizens bent on living together 
along determinate lines, though they may have never reflected upon them. 
Probably the majority of Englishmen have never heard of the Common 
Law, though it governs their lives in so fundamental a manner. It is 
quite usual to find that people who evince a great determinateness of 
behaviour are unaware of the principles which govern them. Why 
should they pause in the process of achieving their ends, if all is going 
well, to ' turn round upon the schemata ' which are serving them ? 

There is a danger in any form of expression which suggests an oppo- 
sition between Social Psychology and Individual Psychology. The field 
marked out by the former term is one proper for the specialist, but it 
remains the study of individuals acting socially. It would avoid the risk 
of over-abstraction, with possibly something of mysticism arising from it, 
if we were satisfied to speak of the psychology of social behaviour. At 
bottom it is the study of the development and nature of schemata employed 
in orientation to other behaving organisms. They, too, act from schemata, 
and if they are to live together they must effect a considerable degree of 
uniformity. So the social pressure upon individuals is intensified by the 
establishment of institutions which are the outward patterns resulting 
from the psychological characteristics of the members of the group, and 
jn return a potent means of shaping the next generation. Here the vital 


problem of society resembles that of the individuals (as must be the case). 
It is that of keeping the outline preparations for adaptive behaviour 
sufficiently fluid to be sensitive to variations in the problems presented. 
The Hegelian limit of efficiency is inflexible specific habit, which is a skill 
so perfectly developed as to become a hindrance. 

Ideals as well as institutions express the developing patterns of society. 
Can we suggest a psychological treatment of ideals ? It seems to me that 
an ideal is a schema of behaviour made sufficiently inspectable to receive 
a name. Probably it is never made completely amenable to description. 
Our own difficulties in attempting to discuss our ideals, together with 
the fact that there is obviously something in us which we feel we must 
explain to others, prove that their mode of existence lies deeper than the 
level of language behaviour. But not only can few men state their ideals 
adequately and many not at all, it is not necessary that they should be 
so expressed. No one should be described as without ideals merely 
because he is not sufficiently aware of them to call them by name. It is 
more charitable, and better psychology, to deduce the ideals from the 
prevailing patterns of his behaviour. I suspect that the underlying fabric 
of ideals suffers at times from premature display or too zealous propaganda. 

Now to summarise briefly the thread of this discussion. The subject- 
matter of psychology is taken to be the activities of the individual organism 
striving to maintain its full integrity in the universe in which it lives. 
To obtain control it must organise the presented material of experience 
into patterns manageable by it, and to this end it develops skills in its 
activities. Naming these skills by a word not inconvenienced by over- ' 
much usage, we have called them schemata, and the system of a person's 
schemata embodies all his experience up to the present moment, and deter- 
mines the direction of his future experiencing. The patterns of experi- 
ence are formed by them, though not independently of objective conditions. 
Thus in outline the ' ways of seeing ' and the ' ways of living ' — whether 
socially or otherwise — are reducible to a common psychological genus. 

I have already disclaimed any pretence that this view offers a great 
addition to the content of psychology, and it is at present too sketchy to 
be called a theory. I have given, as I said at the outset, a profession of 
faith, just one way of seeing psychology. Its value to me lies in its pro- 
viding a unitary point of view from which, it is hopefully claimed, one 
can survey the whole extent of psychological study. At least it may 
prevent a born eclectic, like the present speaker, from degenerating into 
a kind of scientific jackdaw. So I invite you to regard experience, in the 
fullest sense of that word, as formed in a complex of patterns largely 
made by the experiencer, patterns in some cases interlacing, in others 
forming a hierarchy of increasing generality. Or, to start from the other 
end, let us take our science to be the study of all the detailed embroideries 
upon that most common and most comprehensive of patterns, the formula 
of which runs : He was born, and strove to master his world for his own 
safety ; he mated, fought for his offspring, and died. 


(i) ' On Conceptual Thinking ' (British Journal of Psychology, xxiv, 133-143). 

(2) Remembering, p. 201. 

(3) ' Social Relationships in the Factory ' (The Human Factor, ix, 381-394). 






In considering a subject for this Address I was attracted by certain 
aspects of Botany which, though mentioned incidentally, if at all, in 
academic teaching, play a major part in general botanical activities. 
But, finding that I was expected to deal with Mycology, I chose a topic 
which seemed to fit in with the Council's suggestion that some aspect 
of science should be treated which had a bearing on the life of the 

All who have paid any attention to fungi realise the vast amount of 
disease and damage which they cause. Fungal diseases of plants and 
animals, fungal damage to stored products, to timber and to food and 
the search for Haemony ' of sov'ran use 'gainst all inchantments, mildew 
blast, or damp, Or gastly furies apparition ' have frequently been discussed, 
but there seems to have been little consideration of how fungi enter 
generally into problems of life and existence. Every schoolboy knows 
that life as it is would be impossible without chlorophyll ; but it is often 
overlooked that unless there were also organisms without chlorophyll, 
plant and animal life would cease. The fact that fungi lack chlorophyll 
imposes on them their several ways of physiological existence which have 
results so important to man. Colourless bacteria though having a similar 
physiology do not fall within the scope of this address. 

Presumably it has always been known that some of the larger fungi 
are edible and some poisonous. In this country it is not common know- 
ledge, however, that only half a dozen or so are poisonous. The rule 
of thumb methods for distinguishing between edible and poisonous 
species are worse than useless, for Amanita phalloides, the most poisonous 
of all fungi, ' peels,' does not turn a silver coin black, nor does it obey 
any of the rules which have been in common practice since classical times. 
Accidents are certain when there is indiscriminate eating of anything, 
and fungi are no exception. Though the consumption of the common 
mushroom appears to be increasing there is little sale now for any other 
species in the ordinary markets. Blewits (Tricholoma personatum and 
its allies) is sold in the north, midlands and west ; I have known it to be 
seized as poisonous when offered for sale in the south. Occasionally one 
sees Boletus edulis and B. scaber on barrows in the streets of Soho, and 


various species figure in side-dishes in the restaurants — but the customs 
of Soho are as alien as its inhabitants. 

I can find no evidence that fungi were ever eaten here so extensively 
as in many parts of the Continent, where there are special markets, with 
their own lists of edible fungi and their inspectors, some of whom have 
made valuable contributions to mycological taxonomy. But the attitude 
of a country may change in these matters. Berkeley wrote in 1857 that 
' the prejudice against Fungi is so great at Paris, that artificially raised 
mushrooms are almost the only ones of the genus that are admitted into 
the market, and in London the number is confined to about six.' Yet 
in 1670 1 the French were apparently as fond of mushrooms as they are 
to-day. In Sweden, where many species are sold in the markets, the 
much esteemed Boletus edidis is called Karl Johannsvampen after Jean 
Baptiste Bernadotte, Napoleon's Marshal who was chosen heir to the 
Swedish throne. He assumed the name's Charles John, and afterwards 
became Charles XIV ; he is said to have introduced fungus-eating to 
his new country and cepe was his favourite. 

Fungi form the main food of the poorer classes in the Baltic States, 2 
and in the vast tracts of marshy land in north-east Russia at certain times 
of the year, and it will be remembered that Darwin records that, except 
for a few berries, Cyttaria is the sole vegetable food of the natives of 
Tierra del Fuego. 

There are suggestions in classical writings about methods of producing 
edible fungi. One which was adopted and which has been carried on 
until the present day is the watering of old stumps of poplar to stimulate 
the growth of PhoJiota aegerita. Similarly watered, the mass of earth 
compacted together with fungus mycelium — the fungus-stone, lapis 
fungifer, coveted by Pepys, and which puzzled and interested Goethe — 
produces the edible fruit-body of Polyporns tuberaster known since the 
fourteenth century and mentioned by several of the herbalists ; its 
classical locality is Italy, but it doubtless is the same as the Canadian 
Tuckahoe (Grifola [Polyporus] Tuckahoe). The pseudo-sclerotium, with 
its included tufa, soil or stones, is not itself edible, and thus differs from 
the true sclerotia, composed entirely of fungal mycelium, of several 
other species. Amongst these the best known are : Poria [Pachyma) 
Cocos, the Tuckahoe or Indian Bread of America, which occurs associated 
with the roots of pines and other trees apparently as a weak parasite — 
it is probably the same as Pachyma hoelen, the Bukuryo of Japan and 
Fuhling of China, used in oriental medicine for four thousand years, with 
a primitive cultivation and an export as Chinese Root of over one thousand 
tons annually ; Polyporus Mylittae, the Blackfellows' Bread of Australia, 
and various tropical species of Lentinus, of which the first known was the 
Tuber regium of Rumphius. 

The only larger fungi which are cultivated to any extent by man are 

1 ' I hoped milder physick might cure them of this French disease, of this 
inordinate appetite to mushrooms.' — The Memoirs of Monsieur du Vail. 

2 Letts are often to be seen in Epping forest, where they gather large quantities 
of almost every species and pickle them. French, Italians and Swiss met in the 
woods of the home counties are usually making special search for species of 

K.— BOTANY 191 

the Field Mushroom (Psalliota campestris) , the Shiitake (Cortinelhis 
Shiitake) and Volvaria volvacea, but it is of interest to note that here, 
as in some other directions, the ant, regarded by some as man's most 
serious competitor, has succeeded in cultivating many more fungi in its 
fungus-gardens ; the termite, more an enemy of man's social progress 
than his competitor, also is a fungus-cultivator. 

The common field mushroom is cultivated in Europe and America. 
It has long been valued for its esculent properties. Horace referred to 
it — ' pratensibus optima fungis Natura est aliis male creditur ' — which 
Gerard translates as ' the medow mushrums are in kind the best, It is 
ill trusting any of the rest.' 

When and where the cultivation of the mushroom began is unknown. 
Tournefort in 1707 writes as if it was then grown commonly in France 
and it is probable that the methods he described were of French origin. 
It is not difficult to imagine how the frequency of mushrooms in horse- 
tracks and other highly manured places led to a realisation of the requisite 
conditions of growth, but it was fortunate that the mushroom was tried, 
for no attempt since made to cultivate other species has met with 
commercial success. Without entering into details it may be said that 
the methods described by Tournefort are essentially the same as those 
followed at the present time with the exception that spawn was not 
planted in the beds as it was thought to occur spontaneously in horse- 
dung in sufficient amount. Later the practice arose of inoculating the 
beds with virgin spawn which, in this country, was usually contained 
in mushroom ' bricks,' masses of dried horse- dung permeated with fungus 
mycelium. The virgin spawn was obtained from highly manured places, 
mill-tracks, stables, under haystacks, or even from trenches specially 
prepared with layers of horse-droppings. Spawn-gatherers were highly 
skilled and able to distinguish mushroom-spawn by its smell and appear- 
ance from that of the numerous coprophilous fungi with which it is 
associated in natural conditions. Since the War, however, the spawn- 
gatherer of the old type seems to have disappeared almost as completely 
as the professional truffle-hunter. The chief reason for this is that 
spawn is now produced commercially by scientific methods. 

So soon as it was understood that fungi were reproduced by spores 
attempts were made to obtain spawn from them. Though these efforts 
may be said to have begun with Micheli's experiments on various fungi 
in 1729, it was not until 1894 that J. Constantin and L. Matruchot 
succeeded. They patented their method and the process was carried 
out for some time at the Institut Pasteur where there was a ' Service des 
blancs de Champignons ' under the direction of M. Tellier. Meanwhile 
interest was aroused in America, which was importing about 3,000,000 
pounds of canned mushrooms annually, and growers, moreover, had to de- 
pend upon foreign spawn. The United States Department of Agriculture 
began experiments. M. C. Ferguson carried out research work on spore- 
germination but had little or no success except when a small piece of 
mycelium was present. B. M. Duggar, who had been in Europe studying 
methods of cultivation, described in 1905 how spawn can be obtained 
satisfactorily by making cultures from the flesh of the stipe, an application 


of a common laboratory-method of obtaining growth. It is directly 
owing to Duggar's investigations that the mushroom-growing industry 
began its great development in America, where the annual production 
is now 17,000,000 pounds. 

At the present time several firms in this country produce spawn. 
This so-called pure-culture spawn may be tissue-spawn or spore-spawn — ■ 
it is not possible to judge from some of the advertisements. Most of 
the spawn on the British market is produced either in this country, in 
America, or in France ; it is sold in bottles, cartons and other receptacles 
and very little brick-spawn is now used. All firms keep their methods 
secret, but it is said that while some germinate the spores as shed, others 
use the flesh of the stem, or gills. It may seem an anticlimax to add that 
the secret surrounding the germination of mushroom spores is simply 
a time factor, for they will grow on a wide range of media if sown fresh 
and left for from ten to fourteen days. 

By the adoption of the pure-culture method it is possible to perpetuate 
a satisfactory strain and this will remain as true as that of any horti- 
cultural plant. Thus a good deal of the former indefiniteness about 
the crop to be obtained is obviated. But judging from the displays in 
London shops there are too few strains now grown. It should be possible 
and profitable to get away from the three or four stereotyped forms, one 
at least of which appears to be American. 

With the coming of the motor-car there was immediately a fear of a 
shortage of manure for making mushroom-beds, and it cannot be said 
that the danger has decreased with the years, now that even cavalry is 
being mechanised. The attention of scientific men and growers is being 
paid to the possibility of a substitute, but so far with no outstanding 

Mushroom growing is not an easy business if it is to be carried on 
year after year. There seems to be a popular idea that mushrooms can 
be successfully grown only in darkness, and that sheds, tunnels, 3 caves 
and suchlike must be available. It is true that caves — if properly ven- 
tilated — are very satisfactory as is abundantly proved by the outstanding 
results obtained by French growers in the famous caves in the environs 
of Paris. 4 However, it is rare to find mushrooms growing naturally in 
anything but full daylight, and a good deal of commercial growing is 
carried on in the open in the south-east of England. Indeed at the time 
of the first development of the sites of the South Kensington Museums 
the neighbourhood was well known for the mushroom crops of its market 

The Japanese and Chinese are great consumers of fungi, and many 
species, fresh, dried or canned, are on sale in the shops. The most 
appreciated species in Japan is Cortinellus edodes, ' Matsu-dake,' and 
annual picnics are held for gathering it in the Pinus densiflora forests, 
an age-long custom frequently alluded to in poetry and in pictorial arts. 

3 The best known of these in the British Isles is the Scotland Street Tunnel at 

4 The cultivation of mushrooms is now carried on in the caverns under Hamlet's 
palace, Kronenberg, at Elsinore. 

K.— BOTANY 193 

One species, ' Shiitake ' 5 — Cortinellus Shiitake — -is cultivated, 2,000,000 
kilograms being produced annually, of which 700,000 kilograms are 
exported, valued at ,£100,000. The primitive method of cultivation, 
which is said to date back more than a thousand years, was merely to 
make a pile of logs in moist, shady places in the forest. In modern practice 
the logs are inoculated with powdered infected wood, or with spores of 
the fungus shed on the mats used during drying and mixed with sawdust, 
or with macerated sporophores. These are inserted in the log and the 
holes or incisions covered with leafy branches or with wet straw-mats. 6 
There are two crops a year. S. Mimura states that as a result of more 
scientific methods there was an increase of over twenty per cent, in pro- 
duction in about ten years. 

As the climate of Japan where Shiitake flourishes is much like that of 
Central Europe, H. Mayr of Munich attempted to introduce the fungus 
and its culture. Though his experiments, which began in 1903, were 
carried on for ten years or so they met with only partial success. 

More recently F. Passecker has succeeded in growing the fungus in 
pure-culture up to the fruiting stage. 

The Chinese in Formosa have long valued as food young shoots of 
Zizania aquatica (Canada rice) infected with Ustilago esculenta. The 
mycelium of the smut is perennial in the rhizome, so that when infection 
has once taken place the grass produces hypertrophied shoots each year. 
Before spore-formation the hyphal mass is white and compact, and at 
this stage is sold in the markets as ' kah-peh-soon,' ' white bamboo-shoot 
growing on the wild rice plant.' Cultivation is carried out along road- 
sides and in small gardens. The ripe black spore-powder was formerly 
sold on the mainland of Japan and was used ' to paint eyebrows and 
borders of the hair by ladies or actors and sometimes used as medicine.' 

The third fungus mentioned, Volvaria vohacea, is widely cultivated 
in the tropics. This species occurs in Europe, but is somewhat un- 
common, being found for the most part on tan in glass-houses. It is 
rather remarkable that until a few years ago all species of Volvaria were 
considered poisonous, possibly owing to comparison with Amanita 
phalloides. The wide extent of the cultivation of Volvaria vohacea is 
only now becoming realised, although Rumphius so early as 1740 men- 
tioned the fungus under the names Boletus moschocaryanus and B. sanguineus. 
In recent literature it usually appears as Volvaria esculenta Bres. (191 2). 
The first detailed account of its cultivation came from the Philippines, but 
the general methods are followed also in Java, lndo-China, Madagascar, and 
West Africa. Heaps of vegetable refuse — rice-straw, sugar-cane bagasse, 
chopped banana trunks and leaves, husks of coffee and nutmegs, refuse 
from citron oil, sago or indigo manufactories — are built in shady or damp 
places in abaca and banana plantations or in old overgrown wood-lots. 

6 ' Shii ' is the Japanese name for Pasania (Castanopsis) cuspidata, ' take ' 
means a fungus. The fungus grows also on Quercus and other Fagaceae. 

6 There is a similar practice in the mountains of parts of Foochow. ' Incisions 
are made in the logs, liquid manure is poured over the incisions, straw is covered 
over them, and when this is well rotted the fungi spring forth.' (J. Arnold, 
quoted in Philippine Edible Fungi, by O. A. Reinking). Foochow is the centre 
of the Chinese dried-fungus trade. 


The heaps are not inoculated artificially. They are watered, sometimes 
with brine rice-wash or the scum of sugar-cane juice and last for some time, 
usually bearing after about a fortnight. Because the fungus occurs on 
ant-hills and on fallen wood and decaying plants after rain, which is 
usually accompanied by thunder and lightning, the Philippine natives 
call it ' The flower of thunderbolts and lightning ' : it will be recollected 
that the Greeks similarly accounted for the formation of truffles. 

Truffles and morels have always been highly esteemed, and numerous 
attempts have been made to grow them as a crop, but so far without 
success. Some of the methods reported at different times as successful 
remind one of a belief formerly common among English farmers that 
mushrooms are produced by salt. To judge from official correspondence 
there is at present a keen interest in the possibility of growing truffles 
on a commercial basis in this country ; there would be a ready market 
for them at high prices. It seems worth noting that Pseudobalsamia 
microspora, one of the Tuberacese, is a common invader of mushroom-beds 
in America ; it has recently been recorded for this country. 

From time immemorial truffles have been hunted by pigs, dogs, and 
more rarely goats. The truffles which are on sale in London shops 7 
are chiefly the Perigord truffle [Tuber melanospermum) though Tuber 
brumale is occasionally seen. The white truffle of Piedmont [Tuber 
magnatum) apparently is not exported. Closely allied forms, terfas or 
kames [Terfezia), are commonly sold in the native markets of north Africa, 
and one species, T. leonis, is an article of commerce in south Spain and 

It is now often overlooked that species of edible truffle occur in this 
country, but fifty years ago English-gathered truffles were on sale in 
Covent Garden. Dogs were used to hunt them in Wiltshire and Sussex 
until just before the War. Here it may not be out of place to mention 
that it was owing to truffles being found in Wiltshire that British mycology 
gained one of its most valuable recruits. C. E. Broome was living at 
Rudloe, Wiltshire, in 1841, when on the advice of Leonard Jennings he 
sent an alga to the Rev. M. J. Berkeley for naming and two sketches of 
moulds. Berkeley asked him whether truffles were found in his neigh- 
bourhood. Broome succeeded in finding some, and, his appetitite being 
whetted, he enthusiastically searched for them for the rest of his life, 
never being without a rake on his travels. He found several species 
new to science, and added many to our fungus-flora, being the only British 
mycologist who has had any success in this direction. He collaborated 
with Berkeley, being responsible for most of the drawings and measure- 
ments of microfungi, and from 1848 to 1886 they worked so assiduously 
that the authority ' B. & Br.' is one of the best known in taxonomy. 

To round off the story, mention should be made of the use of poisonous 
fungi. The intoxicating effects of Amanita muse aria and its uses in the 
religious rites of certain Siberian tribes, as well as for killing flies, are well 

The historical accounts of the poisoning of priests, poets and kings, 

7 France produced 200,000 kilos of truffles in 1933 at a total value of over 
13J million francs ; 92,700 kilos were exported fresh, dried or marinated. 

K.— BOTANY 195 

do not clearly distinguish between the putting of poison into the dish 
and the presence therein of a poisonous fungus whether by accident or 

With the widespread knowledge of poisonous fungi on the Continent 
it is surprising that little criminal use appears to have been made of 
them, especially as the writers of modern detective stories have shown 
their possibilities. However, a case which aroused great interest in 
France towards the end of the War was that of an insurance agent, Girard, 
who was executed in 191 8 for making use of his mycological knowledge 
and his professional opportunities as an insurance agent to get rid of a 
number of clients, the second batch by means of Amanita phalloides. 
But this was simple compared with a habit of the Watusi of the Victoria 
Nyanza region. G. Mattlet describes how, when they wish to wreak 
their vengeance on anyone, they exhume the corpse of a person who has 
recently died of pneumomycosis. They remove the lungs, dry and 
powder them, and administer this in banana beer. The fungus survives 
the treatment. 

As would be expected man has contrived to make use of the larger 
fungi in many and various ways, a few only of which need be mentioned. 
From the earliest times the sterile bases of puff-balls have served for 
staunching wounds ; 8 Lycoperdon Bovista is the Bovista officinalis of 
older works and ' summopere laudata ' as Vittadini says. Within recent 
years it has been proposed to use it as a styptic in veterinary work. 

The soft flesh of certain species of Fomes, particularly Fomes fomentarius, 
has been employed for many purposes. As amadou it was formerly used 
as tinder after beating and treatment with saltpetre ; it is still used by 
dentists for absorption and compressing, by fly-fishers to dry fly, and in 
some types of experimental pneumatic fire-syringes. Caps, aprons, picture- 
frames and such-like made from it are still common in Thuringia and 
the afforested parts of Germany. It was with this ' Touch-wood . . . 
commonly call'd by the name of Spunk ; but that we meet with to be sold 
in Shops, is brought from beyond Seas ' that Robert Hooke made the first 
known observations on the microscopical structure of fungi in his Micro- 
graphia (1665). The account occurs in Observation XXII — Of common 
Sponges, and several other Spongie fibrous bodies — and so is likely to 
escape notice : ' The substance of it feels, and looks to the naked eye, and 
may be stretch'd any way, exactly like a very fine piece of Chamois Leather, 
or wash'd Leather, but it is of somewhat a browner hew, and nothing neer 
so strong : but examining it with my Microscope, I found it of somewhat 
another make than any kind of Leather ... it consists of an infinite number 
of small filaments. . . .' 

The luminosity of fungi is one of those strange natural phenomena 
which always arouses interest, and there are many accounts of it. 
Miss L. E. Cheesman informs me that on her recent visit to the New 
Hebrides she was bushed one night and, passing near a village, said she 
must have a light. Boys collected a luminous fungus with a glutinous 
cap which they stuck all over themselves. She could then see a column 

8 Cf. Romany couplet: ' Quanda mandi chivs moilee Ke vindi morripude,' 
When a man cuts his fingers, he uses the puff-ball. 


of boys trailing through the forest. This account recalls one which 
Olaus Magnus gave in 1652 of the way in which luminous fungi and 
wood are arranged at intervals through the forests of remote countries 
of the north. Sometimes only the fruit-body is luminous, sometimes 
the mycelium also, sometimes the mycelium alone ; in these last the 
wood affected also is luminous, and this caused some concern occasionally 
in the early days of the War, when townspeople had to learn to move 
about in the dark out of doors. It had its uses sometimes in the trenches 
to prevent collisions ; and Ben Jonson refers to one which does not appear 
to be practised — ' While she sits reading by the glowworm's light, Or 
rotten wood, o'er which the worm hath crept.' 

G. H. Bryan in 1923 recommended the use of the ' inky juice ' of 
Coprinns comatus for retouching or painting out defects in photographic 

Hottentot ladies use the spores of Podaxis carcinomalis, which grows 
on ant-hills, as a face-powder. Miss E. L. Stephens, who told me of 
this, says that the spore-colour suits their special complexion. This is 
equalled by an account of the examination of ' An European Mummy,' 
from a Roman cemetery near Budapest, which is best given in the 
original. 9 ' As I examined the contents of the boxes I found by 
mikroskopical way, that they contained the face powder of the women 
prepared of a mixture of rice-flower and the reddish brown spores of 
the mushroom Tolyposporium junceum added evidently with the purpose 
to diminish the white colour of the rice flour. As powder puff served a 
piece of sponge.' 

It is puzzling to know what is behind the fact that John de Warrenna 
(ob. 1347), Earl of Sussex and Surrey, held the manor of Gymyngham 
(Gimingham, County Norfolk) by the rendering to the King a mushroom 
(campernolle) yearly. 

We are so accustomed to think that wood attacked by fungi is worthless 
that mention may be made of two or three examples to the contrary. 

The wood of birch infected with Polyporus betulinus is powdered and 
used for burnishing watches in the Swiss watch industry. The soft 
flesh of the fungus served our ancestors for making razor-strops ; ento- 
mologists use it for pinning insects. 

The well-known ' green wood ' of Tunbridge Ware is usually oak or 
birch (though other deciduous trees are affected) containing the mycelium 
of Chlorosplenium ceruginosum. The mycelium, as well as the fruit-body, 
is a brilliant green and colours the wood. Thin strips of different coloured 
woods are assembled into blocks so that their ends form the pattern or 
picture required. The woods are glued and bound together under 
pressure. When set, thin slices are cut across the block with a circular 
saw. The slices show the pattern, and are glued on the table, box, or 
other object to be decorated, carefully smoothed off and polished. The 
art which died out for some years in Tunbridge Wells has recently been 

Some of the decorative wood which is occasionally seen is ordinary 
wood infected with some fungus, such as Armillaria mellea or Ustulina 
• F. Hollendonner in Magyar Botan. Lapok. XXXII (1933), 107. 

K.— BOTANY 197 

vulgaris, which forms a black line at the limit of its attack. As these 
lines bear no relation to the normal orientation of sectioning, peculiar 
patterns often result. When tempted to purchase furniture so marked 
it is always advisable to test the wood in the neighbourhood of the line 
for defect. 

The type of oak known as ' brown oak ' is much valued by timber 
merchants. K. St. G. Cartwright has recently shown that though the 
wood is structurally sound, the colour results from the attack of the 
common beef-steak fungus, Fistalina hepatica, and further, that the 
colour can be produced by artificial inoculation with the fungus. 

The destruction of logs by fungi is one of the important factors in the 
life of a forest. It is strange to learn of rotting wood being sold at a 
fairly high price as cattle food. On Chiloe Island off the coast of Chile 
and in eastern Patagonia the wood of various trees such as Encryphia 
cordifolia, Weinmannia trichosperma, and species of Nothofagus is con- 
verted into a palatable food (palo podrido) by a mould, Mucor racemosus, 
in conjunction with bacteria. The smell and taste of the altered wood is 
said to resemble somewhat that of fresh mushrooms : it forms a valuable 
addition to pasturage. 

It is not surprising that fungi formerly were held in high esteem as 
cures for various ailments. Ergot (Claviceps purpurea) is the only one 
which is retained in the British Pharmacopsea. It was not known to 
classical writers and the beginnings of its history are in German folk-lore. 
The fungus attacks many species of grass, but is principally known from 
rye. Periodically, but more particularly in the middle ages before the 
effects of famine were neutralised by rapid transport, outbreaks of ergotism 
caused plagues of sufficient severity to be recorded. Two main types 
of ergotism are recognised, gangrenous and convulsive. The last great 
epidemic occuned in Russia where from September 1926 to August 1927 
over 11,000 cases became known to the authorities. A mild epidemic 
was reported at Manchester in 1927 among Jewish immigrants from 
central Europe who lived on rye-bread. The use of ergot in midwifery 
began in the eighteenth century in France, Germany and Italy, but its 
entry into official medicine took place in the United States early in the 
nineteenth century. An enormous amount of pharmacological investi- 
gation has been carried out, and recently A. McCrea has shown that the 
fungus grown in saprophytic cultures produces the three chief active 
principles (ergotinine, histamine and tyramine), characteristic of the 
extracts made from natural sclerotia, in sufficient amount to be of economic 

The two main sources of ergot are a large region in eastern Europe 
(chiefly Russia and Poland) and a smaller one in the moist north-west 
corner of Spain and Portugal, though other countries produce enough 
for their own use. The size of the crop varies from year to year, the 
average for a number of years being about a hundred tons from Russia 
and seventy tons from Spain. 

From the time of classical writers Agaricum, or Female Agarick, has 
been used for many ailments. Dioscorides believed it to be the most 
efficacious of all agencies in curing disease, and gives a list of its virtues 


which reads like an advertisement of a modern patent medicine. It is 
the dry, white, friable flesh of Polyporus officinalis which grows on larch 
in subalpine regions ; it has not yet gone completely out of use. 

Similarly, yeast was prescribed medicinally by Hippocrates and later 
by Dioscorides, and it is still used for various ailments and incorporated 
in many patent medicines. 

The list of fungi employed as medicines by natives in all parts of the 
world is very long, and its chief interest lies in the beliefs associated 
with many well-known species. One of the most celebrated is Cordyceps 
sinensis, with its attached parasitised caterpillar, which is sold throughout 
China in bundles tied up with red silk. Captain Kingdon Ward tells 
me that coolies collect this in the south and east of Tibet and that his 
own men are always on the look out for it. 

One aspect of the general subject which must be dealt with very 
summarily is that of mycorrhiza. It will be well to treat of orchid- 
growing, because there we meet with the best example of a practical 
application. It has been known for almost a century that fungal hyphse 
are present in the roots of orchids as they are, as a matter of fact, in those 
of many other families. Such difficulty was experienced in germinating 
the minute seeds of orchids that for many years it was thought of sufficient 
interest to describe and illustrate any seedlings which were obtained. 
The first practical step which proved of value was that of sowing the 
seeds on the soil of the pot containing the parent plant, a method 
apparently introduced by Neumann in 1844. There were modifications 
of this method, and gradual progress was made, but what success there 
was could be attributed rather to the ' green thumb ' of the grower 
than to any essential difference in procedure. At the beginning of the 
century, Noel Bernard, as a result of his study of Neottia, the bird's nest 
orchid, realised that the presence of the fungus in the root was in some 
way connected with the difficulty of obtaining seedlings, and astounded 
the botanical and horticultural worlds when he extracted the fungus 
from a root and, sowing seed with it, obtained abundant germination. 
The method has been used on a commercial basis in France, Germany 
and this country. 

Following on some experiments by Bernard, L. Knudson has shown 
that the action of the fungus can be replaced by sugars in the medium. 
This so-called asymbiotic method has also been employed in commercial 
orchid growing. Here we have the reverse of what is the common 
sequence, i.e. a fungus is proved to be necessary to bring about a desired 
end, and, as a further step, the action of the fungus has been replaced 
by chemical means. So far as my experience and observation go, the 
purely chemical method is not so satisfactory as the symbiotic method, 
though as germination in both is carried out in culture-flasks there seems 
no theoretical reason why there should be more than a temporary difference 
in the first stages. It may be added that the first orchid firm to apply 
the pure-culture method in this country has followed it for a quarter of 
a century, and for many years germination has been regarded as a routine 
requiring no scientific supervision. 

Most, if not all, forest trees have mycorrhizal roots, though the relation 

K.— BOTANY 199 

between the fungus and root is not of the same general type as in orchids. 
Trees growing under certain conditions undoubtedly benefit from the 
presence of the fungus, and forestry research-workers are investigating the 
problem of artificially infecting seedlings with appropriate fungi. Food 
obviously passes from the mycorrhizal fungi into the tree roots whether the 
food is absorbed from the fungus itself or is formed in the soil by the 
action of the fungus on substances present there. 

Fungi are able to bring about changes by means of enzymes, and it is 
surprising what veritable museums of enzymes many fungi are, e.g. from 
Aspergillus Oryzee the following have been recorded : amidase, catalase, 
cytase, dextrase, diastase, emulsin, a and (3 glucosidase, glycero- 
phosphatase, histozyme, inulase, invertase, lactase, lecithinase, lipase, 
maltase, protease, rennet, sulphatase — apparently sufficient for any purpose 
here below 

It is puzzling why with such a battery of attack many fungi are not 
more nearly omnivorous ; obviously other factors in addition to enzyme 
action enter into the problem. One thing is sure — there are abundant 
species and there is abundant decay. But all decay is not destruction, 
and life — so long as it remained possible — would be odd without the 
changes brought about by fungi. 

From earliest times man has made use of the action of certain fungi 
for bringing about desired changes in food and drink. More recently 
many of these processes have been carried out under controlled conditions, 
and other fermentations -have been harnessed by man for his need, his 
pleasure, or his convenience. Fungi are rapidly becoming more important 
in this respect, and we may anticipate an increasing number of industrial 
applications of fermentation activities. There is every sign that eventually 
we shall have a great chemical fermentation industry producing many 
substances which are now manufactured by expensive synthetic methods, 
for many such substances are known to occur as metabolic products of 
micro-organisms. Regarding the formation of these products, A. J. 
Kluyver writes : ' Even a superficial survey of the biochemical field is apt 
to fill one with profound astonishment at the practically unlimited diversity 
of the chemical constituents of living organisms. But this astonishment 
is transformed into bewilderment when we take into consideration the 
chemical processes which lead to the formation of these various products. 
For we have to accept the undeniable fact that all these substances have 
ultimately been derived from carbon dioxide and inorganic salts by a more 
or less elaborate series of biochemical processes. . . . Here we find the 
most remarkable fact . . . that a single organic compound suffices to 
ensure a perfectly normal development of these organisms, although they 
are cut off from any external energy supply. Here we find the biochemical 
miracle in its fullest sense, for we are bound to conclude that all the widely 
divergent chemical constituents of the cell have been built up from the 
only organic food constituent, and that without any intervention of 
external energy sources. The chemical conversions performed by these 
organisms rather resemble witchcraft than chemistry ! ' The Great War 
stimulated much research in these problems, and some of the methods 
then devised have been improved and extended just as Pasteur's studies 


on beer, undertaken as an immediate result of the misfortunes which befell 
France after the Franco-Prussian War, led to a scientific method of 
brewing. It has been said that when we can convert our evening paper 
into sugar so rapidly that we are able to eat for breakfast the albumen 
prepared therefrom, then indeed shall we have solved one of the greatest 
problems of the century. 

It is easy to suggest how some of the early important social discoveries 
in fermentation were made, but Elia has immortalised the essentials of 
all such hypotheses ; the aim of science is to confine within reasonable 
limits the stage which corresponds to the burning down of the hut. 

Most of the older processes depend upon the action of yeasts, i.e. 
fermentation in its restricted sense, the conversion of sugar into alcohol 
and carbon dioxide. They make a formidable list, and it is not necessary 
to refer to any but the more important or more interesting. 

Bread has been made since prehistoric times and leavened and un- 
leavened bread were clearly distinguished in the Divine instructions 
for the first Passover. Leaven is a portion of dough left over from the 
previous baking, and French bakery had its sequence from levain de chef 
to levain de tons points. The ' sour dough ' was presumably the 
experienced pioneer who saved a little of his previous bake. It was a 
great step forward when brewers' yeast was first used in baking in the 
early eighteenth century. The purpose of fermentation is the effective 
aeration of the dough by the uniform dispersion of carbon dioxide which 
must be occluded and retained by the gluten so that a well-risen loaf 
will result on baking, of required volume, texture and flavour with no 
alteration of the wheat protein. This fermentation is now accomplished 
by compressed-yeasts of pure-culture strains physiologically adapted to 
rapid and abundant gas-production in the complex environment of the 
dough. The compressed-yeast industry has gradually become more 
scientific since its introduction about i860. For forty years or so the 
Vienna process of low aeration was practised, but this has been long 
replaced by higher aeration methods. The employment of compressed- 
yeasts has supplanted the older methods of using leavens, barms, ferments 
and brewers' and distillers' yeasts except where special types of bread 
are required, but even here biological culture materials are coming into 
use as for the fermentation of sour-rye dough. Chemical methods of 
aeration such as by carbon dioxide under pressure, or as the result of 
reaction of substances in the presence of water, have fallen into disfavour 
except in biscuit manufacture, cake mixtures and self-raising flour. In 
ordinary circumstances it is essential that the yeast shall be used fairly 
fresh, and in England supplies are distributed to every town and village 
three times a week. During the General Strike of 1926 the Board of 
Trade had an emergency organisation which kept up the regular supply 
from Scotland and Ireland. The amount of bakers' yeast produced in 
Great Britain in 1930 was 2,200 tons with a value of £916,000. 

The changes which take place in the juices of fruits doubtless were 
known before the fermentation of cereals. Certainly by the time man's 
speech became coherent he sang the praises of wine as is seen in the 
numerous references in Egyptian hieroglyphics, Babylonian cuneiform 

K.— BOTANY 20 1 

inscriptions and the manuscripts of Greek mythology. The yeasts 
bringing about the fermentation of the grape sugar when the juice (must) 
is pressed out are present on the skins of the fruit : they winter in the 
soil. Different forms of yeast occur in different vineyards, though they 
are usually of the Saccharomyces ellipsoideus type. The character of the 
wine depends upon the kind of grape and the manner and period of 
fermentation : red wines are formed when the colour from the skins 
is extracted by the fermented liquor. Brandy or cognac is the alcoholic 
distillate from wine. 

In fermentation processes it is common to find that a practice handed 
down from antiquity was carried on in essentially the same way until 
recent times, and then there has been some method of control. Naturally 
in- so important an industry as wine-making — e.g. France devotes four 
million acres to vineyards — -scientific methods have been widely adopted. 
It is a little too haphazard to depend upon the naturally occurring yeasts 
on the grape skin. Consequently the skins are sterilised either by Pasteur- 
isation, or more commonly by the addition of a small amount of a dilute 
solution of sulphurous acid or one of its salts, generally potassium meta- 
bisulphite. Pure-culture yeast is added to the must as a ' starter.' 

As fermentation is carried out in the open it is obvious that other 
yeasts enter the fermenting liquor. Mycoderma vini, 10 ' la fleur du vin,' is 
active in bringing about the ageing of sherries kept on ullage, by inducing 
oxidation changes and esterification. In some districts of France, 
Botrytis cinerea is allowed to infect grapes which are to be used in 
making wine of relatively high alcohol content (e.g. Sauterne), which 
usually contains some unfermentable sugar. This ' noble mould ' 
produces no objectionable odour or flavour ; its growth merely results 
in considerable loss of water from the grape. 

The preparation of cider and perry is similar to that of wine. Formerly 
the juice of apples or pears when pressed out of the pulp was allowed to 
ferment with the yeasts occurring naturally on the surface of the fruits. 
Modern manufacturies, however, use pure-cultures of appropriate yeasts, 
which enable them to standardise their products in a manner not possible 
if reliance is placed on the mixed natural population. 

Mead is sometimes regarded as the oldest beverage of the human 
race, for it was probably brewed from the washings of emptied honey- 
combs before crops were cultivated. It is still made in English farm- 
houses, and sold to a small extent on the Continent. Water is added to 
the honey and well mixed and sterilised by boiling. As the liquid cools 
flavouring is added, and it is then fermented with brewers' yeast. 

The general routine of beer-brewing is well known. Brewers' yeast is 
Saccharomyces cerevisice. Many strains of this species are known ; they 
are generally classified as top or high yeasts, and bottom or low yeasts. 
Brewery yeast must generate certain substances possessing a characteristic 
aromatic taste or odour. It must also readily separate from the fluid, 
leaving a clear, bright liquid. This species has been studied more 
thoroughly than any other fungus. Many breweries have long had their 

10 Not to be confused with Mycoderma aceti = A cetobacter aceti, the vinegar 

H 2 


own special yeasts for inoculating the wort. These give the slightly 
different, well-known characteristics associated with the names im- 
mortalised by Calverley : ' O Beer, O Hodgson, Guinness, Allsopp, Bass ! 
Names that should be on every infant's tongue ! ' Pure cultures of 
bottom yeasts used for light beers are maintained fairly easily in an 
uncontaminated condition. Top yeasts are more liable to be mixed 
with foreign or wild yeasts, which are deleterious and give rise to ' disease,' 
though certain non-sporing yeasts are frequently associated with the 
conditioning of English bottled beers. 

K. Kruis and J. Satava working in Czeckoslovakia in 1918 showed 
that there was an alternation of generations in yeasts and regarded 
Torula and other non-sporing yeastsas haploid forms. Little notice was 
taken of their work, but recently O. Winge, of the famous Carlsberg 
Laboratories, has independently confirmed some of their results. The 
difference in haplophase and diplophase is remarkable in some fungi, 
as for example in Ustilago laevis and U. Hordei, where the unfused conidium 
is unable to infect the host plant. We may anticipate some similarly 
distinct physiological differences among the yeasts. 

The art of distillation for the preparation of beverages apparently 
dates back as far as 2000 B.C., and St. Patrick is reputed to have taught 
it to the Irish. Whisky and gin are prepared from barley in a manner 
similar to beer. The malt, however, is left until the whole of the dextrin 
is converted into maltose, so that in subsequent fermentation by yeast 
the maximum amount of alcohol is produced. The strains of yeast 
employed have a high fermentative power. 

To turn for a moment to the fuel problem which is becoming of 
increasing significance. It has been estimated that English coal will 
be exhausted in four hundred years, and that of the United States in 
four thousand years if there is no increase in its consumption ; whereas 
if the rapid increase of the recent past is continued these periods will be 
reduced to fifty and five hundred years respectively. Although petroleum 
is an obvious substitute, the supply of this is doomed to suffer through 
modern excessive use. Consequently other fuel sources have been 
suggested, but the future doubtless lies with power alcohol to be obtained 
from plant materials, either cellulose, sugar or starch. Alcohol is one 
of the most important chemicals, and its cheap production is absolutely 
essential for the development of many new industries. In the preparation 
of industrial alcohol, sugar-beet, beet- or cane-molasses, potato, maize, 
rice or similar starchy materials are used. The old process resembles 
that for the production of potable spirit, but the ingredients are inferior. 
The propagation and culture of the yeast is the most important step in 
the process. The aim is to have sufficient active pure yeast so that the 
fermentation can proceed rapidly ; distillation is carried out so soon as 
the fermentation is complete, and this prevents the loss of alcohol — the 
yeasts tend to overgrow all other organisms so long as sugar is present. 
The carbon dioxide obtained as a by-product is now employed to prepare 
' Dry Ice ' for refrigeration processes. 

The method of converting starch into sugar in the malting operations, 
however, is not entirely satisfactory, and recourse has been had to 

K.— BOTANY 203 

the properties of micro-organisms for bringing this about. The best 
known of these methods is the Amylo process which was introduced 
about forty years ago, and is utilised either in its original form, or in some 
modification, in almost every country in the world where the fermentation 
of starchy material is carried on. Several moulds have the power of 
converting starch into sugar, but the species first patented by Calmette 
and Boidin was Mucor (Amylomyces) Rouxii, 11 which Calmette had found 
in ' Chinese rice,' used in various oriental fermentations. Sterilised 
corn-mash in a closed vessel is inoculated with a very small quantity of 
fungus and filtered air is blown through the fluid for several hours. The 
mould develops very rapidly and converts the starch. Pure-yeast cultures 
are added and develop in the ordinary way ; the species employed is 
Saccharomyces anamensis from sugar-cane in Cochin China. Although 
the Mucor itself is able to ferment the sugar, yeast acts more rapidly 
and gives a greater percentage of alcohol. The process has been modified 
with the years and other species have since been used in place of Mucor 
Rouxii, first Amylomyces p (Rhizopus japonicus) and Amylomyces y 
(R. tonkinensis) , and now Rhizopus Delemar. 12 A similar process is that 
of Boulard in which Mucor Boulard No. 5 is employed, a species obtained 
originally from grains in the Far East. This fungus is characterised by its 
saccharifying power, and its ability to hold its own against infection ; 
consequently the process is carried out in open vats much as in ordinary 
grain distilleries. Mould and yeast are added at the same time, the 
special yeasts employed being the rapidly acting Yeast Boulard Nos. 21-30. 
Neither the Amylo nor the Boulard process has been adopted in countries 
like England where the excise laws require that the gravity of distillers' 
wort shall be determined before fermentation by the saccharimeter, 
which is not possible where the two stages are simultaneous. Owing 
to the adaptability of these processes to high temperatures they are 
suitable for tropical and subtropical countries. 

Almost every nation has its ancient fermented drink. Kvass, the 
commonest beverage in Russia, is usually prepared by mixing barley- 
malt, rye-malt, and rye-flour in equal parts, stirring with boiling water, 
allowing to stand for some hours, diluting with more boiling water, then 
adding yeast. After incubating for two or three days peppermint is 
added for flavouring. Kvass is served out as a ration to the Russian troops. 
Similar beverages are prepared in Hungary, Yugoslavia and Roumania, 
millet or maize being used and honey or sugar added. 

Pulque, the national beverage of Mexico, is prepared by fermenting 
the juice obtained by tapping Agave, species of which are grown for the 
purpose ; several millions of capital are sunk in the business. Some of 
the juice is allowed to ferment naturally for about ten days and a small 
amount of this is added to fresh juice. Fermentation proceeds rapidly, 
and the drink is ready after a day or two. A couple of yeasts (No. 1 and 
No. 2) have been recorded as responsible for the fermentation. Alcoholic 

11 The specific epithet is often wrongly written Rouxianus . The fungus has 
also been isolated from soil from North Greenland. 

12 Several species of Rhizopus have been described from Japanese and Chinese 


fermentation has been regarded until recently as the perquisite of fungi, 
but Lindner has isolated a bacterium from pulque, Termobacterium mobile, 
which provokes a reaction very closely resembling pure alcoholic fer- 
mentation. Pulque is very like sour milk in flavour, and is much esteemed 
for its cooling properties, though the natives also regard it as nutritious. 

Other fermented liquors which appear to owe their main characteristics 
to yeasts are Taette, a thick viscous non-coagulated milk product with 
an agreeable acid taste, known in Scandinavia from antiquity ; Bid, a 
wine of West Africa prepared from the tubercles of Osbeckia grandiflora ; 
Sorgho, an alcoholic drink of Manchuria, made from Sorghun saccharaturn, 
and Nigger beer of East Africa from millet. 

Probably few of the drinks prepared in a more or less casual manner 
so far as concerns the essentials of the process — though special rites may 
attend their preparation — owe their alcoholic properties entirely to one 
organism. Sometimes allied species take part in the general mass-action 
in a manner similar to that in which wild yeasts sometimes enter into the 
fermentation of beer-wort ; often doubtless some of these foreign organisms 
interfere with the normal process. 

Apart, however, from these casual associations which may work in 
harmony or antagonistically, there are several fermented drinks, some very 
ancient, which owe their properties to the regular association of two or 
more organisms. 

One of the best known of these is the old English Ginger Beer ousted 
to a great extent by the manufacturer, who either allows natural fer- 
mentation to take place, or adds brewers' yeast : the so-called ginger 
beer of the aerated water type is entirely different. The ' ginger-beer 
plant,' however, becomes widely known at times. Immediately after 
the War it was to be obtained all over the country as Californian 
Bees, American Bees — and as the generally accepted belief was that it 
had been brought home by soldiers on active service — Macedonian Bees, 
Jerusalem Bees, and so on. Professor T. G. B. Osborn tells me that 
it is often sold by pedlars in Australia. The plant is a globular white 
mass usually about the size of a pea, and is used for fermenting a sugary 
fluid. The production of carbon dioxide causes the mass to rise to the 
surface of the liquid, and it settles down again after the liberation of the 
gas. There is thus a constant slow up-and-down movement which 
during the last epidemic was the cause of considerable interference with 
what Peacock calls ' the honeyed ease of the Civil Servant's working 
day ' — at least for one. The constituents of the mass are a yeast 
(Saccharomyces pyriformis) and a bacterium {Bacterium vermiforme) ; the 
bacterium has a pellucid, swollen, glutinous sheath, and the yeast cells 
appear to be mechanically entangled in the matrix of coiled filaments. 
Other organisms are frequently present but are not regarded as essential. 
The yeast works more efficiently in the presence of the bacterium which, 
moreover, apparently also aids by preventing the products of fermentation 
from reaching the yeast, possibly by destroying some of them ; the 
products are different from those when each organism acts alone — large 
quantities of carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and little or no alcohol. It is 
not unlikely that the ginger-beer plant arose as a contamination of raw 

K— BOTANY 205 

sugar, for a similar if not identical ' organism ' has been found in 

Mexican Tibi also owes its production to the association of a yeast 
{Pichia Radaisii) and a bacterium (Bacterium mexicanum), which occur 
naturally on the prickly pear (Opuntia) in rounded transparent masses 
similar to the ginger-beer plant. These placed in a syrupy solution 
produce a sparkling, slightly acid drink very popular with the working 
classes. 13 The yeast is unable to act in the presence of air ; the bacterium 
plays the part of keeping down the amount of oxygen. The natural 
occurrence of the ' organism ' recalls the fact that the sugary exudations 
from trees, known as slime-flux, constantly harbour a mass of bacteria, 
yeasts, and interesting yeast-like fungi, several of which are known only 
from this habitat. 

Another combined yeast-bacterium mass which has been distributed 
widely over northern Europe as a cure for such ailments as consumption 
is grown in sweetened tea, and forms a heavy gelatinous scum on the surface. 
G. Lindau, who obtained it from Curland, described it as a new genus 
of yeasts, Mednsomyces (M. Gisevii). P. Lindner, however, showed 
that it is a mixture of organisms, but mainly a yeast (Saccharomycodes 
Ludwigii) and a bacterium (Bacterium xylinum). 

Recently what is essentially the same beverage has received considerable 
notice in the eastern tropics as Tea Cider. Ordinary tea has ten per cent, 
sugar added to it and is then inoculated with the ' mould ' Saccharo- 
mycodes Ludwigii — Bacterium xylinum. The time for the completion of 
the fermentation is from two days upwards depending upon the altitude 
and temperature. The beverage contains up to three per cent, alcohol and 
is slightly acid, with an agreeable aromatic flavour. There has been 
a good deal of propaganda in Java which has led to its increased popu- 
larity. Its reputed medicinal qualities have also brought about an extensive 
use in Javan villages. The attempt to popularise it in Ceylon has not been 
viewed with favour by the excise authorities. C. H. Gadd says that the 
bacterium is the essential constituent, for this gives the characteristic 
flavour and odour, and that yeasts other than Saccharomycodes Ludwigii 
will work in conjunction with it. 

As indicating how such organisms may have first entered into use 
I may mention that I have isolated a similar gelatinous mass from the 
dregs accidentally left in a teacup for a month or so. 

The fermentation of milk is deliberately arranged in many parts of 
the world with resultant beverages which go far back in the history of the 
peoples ; milk-wine according to Herodotus was known to the Scythians. 
One of these is Kephir, the effervescent, alcoholic sour milk of western 
Asia. The kephir grains which are employed in the production of the 
drink are white or yellowish irregularly shaped masses, about the size 
of a walnut, tough and cartilaginous when fresh and brittle when dry. 
The tradition is that they were a divine gift to Mohammed ; they are 
regularly sold in druggists' shops. H. von Freudenreich isolated a yeast 

13 Pabst states that Tiby or ' grains vivantes ' was used in Paris about 1890 
to ferment weak sugar solutions. The name suggests a further similarity to the 
ginger-beer plant. 


{Saccharomyces sp.), two species of Streptococcus and a Bacillus. The 
yeast is without the enzyme lactase necessary for fermenting milk-sugar. 
This is hydrolised by one of the Streptococci, the other coagulates the 
milk ; the part played by the Bacillus is not known. In other kephir 
grains, however, yeasts [Saccharomyces fragilis and Torula Kephir) have 
been found which possess lactase and so any ' symbiosis ' here must be 
of a different character. 

Koumiss is another fermented-milk beverage and is one of the staple 
articles of diet of Siberian and Caucasian tribes. Mares', asses' or camels' 
milk is used, and there are the customary slight differences in methods 
of preparation. A little koumiss from a previous brew is mixed with 
fresh milk in small casks or vats fitted with a stirring apparatus, or in 
leathern bottles when the tribe is nomadic. As fermentation nears com- 
pletion the liquid is transferred to strong bottles which are corked and 
wired ; the continuance of fermentation produces an effervescent drink. 
The organisms responsible for the fermentation include a yeast (Saccharo- 
myces sp.), a lactic acid bacterium and a bacterium which, in the presence 
of the other two, coagulates the mass so finely that it remains as a viscous 
fluid. Koumiss has lately been made on a commercial scale because 
of its reputed medicinal properties. 

Egyptian Leben is a similar drink. The milk may be that of the buffalo, 
the cow or the goat. Here the process is begun by using dried milk from 
a previous brew to add to the boiled milk. Five organisms are said to 
play their part in the fermentation, two yeasts (Saccharomyces lebenis and 
Mycoderma lebenis) and three bacteria. The yeasts are unable to ferment 
lactose, which is hydrolised by one of the bacteria. 

Mazu is a similar fermented drink of the Armenians, used both as a 
beverage and for butter-making. 

When we turn to the Orient we find that yeasts rarely act alone in 
bringing about the fermentation resulting in food and drink. The pre- 
liminary stages are most frequently associated with the activities of 
Mucorineas or species of Aspergillus. 

Arrack is a generic name applied to a number of spirituous liquors. 
In Java it is prepared from rice-starch by the action of raggi. Raggi 
is produced by crushing together sugar-cane and galanga root-stock, 
making this into a paste with rice- meal, then drying and mixing with water 
and lemon-juice and leaving for two or three days. The liquid is poured 
off and the pulpy residue is made into flat round cakes. These are in- 
oculated by kneading into them some fresh rice-straw, or by placing them 
in rice-straw. The cakes, which are articles of commerce in Java, contain 
many organisms, among which are Rhizopus Oryzce which secretes 
rennet and diastase, Monilia javanensis which ferments sugars, and 
Saccharomyces Vordermannii which appears to be the principal agent 
in the production of alcohol. Fruit juices, palm juices and rice are 
fermented to produce arrack. 

In Ceylon arrack is distilled chiefly from palm-toddy, which is the fer- 
mented juice from unexpanded flower-spathes of coco- nut, date- or palmyra- 
palms ; a century ago whole forests were set apart foi the production of 
toddy. Before fermentation, toddy forms the raw material for the manu- 

K.— BOTANY 207 

facture of ' jaggery ' or crude sugar. Toddy serves extensively as yeast 
and no other is employed by Cingalese bakers. 

On the Indian continent, arrack is produced from palm-toddy, rice, 
and the refuse of sugar refineries, but mainly from the flowers of Bassia, 
which are rich in sugars. 

The various processes are carried out in so concentrated a liquid that 
complete fermentation rarely takes place. The ' ferments ' are very 
impure and a high proportion of deleterious by-products occur which 
probably is responsible for many of the native ' drug ' symptoms. 

Chinese Rice, Migen or Men, is a ' starter ' similar to the Javanese 
raggi. It appears in commerce as flattened cakes about the size of half- 
a-crown. The recipe for its production includes over forty ingredients, 
but no mention is made of the essential fungus included in its manu- 
facture. This is Mucor Rouxii which occurs on rice grains. Chinese 
Rice is prepared from rice rich in starch, which after being husked and 
bleached is steamed until soft and then cooled on rice-straw mats, some- 
times coated with paddy. Spores of the fungus gain entrance from the 
rice-straw or husks, and they are distributed evenly during stirring. The 
mats are placed in underground chambers for a couple of days, by which 
time the fungus is well developed. The grains are next worked up by 
hand, and exposed in the warmest parts of the cellar. The process is 
repeated twice before the Chinese Rice is ready. It is used in the pre- 
paration of rice spirit. 

Japanese Koji differs from Chinese Rice in the fungus concerned being 
a species of Aspergillus. Various kojis are known by the name of the 
fermentation process for which they are to be used. Shoyu koji is the 
' starter ' for the soy fermentation. Soy beans {Glycine spp.) are highly 
nutritious, being rich in protein and oil though deficient in starch, and 
are a staple food in Japan and China, having been cultivated for more than 
five thousand years. The beans are soaked in cold running water and 
then cooked until they are soft and cooled and drained as rapidly as possible. 
The beans are commonly mixed with roasted and powdered wheat to 
which the spores of Aspergillus Oryzce, A. flavus or some closely allied 
species rich in proteolytic enzymes are added, and the mass is incubated 
for two or three days until each bean is covered with the fungus. The 
preparation of koji has passed from the old empiricism to a scientifically 
controlled process. 

Shoyu koji is employed in the preparation of soy sauce, a dark brown, 
salty liquid made by the fermentation of soy beans with, as a rule, some 
additional starchy component. The sauce is widely used as seasoning 
throughout Japan, China and Java, and is the basis of most European and 
American sauces, giving the characteristic flavour of the Worcestershire 
type. Though it is rare to see any reference in modern English literature 
to what J. Ovington in 1696 called ' Souy the choicest of all Sawces,' 
it was otherwise formerly when Byron wrote ' From travellers accustom'd 
from a boy To eat their salmon, at the least, with soy,' and cruets always 
had their soy bottle. Soy beans, having been cooked and mixed with 
prepared wheat, are inoculated with the koji and emptied into a strong 
brine, thus producing a mash. Constant daily attention is given to aera- 


tion and even distribution of the solid ingredients by stirring. Pro- 
gressive digestive changes take place over a period of from six months 
to several years, changes which are partly due to bacteria and yeasts, but 
mainly to the enzymes of the mould. The rather thick, dark brown mash 
is" siphoned or pressed to produce soy sauce which is boiled, filtered 
and, in most modern manufactories, processed or Pasteurised. 

Tamari is another sauce made either entirely from soy beans alone or 
with rice as a starchy component. The fermentation, where carried on 
empirically, is said to be due to Aspergillus Tamari. 

Miso is the general name for another series of soy-bean products 
resulting from fermenting cooked soy beans with an Aspergillus koji. 
It is one of the commonest breakfast foods for children. 

There is a wide range of oriental foods produced by fermentation with 
Aspergillus. Chinese curd, To-fu, is made from soy-bean milk fer- 
mented with mould and ripened in brine. The curd is cut into squares 
which soon become covered with fungus. They are then placed in brine 
for further ripening. The curd is canned as white or red squares in a 
salty liquid. 

The national Japanese beverage is Sake, with a history going back more 
than two thousand years. The starch of hulled and steamed rice is 
converted into sugar with selected strains of Aspergillus Oryzce of high 
diastatic power known under various commercial names : the fungus 
was not isolated until 1878. The sugar produced is then fermented 
by adding yeasts (Saccharomyces Sake, S. tokyo, S. Yeddo, etc.). A 
claret-yellow liquid results which is of the same general type as whisky 
with about fourteen per cent, alcohol. The sugar resulting from the 
saccharification with A. Oryzce is also concentrated for use as a syrup, 

The importance of the four large industries in Japan in which Asper- 
gillus Oryzce is employed may be gathered from the following figures 
which give the approximate total yearly quantities : Sake (rice wine), 
812,000 kilolitres ; Shoyu (soy sauce), 902,000 kilolitres ; Miso (soy cheese), 
1,690,000 kilograms; Shocho (distilled alcoholic liquor), 39,700 kilo- 
litres. The annual money value of all the fermentation industries is 
approximately £40,000,000. 

Yam brandy is prepared similarly by the malting of the starch of yam 
tubers with Aspergillus Batatce and fermenting this with yeast. 

Chinese Red Rice, Angkhak, is of peculiar interest. Its origin was long 
kept secret, but it is now known to be due to the fungus Monascus 
purpureus. Damp rice is spread out in caves and infected with old angkhak. 
After a few days the rice is coloured an intense purplish red by the 
luxuriant growth of Monascus. The rice is dried and crushed and prepared 
with a volatile oil. It is exported to other countries, and is employed 
for colouring all kinds of food-stuffs in a way which recalls the use made of 
cochineal insects. Monascus purpureus occurs naturally on rice grains, and 
it occasionally causes alarm when seen on rice imported into this country. 
It is frequent in silo tanks in America : I have seen it also on tallow. 

Perhaps it would surprise the music hall comedian to learn that moulds 
are definitely associated with the ripening of some kinds of cheeses apart 

K.— BOTANY 209 

from those obviously showing infection with the attendant faint, sweet 
smell of green things growing. The art of making cheese goes back to 
the beginnings of man's pastoral life. It has been held that there is 
evidence for its preparation in the Swiss lake-villages. Cheese from 
goats' milk is mentioned in the Iliad, and from the Odyssey it is seen to have 
played a not inconsiderable part in giving sustenance : the cavern of the 
Cyclopes had its cheese-dairy. What is said of the preparation shows 
that there has been little difference since Homeric times. From the 
fifth century B.c Sicilian cheeses were sold everywhere. J. Ivolas has 
suggested that the cheeses of Mt. Lesura which Pliny says were brought 
from Nimes to Rome were Roquefort cheese. 

Moulds of the genus Penicillium play a large part in the ripening of the 
Camembert-Brie, and the Roquefort-Gorgonzola-Stilton series of cheeses. 
Milk is first coagulated with rennet or dried calf-stomach linings ; the 
curd is then separated from the whey, drained and pressed to reduce it 
to its proper proportions. Subsequent salting modifies the flavour and 
aids desiccation, but also controls the kind of organism which develops. 
The various processes are mainly due to enzymes and to bacteria, but the 
taste of certain cheeses depends largely on the species of Penicillium which 
develops during ripening. It has always been realised that the district 
where such cheeses are made has a considerable influence on the finished 
product ; the local customs of ripening cheeses in special caves used from 
time immemorial has its reason in the fact that the caves are infected with 
some particular Penicillium. Thus O. Laxa has recently shown that 
Nalzory cheese owes its distinctive characters to Penicillium nalgiovensis , 
which is abundantly present in the caves where the cheese is matured, 
but has not been found elsewhere in the locality ; he believes that the 
lungus was introduced in 1885 together with the cheese-manufacturing 
industry. Last year The Times opened its columns to an eulogy of 
Stilton. The sale of Quenby Hall was recalled in an article entitled 
' The Secret of Stilton '— ' The . . . etc. etc. about the " secret " of 
Cheesemaking must be taken to include the specific germ of the Stilton 
cheese. The brushing probably helps to impart that, but the woodwork 
of the dairy must also play its part. I have heard of a farmer who was so 
pleased with the results of his cheesemaking that he decided to have the 
dairy rebuilt on a larger scale, with all sorts of tiling and slate shelves. 
Thereafter his cheeses lacked their old esteemed special quality, the reason 
being that the virtue had departed with the germs in the wooden shelves.' 14 

In making such cheeses as Stilton, Roquefort and Gorgonzola, the curd 
is so managed as to leave cracks between the particles as they are pressed 
together. These cheeses show marbling of green mould on cut surfaces. 
C. Thorn and J. N. Currie found that Penicillium roqueforti alone of 
twenty-one species of Penicillium was able to tolerate the low oxygen- 
content which they demonstrated in the air spaces. Thorn regards the 
Penicillium in these cheeses as belonging to the same series though other 
workers have regarded them as distinct species. In the ripening of the 
thin cakes of the Camembert type of cheese, the fungus Penicillium 

14 Cf. Enlever trop souvent les poussieres de l'6table et de la laiterie, c'est 
enlever la creme de sur la lait.- — French proverb. 


camemberti covers the entire surface with a fioccose, white mycelium, 
which gradually causes the cheese to take on a soft, smooth texture. 

Various strains of Penicillium roqueforti and P. camemberti have been 
isolated and in modern scientific cheese-making deliberate infection is 
now practised. For our series of blue-veined cheeses, D. W. Steuart, 
and N. S. Golding have recommended consistent inoculation by selected 
strains of the particular fungus owing to the liability of infection by 
undesirable species in English cheese factories. It is because of these 
methods that one sees advertisements such as ' un Roquefort d'origine 
fabriqueavec du lait de brebis et affine dans les celebres caves naturelles de 
Roquefort.' The French government passed a decree a few years ago 
that only cheese ripened in this way was entitled to be called Roquefort. 

Every organic substance is liable sooner or later to become infected 
with some kind of mould. Even in Old Testament times we learn that 
the Gibeonites, working wilily in order to persuade Joshua that they had 
come from a far country, took care that all the bread of their provision was 
dry and mouldy ; and this, though mentioned last in the list of arrange- 
ments, was the first mentioned 'as proof of their story. In the Lambeth 
manuscripts (1460-1470) we find ' Thou lettest poore men go bare, thy 
drynkis soweren, thou mouldedest metis where-with the febull myght 
wele fare.' Robert Hooke in his Micrographia has an Observation 
' Of blue Mould, and of the first Principles of Vegetation arising 
from Putrefaction.' He writes : ' The Blue and White and several kinds 
of hairy mouldy spots, which are observable upon divers kinds of 
putrifyd bodies, whether Animal substances, or Vegetable, such as the 
skin, raw or dress'd, flesh, bloud, humours, milk, green Cheese, etc. or 
rotten sappy Wood, or Herbs, Leaves, Barks, Roots, etc. of Plants, are all 
of them nothing else but several kinds of small and variously figur'd 
Mushroms, which, from convenient materials in those putrifying bodies, 
are, by the concurrent heat of the Air, excited to a certain kind of vege- 
tation, which will not be unworthy our more serious speculation and 
examination . . .' Malpighi (1686) also turned his attention to the 
microscopical observation of moulds growing on cheese, Cucurbita, 
lemons, oranges, wood, and bread. 

As we have seen, man has taken advantage of the natural infection of 
the juices of fruits, cereals, and so on, and after arranging for such in- 
fection to take place as he wished, has come to the stage where the infection 
is controlled and the organism most suited for his particular purpose is 
used to bring about the desired change. But modern man does not remain 
satisfied with the methods of his ancestors, or even with those of his 
immediate predecessors. It is not only that he desires to make two 
blades of grass grow where one grew before, but he wants them twice as 
big at half the cost and twice the speed. He had been going to the ant 
and considering the lilies for many centuries before he realised that moulds 
and other microscopic fungi were bringing about changes that he was 
unable to repeat without their aid. 

There is difficulty in apportioning credit for the modern application 
of moulds to industry. The first step was made by Louis Pasteur in his 
classical studies on tartaric acid when he used a mould to bring about a 

K.— BOTANY 2ii 

specific chemical action. It appears probable that it was this that gave 
Pasteur his first interest in ferments. ' If I place one of the salts of race- 
mic acid, paratartrate or racemate of ammonia, for instance, in the ordinary 
conditions of fermentation, the dextro-tartaric acid alone ferments, the 
other remains in the liquor. I may say, in passing, that this is the best 
means of preparing laevo-tartaric acid. Why does the dextro-tartaric 
acid alone become putrefied ? Because the-ferments of that fermentation 
feed more easily on the right than on the left molecules.' 15 Pasteur called 
the mould Penicillium glaucum ; but it is still necessary to emphasise 
that this name as generally understood merely denotes a green Penicillium 
and ' greenness has no more significance in predicting biochemical 
ability of a Penicillium than bayness of a horse in judging his speed in a 
horse race ' ; it is of no greater significance in taxonomy. 

The other necessary step was made also by Pasteur when in i860 he 
used a synthetic medium with the ash of yeast as a basis. This was 
followed by the laborious work of his pupil, J. Raulin, who replaced the 
yeast-ash with salts necessary for the maximum growth of Aspergillus 

Another of Pasteur's favourite pupils, P. van Tieghem, studied the 
formation of gallic acid from tannin (1867). This acid had been dis- 
covered in 1786 by C. W. Scheele in decomposing gall-nuts. In the pro- 
duction of gallic acid, gall-nuts, chiefly of Chinese origin, are powdered, 
mixed with water and left at 20 to 25 C. for eight to ten days until they 
are mouldy. Most of the tannin (gallotannic acid) is converted into 
gallic acid. Van Tieghem found that the active agent in the fermentation 
is Aspergillus niger ; the high concentration of the tannin apparently 
prevents the development of other moulds. 

Calmette patented a process in 1904 for the production of gallic acid 
by fermenting clear tannin extract with ' Aspergillus gallomyces,' the fungus 
being kept submerged by means of a mechanical agitator and by intro- 
ducing large quantities of sterile air. 

Gallic acid is a mordant and a constituent of inks. At the beginning of 
the War it was used in the production of gallocyanine with which American 
sailors' uniforms were dyed. 

Many fermentation reactions are not so simple as they appear at first 
sight. We know the constitution of the original substance and the final 
products. It seems certain that the intermediate stages are common 
in these reactions, but what these are is usually a matter of conjecture 
and discussion. The time-honoured equation proposed by Gay-Lussac 
for the fermentation of sugar by yeast gives the main facts but takes no 
note of possible intermediate stages, and, moreover, does not account for 
the occurrence of glycerol which Pasteur showed, so early as 1858, 16 
might occur in amounts up to three per cent, of the fermented sugar. The 
uses of glycerol (glycerine) are manifold, but the chief one is in the manu- 

16 The Life of Pasteur, by R. Vallery-Radot. 

16 ' I find that alcoholic fermentation is constantly accompanied by the pro- 
duction of glycerine ; it is a curious fact. For instance, in one litre of wine 
there are several grammes of that product which had not been suspected.' — 
Letter to C. Chappuis. 


facture of nitro-glycerine, the most important constituent of high explo- 
sives. The blockade of the Allies prevented the import into Germany of 
fats and oils utilised in the preparation of glycerine, and attention was 
therefore paid to the possibility of its production by fermenting sugar 
which was available as raw material. Ordinary fermentation of sugar 
takes place either in neutral or slightly acid solution, but for over sixty 
years it has been known that it can proceed in the presence of various 
alkaline salts. The fermentation reaction proceeds instantaneously and 
it is impossible to gain an insight into the mechanism of the process by 
isolating an intermediate product. C. Neuberg has given a scheme for 
alcoholic fermentation which shows methyl-glyoxal as the probable 
first stage of the process ; this is oxidised to pyruvic acid, which is in its 
turn decarbonylated to acetaldehyde and carbon dioxide. The problem 
which was tackled was whether the acetaldehyde could be ' trapped ' 
before it had been oxidised or reduced. Theoretically then for every 
molecule of acetaldehyde fixed a corresponding molecule of glycerol is to 
be expected. W. Connstein and K. Ludecke in 1914 began by adding a 
number of alkaline compounds such as sodium carbonate and sodium 
acetate. Infection by lactic-acid bacteria, however, occurred to such an 
extent that not only was a large quantity of sugar consumed but the glycerine 
was so contaminated that it was difficult to purify. The alkaline salts 
were next replaced by disodium sulphite, which, when added to the mash 
even in very considerable quantities, does not interfere with the action 
of the yeast, and in addition is a valuable antiseptic. This method 
was patented in 191 5. Apparently it was learned in the United States 
that ' the Germans were producing glycerine in large quantities by a 
fermentation process, sugar being the material used,' and federal chemists 
were set to work on a similar investigation. The general theoretical 
reasoning again proved fruitful, and successful methods were worked 
out and patented in the United States, England, the former Austria- 
Hungary, Switzerland and Japan. During the War the monthly German 
production of glycerine by this method exceeded 1,000,000 kilograms and 
twenty to twenty- five per cent, of the sugar used was converted into 
glycerine. In the United States twenty per cent, glycerine was obtained 
by fermenting molasses and syrups with Californian wine yeasts. The old 
method of commercial production has now been reverted to more or less 
generally because of being the more economical. 

In recent years the use of commercial diastase (Takadiastase, Kashi- 
wagi-diastase, Digestin, Protozyme, Oryzyme, Polyzyme and other trade 
names) has spread extensively especially in America ; it originated in 
Japan. The diastase is of fungal origin, being manufactured from Asper- 
gillus flavus-Ory zee, the species of Japanese koji. Cultivation is carried 
out on bran (wheat-bran in U.S.A., rice-bran in Japan) or some other 
cheap, bulky, fibrous substance, sterilised, moistened and spread out on 
trays. Inoculation is made at a suitable temperature and the fungus 
rapidly extends over the mass. Growth is stopped at the time of maximum 
enzymic activity, which is soon after spore-formation, the resulting 
liquid is then pressed through percolators and filtered through infusorial 
earth or merely strained. For commercial use the extract is preserved by 

K.— BOTANY 213 

adding a disinfectant ; for food or medicinal use it is concentrated or 
precipitated by alcohol. The product is not pure diastase, but a mixture 
of enzymes — it has even been called an arsenal of enzymes — hence the 
commercial name Polyzyme. 

Takadiastase, a whitish or yellowish powder, is used in medicine where 
there is a lack of normal digestive activity, especially that of ptyalin. 
Owing to J. Takamine working in America — he went there in 1891 with 
the idea, he says, of introducing the use of Aspergillus Oryzce, which plays 
such an important part in the natural economy of Japan — and taking out 
his first patent in 1894, his diastase has been largely employed there in 
industry. In the weaving of fabrics from cotton, jute and similar fibres, 
it is often necessary to oversize the warp threads to facilitate weaving. 
This extra size is removed by an enzymic solution. Takadiastase is also 
employed to separate the silk fibres comprising the thread as spun by 
the silkworm. It is also used for clarifying the pectin of apple pomace 
in jam and jelly-making — the turbidity is due to starch and protein — 
and to clear sorghum syrup. Commercial diastase can replace soap in 
laundry work and is a partial substitute for yeast in bread-making. 

Investigations carried out during the last forty years on the growth 
of moulds in culture show the possibilities of the utilisation of their 
action on sugars and other carbohydrates. The work of Pasteur and his 
pupils was followed up in many countries, but progress was slow. 

In 1 89 1 C. Wehmer began a series of researches which altered the whole 
complexion of the subject. He was the first to recognise oxalic acid as 
a definite fermentation product of many fungi— Aspergillus , Penicillium, 
Mucor. By adding calcium carbonate to a medium consisting of sugar 
and inorganic salts he showed that Aspergillus niger would give yields 
of calcium oxalate up to 120 per cent, of the sugar. The investigation 
led to no commercial result as oxalic acid can be produced more 
economically by purely chemical methods. 

Wehmer in 1892 showed that citric acid was a product of fermentation. 
He obtained excellent yields in cultures where sugar was the only source 
of carbon, with three species of Citromyces, a genus which he differentiated 
from Penicillium on rather slight morphological differences, and because 
of the citric acid fermentation. It has since been recognised that citric 
acid is one of the commonest products of fermentation by Penicillium. 
He again used calcium carbonate to fix the acid, and patented a method 
for commercial production, which, however, was apparently not used to 
any extent partly because of the slowness of the reaction. 

Aspergillus niger, best regarded as including several closely related 
species, is one of the commonest moulds and one of the most studied. 
No mention was made, however, of its ability to form citric acid until 
1 91 3, when B. Zahorski patented a method of producing the acid from 
carbohydrates by growing stock cultures of A. niger on increasing con- 
centrations of citric acid. In 1916 J. N. Currie and C. Thorn made com- 
parative studies of oxalic acid production in a number of species of Peni- 
cillium and Aspergillus. The occurrence of a distinct lag in oxalic acid in 
relation to total acidity in some species of Aspergillus led Currie to regard 
citric acid as one of the intermediate products of the fermentation. In 


later work (191 7) Currie showed that almost any culture of Aspergillus 
niger on a concentrated sugar solution will produce more citric than 
oxalic acid. He selected a strain of A. niger in which the lag between total 
acidity and oxalic acid production was greatest and by appropriate sugar 
concentration devised a method of inhibiting oxalic acid formation. The 
process was patented. Sucrose is used in solution with the addition 
of the necessary salts. In two to four days there is a continuous felt 
of mycelium, and formation of citric acid begins. The fermentation is 
complete in ten days, the solution is drained off and the mycelium pressed. 
The amount of acid produced is about equal to half by weight of the sugar 
used. It was recently stated that a certain American firm, in order to 
supply the colossal amount of calcium citrate required by the American 
cheese industry alone, is maintaining nine acres of mycelium of Aspergillus 
niger in constant commission. 

Citric acid occurs in the juices of many fruits and formerly was 
obtained commercially wholly from lemon, lime and bergamot by pressing 
the fruit and concentrating the juice. It is exported either as concentrated 
juice or as calcium citrate formed by running in chalk and water or 
calcium carbonate. The chief exporting country in Europe was Italy. 
An export duty was placed on calcium citrate by the Italian government, 
and there was a manufacture tariff imposed by some countries : conse- 
quently the juice was utilised on the spot for the production of citric acid 
or the concentrated juice was exported. It is of interest that in 1929 
it was stated in America that there would probably be a shortage of 
citric acid in England because of the tendency to improve the qualities 
of Sicilian lemons to meet the demand for higher grade fruit for export. 
It was overlooked that four years previously a British patent had been taken 
out by A. Fernbach and J. L. Yuill for commercial production by using 
dark-coloured Aspergilli. There are numerous patents for the production 
of citric acid by means of fungi and the processes are used on a large 
commercial scale in England, Belgium, America and Japan. It is no longer 
considered worth while to attempt further use of fruit juice in new areas. 

M. Molliard in 1932 demonstrated gluconic acid as a product of fer- 
mentation by Aspergillus niger, and later worked out the conditions for 
the formation of oxalic, citric and gluconic acids. In 1924 W. Butke- 
witsch found a strain of A. niger which, in the presence of calcium carbon- 
ate, yielded gluconic acid almost exclusively. Three years later O. E. 
May, H. T. Herrick, C. Thom and J. N. Currie made a comparative study 
of fungi including species of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Monilia and Mucor. 
No species of the last two produced appreciable amounts of gluconic acid, 
but several species of Aspergillus and Penicillium did so, the most 
productive of which were the Penicillium luteum-purpurogeneum series, 
particularly P. purpurogeneum var. rub rise lerotium. Herrick and May in 
1929 patented a process for the production of gluconic acid from sugars 
and starchy substances by fermentation with Penicillium citrinum, P. 
divaricatum and P. luteum-purpurogeneum. Following on this several 
workers showed that there was increased production when the mould 
growths were submerged. Herrick and May in collaboration with A. J. 
Moyer and P. A. Wells found that growing Penicillium chrysogenum 

K.— BOTANY 215 

mycelium submerged under increasing air pressures in commercial 
glucose solution to which calcium carbonate had been added, yielded 
from 80 to 87 per cent, gluconic acid based on the sugar originally present, 
in eight days from the inoculation with spores. They have recently patented 
the process with the specification that the air contains substantial amounts 
of oxygen and agitation is effected by blowing it through the cultures. 
The same patent covers the preparation of koji acid by Aspergillus 

Gluconic acid was formerly characterised by objectionable features in 
its production and by high costs. It is now finding a commercial outlet 
because calcium gluconate is preferred to calcium lactate as a means of 
administering calcium to children. It can be injected into tissues 
without causing necrosis, and its injection into cows suffering from milk 
fever has given remarkable results ; it has unusual effects in increasing 
the egg shells of hens suffering from calcium deficiency. It has recently 
been incorporated in tooth pastes. 

There are many other acids formed by moulds. Wehmer in 1918 
patented a process for the production of fumiric acid. The fungus 
employed was named Aspergillus fumaricus, but no proper diagnosis 
was given. Thom regards it as being very close to A. niger : according 
to a statement by Wehmer the fungus ten years later had lost its property 
of forming the acid. 

H. Raistrick and his collaborators working in this country have added 
a great deal to our knowledge of the metabolic products of moulds. 
From their continued investigations it seems to be becoming increasingly 
evident that compounds of almost every type known to organic chemistry 
can be synthesised. They have succeeded in obtaining sixty compounds 
never previously prepared in an organic chemist's laboratory. It is 
suggested by P. W. Clutterbuck that ' it is possible that a particular 
organism builds up its own particular polysaccharide and from it, by a series 
of reductions, oxidations, condensations and hydrolyses, synthesises from 
it its own characteristic metabolism products.' An interesting point 
arising from their investigations is the production of anthroquinone 
pigments by some species of Helminthosporium. It is well known in 
the technology of dye-stuffs that such a-hydroxyanthroquinones give rise 
to excellent dye-stuffs, but are difficult to manufacture economically. 
Since the yield is good and sugar is cheap the possibility has arisen of em- 
ploying these organisms for the manufacture of a-hydroxyanthroquinone. 
Another point which shows what practical results may be expected from such 
research is that penicillin, a metabolism product of Penicillium notatum, 
is non-irritant and non-toxic, but has a strong though differential anti- 
bacterial power. Further, it was found that several species of Fusarium 
form large quantities of alcohol from glucose and it is suggested that this 
might be turned to account technically in the production of alcohol from 
waste vegetable matter. 

The romantic discovery of vitamin D led to the finding of ergosterol 
in yeasts. A vast amount of research has since been carried out, both 
with yeasts and with moulds to find the most suitable method of pro- 
duction of ergosterol, which when irradiated gives the antirrachitic 


vitamin. Most moulds are able to synthesise fats and sterols. It has 
been found that many moulds give better results than do yeasts, among 
the best being Aspergillus Sydowi and Paecilomyces Varioti. In America 
ergosterol is being produced on a commercial scale by the growth of 
moulds ; in addition to a greater yield than from yeasts, the commercially 
valuable takadiastase is a by-product. 

Many investigators have studied the production of fats and proteins 
by moulds. G. E. Ward, L. B. Lockwood, O. E. May and H. T. Herrick 
recently investigated fat production in sixty-one Aspergilli and Penicillia 
and found that in ten of them more than 15 per cent, ether-soluble 
material was formed. One species, Penicillium javanicum from rotten 
tea-roots in Java, gave as much as 41*5 per cent, fat in 40 per cent, 

Since Delbriick's experiments in 1910 it has been known that ordinary 
yeast can be utilised for food : for animals it is merely dried but for human 
food it is treated so that it resembles meat extract in appearance, flavour 
and composition. In Germany a portion of the excess yeast from brew- 
eries is used for making yeast extracts traded under various names. 

Marmite (known in America as Vegex) is an extract prepared by auto- 
lysis from fresh brewers' yeast ; the ferments are killed during the manu- 
facturing process. Because of its vitamin B complex Marmite was used 
as a ration in Mesopotamia and other war areas where beri-beri was preva- 

At the outbreak of the War the German yeast-drying factories were 
fully mobilised and produced 20,000 tons of dried yeast annually for food. 
When the government reduced the production of beer to 60 per cent, of 
its pre-war amount Torula utilis, ' mineral yeast,' was used in considerable 
quantity to supplement the bread ration. This non-sporing yeast is a 
poor fermenter and was cultivated in very dilute molasses with super- 
phosphate, magnesium sulphate and ammonium sulphate with free 
aeration. No alcohol was formed but 100 grams of molasses produced 
130 grams of yeast in eight hours. 

The Russians also turned their attention to utilising yeast to help to 
supplement food-stuffs of which the War had brought about an acute 
shortage. A commission was appointed in 191 7, G. A. Nadson and A. G. 
Konotine being members. Attention had been called by P. Lindner to the 
possibility of cultivating certain yeasts for the production of fat. The 
Russians used Endomyces vernalis, ' fat yeast,' which was originally found 
in slime fluxes of birch and hornbeam. Like Torula utilis, Endomyces 
vernalis produces no alcohol. It will grow on different sugars and first 
develops as long branched in proteins, but containing scarcely 
any fat. Later the hypha? break up into oidia and the fat content 
increases, reaching fifteen to twenty per cent, of the dry weight in 
ten to fifteen days. The fat is a yellowish liquid resembling olive oil. 
Its chief constituent is triolein but free fatty acids are also present. 

Chaston Chapman in 1926 found a species of Oidium blocking up sewers, 
which in two days formed a thick film on nutrient solution ; this film 
contained fifty per cent, crude protein and ten per cent, fat and had the 
odour and flavour of cream cheese. The possibilities attaching to such 

K.— BOTANY 217 

a fungus in times of necessity need not be stressed, for ammonium salts 
can be obtained from the air and carbohydrates from the hydrolysis of 

Towards the end of the War, H. Pringsheim and S. Lichtenstein 
added a non-pathogenic strain of Aspergillus fumigatus to straw moistened 
with a small amount of ammonium salt in solution. The fungus grew 
well and raised the total protein content of the straw from one to eight 
per cent. The mouldy straw was dried and used for feeding sheep, cattle 
and rabbits. Fed experimentally to sheep it was found that forty per 
cent, of the protein was assimilated. 

J. R. Sanborn has recently shown that species of Oidium and Monilia 
concerned in the formation of pulp and paper-mill slimes produce doughy 
and somewhat rubbery growth with great rapidity in media rich in 
carbohydrates, and has succeeded in producing a satisfactory parchment- 
like membrane from them. R. O. Herzogm and A. Meier took out an 
American patent in 191 5 for making a leather substitute by tanning 
a similar growth formed by Bacterium xylinum, B. xylinoides or Mucor 

In the search for acetone to produce cordite during the War, A. Fern- 
bach and E. H. Strange patented a method for its production (together 
with acetates and pyruvates) with Mucor Rouxii. The full story of 
acetone production in this country with its military, political and financial 
results is one of the romances of microbiology. 

Artificial ageing of green coffee has been attempted by a number of 
methods, many of which have been patented. F. W. Robison in 1919 
patented a method of using moulds (Aspergillus ochraceus) for this purpose. 
' A green Java or a Brazilian Santos can be transformed in ten days 
from a characteristic high-grade rough coffee to a smooth, creamy, Java- 
like coffee.' 

From the nuclein of yeast nucleic acid is obtained and combined with 
silver, calcium or sodium. The compounds thus formed show marked 
bactericidal action on injection, together with a large increase in leuco- 
cytes and are not irritable. 

Yeasts have also been used in the manufacture of synthetic plastics, 
and for assisting the growth of organisms in sewage disposal plants. 

To turn to the opposite extreme. The enzyme invertase is prepared on 
a commercial scale from yeasts. Several processes have been devised 
to use it for inverting sucrose in the manufacture of various syrups. 
It is also used in the American candy trade because sweets made from 
fructose are more tenacious when wet and more retentive of moisture than 
when made from cane sugar. As a result of increased solubility in the 
syrup phase the growth of micro-organisms is retarded or prevented and 
thus the ' explosive ' fermentation which causes so much financial loss 
by bursting and shattering candy is eliminated. 

Many of the processes here outlined have been patented. It is not 
my purpose to comment on this beyond saying that a great deal of myco- 
logical and bacteriological information lies hidden in patent specifications. 
All who have tried to find their way amongst these know how Herculean 
the task is — I have merely skimmed the surface, as may be judged from 


the fact that F. Wagner in his Presshefe und Garungsalkohole, 1914-1935, 
lists a little over 1 ,800 patents. 

And so I come to the end of my matters. Much of interest has had 
to be omitted, as for example the relation of entomogenous fungi to insect 
epidemics, and the utilisation of cellulose material, and it has not been 
possible to develop any aspect of the subject in the manner of many of 
my predecessors, who reviewed philosophically tendencies of the 
past or speculated on future progress. What of the future ? Though 
a fairly large number of fungi have been investigated they form a very 
small percentage of the total, of which we have yet no idea of the probable 
limit. The possibilities for practical results are endless, and the processes 
carried out by these strange organisms are pregnant with probabilities. 
To some it is of interest to know what an organism is, to others to know 
what it does and to others how it does it. Here we have a field in which the 
taxonomist, the chemist and the physiologist can work together profitably 
in the cause of science — which is the good of humanity. 






Our view of the future of education will depend on our view of education 
itself, but presumably we should all accept the following maxims : ' Every 
individual has a threefold function in the world — to make a livelihood, to 
be a citizen and to be a man ' ; and ' The duty of the state is to see that, so 
far as education is concerned, everyone has the opportunity of performing 
these three functions.' They vary in difficulty. It is easier to make a 
living than to have the intelligence, the knowledge and the disinterested- 
ness which, ideally, every voter requires. But there is something more 
difficult still. The third function of education is to make men in the sense 
of Shakespeare's description of us : ' What a piece of work is man ! 
How noble in reason ! How infinite in faculty ! in form and moving how 
express and admirable ! in action how like an angel ! in apprehension how 
like a god ! the beauty of the world ! the paragon of animals ! ' The task 
of education is to take the rough-hewn block which it receives from the 
quarry of nature and shape from it a human figure, to develop the faculties, 
and quicken and discipline the reason and apprehension, so that before it 
leaves the workshop there is at least a chance and a hope that it may become, 
if not a paragon of animals, at least a piece of work. The model to which 
education should work in every human being is a figure with a body, a 
character and a mind, each of which is capable of development towards 
an ideal : a body with its own perfection of physical development and 
fitness, of health, of skill of hand and precision of eye ; a character, whose 
excellence lies in the great virtues ; a mind, capable of some perception 
of what the world is, and of what man has done and has been and may be. 
That is the pattern to which education works, and which she tries to 
reproduce in a medium sometimes plastic, oftener stubborn. She is 
limited by her material. No unflawed figure ever comes from her work- 
shop. But she, or rather we, are to blame for any product in which one 
cannot discern the outline of a man. The final goal of education is not 
the capacity to earn one's bread or to live in a community, though these are 
included in it, but the making of human beings. Body, character and, in 
the widest sense, reason, make the man. A body undeveloped, a character 
weak or debased, a mind unaware of the universe which we inhabit or 


of the achievements and ideals of mankind, proclaim the failure of education 
and walk the world as a standing reproach to it. 

It follows that education, for all men and women, for the artisan and 
labourer as well as for the ' educated classes,' must find ample room for a 
liberal, cultural element. If its aim is to make men and citizens as well 
as bread-winners, to develop what Shakespeare calls beings of infinite 
capacity, and to help them to live intelligently in the world which they 
inhabit, then handicraft, technical skill, physical training belong to such 
an education, if the body is to achieve its perfection, and hand and eye to 
develop their powers ; but so also does science, if we are to understand 
something of the physical universe ; and so do literature, history and, in 
an untechnical sense, philosophy. Some people may feel that the cultural 
subjects are unsuitable for the masses. That is a possible view. But to 
hold it is to accept the most ruthless of class systems, to say that men differ 
not only in degree but in kind, and that the majority are incapable of 
studies without which there can be no intelligent idea either of the universe 
or of the greatness of the human spirit. If a man is incapable of these 
studies, he is not, in the Shakespearean sense, a man. And if the majority 
of the electorate is incapable of them, we must either abandon democracy 
or resign ourselves to be governed by an electorate which can never 
know what a state should be. Ancient tradition and political instinct may 
preserve such a democracy from disaster, but not only will its stability 
be precarious but its political and spiritual life will be poor. The bad 
film and the betting news will be its relaxation ; the bad press its 
literature; passion, prejudice, the catchword and the slogan, will be 
its masters. 

To this — and it is a danger to society as great as war, if less spectacular 
— humanistic studies are the great, perhaps the only, antidote. Here are 
written all the ideals and adventures of mankind. Literature contains the 
visions which his dreaming mind has conceived in solitude ; history 
exhibits these visions applied to life and tested by fact. Here is seen man 
in a remote past climbing with stumbling footsteps out of savagery ; 
then, with progress so gradual that we hesitate to give it the name, with 
endless experiments, aberrations, collapses, false starts, surmounting the 
obstacles which Nature, his fellow-beings, his own physical and moral 
limitations put in his path ; moving on through the rise and fall of nations, 
shifts of power, changes of creed and opinion, complete failure or half 
success, making his way by rare glimpses of light or in thick darkness, and 
obstinately pursuing a good, dim to discern and difficult to achieve. The 
lesson of these studies is Sursum corda : they are a perpetual rebuke 
to the feeble vision and failing faith from which all men suffer, and 
to the selfcontented spiritual mediocrity which is a special danger 
of democracy ; without them men know neither themselves nor their 

How far does our education make men and citizens ? The measure 
of its success defines our achievement, its shortcomings indicate what 
remains to be done. It has achieved much. Between the Forster 


Education Act of 1870 and the 1891 Act the country organised elementary 
education. The Balfour Act of 1902 began a new era in the organisation 
of secondary education. In the early years of the twentieth century 
universities were created throughout the country. * Since 1889 technical 
instruction has been developed thoroughly and effectively. That is a 
great achievement. In all these fields — university, secondary, technical, 
elementary — the problem has been faced and roughly solved. Improve- 
ments and developments will come ; but the main lines have been well 
laid and are not likely to be altered. We have the tools, even if we may 
often use them ineffectively. In the future they may be improved and 
elaborated, 1 but perhaps the chief improvement necessary is that we should 
learn more of their use and purpose, and our worst failures are due to the 
fact that we drift into and through education in a mechanical, automatic, 
unthinking way, instead of clearly defining to our own minds what we 
wish education to do for us and asking whether it is doing it and, if not, 
why not. Like religion, education quickly degenerates into a routine ; 
then its meaning and its effects are lost. Still the late nineteenth and 
early twentieth centuries have done a great and solid work in it. So far, 
so good. But are we an educated nation ? 

An English officer in Italy during the war, having to give an instruction 
course to his men, set as a preliminary test a general paper in which occurred 
the question : ' What do you know of any of the following persons ? ' 
The persons in the question are here set out in the order indicating which 
of them were most familiar to the candidates, and the figures after each 
name show the number of candidates who identified each person : Charles 
Peace 19, George Stephenson 16, Von Tirpitz 15, Nat Gould 14, C. B. 
Fry 11, Sir H. Plumer 9, Woodrow Wilson 8, Clemenceau 7, Michael 
Angelo 6, Sir R. Borden 6, Milton 4, Havelock Wilson 4, Lord Milner 2, 
Sir Henry Havelock 1. 

There are several striking features in the result. Nineteen men had 
heard of Charles Peace to two who had heard of Lord Milner. Though 
the paper was set in the summer of 1918, when names like Wilson and 
Clemenceau were on everyone's lips, there is a surprising ignorance of 
statesmen who played a decisive part in the war. Even the name of their 
own army commander, Sir Henry Plumer (as he then was), was un- 
familiar to his men. Yet, as the unexpected knowledge of Michael 
Angelo shows, they were quite capable of ' high-brow ' interests. Six, 
at any rate, of the men had during the months spent in Italy learnt some- 
thing of a great Italian. But the most interesting point for our purposes 
is the light thrown on the results of our elementary education. The 
examinees, men of a war-time regiment, were a fair sample of the average 
man. They were neither half-witted nor wholly ignorant. But their 
teachers had been the cheap press, their reading its sporting news and 
murder reports, their politics learnt from its headlines. The result is 
not adequate to an expenditure on elementary education of over seventy 

1 Post-primary education, for instance, is likely to become, at least for the 
many, more practical and less literary. 


That examination paper indicates the gap — the bottomless pit, I had 
almost said — in our national education and the task of the next twenty 
years. We have left the vast majority of the population without any kind 
of liberal education. * We have provided for the minority who attend 
secondary school and university. We have shown the rest a glimpse of 
the promised land, and left them outside it. Aristotle may have gone too 
far when he said that the object of education was to help men to use their 
leisure rightly. But we have treated the majority as if they were to have 
no leisure, or as if it did not matter how they used what leisure they had. 
Art, music, science, literature were for the few. The rest were dis- 
inherited from some of the purest and highest pleasures. They might 
be machines or animals ; men in the Shakespearean sense they could not 
be. That is the type of democracy with which we have been, and are, 

It mattered, perhaps, the less in the past. When the working-man had 
no leisure, why educate him to use something that he would never have ? 
The question barely arose. But to-day it is arising, and in the near 
future it is likely to be urgent. In 1900 most men had enough to do to 
earn a living. In 1940 or 1950 they will probably have the opportunity 
to be more than bread-winners. But if the leisure of the future is to be 
entirely devoted to the fil-is and the dogs, civilisation will not have gained 
much by it. Fifty years ago the employment of leisure was no problem 
for any but the well-to-do, who mostly wasted it. To-day it is becoming 
a commonplace of education. 

What, then, would you say of a nation which believed this, and which 
then acquiesced in the greater part of its people leaving school at the age 
of 14 and being thrown straight into the deep waters of life. Would not 
the old proverb rise to your mind, Parturiunt monies, nascetur ridiculus 
mus. In this matter our attitude has been as complacent and unthinking, 
if not as disastrous and cruel, as that of our ancestors who acquiesced in 
social iniquities which seem incredible to us. We have accepted it 
with the equanimity with which they accepted the slave-trade, child- 
labour and debtor's prisons. For consider what a child has learnt by 
the age of 14. He can read and write and do arithmetic. He has made a 
beginning in many subjects, and received a training which enables him 
to use an opportunity of learning more. But of history, except in a 
superficial sense, he knows nothing ; of the forces that affect the fortunes 
of the country, which as a voter he will help to determine, he knows 
nothing ; economics, historical traditions, political theories are a closed 
mystery to him ; he will have opened the great book of literature but he 
has had little time to turn its pages ; of science he is even more ignorant. 
Most of my audience probably did not leave school at 14 ; many have gone 
to the University. Let them ask themselves how it would have fared with 
their intellectual and spiritual life if their education had ceased at 14. 
Would they be willing that their own children should leave school at that 
age ? Yet that is the lot of the great majority of children in this country. 
And we have been singularly complacent about it. The task of the future 
is clear. It is to meet the needs of those who now leave school at 14, 15 


or 16, and then say farewell to education for ever. For them we have done 
practically nothing. The problem has been barely touched and never 
clearly envisaged. Here, by the side of the impressive architecture of 
our elementary, secondary and university system, a few scattered buildings 
rise above the ground, watertight indeed and solid so far as they go, 
but haphazard, unco-ordinated, and inadequate to the need. The 
task of the future, I repeat, is to deal with this, our great educational 
scandal. 2 

Before I make some practical proposals for its removal, I should like to 
suggest certain principles which we must observe if our efforts are to be 
successful, and to which little attention has hitherto been paid. They 
apply to all forms of education except the elementary stage, and some of the 
weaknesses of our existing system are due to their being overlooked. The 
first of these principles is that education must be adjusted not only to the 
natural capacities of the pupil but also to the stage of development which 
his brain has reached ; that certain forms of study are appropriate to 
certain ages. That is a platitude. What need then to stress a principle 
which everyone accepts. Yet, if accepted, is it remembered by an age 
which has acquiesced in the idea that most of the population should leave 
school at 14, and is now comforted by the thought that in future they 
may not leave it till a year later ? At the ages of 14 or 15 the mind 
cannot cope with, if it can conceive, the subjects which compose a liberal 
education and are vital to the citizen. A boy reads literature — Hamlet or 
King Lear — and should read them. But what can the profound scepti- 
cisms of Hamlet, the passion and agony of Lear mean to him ? He reads 
history. Can he form a true conception of Charles and Cromwell, 
Bismarck and Napoleon III ? At 18 we may scan the surface of history 
and literature, but we cannot see below it. Those waters are very deep 
and only the adult mind can swim in them. Still more does this apply 
to the political questions on which an elector has to express an opinion. 
Unless you believe that these subjects are not meant for the masses and 
that the voter needs no further education for his duty than experience of 
life, the newspapers, and the speeches of political candidates, you are 
admitting the absurdity of an education which stops at 14 or 15. The 
Hadow Report spoke of giving ' a humane or liberal education ' through 
the schools which they proposed. It is one of those phrases sounding, 
seductive, but untrue, into which all of us are at times betrayed. The 

2 It may be argued that I have exaggerated the position, and said nothing 
of Junior Technical and Commercial Schools, Junior Evening Institutes, etc., but 
their nets catch only a small number of the fish. The following figures are 
instructive : 

(a) 476,590 children left P.E. Schools in 1934-35, being 71 -9 per cent, of the 
total number of leavers. 

(b) Of these 6,647, i.e. 1 -4 per cent., left for further full-time instruction. (The 
majority of pupils who leave P.E. Schools for full-time instruction leave at an 
earlier age.) 

(c) In the same year there were 75,993 pupils aged 15-16 in Evening Institutes 
and Evening Courses at Technical and other Colleges. 


thing is impossible. It is impossible because ' a humane or liberal 
education ' includes subjects which a fifteen-year-old is not sufficiently 
adult to grasp. 

I have been urging the truism that if we wish to teach a subject, we must 
teach it at an age when the mind can digest it. Otherwise we shall be like 
mothers who feed their babies on beans and bacon. But there is another 
principle, if not more important, even more commonly ignored. The 
fruitfulness of education, at least in some subjects, depends on experience 
of life. That is true of the majority of the subjects which are most 
important to us as men and citizens — literature, philosophy, history and 
politics. We may study them in books and enjoy them ; we shall not 
appreciate their full significance till we have seen enough of life to have 
met the things which historians, philosophers and poets are talking about. 
That is where the so-called humanistic subjects differ profoundly from 
science and mathematics. Physical science and mathematics need no 
experience of life to be understood. Their laws are independent of time 
and place, of human nature, 

Based on the crystalline sea 
Of thought and its eternity. 

For their comprehension a mind sufficiently clear and powerful to grasp 
them is required ; knowledge of life and of the world is unnecessary. 
Hence the child mathematical genius ; hence Mozart writing a concerto and 
playing in the Hall of Salzburg University at the age of 5. It is doubtless 
rare to find the mind sufficiently adult at an early age for such achieve- 
ments. But, given precocious mental development, the grasp of these 
abstract relations, whether of number or harmony, presents no difficulties. 
But such infant prodigies are not found in historical or literary studies. 
It is necessary to know life itself, to have seen something of human 
nature, before either achievement or understanding in these fields is 

That is the meaning of a famous passage where Newman, with character- 
istic fineness of perception and beauty of language, points out that full 
appreciation of literature depends on knowledge of life. ' Let us consider, 
too, how differently young and old are affected by the words of some classic 
author, such as Homer or Horace. Passages, which to a boy are but 
rhetorical commonplaces, neither better nor worse than a hundred others 
which any clever writer might supply, which he gets by heart and thinks 
very fine, and imitates, as he thinks, successfully, in his own flowing 
versification, at length come home to him, when long years have passed, 
and he has had experience of life, and pierce him, as if he had never before 
known them, with their sad earnestness and vivid exactness. Then he 
comes to understand how it is that lines, the birth of some chance morning 
or evening at an Ionian festival, or among the Sabine hills, have lasted 
generation after generation, for thousands of years, with a power over the 
mind, and a charm, which the current literature of his own day, with all 
its obvious advantages, is utterly unable to rival.' 

' When he has had experience of life.' Read Horace and Homer by 


all means, says Newman ; feed ear and mind with their language and 
music ; but do not expect to know their full meaning before you 
are 40. 

This truth, which Newman expresses in his exquisite prose, was well 
known to Aristotle. ' One may enquire why a boy, though he may be a 
mathematician, cannot be a metaphysician or a natural philosopher. 
Perhaps the answer is that Mathematics deals with abstractions whereas 
the first principles of Metaphysics and Natural Science are derived from 
experience : the young can only repeat them without conviction of their 
truth, whereas the formal concepts of Mathematics are easily understood.' 
And again, ' the young are not fit to be students of politics, for they have 
no experience of life and conduct, and it is these that supply the premises 
and subject-matter of this branch of philosophy.' 3 The countries where 
students, not content with the theory of politics, take a hand in its practice, 
have a bitter knowledge of Aristotle's meaning. But it will also be 
appreciated by those who have watched our own undergraduate students 
of philosophy playing a game of intellectual ping-pong with the 

If you doubt the thesis that the humanistic subjects need experience of 
life for their full appreciation, contrast, in respect of life, of the sense of 
reality, history as written by those, from Thucydides onwards, who have 
lived in the political world, and by those who know it only from a study. 
Again, would not most university teachers agree that their most interesting, 
I do not say ablest, pupils are those who come to the university not direct 
from school, but from the army or business or some other occupation 
where they have seen at first-hand something of the subjects with which 
literature, philosophy and history deal ? Again, which of us has not 
said in his thirties or forties, ' I wish I could have my education over 
again ' ? If you analyse that wish, is it not another way of saying, ' I was 
not old enough to profit by my education, when I had it ' ? And if you 
analyse that statement in turn does it not mean, ' When I was at school 
and university I did not know enough of life fully either to value my 
education or to understand what it dealt with ' ? Perhaps students of 
science or mathematics would not feel this. If so, it confirms my thesis 
the more. But I suspect that nine-tenths of those whose studies were 
humanistic would in later life wish to have their education again, and would 
agree that in the early twenties they were not mature enough to profit 
by it. 

I am here raising a question which I have no time to discuss, but which 
needs more discussion than it gets. What does a pupil of the age of 14, 
15, 16, 17 get from the study of history, for instance ? In secondary 
schools it is a favourite subject for specialisation after the School Certificate. 
How much of it can a schoolboy grasp ? I suspect that the right answer 
is suggested by the comment of an examiner on the work of a member 
of an ' Economics Sixth Form ' at a public school. ' These boys are 
excellently taught and interested in the subject ; they read and reproduce 
the best books persuasively ; and they have no real understanding of most 

3 Eth. Nic. VI. 8. 6. I. 3. 5. 


of it, because they do not know at first-hand the subject-matter which 
it studies.' Ao56aocpot dvrl ao<pcov yeyovbiBc;, ' They have the appear- 
ance of wisdom but not its reality,' as Plato said of these who absorb 
information from books without digesting it. 

However this may be, if we accept the two principles which I have 
been stressing and agree that a certain maturity of mind is necessary for 
humanistic studies and that full understanding of them is impossible 
without experience of life, some practical conclusions follow. The first 
is that an education which ends at the age of 14 is not education at all. It 
might be plausibly argued that nearly all the money spent on elementary 
education is wasted, because the system is, on the face of it, absurd. If 
you taught a child the letters of the alphabet and then stopped you would 
probably consider that you had thrown time away in teaching him the 
ABC. Yet that is what we do in our elementary education. Elementary 
education is not complete in itself. It is preparatory. It prepares the 
pupil to go on to something else, and puts his foot on the first step of the 
ladder of knowledge. But in fact the vast majority go on to nothing else, 
they never climb higher on the ladder than the first step. How many pupils 
whose education ceases when they leave an elementary school maintain 
afterwards anything that can be called intellectual interest ? How many 
think with any real seriousness about the problems of politics on which as 
electors they are expected to decide ? How many read books worth 
reading ? How many read books at all ? 4 And if not, what have they 
gained adequate to the vast sums spent on them ? The chief uses of our 
present elementary system are to enable a minority to proceed to further 
education, and the rest to read the Daily Mail, Express and Herald. I 
am not criticising our elementary schools or their teachers, or denying 
the necessity of elementary education for all. But unless it leads on to 
something else, it is as useful as a ladder which has no rungs beyond one 
or two at its bottom or as a railway from London to Blackpool which ends 
at Bletchley. To cease education at 14 is as unnatural as to die at 14. 
The one is physical, the other intellectual, death. 

But the defects of our present system will not be remedied by raising 
the school age to 15, or even to 16. Death at these ages is still premature. 
The pupil will still be unripe for the studies without which an intelligent 
democracy cannot be created. I am not arguing against the raising of the 
school age. It may help our economic difficulties by reducing the supply 
of children in the labour market. It will keep children longer under 
influences of discipline and guidance with which they can ill dispense at 
14. But the value of the raised school age is moral and economic rather 
than intellectual. The mind will gain something from it. The character 

* It is not easy to draw inferences from the statistics of public libraries. The 
following figures of books issued in a year per head (approximately) of the popu- 
lation by the Urban Libraries of certain counties are characteristic but not en- 
couraging : Cornwall 3, London (Metropolitan Boroughs) 5, Glamorgan 6, Lanark- 
shire 5 . One must, of course, allow for children under 1 6 and for those who possess 
adequate libraries of their own, but also remember that many of these books were 


will gain more than the mind. Even at 16 intellectual education, in any 
but a quite elementary sense, is only about to begin. Nobody who has 
seen the results of compulsory education to the age of 16 in the U.S.A. 
will be under the delusion that it produces an educated nation. If they 
compare these results with those obtained in France, where education is 
compulsory only till the age of 13, 5 they will be still further disillusioned 
about the intellectual advantages gained by raising the school age. If 
such a change is preparatory to an education continued into the adult 
years, well and good; if not, it will leave our problem still unsolved. 
What is the solution ? 

It will not be found in secondary education about which this age is, I 
think, over-credulous. The hard fight for its development has caused us 
to exaggerate what it can do. We must keep our faith in it, but temper 
faith with scepticism. Secondary education is only one part of a great 
picture ; we need to stand back a little and see the canvas as a whole. 
I do not wish to minimise the importance of the secondary school. 
Economic reasons suggest that the earlier years of life should be given to 
education. That is the time when the parents are most capable of earning 
money, and the children least capable of it. Further, it is the best age 
for learning such subjects as foreign languages, for memorising facts and 
for tolerating and even enjoying what to an adult is drudgery. But I 
doubt if any candid person, who has been a teacher or a pupil in a secondary 
school, feels that the returns correspond to the labour, time and money 
spent. How should they ? You are teaching pupils in whom no in- 
tellectual faculty except that of memory and possibly imagination is fully 
developed, who have not, and cannot have, a full perception of the purposes 
and value of education, and whose eyes — and their teacher's eyes — are 
apt to be fixed not on its real business, but on School or Higher Certificates 
or Matriculation or Scholarships. Some take their educational food with 
a healthy appetite ; others attend conscientiously at meal-times ; others 
are compelled to swallow. But forcible feeding is not education. In 
every point except the economic one adult education has the advantage 
over secondary education. It is given to students, who desire it, who have 
the mental development to receive it, and who have the experience of life 
necessary to value and interpret it ; whereas secondary education is given 
to pupils whose faculties are not fully developed, and who have not seen 
enough of life fully to comprehend what education is or what it can do for 
them. Secondary education will always be necessary for the small class 
who are capable of high achievement in mathematics, science, historical 
or literary study. It is so firmly established in our national system that 
its position is not likely to be weakened. But it would be well if we became 
less confident that the best thing for any boy who can afford it is to stay 
at school till 18, and if we realised that the education of the masses can 
never be achieved through secondary education. Let anyone compare a 
class in a secondary school or even in a university, where the whole time is 
devoted to acquiring knowledge, with a Workers' Educational Associa- 

6 Children who obtain the Certificat d 'Etudes primaires elementaires can leave 
a year earlier. 


tion class, whose students snatch for study a few hours a week from the 
strain and fatigue of bread- winning. Which is real education ? Which 
yields the greater return ? 

What, then, should we do ? If we lived in Utopia and could reconstruct 
education without regard either to its past evolution or its present condition 
or the needs of the practical world, the ideal plan might be for everyone 
to leave school at 15, and pass into a system, where a part of the week was 
allotted to school, part to earning the living in some practical occupation, 
the proportions of each varying with the intellectual abilities of the pupil 
and the demands of the subjects which he was studying. Such a contact 
with the practical world would both sharpen the appreciation of the value 
and purpose of education, and, especially in the humanistic subjects, 
make their real meaning far more intelligible. Theory would be illumin- 
ated by practice, and practice by theory. At present the two are nearly 
always divorced. We lead a life of action without thought ; or we think 
in a vacuum, without contact with the realities and problems of the world. 
Neither form of isolation is satisfactory. 

A revolution of this kind could be made in a Platonic — or a Communist 
— state. It is impossible in our own. The small section of the community 
which proceeds through the secondary school, and thence, reduced in 
numbers, to a University degree, will continue to follow that beaten path. 
Their studies will still suffer from ignorance of life. The only possible 
improvement for them is that some of them may interpose a layer of 
practical experience between school and university by going into an office 
or doing some practical job for a period when they leave school ; as is 
now done sometimes by engineers. 

Meanwhile there remains the problem of the greater part of the nation, 
who in future will leave school at 14 or 15. Unless we establish a com- 
pulsory part-time continuation system which will carry them on to 18, 
the education of the earlier years of the youth of the nation will still be 
largely wasted. If we can establish such a system, they will remain in 
contact with those subjects to the rudiments of which their elementary 
education has introduced them, carrying them on to an age when the mind 
is growing sufficiently mature to begin to appreciate their value and grasp 
their meaning. Our next step, therefore, should be to retain those who 
leave school before the age of 18 under some educational control — not 
involving whole-time school attendance — to that age. We shall thus 
escape their abrupt and untimely expulsion from educational influences, 
and we shall take them to the threshold of adult education, where the 
solution of our educational problem must be found. So long as the 
education of the vast mass of the population ends at the age of 14 or 15 or 
16, or even of 17 and 18, so long we shall have, as at present, an uneducated 

Much has been talked, and something has been done, in adult education. 
The Handbook of Adult Education, or the second volume of Mr. Yeaxlee's 
Spiritual Values in Adult Education, give an idea of the large number of 
bodies concerned in it. Its great success in Britain is the Workers' 


Educational Association, whose history shows what a clear aim, pursued 
with faith and wisdom, can create in a region without form and void. In 
1935 there were 59,000 students in W.EA. classes. The figure is remark- 
able, till we remember that there are forty-three millions in this island, 
and that the crowd at a Cup Tie Final is twice as large. The W.E.A. 
is not to blame for that ; nor indeed are the masses. It provided for their 
intelligentsia, and wisely concentrated on this need, instead of frustrating 
its own work by pursuing a variety of inconsistent aims. But necessarily 
it has left untouched the vast mass of the population. 'A liberal estimate 
gives 500,000 adults at the very most as the total influenced in any direct 
way by any kind of organised educational activity.' 6 If so, here is a 
sparsely populated territory, like America before the pioneers crossed the 
Alleghanies, with territories of unexplored wealth waiting to be 

It may of course be true that the vast mass are not only untouched but 
untouchable, destined for ever to be the helots of the nation, exiles by 
nature from all but the outermost court of education. We should 
hesitate to adopt so pessimistic a conclusion. But we might feel that it 
was true if the experience of Denmark had not shown it to be false. I 
have no time to dwell on the Danish Folk High School. Sufficient to 
remember that 30 per cent, of the small farmer and working-class population 
in that country attend, voluntarily and in part at their own expense, these 
adult schools, where the course lasts for some 5 months, and the education 
is humanistic in the sense that it is neither technical nor utilitarian. The 
Danes have been successful with the very classes with whom we have 
failed — those for whom the W.E.A. does not provide. If they are capable 
of this, why not we ? If 30 per cent, of their working classes demand a 
humanistic education, there is plenty to be done here. Their achieve- 
ment is the measure of our failure and the indication of what can be done. 
Why have we not done it ? 

My concern is to urge the indispensability of adult education, not to 
produce a programme of it. This would be a fitting work for the 
Consultative Committee, which has done so much to shape the earlier 
stages of national education. The first task would be to review what is 
being already done, in order to harmonise, develop and complete it ; to 
define clearly what adult education should be ; and to consider in what 
forms it can be best digested by those for whom it is meant. I make a 
few suggestions on two of these points. 

I believe that the Danes have a better understanding of the technique 
of the education of the average man. We have taken too narrow and rigid 
a view of it. Education for the masses has been conceived as an extension 
of the existing higher education to the working-man. That was excellent 
for the intelligentsia of the working-class, but for the majority it was too 
academic, too ' highbrow.' The Extension Movement and the W.E.A. 
have carried University studies and methods to a wider public. So far, 
so good. They reached a certain public, and gave it something which it 
needed and was capable of assimilating. But in so doing they limited 
8 The Handbook and Directory of Adult Education (1929). P- 29. 

I 2 


themselves. Invaluable as their subjects and methods were, they pleased 
not the million ; 'twas caviare to the general. But the general, the million, 
need food no less than the elite ; and in giving it their tastes and digestions 
must be considered. To nourish them we must enlarge our conception 
of adult education. Music, drama, handicraft, gardening, and many 
other subjects are a part of it no less than history, politics, science and 
literature. The festivals, held so successfully in the small towns of Ulster, 
where crowded audiences come to listen not only to musical competitions 
but to verse-speaking, show what a large public can be interested by such 
things ; nor is it only in the houses of the educated that the Symphony 
Concerts of the B.B.C. are listened to with delight. Subjects like these 
may well take a large place in the adult education of to-morrow. Not that 
the academic, book, subjects will be absent. But they too may take a 
rather different form. Studies of the W.E.A. type will continue. But 
for the ordinary man, history and literature need to be treated differently. 
They must be brought into connection with his outlook, interests, mind. 
History as the Bible conceives it or as Herodotus conceived it, rather than 
as Thucydides or Acton or Ranke or even Macaulay and Gibbon conceived 
it : history, not as a study of economic laws or high policy, but as concrete 
moral philosophy, as scenes from the most romantic of all dramas splendidly 
staged and greatly acted, as a study of human nature at its highest reach 
and lowest descent. It is difficult for us, disciplined in different methods, 
to accustom ourselves to such conceptions ; and one of the reasons perhaps 
why so little progress has been made in adult education is that the teachers 
have mostly been men with honours degrees who brought to their work 
the methods and outlook of their own education. At any rate, whoever 
the teachers are, they need to look elsewhere for models than to W.E.A. 
classes and Extension Lectures. If we are feeling after adult education 
for the million, we may be helped by studying the Women's Institutes. 
That is an institution which embraces almost every type of person. You 
will find in them domestic servants, cottagers', doctors', landowners' 
wives, farmers' daughters, the village postmistress, the village school- 

For adult education to be successful, the intellectual digestion of the 
masses must be studied. If scholars sniff disdainfully at such popular- 
isation, they should be asked to remember the dream which St. Peter had 
at Joppa. I also think that we shall not succeed, unless — again following 
the Danes — we make our adult education more social. Even in education 
man remains a social animal. Consider how often education has burned 
most brightly at a common hearth , where men gathered together in company 
to warm their hands at its flame : in antiquity, Socrates in the market-place 
and gymnasium, the great classical schools of the Academy, the Lyceum, 
the Stoa, the Museum of Alexandria ; in the Middle Ages, the Universities, 
culminating in the residential university, recognised, at least in the Anglo- 
Saxon world, as their ideal form ; in our own day, the Danish Folk High 
School and its descendants. These examples may teach us something. 
No doubt the lamp of wisdom can burn in solitary shrines and even in 
dismal lecture halls. But for the many its right place is in the simple but 


pleasant buildings of a Danish High School, with its gardens, its pictures, 
its music, its corporate life. Few Women's Institutes are so well housed, 
but there is in them that social, corporate element, which exists in a 
residential university and which both educates and makes education 
attractive. Here also this country has the germ of the future in Summer 
Schools, and in such institutions as Woodbroke, Fircroft, Coleg Harlech 
and Newbattle. These are pointers to the adult education of to-morrow. 
The arguments for adult education are overwhelming ; its difficulties 
will be great. The Danes have had a comparatively easy task. An 
agricultural people with seasonal work and slack periods have more 
opportunities for adult education than an industrial country. In Denmark 
the small holder or farm-worker can escape from his work for a winter. 
In England a man who leaves his job will probably lose it, and while he 
holds it finds his time and energies fully occupied. The Danish Folk 
High School, so successful in the country, has been a comparative failure 
in Copenhagen. In fact, unless we really believe in adult education, 
there will be convincing reasons for doing nothing. If we do believe, we 
shall remember that Continental nations do not hesitate to take two and 
three years of their citizens' lives for military service, and we shall be 
capable of a lesser effort in a greater cause. 

The future, if we are wise enough to see it, lies with adult education. 
In this paper I have spoken of its importance to the masses. But it has 
other, hardly less important, possibilities. At present life is so arranged 
that most of us do our thinking in youth at an age when we are not best 
fitted for it, and having left the University think, systematically, no more. 
What wonder that middle life finds so many men unaware of recent progress 
in their own field, unapt for new experiments and ideas, deeply embedded 
in their rut, while progress waits impatiently for their death and the 
arrival of the next generation ! The time, I believe, will come when men 
will return to the Universities in middle life, to study systematically the 
newer developments in their own field, to review and revise their own 
attitudes and habits of thought. That, incidentally, will be very good for 
the Universities. These revenants will bring their practical experience 
from the world of action to the world of theory and knowledge ; and both 
theorist and practical man will gain by the contact. It is not so Utopian 
as it sounds. Doctors, in the busiest of all professions, find time for 
' refresher courses.' Teachers do the same ; and a former Principal 
Secretary of the Board of Education once said that in his opinion the outlay 
on these courses gave the best return of any money spent by the Board. 
The Colonial Office second men from their Service for study at the 
Universities. There is no reason why the same should not be done for 
Members of the Home, Indian and Municipal Services — to mention no 
others. Politicians, too, might take the opportunity for systematic 
thought about their problems. If they did so, they would be following 
the advice of Plato, whose statesmen were alternately retired from political 
life for study, and returned to govern their country in the light of their 
studies. Plato was the first to see that the work of education was not com- 


plete at the age of 18 or 21, but must continue in a systematic, methodical 
form into late life. (Even after the age of 50 his ruling class were to 
continue their studies.) This truth, like his doctrine of the essential 
equality of the sexes for the work of the state, slumbered forgotten for 
more than 2000 years : or rather, we have slumbered. It is time to 







It is now about a quarter of a century since Agriculture was constituted a 
full Section of this Association, and during that time many distinguished 
leaders in Agricultural Science have occupied the office which I have the 
high honour to fill this year, and among them have been several agricultural 
chemists, the names of some of whom have been closely identified with 
research into the soil and its fertility, but I do not think that any of them 
has ever chosen the fundamental subject of the soil for his presidential 
address. I have ventured to take this as the subject of the remarks I 
propose to make this morning, and while I cannot claim that it has any 
special relevance to the place of our meeting, to most of the visitors to 
which the sea and the sand are of more interest than the soil, I dare to 
hope that the importance of the subject may render it not unworthy of the 
consideration of a section whose very name means culture of the soil. 

While none of my predecessors has specifically chosen the definite 
subject of soil knowledge for his Presidential Address, soil science is so 
fundamental that it was not possible to avoid it in treating of such subjects 
as the History of Agriculture, Crop Production and its Problems, or 
Chemistry and Agriculture, the subject of a very recent President. In 
fact it is not too much to say that hardly any presidential address on 
Agriculture can avoid touching on soil science at some point. 

It is not necessary for me to labour the importance of knowledge of the 
soil not only to those interested in agricultural science and research but 
to the whole community. From the earliest times of civilised human 
history the soil has played a controlling part in the life of the community, 
it has been prominent in its literature, law and art as well as in the daily 
occupations of ordinary men. Even at the present day if we look beyond 
the narrow confines of our own country, where the overwhelming presence 
of industry and commerce have to some extent blurred our sense of pro- 
portion, to the wider world beyond, we find that the soil and its cultivation 
is still the most important as well as the most fundamental of human 
occupations and interests. Agriculture is still the ' Fair Queen of Arts, 
from Heaven itself who came.' 

The soil is not an asset which is wasted by use, but wisely used, it 
increases rather than diminishes in value. Coal and oil and the ores of 


metals when used cannot be replaced. They can be exhausted, as has 
already happened with coal seams, oil-fields and iron ore deposits, but 
there are soils which have been used for thousands of years, some of them 
probably since man first passed from the food gathering and hunting stage 
and began cultivation, yet they are still fertile. Of course by neglect or 
wasteful treatment, such as has taken place both in ancient and modern 
times, a soil can be lowered in fertility and value and become what is called 
exhausted, but this is a very different use of the word ' exhausted ' from 
its application to an oil-field or a coal seam. The exhausted soil can by 
skilful treatment, or even by being left alone for a time, be brought back 
to fertility, but the oil or coal once used is irreplaceable. 

The soil is the source of most of our food, of our clothing, and, directly 
or indirectly, of most of our possessions. Its products are the most 
important materials of commerce and industry. Even with all the 
increased powers of production of the last century which have released so 
many from essential work like soil cultivation, and enabled them to live 
by the production of articles of luxury, — or without doing anything of use 
or service for the community at all — nevertheless, from a world point 
of view, soil cultivation remains overwhelmingly the most important of 
industries, and many of the other important industries depend directly 
upon its products or are engaged in producing articles for the use of the 
husbandman. It is as true in Blackpool to-day as it was in the Garden of 
Eden, that man is ' made of the dust of the ground.' It is necessary in a 
community like ours, where we are apt, among towns and factories, to lose 
sight of the soil, that we should be reminded from time to time that man is 
dependent on the soil, and that all flesh is grass ; that land is not merely 
a playground for the city dweller, it is the fundamental producer, and the 
tiller of the soil is more necessary to the community than the cinema 
operator or even than the coal miner. 

There has been a great advance during the present century in our 
knowledge of soils and in our views of their nature and structure. So also 
our views on manures and on the fertilisation of the soil, and on the whole 
meaning of fertility, have been widened, while on the manufacturing and 
commercial side something amounting almost to a revolution has taken 
place in the fertiliser industry. 

The soil, owing to its primary importance, has naturally been a subject 
of interest and thought since the earliest times — Greek philosophers and 
Latin poets have formed their theories about it, and written of the art of 
cultivation. A great mass of lore about it and its cultivation has been 
built up by many generations of peasants and farmers and some of my 
predecessors have already dealt with this subject. In particular the first 
President of the Section, Sir Thomas Middleton, in his address in 1912 
dealt with ' Early Associations for Promoting Agriculture and Improving 
the Improvers.' With his great knowledge of the early history of Agri- 
culture and of early writers on the subject, his address is a mine of informa- 
tion on the building up of agricultural knowledge before the days of the 
modern scientific period, when definite search after knowledge, and 
experiment to increase knowledge, began to replace the slow and uncertain 
processes of gathering knowledge by practical experience, handed down 


largely by oral tradition or by theories spun out of men's heads, untested 
by experiment. 

Most of our scientific knowledge of the soil has been built up during 
the past century. It was only with the development of modern science 
and especially of chemistry and geology, that such knowledge could 
advance, and it was about a century ago that our early knowledge of the 
chemical composition and mineral constitution of the soil was built up. 
This knowledge has been advancing ever since but with particular rapidity 
during the present century. 

The oldest and most famous station for research in soils and soil fertility 
is Rothamsted and in its early days, nearly a century ago, before national 
systems of agricultural education and research were started in other 
countries, Britain largely through Rothamsted, which was a private 
institution financed by its owner, John Lawes, and also through the work of 
Agricultural Societies and private persons, played a not unworthy part in 
the development of soil science. But during the latter half of the century 
agricultural research institutions and teaching institutions, in which much 
research was carried on, founded with State support increased rapidly in 
other countries both in Europe and America, while Britain was left with 
Rothamsted alone, a private institution depending on the public spirit and 
scientific enthusiasm of an individual. Towards the end of the century, 
consequently, in spite of all that Rothamsted could do, this country was 
playing a very small part in the development of agricultural science. This 
can be easily verified by anyone who cares to look up the agricultural 
literature of the period and note the scientific output of this country 
compared with, say, France, Germany or America. If I may become 
reminiscent for a moment, I would say that I belong to that old genera- 
tion whose scientific training took place in the latter part of last century. 
It is difficult for a younger, and more fortunate, generation to realise the 
conditions of those days. There was practically no agricultural research 
except at Rothamsted, a private institution with a small staff, and there 
was almost no education in agricultural science, except the limited supply 
to be obtained at Cirencester in England and Edinburgh University in 
Scotland. Those of us who wished to learn anything of agricultural 
science and research were practically bound to go to Germany, and there 
were no Government Scholarships, or research grants, or agricultural 
Scholarships of any kind, to assist a poor student to get there. 

The beginnings of an improvement came in 1890 when the Govern- 
ment of the day finding itself with a considerable sum of money which 
had been ear-marked for the compensation of dispossessed publicans, but 
unable, owing to parliamentary exigencies, to use it for that purpose, 
threw it over to the local authorities with a recommendation that they 
should use it for technical, including agricultural, education. In this 
casual British manner started our system of national agricultural education. 
This developed rapidly in the first quarter of the present century to the 
system we now know, and though no specific provision was yet made for 
research, naturally, it began to grow, till with the foundation of the 
Development Commission in 1910, definite provision was made for that 
also. But this is not my subject. I am merely sketching in a background 


against which to show the state of soil science at the beginning of the 
present century. Besides this history of agricultural education and re- 
search in the latter years of last century and the early years of this one, was 
the subject of the presidential address of the late Prof. T. B. Wood, 
before this section at Birmingham in 1913. 

Soil science in this country was in a comparatively stagnant state at the 
beginning of this century. Britain had done much in the development of 
the fertiliser industry, though even in this, while other countries were 
advancing rapidly, we had been falling somewhat into the background 
during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 

When the revival of agricultural science began after 1890 one of the 
chief lines of investigation which was undertaken at first — perhaps because 
it was the easiest and most obvious — consisted of field experiments on the 
action of fertilisers on crops. 

This was natural. The classical work of Rothamsted consisted largely 
of fertilisation experiments made upon field plots. This had done much 
to build up the foundations of our knowledge of crop requirements and 
soil fertility. The numerous experiments carried out with fertilisers all 
over the country at the end of last century were partly intended as demon- 
strations of this old knowledge and partly intended to extend it in details. 
Besides the resources financial and otherwise of the new agricultural 
teachers left much to be desired. As a rule they had no experimental 
farms and they had very limited opportunities for laboratory work, but 
it was possible with their very limited financial resources to make field 
experiments with the help of farmers and fertiliser manufacturers. Of 
fundamental research on the soil there was little or none, the resources in 
time and money, and perhaps also in knowledge, of teachers rapidly 
recruited to carry out the new agricultural teaching schemes, were not 
such as to enable them to do much of the more difficult work which 
requires properly equipped research laboratories and experimental fields. 

A comparison of the text-books on Agriculture and Agricultural 
Chemistry of the beginning of the century with those of the present day 
will illustrate the great change in our outlook on soil science. There 
were no British text-books on soil science in 1900. Any text-books on 
this subject in English were American. The information on the soil in 
our text-books on Agriculture and Agricultural Chemistry was derived 
largely from Geology and Mineralogy, or was information about soil 
composition and analysis and the use of fertilisers, with a little soil know- 
ledge which had filtered through from foreign sources. Our knowledge 
of what was being done by soil investigators abroad was not extensive, of 
what was being done in Russia we knew nothing. Even up to the out- 
break of the great war we were still comparatively ignorant of the great 
movements in soil science which were taking place abroad. We looked 
upon the soil almost entirely from the point of view of its fertility and use- 
fulness as a medium for the growth of plants, and any study of the soil 
itself apart from its use as a medium for the production of crops, was 
almost non-existent. 

Britain is a comparatively small country falling within ten degrees of 
latitude, with a climate which is in all parts temperate and humid and with 


a rainfall which is well distributed throughout all seasons of the year and 
which varies from moderate to high. The soils of Britain had not been 
studied even over the whole limited range of the country, but almost 
entirely in a small region in the south-east and mainly at Rothamsted and 
Woburn. These were looked upon as typical soils and all others were 
supposed to be more or less similar. If that was not definitely stated, it 
was tacitly assumed. It may be said that till the present century, and 
even till the second decade of the present century, our view of soils was 
narrow and insular. All others were expected to conform to ' This 
blessed plot, this earth, this England,' and it was a most blessed plot of 
the south-east of England which was the standard. Even in England 
itself there are soils which differ very considerably in nature and com- 
position from those of the Rothamsted and Woburn districts. I remember 
my own state of doubt and confusion when, having been brought up in the 
true faith as it existed in the nineties, I was transferred to the granitic 
drift soils of Aberdeenshire and could not make them fit in with my 
preconceived notions, and had to start to revise many of my beliefs, I was 
therefore more prepared than some of my generation to open my eyes to 
the new light which has poured in upon us during the past twenty-five 
years from Russia, Hungary, Holland and Germany, and from America. 

We did ourselves no good service from an imperial point of view by 
taking such a narrow and insular view of soils. While Britain is a small 
country of limited latitude and climate the British Empire exists in every 
latitude and every kind of climate. In agricultural science and not least 
in soil science, great sections of the British Empire, not merely Canada, 
but Australia and South Africa as well, came to look to the United States 
rather than to Britain for information and guidance. 

Something of the same kind of constriction of vision is noticeable in 
other countries. All are apt to judge by the conditions which prevail in 
their own country and to look at others through their own spectacles. 
This is of course natural. But there are two great countries which, 
unlike Britian, extend through wide ranges of latitude and climate. These 
are Russia and the United States. Russian territory extends from Arctic 
tundra to the subtropical, and embraces every kind of climate from warm 
humid and cold humid to arid and desert. The same is true of the 
United States, especially if we include Canada, which, in this respect, is in 
very close association with the t United States whose workers keep in view 
the soils of the whole North American continent. Here, again, we have 
a range of latitude from Arctic to subtropical, and of conditions varying 
from the humid of the Atlantic and Pacific slopes to the arid conditions of 
much of the interior. Both the humid and the arid climates vary greatly 
in temperature conditions ranging from the Arctic to the subtropical. 
In both these vast countries, as in little Britain itself, there are great 
variations in Geological conditions, and in all three there are soils derived 
from a great variety of rocks, igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. 

The scientific work of the United States is published in English and is 
therefore always easily accessible to us. The work of Hilgard and the 
Californian School, and of Whitney, Schreiner and other soil investigators 
of the United States Department of Agriculture, became known to us 


early in the present century and began to influence seriously our views on 
soils. The work of Hilgard in particular introduced us to arid and alkaline 
soils which, though they do not occur in Britain, are well known and of 
great importance in India, Australia, South Africa and other parts of the 
Empire, and we began, though only slowly, to take notice and to learn 
something of what was going on in the United States. Russia, on the other 
hand, is cut off from us by the barrier of a language which few can read, 
and the still more remarkable soil work which was going on in Russia and 
which has now produced such a great change and widening of the views of 
soil investigators throughout the world, was unknown in this country 
till after the great war when it began to filter through to us from America, 
Germany and other countries. Works published in this country before 
the war make no mention of the great Russian soil scientists such as 
Dokuchaev, Glinka and Gedroiz. At the present day it would be im- 
possible to write a book of any significance on soils without giving some 
account of the work of these men and of the great effect it has had in 
stimulating study and research on soils throughout the world. 

I suppose there is no better known agricultural manual in the English 
language than ' Soil Conditions and Plant Growth,' by our former 
President, Sir John Russell, the first edition of which was published in 
19 1 2. A very valuable feature of this work, which has been continued and 
improved in all subsequent editions, is the extensive bibliography which it 
gives. In the first edition there are 323 entries in this bibliography but 
not one of them refers to any of the leading Russian soil investigators. In' 
the text no reference is made to the Russian system of classifying soils and 
dividing them into zones according to the climate. There are, it is true, 
one or two slight references to climate and its effect on the soil and on the 
interpretation of soil analysis, but these are not developed or given more 
than a passing notice. The same is true of the new edition published in 
191 5 and it is not till the fourth edition, 1921, that references to the great 
Russian workers begin to be made. The references to them are still 
slight and their system is not described. In the fifth edition the references 
to the Russian work are somewhat greater but even yet there is no detail, 
and it is not till the sixth edition, 1932, that the Russians come into their 
own and that a considerable amount of space is given to them and to a 
description of their system of climatic classification. 

I have mentioned this particular text-book at some length because it is 
an outstanding English text-book on soils and because it is in great demand 
and has passed through a number of editions, so that we can trace in it the 
gradual growth of recognition in this country of the Russian School and 
its work. 

In this country we remained almost completely ignorant of the Russian 
and of much other foreign work till after 1 920. The most important and 
valuable agency in spreading among soil scientists of the world a know- 
ledge of one another's work, and especially of the work of the Russians, 
and thus widening the outlook of them all, is the International Society of 
Soil Science. This Society was founded in Rome] in 1924. It grew out 
of some previous International Conferences which had been held before 
and after the great war. The first was held in Budapest in 1909 and was 


called the International Conference of Agro-Geology. At it Britain, so 
far as I am aware, was not represented. The Conference was called 
mainly because of a division of opinion in Central Europe as to whether 
soils should be mapped and classified on a geological system or on the 
Russian system, which was already becoming known in countries bordering 
on Russia. The Russians were represented by Glinka, and his arguments 
in favour of treating soils as an independent subject of study and of naming, 
mapping and classifying them entirely in accordance with soil genetics, 
independently of geology, produced a great impression, as did also his 
statement of the view that climate was by far the most important factor 
in producing different types of soil. 

It was decided to hold another agro-geological conference in the 
following year in Stockholm at the same time as, but independently of, 
the International Congress of Geology. At this conference further 
discussion took place and a number of different sections, or commissions, 
was founded. The outbreak of the world war prevented the holding of 
further international meetings for a time and the next was not held till 
1922 when it met at Prague. The fourth and greatest of all was held in 
Rome in 1924, where this country was represented by a number of leading 
soil workers. The Rome conference was much more largely attended than 
its predecessors and there the International Society of Soil Science was 
formed and it was decided to hold the first International Congress of the 
new Society in Washington in 1927. The United States Government 
took an interest in the matter and, through the President of the United 
States, invitations were issued to foreign governments to send delegates 
to the Congress. At this great Congress a strong party of Russians, 
headed by Glinka, was present, and the discussions which took place with 
them in Washington and their demonstrations of their views on the soils 
of America during a journey right across the continent from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific by a southern route and back again by a northern route, 
including a large section of Canada, did more to open the eyes, and to bring 
the meaning of the new soil philosophy to the knowledge of the large 
number of soil workers who were present from many countries, than 
anything that had gone before. A strong British party was present at 
this Congress and to many of us it was a new education in soil science, 
and not the less so because we found that many of the leaders in soil 
science in America as well as those from several European countries were 
in distinct sympathy with the Russians on many of the new views which 
they were advocating. I would not like to make you think that there 
were no differences of opinion among the Russians themselves. There 
were. There were also differences of view between them and other 
leaders in soil science in America and elsewhere. But these international 
discussions and differences only made the whole congress the more 
stimulative and thought-provoking, and those of us who were present 
came away with our minds clarified and knowing much more definitely 
than before what was this fresh viewpoint in soil science of which 
we had been reading and hearing more or less garbled accounts for a few 
years previously. 

Out of these international congresses and conferences and the renewed 


interest in soil science a number of new scientific journals arose. The 
Internationale Mitteilungen fiir Bodenkunde was founded as the official 
journal of the Agro-Geological Conferences, and, after the foundation of 
the International Society of Soil Science, was continued as the Proceedings 
of the International Society, while as a supplement a new journal, called 
Soil Research, was also started. In America there has been published 
since 1916 a journal called Soil Science. These journals, like the inter- 
national meetings, did much to make known widely the new movements in 
soil science. 

What'are these fresh views which we all sat at the feet of the Russians 
to learn ? First of all I would like to point out that they are not revolu- 
tionary, they are not an overturning of old knowledge but an extension and 
restatement of it from a fresh viewpoint, and with additions. The Russians 
have been largely cut off from Western Europe and America by linguistic, 
geographical and political barriers, and, since the latter part of the 
nineteenth century, have been thinking out the subject for themselves. 

They treat the soil as an independent natural object worthy of study 
for its own sake and not merely as a useful medium in which to grow 
crops, or as a subsidiary branch of Geology or Chemistry or any other 
science. The branch of science which deals with soils they treat as an 
independent branch, which they call Pedology. Many people in this 
country and in America have now adopted this term and prefer to be 
pedologists, a word you will not find in the dictionary, rather than soil 
scientists. My own preference is for a term which is readily understood 
by ordinary people, for I venture to think that it is very important that 
science should have, as far as possible, the sympathy and understanding 
of ordinary non-scientific people who are apt to be repelled by the un- 
necessary and pedantic use of unknown terms. As that Nestor of Science 
and master of virile English, Professor H. E. Armstrong, says, with his 
usual emphasis, in a recent letter to Nature : ' The world of scientific 
workers is clearly prepared to work in harmonious co-operation and even 
to mix with the public on equal terms ; jargon, not language, alone forbids ; 
this must be stamped out ; its use is due to conceit and to lack of thought ; 
knowledge has to be made the common property of the world.' 

Next, the Russians insist that the soil is the natural product of a number 
of soil-forming factors of which the most important is climate, and that its 
nature is not determined by its geological origin. Their great primary 
classification of soils is into a number of climatic zones. The most 
notable feature in the whole Russian philosophy of soils is the insistence 
on the importance of climate as a soil-forming factor. Climate plays the 
central part in their system of soil classification. This recognition of 
climate is not entirely a new idea. Hilgard in America, and others, had 
already shown that climate has a great effect on the nature and composition 
of soils. On the other hand, in this country we had been accustomed to 
think of all soils as being somewhat similar to those of our temperate 
humid climate and though brought into contact with the very different 
soils of India, Australia, etc., had never critically examined the nature 
and causes of the differences in the soils produced in these very different 


In the old Russian Empire, and the modern union of Soviets, there are 
soils which have been produced in a great variety of climates in Russian 
Europe and Asia. The Russian soil workers set themselves to collect 
these and to examine them critically, and came to the conclusion that soils 
produced from a geological formation in a cool climate were very different 
from those produced from the same geological formation in a hot climate, 
and that those produced in a moist climate were very different from those 
produced from the same parent materials in an arid climate. They 
showed indeed that very different soils may be formed from the same rock 
in different climates and that, on the other hand, similar soils may be 
produced from different rocks in similar climates. That, for example, 
our granitic soils, produced in the cool humid climate of Scotland, would 
have been very different if produced in a hot humid climate in tropical 
Africa, and that if produced in a hot arid climate in Asia they would have 
been different both from those produced in cool humid Scotland and in a 
hot humid African climate. In fact they showed that soils cannot be 
classified and characterised on a geological basis. Possibly some of them, 
and still more some of their enthusiastic converts in other lands, go too far 
in excluding geological origin altogether as a factor in soil formation. 

The next great feature of the Russian system is the classification of soils 
according to what is found in the soil profile. The profile, as is now well 
known to all of us, though that was not so twenty years ago, is a section of 
the soil from the surface down to the parent material. If such a section is 
examined it is almost invariably found to consist of a number of different 
layers, called horizons, which are generally easily distinguishable from one 
another. When a great many such profiles are examined from different 
parts of the world it is found that they fall into a number of definite types 
characteristic of the different types of soil. The profile is an expression 
of the results of the different soil-forming factors and therefore characterises 
the different types of soils as produced by the action of these factors. This 
is expressed by saying that the profile is the resultant of the pedogenic 
• processes. The modern soil surveyor studies morphology of soil profiles 
and classifies his soils accordingly. 

This is in outline very simple, in practice it is often very difficult and is 
apt to give rise to differences of opinion, especially when those accustomed 
to the profiles of one part of the world are introduced to a new region with 
conditions different from those to which they are accustomed. It will be 
seen, too, that this scheme of a profile made up of horizons is a develop- 
ment of the old division of the soil into soil and subsoil. But there is an 
important difference, the terms soil and subsoil were applied to cultivated 
soils mainly, and the soil was, generally speaking, the layer which had been 
mixed and influenced by the implements and processes of cultivation, 
while the subsoil was the layer which was not touched by instruments of 
cultivation. Such a division is of no use to the modern student of soil 
morphology and genetics. The processes of cultivation have turned 
over and mixed the surface layers and have also modified those below the 
region reached by the plough. The modern soil investigator, therefore, 
insists that the profile must be studied in undisturbed soil which has 
existed in its natural condition for a long period of time. To him the 


profile is the soil unit which must be studied as a whole, unmodified by 
artificial operations of man. This of course introduces difficulties in old 
settled countries of dense population, like our own, where most of the soils 
which are worth cultivation have been broken up and cultivated at one 
time or another. In the extensive, lightly populated areas of Russia or 
North America there are plenty of natural soils, but in applying modern 
methods of soil study to the soils of much of Western and Southern 
Europe and other regions of ancient civilisation, modifications have to be 
introduced to allow for the influence of cultivation which, in many cases, 
extends over long periods of time. 

There is another difficulty which, it seems to me, has not received the 
consideration it deserves. Soils are divided in this system into mature 
and immature, called by those who rejoice in using Greek words unknown 
to the vulgar, Ektodynamomorphic and Endodynamomorphic soils 
respectively. A mature profile is one which has attained its full develop- 
ment, while an immature profile has not attained its full development. 
But when is this full development attained ? Certain of the soil-forming 
processes require a very long period for their full development, others a 
much shorter period. Some processes require periods of geological time, 
others can take place in a few years or a few centuries. 

The late Mr. George Newlands and myself studied a few years ago the 
mineralogical composition of certain Scottish soils, and found that our 
granitic soils, for instance, are largely composed of the minerals of the 
original granite in an unweathered or only slightly weathered condition. • 
Much of the ' fine sand,' technically particles of approximately o • 2 to o -02 
millimetres in diameter, consists of almost unweathered particles of 
orthoclase, muscovite and other compound silicates and not merely of 
quartz. These are found not only in the parent material a few feet below 
the surface but in the surface layers which have been undergoing chemical 
processes of weathering as long as the soil has been there. 

The parent material of these soils is glacial detritus powdered down by 
ice and left behind when the ice melted after the last glacial epoch. How 
long is that ago ? I leave that question to be answered by Section C. 
At any rate it is a long time ago, before human history started in Scotland. 
But as the pedogenic processes in these soils are not complete in this 
respect, the profiles, ex hypothesi, cannot have attained their full develop- 
ment and therefore are still immature. But many of such soils have 
profiles which are treated as mature. 

Soil organic matter, on the other hand, is subject to rapid change and 
decay especially in a warm climate. Even in our cool climate humus is 
rapidly formed under suitable conditions. So far as the organic matter 
of the soil is concerned it rapidly comes into a condition of equilibrium 
with the conditions prevailing, and so far as it is concerned the pedogenic 
process is completed in a comparatively short period of time, though a 
change in the conditions may throw it out of equilibrium again for a time. 

The whole of the processes of soil formation are very complex and require 
much more study before we can hope to reach, I will not say a final, but a 
sound system of soil classification. The soil itself is, from every point 
of view, a very complex and variable material and our present methods 


for its study and classification, though a great advance on what went 
before, are of very recent origin and no doubt further great progress will 
be made as a result of the intensive studies to which soils are now being 
subjected in many lands. 

In the above sketch I have merely referred to one or two features of the 
Russian soil philosophy which appear to me to be outstanding and have 
not ventured to tax your patience with details which can be found in 
modern text-books. With the new enthusiasm for soil study and research 
we have a new crop of books on the subject. At the beginning of this 
century there was hardly a text-book on soils to be found in English, now 
there are many both by English and American authors, and in the past 
ten years there have been quite a number in which the modern views of soil 
formation and classification are given, and more are constantly appearing. 
Much of the Russian soil science is at present remote from agricultural 
practice. It is curious that in spite of their theories of Government and 
of five-year plans for the rapid practical improvement of the condition of 
the people, the Russians are the champions of pure soil science, of the 
view that our study of soils should proceed without reference to any use 
that may be made of such knowledge for the service of agricultural 
practice, or for the production of wealth from the soil. It is difficult for 
British and Americans to dissociate soils from their agricultural use and to 
regard them are a pure subject of scientific research studied solely for the 
increase of abstract knowledge. Still , it is no doubt the correct method, so 
long as it is not carried to extremes, and we are greatly indebted to the 
Russian School for giving us a fresh start and new methods of attack. 

The fundamental importance of soil moisture has been known for ages. 
Without water crops cannot grow, and with excess of moisture we get 
marsh or swamp and our ordinary crops are drowned out. A proper 
supply of moisture is more important to crops than all the fertilisers put 
together. In the modern theory of soil formation and classification the 
important part played by water is recognised. The two important 
factors in climate, those which do most to determine what the soil is to 
be, are the supply of water and the temperature. In considering water 
supply it is not sufficient to consider the rainfall — the humidity, the 
distribution of the rainfall and the topography all enter into the picture. 
A rainfall which is sufficient to wash through the soil and leach away 
soluble constituents in a cool humid climate, may all be re-evaporated and 
leave nothing to wash through the soil in a warm climate with a dry 
atmosphere. Again, if all the rain falls at one season of the year a part of it 
may seep through the soil and escape as drainage water, while if the same 
rainfall is distributed throughout the year so much may be re-evaporated 
that there will be none to escape as drainage. 

Considering the importance in soil formation of water which passes 
through the soil, and of the amount and nature of materials in solution 
and suspension which are washed away by such water, or removed by it 
to lower layers of the soil, and the importance to soil fertility of the rela- 
tions of the soil to water, and of the economic importance of drainage in 
connection with the loss of nitrogen, lime and other manurial constituents 
from the soil, it has always been a matter of surprise to me that more use is 


not made in soil studies of drain gauges or lysimeters, or instruments of a 
similar kind. 

The first drain gauges, so far as I am aware, were made by Lawes and 
Gilbert at Rothamsted over sixty years ago. They were designed to study 
evaporation and percolation in relation to depth of drainage, and were 
therefore of different depths, 20, 40 and 60 inches respectively. They 
were also used to study the amount of nitrogen washed away from un- 
cropped and unmanured soil. The blocks of soil enclosed in these drain 
gauges were never broken up, they were built with as little disturbance as 
possible into the water-tight structures which enable the drainage to be 
measured. They consist therefore of real soils which have been formed 
by a long course of natural soil-forming processes. Similarly the drain 
gauges which I have had built at Craibstone, near Aberdeen, have been 
formed by enclosing, without disturbance, in water-tight boxes of Caithness 
slate, blocks of natural soil which have never been broken up. My drain 
gauges are intended to study the changes which take place in cultivated 
soil, and the losses which take place in the drainage water during ordinary 
processes of cropping and manuring. 

Such drain gauges are not easy to construct. I suppose that is why this 
method has been so little used in the study of soils. It is much easier, 
and cheaper, to build a water-tight box and fill subsoil and soil into it, than 
it is to enclose a block of natural soil, weighing several tons, in a water-tight 
structure. If the easier method is adopted, as has been done to a large 
extent in America and elsewhere, its limitations must be recognised. The ■ 
soil, once it is broken up and filled into a lysimeter, is no longer a natural 
soil and it is difficult to say how long it will take under the influence of the 
soil- forming processes of the locality to become once more a real soil such 
as is provided in nature. Had Lawes and Gilbert, for instance, filled the 
soil into their drain gauges they would have defeated the object they had 
in view, for such a broken up soil would have allowed water to run through 
it quite differently from a natural soil for its structure would have been 
destroyed, while the breaking up and aeration of the soil would have rendered 
useless their studies of the loss of nitrate, for the nitrification in such an 
artificial soil would have been quite abnormal. 

Artificially filled drain gauges have certain uses. I have used them 
myself in studying the limits of fixation of manurial substances by the soil, 
but we must always recognise that they are artificial and that results 
obtained from them do not necessarily apply, or may only apply with 
modifications to natural soils. They are in a similar position to pot 
experiments as compared with field experiments. Pot experiments can 
be very useful, and this method of experimentation has yielded most 
valuable results, but we have always to recognise that it has its limitations 
and that it is very difficult to find a formula which will enable us to apply 
the results obtained by it with any degree of certainty to field conditions. 

The development of our knowledge of soil colloids and base exchange 
during the present century is second in importance only to the advance 
which has been made in the science of soil formation, structure and 
distribution. As you know, the beginnings of our knowledge of this 
subject can be traced back to the middle of last century when Way 


showed that the ammonium of ammonium sulphate, or the potassium 
of potassium sulphate, was retained by the soil while an equivalent amount 
of calcium went into solution and could be washed away as sulphate. He 
also showed that this power resided in the finest mineral part of the soil, 
the clay, and he regarded the action as an ordinary case of double de- 
composition between clay and the soluble, neutral salt in solution. Though 
there was much discussion about these phenomena, which were regarded 
as of the greatest practical importance because they showed that valuable 
manurial bases when applied in a soluble form could be absorbed and 
retained in the soil, and though soil investigators of last century were 
divided into two camps, one regarding this fixation of bases as a chemical 
precipitation by double decomposition and the other looking upon it as a 
physical process of absorption, little further advance was made till the 
present century. By that time considerable advance had been made in 
our knowledge of colloid chemistry and we also knew that there were two 
types of colloid complexes found in soils, one mineral and the other organic. 
The mineral colloid material, sometimes known as the alumino-silicic 
complex, is found in the clay fraction of the soil, while the organic colloid, 
known as the humus complex, is found in the decomposed vegetable 
matter or humus matter of the soil. The soil and these colloid consti- 
tuents of the soil were studied by the methods of colloid chemistry late 
in last century and early in this one by the Dutchman, van Bemmelen, 
and later by his fellow countryman, Dr. D. J. Hissink, by the late Professor 
G. Wiegner of Zurich, whose recent death at the height of his powers we 
all deplore, and by the famous Russian worker, the late K. K. Gedroiz, 
whose very valuable work in this subject became generally known only 
after the great war. 

We now know that this process of base exchange is a colloid phenomenon, 
and follows the laws of colloid chemistry. It is not confined, as Way 
supposed, to the fine mineral matter of the soil but is a property of the 
organic colloids also. The old controversy as to whether this is a chemical 
or a physical phenomenon is thus cleared up and both sides are shown to 
be right or both wrong, according to your taste, for both sides knew nothing 
of that border-line field of colloid phenomena where Physics and Chemistry 
blend, and, in the best modern manner, tend to become indistinguishable. 
We are now on firmer ground than we were a few years ago as to the 
nature and properties of soil colloids, both mineral and organic, and the 
new knowledge has shed fresh light on certain matters of great practical as 
well as of great scientific importance, which were wrapped in gloom at the 
beginning of this century. We can now not only estimate with a high 
degree of accuracy the degree of intensity of soil acidity, or alkalinity, 
as well as the amount of such acidity or alkalinity, but we have also a sound 
theoretical picture of the nature of that acidity or alkalinity. 

It was a common statement in our text- books till quite recent years that 
a supply of calcium carbonate was necessary in a healthy soil. It was 
useless to point out that there are fertile soils in which no recognisable 
amount of calcium carbonate can be found. It had to be there. We now 
know that the part which was ascribed to calcium carbonate is played by 
the exchangeable bases of the soil, and that in our fertile soils the principal 


exchangeable base in combination with the soil colloids is lime. Other 
bases, magnesia, potash and soda, are also present in smaller amount. 
When a base is required to combine with any acid or to exchange with and 
fix other bases these are the ones primarily drawn upon, and the exchange 
with other bases or the combination with acids which takes place is primarily 
the settling of an equilibrium between these bases and the acids present, 
the electro-negative clay and humus colloids themselves acting as acids. 

I would like to suggest that some of our methods of soil analysis require 
revision in the light of this new knowledge of exchangeable bases and the 
constitution of the clay colloids of soil. Our old methods, or certain of 
them, were based on the view that calcium carbonate was essential to the 
soil and that it or the ' lime requirement,' which meant calcium carbonate 
requirement, were among the more important things to determine in a soil 
analysis. It seems more important nowadays to set up standard methods 
of determining exchangeable bases and the requirement of the soil for these. 

Our knowledge of the chemistry of humus, in spite of the great amount 
of work which has been done upon it in recent years by workers in many 
countries, is still in a state of doubt and darkness, but in the last few years 
we have learned a great deal of the chemical structure of clay. The 
application of X-ray methods of analysis has shown that much clay 
material exhibits a definite lattice structure, and that there are several 
different minerals, showing at least two different types of lattice structure, 
to be found in clays. Some light has also been thrown by this work on 
the nature of the base exchange capacity of clay and on the great differences 
in base exchange capacity which are found in different types of clay 

The X-ray method has supplied us with a very valuable new method of 
attacking the problem of the structure of clay, and taken along with other 
methods is clearing up many of the gaps in our knowledge of clay. There 
is a great deal of work still to be done on this subject but it seems we are 
now well on the road to success. I may point out that a valuable summary 
of recent research on the structure of clay has been given by our Recorder, 
Dr. E. M. Crowther, in The Annual Reports on the Progress of Applied 
Chemistry for 1935. 

One cannot give so hopeful an account of the progress of our knowledge 
of humus. We have not yet found any clear method of unravelling the 
structure of humus and of showing what is the nature of the colloid mole- 
cules which build up the main part of this very important soil constituent. 

Both the clay colloids and the humus colloids are acid substances 
which, when uncombined with bases, render the soil acid, and require to be 
combined with bases before they can be neutralised and produce a neutral 
soil, while when fully saturated with strong bases they are alkaline in 
reaction and can produce a soil of alkaline reaction. To the chemists of a 
generation ago it would no doubt have appeared rather shocking to apply 
to indefinite substances of large, undetermined and variable molecular 
structure the name of acids, but the evidence cannot be otherwise explained, 
and the recent X-ray work is supplying, in the case of clay at any rate, 
further evidence of a complex molecular structure which justifies the views 
which have gradually gained acceptance as to the constitution of these 


most important substances, on which the nature and properties of the 
soil depend to such a great extent. 

In many other directions fundamental soil science has made in this 
century, and is making, marked advances. But I have already kept you 
long enough. There is, however, one other subject on which, if you will 
bear with me, I would like to offer a remark before I stop. Fertilisers we 
may class along with the soil for they are substances used to increase the 
productivity or make up the deficiencies of the soil. From small begin- 
nings a century ago the fertiliser industry has grown to be one of the 
world's greatest chemical industries. In the early days of the industry 
this country played a notable part, but in the latter part of last century and 
the early part of this one, when the whole of our soil science was in a some- 
what backward position, our fertiliser industry also fell into the back- 
ground. We have recently seen a great revival consequent upon this 
industry again becoming scientific instead of depending merely upon 
commercial and business ability. For this change and improvement we 
may, I think, give much of the credit to Imperial Chemical Industries, who 
are now our greatest fertiliser manufacturers, and who make the manu- 
facture of manures an important section of their business. The older 
type of fertiliser manufacturers may have employed a few works analysts, 
but they did not pay for the best scientific brains to help them to introduce 
new processes and to improve old ones. That has been changed by I.C.I. , 
and we have a new spirit in the fertiliser industry and we are regaining some- 
thing of the great position we once held in that important branch of 
chemical manufacture. It is to be hoped that this will continue. If we 
are not to fall back into the old state of lethargy we must continue with 
long-range research, as the Germans and Americans are doing, carried 
out by educated and competent persons. That is the only way if we are to 
continue to advance and keep in the front. 

Physics is not the only branch of science in which revolutionary changes 
have been made in the twentieth century. Even in soil science we have 
seen a structure built up which the agricultural chemists of a generation ago 
would find strange. In the British Isles at the beginning of the century 
there was almost no soil science, now we are taking our due part in building 
up and nurturing this branch of knowledge. We have now not only the 
great station at Rothamsted but also the Macaulay Institute at Aberdeen, 
which is engaged in the study of soils of different types from those of the 
south-east of England and is approaching soil study from a somewhat 
different angle. There are also in our Universities and Agricultural 
Colleges quite a number of soil investigators of distinction who are dealing 
with the soils of many other parts of the country. 

At the same time I think it is true to say that in Britain the fundamental 
attitude towards soil study remains the same. It is difficult for us to 
achieve the complete detachment of the Russians and study soils entirely 
apart from any practical agricultural applications which our studies may 
have. Purely scientific study of the soil is being made in this country also, 
but we always find it difficult not to remember that the good brown earth 
is primarily of interest to us for crop growth. It is right that it should be 
so. It is right to keep pure and applied science in the closest touch with 


each other. They should not be studied apart, but together as parts of a 
great whole. Each gains thereby. Nor can we detach soil science 
completely from those other branches of science like Chemistry, Physics, 
Geology and Biology, on which it is founded and out of which it grew. 

But to what are we heading ? Of what use is it all ? Are we only in- 
creasing sorrow by increasing knowledge ? Our increased knowledge should 
give us increased power to use the soil, and that surely means increased 
production. We are told there is already over-production and that what 
is required is restriction of production. We read in our papers of crops 
being destroyed because they cannot be used, or because it does not pay 
to harvest them. In the United States, and elsewhere, the growth of 
fundamental food crops, like wheat, has been restricted. In our own 
country arable land is decreasing while at the same time the import of 
food- stuffs is being restricted. 

Has everybody in this country, and in every other country, too much, 
or even enough, food ? Do we not at the same time as we are crying out 
about over-production, hear an equal outcry about malnutrition and 
under- feeding even in this comparatively prosperous country ? The two 
things do not fit together. They cry out against one another. They 
cannot both be right. But we all know that there are many people, 
forming quite a large section of the population, who have not over- 
abundance, who have not even enough. This, which is true of this 
country, is, unless we are strangely misinformed, true in a much higher 
degree of the world at large. This is not a problem of soil science, but a 
problem for the statesman, the social reformer and the economist. The 
soil scientist can safely go on and increase our knowledge of soils, and 
hope, that in the long run, it will increase production and lessen labour. 
Increased wealth, especially in the essential things produced from the 
soil, is a blessing not a curse, and if it can be obtained more easily, and 
more certainly, through the power and control provided by increased 
knowledge, that is all to the good. 

The solution of our difficulties must be looked for by the increase of 
impartial scientific knowledge in other directions. It is not for us to 
offer any advice to a section so much our senior as Section F, but this 
difficulty is much more their problem than ours. It is our social organ- 
isation, our statesmanship, our economic system which are at fault when 
the abundance which is produced cannot be brought to the many who are 
in need of it. Social and political sciences and even economic science 
are no doubt applying themselves to this problem, and let us hope they 
will be able to remove it from an atmosphere of social prejudice and party 
bias to the calm, truth-seeking atmosphere of pure scientific investigation. 
Agricultural science can go forward fearlessly to increase knowledge in 
the good hope and belief that increased knowledge will be in itself a 




Forty-first Report of Committee on Seismological Investigations (Dr. F. J. W. 
Whipple, Chairman ; Mr. J. J. Shaw, C.B.E., Secretary ; Miss 
E. F. Bellamy, M.A., Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, O.B.E., F.R.S., Dr. 
A. T. J. Dollar, Prof. G. R. Goldsbrough, F.R.S., Dr. Wilfred 
Hall, Mr. J. S. Hughes, Dr. H. Jeffreys, F.R.S., Mr. Cosmo Johns, 
Dr. A. W. Lee, Prof. E. A. Milne, M.B.E., F.R.S., Mr. R. D. 
Oldham, F.R.S., Prof. H. H. Plaskett, F.R.S., Prof. H. C. 
Plummer, F.R.S., Prof. A. O. Rankine, O.B.E., F.R.S., Rev. J. P. 
Rowland, S.J., Prof. R. A. Sampson, F.R.S., Mr. F. J. Scrase, 
Dr. H. Shaw, Sir Frank Smith, K.C.B., C.B.E., F.R.S., Dr. R. 
Stoneley, F.R.S., Mr. E. Tillotson, Sir G. T.' Walker, C.S. I., 

Forty-first Report of Committee. — The Committee met once during the year, 
on November 29. The annual grant of £100 from the Caird Fund and the 
special grant of £50 from the same fund were allocated to the maintenance 
of work on the International Seismological Summary. The Committee also 
voted the sum of £50 from the Gray-Milne Fund for the same purpose. 
It will be necessary to make like provision for the coming year. 

A large metal sphere for use in the determination of epicentral distances 
has been made by Messrs. C. F. Casella & Co. for the Committee. The 
diameter of the sphere, which is cast in brass, is 18 in., the weight 68 lb. 
After the sphere had been machined the positions of seismological observa- 
tories were marked by holes and finally the sphere was chromium-plated. 
The cost of engraving the positions of the stations was borne by the Uni- 
versity Observatory, Oxford, and Mrs. H. H. Turner generously provided 
the greater part of the accessories which are to be used for the determination 
of epicentral distances and azimuths. 

The income of the Gray-Milne Fund is still suffering from the lapse of 
the dividends due from the Canadian Pacific Railway. 

Gray-Milne Trust Account. 

£ «■ d. £ s . d. 

Brought forward . . 203 5 4 International Seismo- 

Trust Income . . 46 14 10 logical Summary 50 o o 

Bank Interest . .102 Operation of Seismo- 

graphs . . .10 

Milne Library . -15 

Fire Insurance . . 15 

Sphere for determina- 
tion of epicentral 
distances . . 45 o 

Postage, etc. . . 3 18 

Balance carried forward 139 18 5 

£ 2 Si o 4 £251 o 4 

3 4 





Seismographs. — The six seismographs belonging to the British Association 
have remained on loan to the seismological stations at Oxford (2), Edinburgh, 
Perth (W. Australia) and Cape Town (2). 

A happy sequel to the efforts of the Committee to further the establish- 
ment of a seismological station at St. Louis Observatory in Jersey is to be 
reported. M. E. Rothe, Director of the Institut de Physique du Globe 
at Strasbourg, has been so good as to lend a Mainka seismograph to St. 
Louis. The station, which is being maintained by the Rev. C. Rey, S.J., 
should prove of great value in studies of the minor earthquakes which are 
not uncommon in the neighbourhood of the Channel Islands. The nearest 
existing seismograph stations are Kew and Oxford, about 300 km. away, and 
Paris, about 330. 

At Kew Observatory a second Wood-Anderson seismograph has been 
taken into use. It may be noted that the two Wood-Anderson seismographs, 
which record on one drum, were run for a time with a period of about 1 sec. 
It was found, however, that no significant records were obtained and the 
instruments were then adjusted to the period of 2 ■ 3 sec, enabling distant 
earthquakes to be recorded clearly. A new seismograph house has been 
constructed at Kew. It is hoped that the effects of wind which have 
marred the records of the Galitzin seismographs in the basement of the 
Observatory will be avoided. 

Mr. Shaw reports that the Milne-Shaw seismograph on order for Brisbane 
has been delivered. A second component has been supplied to Helwan, 
Cairo. This instrument was equipped with a recording mechanism giving 
15 mm. traverse of the film per minute. A duplicate recording unit has 
been sent to Colaba, Bombay, and a timing clock (second regulator) is being 
constructed for use with the seismograph at the Upper Air Observatory, 
Agra, Bombay. Mr. Shaw is also constructing a Milne-Shaw seismograph 
for the Exhibition of Instruments at the forthcoming meeting of the Union 
of Geodesy and Geophysics at Edinburgh. 

British Earthquakes. — There was no considerable earthquake in the British 
Isles during the year, but small disturbances were reported as occurring 
on the following dates : 


September 25 

Channel Islands 


October 24 

Leigh, Lancashire 


March 8 . 

Glenmoriston, Inverness 



March 11 

Comrie, Perthshire 


April 12 . 

Strathcarron, Ross-shire 


May 4 

Donnybrook, Dublin 


May 13 

Strathcarron, Ross-shire 


June 10 . 

Kinlochewe, Ross-shire 


June 19 

Derrynane, Cahirciveen, 



June 19 

Donnybrook, Dublin 


June 21 

Derrynane, Cahirciveen, 


Dr. Dollar has undertaken to collect observations of any earthquakes 
which may occur in the British Isles in future. Dr. Dollar is also hoping 
to publish the collected records of the earthquakes which have occurred in 
these islands since the Hereford earthquake of January 1924, the last 
earthquake which finds a place in Dr. Davison's History of British 


Montserrat. — The earthquakes in the island of Montserrat having con- 
tinued, a small expedition to the island was organised by the Royal Society, 
Mr. A. G. MacGregor being the geologist and Dr. C. F. Powell the physicist. 
Prof. Jaggar of Hawaii and Sir Gerald Lenox-Conyngham also visited the 
island. Dr. Powell has installed a Wiechert horizontal seismograph as 
well as a number of Jaggar shock-recorders which were made at Kew 
Observatory for the expedition. Seismic activity has been much less during 
the first half of 1936 than during the previous two years. 

The International Seismological Summary. 

A Note by Mr. J. S. Hughes. 

The preparation of the International Seismological Summary for 1931 has 
been completed. The sections for the first two quarters of the year have 
been distributed and the other two sections are with the printer. As was 
anticipated in the last Report, 1931 proved a very heavy year seismologically. 
The number of epicentres identified was not exceptionally large, but the 
earthquakes were more generally observed. For the first six months of 
193 1 the number of pages required in the Summary was 283 as compared 
with 197 in the previous year ; the earthquakes dealt with numbered 297 
in 193 1, 284 in 1930. It is remarkable that after unusual seismic activity 
on November 2, 1931, mainly connected with South Japanese shocks, there 
was a sudden lull, and the spell of reduced activity lasted for about three 

The only shock occurring in 193 1 which calls for special mention, although 
there are many well-determined earthquakes in the year, is that of August 10. 
The epicentre 46 -9 N. 90 -o E. (near the Great Altai Mountains, Mongolia) 
is that used in the Seismological Summary of the British Association for the 
earthquakes of 1917, July 31 and November 28, but was adopted only after 
a separate calculation had shown the position accurate within o° • 1 . 

The P observations show very good fit with the determination made, but 
the S readings are nearly all uniformly too large by 30 sec. This means 
that in the preliminary calculations, when a T dependent on S-P was used, 
the Japanese and European stations gave separate epicentres with the same 
time at origin. According to the old routine when it was customary in the 
Summary to keep the balance of S and P residuals at all costs, the shock 
would probably have been entered as having a T of 2ih. 18m. 25s. with 
a positive or high focus correction of 0-030 or so, leaving the interpretation 
of the abnormality to seek. Now the abnormality is shown in a different 
way. In a review of the International Seismological Summary, ' Nature,' 
January 4, 1936, it was stated, ' It is interesting to notice that there were no 
earthquakes to which it was found necessary to allot high focus. It appears 
that with more reliable observations and more reliable standard tables the 
anomalies which led Turner to assume high foci for certain Earthquakes 
do not occur.' Here we have this anomaly turning up in a very pronounced 
form ; had the differences been of the opposite sign there would have been 
no hesitation in assuming considerable focal depth. 

It is always rather a question whether shocks occurring in the same 
neighbourhood successively should be regarded as originating at the same 
epicentre or whether the small differences which can sometimes be deduced 
from the residuals have a real significance. An interesting case is that of 
1 93 1 October 3 and the succeeding days, in which 21 shocks occurred 
near the Solomon Islands, round about io° S. 162 E. In making the 
determinations of these shocks, six separate epicentres were adopted, 


although in the case of some of the smaller shocks it may be that more 
grouping could have been effected. However, the determinations have 
been made separately, and only those which prove themselves to be repeti- 
tions have been adopted as such. 

Another series of shocks occurred on 193 1 November 1 and 2 off Shikoku 
Island, Japan. There were three large shocks, but the waves of the smaller 
shocks are difficult to allocate to definite epicentres and have been listed 
under the stations which recorded them. 

Work on the data for March 1932 is now in hand, but a number of 
stations have not yet sent in reports for that year. This is much to be 
regretted. Even if the reports arrive in time for the observations to be 
inserted before the copy goes to press the dilatory stations do not pull their 
weight in the determinations of the epicentres and times of the earthquakes. 

Transmission Times. 

By Dr. Harold Jeffreys. 

The revision of the tables mentioned in the last report has now been 
published by the Bureau Central de Seismologie. In later work based on 
the same data, supplemented by estimates of the thicknesses of the upper 
layers from deep-focus earthquakes and surface waves, and by earthquakes 
well observed at short distances, I have obtained a formal solution for the 
times of P so long as it does not cross the 20 discontinuity, and by combining 
this with the times beyond 20 I have found an estimate of the depth of the 
discontinuity, which is 483 ± 17 km. below the outer surface, 42 km. of 
this representing the adopted thickness of the upper layers. Times of P 
have been calculated for focal depths down to the discontinuity. 

The work is now being extended to S and SKS. The difficulty about 
these pulses is that about 20 and beyond 70° the residuals do not fit the 
normal law of errors even approximately, and the correct method of treat- 
ment is uncertain. At these distances various published tables differ by 
10 or 15 sees. A test has been obtained from the deep-focus earthquakes 
discussed by Scrase and Stechschulte, additional Japanese observations 
published by Wadati being used in both cases. These give satisfactory 
series of S observations for rays that have not crossed the discontinuity, 
and show that up to 20 the times in the Jeffreys-Bullen Tables can be 
trusted to about 2s. To convert into actual travel times from a surface 
focus the times of P need to be increased by about 9s., and those of S by 
about 14s. Beyond 70 , however, a substantial decrease of the times of S 
(with respect to those up to 20 ) is indicated by these deep-focus earth- 
quakes and a number of normal ones ; the same applies to SKS, the 
difference reaching about 10s. Other material is being incorporated, but a 
satisfactory separation of the various movements that are read as S cannot 
be obtained unless the epicentre can be fixed with a standard error of o- 1° 
or so ; and it is not often that a suitable epicentre is associated with a good 
series of S observations. 

Times of pV, sP, sS, and sSKS have been calculated ; comparison with 
observation, however, suggests that the above estimate of 42 km. for the 
total thickness of the upper layers is about 6 km. too great. 

The rise in the velocity of P or S at the 20 discontinuity is about 9 per 
cent. ; Bullen, using the theory of the figure of the earth, finds that an 
increase of about 10 per cent, in density is also necessary. A suitable 
material to agree with these values is hard to find, but Dr. J. D. Bernal has 
suggested an explanation based on the properties of magnesium germanate, 


which is chemically very similar to olivine. At ordinary pressures the 
germanate exists in two forms found by Goldschmidt, a rhombic one 
analogous to olivine, and a cubic one analogous to spinel, the latter being 
the denser and therefore likely to predominate at higher pressures. The 
silicon atom, being smaller than that of germanium, will interfere with the 
further compression of the oxygen lattice of olivine at a higher pressure, 
but the next stage can be inferred by analogy, and it appears that the material 
between the 20 discontinuity and the core is likely to be a cubic form of 

K. E. Bullen, following up his work on the density, is calculating the 
effect of the ellipticity on the times of transmission. It is smaller if geo- 
centric latitudes are used instead of geographical ones, the difference in 
extreme cases reaching about 2s. for P ; apart from this the effect never 
reaches is. The whole effect does not exceed o-4s. up to 30 . When this 
work is complete it will be necessary to correct the present tables to adapt 
them to a spherical earth, but this will not be difficult. 

A comparison of the accuracies of seismological stations has been carried 
out by means of the P residuals for the best observed earthquakes in the 
I.S.S. from January 1930 to March 1931. The bulk of the best stations 
appear to attain a standard error in routine observation of 2s. or a little over. 
This accuracy is reached in Great Britain only by Kew and Oxford. Some 
of the apparent standard error is due to errors in the epicentres, but not 
much ; most of the I.S.S. epicentres indicated by the marks N. 1 and 
R. 1 appear now to be accurate to 0-2° or less, the probable errors as given 
being too high. In some earthquakes, however, average standard errors 
at all stations as low as 1 -3s. have been found ; I think that this is due to 
special clearness of these shocks in comparison with others. In the North 
Sea earthquake of 193 1 June 7, for instance, I have redetermined the epicentre 
from the I.S.S. data, obtaining 53°-95 ±o°-os N., i°-55 ± o°-o6 E. ; 
this makes the P residuals at five of the eight British stations equal to o or 
± is., two equal to + 2s., and one equal to —3s. Thus they can attain 
high accuracy in favourable conditions. The general comparison, however, 
is useful in selecting stations for a preliminary determination of an epicentre 
and in adjusting the weights of doubtful observations ; for bad observations 
can occur at even the best stations. 

Very Long Seismic Waves. 
An Editorial Note. 

In examining the records • of the great submarine earthquake which 
occurred in the South Pacific (long. 156 E., lat. 57 S.) on June 26, 1924, 
W. C. Repetti and J. B. Macelwane noticed certain long waves which they 
denoted by X and U. The X wave had an enormous amplitude at the 
nearest stations for which the records were available. At Wellington, 19 
from the epicentre, there was an oscillation taking 18 mins. At Sydney, 
23 ° from the epicentre, the oscillation took about 9 mins. ; the amplitude on 
the Wiechert seismograph was several centimetres. At Uccle, 162° from 
the epicentre, there were trains of about seven waves with a period of a 
minute. These waves, which had an amplitude of less than a millimetre 
on the Galitzin records, were judged to have passed 1$ and z\ times round 
the globe. Repetti found for the velocity of the X waves 4-51 km. per 

1 W. C. Repetti, S.J., Bull. Seism. Soc. Amer., 17 (1927), 207 ; J. B. Macelwane, 
S.J., Gerlands B.z. Geophysik, 28 (1930), 165. 


second. In his paper Macelwane expresses some doubts as to the X waves. 
He asks ' Have we then a single wave group with an enormously rapid 
decrease in period ? Or are we dealing with two or even three distinct wave 
types all having the same velocity ? ' 

Macelwane himself found evidence for the wave which he denoted by U 
to which he attributed the velocity 7-5 km. per sec. and thought that this 
wave was recorded at Eskdalemuir after travelling more than z\ times 
round the globe. Repetti's X wave is discussed in the following note by 
Dr. Stoneley. 

It is to be hoped that further attention will be given to the records of the 
South Pacific earthquake ; the results of an examination of the records from 
Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth which were not seen by Repetti 
and Macelwane would be of great interest. It would be worth while to 
inquire whether this submarine earthquake was accompanied by an 
exceptional tunami, or so-called tidal wave. 

Surface Waves. 

By Dr. R. Stoneley. 

The recent investigation by Dr. Jeffreys of the constitution of the earth 
down to the discontinuity that corresponds to A = 20 in the transit of P 
has an application to the question of the velocity of propagation of surface 
waves of long period ; the 480 km. of rock above the discontinuity corre- 
sponds roughly to a single surface layer, so that estimates can be made of 
the velocities of Love waves and Rayleigh waves associated with this surface 
layer. This admittedly crude representation requires for Love waves a 
minimum group-velocity of 4 • 6 km. /sec, corresponding to a period of about 
160 sec. ; this is of the order of magnitude of the period of the long waves 
studied by Fr. Repetti, and the velocity is not far from the 4-51 km. /sec. 
of Repetti's waves. The problem is being further investigated with allow- 
ance for continuous variation of elastic properties in the layer ; it is, 
however, desirable that the nature of the Repetti waves should be settled 
decisively from seismograms. 

For Rayleigh waves, the formula developed by Jeffreys by the use of 
Rayleigh's principle was employed. There is a minimum group-velocity 
of about 4-0 km. /sec, corresponding to a period of 250 sec. There is no 
mention of these waves in F. J. Scrase's paper on the deep-focus shock of 
193 1 February 20, although one would expect an earthquake of this focal 
depth to be favourable to the generation of surface waves of the kinds under 
consideration. Special search was made, in fact, by Scrase for surface 
waves, and their absence is as interesting now as their presence would have 
been had they been found at the time that this earthquake was under 

The problem of Love waves in a triple surface layer has also been investi- 
gated ; although, as would be expected, it is decidedly more complicated 
than the problem of a double surface layer, no new theoretical difficulty 
arises. It was hoped in this way to allow for the presence of a sedimentary 
layer over the continents. The granitic and intermediate layers were taken 
to be 14 and 28 km. thick, respectively, and the rigidities of these layers, as 
well as of the underlying material, were inferred from the velocities of Sg, 
S* and S given by investigations on near earthquakes. The corresponding 
densities were taken as 2-65, 2-85 and 3-4 gm./cm. 3 . Wave velocities of 
Love waves of various periods were obtained by integration from the ob- 
served group velocities. The data for the sedimentary layer are much less 


certain : the velocity Ss was taken as 2-9 km./sec, and the corresponding 
density 2-5 gm./cm. 8 . On these assumptions the thickness of the sedi- 
mentary layer can be calculated. The value of the thickness found, nearly 
4 km., is double the thickness that Jeffreys estimates from the denudation 
needed to account for the sodium in the ocean. 

Dr. Jeffreys has pointed out to me that, according to the work of the 
Geophysical Laboratory at Washington, the rate of increase of the bulk- 
modulus with pressure is very much greater for pressures less than 2 X io 9 
dynes/cm. 2 (corresponding to a depth of about 8 km.) than for greater 
pressures ; a corresponding increase in the rigidity probably goes with the 
increase in the bulk-modulus, and if so, it may not be appropriate to take 
for the upper part of the granitic layer the elastic constants determined from 
near earthquakes for that layer as a whole. It may well be that, so far as 
the velocity of surface waves is concerned, the upper part of the granitic 
layer has to be reckoned as part of the sedimentary layer. Further, the 
sedimentary layer almost certainly does not approach homogeneity, and 
there is considerable doubt as to the density and the elastic constants that 
should be chosen to represent it ; as the method is rather sensitive to 
changes in the elastic constants, at any rate for the wave-periods used in 
this investigation, an accurate determination of the thickness is not to be 

The Baffin Bay Earthquake of 1933, November 20. 

By Dr. A. W. Lee. 

This earthquake was chosen for study because the epicentre was in such 
a position that the records at the numerous seismological stations of Europe 
and America would provide material for determining more precisely the 
travel-times for distances of the order 40 . 

A detailed investigation has now been completed and will be published 
shortly. The records of ninety-nine observatories were collected and 
examined at Kew Observatory ; over two-thirds of these observatories are 
at epicentral distances between 25 and 50°. 

The epicentre is located as in latitude 73°- 3 N., 70°- 2 W., and the focus 
at a depth of about 10 km. ; the time of occurrence of the shock is taken as 
23I1. 21m. 31 -5s. G.M.T. 

Comparisons have been made between the observed travel-times for P 
and S and the times calculated from various tables. The best representation 
of the travel of the P waves from 25 to 50 is given by a table based upon 
one published by Gutenberg and Richter ; in this modified table the apparent 
velocity is uniform for epicentral distances from 25 to 40 and again from 
45 to 50 , the velocity changing by 17 per cent, from 40 to 45 . There 
are discrepancies between the observations of S and the tables of travel- 
times hitherto available. A new table for S at distances from 25 to 50 
has been computed from the travel-times for P on the assumption that 
Poisson's ratio is constant for the rocks traversed by the waves. The 
agreement between the observations and this table is satisfactory. 

Reappointment of the Committee. 

The Committee asks for reappointment, for the continuation of the normal 
grant of £100 from the Caird Fund and for a special grant of £50 for the 
maintenance of the International Seismological Summary. 



Report of Committee on Calculation of Mathematical Tables (Prof. E. H. 
Neville, Chairman ; Prof. A. Lodge, Vice-Chairman ; Dr. L. J. 
Comrie, Secretary; Dr. J. R. Airey, Dr. W. G. Bickley, Prof. 
R. A. Fisher, F.R.S., Dr. J. Henderson, Dr. E. L. Ince, Dr. J. O. 
Irwin, Dr. J. C. P. Miller, Mr. F. Robbins, Mr. D. H. Sadler, 
Dr. A. J. Thompson, Dr. J. F. Tocher and Dr. J. Wishart). 

General Activity. — Seven meetings of the Committee have been held, 
in London. 

The grant of £200 has been expended as follows : £ s. d. 

Re-interpolation of K (x) and K^x) for x = 

2- 00(0 -01)5- 00 . . . . . .200 

Completion of calculation of functions J 2 (x) to 

Jn(x) ■ ■ 74 5 6 

Calculation of functions k 2 (x) to k 20 (x) for the 

range x = o to x = 5 . . . . 25 14 6 

Calculations connected with the functions k 2 (x) 

to k 20 (x) for the range x = 5 to x = 20 . . 15 o o 

Calculations connected with the functions I 2 (x) 

to I 6 (x) . 2 12 6 

Miscellaneous Bessel function calculations . 69 5 6 

Secretarial and miscellaneous expenses . .1120 

Publication of Parts. — In order to avoid the delay that would occur if 
small tables were held over till a volume of reasonable size could be issued, 
it has been decided that some of the future volumes shall be published in 
parts. These parts will be available separately in paper covers. After 
the printing of several parts, it is intended that they shall also be made 
available in cloth-bound volumes. 

Factor Table. — This volume, containing all the factors of all numbers 
up to 100,000, was published in December. It constitutes the third volume 
published at the expense of the Cunningham Bequest. 

Table of Powers. — The Committee has been very fortunate in receiving, 
as a gift from Mr. H. J. Woodall, a stereo proof of a table showing all the 
powers up to the twelfth of all numbers up to 1000, prepared by J. W. L. 
Glaisher. This table was first mentioned in the Committee's Report for 
1873, but for some reason that is not known was never published. A single 
copy was lent to Cunningham (see Messenger of Mathematics, vol. xxxv 
(1905), p. 22), and passed, on his death, to Mr. Woodall. This is the 
copy now in the possession of the Committee, and is probably the only copy 
extant. Inspired by the gift of Glaisher's power table, the Committee has 
obtained Council authority for the publication of a table of powers, at the 
expense of the Cunningham Bequest. The proposed contents are x n , 
where : 

(a) x = 1-49, n = 1-30(5)50 

(b) x = 50-119, n = 1-20(5)50 

(c) x = 120-249, n = 1-20 

(d) x = 250-1049, n = 1-12 

The work of new calculation and preparation of printer's copy has been 
begun, under the supervision of Dr. Miller. 


Bessel Functions. — The completion of Volume VI, containing the four 
principal functions of order o and 1, has been unavoidably delayed. It is 
expected that it will be published before the end of the year. 

Work on the preparation of a second volume, to contain higher integral 
orders (up to n — 20), has continued. Values of jf n (x), up to x = 25, 
and of k„(x), i.e. x"K n (x), up to x — 5, have been completed, under the 
supervision of Dr. Comrie. Various fundamental values of K„(x) and I n (x) 
have been computed by Dr. Miller and Dr. Bickley, and further work is 
being supervised by them, and by Dr. Henderson, Dr. Thompson and 
Mr. Sadler. 

Airy Integral. — In the Report for 1934 it was stated that the calculation 
of this integral had been begun, and that the tabular values would be in- 
cluded in the second volume of Bessel functions. In view of requests for 
earlier publication, it has been decided to complete the calculations as soon 
as possible; the Council has authorised the separate issue of these tables. 
The greater part of the work has been done, by Dr. Miller. 

Elliptic Function Tables. — Several manuscript tables of elliptic functions 
have been presented to the Committee by the executors of the late R. L. 
Jones. Dr. Bickley, who examined the tables, reported that they were 
not suitable for publication by the Committee, as values of the complete 
elliptic integrals K and E to ten decimals at interval o-ooi in ft 2 are available 
in tables by Hayashi, while the remaining functions were simple combina- 
tions of K and E, of rather limited application in electrical standards work. 
The tables were, therefore, deposited with the National Physical Laboratory, 
which was already in possession of other allied tables computed by Mr. 

Sheppard Tables. — A number of tables prepared by Dr. W. F. Sheppard 
have been handed to the Committee, and have been examined by a sub- 
committee consisting of Prof. Fisher, Dr. Irwin and Dr. Wishart. The 
main table is one giving the ratio of tail area to ordinate of the normal 
(Gaussian) curve up to 10 standard deviations by tenths, to 24 decimals, 
together with Taylor series coefficients up to the sixteenth, for interpolation. 
It is proposed to publish this and some other allied and derived tables. 

Legendre Functions. — In the Report for 1932 tables of the Legendre 
functions that had been prepared were described. These consist of 
7-figure values of P, t (x) and their differences up to n = 9 for x = 
o-oo(o-oi)i-oo, up to n = 12 for x = i-oo(o-oi)6oo and up to w = 6 
for x = 6-o(o- 1)1 1 -o. Authority for the separate publication of these 
tables is being sought. 

Reappointment. — The Committee desires reappointment, with a grant 
of £200, with which it is hoped to complete the calculations for the next 
volume of Bessel functions. 

K 2 



Report of Committee appointed to investigate the direct determination of the 
Thermal Conductivities of Rocks in mines or borings where the tempera- 
ture gradient has been, or is likely to be, measured (Dr. Ezer Griffiths, 
F.R.S., Chairman ; Dr. E. C. Bullard, Dr. H. Jeffreys, F.R.S., 
Dr. E. M. Anderson, Prof. W. G. Fearnsides, F.R.S., Prof. G. 
Hickling, Prof. A. Holmes, Dr. D. W. Phillips, Prof. J. H. J. 

Note on Radioactivities of Igneous Rocks. 

By Harold Jeffreys, F.R.S. 

Radioactivities of rocks of the same type are far from uniform. The avail- 
able determinations have been rediscussed in the hope of improving 
estimates of the mean radioactivities of the crustal layers and obtaining 
criteria of their accuracy. 1 The general increase of Ra and Th with silica 
content has been confirmed, but at the same time the variability increases, 
not only absolutely, but in comparison with the mean. Only the plateau 
and Pacific basalts show such an approach to uniformity as would entitle 
us to infer that they have any resemblance to a uniform parent rock. For 
rocks of the same type from different regions the means vary by much more 
than can be attributed to random sampling, but the ratio of the standard 
(mean square) departure from the mean to the mean itself is as nearly 
constant as we could expect. It appears therefore that this variability 
relative to the mean can be regarded as a property of the rock type. Like 
the mean it increases for the sequence dunite — plateau basalt — basalt — 
granite ; though the agreement between the dunites may be accidental. 
The frequencies agree closely with the hypothesis that the chance of a 
radioactivity in a range dx for a rock of given type for a given region is 

proportional to 

xP e {P + i)*lb dx 

where p is a constant for the type, but b varies with the region. For granites 
p = 2-6, basalts, etc., 5-0, plateau and Pacific basalts, 30. The mean for 
the region gives the best estimate of b. The following table gives some 
estimated means with their standard errors, which are to be regarded as 
minima, as some of the results are got by combining regions that may 
turn out to differ systematically when more data are ready. The units are 
io" 12 g/g for Ra, io _ 5 g/g for Th. 


Finland: Ra 4-66 ±0-40; Th 2-80 ±0-24. 

Alps : Ra 4-43 ± o-68 ; Th 3-30 ±0-50. 

Scotland, Ireland, N. America : Rai-59 ±0-12; Tho-8i ± 0-08. 

California : Ra 1 -77 ± 0-49 ; Th 2-35 ± 0-45. 

Alps : Ra 3-26 ± 0-28 ; Th 1-75 ± 0-25. 

1 Gerlands Beitrage zur Geophysik, vol. 47, 1936, pp, 149-170. 


Basalts, etc. 

Scotland, Ireland, N. America : Ra 0-96 ± 0-06 ; Th 0-98 ± 0-08. 

England, Germany, France, Hungary: Ra 1 30 ± 013 ; Tho-88 ± o-io. 

Pacific Islands: Ra 0-90 ± 003 ; Th 0-46 ±0-03. 
Plateau Basalts. Rao-73 ±0-03; Tho*52 ±002. 
Dunites. Rao-4o ±0-043; Th.033 ±0-035. 

Eclogites and peridotites, in comparison with the mean, are as variable 
as granites, or more so. 

The results are consistent with granites and basalts being successive 
stages in differentiation from plateau basalt or something still more basic ; 
but the variability of eclogites and the origin of the known dunites are 
inconsistent with these rocks being actual specimens of such a parent. 

The granites from Cornwall and Hungary are intermediate between the 
Scottish and Finnish types. The mean radioactivity of the granitic layer 
is therefore open to considerable doubt ; reasons are given in the paper for 
provisionally preferring the Scottish value. 


Compiled by Dr. D. W. Phillips, from the Geophysical Abstracts, 
U.S. Bureau of Mines, to whom acknowledgment is due. 

Geothermal Measurements in the Boreholes (in Russian). 
By S. Kraskovski. 

Transactions of the Central Geological and Prospecting Institute, Leningrad, 

no. 8, 1934, pp. 1-43. 

In the first chapter the author states in chronological order the results of 
geothermal measurements in boreholes in Europe, beginning with Erman's 
investigations (dated 1832). Describing further the results of experiments 
in boreholes Paruschowitz V and Chuchow (Upper Silesia) he dwells upon 
Dunker's investigations (1896) and a compendium of all former observations 
on the subject by Prestwich (1884-85 and 1895). Concerning the measure- 
ments of temperature in the upper strata of the earth's crust J. Koenigs- 
berger's works are particularly valuable. He was the first to draw 
attention to the great practical importance of geothermal measurements ; 
he had such material based on facts and arranged it so that the relationship 
between the magnitude of the geothermal degree and the geology of the 
region under investigation became obvious. 

An excellent example of this kind is given by the reports of the American 
investigators, especially by C. E. van Orstrand, whose works are mentioned 
in the article. Data obtained by the American Petroleum Institute and 
interpreted by K. Heald deserve also special attention. 

In making thermal maps of the region under investigation van Orstrand 
applied, probably for the first time, the graphic method to elucidate the 
relation existing between the reciprocal gradient and geological structures. 
At present we already may in some cases contour a stock of salt or an occur- 
rence of petroleum by geothermal measurements. Of great interest are 
the investigations in the United States showing anticlinal structure of the 

Instruments and apparatus adapted for geothermal measurements in 
deep borings are described in the third chapter. The fourth contains a 
detailed description of methods of measurement and enumerates a number 



of factors by which the exact results are presented. The last chapter 
deals with indications of the methods of calculating geothermal gradient 
and geothermal degrees. A table of geothermal degrees taken from B. 
Gutenberg's book {Handbuch der Geophysik, vol. 2, pp. 1—7, Berlin, 1931) 
and a list of sixty-four books of reference are added. 

In these abstracts the geothermic gradients are differently expressed and 
the following table will be useful for converting from one standard to another. 

Geothermic Gradients. 
(Conversion Table.) 



Metres/ 1 °C. 

Metres/ 1 °F. 





200 • 00 

in • 10 





166 -66 





o- 002 13 






• 00244 

1 25 • 00 


410- 11 

227 • 84 



in • 11 





o- 00305 

1 00 • 00 









165 70 








o- 00397 





















205 -06 













101 26 


o- 005 80 




95 93 



50 00 












41 -66 



75 95 





126- 19 





































47 97 









22 22 






20 OO 

11 • 11 






9 26 













41 01 




II • II 











o- 06096 






Geothermal Measurements in the City of Moscow (in Russian). 

By S. Kraskovski. 

Transactions of the Central Geological and Prospecting Institute, Leningrad, 

no. 8, 1934, pp. 45-51. 

Geothermal measurements in two artesian boreholes on the territory of 
the City of Moscow were made by the author from July 15 to September 1, 
1932. The purpose of these measurements was to find the approximate 
value of the geothermal degree and to elucidate the influence of casings on 
the distribution of temperature along the vertical line of the borehole. The 
results of measurements have shown that one single column of casings does 
not produce a marked influence on the distribution of temperature. 

A value equal to 38-4 m./°C. was obtained for the geothermal degree. 
This figure is below the normal value and may be explained by the cooling 
influence of a water-bearing horizon found at a depth of 721 m. 

Normal Geothermal Gradient in United States. 

By C. E. van Orstrand. 

Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, Okla., 
vol. 19, no. 1, 1934, pp. 78-115. 

The objects in compiling this paper have been, first, to prepare a brief 
summary of the gradients deduced from recent geothermal surveys in the 
United States ; and second, to discuss the data thus summarised from the 
standpoint of a normal geothermal gradient. 

The Thermocouple proves useful on a Geophysical Survey. 

by j. n. a. van den bouwhuijsen. 
Engineering and Mining Journal, New York, vol. 135, no. 8, 1934, pp. 342- 


The flow of heat from the earth's centre toward a fixed point close to its 
surface depends on the heat conductivity of the rock formations between 
the centre and the point and on the thickness of the different layers. There- 
fore, according to the author, a shift in the location and a variation in the 
thickness of the layers would result in differences in temperature when 
measured across the structure at the same depth. 

Thus the horizontal gradient of the temperature in a layer close to the 
surface should supply some evidence as to the structure of the underlying 
formations. To prevent the influence of the variations of the atmospheric 
temperature it is sufficient to measure the temperature at a depth of 1*5 m. 
Holes drilled for the measurements were about i£ inches in diameter. 

The experiments were made with thermocouples of special construction, 
connected to a galvanometer of high sensitivity and sturdy enough to stand 
transportation in the field. 

To determine the value of the new method (thermo-electric method) the 
author made experiments over two profiles which had previously been well 
determined by torsion-balance work by Mekel, near Winterswijk, Holland. 
The results agreed most remarkably with those got by the gravity method. 
Plans showing the results of temperature measurements and of torsion 
balance survey are given. 

Approximately $200 would buy all of the instruments. The reading 


requires only a few minutes and the crew consists of only two men, one to 
drill the holes and one observer to take the readings. 

Thermal Conductivities of Rocks. 

By H. A. Nancarrow. 

Physical Society of London, Proceedings, vol. 45, May 1, 1933, 

pp. 447-461. 

The rock specimens are turned as circular cylinders 5 cm. in diameter 
and 2 cm. high and are bisected by a cut made perpendicular to the base 
along one diameter. The top of the cylinder is heated and the temperature 
gradient in the specimen is measured by means of thermocouples held in a 
mica holder inserted in the cut. The temperature distribution and heat 
flow in the specimen are each shown to be represented by a series containing 
Bessel and hyperbolic functions. Constants involved in the arguments of 
these functions are shown to be dependent upon the loss of heat from the 
hot surfaces exposed to the air in the apparatus. The determination of 
these surface heat losses is described. Observations and results are given 
for four specimens. 

Geothermal Methods (on the Determination of the Temperature 
in the Immediate Proximity of the Earth's Surface in con- 
sideration of Tectonic Investigations). 

By W. C. Salm. 
Beitrdge zur angewandten Geophysik, Leipzig, vol. 4, no. 1, 1933, pp. 1 16-1 18. 

Salm reviews in this article the paper concerning the measurements of 
the horizontal temperature over the southern border of the Winterswijk 
horst in Holland, published by Dr. van den Bouwhuijsen. 

The nine chapters deal with : measurements of the temperature 
near the surface ; description of the instrument ; methods of measure- 
ment ; the conditions of the area under investigation ; the results of 
measurements ; the correlation of the observations ; considerations on the 
temperature of the ground ; the theory of the distribution of the tempera- 
ture on both ends of the horst ; the determination of the internal 
conductivity of heat in various rocks ; and finally with the verification of 
the theoretical conclusions by observations. 

According to the author, the results obtained agree well with the gravi- 
metric gradients known for this region, as well as with the geological 
profiles determined by drilling. 

Some Possible Applications of Geothermics to Geology. 

By C. E. van Orstrand. 

Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, vol. 18, 

no. 1, I934> PP- 13-38. 
The generation and dissipation of heat are important factors in earth 
history. The present distribution of temperature down to the level of 
isostatic compensation can probably be determined with more accuracy 
than has heretofore been obtained by making use of the observations of 
temperature in tunnels or across mountain ranges. 


Recent geothermal surveys show that relatively high temperatures are 
generally associated with faults, salt domes, sand lenses, and anticlinal 
structures of both large and small closure. 

Radioactivity and thermal condition through oil-bearing strata are shown 
to be possible sources of temperature variations. 

Generation of heat by the oxidation of petroleum appears to be of minor 
importance as a heat source. The most potent source of heat is to be found 
in the hot rocks immediately beneath uplifts. 

Temperature Measurements in Boreholes in the Vicinity of Hamburg. 

By E. Koch. 
Mitteilungen aus dem Mineralogisch-Geologischen Staatsinstitut in Hamburg, 

vol. 14, 1933, PP- 53-8o. 

Thirty-two temperature measurements made in the boreholes in the 
vicinity of Hamburg are described in detail. From the results of measure- 
ments the geothermal gradient for this region was calculated to be 29 to 
39 metres, or a mean value of 34 metres per i° C. 

Smaller values (down to 18-93) were found in the region of an oil-bearing 
salt dome ; higher values (up to 65 ■ 24) were explained by the effect caused 
by ground waters. The temperature measurements in the Lieth borehole 
near Elmshom from 1872 to 1878 are discussed. 

Geothermal Measurements in Artesian Boreholes in Kharkov and 
moscow during the summer of 1932. 

By S. Kraskowski. 
Beitrdge zur angewandten Geophysik, Leipzig, vol. 4, no. 1, 1933, pp. 76-87. 

In the summer of 1932 the author made a number of geothermal observa- 
tions in the artesian wells in Kharkov and in Moscow. The purpose of the 
measurements in Kharkov was to investigate the distribution of the tempera- 
ture in boreholes which penetrated the whole series of Cretaceous layers, 
the depth of the latter reaching about 550 metres. At the same time, it 
was desirable to know to what extent the course of the temperature curve 
was affected by the structural changes in the layers. 

The measurements in Moscow were made in one borehole in the yard of 
the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy and in the borehole of the city 

From the temperatures obtained it was possible to calculate the geo- 
thermal gradient for Moscow and to establish the influence of the tubes 
inserted in the holes upon the distribution of the temperature. 

The difference of the temperature readings in the holes with tubes and 
without them did not exceed ±0-2° C. ; that is, the limits of the mean 
error for ordinary temperature measurements were not surpassed. 

Contribution to the History of the Geothermal Gradient. 

By H. Geiler. 

Gesch. d. Math., d. Naturwiss. und d. Techn., vol. 13, 1931, pp. 352-358. 

A historical outline and explanations of the earth's heat are given based 
on the study of publications by Kayser, Koenigsberger, Sieberg and others. 
Factors influencing the geothermal gradient are assembled. 


Rock Temperatures and some Ventilation Conditions in the 
Mines of Northern Ontario. 

By Ralph H. Cleland. 

The Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Bulletin, Montreal, no. 256, 1933, 

PP- 379-407- 

This paper is a resume of a brief survey of rock temperatures made by 
the Ontario Department of Mines during 1932. Present temperatures 
were recorded, and the geothermal gradients that now exist were determined. 

The geothermometer used is described, and details of instruments for 
measuring rock temperatures are shown in a diagram. 

Geological summaries and temperature conditions in the following 
districts are given : (1) Porcupine district ; (2) Kirkland Lake district ; 
and (3) Sudbury district — Frood mine. 

Excerpts from various articles showing rock-temperature conditions in 
other places are given. The two last chapters deal with the geothermal 
gradient variations and the underground air conditions. 

The Significance of Underground Temperatures. 

By M. W. Strong. 
The Petroleum Times, London, vol. 30, no. 758, 1933, p. 132. 

The author discusses in turn the factors governing underground tempera- 
tures and draws a number of conclusions from his studies. 

He next discusses chemical action, such as oxidation, hydration, pyritisa- 
tion, etc. The conductivity difference of rocks is shown to be a major 
cause of varying gradients, while the effect of diffusivity difference of rocks 
is important where rapid changes are taking place. 

Rapid denudation tends to increase gradients, especially at the surface, 
while rapid deposition in geosynclines tends toward lower gradients. 
Squeezing out of incompetent strata also tends to give high gradients. 
Thrusts and the tectonic piling-up of strata both tend to lower the gradient 
by burying large masses of rocks at low temperature. As to the upward 
movement of rock, intrusive salt plugs and igneous masses will increase 
the gradient. This effect should be sought for only in the late Tertiary 
strata, unless very large masses have been involved. The effect of late 
emergence of strata after a long period beneath the sea is that the gradient 
may be lowered if emergence is in a warm region. The effect of direction 
of flow of underground waters is determined by topographic, stratigraphic, 
and tectonic factors, while Quaternary climatic changes may have an 
important effect on underground temperatures by altering the mean surface 

Special factors are : (a) The loss of heat due to gas escape and oil seepages 
from oil-fields, and (b) replacement of oil by incoming water. As to (a), 
this refers to loss by old seepages extending over geological time, and 
appreciable amounts of heat may be lost in this way whose effect will vary 
with the porosity and size of the reservoir. As to (b), if the influx is large 
and from below, increasing temperatures might accompany it ; if slow 
and coming in laterally, this effect might be masked. 


Temperature Measurements in Boreholes in the Vicinity of Hamburg. 

By E. Koch. 
Mitteilungen aus dem Mineralogisch-Geologischen Staatsinstitut Hamburg, 

Heft XIV, 1933, pp. 53-8o. 
The results of thirty-one temperature measurements carried out by the 
author since 1920 are discussed. Maximum thermometers manufactured 
by Carl Kramer of Freiburg-i.-Br. were used. 

The results of measurements are divided into three groups, according to 
the geothermal gradients : 

1. From 29 to 39 m. per i° C. 

2. Less than 29 m. per i° C. 

3. More than 39 m. per i° C. 

Take Temperature of Well in Jackson Gas Area. 

(Editorial Note.) 
The Oil Weekly, Houston, vol. 69, no. 13, 1933, p. 61. 
The article gives the readings taken recently by Dr. C. E. van Orstrand 
in a well in the Jackson (Miss.) gas field, which had gone dead. 

The well is Cleve Love et al's Muse-Cotton 1, located 1,360 ft. north 
and 770 ft. west centre, section i4-5n-ie, Rankin County, south-east part 
of the field, which is practically on top of the Jackson igneous plug and 
at the point of maximum magnetic force. The temperature readings were 
as follows : 

Feet °F. Feet ° F. 

100 664 1,250 99'5 

250 70-8 1,500 106-6 

500 78-1 1,750 113-7 

750 84-2 2,000 120 -6 

1,000 93-1 2,250 126-7 

Some Comments on the Measurements and Interpretation of Deep- 
Earth Temperatures. 

By C. E. van Orstrand. 

Gerlands Beitrdge zur Geophysik, Ergdnzungshefte fur angewandte Geophysik, 
vol. 3, no. 3, 1933, pp. 261-281. 

A brief description is given of the apparatus used by the United States 
Geological Survey and the American Petroleum Institute in conducting 
recent geothermal surveys. 

As a result of tests in 700 wells located chiefly in producing oil fields, 
instances have been found in which the isogeothermal surfaces rise in 
passing over salt domes, faults, sand lenses, and structures of large and 
small closure. In central Oklahoma, there is in addition to the local 
variations a regional variation that seems to be determined largely by the 
depth to the granite. 

Underground Temperature on a Hill Top. 
By Yosio Kodaira. 
The Geophysical Magazine, Tokyo, vol. 5, no. 1, 1932, pp. 89-95. 
The present paper contains the results of mathematical investigations on 
the underground temperatures observed on a hill top and of those at the 
same depth in a level tract of land. 


Geothermic Measurements in Wells. 

By D. Chahnazaroff. 
Petroleos y Minas, Buenos Aires, vol. 13, no. 141, 1933, pp. 5-7. 

Geothermic measurements in wells can be made by various methods 
depending on the purpose of observation. 

If a thermal survey, by which the thermic horizons of the well are to be 
determined during one day, is required, an apparatus with automatic 
registration of temperature should be used ; in this case the accuracy of 
temperature obtained may be equal to 1 to i\° C. 

If an accuracy of J° to \° C. is desired, maximum thermometers or 
open-tube thermometers without a graduation scale must be used ; the 
latter are constructed on the principle that each drop of mercury which 
flows out of the open end of the thermometer corresponds approximately 
to \° C. ; the maximum thermometers are less convenient as more time 
is required for carrying out the observations. If an accuracy equal to 
T V C. is sought, the thermoelectric method, which is now sufficiently 
improved, is rapid, and gives accurate results, should be applied. 

The Geothermic Gradient in Limagne. 

By G. Grenet. 

Comptes rendus de VAcaddmie des sciences, Paris, vol. 195, no. 25, December 5, 

1932, pp. iioo-iioi. 

A 200-metre boring was used for determining the geothermic gradient 
at Macholles, near Riom. The temperature was measured at a depth of 
192-2 m. The geothermic gradient was found to be equal to 14- 16 m./°C. 
The result was in good agreement with the earlier observations at Macholles, 
confirming the hypothesis that the geothermic degree over the greater part 
of Limagne is of the order of 14 m./° C. 

On the Flow of Heat from a Rock Stratum in which Heat is being 


By C. E. van Orstrand. 
Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Baltimore, vol. 22, nos. 20/21, 

1932, pp. 539-539- 
A mathematical discussion of the question under the assumption that 
the earth is a cooling globe and that the strata are parallel to the horizontal 
surface of the ground is given. The results of calculations are represented 
in curves and tables. 

Geothermal Gradient at Grass Valley, California. 

By W. D. Johnston, Jr. 

Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Washington, vol. 22, no. 10, 

1932, pp. 267-271. 

Johnston gives in this article the results of temperature observations 
carried out by him in the gold quartz mines at Grass Valley, California, 
during 1930 and 1931. The depth-temperature curve, shown in a figure, 
is slightly concave toward the depth axis. Temperature gradients at the 


Empire-Star mine, Grass Valley, Nevada County, are given in a table. 
According to this table the following values of the reciprocal gradients were 
established : 

From 500 to 1,280 ft., i° F. for every 168 -6 feet 

to 2,400 ,, i° F. „ 175 • 8 „ 

to 3,200 ,, i° F. „ 186 • 1 „ 

to 3,700 „ i°F. „ 189-8 „ 

A comparison of temperatures in various deep mines is given in another 
table, according to which the thermal gradient at Grass Valley is in close 
agreement with the thermal gradient at the Mother Lode, California, 
slightly exceeds the gradient in the Rand, South Africa, and is much less than 
the gradient in the Michigan copper mines and in the St. John del Rey 
mine, Brazil. 

In a footnote Johnston says, ' In A. Knopf's article, " Mother Lode System 
of California " (U.S. Geol. Survey, Prof. Paper 157, pp. 22-23, 1929), a 
gradient of i° F. for 150 ft. is given. These data have been recalculated by 
the method of least squares by H. C. Spicer, who obtained a reciprocal 
gradient of 192-3 ft. per degree Fahrenheit from observations between the 
depths of i,S75 an d 4, 200 ft. Knopf's values for the Central Eureka and 
the Kennedy mines apparently are based on an assumed value of the mean 
annual temperature Y of the air.' 

Geothermal Gradient of the Mother Lode Belt, California. 

By Adolph Knopf. 
Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., vol. 22, 

no. 14, 1932, pp. 389-390- 

In this article Knopf offers the following objections to the conclusions 
contained in W. D.Johnston's article ' Geothermal Gradient at Grass Valley, 
California ' (see the previous article), pointing out two fundamental errors 
made during the recalculation of the geothermal gradient at the Mother 
Lode, made by Spicer : ' In the first place temperature observations from 
two mines (the Plymouth and the Kennedy) situated ten miles apart were 
used to compute a gradient, but this procedure is not permissible, as the 
gradients at the two mines are most likely to be different. In the second 
place it was assumed that the collars of the shafts of the two mines are 
at the same altitude ; the collar of the Kennedy shaft is approximately 
1,430 ft., whereas that of the Plymouth shaft is about 1,100 ft. above sea level.' 

A reply in explanation of his conclusions is given by W. D. Johnston in 
an article published in the same number of the Journal of the Washington 
Academy of Sciences, pp. 390—393. 

Geothermal Measurements in the Boreholes of the Donetz Basin. 

By S. Kraskowski. 

Gerlands Beitrage zur Geophysik, Ergdnzungshefte der angewandten Geophysik, 
Leipzig, vol. 3, no. I, 1932, pp. 9-28. 

In the autumn of 1931 the Central Scientific Institution of Geology and 
Geophysical Prospection in Leningrad carried out an experimental thermo- 
survey in the deep drill holes of the Stalin district in the Donetz Basin. 

The apparatus used by the geothermical section of the institution was 
constructed by members themselves and consisted of a winch with steel- 


wire and tripod, steel thermometer tubes, and a set of maximum thermo-