Full text: Problems in eugenics

V. L. Kellogg.Sociology and Eugenics.229 
figures of loss by disease as we read the story from past to present days. 
But there has occurred so far but a single radical exception to the general 
rule; this is, of course, the record of the Japanese armies in the Russo- 
Japanese war. My own enlightened country lost, proportionately, many 
more soldiers in its last war, a few years ago, among those that never got 
within sight of the enemy than among those who had the opportunity of 
charging up San Juan Hill. And all these military losses by disease in war 
times are, in proportion, it is needless to say, far in excess of the losses that 
occur at the same time in the civil population. 
Even in times of peace, despite the fact that soldiers are cared for under 
conditions that should make disease among them more easily prevented and 
more easily controlled than in the case of the bulk of the civil population, 
and despite the fact that the men in military service have already passed a 
selective test, which weeded out from among them all individuals already 
tainted by obvious organic and constitutional disease, it has not arrived 
until the years of the present decade to break the long enduring rule of a 
higher mortality in peace time in the military than in the civil population. 
In the first decade after the Restoration the mortality from disease in the 
F rench army at home was barely less than twice that among men of the same 
age in the civil population. At the middle of the last century the mortality 
among the armies on peace footing in France, Prussia, and England, was 
almost exactly 50 per cent, greater than among the civil population. When 
parts of the armies were serving abroad, especially if in the tropics, the 
mortality was greatly increased. For example, among the British troops 
serving abroad, outside of the tropics, the mortality was one-third more 
than in the army at home; when serving in the tropics it was four times as 
great. Finally, in addition to all this actual high mortality among this 
military part of the population, a part specially selected for full stature, 
vigour, and freedom from infirmity, we must remember the constant 
invaliding home of the broken down men to join the civil population. 
F rom the eugenic point of view this may be the most serious feature of 
disease in armies. 
However, we must not forget that at the present day things are vastly 
improved as regards disease in military service. In 1909 the mortality in 
the British Army, both at home and abroad, was actually slightly less than 
that among men of the same age in England and Wales. We should 
think, indeed, that it should be so, and we may hope and expect it to 
continue so. Yet the statistics collated in 1887 by Robert Lawson, Inspector- 
General of Hospitals, in regard to consumption in the Army and in the 
civil population from 1873 to 1884, show throughout this time a greater 
proportion of deaths from phthisis in the Army than among men of the 
same age in the civil population, although this proportion changed from

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