The uniform loss of intellectual efficiency which, according -to Kraepelin and his school, follows for an hour or two the taking •of these „moderate doses", Rivers could not detect. He found that these doses „either had no effect, or that an increase, if present at all, was inconstant, and not to be depended on from day to day."
I have quoted these observations to show how far we are from being agreed as to the effects produced by even moderate quantities of alcohol given to the i n d i v i d u a 1. And here it may be said with truth that such observations must necessarily be spread over vastly different types of individuals, someof whomhave stable nervous systems, others unstable. „One man's food another man's poison" refers to alcohol as much as it does to other articles of ■consumption. We must recognise that, in some instances even the smallest amount of alcohol may act — as does a spark when it falls upon highly inflammable material -— setting alight to, or bringing out, various manifestations which formerly were merely latent; in other instances, there is a tolerance of the nervous system to the effects of alcohol which is not remarkable but deeply suggestive of widely different inherent factors of heredity. In all such experiments the individual factor is so variable, that any statistics concerning them must necessarily in main instances be misleading or even wrong.
Laitinen's experiments with regard to animals taught him, that the 11 u m b e r s of young of those animals that received alcohol was somewhat greater, but the young themselves were much weaker than was the case in the young of animals not treated with alcohol. He also found that the weights of the children (both girls and boys) of abstainers were somewhat greater than the weights of the children of moderates and drinkers, and that the weights of the children of drinkers were least of all. The children of abstainers were not only most numerous and heaviest, but they were also more vigorous.
That Prof. Laitinen did not always make definite distinction between parents, one of whom drank, or both of whom drank, provided Professor Carl Pearson and Miss Elderton with an excuse for their self-congratulation, in that they themselves claimed to have distinguished between the father and the mother, and that they thereby had arrived at the conclusion that the drinking by the mother had more influence than the drinking by the father,