to alcohol or its effects or to the existence of other psycho-neuroses.
To conduct an enquiry on such wide principles is however practically impossible. With regard to sex, we have been furnished with some data which are of interest but, as yet, inconclusive. With regard to age at incidence of defect in the ofïspring, the aforesaid memoir dealt merely with i n f a n c y, and in as much as it did not consider the life-histories of the ofïspring or even the evidences of defect or degeneration during adolescence, it based its general verdict on the whole question upon the evidence collected with regard to only a small portion of the problem. It must be granted, however, that the memoir No. 10 did not profess to deal with the direct heredity of alcoholism. It concerned itself only with the offspring of the alcoholic as c h i 1 d r e n.
Indeed, it stated, with a certain degree of truth, that of the results that drinking produces in the offspring, alcoholism in the parent may, like insanity, be the somatic mark of a detective germ-plasm in the stock: „The child is defective not because the parent is alcoholic, but because it is the product, like the parent, of a defective germ-plasm. The child may be physically and mentaHy fit, and yet when adult, exhibit alcoholic tendences."
Undoubtedly the limited extent of the investigation, confining itself as it did to the consideration of the offspring as children, was productive of much misconception in the mind of the public. Such a danger might have been averted had the authors more definitely expressed their limitations of their inquiry or had they taken some cognizance of the effects of alcoholism on the parental degenerates and their offspring.
It would seem that there are in reality two distinct lines for enquiry:
1. Does parental alcoholism perse (without parental degeneracy) affect the physique and ability of offspring?
2. Does parental alcoholism (acting as a coëfficiënt to parental degeneracy) affect the physique and ability of offspring?
1) Without parental Degeneracy.
In order to conduct the first line of enquiry satisfactorily, we must rigidly exclude all factors of parental degeneracy other than those due to alcohol. This at first appears to be easy, but it is in reality a matter of extreme difficulty. I, for my part, have sought diligently for instances of defects in offspring which I could