20 THE POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENT
touch, and as individuals are perhaps incapable of improvement . . . but I do not mean to say that there are not individuals of every sort to be found in the mass. Those who are able to wash the mud may find some gems in it. There are at any rate many very piteous cases. Whatever doubt there may be as to the exact numbers of this class, it is certain that they bear a very small proportion to the rest of the population, or even to class B, with which they are mixed up and from which it is at times difficult to separate them. . . . They are barbarians, but they are a handful " He says further, " It is much to be desired and to be hoped that this class may become less hereditary in its character ; there appears to be no doubt that it is now hereditary to a very considerable extent."
Many who are familiar with the habits of these people do not hesitate to say that it would be an economy and a great benefit to the country if all habitual criminals were resolutely segregated under merciful surveillance and peremptorily denied opportunities for producing offspring. It would abolish a source of suffering and misery to a future generation, and would cause no unwarrantable hardship in this.
Diplomas.-It will be remembered that Mr. Booth's classification did not help us beyond classes higher than S in civic worth. If a strong and widely felt desire should arise