THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
‑‑ A specious inference was drawn, yesterday; in a speech by Lord
Halsbury at the luncheon given to Lieutenant Shackleton by the Royal
Societies Club. He said (I quote from your report) that, "in view of what
Mr. Shackleton had gone through, it was impossible to believe in the supposed
deterioration of the British race."
But exceptional performances do not contradict the supposition in
question. It is not that deterioration is so general that men of remarkably fine physique have
ceased to exist‑for they do; thank God -- but the bulk of the community
is deteriorating, which it is, judging from results of inquiries into the
teeth, hearing, eyesight, and malformations of children in Board schools, and
from the apparently continuous increase of insanity and feeble‑mindedness. Again, the popularity of athletic sports
proves little, for it is one thing to acclaim successful athletes, which any
mob of weaklings can do, as at a cricket match, it is quite another thing to be
an athlete oneself.
Rutland‑gate, S.W., June 16