Margaret Sanger, "Quality of Our Population, 1939," ca. 1939.

Source: " Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Smith College Collections, S73:154."

No final version was found. The opening paragraph of this draft resembles text used in Doors to a New World, Jan. 19, 1939.


We hear a great deal today about preserving institutions of democracy, liberty to future generations, but these institutions will take care of themselves if the people have the ability to use & appreciate them. It is not the ↑loss of↓ institutions or traditions that I fear--but the kind of people we are breeding to form the next future generations. This is the real question of today & tomorrow. To base infer that the quality of our people population depends upon the birth rate of college graduates is tinsel thinking. There are deeper & sounder qualities ↑of democracy↓ ingrained in the Arizona country than in thousands of college graduates. There is potential qualities of sound thinking ingrained & bred in artisans & [medians?] which is a necessary corner stone of any civilization a selective birth rate will soon be in order.

An exciting controversial experiment for a scientific group to present to the world is to draft, a set of qualities necessary for the human vessel to contain--man--during the next hundred years--what shall those qualities be? Should each nation pool its desires & ideals? We should doubtless find out.

The Int Pop union might exert its imagination a little & recent statements set up an alarm that old men & women are to inherit this earth--well what of it? As we are neither old or young we may be allowed to set forth unprejudiced opinions.

In Oct 1846. ↑ Irish Relief Works ↓ 114,000 persons employed on Relief Works.

In Nov. 285,000. In Dec 440,000

‘’ Jan 1847 it grew to 570,000.

‘’ Feb ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ 708,000.

‘’ March ‘’ ‘’ ‘’ 735,000

heads of families or about four millions of persons living on payment obtained out of the taxation of other people, which they got for little more than idling away their time, on works that were not absolutely necessary to be done at all”

At the same time, the essential works of the world could not get done, it was difficult to get a coat patched, or a pair of shoes mended & whenever relief works were established the necessary agricultural work was being neglected. Farmers could not get their fields tilled. Relief works were too “attractive.”

In France 1886--M. Bernard deputy proposed to the French Chamber that the state should educate the seventh child of all parents--who had seven living children--but limited the sum to be spent upon this ridiculous idea to 16.000 pounds ($80,000) annually. It was shown it would take a million sterling or 10 million dollars a year to carry out this idea in all cases. After a long debate an act was passed limiting assistance to the families of the poor. 40 pound a year ($200)--Malthusian editors commit to the effect that parents with more than three children when they could not educate & provide for should have been “deprived of some privilege” since it is often these poor large families that the greatest amount of poverty, misery, sickness & death is found.

This act will tend to incite the poorest classes of France to plunge themselves yet deeper into poverty, misery & degradation.

All agree that the set goal for the next three years is to concentrate & direct all our efforts & resources toward getting B.C. a fact of county, state, & national public health work--

But ↑While↓ that is an irrefutable goal--& unflinchingly to be aim for. There are millions of mothers & fathers too who will not come under public health care & whose sacrifice, independence & cues view responsibly for their children entitles them to the same consideration given to private persons who do not desire to become a public charge.

These two groups comprise millions of our population & from their increase or controlled birth rates shall emerge the problems or complexities of generations yet to come.

The B.C. movement might decide to tackle both groups--dividing its interests according to its support general public health--for millions--

Private clinics (extramural) for their small pay, self respect independent parents who prefer to pay as they go--


Subject Terms:

Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project


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