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in their intelligent co-operation to some of the advanced leaders of the traffic itself.
The acceptance of the doctrine of force as the means of making men sober spells the despair of the temperance cause; its hope lies in efforts for gradual betterment through ethical forces and general enlightenment plus progressive restriction.
“DO YOU DRINK?”
In its issue of May, 1914, the American Museum of Safety published, as a supplement, a so-called “Bulletin Board” entitled, "Do You Drink?” with two diagrams which pretended to show the time lost by sickness each year by moderate drinkers and abstainers, together with their relative death rates. These diagrams were so novel and apparently so lacking in scientific authority, that we submitted them to a qualified actuary with a request that he study them carefully and give us his opinion thereon. His report, which is appended, was submitted in due course to the American Museum of Safety.
In accordance with the request made by you in our interview of June 18th last, that I make a study of the origin, and justification or lack of justification, of the diagrams published under the heading “Do You Drink?" on a leaflet inserted in the May issue of the American Museum of Safety's “Monthly Bulletin," I beg to advise you that I have carefully examined all available tabulations and other data of any importance dealing with Sickness Insurance, and as a result of my investigation report as follows:
The two diagrams presented on the insert-leaflet of the "Monthly Bulletin,” a copy of which is herewith attached, are of radically different character, and for purposes of identification I have marked them, respectively, No I and No. 2. While I, of course, have no specific information as to the sources from which the American Museum of Safety drew the information on which the two diagrams were based, there is practically no room for question as to the origin of Diagram No. 1, the figures employed in the “comparison of the average amount of time lost by sickness each year among moderate drinkers and abstainers” being identical with those cited by Dr. Newsholme in his article on “The Influence of the Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages on the National Health,” on pp. 343-357, of Horsley and Sturge's work on "Alcohol and the Human Body," which was published in London in 1908. Dr. Newsholme quotes therein certain figures as to the alleged mortality and sickness rates from “the Report of the Public Actuary of South Aus
tralia, Mr. H. Dillon Gouge, F.S.S.,” but these same figures had previously appeared in Appendix XVI (Vol. III, p. 68) to the Report of the (British) Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration, published in London in 1904, and as Dr. Newsholme's Comment is substantially identical with that made in the Appendix (to Evidence of Mr. W. McAdam Eccles and Dr. Robert Jones) of “Statements upon which the Evidence on the Relation of Alcohol to Physical Deterioration was Based," in all probability he had derived his data from that presentation of prohibition argument, rather than from the original report of Mr. Gouge--which, in common with other reports by that Public Actuary of South Australia, I have carefully overhauled. In other words, the parallelograms in Diagram No. I undoubtedly have as a basis certain official figures, and, thus having a specific basis, are worthy of critical analysis.
While Diagram No. 2 presumably was drafted on the basis of some alleged figures for the "relative death-rates" of "abstainers," "meņ of average habits,” and “liberal drinkers," the very nature of the loosely-drawn classification in question obviously places it outside the pale of serious scientific discussion. Even so commonlyused a phrase as “non-abstainer” is practically meaningless, except as a designation for all adults who are not actual “total abstainers," and I feel entirely safe in positively asserting that no actuary or statistician worthy of the name would even think of undertaking to set up any classification of men under such undeterminable groupings as “men of average habits” and “liberal drinkers.” Probably no two physicians or actuaries could be found who would be able to agree as to the precise meanings of these two phrases, no life insurance company of any standing would be willing to admit that it had sufficient policyholders who could possibly be classified as “liberal drinkers” to warrant any attempt at a separate grouping of the mortality of such a class, and in default of a comprehensive and exhaustive tabulation by life insurance authorities on these lines, of course there could be no authoritative determination of the relative death-rates of “men of average habits” and “liberal drinkers.” In my judgment, therefore, the parallelograms presented in Diagram No. 2, and their alleged ratings of the relative mortality of the three impossible groups in question, are palpably unworthy of serious consideration. Aside from mere expressions of personal opinion, which have no scientific value, I know of no figures to be found in all the literature of life insurance on which
diagrams could be based. And only carefully worked-out life insurance tabulations of many years' experience would offer data of the slightest value for such a purpose.
As previously stated, the case with Diagram No. I is entirely different, in that its parallelograms are laid out, and correctly laid out, on the basis of certain specific figures, to wit, those presented for the relative sickness experience of certain Friendly Societies restricted to total abstainers and certain other Friendly Societies not so restricted, by the Public Actuary of South Australia. The figures in question, hailing from an actuarial source and doubtless being mathematically correct in so far as the records of the Friendly Societies in question are concerned, are fairly entitled to thoughtful attention. Of course, the mere arithmetical accuracy of the figures is only one of the many points involved; their magnitude, or lack of magnitude, the comparability of the class with which they deal to the class with whose experience comparison is made, the conditions under which the figures for the two classes were respectively compiled, the period covered by the compilation, and the applicability of the comparative showings to abstainers and nonabstainers in general must all be weighed before the accuracy of the American Museum of Safety's Diagram No. I can be properly measured.
As stated in the Appendix to the Report of the (British) InterDepartmental Committee on Physical Deterioration (Vol. III, p. 68), the comparison therein presented is made between the sickness experience of two groups of Friendly Societies having branches in South Australia, Group i including the local branches of the Albert District of Rechabites, the South Australian District of Rechabites, and the Sons of Temperance, all of which “may be regarded as being conducted on strictly tectotal principles," and Group 2 including the three largest of the mixed Societies, viz., the Foresters, the Odd Fellows (Manchester Unity), and the G. U. Odd Fellows. The period for which the comparison cited was made is not stated in the Appendix, but, as the Report of the InterDepartmental Committee was published in London in 1904, presumably it was the quinquennial period 1895-1899 included in the Fourth Report of the Public Actuary of South Australia, Mr. Gouge, which was published in 1904 and included the "report of the second valuation of the liabilities and assets of all Friendly Societies in South Australia, as at the 31st December, 1899”In detail the figures presumably presenting the sickness experience of the two groups of abstaining and non-abstaining Friendly Societies in South Australia above named, for the five-year period 18951899, were as follows, showing the average weeks of sickness per sick member:
As will be noted, the above tabulation purports to show that the average duration of sickness for each member sick was 6.4 weeks in Group No. I as compared with an average of 10.9 weeks in Group No. 2, and this showing is evidently responsible for the American Museum of Safety's Diagram No. I naming 6.4 weeks and 10.9 weeks, respectively, for Abstainers and Non-Abstainers in its "Comparison of the average amount of time lost by sickness each year among moderate drinkers and abstainers.” Having thus reproduced in detail the date obviously responsible for the diagram, I propose to consider the question, is the American Museum of Safety justified in applying this mere handful of Fraternal Society sickness experience in far-away South Australia in 1895-1899 to the world at large in 1914?
In this article on the “Mortality and Morbidity Experience of the Leipsic Communal Sick Fund,” published in the New York Spectator of July 14, 1910, Frederick L. Hoffman, the Statistician of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, made the statement that: "There has been no extended and qualified inquiry into the subject in America, corresponding to the highly scientific valuation