42 The Eugenics Review
The 1908 Programme
In was in 1908 that Dr. Mjoen made public the programme of measures aimed at race hygiene under the following headings:
1. Negative race hygiene (measures for diminishing undesirable racial elements).
(a) Permanent segregation of recidivists in working colonies.
(b) Sterilization of the unfit.
2. Positive race hygiene (measures aimed at the increase of valuable racial elements).
(a) Selective internal colonization with schemes for diminishing the movement from country to town. Agricultural organization independent of urban centers. Decrease of rates and taxes according to family.
(b) Maternal insurance. Introduction of human biology in school and university curricula, with discouragement of the tendency for the education of girls to approximate to that of boys by laying stress on preparation for motherhood.
(c) Centrally controlled propaganda in knowledge of the renewal, health and nutrition of the population, with bureax for giving information on questions of racial hygiene.
3. Prophylactic race hygiene (protection of the unborn child).
(a) A campaign against racial poisons, venereal diseases, narcotics, etc.
(b) Measures to make these part of the functions of public health control.
(c) Certificates of health before marriage, including the discouragement of marriage with widely unrelated races.
(d) Biological assessment of the whole population. Introduction of individual registration including health data.
(e) Immigration control based on biological standards, with powers to prevent admission.
Certain sections of this programme received full development somewhat later, in particular the control of migration and the drink laws. As for the latter, whilst Sweden has tried to put down excessive alcoholism by making the merchant responsible for withholding intoxicants from certain categories in the community, the Mjoen plan, as it has been called, taxes alcoholic drinks according to their content of alcohol, so that from a small tax on light wines and beers a steeply graded tax leads up to an almost prohibitive price for spirits.
The Consultative Eugenics Commission
The eugenic section of this programme of 1908 was considered by a commission which grew out of the London Congress. In Paris this commission in 1913 accepted the programme as a basis for eugenic endeavour. Subsequently, the Norwegians succeeded in forming a group known as the Consultative Eugenics Commission of Norway. In addition to eminent Norwegians, other Scandinavians have served from time to time on this commission, notably, up to the time of his death, Professor Johannsen of Copenhagen and Professor Herman Lundborg. Recently Professor Herribert Nilsson of Lind has replaced Professor Johanssen.
This Commission has been of importance not merely for Norway and Scandinavia, but for the International Eugenics Movement. It has attracted, one after another, a number of eminent Scandinavians, and the difficult work of careful periodic revision of the practical programme was left largely to that group. Between the International Congresses in New York in 1921 and 1932, this Committee secured comments and critiques of the Norwegian programme from practically all the outstanding eugenists of Europe and America and published their opinions as a commentary. This is a document of very considerable interest, giving cross-section references to the opinions of those whose researches and studies, either in eugenics itself or kindred sciences, entitles them to be heard with attention, and we believe that not a little of the favourable public opinion which has resulted in recent eugenic legislation in Norway is due to the existence of this Consultative Commission. The original members were undoubtedly wise in securing membership of lawyers, social