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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57


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The accompanying Paper constituted my Inaugural Address as President of the Statistical Society, Session 1883-84, and was read at the Meeting of the Society on 20th November last. It is now reprinted from the pages of the Society's Journal, with the omission of one or two preliminary remarks on matters unconnected with the main subject of the address, and with one or two verbal amendments which this omission has made necessary.

I have to thank the Council of the Society for their permission to reprint the Address in the present cheap form.

The suggestion to publish the Address in this form has been made to me by several friends, and I have especially to thank Mr. Gladstone for the following letter, which he has kindly permitted me to publish :—

"Hawarden Castle, Chester,

"Dear Mr. Giffen,

"I have read with great pleasure your masterly paper. It is probably in form and in substance the best answer to George; and I hope it may be practicable to give it a wide circulation.

"Might I ask for another couple of copies.

"Believe me,

"Faithfully yours,

"W. E. Gladstone."

In complying with these suggestions, I desire to add, on my own account, that I hope the facts stated in the Paper will be of use apart from their bearing on a particular controversy. The question as to whether the masses of the community are improving materially and morally is of general scientific interest; and any fair contribution of facts towards answering the question should be helpful to the student in more ways than one. My chief regret has been that I have not had more time to devote to the subject, which would repay a more ample investigation.

R. Giffen.