H. Laughlin draft of letter to Carniegie Insitution of Washington President J.C. Merriam, defending his lobbying for immigration restriction in Cuba
Circa 1930
Pages:1 of 1
The Harry H. Laughlin Papers, Truman State University, papers, C-2-4,20
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H. Laughlin draft of letter to Carniegie Insitution of Washington President J.C. Merriam, defending his lobbying for immigration restriction in Cuba

Notes for Merriam and Streeter (1) Dr. Merriam: I thank you for your letter concerning my visit to Cuba on the invitation of the Government for the purpose of aiding in drafting their new immigration law on a eugenical basis. I understand from your letter quite clearly the policy of the Institution in this matter and I shall take special pains to conform with it. I understand that the Institution is ready to let the Cuban Government have access to any objective studies which we have made in the field of human migration in relation to future composition of the family-stocks of any country. I have appreciated the fact that in the field of eugenics there are many possibilities for misunderstanding and appearances of departing from research studies into the field of practical application. The function of the Carnegie Institution is purely research and it seems almost necessary to lean backwards in maintaining the correct attitude in the division between research and applied sciences. However, I understand that, as in researches in medicine or engineering, any findings of the Institution in the field of human genetics or the natural laws which govern such matters as migration, mate selection, size of family, [crossed out type] are to be made available for individuals, families and states which desire to make practical use of the fundamental and objective findings. I do not like the word "propaganda." It connotes under-hand, insidious and dis-honest efforts to obtain advantages. As used now the word is a brother of chiseling and racketeering. Through all the studies we have made on immigration we have appreciated all the while that the subject was full of dynamite and consequently, in keeping with the policy of the Institution, [crossed out text] even when advising with the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization in Washington or with the Psychopathic Laboratory of the Municipal Court of Chicago, there was never any urging that the individual or a family or a state do a certain thing. The facts were presented and definite problems which were requested were analyzed in accordance with the facts which we had and the principles which had been evolved from generalized rules from eugenical study. Facts of this nature were made available for use in such manner as the interested parties desired.

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