How soon we may expect these things it is not our province to predict. It is too early to pass final judgment on Professor Patten’s dictum that inter-racial cooeperation is impossible without integration, and that races must therefore stand in hostile relations or finally unite. But it is perfectly apparent that we have a long way to travel before the path to integration is cleared. Such assemblages as the First Universal Races Congress which met in London in 1911 can do much to prepare the way. But it must not be forgotten that the German representative at that Congress pleaded for the maintenance of strict racial and national boundaries, and summed up his plea in the rather ominous sentence: “The brotherhood of man is a good thing, but the struggle for life is a far better one.” Meanwhile we need not anticipate serious international difficulties in the way of the sliding-scale plan; for foreign governments are watching the tide of immigration with mixed feelings. They welcome the two or three hundred million dollars sent home annually by alien residents in the United States. But they also resent the dislocations of industry, the fallow fields, the dodging of military service, and the disturbance of the level of prices which such wholesale emigrations inflict upon the mother country.
Since the protagonists of unrestricted immigration have taken largely an economic line of argument, it seemed desirable to accept their terms, and meet them on their own ground. But I should not wish to be misunderstood as limiting the immigration question to its economic phases. When we have said that the latifondisti of Southern Italy are in despair at the scarcity of laborers to work their lands at starvation wages, and that the railway builders and mine operators of America are equally anxious to have those selfsame South Italian laborers for their own exploitive enterprises, we have told a bare half of the tale. There remain all those cultural, educational, political, religious and domestic variations and adjustments which make up the general problem of assimilability of the alien and of the strength of our own national digestion. America had a giant’s undiscriminating appetite in the great days of expansion from 1850 to 1890. But there are many signs, economic and other, that we can no longer play Gargantua and continue a healthy nation. An unwise engineer sometimes over-stokes his boilers, and courts disaster. Is it not equally possible that national welfare may suffer from an over-dose of human fuel in our industry?