CHAPTER I.—THE PROBLEM STATED p. 1
The spread of moral restraint as a check.—Predicted by Malthus.—The declining Birth-rate.—Its Universality.—Most conspicuous in New Zealand. Great increase in production of food.—With rising food rate falling birth-rate.—Malthus’s checks.—His use of the term “moral restraint.”—The growing desire to evade family obligations.—Spread of physiological knowledge.—All limitation involves self-restraint.—Motives for limitation.—Those who do and those who do not limit.—Poverty and the Birth-rate.—Defectives prolific and propagate their kind.—Moral restraint held to include all sexual interference designed to limit families.—Power of self-control an attribute of the best citizens.—Its absence an attribute of the worst.—Humanitarianism increases the number and protects the lives of defectives.—The ratio of the unfit to the fit.—Its dangers to the State.—Antiquity of the problem.—The teaching of the ancients.—Surgical methods already advocated.
Chapter ii.—The population question p. 10
The teaching of Aristotle and Plato.—The teaching of Malthus.—His assailants.—Their illogical position.—Bonar on Malthus and his work.—The increase of food supplies held by Nitti to refute Malthus.—The increase of food and the decrease of births.—Mr. Spencer’s biological theory—Maximum birth-rate determined by female capacity to bear children.—The pessimism of Spencer’s law.—Wider definition of moral restraint.—Where Malthus failed to anticipate the future.—Economic law operative only through biological law.
Chapter III.—Declining birth-rate p. 26
Declining birth-rates rapid and persistent.—Food cost in New Zealand.—Relation of birth-rate to prosperity before and after 1877.—Neo-Malthusian propaganda.—Marriage rates and fecundity of marriage.—Statistics of Hearts of Oak Friendly Society.—Deliberate desire of parents to limit family increase.
Chapter IV.—Means adopted p. 32
Family responsibility—Natural fertility undiminished.—Voluntary prevention and physiological knowledge.—New Zealand experience.—Diminishing influence of delayed marriage.—Practice of abortion.—Popular sympathy in criminal cases.—Absence of complicating issues in New Zealand.—Colonial desire for comfort and happiness.
Chapter V.—Causes of declining birth-rate p. 36
Influence of self-restraint without continence.—Desire to limit families in New Zealand not due to poverty.—Offspring cannot be limited without self-restraint.—New Zealand’s economic condition.—High standard of general education.—Tendency to migrate within the colony.—Diffusion of ideas.—Free social migration between all classes.—Desire to migrate upwards.—Desire