chapter  III
Depopulation
ByJohn R. Baker
Pages 42

THERE is no doubt that there has been a great decrease in the number of natives in nearly all the islands of the New Hebrides during the last half-century. What is the cause of this decline ? Unfortunately depopulation is a subject on which little work has been done that can lay any just claim to be called scientific. A psychologist visits a depopulated area and pronounces depopulation to be due to psychological causes; a missionary points to polygamy, an atheist to the dying out of polygamy, a malaria-expert to mosquitoes and an anthropologist to loss of power by chiefs : yet guess-work, powerfully aided by preconception, would be a more fitting name than Science for their investigations.