Margaret Sanger, "Huxley Luncheon Address," Oct. 28, 1930.

Typed speech. Source: Margaret Sanger Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College S71:0215 .

Sanger organized a luncheon in honor of Julian Huxley, sponsered by the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control, in New York City--other speakers were Karl Reiland and Julian Huxley.


I wonder if all of you here today realize just how proud all of us should feel that Julian Huxley is with us and cooperating with our Birth Control movement. The very name of Huxley means freedom and courage and fighting for unpopular causes. It is the very trademark of free-thinking and liberty of action. Julian Huxley's grandfather Thomas Henry Huxley, was the [four characters deleted] founder of our liberated outlook today. I well remember how generously Mr. Huxley helped me in the organization of the World Population Conference in Geneva. He gave unstintedly his advice and his time. Day after day he attended council meetings, and contributed to the conference that touch of personal interest that lifted it out of the purely academic and technical field into once of vital personal interest. Without the tireless interest of Julian Huxley it could not have achieved so marked a success.

At the risk of being unpleasantly personal, but in the hope that this may save Mr. [three to four characters deleted] Huxley ↑from↓ certain annoying questions. I shall seek to answer the queries that may be formulating in some of your heads. Who's Who tells me that Julian Sorell Huxley is the grandson of the immortal Thomas Henry Huxley, the pioneer of free thinking and free speech in the nineteenth century; the son of Leonard Huxley, and Julia Francis Arnold, who was I think the sister of Mrs. Humphry Ward. He is also the elder brother of Aldous Huxley, who is the most brilliant and penetrating novelist of the younger generation in England. Somewhere in Mr. Huxley's pedigree looms the important figure of Matthew Arnold. So you see that he brings to the Birth Control movement the most distinguished intellectual background England can boast. I forgot to mention that Julian Huxley is the collaborator with H. G. Wells and his son George in that fascinating book of popular science now being published under the title of "The Science of Life." In his late twenties, I have been informed, he taught biology in the Rice Institute in Houston Texas, so he knows our country and our problems.

Mr. Huxley's generous cooperation, far more valuable to B.C. than a vast amount of money, reminds me that English scientists of the best type are courageous and generous enough to lend their prestige and support to all liberating though unpopular causes. Until lately, American men of science have tended to lean backwards in their conservativism. I welcoming Julian Huxley let us hope that his example may serve as an inspiration to American thinkers and scholars who have held themselves aloof-- on their high horses-- from our pressing social and sexual problems.


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Copyright 2003. Margaret Sanger Project


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