Fr. Dennett says. Australia is so unlike any other country that uninformed criticism is of no value.
It needs to be remembered that Australia never carried a population of More than about one person to every hundred square miles until England took it .over. It was discovered often enough, no doubt, by Asiatics and Polynesians, but the discoverers could not stay because there was nothing to eat; and for fifty years England thought it unsuitable for anything but a convict staion Arabia and the Sahara itself have a greater natural carryitig capacity and it is interesting to note that the transition from Asiatic to Australian conditions is quite abrupt. Bali and Lombok in the East Indies are within sight of cne another. yet Bali is Asiatic while Lombok is Australian,. and the two islands differ more widely in flora and fauna than do England and Japan. What has been done in Australia in the last hundred years is all the result of hard work, and the prevalent idea that Australians are selfish to try and keep such a large country for such a handful of people is simply ignorance. Secondary industries are the only considerable opening for an expansion of population, as Fr. Dennett says. because all the decent, and much indecent, land is as fully utilised as it can be in the present state of science. This is the reason for Australia's tariff policy. which is so unpopular with Europe and America. The protection of her manufactures is necessary unless she is either to remain sparsely populated indefinitely or to abandon her hate of remaining white.
Australia has made a determined effort to remain a white country. Partly it is due to the political power of labour, but all classes are in agreement upon the point. Periodically some visiting financier says it is impossible, but Australia turns a deaf ear. Who with any ideals above trade will blame her? Hut the policy has not been without its bad effect upon the birth-rate. You show a photo of a homestead and perhaps it looks rather pleasant in a pioneering kind of way. But pity the girl who goes there as a young Snide. Her sisters in Africa and India have plenty of native '' boys " to order about, hut the Australian girl must do all the cooking and housework herself, in broiling heat under that corrugated iron roof, not only for her husband but for his hands, and all this without so much as a neighbour. If, in addition, she has children, she needs to be not only a heroine but physically stronger than most women are. There is an unsolved problem here, hut the fact most worthy of notice is that Australian girls in the cities do not refuse to marry and to go to the back blocks. They cannot be so very decadent and enervated. Ask some of the English women who married Australian soldiers after the last war and hurried back to England after one look at the homes they were offered.
J. K. HEYDON. Tunbridge Wells.
LAY APOSTOLATE SIR—Canon Jackman asks whether it is correct to speak of arty "Apostolate " except that of the Bishops,
Pius XI gave us the answer: " Catholic Action is . . . a true apostolate in which Catholics of every social rank take part. . ." (Ada, 1929, p. 384.) The laity have a true share in the apostolic mission of the Church and " can act upon their own initiative in all that is approved by the Church." This last quotation is from a speech delivered in Rome on December 8, 1930, by Cardinal Pizzardo.
The work of the laity enjoys a quasi sacerdotal dignity. True obedience brings special blessings.
GEORGE BURNS, S.J.
Loyola Hall, Rainhill, Lancs.
Another Explanation Sis,—In answer to Canon Jackman, the wider use of the term " Apostolate " is apparently founded on the primitive meaning of the word " apostles," which may be found in St. Mark 6, 30. This is the only passage in St. Mark's Gospel where the word is used and it does not refer to the Apostolic College of Twelve, but generally to the missionaries sent forth by Christ. Further, in the Didache, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, a document that belongs to a period not far removed from that of the later Epistles of St: Paul, " prophets " are referred to, who are also called "apostles." So the lay Apostolate can be rightly used to include all who are by their very calling " sent forth " into this world to let their light shine and help to spread the good tidings of our Salvation in Jesus Christ.
2, White Buildings Lee-on-Solent
Owing to the small amount of space now available for letters and to ensure as representative a selection as possible, the Editor will be obliged to shorten many letters. He will endeavour to do this without altering the correspondent's argument and intention.