GREAT INCREASES IN FRANCE AND CZECHOSLOVAKIA Seventh International Conference
From Our Own Correspondent.
Three hundred and fifty delegates representing 1,508,037 Christian workers from eight countries have met in Paris this week for the 7th International Congress of Christian Trade Unions.
The importance of the Christian Trade Union movement was emphasised by Cardinal Verdier at the Congress when he said that it alone could, in an atmosphere of justice and charity provoke the ameliorations necessary for true human progress.
In his report the Secretary-General, M. Serrarens, of Holland, explained that in the course of the last three years the movement had increased by 30 per cent. This large advance was made in spite of the attacks on the Trade Union Movements on the part of totalitarian States.
Defence of Liberty
After praising the Jociste movement, NI. Serrarens declared that Christian Trade Unionism remained profoundly attached to T.U. liberty and that it will continue to defend this liberty against all attempts to monopolise it. " Christian Trade Unionism," he went on, " wants tranquility and order. We are at the moment of conquest. Let us not be intimidated by anyone. Let us fear God, but not men."
Speaking earlier to the Press, M. Gaston Tessier, General Secretary of the French Confederation, explained that the losses suffered in totalitarian countries had to be compared with the remarkable progress elsewhere.
France's Astonishing Rise
Thus Czechoslovakia had increased its effective membership from 17,600 to 40,000, Yugoslavia had tripled its membership, while France, which had the largest number of Christian Trades Unions, had multiplied its membership fivefold since 1934.
Christian Trades Unions, explained M. Tessier, arc organised in three ways permitting them to meet the religious formation of each country. Holland has two distinct organisations, one Catholic and one Protestant. Switzerland, on the other hand, has Protestant unions and unions which group both Catholics and Protestants.
The Paris Congress met to study the problems of the working classes and the possibility of co-ordinating and intensifying
action. It is inspired by the Catholic social doctrine defined in Rerum Novarum.