NS OF THE
By The Editor
Our Labour Force THE present almost universal
concern with foreign affairs is excusable, but it is not sound. We dare not, of course, forget the millions deliberately starved and deliberately deprived of their fundamental rights, especially their religious rights. But these wrongs will not easily he righted.
In the long run the best hope lies in the early political, social and economic rehabilitation of the key countries of the West. Of these not the least important is our own, and here we have the advantage of dealing with matter largely under our own control.
Without question the most important factor for us to-day is the labour problem. Experts arc agreed that our plans and commitments involve a larger or mote efficient labour force than we can count on even when demobilisation is complete. Economic prophecies ate usually inaccurate, but this one at least lays on us the obligation of cautious, rather than sanguine, planning, of hastening and re-ordering demobilisation.
Condition of Wage Increases ri cannot be doubted that an import I taut factor in Labour's triumph in the General Election was the promise of plenty (in every sense of the word), given by Labour candidates. On the other hand there is little evidence that Mr. Attlee's present mood of desolation is seriously weakening the Government's following. People have come to realise that this country is in a very tough economic spot, and no Government can be blamed for the fact nor expected to find an easy way out. But the situation does impose a duty on the Government, the trade unions and the employers to put in cold storage for the time being extravngant nationalisation plans, reduction of hours and the search for quick and easy profits at the country's expense. Unless a sound and sane economy cart be steadily re-built, we shall simply roll down the precipice of inflation along which we arc already did jog, While the national dividend is more fairly divided to-day than it was, we are already being made aware that a five pound wage is worth less than two pound ten a few years ago It is no use: there is no hope in wage increases, alone. What counts is wage increase plus greater production That is' a truth that every man in the country must learn and practice The Pope's Appeal THE Pope's Encyclical charging the Catholic world with the clear duty of relieving, as far as it can the bitter and terrible distress of the children of Europe, makes quite explicit an obligation that falls on each one of us, and in which Catholics must stand out as leaders. so far as their means allow.
On anothe page Mt Stokes recommends strongly an organisation which is in u position now to send abroad a certain quantity of food, and we owe him and his friends working in the " Save Europe Now " movement. a debt of gratitude for their grand efforts to help keep and promote this Christian cause before the people of the country
Time Catholic' Committee for Relief Abroad is likewise undel taking a most
important job in general relief work which should make a special appeal to us Catholics. Many of our parishes have also heard special appeals for hospitality to Dutch children sent for a period of refreshment and recuperation to our country. It is hard to believe that any family which could positively manage would refuse. Si Martin shared his coat. In one way and another there is no lack of channels for our help and there is security that our help will reach those in need. The Pope. himself now calls in a solemn pronouncement. WC must lead the response Bishops and Houses w E draw attention to two important domestic Catholic pronouncements this week. The first is the joint pastoral of the Bishops ie. Scotland. They put their finger on a long-standing national disgrace: the condition of housing io Scotland. They urge that decent and adequate housing must be a priority second only to food. We arc not sure that we altogether agree that the country possesses ample resources to remedy the housing scandal. but we do think that resources in men and materials must be found, for on decent housing rests spiritual. moral and material development. Our food supply is just adequate: our houses, both in England and Scotland. ate not.
A Flame in Our Schools SPEAKING to the Catholic Teachers' Federation in Birmingham, the Archbishop made some remarks which are of vital significance and possibly revolutionary in their implications. His Grace, if we understand hint aright. was concerned to point out that true religious education is not so much a mutter of formal teaching and training, but " a flame set alight from one person to another, spread by love and in no other way." if we honestly ask ourselves what is needed to create and spread that flame, we shall not concern ourselves so much with methods of defence but methods of attack. Let that flame be fostered in our schools through our fantilies and our parishes, and most of our religious education worries of the present will become of secondary importance Priestley Surprises wF were surprised and delighted by the first of Mr Priestley's three broadcasts last Sunday The Priestley of the Good Companions, rather than the Priestley of Pink politics, was heard. In fact he set his many listeners the ideal of a richer spiritual and titian:11 life to compensate for the tightening of the bells. which is hard to reconcile with many of his political views. Is it possible for the spirit to emerge from a predominantly equalitarian and security-ridden society? The fact that it did emerge from inequality is no proof that it cannot be reconciled with the new order. But it will hardly come of its own accord.
Just as there is a great opportunity IL) use the present conditions to rearouse a spirit of hard work towards a planned prosperity. so it is possible to educate deliberately for a higher spiritual standard of life. But this will not be achieved by mocking and slighting trite religion and the basic Christian moral code, whether at home or abroad.
ANY people still think that there
is great exaggeration in the reports of the tyranny and the religious persecution that come from Eastern Europe. Their doubts would be set at rest if they could listen to a great deal of the wireless that expresses the policy of rulers and puppets. Let us not he under any misapprehension. The policy is the deliberate rooting out of religion on the charge of Fascist sympathy. "For years the clergy deemed it their duty to defend Catholicism by crime" is a typical sentence broadcast last week by Tits' radio in a long stream of abuse.
On another page we print an extract from the anti-religious sentiments put out by Spanish republican stations as part of the anti:Nationalist propaganda. Whatever our views about Franco, monarchies or republics, are we content as Catholics to see Spain come under the influence of people responsible for such sentiments directed to a Catholic people?
Fr. Herrera, S.J.
THERE appear to be three points to
the Spanish question this week. I he first and perhaps most important was the French refusal of a visa to M. Giral, Head of the Republican Spanish Government. We hope this indicates some apprehension in responsible French quarters about the starting of Left-incited trouble on the borders of France and Western Europe. Next a denied report of a Don Juan-Franco agreement. Lastly a report of Don Juan's plans for a constitutional monarchy, which may be the result of the visit to Don Juan by Fr. Herrera, Si., on behalf of munaichists in Spain.
For our part we deplore the use of a priest in these kind of high political matters. Whether suitable in itself or not, it leads to misinterpretation and adds fuel to anti-clerical fire. As likely as not, however, Fr. Herrara's journey has been wholly misintetpreted.
The real problem is whether peace and order can he maintained in Spain by a semi-liberal monarchy. That is to-day vital. Franco is evidently not yet persuaded that the monarchy suffices. We prefer his opinion to Mr. Bevin's and, still more. to Mr. Molo
Anti-Semitism in Poland ANY stick is good enough to beat
Christian countries with! Though it is fairly enough established that the awkward Jewish exodus from Poland is partly a racket and partly the result of anti-Semitism in a country where the Government is amply powerful enough to put down anything of which it disapproves, attempts are being made to put the responsibility on Poles loyal to the real Poland and the Allied
cause. " The Polish Ambassador in washiogron," it is reported, " doclares that anti-Jewish acts and propaganda are the work of followers of General Anders, Commander of the Polish forces in Italy, who refuses to recognise the new Warsaw Government." In ease this is not enough, it is also reported that " terror in the districts occupied by the Polish troops of General Anders is getting worse every day."
So we treat those who fought with
us and died for us So we libel any heroes to whom persecuting Russia ohjectst Priestley's brave new woild cannot be born of such stinking ingratitude. Especially when these anti-Semitic Catholic Poles were so blinded with iacial hatred that In per cent, of the people of their country were JEWS enjoying all civic rights.
The Church Revolutionary FR. Martindale, writing in the Month. underlines the defects, if not the failure. of Our stereotyped methods of spreading the Faith He argues for the merits of the thematic presentation or religion, its truths awl its practices, as one alternative, and he shows the success that can be thus achieved In France all kinds of new ideas are afoot, including, we are told, the foundation of an order in which ordained priests are put to apostolic work as ordinary workmen in ordinary factories. Important changes in the mode of liturgical worship are also reported And an Archbishop, said to be closely associated with such new departures, has been nominated a Cardinal.
We should ail be thinking and working hard along these lines. for the opportunity is great and the progress being made dismal. One suggestion : the 13.13.C. will always considet religious or Christian drama of a high order of merit. It pays comparatively little But should that deter the many really talented Catholics in this country from attempting to exploit a. very important field? Think of the effect of Dorothy Sayers' plays; but even they can he heard ton often