Conscience stand by Catholic wins town
BY making clear in advance what would be his position as a Catholic when he is made Mayor, Councillor F. J. McInnes, Bournemouth's Mayor-elect, has earned himself a few bigoted opponents. But, the election campaign reveals, he has also made many friends not only for himself but for the Church as well.
Contrary to normal custom, a last-minute opponent, a Mr. Bath, was put up against Councillor McInnes, basing his opposi tion on religious grounds. The result has been a number of
declarations of support for the Mayor-elect.
Speaking to a meeting of Conservatives, for example, last weekend, Mr. Brendan Bracken, who represents a local constituency in Parliament. called those responsible " bigots " and their. intervention " scandalous." He paid a tribute to Councillor McInnes and his work for the town.
Front the opposite political camp a letter was sent to the local press by the Bournemouth Trades Council dissociating themselves from Councillor McInnes' opponent.
A local ratepayers' meeting, called to hear the various opposing candidates. unanimously passed a resolution "deprecating the opposition voiced against Councillor McInnes as Mayor-elect, especially that based on religious grounds."
Mr. Bath encountered strong opposition when he held a public meeting in — somewhat inappropriately—St. Peter's Hall, last week. especially when he questioned Councillor McInnes' suitability as Mayor.
Commenting on the public's reactions, a leading Catholic said this week : "The fact that a Catholic had the honesty to lay down his conditions to the council before accepting the coveted honour of Mayor, and has stuck to his conscientious convictions, well knowing that there would be strong feeling and possibly much unpleasantness. has created an admiration for the Catholic Church in the minds of most Councillors and prominent people in the town." At a private meeting of the Council, when his name as next Mayor was first being discussed, Councillor McInnes explained his position as a Oatholic. placed himself in their hands and received overwhelming support from his fellow-councillors.