"PA IFISM" DRAWS.A PROTEST AND EDITORIAL REPLY—IS A PETITION TO THE ICIATG THE BEST PT/ AY?
DICTATORSHIP IN FREE STATE TOO? '
THE C.E.G. CRISIS A Constructive Criticism
SIR,—In connection with the correspondence on the above subject in recent issues may I be allowed' to add a word or two in hearty endorseuient of complaints.
The chief fault in the past has undoubtedly lain precisely in a faulty presentation of their subjects by speakers in general—too much talking at instead of with your audience.
The primary essential of a good salesman is to capture his listener's interest. In nine cases out of ten a method of approach that will secure contact with the audience is never attempted by our speakers; yet what aspiring .candidate for Parliament would ever expect to secure a seat by merely shouting his programme at the people? He has got to show himself on fire with his subject, in love with the people, sympathetic, convinced he knows the cure for all their social and economic illa, as well as be able to present his matter logically and clearly. I have always felt convinced that apologetics divorced from the appeal to the heart and :motions will never convert our country.
And I cannot help feeling too that we ipiritual directors are largely to blame in that we have not hitherto produced a more inspired and !inspiring set of speakers. We lave rightly demanded tests in academic cnowledge and correct exposition, but low often do we insist before granting a icence that the speaker shall be able to Dutline his argument, or even name the :entral thought, the pivotal position, on which his lecture turns. Still less do we :hink of asking him his method of approach, how he expects to secure his :rowd's interest.
St. Paul never addressed his audiences without riveting their attention; he always 'ound some common ground from which o commence operations, for example, the nscription to the Unknown God.
Training outdoor speakers is a very lifferent matter from training Catholic eachers for Catholic children, though hey too have to make contact, but with very different type of mind.
Mr. McCarthy's suggestion re a G.H.Q. LS a driving force to the diocesan guilds S excellent. But I strongly deprecate any dea of taking the training of the speakers )ut of the hands of the parochial authoriies. The guild should become an inte;rat part of the working of every parish, LS necessary a factor as the men's and women's guilds. And this more especially n view of Archbishop Hinsley's appeal to• he C.E.G. to train catechists.
The time s not far distant, we hope, 'hen it willlbe realised that, if we are to lo anything of a permanent nature to item the loss of faith of our youths beween 14 and 18 years of age, continuaion-classes must be established in all our larishes. I have no space to develop this iubject here, but it has been well worked )nt by the late Dr. Murphy both in his 3arnphlet "Young Men Are Gone Into
ptivity," and in practice in his parish of ionthport. Catechists will be essential for his work.
I believe there is a future of splendid
apostolic work for the C.E.G., though a work that may find its most valuable development in the Catholic formation of our youth rather than in the direct conversion of the pagans around us. Make the former conscious of their splendid inheritance and their influence as the salt and leaven of the inert masses will be irresistible.
EUSTACE DUDLEY, S.J.
Sacred Heart, Bournemouth.
THE BEHAVIOUR OF BANKS
SIR,—Your correspondent Mr. Simmons, in the courte of his defence of the banks, inadvertently drew attention to one of the weakest points in his case. He said "it is not the practice of British banks to tie up their funds in holding large blocks of shares in industrial undertakings." Indeed it isn't—and that is why some of us object so strongly to them; for it is the essential mark of the usurer that he refuses to submit to the natural condition of all fruitful production, which involves both the risking and the immobilisation of capital. It is the usurer's aim to keep his capital at one and the same time both liquid and fruitful, a thing impossible in the sphere of physical production.
It is this usurious and unnatural practice which in England and elsewhere has given the banks their overwhelming power and has brought about the disastrous result (which is the most objectionable feature of the whole business) that they have usurped the functions of the Crown as creators of currency, so that no new money now comes into being except as a profit-bearing loan.
As to Mr. Simmons's statement that banks are always reluctant to call up loans and only as a rule call them up when bankruptcy proceedings have been taken, it is not altogether irrelevant to quote the following extract from the recent Banking Supplement of the Economist:
"If it seems that a given trade, or a given area, is beginning to decline or is likely to face difficult times then the bank must take steps gradually to shorten sail in that direction, irrespective of the apparent quality of the security offered." •
The shortening of sail is not by any means always so gradual, and the banker has an obvious temptation to seize the collateral while he can still be certain of its market value; nor is this the only reason for calling in a loan. A banker is quite likely to call it in because of an increasing demand for short-term accommodation, which is his essential business.
T. L. BENVENISTI.
19, Ash Tree Dell, London, N.W.9.
SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
SIR,—In view of recent correspondence on this subject, may I say that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an association of men for mutual encouragement in practising the Christian life. With the object of progressing in piety, they endeavour to be friends with the poor. The brothers
are not unofficial relieving officers, nor does the society exist for granting temporal relief. The first object of being banded together (and a long way first) is the wholly spiritual side. Towards this end they encourage the poor in travelling the same spiritual road they seek to go themselves. It is only in the course of visiting that the brothers find cases of material distress, and. naturally wish to relieve this from the funds of the conference, to which they themselves contribute.
It may be of interest to mention that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is the largest Catholic society at work in England and Wales, having 950 branches.
J. T. MUMFORD. Hon. Secretary.
66, Victoria Street, London, S.W.1.
SIR,—In your "Notes and Comments'. what do you mean by the term "pacifism"? Until one knows that, it is impossible to decide whether you are right in regarding pacifism as an expression of the "prevalent defeatist mood," along with birth control and sterilisation, or whether you are merely trying to discredit something by giving it a vague name, and then associating that name with notoriously bad company.
Furthermore, a definition would enable one to see in what sense my part at least in the correspondence on "Bearing Arms" can be labelled "pacifist," and exactly how "Miles Justus" is supposed to show the "hollowness" of my reasoning.
You cannot be using the term in its everyday sense, because in that case it could not be applied to the fundamental and all-embracing work of Christ in his Passion; for that is the very centre of my reasoning, that we must co-operate with Christ in the work of his Passion in order to bring the Kingdom of God, in which alone is not only true peace, but all other good things as well.
Then again, it is difficult to see how "Miles Justus" can possibly help to show the "hollowness" of my reasoning, since he does not touch that reasoning on a single point.
"Catechist," on the other hand, faces the pronouncement on those that take up the sword, and I agree with him in that matter. Now I earnestly ask him to go a step further and consider how far a soul can safely go in the matter of trusting in material force, and whether the makers and users of an elaborate organisation for destruction, such as an army, are not always necessarily going well beyond that limit.
Si,—With reference to your quotation "thinkest thou that I. cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently more than twelve legions of angels?" I have always taken it to mean that our Lord rebuked his disciples for taking upon themselves his defence—explaining that there was no occasion to do so, as God was quite able to deal with the situation, even to the extent of sending twelve legions of angels if necessary.
I think it means that we are never called upon to perpetrate deeds of violence, even though the consequences appear to be disastrous, as they certainly did in our Lord's case.
P. OUWERKERK. Munnikhof, 39, Links Road,
IWe were thinking—as we made clear—of the effects of pacifism on recruiting and, in consequence, deploring the attitude of those Christians who interpret the Gospels as condemning the bearing of arms even in self-defence. We do not deny that a non-Catholic Christian can conscientiously come to the false conclusion that such is the teaching of the Gospels, thotzgn we may also legitimately wonder why such Christians are so eager to interpret our Lord's sayings in a literal way in this particular matter and not in others? Why are they solicitous for the morrow? Why do they lay up to themselves treasures on earth? Why do they not cut off their right hand if it scandalizes them? And so on. In the interpretation of the Gospel we do well to rest on the teaching of the Church— else we shall find ourselves, if we are consistent, with rather more on our hands than we bargained for.
But we were not thinking of conscientious pacifists; we were thinking of the rapidly increasing number of men and women who find in pacifist propaganda an excuse to shirk discipline, responsibility and danger. It is because this kind of pacifism is the pacifism of those who seek the easy way that we coupled it with the seeking of the easy way in the kind of social reforms that cost nothing, for example contraception. sterilisation. living in flats unsuitable for families, gingering up lucrative luxury trades, and the refusal to face the hard way by submitting to a new leadership that shall build up a new economic system and a race of disciplined, working, self-sacrificing men and women, intent upon the common good.
We yield to no one in our horror of modern warfare and our certainty that the outbreak of war will entail the collapse of our civilisation. We yield to no one in our conviction that an arms race is madness. But the time is over when any good can possibly come Iron? unilateral disarmament. The more conscious we are that we are standing for common sense, the more necessary it is for us to be able to back our sense with the force that alone will earn respect from those who only understand force. Backed by this force that alone will gain us a hearing, we should persuade others that they must look not to nationalism and .self-defence for their safety but to agreement based on the much among all who inherit the Christian tradition.— EDITOR.'
THE PETITION TO THE KING
SIR,—The right to petition the King may be a medieval privilege, but the people have a better right—that of Eminent Domain. They are in a position to command the abolition of poverty by bringing pressure to bear on their parliamentary representatives, whose duty it is to transmit their commands to the necessary experts. If the latter are unable or unwilling, given such satisfactory material as plenty to do it with, then it is the proper function of parliament to remove them and to appoint others. There have been several object lessons in the effectiveness of this method. The Means Test was a case in point and more recently the Football Pools Bill and the Coal Mines Bill.
If a petition were to be transformed or
rejected, it would have an extremely depressing effect on the people and would confirm the impression many are under that they are impotent; that the government decides what is good for them and that they have nothing to do but submit. Nominally this country is a democracy. To make it so in actual fact it is necessary to arouse the people to a consciousness of their sovereignty.
Kenython Studio, The Bridle Path, Parkstone, Dorset.
DICTATORSHIP IN ALL IRELAND From Professor Stockley Sin—In the Catholic Herald (May 29, page 2) it is told how, in six counties of Ulster, the rights of the subject are overridden, "persons arrested, premises searched without warrant and upon suspicion, suspected men held to be guilty." "These are findings of the English Council for Civil Liberties."
The other twenty-six counties also are under a Coercion Act of Mr. Cosgrave's government, 1931. Under this act a military tribunal, or permanent court-martial, judges, by three officers, and condemns even to death. No appeal. No inquest. If even a mother refuses to inform on her son she is imprisoned. The accused, assumed guilty, must prove innocence. Refusal to answer questions: imprisoned Any house raided without warrant.
Mr. Aitken (Mr. de Valera's present minister of defence) campaigned against Mr. Cosgrave's proposal to pass that act, which (said Mr. Aitken) would hold up Ireland as "a nation of slaves and savages." Mr. Cosgrave passed the act. In 1932 Mr. de Valera was elected to repeal it. He did not repeal it. It is "in full swing," as writes the astonished if not amused Irish Times.
"The Catholic government" of Messrs. Cosgrave and De Valera seems not unlike what you describe as "the Protestant Government" of Lord Craigavon.
W. F. P. STOCKLEY. Cork, June 1, 1936.
THE STUDY OF SPANISH
SIR,—The great interest being shown in Hispanic affairs at the present time, both in the Catholic and non-Catholic press prompts me. to raise the question of the serious neglect by our schools and colleges of the magnificent Castilian language, the medium of speech for over eighty million souls and the instrument of a major European literature. At a juncture when a well-informed public opinion is so urgent a desideratum it is to be deplored that we Catholics are doing so little to have Spanish taught • in our schools especially considering the fact that both the history and literature of Spain are so specifically our own; froth the "starry autos" of Calderon, most Catholic of dramatists, the great theological plays of Tirso de Molina, the lofty religious lyrics of the Augustinian Luis de Leon, the gem-like verses of that great mystic St. John of the Cross, the delightful letters of the only woman Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila, to the "Catholic monarchs" Ferdinand and Isabella.
To say nothing of the admirable lessons for our Catholic youth in the lives of those wonderful saints, Ignatius, .Francis Xavier and Dominic, Spaniards all. Nor must one forget the inimitable Don Quixote.
Even for the commercially-minded amongst us there remains the importance of Spanish as the key to the vast South American continent with its unlimited possibilities of expansion. To-day, when there is scarcely a university in these islands which does not provide some form of Spanish teaching or other, why should Catholics, who are by religion and upbringing best fitted to propagate and interpret the Hispanic contribution to the world, find denied to their children an opportunity of acquiring knowledge which will be of value both to their material and spiritual advancement.
AN HISPANIC STUDENT.
THE UKRAINE AND POLAND
SIR,—The article from your Central European correspondent on the Ukrainian problem did less than justice to the Polish point of view, and a similar bias is observable in previous articles from the same source. The championing of oppressed nationalities has long been a favourite hobby among Englishmen, but we must face the fact that the Ukraine never has been a self-governing nation, and shows no prospect to-day of form
ing itself into one. The little nations had their chance of liberty at the Versailles Conference, and the Ukraine proved itself incapable of taking its opportunity. To encourage nationalist separatism in Europe to-day is to invite Armageddon.
Your correspondent seems to suggest that Russia is providing a happy home to the Ukrainian peoples: it is doubtless a great consolation for them to belong to a Soviet Ukrainian republic, but the peasants appreciated it so little that they killed off their livestock rather than hand them over to the collective good of the Soviet Union. As punishment for their rebellion, they were steadily starved to death during 1933, on the instructions of the Kremlin. The full story of that Ukrainian famine has yet to be told.
In Poland, on the other hand, the Ukrainian peasants have considerably benefited from the division of the large estates into small family holdings. They have the advantage of Ukrainian schools wherever the demand is sufficient; the last statistics I have consulted showed
some 3,000 elementary schools where the teaching is entirely or at least half in the Ukrainian language. If they want to read papers and magazines there are, I believe, seventy-two printed in Ukrainian.
There have, of course, been excesses both on the part of the Ukrainian nationalists and the Polish government, but there does seem a prospect of the large Ukrainian minority corning to play its own part within the Polish nation. The Ukrainian separatist movement was largely stirred up by Austrian officials dUring the 19th century as a curb on Polish nationalism; but to-day the two peoples are living next to each other, and there are signs that bitterness is giving way to co-operation—already in Galicia mixed marriages amount to sorno 30 per cent. of the total.
People in Englaod should understand that Poland is just about the most important country in Europe to-day. Humanly speaking, the next world-war is likely to start with Germany flying at Russia's throat. The one guard against that calamity is a strong and independent Poland standing between them. It would be a pity if the Catholic Herald, usually so well informed on foreign affairs, should fail to stress the vital importance to us all of a Catholic Poland holding the gates of Europe against the barbarian.
G. V. SPEAIGHT.
6, Maze Road, Kew.
Letters on Britain and Italy; Henry VIII, schismatic or heretic; book titles, and other subjects, are among communications held over.—Ebrroa.