Page 4, 13th June 1947

13th June 1947
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Page 4, 13th June 1947 — QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
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QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

An Anglican Y.C.W.?

TIE.: report published by the n Church of England Youth Council, on Wednesday last, under the title The Church and Youth. is a document that all Catholics interested should study, if for no other reason than to see how this real problem is being faced by the Anglican Church upon the support ot which we must to some.extent depend if any headway is to be madein the re-establishment of Christian values among the workingclass as a whole.

Thc report, it would seem, is roundly outspoken. " In a country." it says, " which can hardly still be called Christian, the task of winning young people to Christ is a matter of urgent concern," The report goes on to express anxiety over the morals of young people, particularly those in industry, and suggests as part of a sustained campaign the selection of young people belonging to the Church to be trained to specialise in evangelical work among their contemporaries.

It would seem that at last the Anglican Church is aware of the necessity for some such movement as has been in existence on the Continent for some twenty years. We refer, of course, to the Young Christian Workers, who do precisely this work. The report also rightly points out that the success of the lay workers among their contemporaries will depend to a large extent on the special training and sympathy of the clergy behind them. Another interesting point in the report is the emphasis it places on the creation of the right atmosphere in industry which obviously does not depend merely on the conversion of individuals but the co-operation of owners and management.

U.S.A. to the Rescue FEW events have so rapidly

^

changed the aspect of world affairs as the publication of the plan outlined by Mr. Marshall in his Harvard address on June 5. In comparison with the piecemeal help given to individual European nations, the suggestion that the U.S. should set up a dollar credit pool from which allocations could be made according to need shows statesmanship of a high order. There are great difficulties in the way of realising this plan — not the least of which is that of securing the support of the American public — but the mere idea itself shows that Washington is thinking in terms commensurate with the position among the nations which it has

acquired. The gesture itself, even if it should prove no more. recognises that this is " a time for greatness." It is evident that the breach with the " parish pump " isolationism of the past is complete. In such a plan is revealed the true spirit of a nation which, in the varied racial strains composing its population. is a microcosm of the whole world.

It thus fulfils the condition that the new international order cannot he organised, as both the League of Nations and U.N.O. assumed it could, at a round-table conference, but must proceed from some one definite point. If that principle be conceded. it will be clear that the initiative could come most appropriately from the Power which is not only in the position of being able to foot the bill, but, as already indicated, by the composite character of its people, which is fully representative of the Old World and at the same time detached from it.

If a case has to be made out for capitalism it is in this way that it is

best slated. What individual capitalists have sometimes done when they have donated the bulk of their fortunes to the establishment of public libraries, the enrichment of art galleries or the endowment of scientific research, Mr. Marshall's proposal would have the U.S. do on a larger scale with reference to the basic necessities of life. If. in either case, large fortunes are justifiable, it is by such methods of disposal criticism is most convincingly met. A New World that had used its wealth to set the Old World on its feet might be well considered to have earned the.right to be richer than its neighbours.

Dollar Domination

SOVIET agencies have not lost

the opportunity to inflame suspicion of American motives. The general lines followed in the subservient Press of other countries fed by these agencies is indicated by Leontyev in a contribution to the New Tunes in which he "exposed the myth that America's past is not tainted with the policy of violent expansion, conquest, annexation and gross interference in the affairs of other nations." claim ins thereby to shed light on the " Truman doctrine " of to-day. Help to Europe, it is asserted, is dictated by ' monopoly interests." Even those who have no fears of such, interests have shown themselves jealous of their native traditions and anxious lest these should be endangered by financial dependence on a transatlantic country. General de Gaulle's favourable view of the proposed plan is tinged by this anxiety.

Every country is apt, whenever it has the opportunity, to impose its own political and cultural standards on the rest of the world, and the U.S. is no exception. There are plenty of American citizens who interpret civilisatioa in terms of that seen in New York and Chicago and would feel it their duty to enforce their own standards in such matters on all and sundry irrespective of historical. geographical and racial differences. The fact is one to which the Latin nations of South America have been made acutely sensitive. Gratitude, however, is not incompatible with a firm independence and loyalty to one's own conceptions of right and wrong. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that the close ties which a loan of the kind would create influence both creditor and debtor. If Europe tends to become Americanised. there is no reason why a tactful diplomacy should not result in America learning some. thing from the elder and mature/ nations with whom its generosity has brought it into closer relations. " Where your treasure is there will

your heart be also." The millionaire who finances free libraries not only shows his interest in literature but will probably find that his interest has been increased by his invest

ment in its welfare. Europeanism is a very catching " complaint." Every invader. though he came to conquer, has, in his turn, been conquered by it. Given a just pride in our own traditions and an acceptance of help in which graciousness is blended with dignity, there is no reason why the same thing should not happen again to those whose weapon is the conquering dollar.

Our Birthright

EVENTS in Eastern Europe and, in particular, those taking place in Hungary, show how inadequate

is the view that the one thing to be feared as a consequence of the growing strain in the relations between America and Russia, is war. The idea 'that suspicion of Soviet intentions is needless in view of Russia's alleged unpreparedness for war, fails to take into account the many ways short of military action in which aggression can achieve its object. One has only to read accounts from all parts of the world to discover how subversive forces can use as a stalking horse any kind of discontent, whether it be of a class or racial character, to attain its end. The method is all the more dangerous since, in a large number of cases, those whose grievances are thus exploited are entirely ignorant as to the purpose they are serving. The same thing applies where fear is expressed concerning the political power acquired by the extreme Left. The readiness with which that section of opinion, when it thinks fit, accepts exclusion fsom coalition cabinets, suggests that it relies on other than the ordinary political methods and may be more dangerous out of office than in. It has to be fully realised that the enemy we arc fighting possesses what, on a short term view, is the indubitable advantage of un scrupulousness. Quite frankly, his ideological confessions disavow the standards pf international decency by which his opponents feel themselves bound. Ile is free to say and do anything that will serve his "Cause," while they are fettered. Realisation of that fact, however, is apt to present us with the temptation to break our fetters and to descend to his level. We have only to recall how German " frightfulness " lowered the ethical standards of warfare to understand the danger. It is obvious, however, that to abandon those principles of honest dealing and fidelity to contracts, which we profess even if we do not always conform to them, is to throw away the very thing for which we arc contending. This is the birthright, derived from our Christian heritage, which we dare not barter for any mess of pottage in the form of temporary triumph.

Enter, Asia THE success which has attended the Indian demand for selfgovernment will have repercus

slops throughout the Asiatic con linent. Ever since Japan defeated Czarist Russia in 1904, Asia has

been increasingly conscious of itself as a whole. Its coming-of-ago was clearly marked by the meeting of delegates representing some thirty-odd countries at the New Delhi Conference, held in April. Despito the wide variety of races and cultures represented—and that is far greater than most Westerners imagine—the people of the Far East have more than geographical proximity as a bond of union, While the rest of the world went ahead, according to its own idea of going ahead, Asia stood by its ancient ways, immobile, but, as the event proves. not dead. Its passivity was disturbed by the impact of Western civilisation. The example of Japan does not favour a similarly rapid transformation of the old regime; China and India have taken a longer time to consider the problem and to adapt themselves to the new order. Though Gandhi's repudiation of militarism and industrialism is far from being general, it does indicate a typically asiatic attitude. In close contact as it is with the U.S. and Soviet Russia, Asia will find it difficult to retain the dignity and conservatism of the past. The sort of blend which it will make of past and present is of immense importance to the rest of the world. If it he true that progress follows the sun—and history seems to confirm that supposition—this ancient Continent is the next heir to the throne now occupied by America. By the time it succeeds to that throne, it will have been able to work out some sort of harmonising pattern in which the good poilits of all preceding civilisations should be incorporated within a Far-Eastern framework. The prospect would be exciting were' it not so far ahead.




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