Page 1, 14th August 1953

14th August 1953
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Page 1, 14th August 1953 — CATHOLICS AMONG RELEASED MEN
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CATHOLICS AMONG RELEASED MEN

'Apostle' in Korea prison camp

"FOURTEEN of the 76 United Kingdom prisoners returned to Freedom Village in Korea during the first three days were Catholics. Among them were L./Cpl. William Massey (Royal Ulster Rifles), of Kevin Street Flats, Dublin; Rfm. Felix O'Hanlon (R.U.R.), of Highland Road, Newport, Isle of Wight; L./Cpl. Thomas Flanagan (R.U.R.), of Nelson Road, Rallieston, Glasgow; Tpr. Richard Dooley (8th Hussars), of Ashbourne Crescent, Huyton-Robey, Liverpool; L./Cpl. Alland McKell (R.E.M.E.), of Nitshill Road, Glasgow.

It is believed in London that several more Catholics are among the other United Nations soldiers released by the Communists.

Excellent spirits

A report by a special correspondent from the headquarters of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade which reached TI-It CATHOLIC HERALD on Wednesday, says: "All the Catholic boys mentioned were captured in January, 1951. I spoke at length to each of them, both at Munsan and the reception centre at Britannia Camp. They were in excellent spirits and .appeared in good health.

"They told me that the .North Koreans treated them badly, until the Chinese intervened. The Chinese treated them well.

"Mail from home was generally bad. The only paper allowed in Camp Five, where they were held, was the Daily Worker.

"Food was adequate, they were well clad, but there was a severe shortage of razors.

"Chaplains of all denominations met the returned prisoners both at Freedom Village a d Britannia Camp., Fr. Bernard Boulton, of Birmingham, and Fr. James Petry, of Southwark, were among them.

Chaplain died

"While the Catholic boys remained at Britannia Camp before going to Seoul and Japan for repatriation, they were able to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion for the first time in two and a half years. Each man was given a Rosary and a prayer-hook. There were American Catholics among the men released from Camp Five as well as the few British."

One man more than any other won the deepest respect and affection of all his fellow-prisoners. He is L./Cpl. Bill Massey, a Dubliner, who organised services in Camp Five after the death of the American chaplain.

No praise is too high for the way this lad kept the Catholics together, constantly reminding them of their Faith by word and example. By all Continued on page 6 Earlier this week there was a third, Signor Attilo Piccioni in Italy.

DR. ADENAUER is preparing to fight the hardest battle of his life which will decide whether Germany will remain part of the European family or be allowed to drift into an equivocal position from which Moscow might derive th t st cold war trium h since

e greatest the war.

SIGNOR PICCIONI replaced Signor De Gasperi who for years has kept at bay the biggest Communist party this side of the Iron Curtain.

On Wednesday he announced that he had given up the task of forming a Government.

If Rely fails, in circumstances more difficult than faced his predecessor, to solve the causes of social and political unrest in Italy, that country may become a source of weakness rather than strength to the cause of the free world.

M. LANIEL, already beset by Communist-encouraged strikes in France, has inherited so unhappy a legacy that on his shoulders may fall the responsibility for preserving democracy itself in the country which is a lynch-pin in the set-up of a free and civilised world.

Victory inspiration

The failure of any of these statesmen to solve the difficult problems that face them might in the end be worth more to Moscow than anything which Malenkov could bring about through his own initiative.

These three hard-pressed men—all known to draw inspiration from their Catholic principles—may take comfort and strength from the triumph in very different circumstances this week of another Catholic Premier, M. Louis St. Laurent, whose Liberal Party has again swept to victory in Canada.

None of the struggles in Europe

can be taken in isolation. In the present period of international uncertainty, defeat for the Christian party leaders could only strengthen the Communist hand in any discussions that may take place between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union.

The danger to peace and to the general scheme for European integration. on which Western policy has been largely based since 1948, is no less serious than the immediate danger of political deadlock and economic anarchy in France, Italy and Western Germany.

Christians everywhere should be as aware of these deeper implications as Communists most certainly are.

Two handicaps

This week Signor Piccioni, Right Wing leader of the Christian Democrats, was to have sought the vote of confidence to confirm him in office as Prime Minister.

Any man who now takes his place —almost certainly a Catholic—will, like him, have to steer a difficult middle course between the extremists of Left and Right, with the uncertain support of the small Liberal and Republican parties.

He suffered the double handicap of being a relatively unknown man even in his own country and of being held up by the precarious position of his Coalition Cabinet.

Like the Labour Government in Britain after its narrow victory in the 1950 election. the nest Premier cannot hope to do much more than hold the fort until a further election gives the Italian cleetcr his chance to Continued on page 6

THE Liberal Party's landslide .1 victory in the Canadian general election this week is a triumph for "Uncle Louis"-71-year-old Mr. Louis St. Laurent

He has been Prime Minister since November. 1948. Yet he was 59 before he entered the political arena, leaving behind a lucrative practice at the Bar.

He is only the second Frenchspeaking Prime Minister in his country's history.

The son of a French-Canadian father and an Irish-Canadian mother (Mary Anne Broderick), he was bilingual from the time be learned to speak. Later he claimed to have discovered by accident that Canada has two official languages. "I always thought," he said, "there was one way of talking to my father and another way of talking to my mother."

He was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General in 1941, and became an M.P. the following year. winning a bye-election in the constituency once held by his great predecessor, Sir Wilfred Laurier, the first French-Canadian Premier of the Dominion.

He served for a short period as Minister of External Affairs under the late Mr. Mackenzie King. He came to London in October, 1948, as acting Prime Minister. A month later he became Prime Minister.

Spy ring

He has been a consistent exponent of the North Atlantic association, with Canada playing an active role as intermediary between the United States and Western Europe and the Commonwealth.

He was Minister of Justice when the Soviet spy ring was uncovered.

His integrity. dignity and courtesy have made him universally respected and liked. His career as one of Canada's outstanding barristers and his subsequent activities as a politician have given the lie to the theories that "he is a deserter from French Canada" or "a tool of the Church" or "a creature of the big companies."

During the general election campaign. when a whispering campaign in French Canada smeared his Conservative opponent, Mr. Drew, as a Freemason and Mrs. Drew as an apostate from the Church, Mr. St. Laurent made a public statement condemning the rumours and deploring the dishonesty and bad taste of those who had spread them.

Benediction on television

The first full Catholic evening service to be televised in Britain will come from St. James's. Spanish Place. in the West End of London. on Sunday, September h.

It will he a normal Sunday evening service. According to present arrangements there will be Devotions and Solemn Benediclion, and the Superior of the Catholic Missionary Society, 1-r. George Dwyer, will preach.




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