Page 2, 14th July 1950

14th July 1950
Page 2

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Locations: Slough


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SIR,-Perhaps it is a long time

since Fr. Brogan lived in S. Africa. It is growing to be a long time since the present writer lived there. BLit I do not forget that the attitude which has influenced

the " retrogressive" (surely unjust?) policy of the Malan Government towards the native people is infectious. Southern Rhodesia has caught it too. It threatens some aspects of Catholic life in P.E.A. In Southern Rhodesia it had the ludicrous effect of causing the government there to fix the price of maize grown by white people at a higher price than that grown by Rhodesian black men -and this during the late war when food was Si short Scott speaks for the inarticulate. The South AfricanGovernment is able to speak for itself and make the white man's point of view heard to such an extent that it could flout the very U.N.O. that old Smuts was called ip to help found.

The fact that the present government in South Africa regards the native question as a domestic problem does not make it so for the Catholic Church with her universal mission. any more than the persecution of the Jews was domestic to Hitler's Germany or that or Christians domestic to Stalin's Iron Curtain territory.

Why does Scott campaign in Britain and America on this point ? Because whilst he was in South Africa he was too outspoken a Christian minister, and now they have taken away his passport so that he cannot get hack. He realises how hard it is for missionaries in South Africa to take the stand he took there. They might do the same to them. Totalitarian States are like that.

Why does Fr. Brogan bring in the red herring of the Indian question ? If Indians exploit natives to a worse extent than do Europeans. does that excuse European exploitation ? After all the traditional faith of Europe is Christian. That of India is not.

Whatever Michael Scott may hope to have achieved at Lake Success, there were delegates from Latin America (which has a stronger Christian tradition than either India or South Africa) who recognised the good in the stand which he made there. and acknowledged it.

There are those, who have lived among these primitive races in Southern Africa, who neither judge that it is desirable nor possible for the black folk to be integrated immediately into the complex life of modern South Africa, who nevertheless recognise wrong when they see it and look to the Catholic Church to right that wrong because she preaches the only true universalism that has ever been or will ever be preached. The false universalism of Marx was not taken to South Africa by black men.

Segregation means the breaking up of the flock and although St. Jerome used "ovilis " and not " grex " it remains true today that segregation can cause the breaking up of Christ's "little flock." Because it ia impracticable, as Fr. Brogan admits, segregation is also a waste of time, and so, wrong. Smuts has said it has failed, as doubtless Fr. Brogan knows. One is grateful for Fr. Brogan's just plea for fair treatment of educated non-Europeans in England as well as in South Africa. It cannot be reiterated too often, in these days.

It remains to say that to anyone who heard Michael Scott's address at the Central Hall when he reached his peroration. it was clear that tie himself was preserving a deep and sincere Christian charity to all sides. FRANK ROBERTS. " Broomfield." Croft Hill, Slough, Bucks.

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