Our correspondents are urged to limit their loiters to 300 words; otherwise they are liable to be shortened or omitted altogether. Letters must boar a name and address (not necessarily for publication) or they will be ignored.— Editor.
EVENTS IN FRANCE
Bitt,—As a student of the social problem in France. I wish to congratti. late your paper on Its excellent poliey in regard to news from that country. Thanks to you, English Cetholics have been able to learn of the many movements, intellectual anti practical which are beginning to be of real significance in France—and about which the rest of our Catholic press is strangely silent.
I cannot agree, however, with many of the statements of your correepondent. Some Of them, I fear, are calculated to mislead your readers. I hope You will allow me, with your usual fairness, to make the following criticisms and suggestions:
1. We hear far too much about " ordre
nouveau," and are led to believe that it is the most important movement of its kind in France. That is not the case; it is only one of the many "personalist" groups in France. I have reason to believe that Esprit (under the editorship of M. Mounter) has a far larger and more influential following. Those who are interested in the attitude of Cath O lece tower " ordre nouveau" should read Pere Maydielfs severe criticiem iu the Vie Intetlectuelle of April 25, 1934. Readers of Daniel-Rops Elements de Notre Destin will come to the conclusion that although their Mee of a "Service Civil " is a brilliant "recluetio ad absurclani" of the problem :if machinery at is sheer nonsense as a practical solution.
2. Your correspondent might have told
tts sometbing about the Revue du Vingtieme Sieele, which is one of the most remarkable periodicals of the Rune Droite, and closely resembles our own Enylish Review.
3. It is very misleading to speak of
The Dossiers de PAction Poputalre as representing modern tendencies in Franee. That most interesting periodical is decidedly old-fashioned in tone. It is chiefly read by priests and social workers, and its outlook is not at all daring I
4. I was amazed to learn that the *plan" of the Socialist C.O.T. has recelved the approval of the "Christian democrats." Perhaps your correspondent means the "popular democrats"?
5. Your correspondent would render ak a great service to English Catholicism in giving us some definite information about the French mouvements specialises, such as the J.O.C., J.A.C., J.E.C., ete. English Catholics do not seem to have the faintest notion of Catholic Action—witness the recent norrespondence in your columns. It is of the utmost Importance that they should realize what the "participation of the
aity in the apostolate of the hierarchy" mplies, teed learn that it, is something more that tea-parties and "Catholic cruistie."—Vours, ete.,
EUGENE LANGDALE. 59, rue do la Barre,
Lille (Nord), France, June S.
Our French correspondent writes:— Mr. Eugene. Langdale has forgotten the Frendh prcoerb " fhere is tie discus:411g taelas and colours." For reasons which he has obviously been linable to explEnn in his letter, he considers the Drmliers of Use Action Popu. latre as an old-faehioned review read excluelvely by priests and sotial workers. (This is apparently a serious accueatione He also considers that the Ordre Nounerza (The New Order) is
• merely e. secondary movement, antici
pated In the main by the movement of the Esprit, \\ Nell (it would appear) is itselr beaten by a neck by the Twentieth Century Review (Revue du Vingtieme Steele).
Mr, Langdale's suggested classification Is 'Vol thy of respect, but in my opinion the desire to classify social movements, particularly youth movements, as one would, horses at the Derby is perhaps u ndue simplification.
To be serious, as the space allotted
me in the Catholic Herald is limited, I only diseases Movements, political or etherwise, as outstanding events. It was thus that in my flrst. contribution to the Cethnlic Herald on November 3, 1934, I wrote an article on the I.O.C. on the occasion of the Paris congrese. With eeepect to another congreee, that of the Agrarian party. I discuased the peasant movement from December. 15, 1934, on which day I re s cried to the Jocist movement a propos of the inerease in unemployment. In that ieeue I also referred to the Christian Student Movement.
I have no wish to prolong the enUmeration, which would on beemne wearisome, nor cite I diereiss here the idca of "Rome Service," which Mr. Langdale considers sheer nnneenee, but which has BM been adopted by a
certain number of technicians, engineers, inanufacturere and workers bent on putting the project into pructice.
In conclusion, I should like to point nut that I myself have C011abOritted In Esprit and the Revue du Siecle (the present Revue du linatierhe Steele) and am on very good terms with Emmanuel Moonier and Jean de Fahreques, their respective editors. Berme I hese no reneon in tie unaware of the existenee of thee Iwo movements, nor to 'keep silence concerning them OU principle.
"THE CRIME OF THE VATICAN" Sin, I ii his essay on " The Crime of the Vatican" your contributor al,chael" has turned his hand to a
latge and del:rate subject. But he has not handled it very largely or delicately.
Classical Latin was much nearer than "Michael" suggests to the common speech of educated people., en Italy and the Empltre. Cicero's roost pompous orations—a little less polished than we actually possess theni—'.Aere perfectly Intelligible to a crowded court or senate oe election meeting.
Neither was elessetal Leal anything like so artificial its the etipnuism of the Elizabethens or the antitheses and other teiddly-hits of St. Augustine. It was more leke "Michael's" own rxeellent writing: a highly cultivated diction far superior to the speech of ordiriery people, and, therefore. both intellighle and pleasing to them.
"Michael" cannot hove read a great deal or Ilia Latin Mai served as a universal language during tne Christian centuries. It was constantly tending—and still is to-day in scholastic treatises—to become a confusion of tongues, to such an extent that one nation's Latin \Vali forever becoming unintelligible to every other nation, while all together tended to barbarism. Latin would long ago have disappeared in the babel of the lInmance languages and their many dialects, and early Latin texts \voted have become as hard to read as Greek was In the west before the Renaissance were it not that again and again the clergy brought it back as near ae they could to classical standard Latin. The Renaissance of the tifteentil century was such a complete and accurate return to real authentic Latin as to be final and save the Latin tongue in perpetuity—or at least so we hope. There was an earlier great renaissance of pure classical Latin in the twelfth century, and a still earlier, though not so great, 'In the ninth.
In the fifteenth-century Renaissance, +in the Renaissence Popes thenteelves, In the beginnings of the Vatican Library and Museum there was much of which we can justly complain to-day. Rut we certainly cannot and should not complain of having had restored to us an accurate standard by which it is now possible to decide not only what is Latin and what is not, but what a Pope like. Leo XIII exactty means when he addresses the whole world on thorny modern questions. Medieval written and spoken Latin was not only a medium which enabled Men of different nations to understand one another. Quite often it helped them very effectively to misunderstand one another.
One of the rare virtues of English public schOols has been their strict and accurate culture of genuine Latin. Because Catholic schools everywhere have. failed to live up to their excellent example, seminary Latin is a jargon witch is forever petering out.
As for the use of Latin to-day as an international language, ny, say. tne League of Naeione, might not arguments stronger than "Michael's" be arlduceal against this by the Greeks—not to mention the Chinese?—Yours, err...
enoyclirals on s-eal questiOns erc me
homogeneous. bio iw,,
Merits. There is wliet he cello! the negative element tee iiiidenieatiori of an unjust wage or iiineeder ate iiderest, for example. They come with all the weight of it pepal prte %Iowa:Timm. OH the either IiiJi1. mere is the peeit.ve element. eemposed 01 certain reeommendations, such as guilde, which are on another plane and presumably have little binding force, Fr. Witeutt's article May be patient of another interpretritinti : I have given the One at tvliich the orditiary reader is likely to arrive, This eclectic attitude in regard to the social encytlicals Is, I submit, entirely foreign to the common teaching of Catholii theelogialls and sociologists. At the best, the dEfiCle is dangerously misleading, at the worst, it is a bOlitering.111) cf 111■0 !.,Cliuol or thought whieh was scandalized beeause. the present Holy Father did not anathematize the -Industrial system, root. and branch, in his " Quadragesimo Amin."
My criticism can he put in another way. Did we need an encyclical to tell us that an unjust wage was unjust? Why are the papal pronouncements on the diffusion of property and the estsiblishment of vocational groups not moral judgments?
Might one suggest to the writer that the complete working-out of the encyclical " Quadragesimo Anno " would result In the erection of a new society and not merely a new modality of the existing one. There is a significance in the encyclicals sub-title, " On the recon. struction of she social order."—Yours, etc.,
(Rev.) B. SALT, The Catholic Snciai Action Centre,
f.,e, Bristol Road, Birmingham.
"ALI_ ART PROPAGANDA"
Sfrt,—Tile Catholic Herald certainly Provokes one to think about many things and even about art. The prominence given in your last issue to a report, of Mr. Erie Gill's lecture on "Art and Propaganda " led one to wonder whether it %vas true to say that "all art Is propaganda." One knows, or course, teat in Mr. Gill's conception art is limited to the making of things for use, excluding altoseether what nifty be rolled " pure art": that is, the activity by %vhich marlse are inade or forms cut purely for the love of doing so a ithout eny thought of their being seen or preserved, let alone thought about or med. But even in Mr. Gill's limited sense It
is only by misuse es the term "propaganda ' that one. can say that "all art is propaganda.'
l'ropaganda. means an orgenized scheme. for the propagation of ii doetripe or practice. The propagandist eritiet be conscious of his activity. for his function is to present tt. doctrine or prectiee I° a certain body in a way calculated to overeorne the particular prejudices and difficulties of that body. It Is true that an artist Cannot help revealing in his work his conception of life, but his work is nnt therefore " propaganda " that one can say that tc reveal roneriouslv or unconsciously One's conception of life or of anything else is not propaganda for that Conception or that other thing, Whether self-revelation through one's work is in effeet propaganda or not is pure chanoe. If a. beholder is predis posed in favour of the ideas revealed in a work, he may be encouraged in that direction. If he is predisposed against those Wens, he may he encouraged in his hostility: and finally, he may read Into the work any one of a thousand ideas totally foreign from the mind of the artist.—Yours, etc..
JOHN ASCELIN. R.C.A. Common Room, Queen. Gate, S.W.?, June 10.
MACHINES AND LEISURE
Siet,—Everyone must sympathize with Mr. Purguld's desiee to see the physical labour of man lightened by mechanical devices. I am not sure whether sonic thing might not be said in favour_ also of lightening mental labour by addingmachines.
But one can sympathize with this while doubting very much Mr. Purgolres wisdom in cepa:Ong machinery to bring us very much nearer than we now ale to We "leisure state.' It machinery is ever to do that it must be severely iestricted to the simplest possible mechanisms, such as windmills, water-wheels, pulleys, cranks, _treadles and so forth.
Elaborate machinery makes very little leisure and very much work. It is only during the comparatively brief period while a complicated machine is running smoothly that it reduces the load of manual and physical labour. To make complicated machinery and to repair it when it hree,ke down a stupendous arnOunt of labour is required, and most of it is the labour of making or repairing other complicated Machinery. The labour of the miner and the dock-hand. which Mr. Purgold would like to see lightened by machinery, is as horrid as it is simply because It is labour in the Fervive of machines. Simplify machinery and you simplify labour; and every heavy job that remains is a real man's job.
tam not arguing against Mr. Purgold or with Mr. Gill in favour of a return to the deys in whieh Noah built his Ark. T am prepared to admit that in the Mess we have made for ourselves we have made complicated machinery almost a necessity; and T do not exclude, as I have said, thinking-maehines to save university people like Mr. Purgold the painful labour of thinning, and do it straighter and better for them.—Yours, etc., IlnudoennEniversity. n
Sno—In reply to Mr. Purgold, the "legitimate function of machinery" is to do things or make things which cannot otherwise be made or which rannot be made so well without it. The historic function of machinery is to make things quickly and in larger quantities so as to save labour and increase profits. for the chief cost of ptoduction is labour.
I do not say we ought to scrap all machinery. I only say we ought to place all machinery in the control of those who actually use It. We might then use machines according to their "legitimate function" and escape from the disasters attending on the continuance of the use of inachniery merely as a profit-making instrument. Under those circumstances it is conceivable that the use of machinery would grow less rather than more, for its use would be confined to those processes for which it is really suitable, whereas at present It is used for many things which formerly were done better without it.
It is not true to suggest that machinery was introduced to lighten labour.
The whole point of my writings has been to put forward the idea that "the artist is not a special kind of man but that every man is a special kind of artist' and the modern separation of artiste from other workmen is the very thing I object to. We have overdone the division and sub-division of labour. It is all wrong that some men should spend their whole working-time in sewers or other ."soul-destroying" work —a is as though we ceased to wash our own teeth and .employed whole-time teeth-washers. The world I want, and it is a normal world and a world that has always existed where industrialism was not present, is one in which a man's work is his chief interest. It is true that we have lost that world and so we are compelled to look forward to that development of machinery and the control of machinery which will reduce the hours of labour to one or two a day. In fact, we are compelled to demand and look forward to an abnormal world and a world essentially bourgeois—even the Russians cannot escape it and so even the Russians patronize the bourgeois arts.—Yours, etc.,
ERIC GILL. Pigotts, High Wycombe.
Stn,—The critics of bourgenisism are not quite as incomprehensible as Mr. Purgold appears to think. A week ago Mr. Gill. while exonerating any particular class, reeorded his agreement with Fr. Prince's indictment of the bourgeois spirit as heretical.
Surely Mr. Purgold will agree that man was born to labour, not to seek ultimate repose on. crirth; for, after all, is not "reviles zterna" the chief token of Paradise, and antiripation of Heaven itt human affairs the kerma of the modern heresy ?
May we not perhaps go a little deeper and regard the bourgeois contempt for labour as a single symptom of that morbid condition—materialism. let it be called respectability, commercial prudence, good business, or what you will?—Yours, etc.,
C. STAFFORD NORTHCOTE. Queen's College, Oxford.
LADY ASTOR'S INSINUATION
Sne—Lady Astor's cheap insinuation on the falling Italian birlorate in spite of Mussolini and the. Pope, which your quoted in the Catholic Herald, is an example or the false assumption that " no children" and "small families" are necessarily the result of artificial birthprevention.
There is a distinct danger in this to people of all creeds, not only because any untrue statement roust weaken honest argument, but it may also arouse a sense of painful injustice in those who are sterile by nature, or who may be practir;ing obstinenre for God's sake or for ePonomic reasons. Could you not give us an article. in your valuable paper to help us to keep a true end balanced view on this most important matter?—Yours, eta, 51, M. T. lune 5.
PILGRIMAGES FOR EVERYMAN
STR,—On reading "Tame Convert's" letter in your current issue, I Immediately scanned your advertisement pages. The reason will be apparent from What follows.
Some time last year, at Emulates, I was discussing pilgrimages with my old friend John Gibbons, who, you will remember, walked to Lourdes. We were comparing the current pilgrimage fares from London (.£10 8s., giving five days in Lourdes) with those of the diocese of Rouen, which amounted last year, we were informed, 10 2.31 francs, roughly Re. We reckoned, in Our reveries, that the English,' railway company would probably be very pleased to take a ship ..., itOrittriuga in next column.),