Page 4, 16th July 1948

16th July 1948
Page 4
Page 4, 16th July 1948 — The Kremlin Closes The Ranks
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Organisations: Coal Board
Locations: Moscow, Rome, Birmingham

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The Kremlin Closes The Ranks

By Michael de la Bedoyere IT is now becoming clear that the Kremlin's denunciation of Tito forms part of a general orthodox Communist plan to close the ranks and present to the world a purged and toughened Red force utterly subject to Moscow and leaving no room whatsoever for any deviations or appeasements, however tactically valuable.

In France the Communists have gone furthest in trying to widen the Communist ideology to include a genuine sense of patriotism, tolerance for religion, and the appeasement of bourgeois and peasant traditions. This line, originally undertaken in order to enable French Communism to gain a sufficient following to obtain power and impose the narrower Kremlin policy, has probably come to affect leaders like Thorez and Duclos, who may have persuaded themselves, like Pollitt, that a " moderate " Communism is possible. If so, Thorez has now been left in no doubt by his masters as to the gravity of his mistake. He has been sternly taken to task and ordered to toe the freshly drawn line. According to American sources, Thorez's own position is now insecure and he may have to make way for the extremist Andre Marty: Elsewhere there is evidence of the purging of the Communist ranks, and especially 'of party members who have been too rapidly accepted in order to create an impression of swiftly growing Communist power,.

The Fall of Communism THIS policy, which is really an open return to the original Cornmunist orthodoxy, unfortunately never abandoned by the Kremlin as its ultimate end, suggests that the Politbureau judges that Communism has now gone as far as it can in drawing adherents from Europe and gaining footholds there by the methods of cold war. It must now make its preparations for the open clash which is probably regarded by Moscow as inevitable sooner or later. If and when this clash comes, Moscow will expect every party member in Europe unhesitatingly to take the side of Russia.

The evidence that such are the Communist plans to-day should resolve the doubts. still common in Britain and America. as to whether

one can do business" with Messrs. Stalin and Molotov. This is not quite the same thing as saying that one cannot do business with Communism. As we have so often maintained in these columns, we believe that the great Communist movement possesses within it important elements which the post-war world must take into account. At the very least it is a vital part of the revolution of our times, and we shall not reach a new order and stability by taking a merely negative attitude towards something which has shown itself capable of meeting the aspirations of so many of our fellow men. It is a challenge to ourselves, and the better elements in it should ultimately fuse with the Western traditions of the primacy of the spiritual and the responsible freedom of the human person.

Unfortunately, however, none of all this has anything to do with the outlook of the present Kremlin leaders. They have shown themselves utterly incapable of the evolution and adantation of the original Leninist creed. Corrupted perhaps by their own power and victims of the narrowness of their minds and upbringing, they are unable to see anything better than the old tradition of despotism armed with the gigantic resources of modern discovery and technique. Instead of rising above the crudities and evils of their revolution and rising to the opportunities presented by them, they have, like Hitler before them, fallen for the temptations put in their It may be that they will collapse under the top-heavy weight of the structure they have created, but unless and until they do so, we cannot but regard the Kremlin to-day as an open and dangerous enemy of all that we value in the West and as a i dangerous and imminent threat to it.

THE NATION AND THE MINERS WHEN we read the Coal Board's report for 1947 we should remember the vital connection between coal and Britain's economic prosperity. And this in turn means the vital connection between coal and the recovery of world peace. It is by no means the first time in our history that the fate of nations has happened to depend on one particular set of men in the

country. Hitherto they have not failed. It is a mistake to think too much of the past. The nation is now trying to give a square deal to the miners, and it has the right to

look to the miners for that quality and quantity of work which cen go so far to square the country's accounts.

ARCHBISHOP TEMPLE'S APPROACH TO THE POPE THE Church Times has given as • much prominence as possible to two letters sent by the late Archbishop Temple to the Apostolic Delegate in Britain, and now for the first time made public. The letters, which were written by the Archbishop not very long before his death are in essence a request to the Apostolic Delegate to convey to the Holy Father Archbishop Temple's sympathy over the situation of the Holy See and the city of Rome in the conditions of war in 1943 and 1944. But the second letter expresses also the prayer that " guided by the Holy Spirit we may together declare the Christian principles for the ordering of human life."

This phrase connects up with the introduction to the letters sent to the Church Times in the form of a letter from Canon J. A. Douglas, who in fact had transmitted the letters to the Apostolic Delegate. In his letter the Canon bears witness to the impression made on the Archbishop by

the Holy Father's Peace Points and his keen desire, in consequence, to open the way for conversations " in all matters that do not involve the dogmatic antinomies and historical conflicts which divide Christendom." As such Archbishop Temple's initiative is considered to have been unprecedented.

In the time that has elapsed since the death of Archbishop Temple the world has had more than sufficient evidence to appreciate how well based was his admiration for the Papal stand during the war. There can scarcely be a shadow of doubt that had the Allied Powers been guided both in the way they conducted the war and in their policies for restoring peace by the Holy Father's advice, we should all to-day be in a very much happier position than we in fact are. Indeed, it is not too much to say that Mr. Churchill himself and the successor of President Roosevelt would give a great deal to see undone much for which they stood during the war and immediately after it.

Time and again, and most of all during the last ten years, history has demonstrated how far wiser and more statesmanlike are sane Christian counsels than the best efforts of a secularist diplomacy. If the direct influence of such Christian guidance on Anglo-Saxon and European

statesmen could be increased by a co-operation such as Archbishop Temple hoped for, then indeed it would be a thousand times worth while. The effective co-operation in these matters between the heads of the Christian Communions in this country during the war suggest that there could be no intrinsic impediment from the Catholic side in the way of similar co-operation both in peace and war at the highest levels.

THE CASE OF A CATHOLIC MAYOR

IN October, 1946, the Hierarchy of England and Wales 'issued a statement strongly deprecating the attendance of Catholic mayors, councillors and others at nonCatholic religious services. In accordance with this ruling, the Archbishop of Birmingham has found it necessary to rebuke a Catholic mayor in his diocese for attending non-Catholic services on the occasion of centenary celebrations in his own town. The matter has now been prominently publicised in the Press, and it is possible that some readers of that Press will misunderstand the situation,

The Church's ruling which makes clear the wrongness and illogicality of any Catholic participation in nonCatholic worship should by now be well enough known. Nor should people have any difficulty in appreciating the point that the religious position of a Catholic involves such non-participation in a form of worship that is formally heretical, however excellent the intentions of those who worship in good faith may be. At the same time, the Church has always endeavoured to help the Catholic so far as possible to live his civic and social life like other people. Hence it is that Catholics in public office with a specific duty to perform or private Catholics on social occasions, such as weddings, are able to be present at non-Catho lic religious ceremonies. But there must be a sufficient reason. What exactly that sufficient reason may be is a matter for the decision of the religious authorities, a decision necessarily taken in consideration of all the circumstances, the state of public opinion, and so on.

In point of fact, the religious authorities in this country, noting that a mayor's duties do not involve




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