Page 8, 17th August 1935

17th August 1935
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Page 8, 17th August 1935 — LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Our correspondents are urged to limit

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Our correspondents are urged to limit

their letters to 300 words: otherwise they ere liable to be shortened or omitted altogether. Letters must bear a name and address (not necessarily for publication) or they will be ignored.—Editor.

ABYSSINIA Si.,—Since replying to those critics of My attitude towards the Italo-Abyssinian slispute I have acquired a copy of the Catholic Times of August 2, to which I would respectfully refer your readers. It quotes the Pope's first reference to the Abyssinian dispute, in which he said: "We hope, still hope and shall always hope in the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ. In any case we have every confidence that nothing will happen except in accordance with truth, justice and charity."

Now, in the "Notes of the Week." it is suggested, and I think reasonably, that the Pope's attitude is that Italy may have U case against Abyssinia, and for herself S better case than most British people are aware; and that Italy's recourse to arms against Abyssinia, though accompanied with much of the jingo of imperialism, is not, clearly at any rate, an unjustifiable aggression, nor an act of sheer imperial

This point I tried to make in my last letter; and I still maintain that by virtue of superior civilisation count; ies such as England and Italy have a right to effect conquests in extreme cases; not conquests merely for economic gain. And, further, I believe that slavery and plunder by savages of more civilised states do justify aggression. I do not see that there is a question of two wrongs making a right, as Mr. Alan Rye suggests. War is not elways unjustified, though I agree that in the great majority of cases it is . .

H.C.B. is lucky not to have found any animus against Italy merely because she is a fascist state. I agree that the fact that Italy is a fascist state may not be the cause of all the animosity, but it is playing its part where Great Britain, Prance and Russia, two self-styled democracies and a bolshevik totalitarian state, are concerned.

In accusing me of being a barbarian, H.C.B. states that the Italo-Abyssinian dispute could easily be settled by arbitration. What has the League been trying to do? Their efforts have made not a local war, but a world war more imminent than ever. Who listened to Mr. Eden's broadcast statement can surely have had no other impression.

It is evident from Angeo Cresol's letter that he has less regard for his own people than has the Pope.

LFWIS G. B1SwND Standford Lodge, Bordon. August 8.

SIR—Mr. Burnand thinks it evident that his critics are in favour of allowing slavery in Ethiopia to go unchecked. This is not the attitude of those who support the methods of internationalism rather than those of the Sovereign State. I hold no brief for the League of Nations, as it is at present constituted (believing that es authority cannot be implemented until it ceases to be an association of "nations.' in the political and economic sense), but the League has done much towards the suppression of slavery (which, by the way, is by no means conlined to Ethiopia). and there is every prospect of its eventual abolition in Ethiopia, through co-opera. lion with the Emperor. Far from advosating non-interference with the affairs of Any nation, I should say that most of those opposed to Mussolini's policy look. In varying degrees, for a future international order in which nationalism, as at present understood, will be impossible. Mr. Nibb's comparison of slavery in Ethiopia with slavery of another kind in hely is quite just. Is any bondage so loathsome as that of the military State?

As for Mr. Burnand`s assurance that he had no thought of coercion into the Church, I submit that his words imply it. He regards the Italian r6gime as a type of Christian civilisation, and makes the likelihood of Ethiopia's Catholicising through the bloody imposition of that civilisation as part of his argument for the justice ot Mussolini's designs. Eor my part, I cat.riot see that imperialism, whether British ar otherwise, has advanced the cause of Christ. There are cases where colonists have paved the way for missionaries, but, In the long run, the inevitable identification of Christianity with exploitation, and other evils, is bound to be damaging to the Church. Had Catholics relied less or association with States and more on the self-evident beauty of the Christian life I doubt whether there would be so many millions of since, e souls outside the Church to-day. • HUGO YARDLEY

12, St. John's Park Road, S.E.3.

August 7.

[This correspondence is now closed. ,---Eptroad

Ruskin's Teaching

"The Friends of Brentwood," a society formed to unite all interested in the leaching and work of John Ruskin, held their first annual meeting at Brentwood on Saturday last.

Mr. J. Howard Whitehouse, the chairroan and trustee of the advisory committee of Brentwood, and president of the yuskin Society, remarked on the countless Inneiriee ho h:tri reenived from a 11 over

WORDS SIR,—" Exile" has written a most important letter. I would like to see it printed for the next ten years at the head of every Catholic periodical. If only more of us had his honesty, and his clearness of vision! For if we but stopped to think, we should indeed all agree that in Catholic circles "most papers and speeches are for highbrows, and that most people are the lowest of the lowbrows, and have no wish for long words or halfcomprehended ideas," I have thought for long that this elementary point is one of the main causes of our comparative ineffectiveness. We have in our keeping all the wisdom and the principles that are necessary, we are proud to assert that Christianity is for the masses and not for a select coterie, and yet our writers and preachers (due no doubt to their technical training, their highbrow associations and to some mental blind-spot) continue to use words and a literary style which are only fit for use among themselves. The masses cannot understand, and therefore will not read or listen. The wasted effort and lost opportunities due to this one cause alone are calamitous.

Good English, at any rate for Catholics, is English that can be at once understood by 'humble, unlearned people"—that forms immediate contact with their present active mental interests, and builds upon what is already there. Time and again I have tried to interest people in some paragraph, chapter or article, only to find that the words are not understood, the meaning is obscure, and the manlier of approach too abstract to attract attention. Let our writers and teachers stop grumbling about others, and look to themselves.

B. TIIISTLETH WA I 1 10, Victoria Road, Harborne.


SIR, —On the same page es your invitation to me in the Catholic Herald of August 3 to express my opinion on the above, there is an article on "Catholicism and Politics in U.S.A.," with the heading " Principles but Not Labels," which I think suggests a very good reason why "Catholic " should be dropped from your title. This does not in the least imply a running away from Catholic principles, though it may mean that, when we open the Herald in a bus, train, etc., we no longer proclaim to onlookers that we arc Catholics.

Since the Catholic Herald does not claim to be a " Catholic " paper in the sense popularly understood (though it does claim to apply Catholic principles in the presentation of all sorts of news), 1 would suggest that a better title would be News Herald.

We of these isles are a somewhat " peculiar people, and many among us feel much less inclined to open the Herald, with its present title, in a public place, than would be the case if the title were colourless as regards religion. It is felt to be something of a challenge to display its title urbi et orbi. Of course, it ought not to be so, but that is another matter. And, speaking generally, I am sure most nonCatholics would much prefer not to let it catch the eye of certain people coming into their shop, or office, or home, lest their worldly interests might be thereby more or less prejudiced.

You have remarked that "Catholic" should not be limited in its use to its pure' religious or ecclesiastical sense, but 99 times in 100 that is the only sense in which it is understood. and to that extent, despite its literal meaning, it fails to correspond with the magnificent scope of your paper.

H. J. M.

MACHINES AND LEISURE SIR,—There are two fallacies implied in Mr. Purgold's letter in your issue of July 1. That the reduction in the physical arduousness of labour is in itself a benefit to the worker.

2. That a world in which things arc not made by machinery is necessarily a more expensive world to live in.

With regard to 1. Heavy physical work is neither dishonourable nor unpleasant. It is made dishonourable when it is slave work, and it is made unpleasant when the worker is overdriven. The introduction of machinery, which "incidentally" benefited the workers, only did so because at the time of its introduction they were being ove rd riven.

With regard to 2. There is no reason at all to believe that it cost the farm labourer more to live in the 16th century than it does to to-day, although there was no mass production. Obviously he had fewer things, no wireless, no fountain-pens. no lock-suspenders, no railway-trains, etc. It is not the cost of Ii', ing which would go up if machinery were used less, but the "standard of life," which would come down. It is this precious standard which is the trouble: and our present standard is not set for us by our human needs or our divine destiny, but by commercial interests.

ERIC GILL (This correspondence is now closed. —EntiR.)

Boys' First Holiday

For the first time in history 80 boys, aged 14 to 18 years, from Glencree (Co. Wicklow) Reformatory, have left to spend a holiday under canvas in Co. Meath. Snnervisinn in ihe summer camn is at a WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

SIR, —How far Catholic Action will be advanced as a result of the Cambridge Summer School only time will tell. I hazard the prophecy that things will remain as they are with English Catholicism, chiefly because nobody is very much concerned about the inaction which is our peculiar contribution to the social life of the Church.

Even Fr. Martindale proved to be unexpectedly tame when he set out the Catholic programene. Clinics, of course, are needed. They are very fashionable at the moment, so, of course, we must have them; billiard tables were fashionable a generation ago, so we got them; they did not succeed in producing a Catholic order —but perhaps clinics will do better. I gathered that scout and guide troops might also be useful; and, of course, we must have information bureaux. I am not attempting to belittle Fr. Martindale's work in the cause of Catholic Action; but I am suggesting that he is barking up the wrong tree.

What is wrong with the majority of Catholics in England is that they are compelled to endure as a matter of course a poverty which is essentially degrading. There is nothing original about this statement; I mention it because the majority of Catholics who have the time and money to attend summer schools seem never to have heard of it.

Now what are we going to do about it? Tell the poor that they are God's chosen people; that their involuntary privations will win them a heavenly crown . . . and so on, till decent folk turn away lest they vomit? Or are we going to arouse the social conscience of rich Catholics? I think that we are going to do the first; it would be a sin against " good form" to attempt the second.

I believe that there is a tremendous opportunity before the Church in England if it will be taken; but if our programme is to consist of clinics and settlements, and similar fruits of the patronage of the rich . . . then Miss Otis regrets . . .


53, Old Lane, Eccleston, near Prescot. August 6.

THE THREE FRONTS Si,—.Your correspondent "C," touching on the question of industrial capitalism, distributisrn, and the encyclicals (which I advise hint to read again), puts all his cards on the table when he writes "economic and financial proposals must be considered and judged on economic and financial grounds." An innocent enough statement at first glance . . • but a little careful thought will prove it to be charged with the most unpleasant implications.

Socialism, Marxism, or, on the other hand, Individualism gone mad—laissezfairemight all be considered to be economic and financial proposals. So, for instance, would be the proposal that suchand-such a transport board should swallow up the entire transport business of the country, or that &deux methods should be standardised in all factories. Now, we are told. we are to judge these proposals on purely materialist grounds, dealing with human beings as if they were rather inefficient machines, like a psychoanalyst would.

Well, quite a case can be made for Socialism on such grounds: economically speaking, it might work more smoothly than the present chaotic system. Again, centralisation and rationalisation are no doubt, in a sense, efficient; Bedaux methods increase the output of the worker (until he cracks under the strain . . . perhaps even sterilisation of the unfit it an economic proposal; and so, we are informed, must be judged as such. I think it is for your readers to decide whethes those who hold such theories may claim to represent the average Catholic point of view about distributism, etc.; or, indeed, whether they are competent to judge anything much besides the most lucrative investment on the Stock Exchange.

A. E. V.


SIR,—Mr. Christopher Hollis evidently did not pay strict attention to the recent correspondence, or he would hardly have made the mis-statements that he has. No charge was made that the C.T.S. "puffed

Cobhett in pamphlets. What was said was to the effect that this Society kept the " Reformation " going for propaganda purposes. A rather different thing. The increasing influence of thisSociety is not too apparent to many. I have found that unfortunately there arc, without exaggeration, tens of thousands of our fellow Catholics who never purchase even a paltry penny pamphlet from them front year's end to year's end. One is afraid the Catholics do not care for, nor read

this class of literature. It is to be regretted that a vast number are none too well instructed in the tenets of the Faith.

It sets one wondering if Cobbett ever could have had any idea that one hundred years after his death he would have been accused of being mixed up in arguments such as "on or off the goldstandard," or other current ideas of finance and politics? It seems to one that there are some persons who hold him with the reverence that Mr. Dick did the head of Charles I. If Cobbett could know this, I think he too would ask, " Why?" E. B.

£110 RAISED AT STONYHURS r By throwing open Stonyhurst college to the DubliC, the omens(

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