Page 4, 17th March 1944

17th March 1944
Page 4
Page 4, 17th March 1944 — PUT NOT YOUR TRUST . .

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Locations: Dublin, Rome, Vatican City, Naples


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'FIVE thousand Julians in Naples = shout " Down with the King and up with Marshal Stalin " to the cheers of many sections of the Allied press which points the linger of scorn at the reactionary Churchill who half-supports the tottel ing Fascist monarch. And in the midst of the party news comes that Stalin, Victor-Emmanuel and fladoglio have fallen Imo one another's arms We must very sincerely sympathise with ehe Allied Left, Centre and Moderate Right which gets let down so badly. After all the Russians who find it possible all on their own to make a deal with the King of Italy firmer than any we made with Darien and who do not obct to negotiating terms in Finland with the Fascist pro(ierman Maenerheim are still refusing to recognise Poland's Peasant Party Prime Minister!

Put not your trust in Princes, Prime Ministers. Dictators and Generals seems to be a good working maxim in the fifth year of the war. and over its truth Left and Right, Atheist and Catholic can drink in common fellowship. For thiesis by no means an isolated case of liehaviour that leaves the poor despised man-in-the-street gasping. Britain, for example. having safely negotiated the perils of Anglo-Irish relations during the dark days when no ship could sail round Ireland on the way to and from her ports without running the gauntlet of U-boat and boniber, wakes up to hear that America considers two houses in Dublin isolated from all channels of communication except such as come under Allied censorship to be serious and important eehstacles to the development of The Second Front. With great dignity Eire replies to the American invitation and lip whole Axis world laughs up its effeve, asking the world to note the effects of Allied diplomacy on Turkey, Spain, Argentina, and now Eire. And as if that was not enough the vitally, important Arab world is thrown into a ferment at the raising across the Atlantic of the Jewish question in Palestine at this moment of all moments. Further, an astonishingly stupid and clumsy move was made in. regard to the Italian fleet and the possibility of its being offered to Russia. Lest anything be missing from the picture American bombers after near-missing the Vatican City select thirty-five locomotives almost under the shadow of the culturally noblest buildings of Europe as their target. Where is the sense of proportion . .1 And one thing alone seems to be common to all this: a lack of desire on anyone's part to consult Britain. Our job seems to be reduced to giving our fullest agreement to anything and everything.

Th People's War

SU LY RE it is time the ordinary

person of average commonsense was allowed his say in this war! The Princes. Prime Ministers, Dictators and Generals dispose of unprecedented armies, air-fleets and armadas, sufficient without any question to bring their tiring enemies to their keees. To the man in the street this immense power has but on meaning, one purpose; to bring the war to a conclusion which will enable him to live at peace with his neighbours and with his conscience. Instead of concentrating on this end, the men in power find it necessary to play ducks and drakes wiih the past, present and future of civilisation. The more power they dispose of the more extraordinary their behaviour.

Yet the .matter is not so very difficult once the power is there to

back the policy. The people of Europe, strained and often halfstarving, look for two things, to be fed, clothed and economically organised—that at the moment first and foremost—and then to be allowed to resume their old personal, independent lives. Every man, woman and child outside the original German frontiers land very very many within) is the potential ally of any overwhelming force which, in the Pope's Words, " will turn its thoughts, its endeavours, its desires and its efforts towardS a firm, lasting and liberating peace." The Axis leaders laugh openly at our diplomacy; they depend for their precarious survival on our jealousies, greeds, politieal games. manoeuvring for post-war power; they fear (but understand—only too well!) our fleets and our armies: but they know perfectly well that they would be helpless and irretrievably doomed if the United Nations became one day united in pursuit of the Christian. moral and human purpose for which the Pope of Rome pleads. Their propaganda would collapse; their people void not fight on. The ordinary people in their hearts are, we believe, already united, in so far as they are erfabled to think for themselves -re such a purpose. And as for the press and the publicists they have shown such assiduity during the war in echoing the different voices of the leaders that with a little pressure and a little education they might in the end be persuaded to see the point.

THE OTHER. SIDE AS we have more than once said, we do not necessarily support the politics of the pro-Serb Mihailovitch. But we recognise his services to the Allied cause and his own patriotism. He has given a long interview to a Swedish journalist. This is what he says about Tito. It may all be ties, but if so it is as well to have the lies of both sides.

" The only result of the Partisans' premature action is the extermination of the people and the destruction of villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Sandjak, in Dalmatia, flange and Like. Whole districts have been devastated. The appalling sufferings inflicted by such incessant fury will recoil as a curse on the people responsible for them. Nothing has done so much to break up the military forcer in Yugoslavia, the integrity and the united resistance of our people, as the movement led by Broze-Tito which lacks the character of a national movement of liberation and is essentially the expression of the spirit of a political party whose only object is to further its own interests. The principal aim upon which they concentrate is not national liberation

but, actually, the establishment of the Communist regime.

"The Government of King Peter in Cairo, supported by the repre-sentatives of democratic groups and parties in the country itself, a Government which is the expression of March 27, 1941, is the only legitimate Government and the only Governnient which our people consider as being their own.

" Our people fail to understand why the Allies, by means of the press and radio, look upon certain groups as being the representatives of the Yugoslae people. Their sole merit consists in having appropriated the territory and armaments ceded to them by the Italians besides a part of the territory of the 'Croat State which is completely breaking down. How can they allow them to insult the King and the Yugoslav Government which involves all our people who have endured incredible sacrifices for the common cause in the struggle for democracy against Hitler ? Is it fair to act in this manner towards a people whose friendly feelings for Russia are traditional and whose faithfulness to the Allies is unshakeable 7 Why must Tito be given precedence over Yugoslavia who, of her own free will on March 27, 1941, expressed by her King and the entire people chose to tread the path of martyrdom and preferred to be overwhelmed under her own ruins rather than act as a slave in the service of the Axis as Bulgaria has done ?"


THOUGH there is in this country

a pretty general demand for the trial of men charged with the ordering or perpetrating of acts of cruelty in the course of the war, one guesses that there will be little taste for the application of such methods to acts which were essentially political. And this is consistent with the whole democratic outlook. Democracy rejects absolute standards, whether supernatural or natui al. and rests mainly on estimates of what the fickle public will stand for. The political trial of public men only makes sense when it can be related to Divinely-ordained principles of right and wrong or to the commands of a ruler or party accepted as quasi-absolute. Any attempt to apply such trials within a democratic atmosphere simply becomes an elaborately staged judicial murder for the gratification of the mob.

Though the trial of Pucheu, as we said last week, had the advantage of bringing forward honest and intelligent witnesses to the eeeds of France, the verdict represents a combination of mob-flattery and deference to the spirit of morality and criminal law in dictator cougtries where the commands of the party take the place of the law of God. Under any circumstances this is revolting and reminiscent of that horrible phase of 'French history, the revolutionary Terror. In the conditions of a .Eranee to-day and perpetrated in the name of the relatively small group which represents a great country in a colonial capital. it amounts to a declaration of civil war.

THE MINERS A BOUT the only thing that can " be said in favour of the coal strike` is that the Communists cannot be held responsible for it. And that is important, for too many of us arc inclined to detect the Bolshevik bogy not only where it undoubtedly is (at present in high politics), bte where it is not (in the hearts of ordinary folk). Unless then we are prepared to believe that large sections of the mining community are beyond redemption, the very absurdity and iniquity of the strike presents a problem that it is

up to the community .generelly to study and solve. Obviously the real causes are historical, The, miners, any more than any other section of the people, are not exempt from the quota of bad and selfish characters, hut the refusal to work uf so large a number of people for paltry reasons against both the State and their responsible leaders and in face of the consequences of their action as regards their fighting fellow-countrymen cannot be explained solely as due to the influence of the bad elements among them. It is the action of people who feel themselves to be socially cut off, of people pathologicaily concentrated on themselves, of people with an especially strong inferiority complex and sense of suspicion. That this should he the case is not so surprising in view of the history of the industry. We are paying heavily for our past mistakes, and we must learn that the restoration of the miners to a normal and healthy position in the community will certainly not be a matter of adjusting wage grievances and conditions of work, Before the war is over the State rosy find it necessary to use force in order to obtain the coal so vitally needed—some papers are already hinting at this. But this could only be a last expedient to meet a symptom of a far-reaching disease.

in his country, especially, so dependent on its coal, few reforms can be so urgent as the human (as opposed to merely technical or economic) study of the coal mining industry and the application at any cost of the remedies needed to make the miners feel ready and willing to co-operate with their countrymen in a future that is far more likely to call for sacrifices all round than to shower new blessings.

STATE AND THE FAMILY THERE is one aspect of the Corn' mission to deal with the population problem which has escaped attention and consideration of this aspect may place the matter in a less favourable light. The interest of the State in the birth-rate is due LO quite other motives than those which, in a Christian country, would encourage parentage. And the effect of that interest may be very different to what. is expected and hoped for Few things could do more to discourage large families than the impression that an increase in the size of the domestic group was primarily the concern of the State and that parentage was only to be undertaken as a civic duty.

It does not seem to have occurred to any of those who have explored the reasons for lite drop that has taken place in population returns thar this may be due in part to the increasing hoed which the State is obtaining over the child. Those who speak of nursery schools as relieving the mother of a troublesome burden and allowing her to " live her own life " are entirely misunderstanding the psychology of normal mother

hood. Some little while ago, the

King told the story of a youngster carrying a baby brother who, when asked it he should be relieved of the burden, replied: He isn't a bur

den; he's my brother." And that sentiment was cheered by a large public. 13et how much more does it apply to mntherhbod! In caring for a, in seeing it grow up under her nurturing attention and in studying its needs. a woman fulfils her proper function. To rob her of the opportunity for so doing

or to discouragthe bearing of this " burden " is to take away one of the main incentives to parentage, The members of the Commission might spare a little time from their scientific and statistical enquiries to

ask how far the trend of recent legislation is bringing about the situation for ehich it will be their ousiness to suggest remedies

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