Page 10, 18th October 1935

18th October 1935
Page 10
Page 10, 18th October 1935 — NOTES & COMMENTS

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The Canadian Election

The chaos of the Canadian election fight was so dense that prophets wisely abstained from indulging their usual hobby. The entrance of two new parties, that of the Social-Crediters and Mr. Stevens's Reconstruction party, foemed after his dissent from Mr. Bennet some months ago, threw two unknown quantities into the balance of the equation. Confusion was worse confounded by the apparently indiscriminate support of diffecent parties for each others' opponents according to the decision of provincial party committees.

Soc.ial-Crediters and supporters of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Socialists) have here and there backed one

another up. And in some places Mr. Stevens's henchmen have helped the C.C.F. candidates. It seemed likely all along that Mr. Bennett would lose some seats, a likelihood to which the coolness of his reception in the west bore witness. Otherwise, the main fight was obviously one between Liberals and Consereatives.


Now that the Liberals clearly have the majority, speculation is rife as to whether Mr. Mackenzie King can put his first principles into practice without annoying the farmers.

Canada has stocks of wheat amounting to at least 400,000,000 bushels hoarded by the late administration to keep up the price of wheat. Hopes have been expressed that the release of part of these stocks is to be expected, hopes prompted by the knowledge that during the present crisis and flow of gold to America we can only afford to peg the franc comfortably if food prices ease somewhat. However, wheat prices on Tuesday night, the day the election results were announced, were up a little, suggesting that informed opinion had no belief in a big fall. It is recognised that the Prime Minister will have to watch carefully the reacting of thc farmers to any release from the wheat

stocks. They would naturally resist a fall in wheat prices.

Man's First Duty To give worship to God for his infinite and uncreated excellence, as our first beginning and last end, is the first and greatest duty of man. But man as a human being is not primarily an isolated individual, and as a Christian still less, so that corporate and social worship, in body, in spirit and in truth, is the highest form of divine worship.

No journal, then, that is concerned with man in his wholeness can neglect the consideration of corporate (" liturgical ") worship, and we print this week the first of a number of articles that will deal, as occasion arises, with this, our most sublime human activity.

Since this newspaper is meant in the first place (but by no means exclusively) to appeal to Christians in communion with the Holy See, these articles will have specific reference to Catholic worship as used in this country, the liturgy of the Roman Church. But we hope they will not be without use and significance to those, of whatsoever ecclesiastical obedience or none at all, who worship with other rites.

Live And Let Live

To the mayoress of a Hertfordshire borough it seems a terrible thing" that married people in receipt of poor relief should go on having children. " We are really paying for this kind of practice," she says. She thinks such people should be forced to earn their relief by working for it.

That is one kind of social theory and practice. There is another kind. It is the Christian kind. It works and prays and suffers that all may have life and have it more abundantly. It is most perfectly practised by those who take vows Of poverty and chastity in order (partly) that others may marry and have large families. These good Christians devote themselves to the care of other people's children, sacrificing everything for them— even the thought of children of their own.

Parents who are encouraged to have large families do not need to be forced to work. They willingly work so hard, when allowed. that work itself sometimes distracts them from the thought and desire

of .more children. And a generation of children born in poverty and helped on in life by charity may confidently be expected to get nearer to the root of our social problems than the mayoress and her generation have done.

"Treatment" For Othello

Dr. Stekel of Vienna intends to open a clinic for people suffering from jealousy. He thinks that " patients will find great relief if they can discuss their case with a doctor. If the jealousy is unfounded, the patient must be convinced by careful persuasion that his fears are absolutely without any foundation."

But what if the jealousy happens to be not unfounded? The report says nothing of what the doctor will do then, yet it is there that the real problem begins. Othello is an easy case. What about those cases where the discovery of disloyalty sets up. a condition of inflamed egotism? Supposing that Othello's suspicions had

proved well-grounded? By what means would Dr. Stekel nersna thr na t .1

Literary Manners

Addressing the English Association in Westminster School Hall, Mr. Belloc protested against the misuse of our language as illustrated by the popular press. The remedy, he declared, did not lie with any academy or institution of that kind. Propriety in speaking and writing could not be acquired by any mechanical means. It could only he done by a sort of " snobbery," by appealing to people to be in " good form," not to use certain phrases or expressions because "it was not done." It was therefore their duty to try to refine the English language by social usage.

We might be inclined to object that this would lead to a stilted sort of speech if we had not before us the example of Mr. Belloc himself, who writes as good English as any man living—some would say better English than any man living. But no one would accuse him of dullness or pedantry. Cobbett, again, having begun his literary life by writing a Grammar, was always careful in his usc of language, yet the vitality and vigour of his writing are unquestioned. And both Cobbett and Belloc can be read and enjoyed by those for whom newspapers are written.

It is obvious, therefore, that " correctnessis not inconsistent with readableness. The idea that looseness of diction in some way contributes to effectiveness of expression is false. We do not want a tribe of literary schoolmasters, but we do need literary manners.

The Farmer Comes To Town

The decision to give the Lord Mayor's Show on November 9 an agricultural flavour is a novel and welcome departure from convention. But when the Farmer Comes to Town will it be in a sort of Roman " triumph " wherein he will appear as the captive of the City, or as a conqueror whose powers and prerogatives the bankruptcy of an urban civilisation has obliged us to recognise?

If the commercial and mechanical aspects of farming are to he most prominent (as certain forecasts of the procession lead us to fear), then we may conclude that it is in the former part that he will be seen. But such an opportunity for the City to make reparation for the oppression and exploitation to which it has subjected the countryside should not be lost. For instance, it would be good to sec William Cobbett who took many rural rides, on this occasion take a ride through the streets of that Wen which he so hated, not as the leader of a lost cause, but as a victor whose wisdom is now vindicated. And might not a place be found for Piers Plowman? Figures such as these would indicate the overwhelming importance in the community of the man who tills the soil and would do something to impress the onlookers with the dignity and independence of his calling.

Only An "Experiment" ?

Last Sunday's Observer contained an interesting account of the work being done by the Land Settlement Association at Potton in Bedfordshire in establishing on the land a number of unemployed from distressed areas. Some dozen families, and a score of men whose wives have not yet joined them are working here with apparent success. Experience is teaching both the association and those it is trying to help valuable lessons, and the outlook for the future is hopeful. "It is well to remember," says the account, echoing a remark made about the same subject in these columns, " that the worker in the mines and shipyards derives from country stock; in all probability his forebears served the land before the era of industrial expansion came. Return is easy."

The only questionable thing in this article is the description of the undertaking as an " experiment." A certain amount of opportunism in re-ordering our decayed urban civilisation is inevitable, but there is a point at which the attempt to do so becomes an act of faith rather than a venture the value of which depends on " results." And the building up of a rural community out of the debris of industrialism would seem to reach this point. It is the weakness of our agnostic sociologists that they have only hypotheses to offer us and not principles. There will be no escape from the present morass until leaders emerge whose faith enables them to persist in spite of apparent failure.

Imperial Destiny

The memory of the defeat which Italy suffered at Adowa in 1896 has been sufficiently strong to determine the first moves of the present campaign, and perhaps still longer memories may account, in some measure, for the war as a whole.

Italy is not to be judged quite in the same way as a nation which had no imperial traditions. Long before the fascist regime public teachers had been rousing pride in those traditions, and it is on that pride which Mussolini has consistently played. Countless appeals to the past have been made and they have been strengthened by costly excavations of ruins associated with Rome's imperial grandeur, till the conviction that Italy was destined to hold wide sway has grown into a fixed idea which, like the desire to avenge.

e. eioe. r• • I •

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