Page 5, 19th December 1969

19th December 1969
Page 5
Page 5, 19th December 1969 — REPLY TO CRITICS OF THE 'SIGN-IN'

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IT is not necessary to be a member of the Christian Association of Business Executives to understand that where a country is dependent for much of its income on exports of primary products and if the world price of these products falls below a certain level. its people can suffer economic . distress. Since the international financial and trading system permits this to happen, what is wrong with saying that it is wrong and must he altered'?

Was the Pearson Report ex pressing the views of "demagogues with particular axes to grind" when, after criticising certain trade policies and foreign exchange controls of advanced countries. it commented: "It has become clear that the development of the poorer countries will also require important adjustments in the industrialised countries. to which the latter are reluctant to submit. Indeed, aid has sometimes been termed a 'soft option' compared to the measures which are indicated in the field of trade'?

Was Pope Paul indulging in "unworthy propaganda in the name of Christianity" when he wrote: The rule of free trade, taken by itself. is no longer able to govern international relations" and "In trade between developed and underdeveloped economies. conditions are too disparate, and the degree of gonuine freedom available too unequal. In order that international trade be human and moral. social justice requires that it restore to the participants a certain

equality of opportunity." (Peipu14,171171 Progressior 58, 61). 1 suggest that instead of denigrating a much-needed effort to arouse the social conscience of this country, Maj.Gen. Clarke should study the possible answers to his own questions: "Changed to what?" and "Controlled by whom?"

Eric Brentini London. N.W.b.

would like to counter the criticisms of those who are finding fault with the wording of the Sign-in pledge asking our Government to give 1 per cent of the nation's income to the world's underdeveloped countries. with the following quotation from Thomas Merton's "Elected Silence": "Blake, in his sweeping consistency, had developed a moral insight. He saw that, in the legislation of man. some evils had been set up as standards of right by which other evils were to be condemned.

"Love was outlawed, and become lust. pity was swallowed up by cruelty, and so Blake knew how: 'The harlot's cry from street to street Shall weave old England's winding sheet.'

"I had heard that cry and that echo. I had seen that winding sheet. But I had understood nothing. I had tried to resolve it into a matter of economic forces. "If I had been able to listen to Blake in those old days, he would have told me that sociology and economics, divorced from faith and charity. become nothing but the chains of his aged, icy demon Urizen."

Except for Mr. Evans. who is not a Catholic, we are all practising Catholics in the parish of Westminster Cathedral. Alan Evans, Marjorie Wilson, Anthony Bartlett,

Leonarddurst,William Nightingale London, S.W.!.

WHAT is the reason behind Major General D. A. B. Clarke's letter on the "Sign in"? (Dec. 5.) Not the good of the hungry and those in need obviously.

He is also trying to play on the ignorance of the people, to try and confuse the issue. For whose benefit Ours, big business, or the Communists?

Does he really think that the Roman Catholic Commission for International Justice and Peace is organising something suspect? If so. suspect of what?

Almighty God is not interested in what we are going to gain or lose by our signing this petition. only in how much we care for our suffering brethren and the sacrifices we are prepared to make on their behalf. Indeed we shall he judged on whether we sign or not. individually and collectively; as a church and as a nation. Eunice Preston (Mrs.) Sevenoaks.

Permissive probe

THE Church probe into the

permissive society will be welcomed by all who love this country and are dismayed by its moral degradation. Many of us are equally dismayed by the silence maintained by our spiritual leaders.

We have. for too long. watched the wrangles over forms. words, rites, about which we have never been constilled, while our young people have had corruption thrust upon them from all sides. May the probe be of short

duration, energetic and forceful in its conclusions.

C. Crow Birmingham, 14.

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