Vatican diplomacy arises as the result of the journey of the Archbishop of New York to Spain and, it appears, the Vatican.Mgr. Spellman is a friend of President Roosevelt and he is said to have had two long interviews with him before leaving America Moreeiver he knows his way about the Vatican, having spent seven years there when the present Pope Was Papal Secretary of State There is no ground, however, for supposing that he is replacing Myron Taylor as the President's personal envoy. There are many reasons why so important an Archbishop, who happens also to be a Bishop of the U.S.A. Forces, should visit the Vatican. However no other head of a Great Power has recognised the diplomatic importance of the Holy See so openly and obviously as the President ot the United States; and we can be very sure that the President allows great weight to the views of Pius XII. He would certainly wish to be kept closely informed as to these views, and it is possible that an American Archbishop with so much experience would prove the Pope's most reliable and faithful interpreter. This new contact between America and the Vatican can do nothing but good.
For our part we have never denied that we should wholeheartedly welcome any diplomatic action that the Pope might see fit to take. Whatever anyone may say.
we shall stand by the Pope. We take this view, not so much because we are Catholics (Papal diplomacy as such has obviously no binding power on the faithful), but because it seems to us simple commonsense that the more an impartial figure of such religious and moral authority as the Pope has to do with the peace. the better for the future of the world, with which, after all, the happiness of our own country and people are intimately bound up.
MALTA AND BOMBING
THE Secretary of .State for the 1. Colonies was cheered by the House of Commons when he proposed the gift of£10,000,000 for Malta. The two years' siege of Malta, he said, would rank with the great sieges of history, and he described how 12,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the island last year in
1,200 raids. In view of Malta's Catholicity, Catholics in Great Britain can feel a special pride in the heroism and toughness of the Maltese.
But surely the unsuccessful airsiege of Malta also teaches the world a lesson. It is the lesson that airattack, where there is an adequate defence, does not make for decisive success, however concentrated it may tie. Let us suppose that all the Allied hopes of overwhelming airsuperiority are realised, it will even then be impossible to concentrate on the scattered targets of Germany a weight of bombs comparable with the concentration effected against the tiny island of Malta from the near-by enemy air-fields. This is surely one of the major findings of the war. and it may well account—at least in part—for Germany's refusal to waste her substance on mass air attacks on Britain after her first failure. It is, however, far from clear that our Bomber Command has understood the lesson.. Heavy bombing in support of land and sea forces and bombing special targets, such as key factories and junctions or U-boat bases, can yield worth-while results, but mass bombing of great cities, it would seem, comes neatfalling within that category of which moral theologians speak, the category of actions which, however justifiable in themselves, are condemned because there is an insufficient proportion between the end and the means.
THE GOLD STANDARD
AMONG the many proposals for ' post-war financial reform the return to a gold standard appears to have few backers—at any rate in the open. Currency reformers. however, can only strengthen such arguments as they may put forward by taking into full consideration a contrary point of view. We therefore recommend to their attention a sixpenny pamphlet published by the Sound Currency Association, 50, Cannon Street, London, • B.C., because it is written by Dr. I. F. L. Bray, who is a regular and valued contributor to this paper. Dr. Bray as the Economic Adviser to a large Provident Institution can be trusted to know his subject—one indeed to which he has devoted many years of
study. He believes that, except
under intolerable totalitarian conditions, all paper currencies must
gradually depreciate to the injury of all lenders, and, most of all, to the loss of the savings of the working class people. His conclusions in this pamphlet (containing some most useful tables) are:
(1) That the disastrous fall in prices of the years 1920 to 1933 was the inevitable result of attempting to establish a gold standard, with commodity prices too high in relation to the fixed price of gold.
(2) That the present statist price level is near the right level for profitable gold mining; and that the present output of gold is slightly in excess of the output required to keep British and U.S. commodity prices steady at their existing )A clevels.corcirt
a well devised post-war stabilisation on gold at 168s. and $35 an oz. would inaugurate a long period of steady commodity prices.
rr is a little difficult to account for the presence in the desert of the two thousand Jews whom our troops are said to have liberated, But a news item in the Jewish Chronicle of October 2 may throw light on the question. According to this, the official German radio announced the formation of a special concentration camp in French Morocco. It was to be for Jews charged with " bilack market operations, infringement of currency regulations, spreading Anglo-Saxon propaganda, and espionage." From the same paper of a week later, we learn that many Jews were employed as labour-conscripts in the construction of the railway from Dakar crossing the Sahara. In addition to these there were other Jews employed in the coal mines at Kenadza which supplied fuel for the railway. Others, again, were in a penal camp at Ain-el-Outak.
That terrible things have nap pened to iews sent to Africa we know, but it would be interestiA to know more about this particular colony of Nazi victims emancipated by our soldiers.