By Michael de la Bedoyere
into a Free Territory, and without even the constitution, order and relative peace of pre-war Danzig. Rioting and .bloodshed have already marked the birth of the Free 1 erritory.
Dis-United Nations THE " United Nations," emerg
ing as the forum for a free fight between America and Russia, is yet another of the fruits of victory. In fact, the pretence of any United Nations has practically gone. It is the old game of bluff and counter-bluff, played with the new cards invented by the victors. Greece, Persia, Palestine are the immediate stakes. But what happens when the bluff is finally called, as sooner or later it must be?
The only answer to this question, as to the question of what happens when the economic game collapses, is a large and impenetrable blank. We can hardly any longer speak of war, since war presupposes peace. War is a breach of the peace, the challenge by force of a pre-existing order. In this case we seem to be rather on the edge of an abyss, something for which there is no prece
dBut whatever it is and however i:IIUrns out, we can rest assured that the human person will be the victim. Already the world has had a sufficient foretaste of that. What was the relative cleanness of death and sacrifice in war as compared with the post-war fate of millions of our own fellow-men, of our own
brothers and sisters? These have been driven like cattle, held behind wires, starved and deprived of shelter. separated for years from their families (including those we still hold as prisoners), persecuted forte' hir •faiths and convictions, left to rot. Nothing like it hal been seen since the horrors of the"Thirty Years War.
Such are the fruits of victory— such is the reward for that magnificent display of heroism and organising brilliance, the finest hour of the war, the Battle of Britain, so well commemorated this week.
The Betrayal of Christ by Christians WHY dwell on all this, we may be asked ?
For a very good reason. These fruits of victory were not inevit
able. They were not even the necessary fruits of war in itself. Any competent Christian historian --we mean competent as Christian as well as competent as historian— can put his finger on the mistakes made after the first world war and during and after the second. And these mistakes were not just errors of judgment; they were acts of immorality by the spiritual and moral standards of the way of life which Christ taught. in other words, of Christianity. They were all the rte sun of the spirit of hatred and revenge, of insatiable pride and greed. of living by fear and egotism.
Take the last war alone (though by then much of the mischief had been done), and consider the effects of failing to distinguish between the evils of Nazism or Fascism: and the individual German or Italian, of the policy of Unconditional Surrender, of the deliberate destruction, stone by stone, of nations, of the bargains made with a Communism which was at least as evil as Nazism or Fascism. This is what has caused the present situation. Nor was it necessary. Nor sots it remotely consistent with Christianity. If you do not believe us, we can only recommend a reading of all that the Popes have said about war and peace during the last 40 years. It Is there in black and white: the moral teaching, the warnings, the prophecies of inevitable consequences.
The betrayal of Christ by Christians, by you and me! How large a part that has had in creating the conditions under which catastrophe is now threatened,
The Eternal Hope THESE are pessimistic views, but their background is not pessi
mistic. The Christian has seen civilisation rise and fall, and his hope is never diminisheO.
We recommend the following grand paragraph from Edward Watkite's Catholic Art and C'ulture, just re-issued by Hollis and Carter in an illustrated edition:
" To-day the corpse of a deceased culture. the religion-culture of Catholic Christendom, is in process of dissolution and must give place to a civilisation whose lineaments we can scarce foresee. But we can sing Gregory's melodies of the heavenly kingdom and with him derive hum the Divine order to which they lift us courage to face the unknown future and the determination that however lengthy the process. however stern the struggle, however painful the wounds, we shall work undaunted for the new order that shall finally come to birth, an order inspired and moulded by the timeless truth of God as He has revealed it to man which shall thus be wrought into a religion-culture better than the old, inasmuch as it will not be imposed from above on multitudes too barbarous to receive it otherwise but will proceed wholly from within, from the charity and the spiritual understanding of God's people."
THE holidays are over, and we prepare to follow Dr. Cripps' prescription. It is a queer one, when you come to think of it. For one, two. and possibly three, years, we shall all be expected to work oursIves to death in order to provide the rest of the world with the fruits of our labours. As for ourselves, well, we shall have to make do with a little food, what we already possess, and oceans of paper money. Somehow. we have got ourselves into the position when the honest toil of the millions of Toms. Dicks and Harries, not to mention the Marks, Jeans and Phyllises dragged from their homes, are insufficient to provide them with the wherewithal of a full living. These toils are only worth our rations and an occasional visit to the cinema to sec an old film.
Such arc the fruits of victory, two years after war.
And this is a highly optimistic reading of the situation, for it is taking it for granted, as Sir Stafford Cripps takes it for granted, that somebody outside Britain really wants our motors, saucepans and
clothes. No doubt, left to themselves, (bey would he very glad to exchange another bit of paper for
these useful articles. But that's where the old game starts again. These people, too, are finding it necessary to toil for the benefit of someone else, and they. too, cannot afford to enjoy the fruits of their lahouis, let alone ours. And so we find, for example, that only two countries are prepared to buy our. cars in any quantity. As they both happen to be very small countries, we may suppose that they will soon have a surfeit of Morrises and Austin s.
What happens then? On this point, Sir Stafford Cripps is discreetly silent. No wonder, for neither he nor anyone else in the world can answer the question.
NOR shall we get very much consolation front considering a second fruit of victory, one
handed to us in this very week. We mean the ratification and coming into operation of what are called five Peace Treaties.
It is worth considering their pre cise effect. These treaties confirm the sovietisation of Bulgaria, Hun. gary and Rumania, and to make assurance double sure, Soviet troops will remain in peaceful and independent Hungary and Rumania since these lie on the Soviet way to occupied Austria. Not that all this has the remotest relevance, since Yugoslavia and Poland, who, being allies. have escaped any peace treaties, are equally under the Soviet thumb, On the other band, these treaties leave Italy disarmed and unoccupied to face the direct and indirect aggressions of the sovietised Bak trans. Her economy is completely retitled. and Brittiiies refusal to buy is driving her on to her very last dollars. It is almost a matter of days. Moreover, in order to make quite sure that an excuse for action lies always handy, Trieste is made
The "Peace" Treaties