—DECLARES DR. WILLIAMS Front Our Own Correspondent
The greatest demonstration by Catholics of Newcastle for many
years was held last Sunday when more than 3,000 Tyneside people attended a mass meeting of Newcastle Catholic Schools Committee in the City Hall and another 800 filled the overflow meeting in the Baths Hall. Almost 1,009 more people were unable to gain admittance to either meeting.
Mgr. Joseph McCormack, Bishop of liexham and Newcastle, was the principal speaker and he was supported by Mr. R. °Sullivan, K.C.
The Bishop summed up the position of Catholic schools under the terms of the White Paper, and reading excerpts from the letter of Mr. Butler, published last week, said there was hope that better terms may yet be offered.
" I know you, and I have seen you in your own homes, and I know what sacrifices you have made to pro-i& schools to which you can send your children with easy minds," said Mgr. McCormack.
But in order to practise full liberty of conscience, so far as schools were concerned, the While Paper meant that we would have to pay more for the schooling of Catholic children than was paid by others, explained the Bishop. In the new spirit of give-and-lake, he said, we wcrc prepared to hand over almost all rights of management of the schools in order to meet the people who objected to full grants to our schools. One thing we held out for
atmos Catholic teachers trained to teach Catholic children in a Catholic a trims
Mr. Butler seemed to think that we were unduly alarmed at the prospects of raising the necessary money to meet
the terms of the White Paper. The fraction to be borne by parents in the diocese, however, would amount to £1,500,000, and it was ridiculous to think that the people could raise this over and above the ordinary cost of maintaining other schools by our rates and taxes.
To the suggestion by Mr. Butler that the money could be borrowed, His Lordship said there was nothing the Minister could tell Catholics about borrowing.
In the fight for freedom among the nations, Catholics of this country were doing more than their share. With a Catholic population of seven per cent. the fighting Forces were made up of Catholics to the extent of 10 per cent. There was no question about the loyalty of our Catholic people, they had proved it over and over again. The men of the Northumberland Fusiliers and the Durham Light Infantry had made.an international name for themselves as fighters. Wherever there was hard fighting to be done they were there, and the people of Northumberland and Durham would not easily submit to the loss of freedom any more than their fighting men.
The following resolution, to be sent to the Prime Minister, Minister to the Board of Education, and the four Newcastle members, was passed with unanirninity and enthusiastic applause:
That this Newcastle meeting of 3,000 Catholic men and women, while whokheatedly supporting the demand for Educational Reform with Equality of Opportunity, demands that In the forthcoming Education Bill there be no financial discrimination against those who desire cornplek liberty of conscience, and affirms the following bask principles: (1) The Education of the child is primarily the responsibility of the parents. (2) Parents have the right to send their children to schools staffed by teachers of their own Faith.
(3) It is the duty of the State, acting on behalf of parents, to provide such schools from public funds.