Page 2, 20th April 1945

20th April 1945
Page 2
Page 2, 20th April 1945 — COMMON WEALTH AND 'RUSSIA

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From Sir Richard Aclund. M.P.

Sta.,—Reading your report of our conference. I think it is my duty to make sure that your reporter has given you the whole effect of the discussion relating to Russia. It is quite true that C. A. Smith made the remarks quoted. But this was followed by a speech from myself urging that while 110I pursuing the " perfectionist " fallacy about Russia we should not indulge in a policy of perpetually raking up everything which can be thrown against the U.S.S.R. in criticism or condemnation. This led to a sub-committee being appointed to draft a resolution which was unanimously passed. This read: " Common Wealth does not believe that it is in the best interests of the Pnoialo of Britain or of the U.S.S.R. for the poRcles of British Socialist Parties to be shaped as a mere reflection of whatevet Soviet foreign policy may be from time to time.

" Common Wealth does not automatically endorse or refrain from criticising all acts of Soviet policy

" Nevertheless, it is our view that in the contemporary world the root cause of human evil is the maintenance of the capitalist system, now mainly sustained by Britain and the U.S.A. It is this system which now prevents he greater co-operation of peoples apd forces and Governments to think and pinn in terms of power. Comments Olson Soviet policy can be properly made and will be properly understood only when they are made in a viral end with an emphasis which shows an appreciation of this fact."

RICHARD ACIAND. House of Commons.

SIR,-It was good to see R. P. Walsh's short report of the Common Wealth Conference, which shows so well the sincere moral trend of the party, and should therefore be sufficient answer to the two letters teplying to mine. T shmild, however, like to clear up any misunderstanding which might arise from their particular remarks.

Commen Wealth is not condemned by the Church, and Catholics have as much right to support it as to support the Conservative and Labour Parties. In fact, it is just became I am vitally keen to make a truly Catholic life more possible that I feel I must support Common Wealth, as it has by far the most Christie!' policy. Common ownership of the great resources and compensated confiscation RTC MOTE Catholic than combines and exploitation of the great resouices to amass uselees wealth for private individuals while the greater part of the human race lives in excessive poverty. There is nothing wrong in being revolutionnry ; when Jesus founded the Church Fie vaned a movement which was more revolutiogary than anything the world had kncfwn. Common Wealth stands for thp alteration of the basic elem.-toes EIS spelnry from "What OM I get out of this ?" to "Love your neighbour as yourself."

It is a false argument to suggest that neople should not join an organisation because its membership is small; the Church started with twelve members And if the argument of decreasing numbers is a good one it would have been a good reason for English Catholics leaving the Church at the time of the Reformation. But it is unfair to compare the number of active members of Common Wealth with the whale electorate. By-elections have proved that many thousands of the electorate vote Common Wealth and these arc not counted in the Common Wealth membership.

I was not appealing for Catholics to join Common Wealth. My letter was boot of frustration owing to the political laziness of the Catholic laity and the play safe attitude which is no play. I feet sure more Catholics should take active part in organisations outside the Church and not be afraid of " speaking up," in an endeavour to lead society back to Catholic principles.


Snowford Hall. Hunningluon, near Leamington Spa.

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