Page 2, 21st May 1943

21st May 1943
Page 2
Page 2, 21st May 1943 — PARENTS AND EDUCATION
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PARENTS AND EDUCATION

SIR.-To say "Church" when " Parent " is meant can cause confusion. In education speeches and writings the use of the word " Church " instead of " Parent " is playing havoc; it may lead to a penal code on Catholic parents for the next 70 years.

The following extracts from recent letters illustrate the point: (1) Mr. Beinard Sullivan, in the fifth paragraph of his letter of May 7. wiites: " To-day the Catholic Church is demanding more State assistance for

the schools . . ." Surely, what Mr. SuIllvan means is that " the Catholic parent is demanding . . .''; and that the Catholic parent is demanding. not " State assistance " but his fair share of the education funds to which the Catholic parent has and is now contributing. The Catholic Church is not the payer.

(2) Mr. .1. V. C. Wray. Secretary of the T.U.C. Education e Committee, writes to the Sheffield Catholic Action Council thus: " We should have supposed that the Church as a whole could providesits own denominational schools . . . the burden might be distributed among the members of a church." Through his suppositions and probably through saying " Church " when he should have said " Parent," Mr. Wray by-passes the parent • and the parent's primary rights in education; he should know that. not the Catholic Church as a whole, but the Catholic parents in this country pay education rates sod taxes to the local authority and to Mr. Kingsley Wood ; he does not suppose the Catholic parent is entitled to juse ticc-a parent who is not getting and tuts not had value for his money?

(3) Mr. R. A. Butler, President of the Board of Education, recently wrote in letters to Catholic parents and to an M.P., thus: " It would be wholly out of keeping with the traditions in this country . . . for the State to build Roman Catholic . . or other denominational schools, and for the public appointments of all teachers in them to be subject to the approval of representatives of the Churehes."

This clearly demonstrates that Mr. Butler has got his " primaries " mixed ; the State is not asked to build Roman Catholic schools: it is asked to build schools for children of parents who are Catholics-parents who pay their share of school rates and taxes, for that purpose; Catholic parents are not asking for all teachers to be subject to the approval of representatives of the Churches; as parents who are Catholics, they have a right in the selection of teachers for their Catholic children, and only of those teachers; the Cattletic parent also has the right to delegate their authority ; Catholic parentt do not regard State officials as competent in the matter of religion.

If Mr. Butler comprehends these truths-and they should be driven home to hint by Catholic parents as soon as possible--it follows that, as the Minister responsible to parents, he should do his utmost to comply with the wishes of parents, especially where the primary riphts of parents enter into education of children.

In conclusion, ii seems necessary again to point out the urgent need for Parents' Associations in all parishes; Vigilance Committees are not enough. All adult Catholics, married and unmarried, should focus their energies on Parish Parents' Associations; their fommtion and continuity rest on the initiative and zeal of local parents. In this way all cm help those who not only have the primary rights in education but also need most help-the forgotten parents. Apply for details to J. Gunner, Esq., Secretary, Bradford Parents' Central Council, 4, Ivy Place, Idle Road, Bradford, Yorks.

CeteeLes J. Kettv. Chairman, Ilford Catholic Parents' Association.

145. Coventry Road, Ilford. Essex.

The Practical Remedy Ste,-1 attended, during the Easter holiday week, the Conference of the National Association of Schoolmasters. We Catholic delegates, supported by a small Church of England group, fought the case of the denominational schools, and, though receiving the support of some 30 delegates, we were defeated soundly. That was, perhaps, to be expected, but what I wish to stress is the bitterness and hatred of the more prejudiced and noisy members of the opposition, and the fact that it is these men and their like who have seized the reins of authority in executive positions up and down the country. Since returning, I have reed the joint letter of the bishops, containing all the noints for which we should fight. but leaving me rather more despondent than before. Were I one of the op! ponents whose outlook I know go well. I would certainly say to the bishops, " Good. If you are determined to keep your schools Catholic at all costs to yourselves, go ahead and keep them. That will suit us."

Unfortunately, the cost of this nobility of purpose will fall on the parents and laity in general who, nationally and collectively, have had no representation either in the framing of the awaited Bill or in the declaration of the bishons. I have yet to meet the Member of Parliament, or the executive member of any political party. to whom a plain statement involving votes does not have a very chastening effect. and the history of Parliament teems with such examples. even in very recent years. Does this thought suggest a sounder line of action even at this late hour? It will have to be quick.

CHARLES HoWISON.

" St. Kevin's:" Scott Road. Walsall.




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