Page 4, 23rd May 1947

23rd May 1947
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Page 4, 23rd May 1947 — UESTION OF T E WEEK
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Organisations: Catholic party
Locations: Rome, Milan

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UESTION OF T E WEEK

By _Michael de la Bedoyere

A Second American Loan ?

THE possibility of a second American Loan is now being widely discussed and various stories about tentative unofficial enquiries from America are current. One of the reasons for this appears to be the growing sense in America that the United States is in for a majoe slump if ways and means are not found to get rid of its surplus production. If the logic of this worry is frankly thought out and accepted, then some kind of second American Loan would be a [rood thing. For it is obviously absurd that the world should be divided into two groups, the one suffering from overproduction and the other from underproduction. Unfortunate]) , the capitalist idea that someone must always he paid a tribute for everything that is produced cuts across the natural solution to such a situation. Atnericans are reluctant to release their surplus goods without ensuring financial and trade conditions which will perpetuate the flow of tribute to America and, therefore, perpetuate the present maladjustment. So long as American loans and reliefs are given to individual countries in Europe, it is difficult to see how this problem can be mercome, since no single countre. this side of the Atlantic, excepting Russia, can balance America's economy. But if America were to tackle the problem on a European basis, things would be very difierent. The economy of Europe as a whole could balance the economy of the United States. If, then. America could plait her loans and relict tinder conditions that would force Europe as a whole to rationalise its production, those loans and that relief could re-ceeate European prosperity and ensure a natural economic balance between the United States and Europe. the two parties enriching one another through their common prosperity. Such a plan would have all kinds of advantages. It would prevent a slump in America. It would force the economic federation of Europe and consequently promote the ideal

me the main of a United Europe. It would over

co objections in Britain to another loan that would impose further unwelcome restrictions on us, solve nothing and sap the will to save ourselves which, so far, is the healthiest result of the fear of the first loan running out without our having recoveeed.

German Political Balance

WITH the elections in the

French zone of Germany, the process of restoring elected State parliaments is completed. Moreover, an accurate survey of party political feeling in post-war Germany has been given. The French zone elections confirmed the considerable lead of the Christian parties in all three Lender and the continued unpopularity of the Communists. In. the American zone the Christians have held a small lead as against the Social Democrats, while the tatter are ahead its the British zone. In the Russian zone, of course, the enforced fusion of the Communists and Socialists won easily in rigged elections. Iii view of the appalling state of Germany, these results are remarkable, but it would be unwise to count on the continued failure of the Communists in the zones where elections are free. Unless Britain, America and France cart agree both in the political and economic sphere and thus enable the Germans to recover within a political system which they can understand and which will catch their imagination, we must expect a quiet drift towards the kind of Left totalitarianism which at least they understand and which offers long-range prospects of recovery as a partner with a dominant Russia. Particularly reprehensible is the way in which the French, despite the weight of Christian Democratic opinion in their government, live off their zone—and to such an extent that Germans now believe that the French are deliberately trying to kill off the younger generation of Germans. Such behaviour, even if the stories be much exaggerated, is intolerable between Western peoples; it is horrible when a France. largely influenced by a Catholic party. inflicts it on a part of Germany which returns a Catholic majority.

Mr. Follick and Spain

THE Foreign Affairs debate,

which could do nothing better than indicate a policy of marking time for another six months in Europe and the world, was slightly enlivened by the contribution of a Labour M.P., Mr. M. Follick, who

had just returned from Spain. His name is to be added to other Labour M.P.s who have taken the trouble to see Spain for themselves and found it to be entirely different from what they might have expected from the anti-Catholic propaganda. We deliberately call it anti-Catholic propaganda, since we can find no other common denominator to a propagauda sponsored by Communists, Socialists, Jews and many Cooservafive and business elements in Britain. America and France. Mr. Follick took advantage of his journey and his position to try to ease the way towards an understanding between General Franco and Don Juan. This is certainly a move in the right direction, though we shall await Spanish events before accepting the rather optimistic report which tic gave to the House. In our view, the first step needed to guide Spain's evolution towards a regime more in harmony with our taste in the rest of Western Europe is the dropping of all this boycotting of the country. If United Europe is to become a practical aim, then Spain must be in it at once. The moment the Powers drop their policy of insulting the Country, France will find it necessary to bring to an end this emergency regime, and the obvious way will be through an understanding with the monarchy. We hope Mr. Follick will work K.wards this end rather than concen trate on the less hopeful course of trying to reform Spain before others reform their attitude towards Spain,

Kingsley Martin's Anti-Catholic Prejudice

CHILDISH and ignorant pre judice against Catholicism (which still plays its considerable part in the Western political scene) is manifested in Kingsley Martin's new book The Press and Public Wants. For no obvious reason he prefaces his enquiry with an " introductory dialogue " between a Communist (" with the strained eyes that are the mark of those who have long looked through the barbed wire of concentration camps V').a prime (with the masterful and austere face "), an American journalist and a philosopher (no doubt the editor of the Ns' Statesman himself). By conveniently dividing up the insults against the Church among the other three characters, the reader is left with the view the e masterful and austere priest is the worst of the bunch. " I have seen your work in Spain and other countries," says the Communist "I haven't much more use for police states run by the Church than for those run by a gang of Communists," says the American. " The Vatican, deeply cunning in the politics of this world, knows that Catholicism cannot conquer by faith alone," says the philosopher and foresees a new Babylonian captivity of the Papacy in Washington.

Mr. Martin knows perfectly well that Catholic teaching defends absolutely the liberty of the person within the limits of a moral imcial order, and he ca tinguish between the use and abuse within Catholic communities of this teaching. He is entitled to dislike

this Catholic teaching and mite his reasons, Instead, he prefers to create a vulgar prejudice and scarcely to disguise the fact that if it came to a choice he would prefer the totalitarian Communist or the big-business American to the Catholic. So much for the sincerity of his Liberal-Socialiam which at its best has in fact far more in common with Catholicism than it has with the others.

The Church's Condemnation of a Certain Trend in Modern Art SOME weeks ago we reported the Church's condemnation of certain new tendencies in Catholic art, and some readers were worried by an attitude which might, perhaps, involve the condemnation of much that is being done in many countries to make Catholic sin live again after the abysmal depths to which it was allowed to fall in the last two hundred years. We were glad, therefore, to read a long report from Rome in the New York Herald Tribune in which the facts are made sufficiently clear.

the condemnation seems to centre round the Milan sculptor, Giacomo Manzu. and his school. "The Marini crucifixions," stated the reporter,

depicted the nude Christ surrounded by nude male and female spectators. One nude bystander wore a modern cardinal's hat . . . The Manzu series first caused controversy when a Fascist art critic charged that one female nude at the foot of the cross was meant to represent Christ's mother. Mr. Manzu denied it, insisting that the figure was humanity, a prostitute or any one. Later, when an Italian paper, Renato Grains°, depicted a nude Mary Magdalene pinbracing an unclothed crucified Christ, the Vatican's newspaper, Osservatore Romano, de

flounced Mr. Manzu for launching a trend."

We quote these passages because they seem to show sufficiently clearly that this condemnation has nothing whatever to do with what is being attempted elsewhere. Obviously this kind of thing. quite irrespective of the artistic merits of the work, clashes with a tradition of piety, respect end even decency upon which the Church has every right to insist where art for churches is concerned. Mr. Manzu, it appears, visited the Pope to explain his intention and. to judge by the report, was received in the circumstances with the utmost kindness and indulgence.

A Socialist Betrays Himself

TRIBUNE last week gave an

interesting example of the way materialistic Socialism can so debase a person's outlook that he becomes actually unable to judge human nature as it is. In the " Westminster Commentary " the

Tribune writer quotes Mr. Churchill in the House as saying: " We all sympathise with the feelings of the King and Queen when they were in the South African sunshine while the rigours of winter descended on us here. It must have been, we know, a great worry-and preoccupation to them not to be with us." On this he comments: " This is cant. comparable only to the speech of another politician who, addressing a ship's company after a particularly hazardous action, said he knew the one thing they wanted was to get back to sea." It is debatable how far a ship's company would wish to get back to sea in such conditions. Some would and some wouldn't. But it is quite certain that the King and Queen would most certainly, out of a sense of sympathy and duty, have wished to be back home to share the trials of the people. The Tribune writer naively ends up: "It is time some politicians were told how human beings act." The truth is that it is time that some Socialists realised that not everyone shares their low conception that material pleasure and comfort are the only motives in the lives of human beings.




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