Page 4, 24th November 1944

24th November 1944
Page 4
Page 4, 24th November 1944 — THE FIRST PRIORITY IN THE TRANSITION STAGE'
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THE FIRST PRIORITY IN THE TRANSITION STAGE'

WE have always felt that the

military phase of the war in the West would end rather suddenly and unexpectedly. We do not believe that it is possible for Germany as an entity to stand up very long against the present

pressure on all sides. On the other hand no man can venture to prophecy in what conditions fully organised resistance will cease and how soon Europe can take on even the appearance of an ordered and peaceful life. That is why we believe that attention at present should be focussed on the problems of transition from war to peace and on peace itself rather than on the official war whose coursis runs itself, though, alas! at the cost of so many lives and so gent IS desouction.

The problems which the Continent will present are altogether more puzzling and perplexing than anything that is likely to happen in this island. Still it remains true, and indeed vitally true. that there can be no one political factor of greater importance for the future of Europe than an orderly and healthy transition from war to 1.1eace in Britain. Apart therefore from our own happiness, the world itself in large measure depends upon the way in which we conduct ourselves, and the Government's plans for man-power demobil. isation and priority of de-controls are of internetional, as well as national, sign ificance. We believe them to be sensibly laid, but we have our doubts as to whether there will be a sufficient desnee of political self-discipline to enable the transitioil to be carried out in the orderly manner that is contemplated. Our times have witnessed very violent alternations of tyranny and indiscipline, and the reason is obvious: this country is losing the secret of both national and perstinal self-discipline which has expressed itself most effectively in the tradition of British parliamentary government. And there can be no doubt that the secret of that government lay in the way it expressed, not the politically aroused feelings of mobs and sectional interests, hut the moderate, self-disciplined character of men and women who were living in moderate security against an inherited background of Christian moral tradition.

Self-DIscIplIne

FrIMES, of course, have changed, but what we have to recognise if we are going to pull through is that the changes are accidental. We demand to-day, in this country and in Europe, an economic and social order of life which responds to our technical progiese. We demand a far more equal distribution of wealth. We demand a wider opportunity for enjoyment of what life can offer. We demand g more responsible and more public-spirited control of all that affects our individual interests. But however right and important this is, it still remains true that none of it can be secured without a personal selfdiscipline based on respect for human nature and the natural law, leading to national self-discipline. The difficulty of achieving this in a devastated Continent, rent by political, social and economic lissures, raised to the plane of religious and moral importance, will prove stupendous. And only in Britain perhaps have we through the continuity of our history and the accident of relative preservation from the destruction of war, been able to preserve the unity and character which could set the example of an orderly and constructive transition from war to peace.

Politically, the National Government (which in internal matters is an excellent Government) continues to afford the framework of unity and reasonable

control. Economically, the Beset idge Employment analysis should have given new heart to all who are able to transcend political. party and class differences. Only one thing is wanting. It is a national turning-in on ourselves and a concentration on the subject of the met ptiorities: the spiritual and moral and natural priorities. Can we somehow be stimulated as a people into asking ourselves what comes first? An ordered life in which the cells are the families striving to express an ideal which recognises that there can only bp temporal welfare in so far as timeless values, ppresseil in every stable civilisation and fully revealed in the Christian, are sought.

Though the inculcation of this must depend in the main on those who have the car of the public in church, press and platform, the Stale by giving the first priority to securing its material and natural conditions in homes— economic security and the return of women to their first job in life—can powerfully assist. This is a priority which comes along before either the war against Japan or the revival of exports.

THE AMERICAN BISHOPS

HE American Hierarchy, with their customary initiative and courage in refusing to keep to

" safe " Church business, have issued a full and detailed statement about the organisation of future peace, as their commentary on the Dumbarton Oaks proposals. On the last occasion when that Hierarchy spoke they were attaeked for toll plain speaking about the dint ol Soviet policy. On this occasion they must have felt a certain bitter satisfaction when they realised that there was no longer any need to dot the i's and cross the L's. So much has happened that any straightforward appeal to the principles of the Atlantic Charter and the elements of any kind of international justice carries its own immediate application. Nor, alas! need we con. tine the application to any one great Power. The selling of the Baltic States was silently consented to by the process of washing our hands of the affair. The selling of Polish rights was openly consented to at Teheran, and there is little certainty how far we intend even to stand by our recognition of its only legitimate Government. Hints are put out to the effect that this is dependent on good behaviour! The market in the Balkans is still in being, and the buyers and sellers are, as so often in markets, nomowners of the property to be dealt with.

Less spectacular in its application perhaps, but not less important, is the insistence of the American Bishops that " the ideology of a nation in its internal life is a concern of the international community. . . The international organisation should demand as a condition of membership that every nation guerantee in law and respect in fact the innate rights of men, fatuities and minority groups in their civil and religious life." How useful such a formula was when it was a question of applying it to the Nazis! But if it was true then it remains true to-day and universally applicable.

In one sentence the Bishops speak of " no unreasonable " concessions to might. That was a reminder that no Intelligent Christian pretends that ihe demands of morelity cart be at once fulfilled to the letter in a fallen world. Of course there must be recognition of other factors, But what is totally intolerable is the pretence that inevitable deferences to might constitute morality. Let us at least stand by principles, and where we cannot apply them humbly and honestly acknowledge the fact and judge accordingly of the moral worth of the factors that interfere with justice and decency.

THE JAP WAR

UNITED States' aircraft, which

had flown hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of material Into China for Satins up litst-class air bases Itom which to attack the Amonese, have now been flying the other way, bringing men and equipment out. That is, they have had to evacuate the enormous air base at Liuchow, following the loss of four others at Hengs yang, Kweilin, Nanning and Paichingin the face of a strong Japanese oftensive. The loss of these bases before a Japanese advance is an abrupt commentary on the fighting value of the Central Chinese armies of Marshal Chiang Kai-shek fpllowing the recall of the Marshal's Chief-of-Staff, the American, General Stilwell.

Whether or not the loss of these bases will have mucli vffect on Anted

opinion, or seriously influence the general public belief elsewhere that Chiang Kai-shek ie a great and gallant ally doing heroic work all alone, the event is of disagreeably imposing strategic importance. For the present there are two principal means of striking at the Japanese. Admiral Nimitz, whom history may adjudge to be one of the great admirals of history to be tanked with Nelson, commands the United States Pacific Fleet which for nearly three years has fouglo a series of brilliant. sea campaighs. The second broad line of attack on the Japanese is by air. Super-fortresses have recently begun attacking the Japanese homeland at intervals of few weeks or less and there were plans to develop this air offensive to considerable pioportions. But the weight of such an offensive must depend largely on the availability of air bases within tolerable distance of the target.

Some hold that we need a good four years yet in which to beat the Japs, even when the entire Royal Navy is available to aid the Americans. With naval operations the problem of bases remains as vital as in the air. These have to be laboriously won in the Pacific by gigantic triphibious operations. So the naval approach to Japan must inevitably be slow and from now on it will he decelerated by the diminution or air support from the mainland. The common idea, therefore, that once the total United States naval power is assembled it can strike right through to Japan is sheer nonsense. And the equally common idea that Super-forts will blast the daylight out of the enemy's homeland, idiotic at the best of times, is now palpably ridiculous. To beat the Japanese enormous land forces will have to be landed in China, which. must in turn win back vast areas of the country, establish far-' nerd air bates and push on till the enemy's power has been rooted out from Singapore to Harbin in Manchuria.

HOME LEAVE

IN the Debate on Demobilisation

last week, Lieutenant-Colonel Profit= (who returned from Italy in order to be present) introducal a human note when he declared that the men at the front were con. coiled lost long absence from home should beget estrangement between them and those they had left behind. He suggested, and in this was hacked up by Mr. J. Lawson, that men

dratted, on the conclusion of the Europeon War, for the Far East should be given leave enabling them to visit their homes.

Without forgetting military requirements, we may say that this was no mere sentimental request but involved a matter of the utmost importance to

the future of the nation. Reports ftom the front are consistent in en-ming that it is less physical privation :Ind danger that trouble men in the fightiug services than this separation from home. The craving for letters and photographs, of which there is abundant evidence, tells the same story. To the extent that this is true it affords evidence that, despite the brutalising effects of their experiences, they have retained their essential humanity. And it is on that humanity with its love of home and kinsfolk that the future must be built. To make plans for a kindlier and more gracious world while allowing the foundations on which it is to be built to deteriorate is to build in vain.

Even from the point of view of the war-effort, it is nacessary.thet the fighting front and the home front should be kept in close touch with each other. We hope, therefore, that, as far as it may be found practicable, sympathetic attention should be given this plea.

" INDUSTRIAL HEALTH"

THE Nuffield Foundation, we learn, has offered the universities of Durham, Glasgow and Manchester grantseotalling £150,000 to assist teaching and research concerning " industrial health." Upon this the Times in an editorial comments thus: " It should now be possi1-4e to train doctors, nurses, and Social workers in a practical fashion, and thus regain a lead which must have important bearings on the industrial future of Britain." It is a pity that a generous scheme should be thus misrepresented as prompted only by economic motives. It would have been better to have followed the lead of the British Medical Association which in 1941 asserted that " the time was ripe for an extension of industrial medical service on both humanitariun and economic grounds."

1 here is ample scope for the teaching and research, provision for which tuts now been made. In 'spite of the fact that the estimated time lost to industry by sickness and accidents amounts to something like thirty million weeks a year, neither employers nor unions have tackled the subject seriously, It was in fact this apparent lack of interest which prompted the statement made by the British Medical Association. Conditions have improved since the Factories (Medical and Welfare) Order of July, 1940. But the special study of industrial diseases in this country still lags behind whet is being done in certain other countries.

May we venture to suggest that the proposed research should deal with the psychological Sib well as the physical aspects of the workers' health? We should like to have scientific evidence as to the mental effects of certain forms of employment. 'the results of enquiry concernine the bearing of mechanism qn the intelligence and emotional life of the worker might be illuminatingFurther investigation along the lines of Bulletin No. 3, entitled " Change," issued by the Advertising Servile: Guild, would he serviceable,




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