Canon Jackman I WAS much distressed to hear of the ▪ unexpected death of Mgr. Canon Jackman—the more so in that he seemed to possess the secret of eternal youth. In point of fact I have never met him, but constantly corresponded and read a great deal of his writing. The man's whole personality seemed to be expressed in what he said, wrote and did. One puzzle about him I have never quite resolved. So much about him suggested the "enfant terrible "— always a delightful characteristic; yet as the private secretary of Cardinal Bourne for so many years he held a most highly responsible post. But that wae before my time (I mean from a journalistic point of view). To me he was the indefatigable and irrepressible defender of unpopular and supremely sane causes, the genial critic of the failings of his brethren (clerical and lay), the ebullient editor of the most extraordinary and original of parish magazines with the slightly blasphemous name (as it always seemed to me) Holy Roodlets. Clearly a character and a most lovable one who retained something of that childlike simplicity which Our Lord so loved. May he rest in peace!
Call It Quits There NOTICED in the Times last week a 1 curiously inapt juxtaposition. Halfway down a column ' there was a description of damage done in Hamburg. " As we got farther into the city," the correspondent wrote, " the devastation wrought by the R.A.F. became apparent. London, Foggia, Naples, Villers-Bdicage and Caen were nothing compared with this." Lower down in the same column, but in another story, a writer asked that Goer
ing should be invited " to issue an Order of the Day to the Luftwaffe, glorifying its heroic struggle against London, Canterbury, Valletta, Rotterdam, Warsaw and Belgrade." Somehow it seems to me that a mere sertse of humour should suggest that so far as the air warfare is concerned we should call it quits. There's still Japan.
I recall the lines of Masefield about the Englishman: " A courage terrible to see And mercy for his enemy."
Not Voting' IT HAVE had a good many letters indignantly expressing disagreement with my note in which I said that should not vote in a General Election —also many agreeing. I should like to say that this was essentially a • personal opinion. Others must judge for themselves. Secondly, I did not say that I would abstain because no party, is a hundred-per-cent. Catholic. That was not my point at all. It was that I consider as a Catholic and a citizen of ordinary intelligence that the chief party programmes, together with the chief party personalities and records, all seem -to me calculated to do the country more harm than good. This view would not prevent me from standing as a candidate for election (if such were my vocation) for any of the three. since, if elected, I could then work to bring the party nearer to my ideals (and vote against it when necessary, explaining my action to my constituents). But I see no reason as an elector to cast my vote for any party in which, as I see it, the evil out
weighs the good. Among other things
firmly believe that the peace policy (on which all parties agree) is directly calculated to produce a third war and completely contrary to Christian teaching. Why should I back it with my vote?
Another point I wished to make— though many seem to have missed it—is that deliberate abstention is a form of political and civic activity ; .in my view, a much more real • oue than mechanically following a party cry because one is born a little Conservative or a little Labourite.
The Undecorated • READING the list of ribbons lor tear service designed by the King, a friend of mine remarked: " I shall
look quite distinguished." " Oh," I. said, " what decorations 'have you earned?' The reply was brief and to the point. " None," he answered. Still I shall keen my Defence Medal as a family heirloom with the exact degree of service for which it was earned described in a sealed envelope to be opened by my descendants in days when no one can any longer get at me.
Flags and Heraldry,
I T is curious that the two most unusual flags in Fleet Street both sin against the rules of heraldry on which flags are based. I refer to our own Papal flag and to the Irish flag outside the Irish Independent offices. The Papal flag is yellow and white, which is really gold and silver. The Irish flag is green, white and yellow or green, gold and silver. The rule is that you must never have a metal next to or on a metal or a colour next to or on a colour. In other words silver or gold must always divide the heraldic colours and a colour always divide the silver or gold. 'The Russian flag with its gold emblem on a red field ' is heraldically correct.
THE Tablet last week had an ingen
1 ious explanation for Mr. Churchill's outburst on Ireland. It suggested that it was meant to be a subtle warning to Russia. Look how we dealt with our
potentially hostile neighbours! Can't you do the same? I suggested to a friend that the explanation was so subtle that the Russians might have failed to see the lesson. " Not to mention Churchill himself!" my friend commented.
VE-Day at School and After
WE had a lovely breakfast. . We " had a 5-course dinner, 1 Soup, 2 Spam, Meat and Vegetables, 4 Bread and Cheese, 5 Pudding and Lime Juice. Then we had high tea at 6 p.m., and Benediction. Then we lit the V-Day bonfire. Just before the bonfire we listened to the King's speech on the wireless. I went to bed at 11 p.m. I cannot remember what happened the next day. On Thursday. . 4 ."