Fr. Drinkwater on Armaments and Moneylenders
In order to provide an opportunity for those who are specially interested in the subject, the Rev. F. H. Drinkwater, parish priest'at Small Heath, Birmingham, is devoting seven Sunday afternoons to a course of sermons on social justice. The course began on February 7 and will close on Palm Sunday.
Already much interest has been aroused by Fr. Drinkwater's outspoken addresses to which lengthy space has been given in the Birmingham press. The preacher brought his points home, in his opening sermon, by citing the state of things in Birmingham itself as an instance of a financial system against which he uttered words of stern condemnation, That city's debt, last March, £54,000,000, Father Drinkwater said, was a debt due mostly " to moneylenders who had no money to lend, really. but who knew the trick of creating money Out of nothing with a fountain-pen, and lending it out at so much per cent. to ' mugs' like you and me."
In another of the sermons, denouncing the very idea of war, Fr. Drinkwater spoke of the present-day feverish rush, among the nations, in the making of armaments; and again he had very direct words for his Birmingham congregation. " I suppose we in Birmingham," he said, "are even rather pleased about it, in our pathetic. shortsighted, self-complacent way, because it brings us more orders. more work and more wages, and keeps us so busy that we haven't time to think what it is all about or what it is going to lead to."
No Arms Loans
But Fr. Drinkwater hastened to add that he was not condemning our re-armament policy: "No British Government could possibly have any other policy today." The armament trade, however, he contended, ought somehow to be taken out of private control, and the moneylenders ought to be allowed no finger in it at all. "No more War Loans, no Re-armament Loan, no Defence loan."
Next Sunday afternoon's subject is to be: " The Means Test: What does God think of it?" From that point Fr. Drinkwater will proceed, in the remaining sermons, to discuss some of our English laws as encouraging greed; the question of private property; and finally the monopoly power behind the nation's money.