AS a Socialist who is shocked and in some ways alarmed by the mutt of the General Election, may I through the courtesy of your columns address an appeal to our Catholic Tory M.P.s and also to Catholics who share my fears?
In view of the joy among white Rhodesians at the result, and the fact that Mr. Powell is reputed to have the backing of a number of other Tory M.P.s, there must be others like myself who fear for the hopes of the coloured Rhodesians and the dignity of the coloured people in this country. Mr. Heath, with a majority of only 30, could be vulnerable to extremists on his own benches.
I am somewhat reassured on the Rhodesian question by the appointment of Sir Alec Douglas-Home, a man of integrity, as Foreign Secretary, but remembering how bitterly the Tories fought the imposition of sanctions, I fear these might be lifted leaving Ian Smith invulnerable.
Can we hope that the Tory M.P.s, under the courageous leadership of Mr. St. John-Stevas, will unite in determination to see that the hopes of the coloured Rhodesians are not completely dashed in any deal with Ian Smith, and that the dignity and rights of our own coloured people are protected and upheld?
Will they also defend against Mr. Paisley the move already begun towards equality of human rights in Northern Ireland? But here I think the danger is less. I do not yet know the number of Catholic Tory M.P.s (I assume you will publish their names) but if they number around 30 they could allay the fears of some of us on the issues I have mentioned.
Cecily Smith (Mrs.) Bishop's Stortford, Herts.
Back to Dawson
MAY 1 pay my small tribute
to the memory of Christopher Dawson. At a time when I seriously pondered the relevance of religion to life as I was coming to experience it, his inspired writings brought home to me the tremendous importance of religion in all ages: it was indeed the dynamics of history.
Dawson has been to some extent neglected in recent years and many of his ideas abandoned as being outdated or even mistaken. And so they must appear in an age given over to the worship of progress in whatever direction and the omnipotence of "experts."
The life towards which Dawson pointed, life on a more human scale, one of harmony between man and the land, between earth and heaven, therefore an integrated life, all this must now seem obsolete. Even so, there are those who still have that hope, that vision, and to whose ranks come an increasing minority of the more thoughtful young.
In technocracy religion will become less and less meaningful because man is bringing about a situation in which he himself will become obsolete. Men of the calibre of Dawson could help us now to see the difference between the "progress of growth men" and "pacesetters," and that of real progress which is concerned with benefiting the whole man, mindful always of his nature and guided by a reverence for life.
Joseph Clarice Plymouth.