Page 2, 27th April 1951

27th April 1951
Page 2
Page 2, 27th April 1951 — INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS The Law of Charity

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Locations: Manchester, London


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am very reluctant to intervene in the correspondence between Mr. Calm Brogan and Mt. Greatorex, but it is so closely linked with my own correspondence in your columns that I feel I must.

tolm Brogan has asked (1) Is the law of charity binding on all Catholics? Answer, an unequivocal '' yea," but the rhetoric that follows Mr. Brogan's first question, is entirely bound up with the second question, and not specifically with the law of charily. I regret that Mr. Greatorex did not see this and come to grips with the real issue. The radio, as well as the national press, published this erroneous statement, that the National Arbitration Board. had awarded an Hs. Increase in wages per week. and 21 million

workers would benefit. As in all discussions, first things first, who was responsible for these misleading statements to. be made ? Did it come from those who participated in the Arbitration Tribunal, if not. who ? Settle this issue, and then the blame can be squarely placed on those responsible, then it will cease to be a laughable matter.

Had I raised this point, I should have certainly heen in a position to answer, but as I did not raise this issue, I leave it to the two correspondents to investigate. Many Trade Union officials have in the past been guilty of making half statements that have bewildered the membership, and we have got to face this truth, and it is within the bounds of probability, this is what has happened.

(2) Are all Catholics bound to honour their agreements ? Answer, " yes," provided that, agreement has not been subjected to acceptance as the result of pressure, or the weaker Side has had to accept as the best that could or would be obtained, regardkss of moral principles. As an example of this, take the 1944 Education Acts, am I to accept them without murmur or questicm? No, Mr. Brogan, I am not, and I am morally bound to do all I can to get these Acts rescinded and a more equitable Education Act. consistent with justice. and to your first point charity.

(3) Are Catholics bound to do an honest day's work ? Again the answer is an emphatic " yes." Mr. Greatorex would have done well to have condemned outright the goslow tactics adopted in industry today, as immoral and unconducive to settlement, and no Catholic should participate in such schemes. and should steadfastly refuse to assist in any such methods.

Refuse to do " piecework," yes, by all means, he is justified in so doing. as in the Manchester dispute. Mr. (3reatorex, you cannot hope to enter the Kingdom of Heaven until you have merited it, SO please do not expect to receive an honest day's pay until you have done an honest day's work.

What is an honest day's work you ask ! How simple is the answer, give of your best that is consistent with your physical ability. this is conducive to tiredness at the end of the day, but not exhaustion, this is in my opinion a sin, as you are incapable of taking proper precautions for your own and other people's safety. I think Mr. Colm Brogan could have taken this point into consideration when he was posing the questions.

Let me return for a moment to Mr. Colm Brogan's three questions which I shall summarise as follows: Charity, duty and honour. It is to the first of these that I would like to return for a moment and give Mr. Coln Brogan a practical illustration of what is meant by charity. If a sincere minded non-Catholic read Mr. Brogan's letter, they would shrink in amazement at the lack of charity shown by Mr. Brogan toward Mr. Greatorex by the imputation made at the end of his letter, and I quote: "It happens often enough that genuinely goodliving and zealous practising Catholics become more or less blinded to those elements of the Moral Law which may appear to stand in the way of the immediate fulfilment of their passionate convictions and aspirations." Nowhere in Mr. Greatorex's letter appeared anything that warranted such harsh admonition, he dealt specifically with the events as they arose and of the reports as published in the national press, which in every aspect was true.

Further, as Mr. Greatorex pointed out: That the Arbitration Tribunal as well as any board room, when in deliberation on any matter seldom if ever stop to consider what is the Moral Law on this or that point. I have, Mr. Brogan. come to the conclusion after much thought, that you do lack the knowledge of industrial life and its workings, and I say this with all the reserve I am capable of. Please, Mr. Brogan, continue your active interest in these matters. as by so doing. you will be helping considerably all of us Catholics in the Trade Union movement, to bring sanity and the law of God, which is most important of all, into the office, factory. workshop and industrial undertakings.

H. SHEEH AN Member of T. & G.W.U.. 1/724 Branch, Kilburn, London.

West Heath Lodge, Branch Hill, Hampstead, London, N.W.3.

I:The writer of this letter, written before Mr. Brogan's second letter. tells us that it still stands.-EprroR, C.He

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