Page 4, 27th April 1962

27th April 1962
Page 4
Page 4, 27th April 1962 — O. Point of View

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Organisations: Ministry of Art, IN PARIS
People: Albert Richt, Salan


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O. Point of View


By Michael de la Becloyere THE Ademnation of ex-11general Jouhaud and the capture of ex-general Salan raise once again the problem of capital punishment. At first sight one would take the view that treason in time of war, whether normal war or civil war, deserves the death penalty even more than in the ordinary course of legal justice in times of peace. The safety of the nation, which means the safety of the whole national community, calls for the supreme punishment of the traitor — the higher the rank of the traitor, the more obvious the justification of the capital punishment. Yet in civil wars, particularly, the division of the nation against itself arises from divided loyalties whose final justification will often depend, not on moral rights and wrongs, hitt simply on force. Victory and defeat divide the sheep from the goats. The ordinary civil criminal, on the other hand. is justly condemned in any civilised state. It seems therefore that those who feel that capital punishment is wrong in itself—or. at least, on balance highly undesirable—should be even more against capital punishment when it is a question of a traitor than when it is a question of a murderer. But one wonders whether this is really the common view. especially in times of national and civil wars. How many of those who today campaign against capital punishment would have protested against the execution of Joyce after the last war, even though it seems now to be generally agreed that his trial was itself unjust? May it not, therefore, he that the demand for the death penalty on men like Jouhaud and Satan today is not based on a sense of justice but rather on a sense of personal hatred and fear? If so. this suggests that the infliction of the death penalty on these men would be a relic of the barbarism that still dwells in the hearts of most of us?

At arty rate, it would seem to reflect a greater barbarism than the barbarism if it be barbarism — that demands the capital punishment for a deliberate murder of a fellow human being than which there can hardly be a greater crime: the cold-blooded, self-degrading destruction of a fellow human being's very life.

EDUCATION : Taking all round view TT is good to learn that our uniyer▪ sities are planning examinations for entry into university which will test the general ability and education of candidates as well as their competence in special subjects. The importance of a mastery of English is underlined as well as a competent level of understanding and interest in literature, history. art and the like.

The recognition of this need really means going back to the older idea of education when an educated person meant, not just someone of

expert competence in one spec subject or "know-how", but son one led and inspired by family a intelligent masters to he curie and interested in all that goes make up the richness of life a culture. Such a background not or makes a person's own life far fill and happier but it gives the me: of judging the real value of Inc ing more and more of less and lf Our technological civilisati must necessarily demand a gr deal of narrow specialisation. the more reason therefore for liberal culture both as a hun background and a criterion of true value of technology.

Indeed, it would be an excell thing if some philosophy were essential part of even school edu tion. In some religious orders France the top class in school called "Philosophy". and this t reminds its that the traditio Catholic education at its hest sisted on a criterion in life "being" and "worth". Indeed any avocation, a civilised n needs to be able to judge mean: value. purpose. if his work and life are to be truly human, let al spiritual.

ART: Marrying creation to use IN this connection it is interest to read that Sir Albert Richt son is calling for a Ministry of Art. There are, of course. danr in such an idea. To plan ar almost a contradiction in terms. must necessarily be free and sr taneous, however much labour training lie behind its inspire and production.

Society is today far rr conscious as a society of the int, lance of art and the arts genets Undoubtedly, there is need organisation and planning so the country's artistic talent car properly used, and for that ma paid for, In this, as in so many o matters, there need not be cl but rather a marriage, between creating and the proper use of creative gifts. One might add th this is true of art and the state, also true of religious art and Church.

MOTORING : Go furthe more deeply

rr HOSE of us who motor ani

in vain to keep down the of petrol will be vied to know the secret of success, accordin economy car rally drivers is sm acceleration, gentle braking quick changes up through the g Even so it seems a miracle figures near to sixty miles tc gallon can be achieved in s ears. Anyway, aiming at ecrudriving, besides being somethit a game, has the double advai of saving one's costs and less( the accident rates on the roads

But "freewheeling" is a claw form of cheating in this game,

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