Our correspondents are urged to limit their letters to 300 words; otherwise they are liable to be shortened or omitted altogether. Letters must bear a name and address (not necessarily for publication) or they win be ignored.—Editor.
THE SCHOOLS AND RELIGION Sul, -Fr. Martindale says we are no longer a Christian country. He is right; and one of the chief reasons why this is so is the absence of religious teaching in the State's primary schools. From inside experience I can state that I have never found one such school where the religious instruction was conscientiously given. The regulation time set aside for the " CowperTemple religion " (negative as it is) is seldom given to it, but is used instead for extra practises for competitions, for which these schools enter, selling tickets for these, preparing for medical inspections—in fact, for whatever the staff chooses to do in the periods time-tabled as " scripture."
Sometimes they are used for active atheist propaganda, the parents being too indifferent to protest against this. I have found a few teachers (usually Nonconformists) who try to instil elementary principles of Christianity. but their solitary efforts are nullified by the open indifference or active hostility of their colleagues.
Is it any wonder, then, that the hulk of our children, with no home or Sundayschool training in religion, are completely ignorant of the life of our Lord, have no idea where the Lord's Prayer came from. or what it means, and know only one commandment: " Thou shalt not commit adultery," which seems to have stuck in their minds because they once heard it and did not understand it.
Most do not know what happened on Good Friday. Easter Sunday or Ascension Day. and a large proportion, who are not capable of picking up any general-knowledge for themselves, are ignorant even of the meaning of Christmas. This sounds like an exaggeration, but honest teachers in primary schools admit that it is so, though few deplore it. Catholics ought to be ready for any sacrifice rather than allow the State appointment of teachers to Catholic schools.
33, Windermere Gardens, Ilford.
SIR,—In a recent issue of the Catholic Herald I read with interest an expression of view, touching the evil of street-betting that bookmakers should be issued certificates by the Revenue Commissioners entitline them to carryon
bookmaking or turf-accountancy in suitable licensed premises.
The policy of the legislature in Great Britain for some hundred years would be reversed by such legislative recognition, but the argument of the writer of the article referred to was, if I remember rightly, that the evils ofstreet-betting would be thereby removed . . . .
• In the Irish Free , State, amongst other adventures, we have placed upon the statute book the Betting Act 1931 . . . . Briefly stated, the act, now in operation for five years. sanctioned the opening of betting-houses over all the Saorstat. From the list of licensed bookmakers and bettinghouses for the year 1935 it can be seen that in some instances the same licensed bookmaker is registered for a series of chainpremises not only in one county but again .in various counties It is an offence for persons under eighteen years to enter betting offices. Loitering near or in registered betting-offices is also an offence; also the laying of bets under one shilling, and no paying-out shall be permitted between the time fixed for the starting of the first race in the Free State, Northern Ireland or Great Britain, and the expiration of a quarter of an hour after the time fixed for the starting of the last race.
It was hoped, when this legislation legalising betting was introduced, that street-betting would as a consequence cease, but experience has proved that touts or street-runners in the pay of the licensed bookmakers are still doing a trade In Northern Ireland, where the law prevailing in Great Britain still applies, the betting scandal is not of less proportions as will appear from the speech of Mr. Henry McElroy, a former resident magistrate, made on January 31, 1936, at the Central Presbyterian Association at Belfast.
Mr. McElroy said that the justices were no more responsible for the 200 bettingplaces in Belfast than they were for the thousands of cattle smuggled over the border.
Is the Stock Exchange any less expressive of the natural view of attempts to get rich quickly than the betting-houses? The best that can be done is to control this natural failing of humanity, and discretion and prudence with experience will attempt to prescribe a via media ... . An expedient that occurs to the mind of one whose duty is the administration of the law is the restricting of betting premises by ratio to population and another that wherever a tout or street-runner should be found to have in his possession betting-slips, that an order should be made by the court for the immediate confiscation and burning of the slips so taken, a course that would involve the betting-agent in complete discredit with his customers.
EDWARD J. LITRE. Metropolitan Courts, Inns Quay, Dublin.
THE SPANISH ELECTIONS
SIR,—In the article on the recent Spanish elections in your issue of February 21 it is said : " The elections just held have been conducted under conditions of complete liberty and orderliness, as promised by Sr. Portela, the temporary premier."
The following passage front the Spanish daily. A.B.C., of February 19, needs no comment:
" The Lefts in Seville have given an unexpected proof of their electioneering capacity. In their propaganda they cried aloud for cleanness in the voting. That is sufficient for us to triumph,' they said.
But deliberately they omitted the des cription of the vote that had to be free, and the phrase was incomplete until
Sunday morning. It was then that the members of the party were instructed: ibe.--til.,M),15t-..7ieereW,Peciit!1,..3 only. And thus it was. Apart from the abusive language used to intimidate, especially the women, with the most absurd pretexts they rejected electors who might support the Right. The official document of identity was not sufficient and from a proprietor they demanded the title deeds of his property, and if he came back with them, any contract of tenancy had to be produced. In one part they went so far as to ask mothers of families for their marriage certificates.
" But this, which could happen only through the passivity or lack of spirit in the supervision exercised by the Rights, was not all. False voting reached a scandal. Well-known persons in Seville came to the voting urns, when already early risers had voted in their names. There are those who boast to-day that they managed to put false votes into the urn without being noticed. We have heard of one who voted eighteen times. At one voting station in the district of Amate the supporters of the Right were not allowed to vote. In the street of St. Claire two nuns were rejected, as they were in secular dress. In the Triana communists with revolvers in their hands went round the voting centres terrorising the voters who were not for the Left. These examples suffice to show how the Lefts have watched over the cleanness in voting, for which they cried."
(Rev.) H. DUNSTAN POZZI.
Ampleforth Abbey, York.
WEST WITTE R ING
SIR,—I have been interested to see in your issue of February 21 a reference to the proposed act or vandalism at West Wittering, and I hasten to send to you a pamphlet setting out the facts of the case so that you may be fully aware of the objections to the proposed 'development' scheme.
The promoter of the scheme is making much of the fact that the scheme will cost a great deal of money and give employment. So, for that matter. would the pulling down of Westminster Cathedral and the building of a super cinema in its place.
He also asserts that the people objecting are 'week-enders'. This is incorrect. Over half the adult population of West Wittering have signed a petition and attended meetings of protest. Of 150 people present at the meeting last month not more than a dozen were 'week-enders'.
The vie^estion that if a golf course is not made the area will be used for building estates is purely hypothetical. At present the area is covered by tidal waters. It is doubtful, in my view, whether it can be reclaimed adequately for making a golf course. It is much more doubtful whether reclamation would make the area suitable for building.
HUGH R. DENT. 10-13, Bedford Street,
(No doubt interested readers can obtain a copy of the pamphlet referred to from Mr.
Dent.—EDITOR.i THE PEOPLE'S PALACE
SIR,—Since the disastrous fire of 1931 destroyed the main hall of the People's Palace the residents of East London have sustained a personal loss.
As the result of this calamity it has not been possible for us to meet together for social intercourse and recreation under good conditions, and it is with great joy that I welcome the reconstruction scheme, approved by the Charity Commissioners, and the progress already made—the foundation-stone is to be laid by the Lord Mayor of London on March 26—and I feel that every possible help should be given to this laudable effort to improve the social life of the youth of East London.
Many of those who in the past benefited from the People's Palace have given back in public service more than they received, and I feel sure that the new generation will do likewise.
Money, co-operation. and sympathy arc necessary to enable us to place these opportunities within their reach.
GEORGE LANSBURY. House of Commons,
S.W.I. DEW' SANT Sta,—As the feast of St. David is celebrated this week-end allow me to express regret that the patron saint of Wales has no artistic representation in the Catholic churches of London and very little throughout the country.
The metropolitan cathedral at Westminster contains chapels or shrines to the saints of England, Ireland, and Scotland, but the thrilling history of the Church in Wales has no monument. I believe that St. David is similarly neglected in the new cathedral at Liverpool. The only effigy of him which I have seen in London is in the Houses of Parliament. A new and live branch of Catholicism is being built on the ruins of the lovely Welsh shrines and the ruins of derelict Welsh industries. Let its see some statues and pictures of St. David, not only in Wales, but here in the metropolis, too.
D. N. S. D.
SMALL SHOPS v. BIG STORES
SIR,—May I draw the attention of Mr. P. Evans to Pope Leo XIlls encyclical where he deems it advisable that wageearners should be made sharers in the ownership, or the management, or the profits. The practical fulfilment of this teaching can be found in co-operative societies, where members who are consumers and wage-earners have just this share and con
full__ These.. members who are , shoppers can manage and direct business with efficiency and foresight, as the present position of the co-operative movement proves.
I" NORDICS " AND LATINS
SIR,--I entirely agree with " Student's" letter re our Mediterranean Mother. But I warn " Student ' that he need expect little or no sympathetic response to his ideals--or at most just lip-service. The Catholics of these islands are so far from realising the truth " Student " states that their average attitude to the Latin races is the current " nordic " attitude of contempt towards " wops and dagoes."
This is the real explanation of the silence of Catholics in America and England towards the outrages to Mexican Catholics. I can assure " Observer " (his letter is correlative to " Student's ") that English and American Catholics are not keeping silent " in the meagre hope that private negotiations will bring justice "why bother about justice for " dagoes "? In justice be it said that this attitude of arrogant contempt is an example of evil communications corrupting Catholic manners. It is the logical resulti of living in a community that has for 400 years been cut off from Europe by the Reformation.
The total population of the British Isles (including all Ireland) is, roughly 45-47 millions, of which 51 millions only are Catholics. In practically everything, except religion, we are influenced by the fundamentally " nordic outlook of our
non-Catholic compatriots. (If the Irish Catholics in Ireland cannot be said to be influenced by English " nordicism," they are influenced by American " nordicism," so it comes to the same thing.) Our religion may be Catholic, but our mental outlook is Anglo-Saxon-nordic; and as that is averse from the European outlook, it follows that we British Catholics are subconsciousiy averse from Europe Yet, as Mr. Belloc constantly points out, "Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe."
But what do we care? Nothing. Are we not merely a sect among all the other sects of the empire (which comfortable tolerance relieves us from the worrying responsibilities of a too international relationship l)? Our German brethren. our Mexican brethren, our Belfast brethren, may suffer bitterly; but what oi it? (Has the word brethren a somewhat ironic sound here?) As far as I am aware there has not been a single collective official protest made by Catholics of these islands against each or any of these persecutions.
To protest, of course. might savour of " politics "; and at all costs we must keep politics and religion apart. So politicsnordic anti-Catholic politics—win all along the line. People point out to us that the first function of the Church is to save souls, and point to the mistakes that have been, and are being, made by " Catholic
parties " in Austria or Spain or Belgium, as an excuse for their line-of-least-resistance attitude; so nordic or anti-Catholic politicians (who, presumably, never make mistakes) win again.
To take Pius Xl's statesmanlike encyclicals really seriously, and translate them into terms of creative energy, instead of the lip-service that too often passes for Catholic Action, would mean " interfering in politics "—and so nordicism triumphs again.
Have the Catholics of these islands never heard our Lord's words " He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad"? Frankly we are Laodiceans in this matter: It is true we sing " God bless our Pope ' with enormous gusto on stated occasions; but I venture to suggest we sing it with as much conviction of the meaning of the words as the average football crowd will sing " Abide With Me " at a cup-tie final —and for precisely the same reason. It is a good swinging tune that you can let your lungs rip on 1 So nordic you know!
GERALD WYNNE RUSHTON.
Haddiscoe Manor, Norfolk.
pi seems necessary to remind our readers before this correspondence goes any further that Mr. Belloc's oft-repeated dictum is patient of an interpretation that is false. TheChurch is no more Latin in essence than she is " AngloSaxon-nordie." " The Church of Jesus Christ," said Pope Benedict XV, " is neither Latin nor Greek nor Slav but catholic."—EotTult.1
NEUMS AND ROLLE
SIR,-1 agree with your reviewer that " many airs" scarcely conveys the idea of neums. He will render Rolle and myself a service if he will be good enough 10 translate adequately "et pneumata nudta laudando supernaliter component." The late Dom Noetinger. to whom I am deeply indebted, . . . . boggled at the passage and gave half a page of footnote to it.
I yield to no one in my admiration for the work of Miss Hope Emily Allen, without which my own effort would have been impossible, and that of Dom Noetinger (who, by the way. in the French took far greater liberties with Rolle's text than I have done). But I have not aspired to a reputation for scholarship. The readers for whom my translation is intended do not want dissertations on neums or disquisitous footnotes, They want a readable text.
It does not follow, as some critics so readily assume, that because a translation is readable and " shorn of archaisms" that it is less accurate and efficient as a vehicle of the meaning and mind of the original author. Rolle's own Latin text often invites misinterpretation—he was not a good Latin scholar and he frequently eunhonv and alliteration
—the result of -I poet's attempt to express the inexpressible in a medium he had not mastered.
Your reviewer comments that " many people jib at reading a spiritual classic until it has been shorn of the least vestige of archaism," in other words, until it is readable. And why not? Rolle did not
write for scholars He wrote for everybody, including philistines like myself.
What matters to us, and what mattered to Rolle as he insisted so emphatically, is what he says. Nowhere in the notice of the book is there the faintest indication apart from the title, of what is in the book or what it is about. . . .
G. C. HESELTINE.
WANTED: AN EDEN Sue,-1 am looking for somewhere to live. Somewhere where one can breathe fresh air, build a house with sufficient land to grow one's own vegetables and keep a goat—and be able to pay for it during the average span of one's lifetime!
This elusive spot must be within ten minutes' walk of a Catholic church (which has no school-building debt) and within three-quarters of an hour's journey from the City.
Does any one of your numerous and well-informed readers know of such an Eden?
" WEARY FLAT-DWELLER."
THE DELECTABLE DUCHY
With the future of the Duchy of Cornwall under public discussion interest in its history is revived.
In early times mines of every description were deemed royal, as yielding the materials for coinage, the right of which was vested solely in the King.
The metalliferous. 'floors of Dartmoor and Cornwall had been crown lands for a long series of years when they were settled by Edward Ill, in 1333, upon his eldest son. the Black Prince, and his heirs.
By a charter of this monarch they were consolidated as the Duchy of Cornwall, which included not only the naked wilds of stanniferous bog, but ten castles, 9 parks, 53 manors, 13 boroughs and towns, 9 hundreds, and a forest abounding in wild deer.
The lands comprised in this dukedom were little better than profitless moor before the reign of James I. as the authorities had no power of granting definite leases, and tenure was dependent on the life of the sovereign.
In 1622 parliament took the duchy in hand. and by remodelling its constitution empowered tenants to hold farms in perpetuity by renewable leases, and gave encouragement to the outlay of capital on improvements by creating good and indefeasible estates.
From 1783 to 1830 the duchy was administered for the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV, who received in the above period about £370,000 from the fines taken in the renewals of leases. I have just visited St. Margaret's Home, Hawick, and, first of all, I can truly say it is more aptly described as home than a Home.
ill Newly-built and with all modern equipments, it overlooks the lovely border scenery of southern Scotland. Indeed the invalids can sit on the balconies and feast their eyes on the beautiful hills and till their lungs with the fresh air.
St. Margaret's is for women, bhronic invalids, or those advanced in years-those who need that kindly care so gladly given by the Dominican Sister-Nurses who are in charge. If, What will appeal most to Catholics is the presence of a resident Chaplain and the fact that there is not only a Chapel where is reserved the Blessed Sacrament, but where by an ingenious device of sliding-doors, even those who cannot leave their beds may hear Mass.
Although the Home is meant primarily for those resident in Scotland, applications from elsewhere will be gladly considered by Mother Prioress, OP., who will give all information required. Terms are very reasonable.
May I add that St. Margaret's is greatly in need of funds and that by giving a donation you will be helping to launch an undertaking which is of the greatest value to those who are in feeble health and of slender means.
GILES BLACK, O.P.