The Madrid Censor
As forecast in our issue of May 14, the Foreign Secretary was asked in the House on Monday whether he could give any information as to the activities of Mr. Cockburn in Madrid, who, although he is a British subject, is acting as agent for the Valencia Government in handling and censoring Press messages?
Both Sir N. Gratton-Doyle, who asked the question, and Mr. Gallachor, the Communist M.P., asserted that Mr. Cockburn was the representative of the Daily Worker in Madrid.
Lord Cranbourne replied that he had no information on the subject, but was making inquiries.
It is curious and perhaps significant that no nu-ntion of this question was made in the one and a half pages of The Times devoted to Monday's Parliamentary proceedings.
Catholic and Nazi
IHAD the opportunity the other day of chatting with a distinguished German official who has faithfully served the Reich in high posts under the Kaiser, the Repub
lic and Hitler. He is, I understand, a friend of the Feiner and has only just retired, having reached the age-limit.
He is a practising Catholic and I naturally asked him for information from the Government point of view about the present distressing state of affairs.
Centre Party Blamed
Oddly enough it was the old Centre Party which he held responsible for the trouble. According to him that Party in its endeavour to improve the position of Catholics assented to Socialist-inspired legislation in thf certainty that it would remain strong enough to defend the in
terests of Catholics. In other words, its policy, he argued, was to bargain and accept Socialist theory in return for Catholic practice. Thus in education it accepted a purely secular system with the proviso that Catholics or others could voluntarily take part in it. When the Nazis came in. the constitutional ground was cleared for anti-Catholic action.
The Danger of Politics
This sounded a very specious argument But, whether true or false, it certainly seems to indicate an ever present danger when Catholic parties ally themselves for immediate advantage with other parties that may seem to have some superficial resemblance to them on certain points. At any given moment it is impossible to tell whether the point one yields for bargaining purposes may not in the long run prove more vital than the point one gains.
Needless to say, my friend could not give any satisfactory defence of the breach of
the Concordat, of the morality trials, of the " cooking " of school plebiscite figures (which he did not deny}, nor was his explanhtion about the Centre Party any real
defence of the present persecution. At most it helped one to understand the ease of that persecution. But one could not help being impressed by his plea that for Catholics the only hope and salvation lay in their own spiritual fervour and not in reliance on political bargains. He spoke with great admiration of the work of Mgr. Guardini in Berlin who has done much to increase the fervour of Catholics by purely spiritual means. I wish, however, I had been able to satisfy myself that my friend's insistence that one could be a good German and a good Catholic, that in fact he had always been both in public office; were not due to the fact he always instinctively put the being a good German before the being a good Catholic.
An Outspoken Pro.
I AM reminded of the cricket season by
the receipt of Fred Root's A Cricket Pro's Lot (Arnold, 5s.), rather than by the weather. Root, who was Worcestershire's greatest professional, is exceptionally outspoken about the government of English first-class cricket, and compares it very unfavourably with the Lancashire League " which provides cricket as I understand and appreciate the game." I hope his timely book will be read in the Lord's Pavilion. But, whatever the controversies, Root, like so many pro's, has the finest qualities of the finest grousers. And if he is not ashamed to quote the following lines, neither shalt I be to repeat them: And when the last Great Scorer comes,
To write against your name, He'll ask not if you won or lost, But how you played the game.
Greatest Batsmen and Bowlers
By the way, for the benefit especially of such school-boy readers as I may have, I shall list the six greatest batsmen of our time and the six greatest bowlers, according to Root's own experiences.
Batsmen: Hendren Hobbs, Bradman, Hammond, Woolley and George Gunn.
Bowlers: Lai-wood, McDonald, Frank Foster, C. W. L. Parker, Barnes and Tate.
" London Sunday"
THE London Passenger Transport Board is encouraging folk within its area to go to church on Sundays and has brought out a nice-looking illustrated threepenny brochure to guide them in their choice. The concern of this little work is with places.only in connection with particu
lar preachers. The booklet is all about personalities in the pulpit—nearly thirty of them. Why, for instance, are we to take Underground stations and Green Line routes to St. Paul's Cathedral? Because Dr. Barnes comes from Birmingham, sometimes, to preach there. Catholics will not be able to share in " an exciting new world " which the author, Muriel Harris, holds out as part of the lure of churchgoing, but 1 do not doubt that many Londoners would be all agape with unwonted interest on finding themselves inside a place of worship!
Two of our Own
Pen-pictures of the Archbishop of Westminster and of Fr. Martindale, S,J., supply the note of Catholic inclusion to Muriel Harris's pages. Farm Street, indeed, does well, because it gets a full page picture for its church and an excellent likeness of C.C.M. in the portrait-gallery. The pleasant sketch of Mgr. Hinsley depicts His Grace as " the father of his people, but also the schoolmaster." The Archbishop's personal note in the pulpit " fades away as he delivers the official sermon, speaking for the fifteen millions of a new King's Catholic subjects and of their loyalty to the throne, rather than to them or for their guidance. ' The Holy Father,' he declares, `regarded the late King George V as the greatest personal power in the civil order for the security of peace.' ... This is a declaration of policy of the religion which is not established in this country but to the fervour of which the great cathedral testifies," Of Fr. Martindale I note that " he is a widely-read man with a sociological understanding. Learning is distilled down by him to crystal simplicity."