Hugh Kay reports (March 22) that the Coady International Institute of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, is prepared to help any Catholics who want to establish Christian cooperatives and credit unions in Brita in.
The obstacles in the way of some forms of producers co-operatives may not be insuperable; but for them to he successful as a social movement there must be co-operative credit, or credit unions, as well. Unless there has been some change in the law in recent years these arc inoperable under a number of Acts: the short point is that Friendly Societies may not undertake the business of banking.
Thirty years ago, with members of the Distributist League and others, and indeed in active correspondence with Antigonish and the American credit unions, I tried as others had done before me to establish co-operative credit in this country. Everybody was very helpful, from the Registrar of Friendly Societies to the Conservative Research Bureau. Mr. Neville Chemberlain, then, I think, Chancellor of the Exchequer, even indicated that he would introduce a Bill if I could mobilize sufficient public opinion. That may have been a polite way of saying that he did not eontemplate new legislation. All this is recalled to save enthusiasts from disappointment, or to spur them to fresh efforts in new circumstances.
Gregory Macdonald London, S.W.20,
Hugh Kay writes: I am aware of the legal snags, to which there are only partial answers. But I am currently working on the political patties to persuade them to back "co-operation" as a matter of policy, with a view to amending the law. My hand would be strengthened if all interested readers would writo to me stating their support for the idea.
An appeal has come from Uganda for 1,000 rosaries. It is impossible to comply with this request, at present, but I thought that your readers would help to make it possible. I would be very grateful for whole and broken rosaries, also religious cards Gerald Breen,
69 Heriot St., Liverpool, 5.
The passing of Fr. Martindale inevitably evokes memories among those who knew and loved him. May I mention one of mine? He was my guest when the Eucharistic Congress was held in Dublin in 1932, and among the purely social occasions was a garden party given by the GovernorGeneral. But he asked me if I would take him instead for a trip in my small yacht in Dublin Bay, where numerous passenger liners were at anchor, acting as floating hotels. I tied up at ore of these, we went up the ladder and he asked the duty officer if he might have a word with the Catholic seamen. The officer pointed cheerfully to the fo'c's'le and we climbed down.
Father Martindale inquired for the Catholics and in response to a shout about half-a-dozen appeared. Hc then said: "1 know how hard it sometimes is for you chaps to get ashore to Confession, and if any of you would like to go now I'll be very glad to hear you." They looked a bit surprised but settled the matter quickly, and I then left him and waited on deck.
We visited several other ships in the course of the afternoon, hut I didn't go aboard again as I felt it was unnecessary. On the way hack to harbour I said to him: "If I were in your place I should feel like sinking through the floor with embarrassment; but I suppose you get used to it." Fr. Martindale replied! "No, I never get used to it. I have the same feeling every time I do it." For a sensitive man such as he was, this had a hint of nobility of soul. He was a true Apostle of the Sea.
Donal O'Sullivan Donnybrook, Dublin.
More than two years ago Fr. Martindale left in my hands a large number of his papers with the request that I should write his
life. May I. appeal through your columns for help in this task? I should be grateful for any letters of more than usual interest. These will be copied and returned. I should be glad also to have any personal reminiscences, particularly of his visits to Australia and New Zealand.
Fr. Philip Caraman, S.J. Clever HoUse.
65, Belgrave Road, S.W.1.
How is it possible that, amongst so many letters about "Teaching Children", none of your readers mentioned Mrs. Lewis's wonderful book Children and their Religion? This is really an excellent book, a quite inspiring work. I have been a priest for 26 years, first as a teacher, and then as a parish priest, and have met, or rather cared for, so many children and adolescents, and have been involved in youth work and with many a. youth worker; yet 1 did largely learn from Mrs. Lewis's book. Funny that a little Belgian priest, lost in an unknown hamlet, should teach English parents about their own riches in England! This Mrs. Lewis's book is truly a nugget, not only for priests and for specialist teachers, but also for all parents as well as for all people concerned with children's inner life, even if they would happen not to be concerned directly about religion. The book gives a vivid insight into children's inner life. (Available at Sheed se. Ward, 33 Maiden Lane, at 15s. net.)
I am not paid for advertising! But I find it my duty, as a priest, to advertise in such a case.
L'Abbe Jule Riot Hopital St. Joseph.
In a recent issue you published the exhortation of Pope John to the faithful to read the Bible. It is probably not unfair comment that for many Catholics the Bible means the New Testament, at least as far as their actual acquaintance with the inspired word of God is con cerned.
They seem to regard the Old Testament as something not quite Catholic; they are put off by its length and overwhelmed by its style. Would that they listened to those words of St. Augustine: "To neglect one of the two testaments is to hobble towards Christ on one foot only."
It is to meet the need for an introduction to the Old Testament that is at once interesting, brief and easy to follow that a series of Bellarmine leaflets, published from Heytbrop College, the English Jesuit theologiate, are being offered to the public. As a non-profit making organisation we should like to issue these leaflets free of cost.
Unfortunately, the cost of printmg, packaging and post make it necessary for us to make a small charge. 'However, for the modest sum of one shilling and sixpence we offer eleven leaflets in an attractive, illustrated cover with four maps on It, which we are sure will help the reader to a deeper understanding and love of the Old Testament.
Your readers may write to the address below, enclosing 1/6, for a set.
Fr. J. Mulbearn, Heythrop College, Chipping Norton, Oxon.
ST GEORGE'S DAY
May I, through the courtesy of your columns, remind your readers that Tuesday, April 23, is Saint George's Day, the Patron of England?
The need for such a reminder is in itself sufficient justification for the formation of the Saint George's Day Revival Association, and our first objective is to persuade our fellow Englishmen to wear a rose on our Patron Saint's Day.
It would he imposing upon your space to attempt here to argue the need for a revival in England of a generous Christian nationalism, but few would dispute that there is an essential cohesion lacking in English life a national pride and piety which should find its focus in the observance of Saint George's Day. My association accounts as Englishmen all those who were born in England and who have their bread and eat their salt here. We call upon them all equally to wear the rose, whatever their surname, creed or colour.
Anthony Cooney (Secretary) St. George's Day Revival Assoc. 24, Earp Secet, Liverpool 19.
THE M.P. AND THE DETERRENT
The way Mr. Biggs-Davison (March 22) has evaded the point of Fr. Kenny's letter shows only too clearly that Fr. Kenny understood him perfectly well. Mr. BiggsDavison must not be allowed to get away with this. He says that "the meaning and purpose of our nuclear deterrent is the prevention of nuclear war through the
damage to a nuclear aggressor" capacity to do unacceptable (my italics) as though it did not equally depend on our willingness to wreak such damage. It is this willingness, if the crunch comes, which is what is so wicked. Can Mr. Biggs-Davison give a single example of a clear statement by the Government that such atrocious wickedness has been ruled out in advance? Is there even a shred of evidence to support such a view? What about the unacceptable damage to consciences which is here and now being caused by the double standards employed by "Christian" governments and politicians?
I notice that in the list of Schemata for the second Council session mentioned in the CATHOLIC HERALD this week no mention is made of the project on "peace and international justice" mentioned by Cardinal Suenens (see The Guardian for 23/3/63). Is there to be a full discussion of the problem of modern warfare or not? It is four years ago since I, with countless others, signed a plea for such discussion. Can anyone in the know tell us whether it is on the agenda or not? Brian Wicker
University of Birmingham Mr. Biggs-Davison, M.P., commits himself to a remarkable assertion. "If", he writes, "both sides to a potential conflict are known to be able to retaliate with devastating effect with nuclear weapons, there will be no nuclear war".
The statement is remarkable in raising the most facile of popular clichés, rooted in ignorance, thoughtlessness or mere looseness of speech, to a responsible, categorical expression of certainty. Since nothing could be more dangerous to our strategic and moral thinking, and since an acceptance of the possibility, or very grave probability, of an eventual nuclear outbreak as the consequence of mutual deterrence is, to my knowledge, virtually universal among informed strategic arid scientific thinkers-from President Kennedy and Mr. McNamara to Walter Lippman, Raymond Aron and Jules Moch, from Edward Teller, Henry Kissinger, F. C. Schelling and Herman Kahn to Philip Noel-Baker, Alastair Buchan, Hedley Bull and Wayland Young (not to mention a host of other major authorities)-I challenge Mr. Biggs-Davison to supply, say, half-a-dozen, or even three comparable authorities who would now categorically support his confidence, and grounds for apparently simply ruling out the weight of evidence and authority to the contrary.
Walter Stein University of Leeds In his second letter Mr. BiggsDavison contradicts what he said in his first. In his first letter, he said that Britain needed an independent nuclear deterrent because
we could not expect the U.S. to risk nuclear annihilation for the sake of Kuwait and Brunei. I pointed out that this implied that Britain itself should be prepared to risk nuclear annihilation for the sake of Kuwait and Brunei. Mr. Biggs-Davison realises that this is an indefensible position, and he does not attempt to defend it. Instead, he now says that if both sides to a potential conflict arc prepared to retaliate with nuclear weapons, there will be no nuclear war. In saying this,-he contradicts his earlier and wiser contention that to threaten to intervene with nuclear weapons is to risk nuclear annihilation.
Mr. Biggs-Davison cannot have it both ways. To use threats of nuclear devastation either involves a risk of nuclear annihilation or it does not. If it does not, then the American deterrent is sufficient to protect any conceivable British interest: we can surely expect the U.S. to support our legitimate interests if they have nothing to lose by doing so. If it does, then a British government which is prepared to take this risk for the sake of Kuwait and Brunei is criminally irresponsible. Does Mr. BiggsDavison seriously believe that there could be circumstances in which Britain could inflict "unacceptable damage" on the Soviet Union without the Soviet Union being able to inflict vastly more unacceptable damage on Britain? And if he does not believe this, how does he think our "deterrent" will deter?
Fr. Anthony Kenny Crosby, Liverpool (Other readers are thanked for letters on this subject-Editor).