This point is of larger interest : despite the Statute of Westininster, the Foreign Office is, in effect, the Foreign Office of the whole Empire. If we are to hold together, it must be sensitive to the interests of the whole Empire.
Australia, for example, whatever she thinks of the morals of the matter, is relieved to see Japan engaged on the Asiatic mainland. Australia wants the friendship of Japan, and she will resent a British polic.y which fatally alienates the Japanese. Apart from the ultimate question of her own security, Japanese buyers keep up the prices of her vital wool industry.
The campaign was cistinguished by that superlative dictum of Mr. Lyons': " The Mediterranean has be me almost an Australian sea." No Brt .sh Minister would have been as naive: b t how it reveals the atmosphere which mus have pervaded the last Imperial Conferenee,
rather more than discouraging to read of places where they arc not born.
" Just Does Not Exist " A doctor in one of the Southern counties writes: "As regards activity in my parish, it just does not exist. There is one annual sign of life in the form of a bazaar . There is a great deal of discontent amongst all classes of Catholics at the continued attitude of laissez faire.' "
An engineer in a responsible position gives a most interesting account of some of the activities of his parish which have been undertaken by enthusiastic laymen, and of the progress that has been made in spite of the sullen opposition " from above " With sonic difficulty a branch of the K.S.C. was formed, and their first job was to increase the sales of the Catholic papers from less than 50 to about 150. Then there was an attempt to revive the plainsong, but it was only allowed when the regular choir was away; and the organist neither wanted nor understood how to play the liturgical music and so " the music hall stuff prevails."
Waiting for a Lead
An extremely well read retired ship's cook is frustrated in every attempt to put Catholic Action into practice by the rather pathetic words: " We are waiting for a lead." Meanwhile at least two young Catholic men have lost patience and turned to Communism as the only real means of remedying social abuses.
From one of the Channel Islands a member of the K.S.C. writes that their council is carrying on under tremendous difficulties because of the total lack of interest shown except by their splendid chaplain." Some time ago, when a divorce bill was introduced, the Knights voted in the local paper against it, but they were, according t9 this correspondent, rebuked, being told that it was no affair of theirs and in future they were not to interfere.
A member of the Catholic Social Guild in a Northern town asks: " Why cannot we have more support and loyal co-operation?" For in their large parish there is no approval given to the society.
Whist Drives, etc.
In many letters there is the depressing note that Catholic activities are limited to whist drives and an occasional dance; this type of social sleepy sickness seems most prevalent in middle-class suburban Lon don. In these cases one has a suspicion that the fault lies with a comfortable and apathetic congregation.
For an example of what can he done in the way of parish activity, it is inspiring to read of Chingford. where there are branches of the S.V.P. and the Children of Mary, a. Catholic Evidence Guild study class, a Catholic Social Guild discussion class, and a Women's Guild. Besides these there is a scout troop, and a girl guide troop. The person who writes describes the parish priest as a "priest in a thousand," which is an affable exaggeration. There are fortunately for England many such priests. But often they have to struggle with an apathetic parish. From the letters it seems to be an ironic fact that enthusiastic laymen and enthusiastic priests do not often meet in the same parish.