A CATHOLIC PARLIAMENT By a C.H. Reporter Since its formation the Illord Catholic Parliament has evoked much comment from both Catholics and non-Catholics. The general query is, " Who are the members, and what do they propose to do?" Mi. John L. Ryan, a member, gives the answers below:
(1) " The members," he says, " are those Catholics of Ilford who have something to say to the people of this nation in general, and to Whitehall in particular, about life, death, war, peace, education, economics, post-war planning, Beveridge and religion as well.
(2) " We intend to demonstrate that a Catholic can teach his non-Catholic fellow' citizen more about true intellectual freedom than he will ever learn from the self-styled philosopher-journalist or the ' Rationalist ' semi. intellectual."
Asked " How?" Mr. Ryan said: " Through publicity! The local press, the provincial press and the national press. Recently the Ilford local paper's correspondence columns were filled with heated debates about the advisability of playing games in the parks on Sundays. Then the T.C.P. information Committee set the ball rolling with a ' ten' point I manifesto concerning the Catholic attitude to education, and the correspondence columns devoted themselves entirely to a bloodthirsty tussle between Catholics and others on the same subject. This all followed a N.U.T. meeting at which Catholics were present in force."
(3) " The I.C.P.," he went on, " has also invited correspondence from all responsible individuals and associations about public affairs. We will use this correspondence as the basis for debates and also as a basis for continual correspondence to the local press on all subjects of public interest."
HOW DEBATES ARE RUN
At these I.C.P. debates they divide the " House " into " Government " and " Opposition " benches and ask everyone present to be ready to stand up and say what he or she thinks, in order that they will get used to speaking in front of a considerable number of people. This in turn encourages precision of expression, clear thinking and the co-ordination of ideas in logical sequence.
The I.C.P. has not bound itself by any particular constitution. The members of the General Committee are expected to use their own initiative and to put into action as quickly as possible any ideas they may have for the furtherance of Catholic Action without consulting the other members. The encouragement of individual initiative and responsibility is the essence of the aim of this unique Parliament of Ilford.