Page 8, 2nd December 1949

2nd December 1949
Page 8
Page 8, 2nd December 1949 — " Representative" Catholics

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0.4111m. FROM PAGE ONE

timing of the campaign to extract concessions—which took the Catholic public almost entirely by surprise —was equally faulty. He was fairly certain that the Hierarchy's proposals would command the loyal support of individuals working alone or through their Catholic organisations.

He was absolutely certain. however, that unchannelled and undirected enthusiasm alone would not suffice to secure the objectives set down by the Bishops.

" If we can't obtain justice in this particular way, it's not too late to search for another road together. But this time, let there he real cooperation. at all levels."


Mr. Richard Ewart was unhappy about what he called " the throwing away of a good case by mismanagement." He told me: " I am not surprised that many nonCatholic M.P.s regard the proposals as a kind of political black

mail. I think we have alienated a good deal of sympathy for our claims. I am convinced that if the case had been handled diplomatically, after talks in which M.P.s and laymen had first given their considered views, the result might have been rather different."

Two Conservative M.P.'s with whom our reporter raised the question seemed to share at least some of these misgivings; but neither Mr. Hollis nor Mr. Crossthwaite-Eyre was willing to voice them. They preferred to reserve their opinion for a meeting between Bishop Beck and Catholic M.P.'s on both sides of the House. which was due to be held yesterday (Thursday).


Dr. Letitia Fairfield. the wellknown social worker and public figure, said:

" The fiasco is really serious and should lead to a complete recasting of our education policy and tactics. Why was a campaign started on these lines with both parties dead against it, and even ready to combine to prevent our ideas taking shape?

" It is politically impossible to play one party off against another if they are both against you. This, i.e.. the probable reaction of the parties, could and should have been ascertained before the manifesto was issued.

" We are further justified in saying that the manifesto did not meet the very real difficulties of applying any form of the Scottish solution to England.

" As the Hierarchy had themselves rejected the solution since 1920, they could have shown a greater recognition of the difficulties the British public would find in accepting it! Many points would require prolonged discussion, adaptation and persuasion, of which no indication was given to Catholics.

" For the future, 1 can't see any alternative solution, except these:. (I) to co-operate as much as we can within the 1944 Act, and (2) to join with Local Authorities in trying to keep down the cost of schools; (3) to recast the whole educational organisation of the Church within.

" Unwelcome as it may be, there can be no doubt that a strong national body is needed to advise on major policy, to conduct and direct Propaganda. and to survey the whole field,


"The new Catholic Education Action Committee should be made permanent and enlarged. This could be done without undue interference with diocesan functions, but something will have to be surrendered of our extreme isolationist diocesan policy, or the situation is hopeless."

Councillor Joseph Sherrot, of Brighton, has publicly expressed the same view as Councillor Shiell about the delay in launching the schools' campaign.

Councillor Shiell found it lamentable that teachers, too, had been left in the dark.

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