Page 4, 2nd January 1942

2nd January 1942
Page 4
Page 4, 2nd January 1942 — NOTES AND COMMENTS
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NOTES AND COMMENTS

CANADA AND TRAVEL

IT would require more knowledge of

Canadian feeling as a whole than we possess to judge of the real effect there of the Prime Minister's bitter outburst against France in his Ottawa speech. It was noticeable, moreover, that Mr. Churchill, while fully exempting the Free French from his indictment, appeared to be taking it for granted that France as a nation had failed to play her proper part and was presumably continuing to fail. This, at any rate, was logical, as compared with the views of those who believe that de Gaulle and not Petain is France to-day. It is amusing, for example, to read in People and Freedom, a paper devoted to Christian democracy, that the Free French are France: It may be that the Free French ought to be France or that France ought to support de Gaulle, but to argue from this to the fact that de Gaulle is France is a complete denial of democratic principles and an acceptance of the idealist theory of the State which was so abused by Hegel and the Germans.

The Prime Minister's indictment of France rested on the premiss that France did, in fact, really feel the same about the war as we did—and this at least is doubtful. But, whatever the rights and wrongs of the question, it seems somewhat hazardous to repeat word for word the indictment made in the heat of the moment during the debacle—and to do so, of all places, in Canada.

MANILA nESPITE various and differing Japanese

excuses—ranging from some divine tion between the Filipinos and the Americans and a statement that no official notification of the city's status was given them. nor had American troops been withdrawn —the whole world of ordinary people has heard with horror of the attacks upon undefended Manila and of the wanton destruction of homes, churches, convents and art treasures.

What is rreast mystifying—as in the case of the Nazis in Warsaw, Rotterdam and Belgrade—is the wantonness of the attack It is desperately poor psychology to sup pose that men can be cowed into subjec. tion by this terror from the air: and it is interesting to note that all these cities stand in lands which have maintained resistance whereas the unharmed Paris stands in a country which has compromised.

Britain, whose cities and villages have been through it, know well enough that wanton savagery only stiffens the will to resist. It may be that Germany is actually beginning to realise this truth. The Japanese have not learnt it, but they may yet. And there are some people in this country who are silly enough not to have learnt from actual experience that reprise, and revenge are not the way to victory. LIBYA VERSUS THE FAR EAST FROM the political point of view, the defence urged by Mr Churchill of our inability to concentrate forces against the Japanese attack owing to the need of securing our position in the Mediterracan has much to be said for it. There is even more to be said for it than he indicated. It does not imply an abandonment of the East. On the contrary1 the campaign in North sfafrica, if decisively successful. will secure our route to our Asiatic possessions. Victory in the Far East, if counter-balanced -by defeat in Libya, would be of less use to Great Britain.

Moreover, it is easier to justify the strengthening of our position in Europe than it is to argue in favour of maintaining our hold on far-away Asia. Whereas we are bound to the Western world by our geographical situation and by long historical traditions, our interests in the Far East is largely of a financial and commercial character. If the claims of these two spheres should, in view of our inability to defend both adequately, clash with one another, the odds on every count must be with the effort intended to prevent totalitarianism securing a foothold in North Africa and improving its position in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean.

Some people may object that the fruitful missionary fields in the Far East are dependent upon the white -man's power. rhough accidentally these have largely gone hand in hand. we do not think that the Vatican would attach great import ance to this. Its object, especially in recent years, has been to build indigenous Churches, less and less dependent upon the fortunes of Western civilization. It is the slower, but by far the sounder method.

AN UPROOTED STUMBLING BLOCK IHE extension of the war must neces sadly alter to some extent the position of Ireland. Even though Ireland may freely elect to remain neutral—and passages in the Papal Allocution most clearly vindicate her right to do so— here can be no doubt that her sympathies. already so strongly on our side. will become more marked through the entry of the United States into the war as the victim of aggression which already is destr ty-,.c so much of religious and .ivilisirig vet tie which Irishmen have helped to create in the Far East.

Moreover this change coincides with very definite indications a dissatisfacion with the Orange Government in Belfast. The defeat of two Government

candidates at the only two bye-elections since the death of Lord Craigavon is widely taken as a sign that the oldest " dictatorship " in Europe is at length dying.

We cannot prophesy about the future attitude of Ireland, but we can say with absolute certainty that the first condition of any possible change of orientation must be the acknowledgement by this country that the Belfast Government is no longer representative of Northern Ireland opinion in any real sense of the word.

The way is being prepared for AngloIrish reconciliation with all the advantage it must bring to both countries and to the future peace. It is madness on our part to maintain in the middle of "the road a stumbling block which is already uprooted.

MONEY IN THE BANK

HERE have recently been several indications that the authorities are edging their way into a position where they can virtually compel cash balances lying in the banks in excess of a certain amount to be transferred at long term to the service of the nation. It is quite possible that full compulsion will never be resorted to, but that something analagous to that peculiar form of moral suasion known as direction will gradually be evolved. The holder of liquid balances in excess of a certain amount will not actually have his money confiscated, but certain disadvantages will no doubt accrue to him if he fails to hand it over for investment in the manner in which the authorities may happen to desire.

A point of moral principle arises here and the theologian might debate with profit whether such action even in peace would constitute an unjustifiable inva sion of natural rights. On the whole there seems no reason to believe that it would do anything of the kind. To place in the citizen's hands as payment for the amount of which he has been mulcted a ticket entitling him to future income in the form of interest is in the circnmstances a fair exchange.

On the purely practical side the new development if it eventuates would be an extremely interesting one. The causes of unemployment are complex. nor can it be wholly solved merely by forcing money into circulation. Nevertheless in every slump the tendency of liquid fond , to go into hiding is inexcusably prolonged, and there is no question at all that the life-blood of trade could be kept circulating to a considerable extent if the State insisted on taking over the private investor's job when he had ceased to show himself willing to perform it.

SOLVING UNEMPLOYMENT INDEED if the unemployment problem is to be solved the solution will certainly come roughly along these lines. There would be an assessment of every institution and every individual which would determine the cash balance he was entitled to hold. Any sum that exceeded that amount would automatically be converted into Government securities which would become the depositors' property and might well be redeemable at will. The money thus appropriated would be disburged by the State not in the form of doles but in works of social utility or on the kind of project that ultimately yields a cash return but does it too slowly to be of interest to the capital market in the normal way.. This does not incen that the State would control production, but merely that il would come into a competitive market as the purchaser of capital and other goods. whenever other purchasers held aloof. These are, of course, only the broad outlines of the scheme, hut though its application would be complicated, the central idea is essentially a simple one AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE

IT is fortunate for Australia that the

Japanese advance in the Pacific has taken a westerly rather than a southerly direction. If its military policy is governed by principle "Asia for the Asiatics," it may be that an attack on the Commonwealth may be at least deferred But that it is not so governed seems evident from the air-raids on the Western coasts of the United States.

Unfortunately that part of Australia which lies nearest the enemy and is most likely to experience his attentions is also the most vulneralile. The north-westerly corner of the continent is an inhospitable, thinly populated and arid waste. Railways and roads adequate for such military operations as may be Soon needed are lacking. This would, of course, cut both ways, for Japanese forces landed at this point would have extreme difficulty in making their way overland to the more fertile and thickly populated lands of the south. As an air base, however, serving as a jumping off place for bombing, this corner would be invaluable. In view of this, and having in mind that the present situation has been viewed as a possibility for many years, it is surprising that more effective means of protection have not been afforded. We may be assured that if the enemy did effect a landing at this point. it would not be long before he would remedy its military deficiencies. Should his possession of it remain per

manent, it is also probable that his colonising energies would soon transform the neglected " waste " into a habitable country.

ORIENTAL COURAGE THE stories which are now rife concerning , the way in which the J apanese voluntarily sacrifice themselves in order to inflict injury on their enemies

are not incredible. Suicide for quite trivial reasons is, among this people, common. There is in the oriental a disposition to regard such self-immolation as in itself admirable which Westerners find it difficult to understand. We are a practical race and, before we sacrifice ourselves, we want to know that our sacrifice will effect some desired end. For us the giving of life is a means and not in itself an end.

It may be that this throws some light on the amazing fortitude and heroism of the Russian soldier, in whom there is more than a streak of orientalism. No one acquainted with the Russian character will deny the existence of an ascetic element, a love of suffering for suffering's sake. And this, it may be, helps to explain what otherwise is r psychological mystery.

That men long dragooned by a remorseless tyranny and reduced in both an industrial and military sense to automata, should display the qualities which the Russian armies have shown

calls for some explanation. And the one we have given does at least offer a suggestion. Subjection to a cruel authority and to the harsh conditions of a winter campaign, it is possible, are welcomed by the Russian soul as an iscesis congenial to its love of suffering

At the same time a German broadcast.

quoted by the B.B.C., gives an equally terrible picture of German sufferings and the German fanatics' apparent intoxication by suffering of indescribable hideousness.

New Archdiocese for U.S.A. : The Pope has lately created a new archdiocese of Denver and a new diocese of Pueblo in Colorado. Mgr. Urban J. Vehr, bishop of Denver, has been named archbishop of Denver. This brings up to 20 the total number of ecclesiastical provinces in the United States. There are actually 21 archdioceses, but the archdiocese of Washington has no suffragan sees and, therefore, is not an ecclesiastical province.




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