In the new schools 44,000 places have been provided. And 62 schools are being built, providing another 21.500 new places. By the end of 1956 the total cost of Catholic school building projects will be £19,529,862, of which between Ell and £14 million has been contributed "in addition to its rates and taxes" by the Catholic community.
In the 1956!57 school building programme there are 79 projects at an estimated cost of £7.129,677.
Dealing with the effects of the credit squeeze, and steps taken to relieve the difficulties it had placed in the way of new building. Bishop Beck warned that unless Catholic promoters are able to borrow money, the necessary school places might be provided by the local authority. If that happened then Catholics would have a difficult iob in making out a case for a new school.
He paid tribute to the heroic and self-sacrificing work of the teaching orders in providing grammar and technical school education. The time is ripe now for Catholics to consider seeking an amendment to Section 104 of the 1944 Education Act to make provision for these types of education. Only by an amendment of the present legislation could Catholics get full justice and true equality in the provision of these types of educat ion.
Congratulating the councillors for the work they do in local government. Bishop Beck said : " Special significance attaches to these meetings. They represent an important growth in Catholic strength and the development of an important element in Catholic
society. They are further evidence of the growing cohesion of the Catholic body; the filling up and strengthening of our middle class influence in civic life."
He also urged the councillors to consider discussing at future conferences other vital problems, instancing two the welfare of children below school age, and the care of the aged.
On Friday night, a ' civic reception was given to the conference delegates by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Manchester, Councillor and Mrs. Harry Sharp. On the Saturday, Mgr. H. Thompson, V.G., secretary of the Leeds Diocesan Schools' Commission, and Mgr. G. Winham, ecclesiastical assistant to the Catholic Education Council. dealt with the problem of " Section 55 of the 'Education Act, 1944" (Special Transport and Payment of Fares), and Canon J. J. Crowley. chairman of the Southwark Diocesan Schools' Commission, and Alderman P. H. Edwards, chairman of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Education Committee. spoke on the rights of parents with particular reference to Special Schools.
The last meeting on the Saturday was devoted to the study of " The new re-valuation of properties for rating purposes." upon which Mr. R. A. G. O'Brien, secretary of the Catholic Education Council. and Mr. A. G. C. King, a member of the Catholic Education Council and of the Conference of Solicitors acting for dioceses and religious orders, read short papers.
Britain's Social Revolution will be the subject of four lectures to he given by Fr. Paul Crane, S.J., arranged by the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom. and to be given in Westminster Cathedral at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, November S. IS. 22 and 29,