Page 4, 31st August 1945

31st August 1945
Page 4
Page 4, 31st August 1945 — IN A FEW WORDS
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IN A FEW WORDS

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London Looks Worse than Rome HAD an unfortunately rather hur1 ried chat this week with a' friend just returned from Rome where he has spent a year and met roost of the politicians. His first remark was: " You know London looks a good deal worse than Rome." He wasn't referring to the damage, but to the city's sir and its peop/e. On the whole he had an optimistic picture to give. " Much better than one might have expected, though there's oext winter to live through." He thinks the Communists, plus a section of the Socialists, have little chance, and none whatever if there are reasonably fair elections. " I have had meals with Togliatti: a nice little man, most gentle and courteous. No, not a fanatic, I think. Possibly a cereerist—certainly very close to Russia. k little worried by the hotheadedness of some of his followers. Perri? A kind of political martyr and mystic. The Christian Democratic leaders like de Gasperi and Gonella may be too clerical for some of the party's rank and file. Croce it about the most conservative person in Italy to-day."

Visited the Pope

MY friend had little good to say " about the Roman aristocracy which tarries on the same as ever, whining a little about their lot, but unrelated to the country or people. They think of the war and the troubles solely in terms of the discomforts which they have brought—and these appear to be considerably less than 'they have been to others.

He reported the usual enthusiasm of many, and not least of the Allied authorities and diplomats, for the work and help of the Holy Father with whom he had had a relatively long audience. There is tremendous concern about the isolation of vast parts of "Europe since communications with the Bishops have virtually ceased to exist. He thought that the Polish betrayal had made the arranging of any concordat with Russia very difficult. The hatred for the Germans in Italy has to be seen to be believed, but the Russian diplomatic receptions in Rome remind people a good deal of the German ones in the past.

Lt. Kirchener Sings ht Mayfair IEUT. Edward J. Kirchener, A-0 U.S.N.. Vice-President of Paz Romance. arrived in London on Saturday. On Sunday evening he became a successful international impresario. He organised a concert and his corn

pany represented the whole world. He presented Belgians singing a parody of "Jo b0 Brown's Body " in what might have been

i'Y'Se Flemish, a Dutch ,:sp priest singing an old Netherlands song about war with the Englieh, and an Irish Scot singing a love song in Gaelic and a " come-aftye " io what was definitely blarney. He sang " Home on the Range " himself, with the assistance of a girl graduate from the University of Chicago. Lieut. Kirchener is not quite as good as Mr. Crosby:, but even Bing never had a more affectionate or cosmopolitan auditsoce. Seumas O'Sullivan opened the proceedings. The audience sat on the floor. Only one person could sit comfortably on the piano, although more than one tried. Saunas gave a song of the Highlands, an Irish ballad, one in the " old tongue " and a rousing song about an ould woman " who frightened the devil. He was followed by a French youth who was a repertory company, orchestra and con doctor of community singing all in one. You've heard of Raimu; if you haven't heard Pierre you have heard nothing yet. Revolving delicately on hips that seemed set in ball-bearings he impersonated a suave clarinetist, a frantic fiddler, a maniacal pianist, a pompous trombonist, and sang a song

at the same time. He demonstrated the difference in approach between les mesdames and lea messieurs in sewing on le boutoo.

English students closed the show with a satirical item rendered to the tune of " Little Brown Jug." " What a Peculiar Race the English Arc !"

A Freethinker's Tribute to Newman pR. J.' A. S. Proctor sends nte A a very interesting cutting from the Freethinker of September 15, 1901, on Newman. I am surprised to find that the Freethinker of those often anticlerical days was milder than it is today.

" A recent announcement in regard to the rebuilding of the Edgbasfon Oratory recalls various events in connection with that Roman Catholic institution," the note begins. " Most of all, it recalls the former central figure there—a sweet and eloquent soul, unfortunately immersed in superstition, to which be imparted a charm which was adventitious and something that it never deserved. Everyone about him loved him.

" 1 knew the Cardinal, and have lunched in the refectory with him. We had chats on various subjects. He did not wish to be approached by ordinary journalists. In that respect he was excessively timid. Fr. Neville, his private secretary, constituted himself a barrier. But it happened that I not only knew him before he was made Cardinal. . . .

" I had practically lived in that Ora tory for some weeks. I knew the priests there, and found them infinitely preferable to Protestant preachers in a social sort of way. They knew I was a disbeliever, but they did not say they were 'shocked ' as members of common Dissenting sects would have said. They afforded me every information which was necessary to the obituary of Cardinal Newman which I was preparing, They came out at tke final moment and whispered to

The Cardinal is dead l' In a few minutes I set the wires to work, and the world knew that the brightest, sweetest advocate of the Church of Rome had ceased to exist."

A Sailor's Reaction HERE is what a sailor said about the atomic bomb: "I cannot feel pleased at the introduction of the atomic bomb. It was, I suppose, inevitable and better on our side than the enemy's, that's certain. Even so it is difficult to say where `Progress' is leading us. I don't like it at all. Am I wrong in this attitude I wonder? Am I a throw-back from feudal times? Perhaps so, because I must confess than I'd far rather have a few spears, bows and arrows, and bladders on sticks than our future armaments . . . this new weapon illustrates the ease with which even a deformed cripple may sit back in comfort and control with one small knob the future of half-a-million people in a matter of seconds. It's worrying, to say the least of it. Are we fit to accept such heavy responsibilities—and, if not, what the — are we going to do about it?"

JOTTER




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