TO THE EDITOR
Our correspondents are urged to limit their letters to SOO words; otherwise they are liable to be shortened or omitted altogether. Letters must bear a name and address (not necessarily for publication) or they will be ignored.—Editor.
KING GEORGE V SIR,—In this hour of universal national grief will you allow me to voice my heartfelt and sorrowful sympathy with you all; having not only enjoyed England's generous hospitality for many years, but also served under the late King's colours, it is as a close friend, not a stranger, that I share your bereavement.
King George has left his subjects a high and noble ideal to live up to; forever they will treasure his memory as man and sovereign. With you I pray God to bless King Edward's reign, arid may he guide his beloved country along paths of happiness and prosperity. As Prince of Wales he was ever faithful to his motto, and no one is better fitted to bear the heavy burden of kingship with all its arduous duties and service. God save the King!
YOUR RUSSIAN CORRESPONDENT.
Sus,—Here are two extracts from letters of sympathy in our national loss which 1 have received from Belgium. The first is from a Flemish barrister who served during the war :
"King George, like our late King Albert, understood what very few crowned or unclowned rulers of nations seem to grasp nowadays: that peace brings more happinesi in life than military honours. Compare them please with ' the great of the earth.' Mussolini is genial, but his conceit ruins his country. Stalin is but a tyrant of slaves, not of free men. Hitler dreams of the providential supremacy of the German race, and forgets that some respect is due to the rest of mankind. "George V was great because he was wise, simple, peaceful, and loving . . . "King George received on earth the reward of a just man—the love of his subjects, and the grateful veneration of the world. We all pray that he may receive in eternity what he so sincerely wished to give the world—peace."
The second is from a Flemish lady who was at school in England during the war:
"It was with great sorrow that we heard of the death of your King. I certainly sympathise in the national loss. Was I not once upon a time a sort of British subject? Belgians will ever remember that it was under King George V that such kind hospitality was given them," AGATHA S. JACKSON.
SIR,—A king above class and a ruler may be an ideal, but we have seen to it the ideal shall remain unaccomplished.
Our lords, spiritual and temporal, understand no better than do trades-union leaders what are the interests of the people of England. What man is there who shall overcome their interested ignorance'?—let him be king, or what you will.
We who respect the memory of the late King had better show that respect by fighting against the bonds that bind us now, and bound him, rather than talk as though he ruled the country for every man.
1, The Gardens, Rayners Lane, Pinner.
" RELIGION AND SCIENCE"
SIR.—We desire to protest most strongly against the statement made by Mr. F. R. Hoare in his review of Bertrand Russell's Religion and Science, published in your issue of January 17, that the Home University Library is edited by three atheists and his insinuation that the influence of the series is used for antiChristian propaganda. Whilst we do not object to any justifiable attack on an individual volume in the Library, we take the greatest exception to your correspondent's sweeping accusations with reference to the series as a whole and the distinguished scholars who have done so much to make our Library what it has become.
We do not make any inquisition into the religious views of our editors or contributors, but we should be greatly surprised to learn that they accepted Mr. Hoare's description; and it is patently untrue to suggest that the series has any anti-religious bias. The presence of two of the most successful of the more recent additions—Bishop Gore's Jesus of Nazareth and Edwyn Bevan's Christianity —should be sufficient to show the complete baselessness of Mr. Hoare's contention. Moreover, the fact that Mr. Hilaire Belloc has contributed two volumes, and Dr. William Barry has contributed one, shows that Roman Catholic authors of distinction have acknowledged the value of our series and have not hesitated to place their services at its disposal.
The Library is neither a Rationalist Press nor a Christian Evidence Society. It simply endeavours to give the best results of modern knowledge on those subjects where knowledge is obtainable, and competent discussions by recognised authorities on the many branches of study where certainty is still beyond our reach. We, therefore, trust that you will give the same prominence to this letter as you have already given to Mr. Hoare's unprovoked and unjustifiable attack.
THORNTON BUTTERWORTH LTD. TRESFIAM LE'VER, Director. 15, Bedford Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.
[We gladly accede to the request for publi cation of this letter, and we regret that the review should have been read as a general attack upon the series and the individuals concerned with editing it. This was certainly not our intention.—Eeiroal NEWS FROM ETHIOPIA Stit,—It is difficult to reconcile Sir Leo Chiozza Money's claim that " civilisation is indebted " to Italy with the following extract from a speech which was delivered by Mussolini at Rome on December 30, 1930—only five years ago: "How can it be thought," said Mussolini on that occasion, "that I consider without horror
the eventuality of a war? To-day a war, even
if it broke out between two nations only, would become fatally universal, and the whole of
cvilisation would be in danger. Italy will never take the initiative in a war. She needs peace. Fascism seeks to assure the Italian 'people, in co-operation with other peoples, a future of prosperity and peace."
By initiating the war in Abyssinia and insisting upon waging it in spite of the protests of the world, the Italian people under their leader have deliberately " endangered the whole of civilisation," How then can Sir Leo maintain that civilisation owes a debt of gratitude to Italy?
C. CLAXTON TURNER.
!W shell be glad to print any reply that Sir Leo Chiozza Money may like to make to our correspondent. Otherwise, the correspondence cannot continue, as the subject has so recently been discussed in these columns.—Eoiroa."!
CULTURE AND EXHIBITIONS
S1R,—I gather from Mr. Purgold's letter that art collectors unlike business men or "godless capitalists" are interested in culture. That is to say, that they are interested in collecting well-made pots and chairs and sealing them in museums in order that the great art public may enjoy them. How noble! The fact that the entire nation is enslaved to money-making and that in order to see decently-made things, or in order to see anything manmade at all, we have to go and look at them in glass cases does not perturb these cultured gentlemen. "They are good people who have made their money perfectly honestly"—and in consequence they are quite undisturbed by the fact that other equally good and honest people who have not made their money, and who probably never will, are forced to give up their entire humanity, their ability to make anything at all, in order to live. All that is presumably not in the culture line.
Culture as defined in the Oxford Dictionary is "The training and refinement of mind, tastes and manners." I can only ask Mr. Purgold whether a society in which people make things. as wc have had in the past, or a society in which people look at things and make nothing but money, is more likely to bring about that clearable state. Is a cultured society one in which the people are cultured or is it simply one in which a few people who, having made their money (quite honestly), can afford to give the rest of the people nice things to look at? Is it one in which people make beautiful chairs and pots or one in which (if they can be bothered) they look at them in their spare time, the time they get off from making money for the cultured beings?
No, it would be a pity to leave all facts to "communists and similar lunatics"!
M. W. RICHEY.
SIR,—In the Catholic Herald of January 3, Captain T. W. C. Curd appears to jibe at Catholics with "supposed qualities of 'business' and efficiency" I would beg to ask him how many of the original members of the committee of management of the Marydown Farming Association were known to possess any qualification whatsoever for conducting the affairs of that, or of any other association, efficiently, and with any pretence to sound administration? It may be assumed that had the chairman been fortunate enough to have had the assistance of a committee composed wholly of those fully-qualified to have rendered him the efficient assistance to which he was entitled, especially viewing the very ill health he has had, that Marydown would not now be in its present insolvent position, and with so little relatively to show for the very large expenditure incurred.
It would take up too much of your valuable space to go fully into details, which I suggest could be given at an independent enquiry, which it is suggested should be held by competent authority as early as possible . . . .
I trust that you may be able to see your way to supporting my suggestion for an inquiry being held. It would appear very desirable that before the public are asked again to subscribe funds for shares in the
M F A competent authority should have been placed in a position to ensure that, as far as it is humanly possible to do so, in future the administration of Catholic land settlements will be thoroughly sound, so that the excellent movement made to place Catholic families on the land may be in no danger of having regrettably to be ended.
J. H. GIBBONS (Captain).
[We commend the suggestion for an independent enquiry to the notice of those concerned. This correspondence is now closed.—
THE " CATHOLIC WORKER"
SIR,—I was very interested to read Mr. Fagan's letter in your last issue on the subject of the Catholic Worker.
To me, as a convert, it exemplifies the splendid co-operation which is so evident amongst the various papers, societies, leagues, etc., which are all working with the same object in view.
However, Mr. Fagan's letter seems to imply that the Catholic Worker is chiefly for working men, whereas it has a message for everyone, even a retired old buffer like myself, living in this salubrious spot, preparing for death whilst trying to keep one's body alive as long as possible!
In fact, I suggest that the motto of the Catholic Worker might be the same as that of my old regiment—Ubique---" Everywhere."
E. ELPHINSTONE (COL, R.A., retired). " Lindsay Grange,"
The Avenue, Branksome Park, Bournemouth.
Sir,—I have known Mary Macdonald, who wrote Housewifery versus Homemaking in a recent issue of the Catholic Herald. for several years. She herself was brought up in a home where the utmost possible freedom was given to her and her brother and sister. (Even to painting on their playroom wall-1 have seen a charming landscape embellishing the rather shabby room.) Two of them are naturally careful and orderly, and have never been known to do deliberate harm to anything. The third has been destructive from infancy, squeezing cigarettes, pulling all toys to pieces, loving a " rough house," playing with cushions—and what more delightful and innocent toy than an old cushion?—and where is the intrinsic difference between a cushion and a ball—as a toy? They have been allowed to build castles and fortresses with chairs and rugs, use half the garden for cowboy and gangster games, etc., their mother being convinced that children should have free outlets for high spirits and imaginative activity.
Up to date, the destructive one (aged 13) is in some ways careless, in others absolutely orderly, painstaking, and lawabiding. He is unusually considerate of people's feelings, and is never known to tease unkindly or be unpleasant to anyone. All this proves nothing, except that chhdren have their individualities and characters distinct from each other even as grown-ups have.
The great disadvantage of this "method"' of freedom and non-interference is that the children are puzzled in homes less easy and reasonable than their own; puzzled and baffled when the mother is angrier over a torn frock or a broken cup than about a lapse in good manners or justice or kindness. " Joan " can tell a lie, snub a servant, refuse to share sweets, is unable to begin to distinguish between a personal liking and intrinsic values. I have heard the youngest member of the above-mentioned family say: " So-and-so is afraid to tell her mother her blouse is torn; so-and-so thinks because she likes a thing that thing is perfect." This small child is never afraid to tell her mother of anything she does, because she has never been " scolded." (A stupid thing to do when children have such a sense of justice and clear reasoning powers.) Even if she does lick the jamspoon or chalk wrong numbers on gates there will be no horrified cries of : " How naughty you are! "
I once knew a woman of family and her grown-up son, between whom there was a perfect friendship. She as a child had been terrified by the guardian who had care of her while her mother was in India, and in natural reaction she always sympathised
with her own son's pranks. When he threw a jug of water over his governess's best hat, they laughed together—and bought her a better-than-best hat. Did it result in a callous rebel against decent society? He was one of the most courteous and considerate men 1 have ever met, and a perfect son.
We grown-ups are so solemn about the natural ebullitions of the innocent minds
of children. Who put a child in their midst, and said: " Except . . . ."?
[If " Agnous" will send us his name and address we shall be glad to publish his letter. A number of letters are held orer this week owing to pressure on our space.— Editor.]