ABUSE OF TRADE UNION RIGHTS
By the LARL OF WICKLOW
THERE is no doubt that the trade unions have -'achieved a great work during the last WO years in improving the status of labour, and it certainly would be highly temerarious for a Catholic, in view of numerous Papal pronouncements, to oppose the trade union principle.
One therefore regrets it all the more when this principle is abused.
At the time of writing immense inconvenience is being caused to the inhabitants of a large Dublin area, who now have to walk to work every day, owing to a local strike for which there is no adequate justification.
would go further, and say it is an example of a type of tyranny just as much to be discouraged as the former tyranny of the employers.
The reason for the present dispute is that a bus driver who had been a member of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union decided to join the National Union of Railwaymen. As a result of this, all members of the I.T.G.W.U. in that driver's area have gone on strike, immobilising 80 buses.
The Labour Court intervened and it is to be hoped will succeed in making an early settlement.
There can he no doubt that a man has a constitutional right to chose his union, and any effort to deprive him of that right is undemocratic, as the law stands is illegal, and aims a serious blow at the liberty of the individual.
It is of interest that the visit to Ireland of Cardinal Gilroy, Arch bishop of Sydney, should coincide with the news that the American Minister to Ireland, Mr. George Garrett, has been appointed Ambassador, and that Mr. T. T. Hearne, the present High Commissioner for Ireland in Canada, is to be the first Irish Ambassador to Washington.
In the ordinary course of events so small a country as Ireland could only hope to play an insignificant part in international affairs, but tl fact is that the large number of Catholics of Irish descent in the United States and Australia makes this country of no small importance.
I have been talking to a wellknown priest from Australia who is
at present visiting Ireland and he told me that about one-fifth of the population of Australia is Catholic, and that about 90 per cent. of the Catholics are of Irish blood.
He also told me that the development of Catholic life has been
remarkable during the last two decades, and that the number of priests has risen to a surprising extent.
Many Irish priests have volunteered for work in Australia, and it
will be remembered that the present Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr. Mannix, is of Maynooth fame.
Cardinal Gilroy, who is of Irish descent, is, however, the first Cardinal to be Australian-born.