Sat, If Miss Barbara Ward was attacking what many British Catholics wrote in their papers in 1940. let her recall that they were working in close touch with the Foreign Office in am attempt to counter German propaganda and keep Italy out of. the war By showing their friendship to Italy they not only delayed Mussolini's fatal mistake, but they deprived it of much of its venom. For 'he Italian, put no heart in the war; Fascists, they preferred peace.
After the miseries of the last war into which our propaganda dragged them, they needed the economic organisation Fascism gave them. They need it again, and this time we do, too. No one knows this better than Miss Ward, for she is joint Editor of the Economist, which tells us that the only way we can cope with our difficulties is to organise our economy-as Mussolini had to do with his. To pretend that his system was wholly evil as Mr. Dawson does-is to ignore the Italy of 1922 with its breakdown of administration, its brigandage, its crime societies, its demoralisation,. and its misery, which all, alas I return, with democracy, in 1945: it is to ignore the adroit compromises of Mussolini, his opportunism his many acts of conciliation, his cordiat fnendship with the British Ambassador, the way the Catholic Church rnospered in his regime, the support that he received from an immense majority of Catholic
authorities Are we to believe that
they, working with it from day to day, knew nothing, while our brilliant sociologist writing on the Yoiks re moors, knew all 7 Does he think that
our Ambassadors knew nothing ? I have talked to them for hours and share their views.
I write, in fact, ns one who. having received certain information, has sonic responsibility to impart it ; and 1 little thought that when that great historian. the Duke of Alba. asked if he might bring Mr Arnold Luna to my table that Mr. Lunn would now challenge my professional reputation. Dear Mr. Lunn I Need we take him too seriously 7 We can remembei how, a few years ago. as he prowled outside the Catholic fold, he would snarl and show his teeth and by and scatter the sheep; and how, Instead of startling any out he was startled in-and changed his guise But what we would miss if he pa' up all his old games I For he may be well assured that if they were funny in a wolf. they were vastly funnier in a sheep.
I welcome him back to England to join me once more in explaining Spain and explaining Bolshevism in a country which does not hear enough of the truth about them. Nor will he waste his time if he explains what the Pope in his Encyclical on America said of its finance.
Surely, most will agree that the more Catholic way was, and is. to repudiate war aims, and to draw near to one another in all countries in repontance, mercy and peace. We are all ruined. disorganised and demoralised. Miss Dorothy Thompson told an audience in New York that rather than let Berlin babies slowly starve to death it would be better to gas them. and there was a clap for gassing them. It outherods Herod. does it not ? She fears that Americans living so well while those they govern starve show certain dangers in unconditional surrender. But total victory in total war is not going even to feed England; many a change will come And meanwhile says that Word of God which is the Sword of the
Spirit, if your enemy hunger. feed him." Though that is a command to of Europe national organisation of eaeccohnoomf us, it also requires in the case pe y naturally agree with Mr. Wall that as the war went on, hypocrisy increased, and at the end is disastrous. But when he urges that Britain is as bad as America, he is going far. The impress of Christian history is much stronger here, the sense of Church much more distinct, the manners are more graceful, nor is there any financial group so powerful or so sinister here as there: if he were to compare even the crime record of Canada with that of the United States. he would see how much higher are the ethics or Canada ; if be were to think of what either our Crown Colonies or Dominions think as a result of seeing more Americans in the war, he would find that the desire for Imperial unity has now become much stronger. When Mr. Dawson looks to linking the Britisl Empire and the Catholic Church in closer partnership. and to consecrating that enthusiastic loyalty to Crown and Empire in which was brought up, he is following a line from which I have never devinted and to which I have always felt a special vocation myself in the service of literature.
[Ir is the tradition Of THE CATHOLIC HERALD to allow the fullest free speech to all its correspondents-a freedom that sometimes becomes a rope for the writer-but we cannot print the above letter without deploring the acerbity with which one leading Catholic treats another. What we all need is the humility to join together. to discuss our respective positions in amity and to kill jealousy.-Earroa, C.H.)