HIRED US . . 1) (Continued from page 5)
concerns, which, as they do not yield exorbitant profits like say armament shares do are not likely to attract capital in the ordinary way, the State should devote a portion of the national income to financing them (which, of course, it does, by taxation).
And now, having considered unemployment as a problem, let us listen for a few moments to what those who are its victims
have to say. This is what a skilled engineer. aged 47, says after four years vain searching for work : " The outlook so far as I am concerned is hopeless . . . I try to exist on 8s. a week for food and I have never been able to afford coal for a fire " " My husband," says a Derbyshire miner's wife," lost his job two years ago. He is 62 years old and I am 66 . . . The P.A.C. . . allow us 2s. 6d. per week each now. There is little food for us; for this reason we never have our meals together . . . We would both rather be dead than go on like this ..." " During our illnesses and unemployment, debt, building society premiums, income tax, interest on mortgage, rates, doctor's bills, repayments for home purchased on the hire purchase systern, all mounted in volume, and with my eldest son age 16, the house I had attempted to purchase was sold over our heads, furniture re-claimed, and our family broken
up . . ." This from a London house painter with twenty years' service in the Navy behind him. These are not isolated instances. The
natural pride and reticence of our workless families, particularly those great unhonoured heroines the mothers, prevents much that should be shouted from the housetops from becoming known, stories of precious possessions capitalised one by one at the local pawnshops, of gallant fights to keep the truth from their children, of nerves frayed and health irreparably impaired with worry and malnutrition, of all the while a dogged determination not to give up hope as year after year passes and the struggle for existence becomes daily more bitter.
Public opinion must be roused and a definite challenge made to the complacency with which our country's arbiters regard unemployment. And in this battle to restore the natural rights of those whom modern society has thrown upon the scrap heap we Catholics have got to be to the fore. it is on this particular issue more than any that the Cross must mebt and conquer the Hammer and Sickle. No longer is it sufficient for us to salve our consciences with gifts of cast-off clothing and occasional donations to charitable organisations working in the distressed areas. Our place is in the vanguard of action. These men and women, condemned by an unjust social order to poverty and want are the twentieth century equivalent of " him who fell among the robbers." The choice lies with us as to whether we pass them by as did the priest and the Levite, or whether we stay to aid to aid them in their plight.