SIR,—The contintious criticism of Russian affairs by the Catholic Press has caused a great deal of controversy its progressrve circles. It is stated that the standard applied by Catholics to Russia differs from that fixed for other countries and that therefore the criticisms are unfaii and hypocritical. Conditions in Russia from a British standard may not be satisfactory but are we satisfied with the position in Spain and Portugal? Neither of these countries are democratic. The trade union movement has not even the status it possesses in Russia where it exists as a State organ, while in Spaie and Portugal it doesn't seem to exist. The Catholic concern for private property in Spain and Pore tugal is not apparent as the hind in both countries is in the hands of wealthy landowners. but there is no word uttered in the Catholic press of satisfying the. desires of the Catholic peasants for sufficient land to enable them to become owners of property. Stalin is reported to Neve stated in his interview with British members of the House of Parliament that he didn't mind what report they gave of what they saw in Russia so long as they told thg facts, I think we might apply another standard in Russia by only criticising those insliturines and policies that we freely criticise inCatholic countries. Our relations with all countries would be better if we had one standard of criticism which could be interpreted as the views of the Universal Church,
Windyridge, Briar tone. Carshalton, surrey.
IThere is at least one great difference between Soviet Russia and Spain or Portugal which oar correspondent surprisingly overlooks: their respective views. .about Catholic Christianity. Strange as it may seem to " progressive circles," our loyal far our religion and our conviction that Christian worship, teaching and traditions matter more than anything else may well make us prejudiced in favour of Catholic countries and against atheist countries. Being human beings of flesh and blood, and not animated blue books, thank God Wr do feel this way! But in fact the main reason why Russia is dealt with at length in the Catholic Press lust now is because what Russia is doing Is of vast inrpartance to the world's future. whereas the seine can hardly be said of Spain or Portugal.— Eurroa, C. ILI