THE Labour Party Conference I may have sounded a little airy. fairy. hut it was deluged with bright ideas—food for thought for any government that may take over next year. The emphasis on getting 10 per cent. of our senior pupils into universities sited in industrial locales is of specially vital importance. At present the percentage is only five.
In a viciously competitive world, this country's economy has suffered grievously from a tack of trained talent. new designers, technicians with imagination. managers with fresh concepts of business administration.
All this needs to be developed as far as possible in a university context. so that the scientists. industrialists and technologists of the future should learn their trade against a background of liberal culture. This alone can preserve human values in Mr. Wilson's "new socialism".
The huge welcome accorded to Mayor Willi Brandt, and the prophecy that be may be West Germany's next president, gave added point to Mr. Wilson's theme that the Europe of the future will be a 'socialist" one. This is not to be taken to mean "socialist" in the wrong sense, something from which Catholics must draw back.
On thc contrary, there is a fair chance that such a future can work out in terms of social democracy rather than socialism strictly so-called, that such a Europe may develop the kind of social sense demanded by Mater et Magistra. This is of paramount urgency for the whole human race at this juncture of its history, and any government, Conservative, I abour or Liberal, must look to it.
Coupled with this is Labour's long-standing sense of urgency in the matter of building up the backward countries. The world is fast re-discovering its own centre. It is for Christians to ensure. by playing their part to the full, that it does so as a visible framework for Christ's family.