Page 4, 5th April 1946

5th April 1946
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Page 4, 5th April 1946 — UESTIONS F THE WEEK
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UESTIONS F THE WEEK

ilig The Editor

The World Court in Recess

THE fears expressed in these notes of the effectiveness of a United Nations Organisation, on the one hand the offspring of a vague and sentimental Liberalism unfounded on a real and true conception of Man sometimes seeming unmoved fundamentally by aught but aspiration to the comfort of the tomb, and on the other as a weapon of Imperial expansion from the East, part of the Soviet policy of move and counter-move stealthily coaxing the rightly peace-nostalgic Western nations into smug appeasement, have been tragically demonstrated as true during the past week. On Wednesday evening Mr. Gromyko, the Soviet delegate, spectacularly retreated from the meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York. The front pages of the Western world wete immediately glutted with drama. The Persian delegate made his statement. The wiseacres agreed that Mr. Gromyko had evacuated because he knew he would find it unanswerable — overlooking what is more obvious, to the more simple, that Mr. Gromyko knew that before he attended the council. He knew he was going to walk out, and hc knew that Mr. Byrnes would immediately go into action giving the same appearance of strength Mr. Vishinsky's friend. • Mr. Bevin, gave when he held the spotlight on his home stage. Letters from Persia and teams of experts have been occupying the floor since Wednesday : and the floor

has had the ear of the world. Our eyes have been focussed on Persia and

on Mr. Byrnes. And in the meantime? It has been noted in this column in the past that while Persia is a danger-spot of great importance, our tirst duty tics in those ancient European States which form the groundwork of all that is worth saving in the world; culturally, economically, Politically, they arc our hope, the ropository of Christianity's future. During the past week we have learned that Hungary, which turned clearly to the system of life which is ours at a free election less than six months ago, has been virtually brought under the heel of the Soviet no less ruthlessly than Czechoslovakia in 1938. Russian soldiers have taken over the Press and radio: Communists, imported from Moscow, the police and army. This week another Munich has been accomplished and it was not a post-Versailles monstrosity that was butchered but a nation as much a part of Europe as a vein in a man's beau is part of ,his body. But the case of Persia remained before the Security Council.

Russia in Austria

SUCH is the unreality of our Christianity that a country reaching back to the very womb of our Europe can die and receive not a line of simple obituary. A great CardinalPrince of our Church, recently released from a Nazi prison, stands in his ancient basilica and raises his hands in supplication while we go to the cinema to see Mn. Byrnes or Mr. )3evin 4111 in the space between the feature and the Donald Dick. Circuses have, with a vengeance. taken precedence over bread! Dried egg is news while the blood of our brothers dries undei a darkened sun. Frivolity is the deadly cancer rotting the soul of the West. For the political road out is easy for the Christian. It is easy also for any man of goodwill. Christian morality, the map of life which. however it may have been obscured in the minds of good men in the West is what in their hearts they have held as the right, offers that way out. A means must be devised, and immediately, for the hearkening before a world court of any aggressor nation, a court that will judge wisely and with decision when crimes are art aimed before it, and a court that will act. During the past fortnight Russia has introduced her own settlers into the Burgenland, part of Austria, the bridgehead between Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. That is a crime. Hundreds of Slovaks and the Czech sympathisers have been thrown into prison in the country recently defined by Mr. Churchill as "the last democracy" of Central Europe. That is a crime. In Poland the Peasant Party is being subjected to the most brutal pre-election campaign because it will not consent to be swallowed by the minority of Russian-imported agents who call themselves Polish workers. That is a crime. In Yugoslavia and in Italian Trieste Communist terrorism is stamping out the last vestige of Christian civilisation and a minority is murdering the rights of a decent majority. All crimes and all un arraigned. If the United Nations of the West will not decide and decide quickly on their mutual principles, streamline their organisation, if need be recast it in an alliance, then it seems all Europe will be united and orientated East of Hitler. As we stated last week, it is our responsibility. These crimes must be faced; judged; and set right. Restitution cannot be avoided.

Communist Affiliations

THE insufficiency. as a political philosophy, of Socialist humanitarianism, is exemplified in our own country in the current controversy on the propnsed " affiliation " of the Commun ists to the Labour Party. The older members. the senior league of the larger group, remain relentlessly. and rightly, opposed to the swallowing of the first boa-constrictor in natural history which operates from the rabbit's stomach. That is the secret of Communist success. The old hands know it ; their eyes turn to the Stratton House or last year, and they observe their eistwhile Polish " comrades " magically transformed to " Fascist beasts "; they are not amused But it would seem that if they don't act quickly they will be, willy-nilly, absorbed. If not this year. then next. For such is the absurdity of the condition which our political institutions have developed that trade union opinion looks like increasing the tempo of its demands until the Communists will go in or the Party will collapse

An alien caucus operating within the fundamentally Conservative Unions of Great Britain is the most sinister influence at work in the field of British politics to-day. One can already see the Red Star, emblem of Soviet Heroism, glistening on the bosom of certaM " Socialists." One cannot see what the shop stewards are up to. It is the T.U.C.'s task to clean its own house and speedily. else the choice for the old guard Socialists, the democrat like Mr. Morrison, who believes that even a Mosley has the right of being judged, will find that he has to choose between the devil from Moscow or the Conservative from, perhaps even, the Brendan Bracken country. The Morrisons, Bevins, Attires. Chuter Edes are the men returned to office by the people of Britain. They act for us They must act. Our Communist Party is still small. So was the National Socials ist at one time.

The Greek Elections

THE results of the Greek elections a are in our opinion less important for the world in general than the manner in which those elections were carried out and in the reaction of the Russian radio. For weeks past we have been informed by the most sober and generally reliable journals that a

election in Greece was impossible. The back benches on the Government side of Parliament rumbled with " demo cratic " protest. The Greek people were again, being sabotaged by the

reactionaries,' and Mr. Bevin, already embryonically a Hitler sprung unnaturally from the bosom of the Transport and 'General Workers' Union (Dockers' Section) was aiding and abetting them in their loathsome campaign. The results of the election have amply justified the stand taken by the Foreign Secretary. The fact that the vast majority of abstentions from voting were in E.A.M. centres suggests that intimidation was in operation from the extreme Left, for observers in other districts could find little evidence of such intimidation operating the other way. And it is by no means certain that, as we go to press, the monarchial party will have a clear majority on the basis of the votes recorded it does seem, however, that the majority of the Greeks are in favour of a constitutional monarchy. They will decide by plebiscite. But we may be sure that, however they decide, those who wish to see the return of the King will be assailed from all sides as Fascists. We may well see a repetition of Belgium irt Greece, Belgium where the will of the Belgians has been talked out of court, if Mr Sevin does not stand firm. Already the Moscow radio is blaring with accusations not borne out by eyewitnesses from the British Ness.

Belgian Catholics Stand Finn

THE disunity which is the ineffective.ness of the West is again illustrated in the formation of the new Belgian Government. The Catholic Social Christian Party, the largest group tn the new Parliament, with only one scat less than the combination which now holds office. has set an example which, if set earlier and followed by the other Christian democrats of the Continent, would have placed Christian Democracy in a much stronger position than it now holds. The party of M. De Schryvcr has refused to compromise It will not accept office in a Government which includes Communists. a party dedicated throughout the world to the advancement of alien imperialism, and the destruction of Christianity.

How have the Socialists chosen? It has been well said by a British Catholic journalist that Mr. Attlee is the " Arciszewski " of Great Britain. The same honour could be laid at the feet of Mr Van Acker; while M. Speak, it sometimes appears. is anxious to be

the Bencs of Belgium. The second aspiration, if less glorious than the firSt, is no less dangerous. The intransigeance of the Belgian Left bodes ill for the future of that sorely-tried and gallant country. What is at the bottom, then, of the Spank-Van Acker courting of Communist destruction? It is interesting to note that the Communist representation as returned at the elections amounts to about one-quarter of the Catholic and about one-eighth of the combined returns. The Belgian Gov

ernment is grotesquely uniepresentative of the mind of the Belgian people. Yet Mr. Van Acker announces that should his majority prove insufficient to rule in Parliament, " measures will be taken to obtain all powers necessary." The question arises—what measures?

The Steel Industry

THE process of nationalisation goes forward apace. The latest addition to the list of interests coming under Government control is that of the steel industry. plans for which have been prepared and will be shortly brought before the Cabinet. The importance of steel in the present age is obvious to all and the danger of monopolisation. towards which the industry is steadily advancing, cannot be denied. But the problem of nationalising it, owing to the difficulty of defining it, is not easy of solution.

Opposition comes mainly from manufacturing and commercial quarters, and these have paid little attention to one vital question in connection with the proposal If steel is a big factor in most modern constructional under. takings, it is an even bigger factor in the destructive business of war. To nationalise the industry would be to obstruct the international trade in this commodity whereby it has been possible in the past for the tweet to potential enemies abroad of the means by which they have been able to equip themselves. That such transfers were made not only by British but also by American firms is notorious It was in this way, for instance, that Japan waa supplied with heavy melting steel

scrap.

Sir William Beveridge

IT is not necessary to agree with all Sir William Beveridge said in the lectures inaugurating a Chair in the University of Madrid in order to appreciate the value of such interchanges of economic thought And. though they seem to have suppressed the publication of certain passages in his discourses, the fact that the University authorities invited this eminent British thinker to address their countrymen is. in view of the strained relations between the two countries. greatly to their credit,

How much more effective is such a guesture in bringing about the desired end than the provocative proposals involving interference in internal Spanish affairs! A suggestive comment on these proposals is afforded by what has taken

Place in Argentina Here, it is reported, Colonel Peron, the nationalist cahdidate, has secured a sufficiently large majority in the recent election to assure him of the Presidency His success is said to be due in some measure to the publication on the eve of the election of the American Blue Book, this publication being interpreted as foreign intervention. As a result, the

slogan, Braden or Peron," gained vogue. The publicising of Washington's attitude towards Argentina thus had the opposite effect to that intended.




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