Book Centre THERE was a pleasant air of in" formality at the opening of Duckett's, the new Catholic book shop ,n the Strand, opposite Aldwych, last week. And that was as it should be: hooks should be treated seriously but not solemnly Like good wine they ihould be merchandised in a congenial omosphere. Duckett's is a pleasant place, warmly bound in dark brown lanelling, its goods displayed ratiodilly, so one may read and browse without impacting on subjects the mind inds uncongenial. The staff adds to he atmosphere by -approaching their aares with all due reverence and the -eader, co-partner in literary mere!on, will find them collaborationists in 'ook-loving.
MGR. Godfrey, who performed the
opening ceremony and blessed the nremises, had some interesting coe -oents to make on the patio." of the new centre and on the location of its nremises. Blessed James Duckett, the English martyr who was martyred lot his trade which found a focal point in his Faith (he was killed for selling Catholic books), was a particularly happy choice. The Strand has, as the Apostolic Delegate said, " treasured associations for us Catholics." The adjacent Booksellers' Row was also known as Holywell Street where pilgrims on the road to Canterbury refreshed themselves.. As Mgr Godfrey indicated, the new Duckett's may refresh many pilgrims on the road to Rome. And by my judgment those who have reached Rome may find it a refreshing place also. I hope. by the way. that Duckett's will not interpret Catholic books in too narrow a way. For the sake of busi ness as well as for sake of attracting non-Catholics 1 should like to see the stock contain at least foray per cent. of good general literature.
WRITING fromthe Athenaeum, instead of Switzerland (where I thought he was going to stay for a long time), Arnold Lunn corrects. a point in a profile of him which we had published. He says his book. Now I See, was only given a " Nihil Obstat " in Rome for the Italian translation, not approved. He adds that in his exile he derived much pleasure from keeping in touch through this paper with " all the jolly bees which are buzzing in and around the Catholic bonnet." I welcome the return of one of the chief work-bees.
What will Molotov Say ?
TALKING of bees and bonnets, l
am delighted to give publicity to the noble project of turning the county of Huntingdon into an independent sovereign duchy within the British Empire. The secretary of " Free Huntingdon Committee (who lives at 15, Mowbray Avenue, Exeter—another refugee, I suppose) writes:
" The area of the small State thus achieved, together with the territory accruing to it through the rectification of its boundaries with the Soke of Peterborough, would contain an area comparable in extent with several of the German pre-1918 duchies, and would provide an oasis wherein might be preserved the true spirit of the English tradition, and a sanctuary in which the political, philosophical and agrarian
systems upheld by so many of your readers might be put into practice.
"There is no other English county so suited for this experiment, and the members of my committee are anxious to ascertain on what measure of support they can count 'in the event of a united campaign for the liberation of Huntingdon being inaugurated on a larger scale that has hitherto been practicable."
Fr. Davis' Answer MY queries last week have brought the answers I expected, knowing the courtesy of the gentlemen appealed to.
Fr. Remy Davis agrees, of course, that there is no conceivable subject of moral theology in which we are allowed to invoke hard cases to excuse wrong-doing. If it is wrong to obliterate a city by the use of the atomic bomb, obviously we could not devastate that city even if it was preparing to use the bomb on us."
But when he goes on to relate the Problem to these principles I am muddled again:
" Finally," he says, " the determine= lion of the moral aspect of the use of the atomic bomb must be ruled by the relation between the importance of the military target destroyed and the magnitude of the incidental non-military destruction (including the deaths of innocent people). Few writers have dealt with this relation, but to my mind it is precisely that relation which is of primary importance. If the incidental evil effect of my action is out of all• proportion to the direct and otherwise legitimate effect of it. then my action is morally wrong." , Is it just a question of calculation? Supposing it could be roughly calculated that you save a million lives by destroying 50,000 innocents, may the latter be sacrificed? Or, how many innocents can be sacrificed to enable a just belligerent to win his war?
And Mr. Attwater DONALD Attwater (or' rather Mr. Attwater, see below) responds as follows to the query about the titles:
" Arthur, Cardinal Hinsley," or " James, Canon Brown." " I must vigorously repudiate the attribution to me of being an authority on (of all things!) clerical etiquette— or on anything else. I know nothing about tho point raised ; but the separation of christening name from surname in an address seems a bit unreasonable. The other point (about bishops) is simply arrived at by reference to English civil and continental ecclesiastical practice : a personal fad, maybe. But is it no more than a personal fad that I should so dislike the new practice of some newspapers of referring to private citizens without the prefix of courtesy?—Dawson, instead of Mr. Dawson?" Is there any parallel. by the way, between " Arthur, Cardinal Hinsley" and " William, Lord Cradlema "? The latter title has quite a different meaning from " Lord William Cradlema."