Page 15, 6th December 1935

6th December 1935
Page 15
Page 15, 6th December 1935 — LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Our correspondents are urged to limit their letters to 300 words; otherwise they are liable to be shortened or omitted altogether. Letters must bear a name and address (not necessarily for publication) or they will be ignored.—Editor.

DOUGLAS ETHICS S1R,—My original statement concerning Major Douglas's advocacy of the dissociation of "work for socially productive purposes" from "artistic gratification" brought from Mr. Pasco Langmaid a perfectly legitimate request for chapter and verse, which I supplied. Mr. Courtney now asserts that in the passage I specified Major Douglas does not either explicitly or implicitly advocate this dissociation. The point is as 1 said in the first instance, not of the first importance among the pros and cons of Social-Credit, but for the credit of the paper this sweeping denial ought not, perhaps, to be allowed to pass.

The chapter in question (No. VI of Part I of Social-Credit, third edition) sets out to discuss " the complaint against the modern co-operative industrial system that its routine operations are soulkilling, monotonous and without interest, and that a remedy can be found, and can sinly be found, in a return to handicraft." It proceeds to point out the mutual dependence of the well-being of the State and of its citizens, and goes on (p. 54):— 4' It seems to follow that the human

individual has two aspects, one of which is functional and specialised, and is only concerned with the health and well-being of the Great Man,' i.e., Society, of which he forms a part. Out of this aspect, he benefits indirectly, not directly. This is exactly the position of the individual in regard to the division of labour which forms the basis of co-operative industrialism. To proceed with our chosen analogy, the individual can, in the nature of things, only form a constituent of one function of the Great Man, at any one instant of time. There is nothing to prevent his forming a constituent of another function at a subsequent period of time.

. . But the point that it is desired to stress at the present moment is that, in this aspect, the individual is not serving his individuality, but ought to be serving his environment in the best way possible, and direct artistic gratification from work performed in this way is neither specifically to be looked for, nor is it the immediate object of the work. ft may even be the cause of a narrow outlook."

The italics are mine. The part of my Original sentence that was challenged was " work for socially productive purposes should, according to Major Douglas, be dissociated ... from artistic gratification."

If anyone is still persuaded by Mr. Courtney that I have done violence to Major Douglas's meaning, then, since your space will not allow you to reproduce the whole chapter, I can only suggest that he consult the book itself!

Apart from this particular point, why should Mr. Courtney speak of my article as being on " imaginary ethics " and of the Catholic Herald as being " abusively vague" in its charge of "anti-moralism"? Mr. Courtney may disagree with the attitude taken up in these columns on Major Douglas's views on ethics, but it was at least substantiated by nearly two columns consisting chiefly of a close summary (with several verbal quotations) of passages in the Major's own writings, none of which has been challenged as inaccurate except on the point on which I have further substantiated my assertion in this letter. Who then has been " abusively vague "?

May I make one more appeal to Mr. Courtney and to all social-crediters who read this paper to recognise the fact that it is possible to be at the same time sincerely critical of some of the views, both technical and ethical, of many social-crediters, and a sincere advocate of some of the others. lf they would frankly recognise this and drop the discussion be much sweetened, but much attitude of hostility towards anyone who does not accept as gospel all Major Douglas has written, not only would more rapid progress might be made in the conversion of the public to at any rate a large part (and what I personally believe to be the really vital part) of Social-Credit doctrine. Social-crediters have been snubbed and neglected in the press for so long that their touchiness is understandable, but it is surely unnecessary, and a hindrance, when they are dealing with those who persistently seek to find common ground with them.

YOUR INDUSTRIAL CORRESPONDENT. [This correspondence is now closed. But we intend to re-opcn the subject of Social Credit again later on.—Erwroa.1


SIR,—With reference to the letter of Mr. Tompkins (November 22): we may note that in the fascist State such matters as birth-control and sterilisation will be submitted "to the full consideration of medical and moral authorities" and that medical authorities come first. And we may note that, while knowledge of birth-control will be available to all, the Catholic Church will be free to dissuade itc rnewrikore frnm ci,rl, rtrnr tir.c


SIR—Your contributor who describes as " sheer nonsense " my statement in The Dines that the British public gets a better and a cheaper loaf than is supplied anywhere else in the world is more terse than reasonable. He does not argue; he states. He prefers predilection to proof. Is it " sheer nonsense " to point out that the 41b. loaf, which costs 8d. in this country, costs Is. I Id. in Germany, Is. 6d. in Sweden, 11d. in France, Is. 5d. in U.S.A.. and Is. Id. in Canada? Is it " sheer nonsense " that the British Medical Association has, during the past few months, issued a popular guide to sound nutrition in which bread is the basic and most abundant item? These are not fancies; they arc facts.

As, however, your contributor is unhappy not only about his bread but about his beer, his bacon and his cheese, it is clear that all is not well with him—the grass not so green as it used to be, the blue sky not so blue.


Africa House, Kingsway, London.

November 28.

(we gladly accept Sir Charles Higham's assurance as to the cheapness of our bread. But did the B.M.A., in recommending bread, specify that the British baker's loaf is "a better loaf than is sold in any country of the world"? —Eottoa.1 SIB.—I was glad to see your recent Note and Comment referring to the quality of the average baker's bread. When I moved from a country village to a provincial town near London one of my chief difficulties was to find bread that was bread— the best of all foods. It is literally true that I tried loaves from every bakery in the town, even venturing on those peculiar loaves manufactured by the thousand in some big bakery in London, apparently a compound of starch and water, with no colour, no taste, no crust, and every " hole " of the texture apparently stamped out by machine!

Nearly all the local bakeries which offered me home-made bread produced an anemic, spongy, tasteless substance which made the entire family exclaim, "What awful bread!" It was eatable only when toasted or fried. My quest finally brought me to a small one-man bakehouse where the baker will keep a loaf in his oven an extra half-hour for me, and it is not had at all. This is all-white bread, of course. I find it possible to get an honest wholemeal loaf, not very interesting as bread, but with recognisable flour in it; and I believe Hovis and Allinson's bread are really good food. (This is not an advertisement.)

1 recently stayed with some friends in the country, who make their own bread from their own flour; it was like a food from another planet, or another age, appetising and sweet—a " staff of life" one could really lean on.

If one woman in a kitchen can make so good food with just flour and water and yeast, why is it not possible for bakers in a bakery with the same materials to make something even approaching it in

quality? Anyway, how can the bakers so mutilate their flour as to produce such a travesty of food?


Nov. 24.

PS.—Talking of food, I should really like to know why the Milk Board won't let me buy skimmed milk.

PPS.—It is good to find the Catholic Herald taking an intelligent interest in such vital matters as food and clothes.

EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK SIR,—The writer of your Notes and Comments should adduce better instances in his advocacy of the fallacious slogan Equal Work : Equal Pay.

Neither the doubtful wisdom of the scheme which made the electorate of the country preponderatingly female nor the optimism in the idea that the wages of men will be maintained when the wages of woinen are increased is conducive to believing in the soundness of Equal Work: Equal Pay.

That economic theory alone should determine the wage of an individual is insufficient. The well-being of society necessitates the payment of an individual who supports a family in excess of one who does not.

Now, in a society such as exists at the present day the family is the unit and it is the male parent who supports the family. The feminist argument—that a woman may have dependants—cannot apply, since in the above society they do not, whereas a man is essentially, in his capacity as a father, the supporter of dependants.

One wonders what effect this injustice would have on Christian marriage, an in

stitution in serious decline. The man would be obviously handicapped, and already it is noticeable that the woman who earns a wage equal to that of her male companion is loath to lose it and the social status it bestows on her in exchange for marriage.



[The writer of our Note gave it as his opinion that equal pay for equal work irrespective of sex is a measure of justice. He did not advert


SIR,-1 am grateful for Fr. 'I homes Gilby's sympathetic review of my book Work and Leisure. There is just this to be said: I suppose the reference to Genesis is: "It is not good that man should be alone," i.e., the reason for the creation of woman is companionship. But, even so, if companionship alone were the thing another man would have done, it is difficult to see how he-ness and she-ness, as such, can have any other significance but that given previously in Genesis :` "Be fruitful and multiply."

As to Fr. Gilby's chief criticism; I do not think he distinguishes between machines and the products of machines. Obviously a machine may be a thing made by a fully responsible workman (though of course we must remember that such things as standardised motor-cars are more products of machinery than machines in the above sense). But products of machines are not made by the people who mind the machines; if they can be said to be made by anybody they are made by the designer of the machine; the workmen who mind it are simply a sentient part of the machinery.

It is true that thousands of men who work with machines are not buttonpushers or mere machine-minders; they are, like chauffeurs, expert craftsmen. But if there arc thousands of such, there

are millions of the button-pushers. Let Fr. Gilby visit a typical machine bookbinder's factory and count the proportion of what are scheduled as skilled workers and unskilled workers, and let him ask the foreman about the difference in mentality and so forth between the one and the other. Also let him watch them working. I am not saying they are not happy, for they a:e well treated (nowadays), but it is quite obvious that they are not fully responsible human beings until the bell rings ot the whistle blows. ERIC GILL.

Pigotts, High Wycombe.

November 30.


SIR,—A lecture on Catholic Worldliness to the University Catholic Societies might be credited from parts of your report, with a Pelagian drift by some who are hostile to the very idea of Catholicism mixing into the abundance of contemporary life and who forget how sentences change when lifted out of their context. May I anticipate serious misunderstanding by reaffirming two theological positions that have not bees: included in your report?

(1) Human salvation is found only in the life of grace. This exceeds the highest life of nature. Grace is not, as it were, an attractive flush to nature, simply that, but a reality of a distinct order. Nature is not violated, but supposed and trans. cended.

(2) Human beings—not angels, that was your headline; neither it nor the lecture may be taken to condone a surrender to the more easy-going ways of human nature, a tolerant smile for human weakness. But on the contrary. the arduous realisation of the implications of the Incarnation. The Word was made flesh; and dwelt among us. Flesh. Dwelt.

Finally, the lecture was influenced by the letter of Pope Leo XIII to Cardinal Gibbons condemning Babbitry in religion (Testeni benevolentiae, January 22, 1899).



SIR,—If everybody thought as Mr. Verne apparently does, then the World State as a solution to war would doubtless come into existence, but the difficulty to which I alluded in my last letter is this: Many good people suppose that the idea of a World State is treasonable to patriotism, and in this they are probably right. One is per mitted to attack nationalism but not patriotism, as it is assumed that the latter is not political but religious; thus when an assembly beseeches or instructs the Almighty to send us victorious or make us mightier yet, that assembly conceive themselves not as political nationalists out as religious patriots, and this notion of dutiful respect and obedience to the State is seemingly supported by the scholastics.

Originally, patriotism, I presume, was entirely local, but after the entente of Church and State and the ensuing domination of the latter, the patriotic sentiment was extended, by means of' educational machinery, to the boundaries of a politisal State and effo;ts are made to stabilise it in that eircumsci ibed area. Unfortunately State machinery is almost everywhere in the hands of those who seek to strengthen patriotic nat:onalism or nationalist patriotism (I find the terms synonymous), with the result that the World State is, even " on paper," not yet a solution to international war,

JOHN NIBS. November 29.

Mark Twain Electioneering

In a number largely devoted to the centenary of Mark Twain, the Paris Soir tells the following story:— .

Only once did the famous humorist consent to take any part in politics. on the occasion of the electoral campaign of his friend General Hawley.

At one meeting which he had to address Mark Twain began : " Gentlemen, Joseph Hawley is deserving of your

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