Page 3, 6th March 1936

6th March 1936
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Page 3, 6th March 1936 — LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Our correspondents are urged to limit
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 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.

"NORDICS" AND LATINS Si,—Your footnote to Mr. Wynne Ru:hton's letter was very welcome. It is easy to ridicule the nordic Christianity of Dean Inge; but it is a phenomenon less dangerous than the attempts of the "Romanist" school, led by Mr. Belloc and exemplified by "Beachcomber," to identify Christianity with Latin Europe. Mr. Belle's views clearly have a better intrinsic survival value than the Dean's, and his errors may be perpetuated along with his truths.

Catholics in England have not yet lived down the penal laws, and their intense reaction against the alien culture around them leads some of them to invent a ficti

tious Golden Middle Age, like Mr. Chesterton's fifteenth century, or a fictitious

prosperous Catholic Europe, like Mr. Bet toe's fascist Italy. They depreciate the achievements of northern and Protestant Europe in the way that many Englishmen stupidly and ignorantly despise the affairs of Spain and Mexico.

It is of the first importance that Christianity should not be mixed up in this elementary cultural strife. The Mediter ranean peoples lost the leadership of Europe three hundred years ago, and the European peoples have already lost the leadership of the world. Catholics who shut up their minds in a mythical past would do their Faith better service if they went boldly to meet the future. Their spiritual Drang nach Soden is arrested de velopment. The person who insists most strongly that the Church consecrated the Roman Empire to Christian purposes is the one who shows least confidence that the Church can do the same to soviet Russia. It is worth realising that Chris tianity has not ceased to be a dynamic in human affairs, and that adaptation will not forever be sacrificed to tradition. There may yet come a time when Westminster and Paris arc sees in partibro. and Rome is a shrine for pilgrims like Jerusalem to day, and the conclaves and the councils of the Church are summoned to Winnipeg or Nanking.

Protestant contempt for "dagoes" and Catholic contempt for "nordics" are ways of frittering away moral energy that might be used in nobler causes. They are symptomatic of the arrogance of the group

mind. which is the curse of our age, and the exact contrary of the apostolic commission.

I need not change the subject, sir, in order to refer to your leading article of

this weak It .expressed with admirable

useaness . wet, f0 say Tic] e.

Although I do not always find myself in agreement with you. the Catholic Herald seems to me to have a clearer conception than any other paner I know of what the Christianisation of the twentieth century would be. I know I am not alone in thanking you for an article which is no insignificant step towards that infinitely distant goal.

MARTIN WRIT-MT.

Hertford College, Oxford.

A " RANSOM " APPEAL

SIR,—We should be grateful if you would allow us, by means of the Catholic Herald, to give publicity to an offer we have received from a subscriber to the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom.

Our friend kindly promises to make a donation of £100 to the million pound fund if nine others will give a similar gift. This capital fund is for the purpose of providing a regular income for the support of priests in struggling outposts of the Faith, and for establishing and financing new country missions in England and Wales.

May we appeal to the generosity of your readers to enable us to claim the fulfilment of our benefactor's promise?

E. HUNTLY GORDON, Secretary.

Guild of Our Lady of Ransom, 29-31, Portugal Street, London, W.C.2.

EXPLOITING THE YOUNG

SIR.—The reference to the boy-scout movement (which includes the rover movement) as a semi-religious brotherhood by the reviewer of Mr. Harold Stovin's book Totem; The Exploitation of Youth in your issue of February 28 may create quite the wrong idea about the movement in the minds of some of your readers.

" The foundation-stone of scouting lies in the scout promise of duty to God." This is a quotation from an official pubiication of the movement. It may also be pointed out that a Catholic bishop took part in drawing up the religious policy of the association.

The reviewer goes on to congratulate Mr. Stovin on detecting the similarities which exist between the boy-scout movement and other youth organisations. I hope when I read the book that I shall find the author has also .detected what is far more important, the points of differ ence. Lord Baden-Powell. addressing a party of Catholic scouts, said, " As scouts you have not two masters, your only master is God and your Church." This suggests the reason why the scout movement had to be suppressed in Germany and Italy to make way for the Hitleriugend and balilla respectively.

W. KEITH BUCKLEY. 15, Lower Park Road,

Victoria Park, Manchester, 14. BRITISH YOUTH ORGANISATIONS

SIR,—On February 21 the Catholic Herald published a report of the Caxton Hall meeting of the British Youth Organisations, and stated that " it was obvious from the start that the one thing necessary was lacking—agreement on any fundamental principles about justice, peace and war."

I feel that this report has unintentionally given a very false impression of the purpose and spirit of the meeting. There are it is true many fundamental differences of opinion among the organisations interested in the British Youth Organisations, and these are honestly admitted. What is more important at this particular crisis in world history, and what should be honestly admitted and encouraged by all parties and creeds alike, is that the urgent desire of youth to maintain peace has enabled them to overcome prejudices and come together to discover practical ways of achieving the common object of them all.

Whatever their nationality, creed or political conviction young people to-day can and do find more agreement on the fuedamental principles of justice, peace and war than has ever been possible before.

Youth, faced with a situation in which it has much to gain and nothing to lose by breaking down the barriers of prejudice and sectional interest, can find agreement on principles which arc fundamental to the maintenance of peace. Firstly, that youth stands for arbitration instead of war as the means of national policy. Secondly, that international justice must be the same for the small nations and coloured people as for the great powers. Thirdly, that there are in the world to-day forces making for war, which can only be checked by the unity of all those who stand for spiritual and cultural freedom. and that if we all stand together, working each in our ov .1 way for peace, we shall present an invincible barrier to war. . . .

JUDITH CORCOFLAN,

Hon. Secretary.

British Youth Organisations, 62 Cornwall Gardens, S.W.7.

CLASS WAR SIR,—I accept "Cleric's " remarks with gratitude. With regard to Mr. Lashmart there is little to be said, for it is not my place to write an elementary lecture on history. I can only suggest to him that he reads a few books on the subject. especially those dealing with the period of the Enelosnre Arts. ',Pt him also con

• eici whai the icudal system of land holding involved, what it brought to an end, how the Tudor landlords got their lands, and why the peasantry were unable to follow the same methods.

ARTHUR ROWTON.

SIR,—Mr. Ernest Lashmart's reply to Mr. Rowton's letter is neither amusing nor very intelligent, since his " bit of history " does not, apparently, take him back even to the nineteenth century. For enlightenment he proposes to ask a few peasants round about 8torrington of what they consider themselves to have been dispossessed. He will be busy indeed, for there are no peasants in England to-day, either at Storrington or elsewhere. But if he really desires to know what the peasants have been dispossessed of, let him read the story of the enclosure of the common lands and then tell the agricultural population of Great Britain that he cannot see " what the dickens they have been dispossessed of?

" By nineteen out of twenty enclosure bills the poor are injured and most grossly! " wrote Arthur Young.

Under this system of dispossessing a dying peasantry of their common lands the landowners grew rich, and many of the great houses of the nobility which are to-day honoured and revered as the Stately Homes were enlarged out of this buying up by " distinctly lawful means" of the meagre possessions of the peasant. . . .

ALFRED GROSCH.

SIR,—Mr. Lashmart explains that " the English peasantry never possessed anything but a periodical wage and the loan of a cottage," and therefore were never " dispossessed." It may interest him to know that the German professor Max Weber calls England " the classic land of peasant eviction." The two conceptions hardly harmonise. However, it is Mr. Lashmart's history that is all googly. I should advise him to study J. L. and B. Hammond's Village Labourer, 1760-1832; or Hasbach's History of the English Agricultural Labourer, or Cobbett's savage remarks a propos of North Hampshire in vol. 11 of the Rural Rides.

(REV.) W. P. WITCUTT.

St. Anne's, Alcester Street, Birmingham.

FOR PEACE

SIR.—Would each of your readers join and get as many others as possible to unite in saying constantly daily that perfect petition from the holy Mass

" Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace."

So in union with the Masses being offered up at every moment there would be a great prayer of pleading ascending to the throne of God, M. C. THE SPANISH ELECTIONS

SIR,—As a reader of Spanish papers of both "right" and "left" tendencies, I think it should in all fairness be pointed out that the A.B.C. from which Father Pozzi quotes his extract in your current issue represents the extreme right Had he also quoted the Heraldo de Madrid or any other of the left papers, your readers would have seen that such incidents as are complained of, with, alas! only too probable justification, were as common to left as to right supporters.

In view of past history and local temperament these highly regrettable incidents, although utterly reprehensible; are not altogether unnatural. But an impartial observer with previous experience of Spanish elections cannot. I think, fail to come to the conclusion that, taken all in all, there was, as the Catholic Herald correspondent rightly stated, a welcome absence of disorder, and that terrorisation was rare compared to the past and to what might have been expected.

The veteran monarchist leader, Count Romanones, stated to an A.B.C. reporter a few days prior to the election that the forthcoming election would be the most orderly that had yet been held.

ANTHONY MOURAYIEFF.

27, Sackville Street, W.I.

SIR.—In your issue of February 7 you published an interview with Senor Nicolas Gonzalez Ruiz, whom you described as

the editor of El Debate. May I rectify this point? The gentleman in question is not the editor but a member of the staff and a specialist in literary criticism.

1 cannot but help feeling that there has been some misunderstanding of what he meant, as there are several phrases as reported which anyone who knows Spain and El Debate could not possibly accept. Thus, the phrase about the -distinctions" which " Catholics in Spain are able to make " and " which no theologian would recognise, but which are perfectly satisfactory to themselves. Thus they can even be communists and fervent Catholics at the same time."

This statement, followed by the description of the communists who enthusiastically acclaimed a Holy Week procession, is most misleading to those who do not know Spain. Those who do have no difficulty in recognising the type here

referred to. It is a type too common, alas! in certain towns here, which is totally ignorant of religion, has no acquaintance with the sacraments or Catholic life in its reality, and is definitely hostile to all religion, but preserves from better days something which once was worthy of the name of faith but which can now only be described as a superstitious attachment to certain popular images. It is entirely different from the beautiful and genuine devotion felt for these same images in a true Catholic sense by those of the peoPlc, and they are still fortunately many, who are entitled to the name of " fervent Catholics," but these are not communist and know well enough the distinction of theologians and popes between the one and the other, and heartily assent to it.

Sr. Gil Robles has always made it perfectly clear where he and his party stand, and I cannot agree that his status as a Catholic has not very much to do with his being slighted in politics. . . .

Especially after the elections, I am afraid that I cannot agree in the completely optimistic view of Spain as she is at present, which appears to satisfy Sr. Gonzalez Ruiz. Under the new government anything may happen. But even as things were up till now there was little solid ground for hope until Gil Robles could be said to have a chance of governing, and in the present nothing could be said to have been accomplished.

Finally, I should be most obliged if you could impress upon the English press, and particularly on the BAC., to which we listen otherwise with pleasure out here, the fact that Gil Robles is not a fascist, that there is already a Spanish fascist party with which his party has repeatedly said it has nothing to do, as a correspondent of yours recently explained, and that Gil Robles has repeatedly disavowed and repudiated Fascism and its methods as entirely alien to the ideals of his Christian democratic party.

(Rev.) ALFONSO DE ZULUETA. Dehesa " La Alcaria,"

Ubrique, Provincia de Cadiz.

THE " SCHOOL THEATRE"

SIR,—In your editorial comment in your issue of February 14 on the personnel of the "English School Theatre" you speak of the treasurer and secretary as "certain signatories" to the public appeal made for funds. Would it not have been better to read the appeal more carefully? "Signatories" are one thing. A secretary and a treasurer are in another category of significance. The significant thing about the secretary of the proposed movement for enlarging the education of English children is that this official is a member of the executive committee of the well-known "Society for Cultural Relations with the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics"; and was engaged quite recently in delivering a panegyric on Soviet education, prefaced by the description of that education as "materialist in conception and atheist in outlook."

I am sure you will hasten to remove from the pages of the Catholic Herald the impression, which you have unwittingly given, that the paper supports a children's movement the principal official of which gives public support to materialist and atheist education and is a member of the , executive committee of a society which a government command paper describes as approved by the Communist International "as fertile ground for communist propa

(Continued Irom previous column.) ganda of the intellectual variety" (cmd.

2682, p. 132). An American enquiry into the American section of the S.C.R. concludes: "Many members of these organisations are quite frequently perfectly sincere people, who are merely dupes." Of course, the eminent signatories you quote are doubtless "per fectly sincere."

G. M. GODDEN.

49, Grosvenor Street, W.I.

[We are not "supporters" of the School Theatre. We printed it sympathetic account of its avowed aims and objects as a matter of news. If and when the theatre is used for improper purposes we shall withdran our sym pathy ' print our reasons for so doing.-Etamit.

SMALL SHOPS BIG STORES

SIR.—The big stores east the small shops, yet the small shops stand for individual freedom and respons ility and family independence. Co-operativesk. -ttids seem much more like big stores than s. iall shops, even if they do carry out Cathoii.: teaching as regards wage-earners. The words of Leo XIII remain: " The law, therefore, should favour ownership, and its policy should be to induce as many as possible of the humbler classes to become owners."

POWYS EVANS.

TWO QUESTIONS

Si,—There are points about Catholic Action which are troubling some of us

ordinary Catholics. Two questions will perhaps make one of them clear: (1) Is a main point of Catholic Action unity, co-operation, and the formation of a powerful body of opinion to combat legislation that is not acceptable to the Church ?

(2) If so, has not a policy rather like this one in relation to Jewry been fundamentally to blame for cutting off the Jews from their fellow-men since the earliest times ?

WORRIED BRITISHER.

"

ORDER"

SIR,—There is no doubt that your condemnation, under the heading " Order," of the attack on M. Blum as "cowardly and brutal " is fully justified. For those of your readers, however, who are not familiar with events in France, I think it ought to be said that not only the Action Francaise but all the parties of the "right" have continually suffered aggression at the hands of their political opponents, the friends of M. Blum, on many occasions with loss of life. Two names immediately come to mind—Marius Plateau and Marcel Langlois, both of whom were victims of aggressions. M. Blum is as much an instigator of "ruffianism" as is M. MaurraIs.

M. WIDEMAN.

14 et 16, rue Fautin Latour, Paris, XVI.

[We were not, indeed, so innocent as to sup pose that M. Blum's followers arc all distinguished for gentleness and forbearance.—

EDI FOR:I

AN APPEAL FOR ANIMALS

SIR,—When there is such great poverty in our own country there may be some who feel that to appeal for animals, and especially for animals abroad, is out of place. Let me say at the outset that I do not want to rob one man, woman or child in need of help. Yet those who love animals will want to help them too, and will perhaps be willing to give the price of an extra cocktail, or of an unnecessary packet of cigarettes, to relieve them of great suffering.

I am appealing for the animals in Italy. Those who have visited that country may have seen something of cruelty to them there.... Many butchers there are willing to adopt merciful methods of killing if given the opportunity. The Hawksley Society for the Protection of Animals and Birds in Italy is working for reform with some success. In 134 municipal and 23 private slaughter-houses it has introduced and supervises the use of the humane killer. The money sent in answer to this appeal will be used exclusively for this branch of the society's work. I ask your readers to send something to the secretary, Humane Slaughter Fund, Hawksley Society for the Protection of Animals and Birds in Italy, 23, Albion Street, Hyde Park, London, W.2.

ELSE LOCOCK.

44, Rusholme Road, Putney.




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