Page 2, 7th July 1961

7th July 1961
Page 2
Page 2, 7th July 1961 — ENTHUSIASM & The BOMB

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Locations: Berlin


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SIR,-In comment on your uncharacteristic leader According to Hermann Kahn the eminent American strategist. "We must have disarmament in ten years or there is the probability that there will be nuclear war on a major scale."

We have argued disarmament with the Russians for fifteen years, there are ten to go. The world is a time bomb with a ten year fuse. Meanwhile the talks have almost broken down, K. talks tough on Berlin and his ultimatum runs out on December 31. It may not be Len years, it may be January I, 1962.

However I have a more serious charge. that your attack on enthusiasm is an attack on morality. Catholics and others who subscribe to a moral code believe that the moral issue is paramount, that no other considerations can be weighed in the same scales. If a thing is right, you do it. "Do right though the heavens fall" said Kant, Nuclear weapons cannot be reconciled with the Church's teaching, therefore we must abolish them. We can reverse Kant's dicturn in this case, do right or the heavens will fall. Your whole attack could be applied to anything which had small beginnings and which we now consider right, be it St. Francis or the abolition of slavery in England. There is no such thing as "holy folly". If it is strictly in accordance with morality it is simply commonsense.

The "troika" form of inspection team would also give us the veto, and then the onus of applying it would be on the Russians; the "good old balance of power" is an invalid concept, it is now the balance of terror, for we cannot assert our power without bringing about our own destruction; and how is Lt.-Col. Cransioun so knowledgeable about Russian rockets? Why are large liquid-fuel rockets hard to hide from the air? Has he never heard of fully hardened sites and shoes? Has he never studied the "Titan" complex?

Is there anything to show that the Russians haven't the full arsenal of horrors that the Ameri cans have? If the Russians will attack England as soon as she has not got the bomb, why hasn't she already attacked Finland or Austria or any other country on her borders who haven't got the bomb? It seems that the further you get away from the Russians the more dangerous they are.

Your picture of the unilateralists as "antiseptic humanists" driven by a death wish to self-immolation is a self portrait drawn from a rttirror.

Your whole article can be better applied to those who wish to keep the bomb. Theirs will be "martyrdoms of questionable value" when they have blown themselves up along with the whole world; they are those whose faces "are growing longer, harder and colder" as, wishing to preserve their material wealth, have fallen in love with it, and wish to become like it, dead. They, indeed "hunger for crucifixion" who love their possessions more than their fellow men and would wish themselves away into radio-active dust.

At Ampleforth every morning we used to pray that the Holy Spirit would renew the face of the earth. If we "defend Christianity" this way we will certainly do this, wipe every human being clean off the face of the earth. Is this what was meant? Sounds a shocking blasphemy to me.

Peter Lumsden

25 Elsworthy Road, N.W.3.

This paper, without attempting to pronounce judgment on disputed moral problems, has tried to keep a balance in this question. Catholics Who have studied the matter take Opposite views. Enthusiasm is always required, but reason must be the arbiter of sound or false enthusiasm. -Forroe, "C-H."

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