Page 4, 7th June 1946

7th June 1946
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1,v •

P'emintne 'orumi c4GAAvgy I

CONGRATULATIONS to the

married women of Portugal who, under a new electoral law, have been given the vote. True, there are certain qualifications. They must be literate and they must pay at least £2 property tax a year. I asked an official at the Portuguese Embassy to tell me something about the franchise as it exists in his country to-day. He said that all men have a vote and under the electoral law of 1910 unmarried women can vote—except those who could not read or write. They lost their vote on marriage. Illiteracy exists mainly among the peasants who know and care nothing about politics. " I have talked to people in this country," he said, " who, though they may be able to read and write take no interest in elections." Education has been compulsory in Portugal for the last ten years so there should not be many illiterates now.

I don't like the idea of the E.2 property tax proviso and I'm glad such dicrimination doesn't exist here. Miss Barry, hon. secretary of St. Joan's Alliance, welcomes the news but says: "Nothing short of franchise on the same terms as that for the men is just."

I F everyone who sits on a Brains ▪ Trust gets as much entertainment es I did when I " appeared " on ow' last week. then a good time must be had by all. The team, got together by Fr. John Foster in aid of his club for girls in the parish of Our Lady of Victories, Kensington, consisted of Fr. Devas, S.J., Mr. S. Seuffert, Mr. George Shreeve C.B.E., and myself, with Mr. H. Consterdine (Secretary of the Civil Service Guild) as a very tactful and understanding question master. So the Church, the Law, Empire administration (Mr. Shreeve has just come back from special duty in India) and the Press—and women—were represented. The session took 90 minutes and no one stampeded for the door before the end. While some of the questions were only for experts, like " Do you think we have done the right thing by giving up Egypt? ", most were of general interest—should women have equal pay with men—what five books would you take to a desert island—what is your definition of a humorous person—do you agree with Saturday morning

cinema clubs for children—why Latin in schools—and what about highminded people who live on dividends without knowing whether their money is derived from shady night clubs or slave_driven factories? I am glad to say that there were no votes for on equal pay!

The question that brought most surprises were the books. Lay members included a breviary arid St. Thomas it Kemple but Fr. Devas said on no account would he take a Kenmis. Two of the books he mentioned were Tristram Shandy and Belle's Path to Rome —"though," he added, "I think that Laurence Sterne is more a man's writer than a woman's." The question that really couldn't be debated at all was one that asked: "It is difficult to propose a question for which there is a true answer or an answer of which one is absolutely certain. If you had to choose such a question which one are you absolutely certain has a true answer? "

Fr. Foster has definite aims for his club which is called the "Margaret Sinclair." He waists to make it a good modern club with restaurant and other amenities to cater for a large number of girls who live. in single rooms, in he thinks, should also be a centre of Catholic activity in the parish and it Catholic port-of-call for girls who come

and go. Present activities include a mixed dramatic club, discussion groups. dress-making, dances, tenths, rambles, open nights for men friends and parents. " It is very informal, free and

easy," he told me. " We find that clubs arc more necessary than ever as a training ground for apostolic work and we also find that different types mix better than they used to do. Also that people from outside are keen to help and experts ready to lecture and advise,"

DOOM for just a short musical note: " Jean-Marie Beaudet, Supervisor of music to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Director of the French network conducts the B.B.C. Symphony orchestra on June 13 in an all-French programme. Verdi's Requiem, with John Barbirolli, conducting on June 12 from the Royal Albert Hall.

obtained). Catholic readers, tired of the witticisms appearing in the New Statesman and Tribune, so often made at the expense of religion, will welcome the fact that the Christmas verse of 1943 was called Papa Path, and begins:

"Pacelli, name auspicious, when you pray For peace on earth, this earth by war distraught, Our prayers we join. Your bidding we obey, From whom obedience you in vain have sought..

It is difficult to make short quotations that do justice to the verse, but I am always interested in the treatment of Zs in alphabet verses. Here is the Z of A.B.C. pi Current Affairs: "Z is for Zion--but, ere I offend, Maybe I'd better this alphabet end. One can provoke such a tempest of

fury By the most harmless allusion In Jewry."

JOTTER Wise. and Otherwise "No self-respecting Allied State will allow the will of another State to be imposed upon it."—M. Molotov.

"Britain's great handicap at present is that so many gloomy guys can get themselves into print."—Howard Clegg. Editor of " Montreal Star-Standard."

" There are Anglican Benedictines and Anglican Franciscans. As yet I have heard or neither Anglican Dominicans nor Anglican Jesuits—Fr. Devas, Si.

"This makes me sick at my stomach. Not out of quota by. It's civilisation eating itself up."—US. officer's wife's remark, reported as she was watching the eviction trains from East Prussia,




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