Sir.In view of the hysterical outburst by sections of the British Press regarding the Suez Canal. 1 think one or two points may well be made which are in many people's minds.
Firstly. as Catholics and Christians we have a clear duty not to rush into a conflict-which may easily lead to a world war-unless we are morally justified in doing so. Britain's main concern in Suez is, or should be, her right to use the canal without being discriminated against. Col. Nasser has not threatened to deny Britain the right to use the canal nor is it likely he will do so-unless provoked into it by ourselves or the French.
Secondly. are we as a nation sure that people acting in our name have not in fact gone to considerable lengths to influence certain pilots not to work for the Egyptians and thus, deliberately creating chaos in the canal, give the impression that any delay in ships passing through indicates either (a) Egyptian inefficiency and inability to run the canal or (b) 'discrimination' against certain shipping-probably British, thus giving a pretext for the use of force?
Thirdly, one cannot but be amazed at the talk about the danger of the canal's being controlled by one nation when we think that the canal was due to be handed over to Egypt in a few years anyway. How can such a situation be dangerous now but not potentially dangerous in another twelve years?
Finally, let us not be stampeded into automatically taking the side opposite to that taken by Russia or the Communists. We must take care to be positively Catholic and not merely negatively anti-Communist, for in the anti-Communist camp there are many whose moral outlook is as rotten as the Communists'-and possibly more so.
A. F. Brookes. 3 Tracks Lane Billinge, Nr. Wigan.