But This Town Won't Have Papist Aldermen
A prime piece of Anti-Catholic prejudice has just been practised in one of Lancashire's most Catholic towns, St. Helens.
Mrs. E. McCormack, the Catholic candidate for the aldermanic vacancy created by a recent resignation, was defeated in favour of Councillor W. Burrows, the brother of the present Mayor of St. Helens.
Mrs. McCormack, whose record of service to the Council is longer than that of Councillor Burrows. has publicly expressed her opinion that her oefeat is due to the fact that she is a Catholic. Several facts point to a confirmation of
Strong Labour Ward
The President &f the Trades and Labour Council declared that Councillor Burrows was elected because thereby a vacancy would be created in one of the strongest Labour wards in the town.
Yet, when St. Helens had its first Catholic Mayor for over 20 years in Councillor O'Brien, who also represented this same stronghold of Labour and had equal service with the councillor elected in the occasion in 1936 of an aldermanic vacancy, he, too, was defeated in favour of a nonCatholic.
Out of Sympathy
It is significant that at the end of his year of oflice, Councillor O'Brien resigned from the Labour party because as he said " he had for a considerable time been out of sympathy with many of the actions of the Labour representatives." He was called upon to resign -his seat on the Town Council. Mr. O'Brien is a prominent official in his parish council of Catholic Action.
Moreover, since 1936, two aldermen have been created to both of whose service Mrs. McCormack is senior.
On the occasion of the last election only a few months ago, Councillor Burrows, the present successful candidate, stood down for Mrs. Mc.Cormack who was again defeated.
One-Third Catholic Town Mrs. McCormack would have been the only Catholic alderman on the bench despite the fact that over a third of the population of St. Helens is Catholic.
On the announcement of the election result Mrs. McCormack resigned from -the Labour Party, of which she has been a member for 37 years. She had been on the Council since 1923.
She is thus the second Catholic councillor to leave the party in twelve months.