" Back To The Grass " Movement Would
Be A Calamity says Farmers' Deputy
From Our Own Correspondent DUBLIN.
Ddil Eireann met last week, and Mr. de Valera was elected with his Government by 75 votes to 35, the nine Labour deputies not voting. There was a good deal of the asperity which seems ineradicable from our parliamentary life.
A debate on the vote for agriculture brought out the only new Independent in the Dail, Mr. Cogan, who won from Mr. Cosgrave's party its seat in Wicklow.
As Deputy Cogan stood as a Farmers' candidate, his attitude on agricultural policy was watched with interest. Replying to Mr. James Dillon, he declared that a " back to grass " movement would he calamitous, and stood for tillage as the means to give more employment on the land.
The tillage policy thus goes forward with fresh support. During recent weeks, much has been made of an utterance of the late Cardinal O'Donnell, when he was Bishop of Raphoe: " We'll drive the plough to the foot of Tara." Our newspapers have printed accounts of Signor Mussolini's initiation of the Italian harvest.
Price of Milk
Meanwhile, milk producers are agitating for high prices. They held a meeting in Dublin last week, Senator C. M. Byrne, of Wicklow, presiding, and complained that this year's drought and frost—the season certainly has been highly unfavourable to the land. and the hay crop is deplorably light -have raised the cost of feeding. The increase in agricultural wages, too, has cut the farmers' returns.
Producers are getting only sevenpencefarthing or sevenpence-halfpenny a gallon for their milk delivered in Dublin. They declare that this, in present conditions, is not remunerative—and I think that they are right.
The heavy profits go to the middlemen. In all phases of agriculture. Ireland is a land of high prices to the consumer, low returns to the producer. The middleman is the one who prospers.
CELTS IN CONFERENCE Plainchant and Irish Culture
The Celtic Congress has been held this year in the Isle of Man. Next year it is due to come to Ireland, and a move has been afoot to get it to Belfast, where the Scottish delegates would meet their first cousins. The people who tell year race by measuring your skull say that Belfast is the most Celtic part of Ireland.'
However 'that may be, this year's congress had many notable contributions by Irish spokesmen, among whom was Rev. John Burke. Dean of University College, Dublin, whose remarkable work in the development of plainsong throughout Ireland has been noted frequently in these columns.
The music of every nation must be subservient to its language. Some of our most learned philologists tell us that the Irish or Celtic language is more agreeable in its inflections and lends itself to the modulations of music better than any other in Europe, Fr. Burke said, and he argued that the primitive simplicity, eloquence and severe pathos of the Church music, and the construction of the Harp and method of tuning it, have been the principal causes of the originality and expressiveness of Irish music.
This might be taken as a cogent reason why at the present time of its revival the Gregorian Chant, by its construction, appeals so much and so instinctively to the Irish people.
" There has been a slow but sure development, most especially at present, in the revival of Ireland's national music, national culture, and native tongue," Fr. Burke went on.
" By the means taken to restore the native language, which these very beautiful ancient melodies clothe, the people of our land will sooner or later begin to realise and appreciate the exquisite charms of Ireland's melody in agreeable contrast with the music of other countries.
" As the mental culture begins to extend its influence over Ireland with a firm desire for the revival of Irish national music should we not encourage by every means in our power the acquisition of our mother-tongue so as to acquire something of our former fame in the literary and scientific acquirement for which our people were famous?
Revival of Plainsong
" The all-important place which music occupies in the sacred offices of religion renders it an object of our especial attention. Of late years the classic form of Church music, Plainsong, has been revived. Its modality, its melody, its beauty are akin and in many instances similar to the ancient Irish tunes.
" The Irish language in addition is soft and expressive in its inflections and lends itself to these modal and musical modulations better than any other in Europe.
" When we shall have restored our taste without let or hindrance in cultural development, then shall we revert with a higher degree of appreciation to the simplicity and beauty of a character which it is the wish of the Irish nation to foster and preserve."
Protestant Tribute to Irish Fairness
A fine tribute to the just rule of a Government of Catholics was made by the Protestant Bishop of Cashel, at the Protestant synod of Cashel and
Dr. Harvey said that Protestant schools had received most generous treatment at the hands of the Irish State, especially in the provision of motor services to take children of a scattered community to schools of their own denomination.
" I would like to pay the warmest tribute to our Government," Dr. Harvey said,'' for the more than generous way in which they have treated us and met us in our desire to keep our schools open.
British Government Compared
"No British Government treated us with a like consideration. In fact, had we remained under the British Government we should—judging by its ruthless closing of schools once the average dropped below a certain figure—have lost many of the schools we now have."
Dr. Harvey spoke of the importance of religion in the schools, and the consequent importance of schools for every religious community in order that none of the pupils should be excluded from the day's act of worship.
Recently I visited a school in a Catholic region of the Six, Counties. It was at the hour when religious instruction was given, and I saw one big, sandy-haired boy moping in the playground. He was the only Protestant pupil in the school, and he had to retire when his fellows were learning the doctrines of the Church. If that place. were in the Twenty-Six Counties, the Protestant pupil would attend a Protestant school and would receive appropriate instruction--he would be motored at the State's expense to the school. Apart from the justice and generosity of the Irish Government's method, it must be beneficial to morality.
Mr. Leahy Comes Home
The distinguished lecturer on Catholic letters, Mr. Maurice Leahy, has returned to Ireland from America and presented to President Hyde addresses and messages from Irish Americans and Catholic societies.
Frank Ryan, Prisoner
The Irish Press learns that Mr. Frank Ryan is a prisoner of war at Burgos. He was seen by a Red Cross representative and found wen. General Franco's Government has received appeals in Mr. Ryan's interests from Ireland.
A Good Word for "the National"
It has sometimes been held that our university colleges had not a cultural tradition, said the Bishop of Galway at a re-union of graduates.
It was very hard sometimes to know what people meant by a cultural tradition --whether they meant speaking with a soft drawl or the way of wearing clothes, or whether they meant having a history. Culture meant enlightenment of the mind. Certainly, the Irish Universities had got a fine cultural background in the Irish people from which they sprung.
The graduates of the Irish Universities had done yeoman service to the Church and Stale in Ireland.
Processions and Pilgrimages
On Saturday I wrote that the hosting at Saul was the one great Catholic event of this year in Ireland; and on Sunday my words were falsified by two remarkable demonstrations.
In Limerick, the Archconfratcrnity of the Holy Family walked in procession to celebrate its seventieth anniversary, and twenty thousand men are said to have taken part. The Mayor and Corporation took part. The broad main highway was splendidly adorned, the legion of the manhood of Limerick marching with banners and with statues drawn on carriages as in Spanish processions, while multitudes lined the footpaths.
Fr. Mathew Centenary
In Cork, the Father Mathew centenary was observed with splendid ceremony. The Bishop presided at High Mass, which was celebrated in the Holy Trinity Church that Fr. Mathew caused to be erected, and the Bishop of Waterford preached. Mr. Cosgrave, and other deputies for Cork were present, and with them the Lord Mayor and Corporation in robes, representatives of the national army and a host of citizens.
Meanwhile, in Kilkenny, Dublin Pioneers visited the Capuchin Friary where. Father Mathew once officiated, Beside these events, there was the annual pilgrimage to St. Brigid's shrine at Faughart in County Louth, a picturesque and moving event.
Mass for the Friends o
In the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, anniversary Mass was celebrated for the fifteen volunteers of the Irish Brigade who were killed in Spain. Four hundred members of the Irish bander(' were present at a gathering later when messages were read from General Franco, the Rector of the Irish College at Salamanca. the Military Governor of Caceres and the Duke of Algeciras.
Dean Keown, of Lough Derg
The Holy Father has sent a message of felicitation to Mgr. Keown, P.P., V.G., Carrickmacross, on the golden jubilee of his priesthood, particularly praising his long and zealous priorship of St. Patrick's Purgatory. All pilgrims know Dean Keown, admiring his austerity and his tender thoughtfulness for the souls who seek the graces of that famous pilgrimage.
Another Dublin Strike?
Failing a settlement by Saturday, the bakers of Dublin will strike, and the capital will be in straits for daily bread. The men are demanding 10s. a week rise in all ranks, and a maximum 44-hour week.
The masters point out in advertisements that wages in Dublin are 44 to 57 per cent. higher, in different grades, than in London, while the output in sacks per man per week is 13 in Dublin, against 40 in London,