OBSCENITY BUT NO FOOD
Front a Staff Reporter Going into the International Brigade to fight for Democracy seems to have at least one similarity with going to Hollywood to make good in movies: you come home disillusioned.
In the CATHOLIC HERALD during the past months you have read many tales of the disillusioned.
Hear then, for a change, the story of Moroney from Ennis, County Clare, who was twenty months with the International Brigade and who came back to England on June 14 without his first convictions altered.
Unlike most International " Brigadeers," Moroney went to fight not for Democracy, nor for the fun of the thing, but for Franco. It was in December, 1936, that Moroney decided to throw in his lot so decisively with the Nationalists, but unfortunately he had no money. There was only one way of getting to Spain without money, and that was the way Moroney went. You started from 16, King Street, Covent Garden, and after you had satisfied the people at the Headquarters of the Communist Party that your one aim in life was to degut as many Fascists as possible, it was all plain sailing, or rather plain train journeying: Paris, Perpignan, Barcelona.
Prison at Albacete Moroney thought that he would he able to desert to the Franco lines without much difficulty. He made his first mistake however by declaring himself on arrival in Negrin's Spain, as a Catholic.
His second and bigger mistake he made in attempting to organise the non-political elements in his company of the International Brigade, for this he had his first taste of prison. Ten days in a small room with the one window boarded up, and the electric light burning the whole time. Food consisted of beans and mule. He contracted typhoid and was removed
to hospital. When he recovered he was questioned by the police.
" Why did you come to Spain? To what political associations have you be longed? Why do you want to fight for the Spanish Government?"
He answered the questions satisfactorily but not truthfully and was released. The day after he was re-arrested because he had been seen speaking to two Spaniards. Some further questioning and he was again released. After waiting for a further two months in the town of his imprisonment, Albacete, he was sent to the rearguard of the Madrid front. Before he could do any fighting he was re-arrested for insubordination, and then began a long wearisome period of arrest and release. Altogether Moroney spent 200 days of his twenty months in Spain, in prison.
They Don't Hate Franco He has some particularly interesting things to say about Barcelona where he was in freedom during April and May of this year until, through the aid at the British Consulate, he managed to get himself repatriated.
"The people in Barcelona do not hate Franco. For the most part they are apathetic. When you are starving, political enthusiasm is difficult to arouse. They accept the bombing as inevitable, there are in their city so many military objectives.
" Many of the people stay all day in the bombproof shelters and come out only at night, in order to get what little food they can. Were it not for the money which has been sent from England none of the children would have any food at all As it is they are being just kept alive on milk.
" The army comes first in all things including food; what the army leaves can be distributed to the women and children.
"Pig in Franciscan Habit" " I saw neither church nor chapel open and no priest, although I did on one occasion see a Methodist minister. From what I have seen of the people, and from the conversations I have had, I am convinced that at least half of Barcelona's present population—and it is much swollen with refugees—wants Franco to win. . . " Radio? Well, of course you are forbidden to listen to Nationalist programmes, but you can hear Government programmes, if you want to, not many people do. " On the bookstalls there is a good selection of pornographic magazines. One I saw just before I came away had many indecent pictures of priests and nuns in various stages of venery, and a cartoon showing a pig in Franciscan habit. The pig carried in its trotter a bag of gold. and on its shoulder sat a nun with her habit so arranged as to show her breast and her legs.
" Yes plenty of obscene magazines but not much food, and between five and ten executions a day to keep up morale."
GERMAN LINE ABANDONS ANTWERP Due to Activities of Marxist Mayor?
From Our Own Correspondent
Controversy is raging round the port of Antwerp. The port has suffered a great blow to its prestige by the loss of the North German Lloyd passenger line. The official statement given is that the German company is leaving the port for economic reasons.
Yet there are prominent personalities here who say it is more probably due to the Marxism of Antwerp's burgomaster, who is at the same time, member of Parliament, and Speaker (or President) of the Chamber of Deputies.
As official of the Internationale, Socialist, and propagandist in favour of Red Spain, M. Camille Hussmans, burgomaster of Antwerp, has incurred the enmity of Hitler, it is claimed.
Catholic University at Shanghai
The Catholic University of Shanghai has recommenced its activities in the midst of the ruins.
During Easter week two retreats were given by Chinese priests; one to the students, the other to the members of the (Doctors') Guild of St. Luke. Courses of lectures have been given, mainly by French missionaries, and by Fr. Valensin, Si., the well-known French philosopher and theologian.
International Catholic Radio Committee
The International Committee of Catholic Radio will meet at Amsterdam, August 7-10. The principal subject of discussion is to be "Catholic thought and life on the wireless."
The object of the discussions is to find a means to unite and organise the efforts of Catholics in the sphere of broadcasting.