SIR'-There seems to be a generally held opinion in England that a colour bar is inevitable. This is simply not
true. There is no colour bar in Moslem countries. High-ranking Persians and Arabs, for instance, are of every shade of colour. And in India the caste system is not based on colour.
As for the Catholic Church and her children, whatever the teaching on the matter, there is no doubt how they act. The Pope appoints black and brown and yellow cardinals and bishops with jurisdiction over the white priests and layfolk in their dioceses. And it is quite conceivable that we may one day have a black Pope.
Moreover, a caste system based on colour is unknown in Catholic countries. Whatever their conduct as conquerors, intermarriages with coloured people arc quite normal among the French and Portuguese. When Mussolini, following Hitler, tried to impose a colour bar in Ethiopia, the Italians there ignored him. In Venezuela and Brazil, with large coloured populations, coloured people are found side by side with whites in every walk of life, and intermarriage is accepted as natural, with no social stigma attached to the offspring.
As to, Major Hewett's hint that whites have superior individual. spiritual, intellectual and physical gifts,' would point out that Western civilisation is derivative. The
world's original civilisations sprang up in Egypt. Sumeria, the valleys of the Indus and Yangtse, in Guatemala (Mayan) and Peru. All these, except possibly_ the last two, existed when Major Hewett's white ancestors were still going round dressed in skins and woad. It is, among others, the races that produced these civilisations that Major Hewett considers intrinsically inferior. not like to sound un
ecumenical, but one has to face facts. And the fact is that the colour bar as a caste system is a purely Protestant concept. It v+as imposed all over the British Empire by the
Protestant British. and is imposed
by whites in the Protestant United States and the Protestant Union of South Africa. The fact that many Catholics in these countries have accepted it simply means that they have been unable to resist the climate of opinion prevailing locally.
To me the colour bar is a blasphemy, because it is an insult to God's children.
Sir,-In drawing attention to race relations you have touched not only upon an urgent matter of Christian conscience, but also on an historic opportunity.
Individual. racial and national self-consciousness will lead to strife and bloodshed in a world characterised by areas or acute poverty and rising racial self-consciousness. Mankind, now interdependent in matters of peace and economics. can no longer escape the demands of group toleration and social justice at an international as well as national level.
The United States, thank God, is blessed ss ith many racial groups. and if even at this late hour full justice and brotherly love can permeate its structure, a new hope will have arisen.
Britain, too. has been offered a magnificent opportunity and in the propitious circumstances of having to integrate but a small minority of coloured citizens. When this country can send her sons of differing colours as ambassadors, technical advisers, tourists and devotees of democracy to the far corners of the earth, then she will have a renewed stature and influence in the affairs of a tense and economically maladjusted world. Britain's Christian community has an immense responsibility to encourage this full justice and brotherly love, and Catholics must undertake. and be seen to untleitake. much more than an ordinary share of initiative.
A. P. Walshe St. Antony's College,
Sir,-The persistent use of the term "coloured" to designate a group of people that is anything but homogeneous calls for an elernentary-but very essential--distinguo.
Our immigrants from overseas fall largely into two groups: Indians (and Pakistanis) and West Indians (and others of African race). It is vitally important to understand from the start that each is more different from the other, than either is from us: the Indians being related to us racially, and the West Indians religiously and culturally.
The assurance with which Mr. Lomax and Major Hewett seem to assume that Europeans (or is it the "British race"?) stand head and shoulders above all others makes one gasp. What on earth can their criteria be? Do they have in mind our attainments in such things as illegitimate births, crimes of violence, and the non-observance of religious duties-in all of which respects we so far outstrip the backward nations of Asia'?
British racialists are wont to remind us of demagogues like Nkrumah. Nasser, and Sukarno: but they pass over in silence such pillars of self-effacing good sense and quiet efficiencyas Tunku Abdul Rahman and Sir Abubakar Taf awa Balewa.They forget Gandhi -and also the race of such people as Hitler and Stalin.
Our "working-class" Indian and Pakistani immigrants (unlike so many of ourselves) still faithfully adhere to religions entailing a high regard for morality and family life. Many of the Christians from the West Indies. alas, fall short of this, but here Vs e must remember that, while slavery permitted sexual intercourse (among the slaves), it did not permit them to marry, and this European-imposed barbarism dies hard.
tremble to think what would happen to the British economy if help from immigrants ever failed. Many of our own "working" people prefer the quick and easy monetary return obtainable from unskilled labour, whereas Pakistanis quickly take up skilled work in factories others se difficult to staff. From our "educated" classes, many young people seem to prefer accountancy
and Commerce to those professions giving a service, leaving (fortunately for us) Indian doctors and West Indian nurses to play an indispensable role in the staffing of our hospitals.
In the interests of realism, let us cultivate a little humility. It may help us to see ourselves and others as we and they really are.
Sir,-It is almost unbelievable that a Catholic should be able to write such a letter as Major Hewett's. I, as another ordinary, lay Catholic, would like to support the very editorial which he attacks.
The claim to racial superiority has been one of the greatest evils the world has ever known. reaching its horrible climax in the Nazi regime in Germany. Patriotism, put forward by Major Hewett as a virtue, is the result of the nationalism which arose with the break-up of the Holy Roman Empite, and has been the cause of almost as much evil as the assumption that some races are better than others.
The old English, Imperialist attitude, implying the immense superiority of the Englishman (though this is, of course, hotly contested by the Boers!) and especially of the "upper-class" Englishman (for a feeling of racial superiority is closely linked with that of a classsuperiority) and the parallel implication that other races are "niggers" or "wogs", are most certainly not consistent with Catholic doctri ne.
Unfortunately. it has come to be equated with the w hitt: Christian outlook. Is it any wonder, therefore, that we have not yet converted the world to Christianity? nor that some of the best work for humanity is done by agnostics, humanists, or left the Church which (so it seems to them) has done insufficient to remedy social injustice of all kinds throughout the world.
(Miss) Marjorie Bunt Mayfields, Sussex.
Sir,-With the exception of Mr. Scott, your recent correspondents on the problem or coloured immigration strengthen one's conviction in the continued existence of a crisis in education among some Catholics.
For one who has, by nature of his Catholic allegiance always believed in the common brotherhood of man, these views come as a shock.
That there exists a difference in the natural endowments of individuals is reasonable, but to equate this difference to one between people of different race (and by implication to people or different colour) seems to me a dangerous generalisation. That it exists between members of different races is undeniable, no less so than that it exists amongst members of any particular race.
The equality of men must go deeper than just the level of their
personal capabilities. We are. irrespective of race or colour, endowed with the same dignity, being coheirs of Christ, with the same fundamental rights and the same potential for service. Though our contributions to the community may differ they do so subjectively. In this sense there can be no superiority or inferiority amongst men.
It is not. however, denied that in this well-populated island of ours some form of control over all immigration is necessary. Whether this should be voluntary at source or by statute is irrelevant to the present question. What is not irrelevant, however, is the Catholic teaching that men are equal both in the sight of God and in the sight of one another.
To suggest that a particular race is "superior" to another, and to equate. as does Major Hewett, nonacceptance of this superiority with a lessening of patriotism, leads to the kind of misery experienced in S. Africa and the Southern States of America.
What is overlooked by the writer is the fact that this "race" so defined does not exist in reality. The intermingling and marrying of countless nationalities in the history of this country is a feature of our heritage: and it is the acceptance and blending of our coloured influx, no matter how unpalatable it might appear to some. which will yield a further nuance to this heritage and be a credit to our .maturity.
R. Allprese, Woodford. Essex.
Sir.-As one whose future wife is a "coloured immigrant". would you aflow me to make a few cornments on your recent correspondence concerning the colour problem?
Firstly. I would like in remind Mr. Lomax how this country has
profited greatly from the bestial
African slave trade and the West Indian plantations in particular, and from the former coltnisation of the Commonwealth countries in general. Was it "folly" to allow some of their peoples to share the profits which their ancestors produced by living in what has been portrayed to them as the mother cou n try ?
Obviously there must be a numerical limit to immigration into this country, but please let us not resent those already here, mho in most cases do such vital work anyway.
As a fellow Catholic I would suggest to Major Hewett that God's views on human equality should he good enough for us; and are we not commanded to love all men as ourselves?
,ve ks a professional zoologist, 1
assure him that while individuals differ in their intellectual capacities, races as such do not.
Also I would really like to know if Major Hewett considers the British to be pure-bred Celts, Picts. Jules. Saxons. Danes. Romans.
Angles or Normans-or already perhaps a -raceless uniform mob'. Finally. with Mr. Scott, I would like to shHaiklearhyasn,dase,
Sir. Your correspondent Anthony Lomax seems to Moe hiL upon a truth so breathtakingly simple, and so wide in its application, that it comes with all the force of a revelation. "Less than ten short years ago." he writes. "there was virtually no colour problem at all in England" and then explains that a colour problem has arisen because our politicians have foolishly allowed nearly a million coloured people into the country.
And so it all falls into place: without coloured people there would be no colour problem! And the way is immediately made clear to solving the problems of our Old Age Pensioners, Blind, Spastics, Poor. Delinquents .
Spastics, Orphans, Poor, Delin
quents . . just ship them all (in regulated numbers) to the Outer Hebrides and they will cease to be a problem to us any more (only the unfortunate B.B.C. is left with an awkwaid five minutes to fill on Sunday nights).
However. I don't think Anthony I omax, dcsertes all the credit for this solution. Some two thousand years ago there were a priest and a Levite who had no neighbour problem-they simply passed by on the other side. I am a little saddened that their example should he commended to us today in a Catholic newspaper. But Major Hewett is surely right in maintaining that races are unequal. Just as no two blades of grass, Mar two drops of water are identical. so no two races are equal. If I read the Major correctly he is at pains to bring the discussion down to people and away from race.
It is clearly wrong to talk of rights and duties towards a race. and 1, as an off-grey European myself, find it hard to believe that many people could love the race responsible for the "Final Solution" in Europe, for the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. and for thc constant attempts to poison the atmosphere ever since.
However, many of us as duals are quite lovable, and most of our immigrants seem ready to maintain a polite silence about all the appalling behaviour of our "race" during the past few hun Major take heart from Our Lord's parable: the Samaritan knew that the Jew considered himself superior. hut he was still the Samaritan's neighbour and in need of he DespitetlhPe. fact that many of our immigrants arc greatly superior 1.0 many of us in courtesy, kindness. intelligence. physique. initiative and charity, we still have the duty of helping them when they are in need.
And if, by doing our Christian best to love our coloured neighbour, we help to produce "a denationalised. raceless. uniform mob" as the Major Suggests, perhaps it will be as ill-suited to "totalitarian and God-less world government". as was the population of the United States in comparison with the nationalistic. raceconscious volk of the Fhird Reich.