S1R.—As a member of a County Education Committee and manager of a Catholic school and of a Council school, I %ant to make a few sharp observations and then duck quickly before the bricks fly:
I Teachers for Catholic schools are definitely chosen by the parish priest. On this, and most other scholastic matters, the managers are not consulted at all. In two. years I have only been invited
to one formal meeting. A Catholic manager hesitates to exercise his undoubted rights in this matter.
2 At CoutIcil schools the managers are always consulted and teachers arc carefully chosen. Altogether managers get great consideration and respect from all concerned with these schools. A grind hoard of managers can do a lot for a school and this, quite as much as the money point which Catholics so often raise, -accounts for the undoubted material superiority of Council schools to Catholic schools.
3 At both Council schools and Catholic schools the standard of education, academically and, in the training of character, good manners, etc., is low and deteriorating. One cause of this is the " clam school?' Here Catholics are as much to blame as anyone. Well-oil Catholics who send their children to class schools could do much to raise the elementary standard. Instead, and quite apart from denominational teaching. I find well-off Catholics antagonistic to a higher form of education for all and the scrapping of snob schools. One said to me that education should only bc for those with money !
What the country will most need in ,the coming years is forward-looking men with the ballast of the philosophia perennis to toke public office in this country. We have plenty of uneducated Catholic Labour men ; plenty of educated Conservative Catholic men. For !he moment treating Labour and " pro. grcss " as synonymous (for the Conservative tie-up with plutocracy makes progress from the best of. Conservatives an impossibility and another war a certainty) I advocate an increasing flow of educated men, of Catholic principles, into the Labour Patty (and related bodies, e.g., Common Wealth though not, of course, Communism as hitherto constituted). I say emphatically that there is going to be a shortage of educated public men, in all parties, with any kind of Christian print...pies and that all schools are at fault in not supplying the need. But Catholic schools are worst and the money excuse is not* good enough.
As to the standard of education I may. as a Christian Brothers-Jesuit product, be prejudiced. At any rate, my father, who lived before elementary education was compulsory, could read and write at an earlier age than ray son, who is by no means below the average.
4 Even in spiritual matters Catholic schools are not doing their jobs. If there is one job which cannot be run as just a job but which is a vocation quite as much as the priesthood it is teaching. Yet Catholic teachers are bitten with the bug of " unionism " Smite as much as their Protestant and Atheist colleagues and the result is children of fourteen who don't know their Catechism and whose moral standards are just the same as those of non Catholic children. (For the latter I have chapter and verse. inn ppropria te to these columns.)
5 Catholic teachers resent all interference from parents.
6 So do Catholic priests-and from public representatives. I don't mean in religious matters. As a parent (four children) and a representative I know what I'm talking about, though on this, as on the other points herein, I face contradiction I know. At any rate. I am trying to speak the truth hut I may. like anyone, be mistaken.
7 Catholic priests seem not to have heard Hierarchical requests for Catholics to make themselves active in political and trade union movements. .They give no encouragement to laymen trying to obey these.
I eelliess these critical 'views not from love of criticism but as a move towards improvement and to answer points your readers hate made in this correspondence. May I add, though it may not be obviously a propos, that I believe, despite all contrary indications, that history is again going to play Chesterton's game of Cheat the Prophets and that the revolution which is near will be a spiritual one, the rediscovery of the soul. Let us not be found wanting for the sake of a few bits of dirty linen which if not Washed in public won't be washed at all.
C. FRANK SHAW.
5, Nyland Road, Huyton, Liverpool.
SIR, May I ask you to print this somewhat belated reply to Mr. Diggins ? At the time you published his letter I was away from town and cut off from my HERALD and was able to read the letters only on my return, too laic to send you a replyfor your last issue.
Mr. Diggins says that some correspondents say " there are too many teachers" and offsets classes of fifty against this statement. I think I was One of the correspondents mentioned, hut, if Mr. Diggins will read my letter again, he will realise that the intention was to point out that, on present staffing, there were more than enough
Catholic teachers for our schook If classes were diminished all . Catholic teachers could be absorbed in our own schools, but as it is, many arc forced to seek posts in "Council " schools.
Mr. Diggins next asks, " Have teachers made, through thcir accredited unions, any official request for a more equitable system of selection and promotion ?" Yes both the Catholic Teachers' Federation and the Metropolar Ian Association have taken steps in tat direction. Speaking for the latter organisation, I would inform him that at the outbreak of war we lam negotiating with the late Cardinal and the L.C.C. on the question of a Catholic Promotion List for London. We are tackling this some problem now.
On the subject of a Catholic teacher's right to teach where he pleases, your correspondent points out that a teacher is in loco parentis. Agreed, but not till he is appointed. Until he has a post he is a free agent and can apply for any position he pleases. Once he gels the post, then he is bound to consider himself as the representative of the
parents and act accordingly. There.fore, there is no dereliction of duty in a Catholic applying for a post in a Council school as e matter of preference, especially if, as many are, he is trained in a non-Catholic college. I suppose your correspondents are aware of the fact that there is only one Catholic college for men in Great Britain and that large numbers of Catholics are forced to get their training elsewhere. I speak as one of the more fortunate ones who was trained at Strawberry Hill and (Continued at foot of i1e4 Mum).
SIR.—The postman has just brought me the most excited CATHOLIC HERALD 1 ever saw. Steam Writes from its coriespondenee columns, it trembles violently and emits strange noises (sounding like " AOtiSemolina "). After anchoriog it down with a heavy paperweight and fetching the stirrup-pump. I have looked down its throat. T might have known : it is suffering from a bad attack of Douglas Recd.
Now let 'Mr. Reed have a look. There,
there. Hoity-toity ; how cross the gentlemen are 1 Anyone would think I had harmed a Jew, whereas I merely and meekly complained of the wholesale murder of British officials in Palestine by Jewish Fascists, and of the consistent suppression or belittlement of such news by the British press. Is there no gratitude in this world ? I thought I would really please the Jews this time, because they always say how awful Fascists arc, and Fascists ought to be abolished, and I drew public attention ,o what these Jewish Fascists were doing (since the press would not). and I thought, now I shall get warm Jewish commendations and murmurs of " Oh wise old Reed, how we do honour thee "-and instead they turn on me I It is really disappointing. But I sup '0540 I must try to placate them again. Now let me see !
One of your readers, lieppner, says: " Mr. Douglas Reed must know " that he Jewish Fascist orga nisa t ion which proudly claims responsibility for these murders, " is a very tiny group of Jewish terrorists. . ."
suppose anything " very tiny " is
almost non-existent. In nine months (January-September, 1944) this Jewish Fascist organisation murdered ten British constables and wounded. ntany others; attempted to murder the British High Commissioner and wounded him, flit A.D.C., and his driver; raided and fired the Jerusalem Police headquarters; raided the Jaffa Police headquarters; and attacked four other police stations with a force of " Ot least 150 men "; tried to blow up St. George's Cathedral; used on these and many other occasions bombs, grenades, tommy-guns, automa tic pistols, etc., etc., etc. These attacks " seriously impeded the war effort of I the United Nations " (Colonial Secretary, October II). In November these Jewish Fascist!, murdered a British Minister, Lord Moyne.
Now, all that cannot be the work of " a very tiny group," unless Big Ben is Tiny Tim. It is the work of a numerous, well-armed and wealthy organisation. But I see how the misunderstooct.
ins has arisen. Your Jewish readers did not know what the Jewish Fascists were doing, How could ihcy, since our press suppressed or belittled such news ? But now I've told them I'm sure that, hating Fascism as they do, they will realise their mistake and pat me on the back.
Then again, Heppner says: " Mr. Douglas Reed must knost that these activitiets have earnest the utter detestation of the overwhelming majority ot decent and responsible Palestinian Jews.. ." • No, I don't know that. When the assassins of the High Commissioner took refuge in the Jewish Settlement of Giva Shaul " not one single inhabitant assisted the law in bringing these criminals to justice " (Colonial
Secretary, September 27). Of verbal denunciations the sarrfe responsible speaker said (October i I): " Denunciation is not enough; what is needed is the active collaboration of the whole of the Jewish people in Palestine." We do not yet know whether that is now to bq given : the test will be the cessation of the outrages.
HOU here again I quite sec how your Jewish traders came to misunderstand my motives They did not know of these things. because our press consistently suppressed or belittled such news (until Lord Moyne was murdered).
The worst case of this was the list of outrages for nine months (summarised above), which was extracted from the Government on December 6. I looked at every newspaper I could procure on December 7 and oould find none that printed one word of it. In twentyfive years' experience I have never known so important a document to vanish between Parliament and the press; terrific publicity is always given to comparable lists of crimes and outrages from any. other quarter.
I rejoice to have put myself right with your Jewish readers. Hating Fascism as they do. I know that. now they have the facts, they will join me in protesting against this horrible outbreak of Gentile-baiting, ond against the suppression or belittlement of news of it which enabled it to continue so long. After all, 'we are all fighting Fascism, are we not-or are we not ?