Fr. Agnellus (of " Anvil ") Stands for Beveridge
By FRANK T. DOOL1N LIVERPOOL.
" We must think very hard and deeply before we set our faces against the Beveridge Report. It need not lead one step away from Christ if we go in and Christianise it," said Fr. Agnellus Andrew at the Picton Hall, Liverpool, lust Sunday, in a speech that was throughout in sympathy With the attitude takewup to the Plan by this newspaper from the
moment it was published. " The Beveridge Report is not a dog tn be given a bad name. Catholics should study it before they decide to hang it," he added.
In a ehasacteristically frank sentence he said that the trouble with a lot of Catholics was that a mart, for whom he had great respect, once wrote a book called The Servile State. "In an age of slogans that phrase is in danger of becoming one," he said.
Beveridge's chief essistant was a Catholic, but Catholics • as a body missed a first-rate opportunity. They let the great big world go blundering past and then blamed it for blundering. It was extraordinary that they did not find it possible to put their views before the all-important conmiittee drawing up the Report—not one Catholic organisation was listed as having taken the trouble.
Catholics could not regard the Beveridge Report as The ideal solution— they could regard it as a palliative, not as a cure for evils which it admitted; but did not condone.
THE POPE'S TEACHING
Social security was no novel feature of Catholic teaching, said Fr. Andrew. The Popes had emphasised the fights of the family, the individual, the worker, the right of private property, bin such rights brought obligations and must be exercised in a way that would not conflict with the common good. The Catholic solution was the complete organisation of all rights on a Christian basis.
It was their duty as Chtistians to love justice, and justice demanded that nn person should be compelled, through no fault of his OWE, to live with the Spectre or insecurity constantly looming before him. Security was necessary for a full life, and for attainifig the purpose of existence for ordinary people. Pope Pius X1 had pointed out that a reasonable standard in material things was not only not a hindrance, but was .a help, to virtue. Insecurity was the great menace in the lives of the poor and nothing was more likely to keep people from spiritual security.
Many Catholics had taken sides ageinst the Report, saying that it was or more step towards totalitarianism. " If the Beveridge Report is what it seems to be," said Ft. Andrew, " there will be rather less interference with the poor. This is a very bad time to get worried about totalitarianism when for the first time relief of the poor is contemplated."