By the EARL OF WICKLOW
The British Government's recognition of the Communist Government in China has caused a considerable amount of not very friendly surprise in this country, and there is a general feeling that if principle is to be so easily sacrificed to expediency, they will in the long run reap the whirlwind. It is unusual for Irish political organizations to take much note of the foreign policy of other countries, and therefore it is significant of public opinion here that the Central Branch of the Fine Gael party, presided over by Dr. Declan Costello, the son of the Taoiseach,
should have passed a unanimous resolution " deploring the action of the British Government in recognising the Communist regime in China."
Apart from the more general question of Christian principles, this recognition will be specially regretted in Ireland, as the Irish Catholic missions to China are some of the most important ones there; if I should omit any, may I apologise in advance, but specially prominent are the Jesuit Mission, the Maynooth Mission to China, and the Missionary Sisters of St. Columban, all of which are now working, in no doubt considerable danger, behind the Asiatic lion Curtain.
A NEW ORIENTATION Our geographical position makes it desirable that we should be on the best possible terms with our nearest neighbour. Such friendship has always been advocated in this column. but I think it is noticeable that, as we develop our national personality, which we are doing, we are realising more and more that our spiritual bond is not with Britain, but wth the Catholic States of the Continent.
This has been increasingly noticeable of recent years, and whereas it is the fashion in Britain to fulminate against the rulers of Portugal and Spain, in Ireland we look on these as countries with which we have strong spiritual affinities, even though our own method of Government is essentially democratic.
The spiritual gulf between Ireland and Britain is the more remarkable in view of the fact that, in spite of the Bower controversy, political relations between the two islands are probably more friendly than they have ever been.