THE Holy Father's deep solicitude for the great army of refugees and migrants, forced by political or economic reasons to seek new life and hope in unknown lands, is well known enough to Catholics.
Hitherto it has been either ignored or overlooked by many in the non-Catholic world; but now the creation of an International Commission for Emigration, on the Holy See's direct initiative, demonstrates conclusively to all the practical care and love of His Holiness for men, women and children of every race, creed and colour who are victims of war's bitter aftermath.
Britain is only one of ten nations represented on the Commission whose members share a natural interest in emigration problems, either as lands already overpopulated or as young countries ready to receive newcomers. Her direct cooperation with the Vatican in this essentially Christian and humanitarian work is something we have good reason to be proud of.
On the workaday plane, Britain can do much to assist the settlement Of Stateless or homeless emigrants in Canada and Australia, two Commonwealth countries also on the Commission, just as the United States can exert a similar role in helping to people the vast empty spaces of Latin American member-nations like Brazil and the Argentine.
At a time when the International Refugee Organisation is running down, although the scale of the tragic problem which brought this body into being has in no way diminished, the establishment of the Commission is doubly important. Not only will its scope be world-wide extending from Schleswig-Holstein to Korea-but its handling of individual cases is likely to be wiser and to pay greater consideration to those personal factors which are frequently forgotten in large-scale operations of international relief.
It is to be hoped that the Government will give generous financial support to this promising new departure in the sphere of post-war rehabilitation.