(Back from Tour to the Far East)
TELLS OUR READERS : A WORLD
William Burke TEEL1NG, aged 44, is a Conservative M.P. for Brighton. Author of various books, including The Pope in Politics, he served during the war in the R.A.F.
CATHOLICS seem to me to have
a speciat responsibility in trying to find a solution to the present world crisis ; the responsibility that falls on people who have an international religion which still permits them,more than any other religion, to have a national patriotic outlook. These Catholics of Italy, of France. of Britain, of America, of China, of Japan, of Sweden or of India can pool their nationalism with their internationalism better perhaps than their fellow nationals who have no religion or have a religion which makes them mentally more localminded.
What is the position of British Catholics, and especially those in England and Scotland? Oddly enough to the foreigner, most of these Catholics are of Irish origin and have an Irish background-but it is an Irish background of twenty, fifty, or even a hundred years ago, and they have become accustomed to much that
is purely English or Scottish. If anything, then, it can be said that the Catholic influence emanating from Great Britain is mainly an Anglo-Irish influence.
Now let us turn to the Englishspeaking world. There we find that there are some twenty-two million people of Irish descent, nearly all still Catholics, while there are about three million Catholics left in Ire land. I believe. from my travels, that whenever these 22 million people look to their European Counterparts for guidance or support, they find themselves more in sympathy to-day with their AngloIrish connections in Great Britain than with the slightly larger number actually remaining in Ireland.
Why? Because in Great Britain we are still facing up to the world's problems, whereas Ireland has gone back into her shell.
A Traditional European Outlook What then, should that influence from Great Britain be ? What can it do ? On all sides in Parliament, and I believe outside Parliament, it is realised that the most successful, the most consistent. and above all,. the most sincere fight against the Godlessness of Communism, in Europe and elsewhere to-day is being fought by the Pope and the Catholic Church. It is not a fight against Russia-it is a fight against international Communism.
Slowly but surely, there is developing in Western Europe at the present moment, a grouping together of what are called "Europeans with a traditional European outlook."
This is nothing more or less than a Christian or a Catholic outlook, but many atheists will not admit it, and would have it called by any other name.
Some people call it World Federalism and would make themselves global; others. a little more practical, ssant a European Federalism, linked with other Federal groups; yet a third group led by Count Coudenhove want only a Federation of Parliaments with democratic backgrounds.
But the most practical of all, and the one showing most promising signs of success is the United Europe Movement.
The driving force in this movement in Great Britain is Mr. Churchill. who often sees a Icing way ahead of others on international questions: in France it, Is led by Monsieur Herriot, and it has a large following in Holland, Belgium and Switzerland, and is, I am glad to say, beginning to develop in Germany.
Catholic Representatives Needed Its name really covers its programme, but why I mention it and the other movements here is because I believe that if any of them are to succeed they must have on their committees and in their councils, representatives of the Catholic Church. They can have representatives as well of Buddhism, of Jewry. of Protestants, I care not. but I believe that the failure of the League of Nations was due to there being no representation of the Churches. Germany was represented by its Government's representatives --but they were already oppressing millions of their own church-going subjects; so, to my mind, they never reaUy represented all Germany and what Germany really thought. So is the United Nations failing-so will all such groups fail unless the Faiths as well as the politics of their millions of supporters are represented. Here then can our Catholics help.
To my mind they should study every international group and decide to which they should belong, hut belong to one or the other they should. By their very education they should have a sympathy and an understanding of foreigners and they should make sure that in all such bodies, the tolerant and reasonable, but still thoroughly British point of view, should be heard. If Protestants and Jews feel the same way, well and good, we can all work together for the common economic good, for the harnessing of science to peacetime pursuits and for the preservation of our e. but we should make sure that u Christian Catholic point of view is heard, understood and not let go by default. United Europe will bring together, we hope, economically and spiritually, Germany, France, Great Britain, Holland, Belgium, and many other countries to start with, and others are free to join as they will; it will also include their Colonial Empires, making well over one quarter of the globe. Hero can be found one major solution for the world's present crisis; here is a fitting work for our Catholics to support in this time of crisis.
The East ?
But what about the East? It is mainly to America and the Commonwealth that the Catholics of Irish or British descent have migrated and quite frankly.' they are more in
terested in the The and trade development of fhe East than they are in the seemingly never-ending squabbles of the West.
Great though American prestige may he east of Suez. especially as regards goods and the dollar, Britain's prestige stands higher in other ways, and 1 say this deliberately, after returning from a recent tour which took me to Japan, Korea, China. Hong Kong, Siam, Burma and India.
Whether rightly or wrongly, it is felt that Great Britain fought as no one else fought for democracy from 1940 onwards, and since then has voluntarily given up Burma and India. It has greatly impressed the Oriental as to our sincerity and there is little he will not do to-day if we advise that it should be done. It is a strange reaction, in spite of all the slaughter we see going on amongst themselves.
In stopping this slaughter, in showing the peoples of the East a way out, a future. I believe the Churches from the British Commonwealth, rather than the politicians, can lead the way. Here once again is a Catholic duty in this time of crisis for our islandt, and one that I believe would find great support throughout the Commonwealth.
It will be asked, why should not the lead come from Australia or Canada, New Zealand or South Africa? The answer must be that wherever you go in the East, the .United Kingdom still leads in prestige, is still looked on as the senior member of the Commonwealth, the mother if you will, and to save expenses. in many areas the United Kingdom officials represent the Commonwealth as a whole or in part.
The Problem of Migration Without doubt, the greatest long term problem of the East is the problem of migration. and here I believe British Catholics once again can help a lot. The problem is not only one of the East.
We know only too well about the miseries of the Displaced Persons in Europe and it is high time this whole question of world migration was tackled. No organisation is better informed on this subject than the Church of Rome, and the priests of the Far East put it high on the list of world priority problems. For Australia and for New Zealand it is a vital matter. Catholics of both these countries to my mind might well ,discuss this problem with Catholics in Britain. Catholics in Britain should also hear what the Jesuits and other Catholics have to say on this question, and on birth control in Japan. The Catholics of England, Australia. and Holland could well come together to discuss the question of Java, Dutch New Guinea and Borneo as well.
Japan is a country which claimed to be over-populated in 1939, which since then has increased her annual net increase of population from one million to one million three hundred thousand, in spite of defeat, in spite of hardship.. Add to this six millions of people brought back to Japan since the war from outside sources, the fact that since her defeat Japan is only half the size she was, and a constant local propaganda carried out by films and on the air for a still further increase in populatiop, and one must ask -what is to be the outcome? There are those who believe that Japan will soon lead the East again, and that she will also become a Christian nation. Her Catholics, as I hope to prove in another article, look to Bntain for some guidance. Is not their migration another question which we British or Anglo-Irish Catholics should study in this time of crisis? I firmly believe that it is.
[In a later issue Mr. Teeling will write on "Catholics in Japan "-a report based on his recent visit to that country.-EorroR. CH.]