S1R,-As Mrs. Bower has queried the C.T.S. membership figures reached during the time that Mr. Reed-Lewis was associated with the society, I feel 1 must trespass once more on your space. The paragraph referred to in Catholic Truth in 1941 was an obituary notice of Mr. ReedLewis, who was the founder of the so-called Forward Movement. As a result of this movement a total membership of 15,000 was achieved, but not until some years after Mr. ReedLewis had resigned. During the time that Mr. Reed-Lewis was actively associated with the society the highest figure ever achieved was the 8.556 quoted in my letter to you of April 7. By 1941, when this obituary notice appeared, membership had already dropped to 13,500.
Up to a few years ago it was the habit to count as members all those who had paid their subscription within the last two years, and this had the tendency of inflating any published figures. The present figure of 19,696 represents those who actually paid their subscription during the year 1951.
May I revert to Mrs. Bower's letter in your issue of April 4 in order to correct any possible misapprehension with regard to the Bexhill Library. This library was not presented to the C.T.S. by Mr. ReedLewis on his retirement in 1923 as stated by Mrs. Bower, but was purchased by the C.T.S. from Mr. ReedLewis in 1922 for a sum of £890. Having been run for some years by the C.T.S. at Eccleston Square, it was taken over by the Old Girls' Association of the Sacred Heart Convents in 1936 and premises were obtained in Wilfred Street. The books were on loan from the C.T.S. and the library was known as the C.T.S. Lending Library. In 1940 Mrs. Bower approached the C.T.S. asking them to make a present of the books to the Catholic Central Library, as it was then called, in order to enable them to meet their outstanding debts. This request was immediately met and the books were presented to the library.
The Catholic Central Library has done, and is doing, magnificent work, and the object of this letter is merely to correct the mis-statements made by your correspondent.
General Secretary. Catholic Truth Society, 38-40 Eccleston Square, London, S.W.I.