50 WHO WILL
ENCOURAGED by Bishop Beck, nearly 50 men from the Manchester area joined the newly former Catholic Managers' and Employers' Association last weekend. They pledged themselves to "Christianise" gradually, as much as lay within their power, their working surroundings.
Speaking in the lofty reception room at Manchester Town Hall. Bishop Beck declared: "This will he of value to the Catholic community-indeed, to the whole community to which we belong."
THE MM The chairman, C'ouncillor Gerard Fitzsimons, w h o s e father. Alderman J. E. Fitzsimons, the Lord Mayor, loaned the room, said that some people might say: "This is just another Catholic association." There were not too many of them, but too few Catholics willing to work for them.
The aim was to appeal to men in positions in commerce and industry to bring Christian principles to bear " in the solution of their problems, particularly in regard to workpeople". The Association was not " in conflict" with the Catholic Social Guild.
The bishop said that the meeting was " something of importance " to those present and the Catholic community. If the development of the Catholic body went on " as I think it should " it was going to exercise a large influence on social thinking at every level. There was an important task which, if not done in this gegeration, would have to be done in the next. The time was ripe for a body such as this association not only concerned with the one aspect of Catholic social teaching like the C.S.G.
There was room for such an association where Catholics could ventilate their work-problems, particularly in the field of human relations.
In the discussion that followed the bishop's address, one member said that papal encyclicals were " boring ". They needed study " like maths." and he had got past the stage of wanting to do that. ele was given the answer from the platform : Expert teachers will talk about papal teaching in easy-tofollow style.
Other questions and answers included : Q.: What practical things could the association try to do ? A.: For example, employers could encourage workpeople to stop swearing and pinning up pornographic pictures, to stop unnecessary Sunday work, and to send out Christian Christmas cards and Calendars.
Q.: Could the association form a Catholic "Iabour-pool " ? A.: We don't think there should be any discrimination in help.
Mr. George McClelland, who was one of the founders of the Catholic Industrialists' Conference in 1936, warned the new association not to progress too rapidly. Some Catholic bodies had been killed at birth . by " undue publicity and enthusiasm ".
These organisations had not been allowed to grow slowly and form traditions. "Don't try to set industry right in the first few weeks," advised Mr. McClelland.
Summing up, I3ishop Beck said that the remoteness and impersonal [less of large firms was anti Christian. If the association helped to solve this problem, it would be of importance. Co-partnership was one of the " great questions of the future ". The tendency was for
enterprises to get bigger through mitionalisation or mergers.
" We are going to be faced with these problems of remoteness. Is the answer small firms ? We can't put the clock back. It is important that we should be thinking of working out better human relations."
Encyclicals need not be studied line by line by members, but they could "tease out " the implications at meetings.
The next meeting will be on Monday, June 1, to hear a priestexpert on economic matters, who will travel from the south. Officers elected at the meeting included : Mr. J. A. Field, chairman; Mr. J. P. Cox, vice-chairman; Mr. Auton, treasurer; and Mr. Peter Kearns, secretary.