Fishing-rods Meant War
THE tenseness of this week of tension I might well be gauged from a message that I received by phone early in the afternoon of Tuesday. " A man believed to be Sir George Ogilvie Forbes has just lighted from a plane at Croydon," it ran, " he was seen to be carrying his fishing rods." The argument went on: " At. such a time it is unlikely that our second in command at. Berlin would be coming over for a fishing holiday. It is certain, therefore, that he is not going back." After a few minutes I felt as if the tools of this most peaceful of pursuits were in such circumstances symbols of dire foreboding, and that Sir George had as good as declared war on his owns account by thus ostentatiously carrying away the peaceful instruments of death to poor fish. Sir George, who was educated at Beaumont and New College, Oxford, saw service in the Near East during the Great War, be was in Madrid for the outbreak of the Spanish civil war, and has been at Berlin since 1937.
The German People
A FRIEND who every year spends some months in Germany, returned to England on Sunday with a very vivid impression of the sorrow with which the ordinary German citizen regards the prospect of war. In a garrison town in South-West Germany a leading industrialist told her that there could not be war as the army had no sort of enthusiasm for a war at the present time, and the people realised that in the long run the resources of England and France would last out almost indefinitely. Moreover, unless the duration of the war was very short, the food problem would become acute.
Advice to England
ON the other hand, a high Nazi official in the same town assured my friend at dinner the same evening that all the German people were solid behind their Leader and realised that they must have Danzig and the Corridor. His advice to England was: " Don't interfere " and "Stand by Mosley." But among tradesmen and factory workers there seemed almost universal glumness as it became more and more apparent that there was distinct danger of war, On Friday evening my friend left. The taxi she took to the station was stopped on the way to pick up an officer who had been urgently recalled from
leave. His departure from his family had been particularly painful. He wept all the way to the station.
Courtesy was the Rule
AT the hooking-office, crowds of brother officers were taking tickets to Offenburg and the Rhine frontier. There were a few other English people, some who had been resident in Germany for twenty years, returning to England at the same time. One of them reported that on the walls of the British Consulate in Wiesbaden had been daubed " Gott Strafe Engle nd." It might, have been true, it might not. But if it was, then it was the work of a fanatic, for my friend and the other English people with her apparently received every courtesy from the ordinary people and from officials in the journey to the frontier at Aachen.
AHARMLESS amusement for whiling away the fatiguing hours in the long crisis days has been to collect the more sensational statements in the popular Press and watch for their subsequent. denial in the same popular Press.
Here is a classic example:
Daily Express, Monday, August 21, Political Correspondent says: "Negotiations for the Russo-German Trade Pact have been going on for some time. But the conclusion of the pact has no political significance. The Russians take the view that trade relations are completely divorced from political relations." Daily Express, Tuesday, August 22, Political Correspondent says: " The conclusion of the Soviet-German Trade Pact at the week-end had prepared London Diplomatic quarters for some closer political understanding between the two countries... ."
EVERY now and then, owing, as the B.B.C. would say, to a "technical hitch," the CATHOLIC HLRALO publishes the right photographs with the wrong captions—Or trice-versa. Thus a week or two ago, above the caption " Mgr. Sramek," was published the photo of Mgr. Mathias, Archbishop of Madras. There seems to have been little doubt that the picture was that of the bearded Archbishop because he gave it per sonally to the CATHOLIC HERALD when interviewed by our reporter. However, the other day I was rung up by a person very well informed on the Eastern Church, who told me quite definitely that the photo is that of the Greek Archimandrite in London. He said: "I thought you would like to know." Does anyone else know quite definitely who the photo is of?
Tune in to 274
I WOULD suggest to Mr Swinatead, our radio correspondent, that he never takes a holiday in Caudebec-en-Caux—if he does It will be a busman's holiday If ever there was one. Because Caudebec is no less a place than 274m. on your radio dial—or Radio Normandie—and everyone in Caudebec talks, thinks and lives radio. Not that you would guess it on arrival. No filigree steel masts appear on the horizon, no ultra modern battleship architecture asserts a noisy presence in this deeply somnolent Norman town crouching along the banks of the broad-shouldered River Seine. Only a dignified typical French country house at the end of the village quietly announces its far-reaching message to those who care to look. And inside, keeping its country house character intact, works French Radio Normandie. Behind, still in temporary shacks until its permanent home is ready, is English Radio Normandie.
But It's Really London
SIX announcers (they call them speakers) and an engineer work feverishly to keep their station open from 7 a.m. till 2 a.m. of the following day—only five hours of night and a meal time break in 24 hours. All programmes are made in London and vast gramophone records (I forgot., discs in radio circles) whirl continuously and on all sides on the desk of the controller. Time is money indeed to Radio Normandie. There Is a kind of fervour about the devotion of the man at the disc wheel, who must never let a pause of even a second's -fraction break between the fading out of his tune and the fading in of the speaker's voice. Advertisers notice these things, in fact they keep people sitting in various parts of the country, watch in hand, noting a lost breath of time and reporting It. but I noticed the look of strain in the face of the man in control of a hundred switches, dials and timepieces.
Concentrated accuracy caused it, and I marvelled at so much effort, eagerness and absolute devotion spilt out over the cause of Pares-Itself Cheese or KeepFit Beans.
Something New ,
I EXPECT concrete sea-fronts. I have I received the ruin and the rocks and have plumbed the depths to which the seaside joke can descend. The view from hotel bedrooms is a decimal that recurs—but this week the post delivered to me an original picture postcard from a popular resort in Devonshire. Twentyeight miniature studies on one card of the imposing, welcoming, familiar façades of that cheery town's twentyeight public houses. Although the card bears no place-name I now know the kind of town that houses such a Grecian-pillared Royal, bowfronted haunt of sailors, bank-architec
tured IV, and plain ordinary man's Lifeboat, Blue Anchor, Royal Oak, Black Horse, Prince of Wales, Old Quay, Golden Lion, Half Moon, and a family and commercial Railway.
I have to thank Mr Albert Perry not only for this treat but also for the pleasure of looking upon his brilliant (in execution as well as in pigment) painting of a Chapel Royal chorister in scarlet Tudor dress set against a ground of flaming emerald. This portrait is the most striking exhibit at the Royal Institute Galleries, Piccadilly, who have opened their doors this month to an amalgamated collection of seven societies of artists. Mr Albert Perry, be it remembered, is one of the members of the Guild of Catholic Artists who upholds the " C.H." 's plea for including " secular " subjects in their annual exhibition.
Air Raid Powder Compacts
AA R.P. powder compacts are now • being sold by a famous Regent Street jeweller. Made of solid silver, they are embossed with the everywhere recurring initials of National Service. No excuse now to be caught in blackout with a shiny nose.
Aran Islanders and Their Bishop
EROM Aran Islands, off Galway, Ire land, land, come the following corrections of our information upon the bishop's visit to consecrate the new church. Our correspondent suggested in the Continued at foot of nest Column.