SIR,-Father Brogan's letter in THE CATHOLIC HERALD Of July 7 makes painful reading. He can be easily shown to be wrong on every point. But as considerations of space will not permit, content Myself with the following remarks.
Apartheid. This has been de
nounced in unequivocal terms by the Catholic Bishop of the Cape Pro
vince as wholly unchristian. Dr. Malan was at one time a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church of which one of the cardinal principles is that there can he no equality between the white and coloured races in Church and State. When I was in South Africa many years ago, I was told by a Belgian priest that the Boers justified their ill-treatment of the black and coloured races by reference to Noah's curse on Ham's son, Canan-See Genesis ix, 25-27. Fr. Brogan looks forward to the day when the natives would be capable of entering into equal partnership with the whites. Can he conscientiously say that the Malan policy is sincerely directed to that end? Backward races can only improve fast enough by living in contact with the more advanced races. If this contact is to he stopped at all points, we shall have to wait till doomsday before the consummation which Fr. Brogan so devoutly hopes for is reached. The position of the black and coloured races has been steadily worsening for a long time. It was, even during the Smuts administration. It is very much worse now.
Soviet Block and India. We have
here a good example of " Blood is thicker than water." Is Michael Scott to keep silent merely because the so-called Christian countries in Europe and the Americas are not Christian enough to condemn an iniquitous European Government in Africa in defence of non-Europeans? If Russia gets away with it, whose fault is it?
If the Indian is a worse exploiter of the native than the European, the South African Government is largely responsible for it. There are only two to three hundred thousand Indians in the whole of South Africa. Both the Smuts arid the Malan parties pretend to regard them as a pest and a source of the gravest danger to the country and are determined to stamp them out by hook or crook, Indians are excluded from the public services, practically from the professions, hampered by restrictions on the acquisition of property and trading, prevented from going from one province to another in search of employment, etc. Is it then a great wondet that they resort sometimes. even often, to sharp practices? Remember how the Jews were driven in the Middle Ages to be only money lenders. Let me not he misunderstood. I
think that the welfare of South Africa demands that power should for some time yet remain in European hands. For this it should be enough to exclude the black and coloured races from the armed forces and from the franchise generally. But such of them as, to use Fr. Brogan's words, " by education and aptitude are fitted to take their place in the normal social and civic life " should be admitted to the vote and all other disabilities, including inequalities in respect of educational facilities, also be removed.
We in India are grateful to Michael Scott, who is a Christian and gentleman, for his appeal to world opinion. He may not gain his point immediately, hut he will gain it sooner by this means than by a policy such as Fr. Brogan suggests. The U.N.O. and other international organisations exist precisely for the purpose of making world conscience effective against regional conscience.
Although things are far from per fect in the United States, the American negro has made much greater progress owing to the more liberal policy followed there. And what is more comforting, Truman and others in high places, churchmen and social workers, are anxious to remove all vestiges of the colour bar in that country. In South Africa Smuts and Malan remain quite unashamed and openly boast of their statesmanship in maintaining the colour bar in all its rigour.
Blossom Villa, Bariatu, Ranchi, India.