Examples of advances in this country in the direction of fulfilling the social teaching of the Popes were given in a Sword of the Spirit lecture in London by Fr. O'Hea, Secretary of the Catholic Social Guild.
The lecturer pointed out that the traditional Catholic social doctrine, which is sometimes called by the misleading term " corporatism," has nothing in common with the forms and theories of Fascists or Nazi dictatorships. On the contrary, the Popes reject the use of professional organisation as an instrument of govern
ment. The organised industry or profession should have real authority in managing its own affairs, but in subordination to the State as representing the general welfare.
" One need not go far," he said " to observe promising tendencies towards the application of these principles. For in stance, the Lancashire cotton trade a few years ago obtained powers — limited it is true—by which decisions agreed upon by organisations of employers and workers had binding force: such powers, according to encyclical doctrine, belong to the industry in its own right, and the State simply recognises them.
" The building trade, too, has shown progress towards self-government, setting up organisations representing all engaged in the trade to consider questions of employment, conditions of work and other relevant matters. The problems of post-war reconstruction, of rebuilding houses, of restoring peace-time production will demand for a long period a retention of the strong control which the State necessarily exercises in time of war. The burden on Government will prove intolerable unless shared by the subordinate authority of self-organised industry."