PEACE POSES PROBLEMS
International Conciliation. No. 389. (Carnegie iEndowment for International Peace. 5 cents.)
The Road to Victory. By Francis J. Spellman, Archbishop of New York. (Burns, Oates and Washbourne. 7s. 6d.) A Working Peace System. By Davit. Mitrany, Ph.D. (The Royal Institute of International Affairs. Is. 6d. net.)
Reviewed by the Rev. J. F. T. PRINCE.
A SMALL girl, asked recently why she wanted the war to end, replied briefly, "Bananas." Her answer, saving its candour, probably represents the attitude of most of us to the problems of peace and war. Except for those that do well out of it, war is a personally vexing affair and the sooner it is over, •the better. Moreover, numbers of previously well-to-do indulge a secret superstition that somehow or other the good old days (which were bad old days for the bulk of humanity) will return.
Not so, however. the contributors to the now monumental slack of blueprints of post-war reconstruction. For the majority of them recognise (what realist doesn't?) the necessity of letaming some, at least, of the public controls that have been set up in time of war. So much for the domestic scene. Our feelings in the matter of a new international order are less acute, less defined, in that we feel less personally involved. It is, incidentally, to be hoped that this is the reason (rather than downright disloyalty) for the remarkable apathy and seeming deliberate ignorance on the part of most Catholics in the matter of the Pope's proposals for a better order. One can scarcely inveigh against the wretchedly small attention given to the Holy Father (in such books as those I am reviewing) when the faithful themselves are mostly deaf and indifferent.
To the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace we arc indebted for the publication of much valuable work —including that of Otto Tod Mallery, already adverted to in THE CATHOLIC HERALD. NO. 389 of International Conciliation is perhaps useful as textbook (as, indeed, all the series have been) rather than on account of any
especially inspiring content. The text of the Atlantic Charter, which is given at the end of the volume, is accepted as the pledge of fair-play hereafter. A less optimistic note is sounded on page 212 (in " The Aim of the. United
Nations ") where we are reminded that new laws concerning the use of force will meet with difficulty unless States which surrender their right to use force arc assured of other means for protecting their rights and remedying their wrongs. Other problems are specified. The grim fact of the extermination of 1,500,000 Jews in tess than three years is treated as providing another post-war problem rather than with a view to alleviating immediately the tragic predicament of the Hebrew people.
THE words of the Archbishop of
New York will interest primarily those American citizens to whom they were addressed. No reader. however, whether on this side of the Atlantic or the other, can fail to he impressed by the eloquence and sincerity of the eleven sermons that make the book. They form indeed a welcome contrast to the sweet nothings and bellicose heroics to which war has inured us.
Here are great words: " In a world at war I believe that the desire for peace or: the part of all people was never greater. This desire in its deepest source springs from religion which teaches men to love one another, and hi existence is the only good augury in this sad mad world. It means that people fear that any attempt to redress the wrongs of the world by military force will fail lamentably as they failed in the last great sear, and that future wars will arise to mock our illusory hopes and efforts." And in the same chapter, " The Sword Cannot Breed Peace " (being an exposition of the Pope's efforts for peace), " The victory that ix to change the face of the earth must come from the onward march of Christian soldiers, dressed as St. Paul puts it, ' in the armour of God.' And the armour of God is not the ancient equipment of breastplate, shield and sword, nor in the modern implements of bombs, tanks and airplanes. In the Apostle's enumeration, the spiritual weapons that will overcome the enemy are truth, justice, the gospel of peace, faith, the hope of salvation. the Word of God."
The Archbishop proposes " total victory, not alone on land. in the air, and on the sea, but a victory also for America's ideals," which the author ably co-ordinates with the faith and hope of Christendom. It is a pity that the publishers did not devise a more dignified dust-jacket for such a fine book.
WORKING Peace System treats of I-1 post-war federation with caution and commonsense. As opposed to pro missory Charters and Covenants (which, the author remarks, may be but " the headstones to unfulfilled good intentions) a functional order is outlined. The argument is reinforced by the sound principle that ultimate peace will never be secured " if we organise the world by what divides It."