SIR,--Professor Cameron is correct in believing that my article was never intended as a reply to his but rather as a criticism of "candid Catholics" who "swim comfortably with the secular stream".
I apologise for a mis-typing, "occupied" for "preoccupied", which, however, in no way misrepresented the point which Professor Cameron was making. Encouraged by my readiness to concede a point. I hope that Professor Cameron will admit that there is no justification for his intemperate statement that "the Catholic Press simply lied about Guernica".
In a later letter a may analyse the Guernica myth, of which, it seems, Professor Cameron was a victim.
I lectured in America not only on the Spanish war but on our war for a few months in 1941. Our attempt to secure a Russian alliance in 1939 was exploited against us much as Hitler's support was exploited against the Spanish Nationalists during their war.
It was this fact which, I think, explains M. Maritain's attitude, for his gifted and charming wife was a member of the race which Hitler was determined to destroy. In both wars there were people, like Professor Cameron. ready to argue that it was a case, so far as atrocities are concerned, of "six of one and a half dozen of the other."
In both wars, as in all wars, there were atrocities on both sides, but the contrast between the behaviour of the Western Allies, excluding Russia, in the World War and the Nazis was no greater than that between the Nationalists and the Reds.
In my book Spanish Rehearsal I quoted case after case of obscene atrocities, the crucifixion of priests, the burning alive of nuns, etc., which were recorded by neutral reporters. What is even more significant is the fact that the Ambassador of the Red Government in London did not attempt to deny the ghastly record of case after case of torture recorded in the Burgos Report.
The Spanish Embassy in London issued a statement in which they said that they did not "contradict the rebel pamphlet". When the Communists seized control, the atrocities were confined to torture chambers and execution cells out of sight of journalists.
Professor Cameron complained in his Search article of the "highly emotive language" used by Catholics, instancing the term "Red". But it was the Socialists who used "Red" in an emotive sense. "We'll keep the red flag flying here". And what could be more "emotive" than to write of "the disgraceful hysteria that overcame virtually the whole of the Catholic press, here and in other countries".
How many Catholic papers "of other countries" did Professor Cameron read during the civil War? He makes an exception, in his Search article for The Tablet, Blackfriats, the Month, the C/erey Review, and as Count Michael de la Bedoyere, who was Editor of the Cernotic HERALD during the Civil War, made no editorial comment on Professor Cameron's article, we must add the CATHOLIC HERALD ID the list of papers which were not hysterical.
That leaves little more than The Universe and the Catholic Times to bear the brunt of Professor Cameron's displeasure.
The Catholic Press did a wonderful service in reminding their readers of the real issue of the war, which was not democracy, doomed whoever won, but the survival of the Church. In his book The Spanish Tracedy, Professor Allison Peers wrote "it is religion in every form known to them that the Reds are persecuting". Note the "emotive" use of the word "Red" by this distinguished scholar.
The correspondent of the Manchester Guardian (June 24th, 1937) wrote 'The attack on religion has been more radical in Loyalist Spain than anywhere else in the world . . . In Loyalist Spain there is nothing left to persecute." "The enemy," wrote Dean Inge, no great friend of the Church, "we may almost say is anti-Christ in person" (United Christian Front is. 29). "For most of the Catholic Press", Professor Cameron complains, "France's side was 'our side' "4 Naturally, neither the Pope nor the Catholic Press was on the side of an enemy described by Dean Inge as "anti-Christ". On whose side was Professor Cameron? The side of a government in whose territory the churches were burnt, desecrated and closed to worship, or the side in which Catholics could practise their religion? I will not describe Professor Cameron's attack on the Catholic Press as "hysterical" because 11 value the tradition of civilised argument between educated people, but I think I have shown that on this issue Professor Cameron is irresponsible. He contrasts "those who speak the truth in independence and those who subordinate truth to a 'Catholic ideology' ". Is he quite confident that he does not subordinate truth to left-wing ideology?