Co-operation between Catholics and non-Catholics for the establishment of a new and more Christian social order has already made some progress in Australia. A petition has been presented to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth (Lord Cowrie), which is the outcome of the joint action of Catholics and members of the other Christian denominations in the townships of Mildura, Wentworth and Wcrrimul, in the State of New South Wales.
In these three districts those who are persuaded that a new social order is not only possible, but must be based on Christian principles, have formed the " National and Social Reconstruction Movement," which is already making headway. The petition presented to the GovernorGeneral suggests that the Australian Bishops' statement on Social Justice and the manifesto of the Inter-Church Council for a Christian Social Order should he made the basis of the Australian social system.
OF CAPITAL IMPORTANCE Here are some of the points from the petition which the Melbourne Catholic Worker hails as of " capital importance to all the citizens of Australia ": 1. Whereas many citizens are undernourished and living in most undesirable surroundings, though the necessary foods and materials are and can be produced in abundance. 2. Whereas many citizens are unemployed and others only meagrely provided for by sustenance tabour,
3. Whereas machinery, invention and scientific method have released new resources of wealth and increased productiveness immensely.
Believing that one of the first responsibilities of the Government is to provide the conditions necessary for the employment of every employable citizen and for the procuring of the necessities of livelihood as a right, and anticipating that at the end of the war the above problenis will be accentuated and that then permanent provision will need to he made for repatriation and pensions. We therefore now do humbly pray and urge Your Excellency and Councillors in the exercise of your prerogatives and powers to summon and empower a special tribunal, council or commission to thoroughly inquire into the circumstances above referred to with particular reference to the following: 1. Economic system (noting particularly the problem of distribution).
2. Monetary and financial theory and practice with a view to a national and social reconst ruel ion. 3. And whether the manifestoes of the Christian Social Order and the Bishops' Statement on Social Justice should not be the completed objective for our industrial, social, economic and financial system. NO UNITED DEMAND FOR CHANGE
Of the movement in New South Wales the Melbourne Catholic Worker says: " Relying on the support of church congregations, the movement must remain above politics. It can point to existing social evils and enumerate social principles. 'the details of political and economic arrangements are matters on which Christians may disagree, for they depend on judgments of economic and political facts, not on moral principles.
" While there is throughout the country much dissatisfaction with the evils of Capitalism, there is as yet no united demand for an attack on thosc evils. A movement such as this should make that demand heard." The petition, couched in humble and loyal terms, is in striking contrast to the flaming and revolutionary slogans and texts of our own and Australia's Communists and Communist-inspired movements.