Another Religious Poll I AM always fascinated by the results of Gallup or Public Opinion polls on religion. The latest, I see, is the one organised by the Daily Express which records that eight out of every 100 people in Britain declare themselves to be Catholic—which would mean threeand-a-half to four million Catholics. which is a good deal higher than the oflicial figures. On the other hand, it appears that of these Catholics only 56 per cent. declared that they go to church once a week or more. This is a lower figure than one would expect.
The Money-Boxes of St. Etheldreda's READERS of Douglas Hyde's
series of articles " From Communism towards Catholicism " will recall his story of how, during the period when he was groping his way towards the Church, he called each night at St. Etheldreda's, the preReformation church in the City. Now the following amusing story comes from the St. Etheldreda's clergy,
During precisely that period, it seems, they were much troubled by the frequent rifling of their moneyboxes, and the regular disappearance of the candles and so decided to keep an eye on all regular callers whom they didn't know. Not unnaturally Douglas Hyde, who usually called after dark (on his way home from the Daily Worker) and sat in the church alone, fell under suspicion. They watched him 'for some weeks until, one night they caught the real culprit.
Now the man whom they thought was emptying the money-boxes is filling them, for not only have they sold scores of his pamphlets, but visitors, many of them non-Catholics, from all parts of the country and from abroad, who have read it, call and ask to be shown round.
What the Photos Revealed EXAMINING some of the excellent pictures of the recent Catholic Youth Rally in Rome, I noted some interesting details
characteristic of the enthusiasm and originality of the Italians. For example, I reproduce the little mannekin carried by a member of the crowd. At first, it looks rather anti-Papal, but in fact the mannekin bears the legend Viva it Papa. In another picture a placard reads: Holy Father, not all the people in Leghorn are like Laura Diaz." Another immense placard decorating a fodntain shows a drawing of the Pope with the written words, " Let us be ready." Looked et under a
glass, the faces of the crowds show the rapt attention and enthusiasm of the thousands of' young men as they raise their hands to their leader.
Expensive Gas THE " cracks" of the unpolitical
are not always wise. But just after a gas factory employee remarked to me that U.N.O. was the most expensive gas installation he knew of, I happened to read an account of the work involved in transferring U.N.O. from Lake Success to the Palais de Chaillot. This has involved moving 230 tons of supplies and 625 officials from New York to Paris. One paper-cutting machine (very appropriate) weighed 3,600 lbs. The French Government has had to find half-a-million pounds to adapt the Palace to the needs of the Organisation, and to make 3,000 hotel rooms available. And the gas is not even of high quality!
Hitting the Headlines AS a comparative pioneer in the breeding of Cavalier King Charles spaniels, 1 nearly leapt off my seat when I read a large headline in Tuesday's London Star: "Cavalier Spaniels a Big Draw—Pick of Dogs at Show." The story was about the Kensington Dog Show, and it described how " women admired the long-nosed little cavaliers for they are distinguished in appearance . . . sportsmen, too, gave them more than passing attent:on. for they have a reputation of being anything but lap dogs in the field," The secretary of the Club reported that good specimens could not be bought for four figures—which is good, if highly surprising, news even for those who breed for love and fun rather than big money. I wish I had been at the show. How is the Health Scheme Working ?
MY own experience in the country ' with a largish family has been highly satisfactory. More trouble is being taken, e.g., with eyes, and recommendation to a specialist seems to be automatic if there is any possible need. And all of course for a weekly insurance cost which, in the case of a family. is very small in comparison with the benefits.
I mention this to offset the story I heard from a countryman. His face was all swollen, and when I asked him the cause, he said that it was the blasted dentist, who said the State could not afford to give gas to pull out teeth. The man protested that a local injection would kill him. To which the dentist retorted: "It doesn't matter if it does. We'll all get paid just the same, whether you live or die."
From Penguin to Porpoise THOUGH I prefer to recommend, other things being equal, the smaller firms, a long experience of children's books does force me to single out every time for special praise, both in regard to quality and price, the children's books published by Penguin Books. A new series, called Porpoise Books, has been begun, and though these cost 3s. 6d., with hoard covers. the illustrations alone by Ardizzone, V. H. Drummond and others, put them in a class apart. Another example of outstanding value is the 2s. 6d. King Penguin on the Woodcuts of Durer, with more than 100 illustrations.