NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
SIR,-1 appreciate the distinction Of having attracted the attention of one of our most distinguished dermatologists, successor to the late Sir Malcolm Morris at the best of our medical schools. Like myself, until the last General Election, Sir Ernest Graham-Little, M.D., F.R.C.P., is a hide-Itound Tory, not to say a die-hard ; but unlike me, Be remains unconverted to the principle of helping the under-dog which actuated Hugh Dation and Aneurin Bevan as the Budget and the new Health Bill undoubtedly disclose, For twenty-seven years an active G.P., attending all classes from nobles to labourers, from Vere de Very to Hodge; and subsequently visiting all manner of doctors in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Kent, East Sussex and London, and honorary secretary to my division of the British Medical Association, I am not without knowledge of the wants of the practitioner. Even now 1 sin told that Dr. Charles Hill's expectation of a " pony" (£25) from each member of the B.M.A. will never be realised as the rush of its youngest and best to work the new Bill will be just as great as when Lloyd George's National Health Inturance Act became law.
And more power to our young doctors, who put us old fogies to shame ! The Consultant Services Committee's resolution approves the transfer of ownership of the hospitals, provided that the composition of the Regional Boards is satisfactory; and this is enough for every reasonable individual. The Committee shows no mistrust of British fair-play. We are not in Poland, Yugoslavia. or Rumania. We know that our High Courts are honest, and that in our Commonwealth Justice and Truth always prevail.
" Negligible minority ot medical opinion," morgith ! as we used to say in Ireland, anglice forsuoth.
You see Sir Ernest does not propose a plebiscite, but assume that your readers will acoopt his ipse Why not publish in précis the salient clauses of the Bill and allow your intelligent subscrrbers to draw their own conclusions unaffected by what I, he, or my friend, writes ? The last-named, possibly still sore at his recent rejection by Bermondsey, regards all measures coming from the " new people" as tainted; but can the reasonable doubt that a Government numbering amongst its supporters a Hugh Dalton, a Stafford Cripps, a Diek Stokes, will not play the game with both doctors and patients I decline to stigmatise all Tories as Fascist and all supporters of Bevan as Communist or even Socialist. Was not Sr. Francis of Assisi a socialist of the type of two, at least, of the forementioned ? As for our Catholic hospitals, does ally sane man or woman believe that the splendid Freemasons' Hospital, that of the influential Jewish community, still less our own Catholic hospitals, will not have fair play from our present Government ? Surely the manner with which Soviet Russia has been tackled by Bevan is enough to reassure the doubtful? The comparison with Nazis and this is puerile and grossly unconvincing. The service is absolutely free. The poorest clerk with six children will never again await the postman with terror of a doctors bill. " Hundreds of extra hotpitals " is a
ridiculous hyperbole. Free choice of doctors is secured with all ancillary aids for diagnosis and treatment. Only such nervous practitioners as distrust their professional brethren by reason of, their own shortcoming' and defective knowledge of the art and science of medicine, obstretries and sureery will dread the friendly contact which this Bill ensures with sympathetic and amiable colleagues.
Of good housing better food and education, with God's help and good harvests, we are certain. The " naivete " of my remark of "a sympathetic Judge at the Ministry" will no longer appear naive to any doctor who has had my experience when In my days of active practice I appealed to thy Ministry against a judgment of the Medical Servioes Subcommittee who had mulcted me in £20 for declining to certify that a drunken malingerer was unfit to work. A post or two later came the reply with an order to the same to remit the fine and delete my conviction from its minute-book.
Ileathwood, Bushy Heath, Herts.
SIR, It is rather unfair that last week's views on the Government White Paper were not given the front-page prominence that you bestowed upon the articles by l'r. Bonner and Dr. McElligott. It should be known that the letter represents neither doctor nor patient, nor indeed, the Catholic laity, officially. The patients' point of view deserves a hearing. 'the fact is that the large majority prefix a doctor's private consulting room to the hospital out-patients' department, however efficient. Call this a clinic or health centre or what you will, the public will still exercise their choice, until that choice is takem away by an allpowerfol State. In the same way, at present, they choose a voluntary hospital sometimes instead of the county hospitals, which, to many, still bear the taint of
the " institution." The voluntary hospitals, in many cases, are owned and run by people of strong religious beliefs-something to thank God for in this atheistic age. The fact that they do not always go out of their way to welcome pastors of other religions is quite understandable, but they often do. Of course. the priest feels more tree in a State hospital at present. He would be equally welcome, just to carry out his duties, in State schools -at present! Does " atmosphere" count in schools but not in hospitals ?
42, Brotntey Conimon, Kent.
CATHOLIC PAPERS quite agree with Mr. J. Astbury, of Birmingham, that the Catholic periodicals should be on sale at all our churches.
There is severe competition in my parish, however. Two instances of this observed at Mass recently One, a man, kneeling in the front bench with the News of the World protruding from his coat pocket, the title-page
on the outside. Two, a girl wearing one of those fashionable printed scarves -the design being entitled Men Only, with three or four excellent ictitoductions of rather risque jokes !
62 Dunbar Road, Hillside, Southpett,
U.N.O. AND SPAIN
SIR,-A note or two on the Security Council's debate on Spain of 17th and 18th insts., from one who listened to the whole of the B.B.C. relay, may be of interest. (These lines are written before the projected debate on the Australian amendment has taken place, and there seems to be on excellent chance that this may be adopted: for certainly the Spanish case has nothing to fear from that scrutiny , which ought to have been accorded it from the beginning.)
Although nearly every speaker in the debate who deprecated the " Polish" motion thought fit to preface his remarks by echoing Mr. Bevin's " detestation of the regime." it must be said that once that ritual had been gone through they dealt trenchantly and rea listically enough with the matter. All honour to the Netherlands delegate for his sturdy common-sense: all honour, too, to the Brazilian for his forthright declaration on the rights of a Sovereign State (and it was time some Latin American made a Christian voice heard!): but intellectually, perhaps, the pleasantest talk to listen to was the honest, indisputable, Australian amendment, which included-mirahile dicta! -an insistence that the " culprit " should be allowed to state his case. (Whether he will or not is problematical: he would he perfectly justified in refusing.)
To return to the actual proceedings, which, incidentally, can hardly have turned out according to the hopes of the B.B.C. and the American broadcasters, or they would not have been given such publicity. Why, one asks, were a couple of reporters on the spot allowed to comment as they did upon the speeches? And what are we to think of the Soviet delegate's reference to Spanish soldiers, except that it was more Bolshevik°, and by its vulgar insults will-as one devoutly hopes-rally all Spaniards round their Leader? This Russian called the Spaniards poor soldiers: but one seems to remember that whenever, in the Civil War. Franco's men encountered the " International Brigades " (which were largely composed of Russian Bolsheviks), it was most decidedly not Franco's men who ran.
One thing, of course. there is which must be said about the proceedings. While everybody at that council-table, and in that hall, was pettedly aware that all the pother was really caused by Communistn's oath to ruin Christian Spain, and that such a ruin, if unchecked, must eventually ruin all, not once was the matter mentioned. And, of course, things being as they are, it could not be. One realises that!
P. R. BUTLER.
RIGHTS OF ANIMALS Ste,-If animals had a fundamental right to lite, butchers would be murderers and meat-eatets, cannibals. But they have the secondary and conditional right that, if they are allowed to live, they must be allowed to live according to their nature. A. Glum. 99, Ridge Lane, Watford.
S111.-li seems an extraordinary thing that the question of animals having rights should arise when even a superficial knowledge of Holy Writ brings to mind so many references to animals. For example, under the Mosaic Law-" Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treads the corn." The reference ut the " just man who has consideration for his beast." The lack of consideration when Balaam beat his ass and '' The Lord opened the mouth of the ass and she taid unto Belem," etc. The ass in this case was an instrument of our Creator just as the ravens were when they fed the prophet Elijah. in my submission animals have rights because man has moral responsibilities which require him to exercise his superior powers over the lower orders of creation in a spirit of charity because all are the work of God's hands.
A. G. BULLEN.
29, Newstead Road, Liverpool 8.
THE TWO WARS SIR,--Can you kindly allow criticism by one of your occasional readers who is not a member of your communion?
Many newspaper editors (including your good self) seem to have abandoned the title "1 he Great War, 1914-18," and degrade it by using such expressions as " the 1914-1918 war," or perhaps more frequently " the first World War " or " World War No. I." This practice Is saddening to very many of the older generation and to those who (like myself) served all through the Great War and also part of the World War. In any case the title " the Great War " cannot properly be used a.t a title for this or future wars, by the very fact that it is officially engraved on millions of allied Victory medals, and thousands of town and village war memorials in this country and overseas. One is apt to forget so easily that the Great War was won at a cost of over a million of the Empire's best manhood. The Ypres Salient alone accounted for roughly a quarter of a million British dead, and there are more names on the Menin Gate Memorial (as missing and with no known graves) than our total fatal army casualties in France and Germany from D-Day to the end of the World War. One would think this was sufficient to ensure against the gradual elimination of the first war's own proud title.
It was gratifying, therefore, to see a letter by Lord Trenchard to the London Times wherein he referred both to the Great War and the World War. Moreover, the Radio Times, in two very recent programmes mentioned the retirement of the famous ballet dancer, Adeline Gene, in 1914, " during the Great War." and also the incident " that precipitated the Great War." I am sure this (or Lord Trenchard's letter) caused no confusion to anybody, even though 1914-18 and 1939-45 were not added, which perhaps would be better for the younger generation. It would be nice and proper. I think, if the two correct titles could be standardised as: (1) The Great War 1914-18. (2) The World War 1939-45.
Law's W. Iliewetu., (Major, mt.). Home Close, St. Albans.
THE GOLDEN LEGEND Six.-Dom Wesseling, in his review of The High History of St. Benedict and his Monks, ascribes the Golden Legend to the pen of Capgrave, the Augustinian. The "Golden Legend" Is commonly assigned to Jacopo de Voragine. Archbishop of Geneva. It would be interesting to know if Dom Weaseling has any freslt evidence to support his statement.
The Nova Legenda Anglice was the work usually associated with the name of Capgrave, although in reality he only re-edited this book, which was written by a Benedictine monk and treated of English Saints. The " Golden Legend" went much further afield.