Bishop Myers Gives Strong Lead to East End Meeting
By a C.H. Reporter
" Mr. Butler will live to regret this."
Strong words, yet they are Bishop Myers's! Uttered at a gathering of 1,600 Catholics in the People's Palace in London's East End on Sunday, they were part of an address in which the Bishop summed up the situation regarding Catholic schools as " black, and almost desperate."
Organisers of this, the biggest meeting held as yet on the schools issue in the East End, were the Limehouse C.P.E.A., the only Association in the East End, with the assistance of representatives of neighbouring parishes and of the energetic Hendon C.P.E.A. A collection for the Fighting Fund brought in nearly £62.
We Catholics had striven hard to avoid disunion in wartime, said Bishop Myers, and we had held our tongues up to now. The Bishop's markedly vehement remark, quoted above, was in reference to the passage in the White Paper stating that the reason why "Catholics cannot have 100 per cent. grant was because this would annoy " the authori
ties, the teachers and the Nonconformists."
All speakers stressed the injustice being done us in the White Paper proposals, not least significant being the comment of Mr. J. R. Oldfield, of the L.C.C. and of the Catholic Education Cbuncil, who regretted to note that his audience was mainly a middle-aged one, " because others who have a right to he here arc away fighting for The rights of minorities," he said.
VIGOROUS TONE Taking their cue from the Bishop, speakers kept up a vigorous tone right through, Jack Donovan; who sounded hoarse after his strenuous week with the Liverpool dockers on strike, being especially challenging.
" If my voice is rough," he growled, " blame it on the Lhcrpool dockers, who, however, are good !ado, and are now carrying on with their work." As readers know, Mr. Donovan played an important part in settling that strike.
" Those who drafted the Green Bpok," he said, " had a bras against religion-'-their language is most offensive. In our negotiations with Butler we Catholics have told him we took exception to that language." Yet that same type of language is repeated, in spite of the Catholic protest, in the White Paper, such expressions as " the embarrassing feature of the existence of the Dual System " being an instance. " Butler." commented Mr. Donovan, " is at this moment deliberately misleading the Government. Parliament and the people."
He further proved his contention of attempted misleading on Mr. Butler's part by referring to the passage in the White Paper where the President deplores the lack of response on the part of voluntary school managers to the offers towards reconstruction contained in the 1936 Act. " Yet," said the speaker, " the Hierarchy have in their possession a letter from Mr. Butler complimenting us for having done all in our power towards reconstruction under that Act by preparing plans affecting:90.000 children out of the 126;000 in our schools. Why didn't he tell this to Parliament?"
THEAREST SAID . . .
Mr. W, J, Edwards, M.P.: Agitation experts are trying to take advantage of the present position in which a National Government illas been formed with the mission of fighting and winning a war for us, and not, as the agitators would have it, of taking their rights away from minorities."
Councillor Parker: " Teachers want this Bill because they want to become head teachers in Catholic schools with no qualifications. . . Nonconformists, who want Catholics to conform to their rule, can get Nonconformist teaching in Nonconformist schools for nothing. Why can't Catholics get Catholic teaching in Catholic schools for nothing too?"