, From ,Professor Catlin
SIR,-The following letter was sent' on the 12th to the editor of the Sunday Express, but was refused publication and may be of interest to you I should add that the question hots far the declaration of Rome as an open city may not have a beneficial effect on the campaign, by moving the citizens of Milan, Florence and elsewhere, to a similar demand, is obviously relevant to the present situation. Further, if Florence or Chartres (which last seems to be a legitimate military objective) is bombed, this serves to show the morally intolerable nature of the curse of modern war. The peace-riots of the Italians are a symptom of recognition of this.
" Mr. George Slocombe's article seems to be guilty of three fallacies:
" (a) In so far as Rome demands respect as one of the metropolitan
. cities of Christendom, along with Jerusalem, this is certainly not because of the Romans but as the location of the Vatican City and the Papal residence. What, therefore, happened to the Romans when they, rightly or wrongly, expelled the Pope-as they did not only in 1870 but more than once-is irrelevant to considerations of what is due to the Papal City. Mr. S/ocombe's sympathies may be pagan at faraully know, but his logic is here
" (b) In so far as Rome is the Eternal City, treasure 'house of civilisation for all peoples* and ages, it is cdmparable to Athens and the comments of Dean Inge appear to be justified. The moral here would seem to be that the Italians are under a moral obligation to declare Rome an open city. Why not drop pamphlets on the Romans telling them to press Radoglio? If they do not, it is another of the contradictions which war reveals between politics and civilisation. Mr. Slocombe seems, however, to argue that the Romans were entirely right in protesting, seventy years ago, although active belliger ents, against being bombed. Here he contradicts his own argument that the Romans have no moral right to protest against bombing. " (e) Two blacks do not make a white, whatever Pio Nono did. One demonstration of this is that if the Germans bomb Venice, Florence or Rome we shall protest against this as vandalism, and, if we bomb them, the German propaganda will do so."
2, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, S.W.).
[Professor Catlin's. letter to the Sunday Express was in reference to an article by George Slocombe quoting the precedent that Pius IX was glad that Rome was bombarded in 1865.-EDI