Stone V A LERA.
From Our Dublin Correspondent The thaw sent the snows of our hills down to the valleys in careering torrents; the roads cleared several days betore Christmas, and then the towns were thronged with business, and a "record " trading season was enjoyed.
It was as mild as April on Christmas Eve, and those who went to Midnight Mass in the cathedrals and convent chapels where it was celebrated hardly knew that it was winter. From the Cistercian monastery at Roscrea, the midnight ceremonies were broadcast by Radio Athlone—so was High Mass later in the morning. From midnight till midday, Ireland was full of prayer.
Broadcast to Irish Race
At eleven o'clock on Christmas Eve, Mr. de Valera gave a broadcast to America, which was relayed by Athlone to Ireland, and was given again on Christmas afternoon from a record. His voice was pot at its usual pitch; he seemed weary, doubtless through the exhaustive toils of winding up a regime that will have ceased forever when these notes appear. He began by wishing the Irish people at home and abroad a holy, happy Christmas, and .said:
" The year that is drawing to a close has been for us a notable one. It will stand for ever in our history as the year in which our people enacted and first gave to themselves a free Constitution which we hope is the earnest of a fuller harvest of the fruits of centuries of fidelity and sacrifice.
" Looking back and contemplating the sorrows of the long night of our national captivity, calling to mind the time not so long ago when the nu:foray of our people in this their native land were denied the rights of citizenship, were forbidden to practise their religion or to educate their children—were forbidden almost to exist —we who have seen this day cannot but thank God with all our hearts that He has seen fit to preserve our nation through its persecutions, that He gave ear to the supplications of our tortured fathers. and brought us at last to this glorious dawn.
"Our National Destiny"
" The freedom we have gained, even though it is not the freedom of the whole nation, imposes its obligations.
"Once again it is given to us to shape our national destinies to great ends. Once again we can make of our country a home of culture and of learning, a university of life and of right living. We can make of it a land where true knowledge is turned to high purposes, where a new order fashioned to our own needs makes life noble and happy. where vigilance, discipline, and devotion make it secure, guarding the freedom that has been won.
" To achieve these aims we need wisely to plan and patiently to perfect. The rebuilding of a nation's life cannot be the work of a day. We must, above all, make sure to begin upon the right foundations.
Appeal to Youth
" Upon the character moulded in our children and developed in our young people—our young men and young women —wilt depend whether this dream of a great destiny will or will not be realised-this dream which has abided with our people through all their tribulations, and the frustration of which was the most poignant element in their sorrow. '' Upon the hearthstone, then, the foundations must be laid if they are to be permanent. To the children then is our chief responsibility. And you, the youth of our country who may be listening to me, you for whom your fathers suffered and endured and remained faithful unto death, you who are now standing upon the threshold of a new era with life opening befere you as a splendid enterprise, remember that to no generation of Irishmen for hundreds of years have come the opportunities that now are yours.
A Great Tradition
" Tlw inestimable heritage of a great tradition has been handed down to you, but you yourselves must give it life by your own service and by your own devotion. In other countries, by a discipline Imposed by the State tlw youth are banded together to work for their country's welfare. Will you, by a discipline voluntarily assumed, not he ready to fit yourselves to play your part in the vanguard of a disciplined people?
" Be your code reverence for sacred things, obedience to right authority, moral integrity, and a sense of public duty, and that code will soon be the code of all our people and our nation will shine and be an example to the other nations of the world."
New State Inaugurated with Votive Mass
On Wednesday-1 write before the event —the new Constitution comes into force. Mr. de Valera ceases to be President and becomes Taoiseach, or Leader of the Government. The Gaelic word, by the way, is common in Scots records as " Toshach," the equivalent in law of " thane," With his Ministers, the Leader proceeds with military escort through the streets of the capital, to Votive Mass at the Pro-Cathedral. Then he goes to the Castle, where the Presidential Commission takes the oath of fidelity to the new Constitution, and enters into office.
This Commission comprises the President of the High Court, the Chief Justice and the Chairman of the Drill, and aces in place of the President of Ireland until his election. The judges are required to take the oath before the Presidential Commission immediately; otherwise the judicial system would be at a standstill.
Mr. MacDonald's " No Statement"
Last week, Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, Secretary for the Dominions. was asked in the House of Commons whether he had had " any communications with the Governments of the other Dominions regarding the position of the Free State in view of the fact that the new Constitution of that State, which would come into force on December 29, apparently would create a Republic," and replied:
" We are in communication with the other Dominion Governments on certain aspects of the question. In the meantime I cannot make any statement."
This reply is taken to indicate that the British Government has sought the unanimous support of the Dominions—without which, in view of the Statute of Westminster, it is impotent—in respect of any action that it wishes to take regarding (1) the letters of credence to the " King of Italy and Emperor of Ethiopia " which the Irish Government will present to King George VI for signature, and (2) the change from Dominion status effected by the Constitution.
"Conditions of labour, as now drawn up by the Government arc far more human than those obtaining in other countries," said the Rev. G. Cooney. President of St. Joseph's Club, at Tullamore.
" Well, it is nearly time that you had a Christian Government in power to work out the Christian principles enunciated by the Popes for the past forty or fifty years, principles that have fallen on deaf ears in Other countries. As the present Holy Father points out, because of their being turned down and sneered at by the moneyed powers that be, we have what is known as Communism at the present time, and the upset that we see all over the world."
The Japanese 'Catholics
The manifesto of the self-styled National Council of Japanese Catholics has been circulated in Ireland. One of the Jesuit Fathers, in a letter to the newspapers, points out that none of the Japanese bishops signs the document, so that it cannot be taken as an official expression of Japanese Catholic opinion; and he recommends Irish readers to get the Catholic Herald, on account of the reply which is promised in an early issue, from authoritative sources.
Aged Nun's Death
The Rev. Mother Liguori (Keating), of the Ursulines of Cork, has died at a great age. She was in the 61st year of her religious life.
" Dawn of a New Era"
" We are about to enter the dawn of a new era in the history of our country," said Canon McMahon, of Clontarf, in an address on behalf of the St. Vincent de Paul Night Shelter. " What a glorious thing it would be if that opening synchronised with an effective desire to unite the Catholics of Ireland together, forgetting, for the moments political alifferenc.cs and drop
ping false ideologies, and form a militant body under the guidance of the Bishops to implement the teaching of the Popes and to spread in our own land a reign of social order, justice and charity.
" Were the energies we possess harnessed in the service of God, and the Faith we proclaim realised M our social life, Ireland would become, even in one generation, the salt of the earth. the light of the world and the Heavenly leaven to lift up the multitude.
" Were we to rise to a full sense of responsibility and were we to put into practice what we preach, then, without doubt. poverty--though it will always remain to some extent—will largely disappear from our midst and we would be the spear-head of a great world movement to actualise the teaching of the Church.
" Ireland would become immortal among the nations and even, in a not too distant future, we might restore to their pristine splendour the faded glories of our golden age."
De La Salle Brother Honoured
The National University has decided to confer the degree of LL.D., honoris causa, on the Rev. Brother Brendan Herlihy, B.A., Provincial of the De La Salle Order in Ireland.
Brother Herlihy has spent 40 years in teaching. and has founded several secondary schools in England as well as in Ireland.
The Secret of the Slums
The City Architect of Dublin, Mr. Horace O'Rourke, is probably the best mind in town-planning science in Ireland, and he dealt with the slum problem in an address which went to the heart of the matter.
Pointing out that Dublin was growing at a far greater rate than employment, so that the slum population could not be housed as fast as new people poured in, he said that the first essential was to limit the inflow of population—not to provide a static population in numbers—butte limit the inflow in periods of years until they could say they had every person reasonably housed. They could then take more, or increase the population by quota every five years in a regular, orderly and scientific manner.
As things were at present thousands of people came to the city if they liked, and there was nobody to stop them. How could any responsible authority deal with a problem like that?