Moral Considerations Involved
SIR,-Many of your correspondents, who write against " the wholesale massacre of the innocent " which they see implied in current defence policy do not face up to the problem of defence. They reject Western defence policies which rely on nuclear weapons and they defy the advice of military leaders, but they offer no defence policies themselves as realistic alternatives. How are they proposing to prevent the 200 divisions of the Russian bloc in Eastern Europe from overrunning Western Europe or.the Middle East? How are they going to prevent the 20,000 aeroplanes and 500 submarines being used in aggression against Us ? The conclusion of Mr. Dulles is irresistible. "Against such military powers as the Soviet Union can marshal, collective security depends upon capacity to counter-attack against the aggressor." Since the Western Powers in Europe have insufficient conventional weapons to retaliate effectively counterattack means the use of nuclear weapons. This lead to the British Government's White Paper on Defence in which it was stated in paragraph 12. "The strategy of Nato is based on the frank recognition that a full scale Soviet attack could not be repelled without resort to a massive nuclear bombardment of the sources of power in Russia."
The intellectuals of the Russell disarmament campaign have recognised that their policy would strip the West of its ability to defend itself effiectively against Communist domination should Kruschess choose to impose it. I wonder how many Catholics would be prepared to accept this price of renouncing nuclear weapons to put thc Apostolic See at the mercy of the Kremlin. Lord Russell is reported to have said: "If the Cornmunists conquered the world it would be very unpleasant for a while hut not for ever." In the same issue of the "Observer" Joel Brand described his efforts with the Nazis to bargain with dollars for the lives of the Jews in Central Europe.
Communist domination would undoubtedly be unpleasant for a while and we cannot be sure how unpleasant. It seems to inc exceedingly strange that so many of your correspondents should not face up to the possible evils and the extermination of Catholic resistance to Communist rule which could quite possibly follow from a renunciation of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Sandys in his White Paper says that whereas Western weapons dominate every target of importance in the Soviet Unoin, Russia has no hope of knockingout at present the vital strategic air bases of the U.S.A. It is of some cornfort to know neither side can hope to gain anything by war and that Communism would be faced with such a crushing blow in retaliation that aggression is unthinkable. As St. Augustine bears witness in the "City of God": "war's aim is nothing but glorious peace." Whatever Cacus inhabits the Kremlin he cannot believe now that aggression would secure "a glorious peace."
Kevin Kavanagh President of the Labour Society Leeds University Union, Leeds, 2.
SIR' Reluctantly I take up my
over-worked pen to meet the "challenge" of Mr. J. J. O'Connor. that I should quote a single example of a Christian airman who refused to massacre German civilians.
No doubt there were many who avoided refusal by getting them
selves assigned to other duties. 1 can quote only one who refused and spent the rest of the war in prison: Capt. Douglas Home, and I do not know if he was a Christian. 1 fancy his refusal was made in the name of ordinary decency. that is (as I would say) for God's sake. whether he knee it or not.
There might have been thousands more like him if our pacifist friends had busied themselves preaching a Christianly discrimination in war. instead of an absurd 'enunciation of all force.
(Canon) F. H. Drinkwater
Lower Gornal, Dudley.
Mr. Douglas Home is an Anglican.-Editor C.H.