SIR-if Dick Stokes' chum, Mr. Hynd, had not banned THE CATHOLIC HERALD in the British Zone, German Catholics would read with no little amazement what this Catholic Labour M.P. has to say about the political parties in Germany. It has, of course, always been a source of annoyance to British moocents abroad that the Continentals refuse to have the same party-political system as in Britain. But Catholics in Europe to-day must find us British Catholics doubly difficult to please. Whilst you, Mr. Editor, reproach the M.R.P. in France for not having the courage of its Catholic convictions, Dick Stokes accuses members of the • Christian Democratic Union in Germany of "exploiting " the " Christian part of its tide," whatever this obscurely worded charge may mean. He then goes on to make an equally obscure statement: " The Social Democrats have their origin in a breakaway from the Marxist theorists." If only this were true, it would make Dick Stokes' and Barbara Ward's task much easier. But did not the much-boosted Schumacher declare only the other day that he was a Marxist and an exponent of historical materialism. It must be painful for a Catholic Labour M.P. to discover that the German Sozis are " over-doctrinaire," i.e., that they are still atheists, painful because the Labour Party is going all out to support this atheistic party in the British zone. Because the German Socialists still believe in Marx and historical materialism, the Christians in Germany have formed a union to defend Christian values and the heritage of the West. They are every whit as keen on social justice as the Sozis, let there be no mistake about that. Why does Dick Stokes accuse the C.D.U. of being undemocratic? The Russians told us this a twelvemonth ago. Dick Stokes, who after all is what any German Sozi would call " ein Grosskapitalist," would probably be on the extreme Right wing of C.D.U. if he were a German. Ho certainly would not be a Sozi.
We sympathise with Dick Stokes in his dilemma because he is a man of generous instincts and a strong sense of justice. He belongs to the Party responsible for the administration of the British zone, to the Party which has put its money on the atheistic Sozis and tha: show n precious little recognition of h fact that the main resistance to
Nazism came not from the Sozis but from the Christians in Germany. Mr. Hynd cannot be expected to realise that it was Marxism that created the spiritual vacuum in Germany which Nazi paganism so successfully filled, but this fact has probably dawned upon Catholics like Dick Stokes and Barbara Ward. Or hasn't it?
Thanks to the Labour Party, Germans to-day live in a kind of intellec tual concentration camp. They are sealed off from the rest of the world. They are not allowed to see newspapers, books and periodicals published in Britain. Letters to and from Germany are censored and must deal with only personal questions. German Catholics long for contacts with their brethren in Britain. We suggest that Dick Stokes, instead of casting vague aspersions at the Christian Democrats, might get his chum Hynd to permit us to send copies Of THE CATHOLIC HERALD to our friends in the British zone. To Barbara Ward we would suggest that as a governor of the B.B.C. she might get the European Service of that corporation to allot a little more time to Christian news in its transmissions to Germany. Whilst the German Sozis are regaled with talks and news galore, German Catholics get a bare 15 minutes and the Protestants even less.
KARL, REIMAN:se H. G. BARNES. Oxford.
[Our correspondents' expression should not be construed as meaning that Tile CATHOLIC HeRALD has been specially banned. In company with all religious papers and the great majority of others it is not among the list of papers accessible to German editors, and no English papers are directly accessible to the German people. EDITOR, C.H.J