S',-As one of the defeated Catholic candidates in the General Election I was glad to see you emphasise that 25 Catholic M.P.s is less than half the number it should be if Catholics are to be in any way represented according to their numbers in this country.
If we are really going to make an attempt to improve upon this position, may I make a few practical suggestions on how to set about it?
To start, a determined effort must be made to get Catholics elected to the local councils. Obviously they can do much good whilst serving on local authorities, but for the more ambitious this step is one way of getting oneself politically known and is a training ground for the realms of national Secondly, we, the laity, must be helped and encouraged by the clergy. Apart from Archbishop Heenan I have known only one priest a Vincentian take it upon himself publicly to proclaim the need for Catholic councillors and M.P.s. More pulpit publicity is, I submit required on this neglected subject.
Thirdly, if we cannot get help from the clergy let us at least be spared resistance from them.
Let me give a recent example of what I mean from my own contest. I was invited with my two opponents-one of whom was a Communist-to appear one Sunday evening on a public platform. The gathering was entirely organised by some seven local Church of England parishes and, of course, I accepted the invitation to attend. As a Catholic I did not expect a very favourable reception and I wrote to the clergy suggesting a similar meeting. My request was turned down for the reason that "we do not want to have anything to do with the Communist". Of course. no one will ever know now what good might have been done to the Communist in the course of a few hours in a Catholic atmosphere, and why should we need, with God's help, to run away from trouble?
I do not claim that this made any difference to the result of my contest, though I am certain had I received co-operation I. should have benefited to the extent of quite a few more votes. This sort of attitude in one of the marginal constituencies might have been disastrous.
(Councillor) Hugo Holmes
(President of the Sheffield Council of Catholic Action. Late Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Sheffield. Brightside.)
Gainsborough House. Gainsborough Road. Sheffield. 11,