SIR,----Mr. Searle takes exception to you statement that:—" Catholics must piovid equal educational facilities together wit religious instruction in a Catholic atmce phere."
Has he really considered what thes facilities are? Here are some of them:
First—An up-to-date building, bright healthy and suitably equipped. Hov many of our schools lack hall, play ground, washing facilities. or even de cent sanitary accommodation? Surel: there is nothing un-Christian in havire these things.
Secondly—The teaching to be efficien and according to the syllabus of th( appropriate authority. The new physica training requires space which we havi not always got, handwork require: a spare classroom and plenty o room for storing apparatus, cinema or lantern requires a halt, botans requires a garden. Humanity atom would suggest a medical room, racks foi drying clothes and a room where child. ciren could if necessary eat their dinner Is it wicked for the State to expect suet things in every school?
Thirdly—Facilities for higher educecation—central and secondary schools Yes, even Catholic parents want equal opportunities for their children; toe long we have been the hewers of wood and drawers of water. Such schools must be a part of the educational system of the country; they cannot be selfsupporting, and if they are State aided the State has a right to enforce the Hadow or any other system which does not infringe Catholic principles.
Such are the facilities which Catholics must endeavour to provide. There is nothing communistic ar totalitarian about them, they are the rightful inheritance of every child that he may enjoy the fullest opportunities for spiritual, mental and physical growth in the finest environment we can provide.
Modern education is a splendid fulfilment of a social duty which the community performs for its individual members. We lived in slums before housing reform (oh, so socialistic) gave us decent dwellings; children played in the gutter or worked in mines before the Education Act; babies were neglected while poor mothers had to go to work before nursery schools satisfied a crying need. Because modern conditions have nearly destroyed family life, are we to do nothing toWirds providing necessary alternatives?
In justice to Catholic children, as long as we claim to educate them we must provide equal, and if possible, better facilities than those of the State. Too long have the arguments put forward by Mr. Searle and others kept Catholics tolerant of had conditions in their own schools. We should be proud to lead the way in the educational world, and no doubt we would. if money were available. As it is we are forced to trail along in the wake of educational progress. But at least let us show our belief in, and enthusiasm for, education which in England at any rate is not increasing the authority of the State over the individual, but rather training the individual to take an active part in local and national government.
(Ma.) D. MOLONEY.
47, Pemberton Gardens, N.19.