SIR,—Father Marshall raises a point of some importance, which the Catholic Pharmaceutical Guild has not overlooked, but which it regards as essentially a political question. As individual Catholic% we shall always support a sound land policy whieh embraces a return to the visit of craftsmanship and a sense of the divine vocation of work.
Them is, however, no single cause for the falling birth-rate, they are many. There is, therefore, no single remedy, and if the contributory causes are, as we beliese to be fairly well established, economic, educational, political, etc., the remedies must be also economic, educational, political, etc., and regarded as a whole they are not mere palliatives None of these correctives is sufficient in itself, and success will not come to the campaign unless all are applied For instance, contraceptives are one means used to restrict births. We submit that as long as they are allowed to exist no amount of return to the land, family allowances, education and the rest are going to remove the potential temptation these devices offer. A return to religion, and especially simple trust in God is, of cow-se, the fundamental cure; but a return to religion will be made easier by sound education, economic security, and the removal of the weapons of Satan, as well as a more intimate contact with nature in the land. All these factors have to be taken together, not singly, as is proved by the facts that birth restriction is more prevalent among the rich than the poor, and is equally as prevalent in the countryside as in the towns.
The Catholic Pharmaceutical Guild is not competent to deal with all these aspeets of the question, and that is why it seeks the co-operation of other societies. We believe that a return to the land will be inevitable after this war, and should be prepared for ttow. British industrial export trade will never again reach the pre-war level, because the overseas industrial plants which have been built to manufacture war munitions will almost certainly be devoted to peace-time production afterwards. England cannot therefore look forward to importing cheap food in exchange for industrial products on the same old scale, and it will be necessary, in order to feed her population, to turn labour surplus to industrial requirements to the land. In this connection it might be a good thing i' the Government were to offer to each man on his demobilisation the option of acquiring on easy terms " three acres and a cow " instead of a money gratuity.
CHARLES E. MACJ3ETIL
Hon. Secretary, Catholic Pharmaceutical Guild.