After the Conference SUNDAY was a most lovely day—if the will allow me to say so. was up from the country for the Press Conference, but I'm afraid I left early, driven by an impulse to pass the evening in Kew Gardens, where my spirit acquired a serenity that, I fear, was in considerable contrast with the effect of the worthy conference speeches. As I walked about among the rhododendrons and the scented blossom of the peaches and as I lay on the grass overlooking the silver stretch of the Thames, I thought of the English love of flowers and gardens and tidy green parks. Half London seemed to be at Kew, and the sight of the thousands picnicking, admiring, photographing, sketching, " walking-out," gave me a far deeper sense of the richness and permanence of England and the English character—as well as of the sense of the beauty of God's creation—than all the Christian and patriotic speeches at the conference: " Kew Gardens in May, right or wrong," I say—and, I repeat, " war at its best is an ugly thing."
I should also add—though this should be recorded udder " Recent Remarks " —that as I passed a woman entering the gardens, and walking through bright beds of tulips and wallflowers, I heard her say to her companion as she pointed to the horizon: " Look, there are the Brentford gasometers!"
The Pope and Sex Instruction Tlatest issue of the Grail Magazine contains another valuable simple English version of a Papal Allocution, the one given by Pius XII to a gathering of mothers, teachers and youth workers in October, 1941. I reproduce the section on Sex Instruction, as it should be made known as widely as possible. In the original it is printed in short lines. but lack of space forces me to make it run on: The day will come when the child wants to k,itow the laws of life—even though its questions be not uttered. It is the parent's task to watch for this day, to act on this day. It is the parent's task lb give proper sex instruction—the mother to the girls, the father to the boys. Parents should do this " at the proper time, in the proper measure, with the proper precautions." If parents do not do this, what will happen? This will happen—the child will get its knowledge from furtive reading, from secret conversations, from its friends Such sources of knowledge are dan. gerous and pernicious. If the words of the parents are wise and discreet what will be the result? This will be the result—the child will not only be enlightened, but the parent's words will be a warning, will be a safeguard for the rest of life.
They Will Not be Forgotten IWAS sorry to see that it should have been a Catholic Member of Parliament who rose in the House last week to press the point that reprisal air-raids should be pursued. And the matter was made no better by the fact that he was replying to Mr. Rhys Davies, who often seems to me to express real, as opposed to notional, Christian sentiments. Mr. Davies was asking whether the intensified R.A.F. bombing operations involved a departure from the declared policy of confining attack to military objectives. Mr. Logan interjected: " Has the hon. Member not heard of the pictures we have of the damage in our great cities, and dbes he know how the morale of our people is inspired when they see that something similar is being done elsewhere?" As I have often said, let it not be forgotten that these views on the lips of Catholics will not pass unnoticed, and a time will come when we shall be called upon to defend or explain away every one of them.
Our Woman M.P.
LETTER received:— Dear Jotter,—Though close on 70, I have never cast a ..ete in a parliamentary or other political election, my long life having been spent on a foreign soil where I, as a foreigner, could not enjoy the privilege of franchise.
For the first time I yearn to cast MC vote before my days end.
I want to be an elector, just once. I want to cast a vote, a vote to put Miss Grace Conway into Parliament. As a colleague, I know her qualities. She is ardent, know:edgeable, callable, enlightened by experience, her soul flooded with eagerness to bring the true remedy to our social conditions. Her place is with our legislators who need her woman-wise leadership in social matters framed on Christian Catholic principles.
Yours sincerely, YOUR CORRESPONDENT FORMERLY IN BELGIUM.
Cut the Cables I LIKE to record,from the witness of
I a farmer friend that the Canadians are the politest and most thoughtful
troops in the country. They have earned, apparently unjustly, a reputation for roughness, and when my friend spoke about this to a Canadian. he was informed that it was only true of a few of the earlier arrivals. To counterbalance this tribute to the men of one great country, I must also record the remark made in Scotland by a soldier of another country—he was, remember, enduring the Scottish winter: "Why don't they cut the cables of the balloon barrage," he exclaimed, " and let the holly island sink!"
Reaching for the Stars
I WROTE recently in these notes of
Nora Wain. I am glad to be able to say that her best-selling book on Germany before the war, Reaching for the Stars, has now been published for sixpence as h Penguin Special. I am reading it myself—for the first time I must shamefacedly confess—and with the greatest interest. I hope I have many fellow-readers from among those who follow this column. I have just reached a passage that seems very topical. It reports a Hitler speech in 1934: " In this hour," said Hitler, " I was responsible for the fate of the German nation. Therefore the Supreme Court of the German people was myself," Working-man Aristocrat AGOOD, but uncomfortable point (that has previously been made in these pages) is to be found in an article ' on Freedom From Want, by Lord Esher, in the current Horizon. "I do not believe," says he, " that the working-class of the West have in the least realised that in this sphere they are the rich, and that it is they whose standard of life must be temporarily lowered if freedom from want is to reach the toiling masses of India, China' and South America. The English working-man, with his cinema, his dog-racing and his football, protected from birth to death by free milk, free education, health insurance, unemployment insurance, old-age pension, and the American Working-man, with his high wages, his motor-car and his wireless set, snugly entrenched behind the Hawley-Smoot taritt, are the aristocracy of labour, enjoying a standard of life unknown to the Ryot, the coolie, and the Peon. Surely the Western working-man cannot expect that this privileged position should be reserved for him alone? Like every other aristocrat, he will have to surrender his class privilege, 'and allow his standard of living to fall, until such time as his fellow human beings in less fortunate continents have been lifted up to a minimum standard of civilised life."