31 OCTOBER 1947, Page 5


THE radio service which Mr. George Tomlinson, the Minister of Education, conducted on Sunday morning was in many ways remarkable. The occasion was Education- Sunday, and normally the Minister might have been expected to contribute his part to the service by intervening with a semi-official, semi-secular address. Mr. Tomlinson took the whole service himself, selecting his own hymns, choosing his own lessons and reading them himself (teachers discontented with the new Burnham Committee proposals must have felt that a Second Lesson containing the words "for the labourer is worthy of his hire" augured well), composing one of the prayers used in the service and preaching what can only be described as a straight evangelical sermon on the words. "Freely ye have received, freely. give." It was a striking and sincere utterance and I hope it was widely heard. Coming three days after Sir Stafford Cripps had closed his notable speech on the economic situation with the words "I wish that today our country could refresh its heart and mind with a deep draught of that Christian faith which has come down to us over two thousand years, and has over those centuries inspired the peoples of Europe to fresh efforts and new hopes ", it suggests the existence of some better basis for national action in time of crisis than the clangour of controversy and partisanship. Men of common Christian faith may differ on method, and even in some degree on aim, but if unity on fundamentals is there it can subdue the asperities of politics to their right proportions.