3 SEPTEMBER 1937, Page 21


SM,—One sometimes_ wonders what would happen if a speaker at a political debate, or a disputant in a newspaper corre- spondence, were to announce, in the course of either, his . conversion to the views of his opponents. , Without doubt he would be an object of the. very gravest suspicion, reproached with failure to " play the game,", and his conduct stigmatised as vaguely,. though . unmistakably, " un-English."

Side by side, however, with this " my country (or my comfort ?) right or wrong " attitude of mind, there has recently been evident in Britain a tendency entirely to disregard the arguments pro and- con any question of real importance, and to make it a matter. of " my country, .right or wrong : and please don't bother an Englishman to tell the difference ! " And the gradation has thus been easy to 'an out-of-hand rejection of what used to be valued as " best evidence," in favour of the probably more comfortable, genial and worldly- wise, but alinost certainly less true, testimony of the " unbiassed " and " non-partisan." If, by some miracle, the evidence could be obtained of the innumerable unfortunates who have so foully been murdered in Spain by miscreants sure of the countenance" of the " Government," such best evidence (first-hand enough even to satisfy your correspondent, Mr. Deverill) would have to be rejected, one must presume, as prejudiced, partisan and biassed !

, Unfortunately, the evidence of the dead (pitifully enough " biassed ") is not to be had from their own lips ; but from the plethora of next-best evidence one must cite, in support of Nationalist Spain against its foe, the magnificent " Joint Letter of the Spanish Bishops—eight archbishops, thirty-five bishops and five vicars capituLar—to the Bishops of the Whole World," which hai • jUst been Published in this country. And before Mr. R. P. ashe, and others of yOur correspondents, wave this tremendous indictment on one side as being " biassed " (which, of course, it is—as " biassed " as the love of His Church for God), one would beg them, in all earnestness, to reflect what such a contention • implies. (But, above all, one would ask them to read the document !) Would it. be asking ,too much of. your. correspondent, Mr. Deverill; to suggest that he reconsider his description of the terribly significant struggle which is taking place in Spain, as " a silly squabble " ?. . _ Lastly : chronologically, if for no other reason—and there are other reasons—the accusing cry of .`..`.Guemica I" forms no adequate reply to the charge of deliberate, long-planned and relentless debauchery of a Christian people before ever one outraged Nationalist sprang to arms.—Yours faithfully, P. R. BUTLER.

• Stockbridge, Hams.