27 NOVEMBER 1936, Page 20


]To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

Sla,—Sir Arnold Wilson in his article on Religion in your issue of November 20th says :-

" As individuals we may tolerate those who seek militantly by every means at their disposal, whether we regard them as fair or foul, to subvert the faith we individually profess, but we may not tolerate those who by such means [e.g., fair T] seek to subvert the faith, that is to say the religion, of those little ones, i.e., with immature minds, for whom we are responsible. There are in every branch of knowledge men who are entitled by their learning and experience to speak with authority : in no department of life is this more true than of religion."

The natural interpretation to be put on these words is that Sir Arnold Wilson advocates a legal veto on teaching regarding religion, if such teaching appears " subversive," to " men entitled to speak with authority." Is not this precisely what Popes have constantly tried to do in the past with no eventual success ? Does Sir Arnold wish to forbid such men as Herbert Spencer, John Mill and Bertrand Russell to put forward their views on the metaphysical side of the Universe ?-