DR. H.B. MORGAN.
MR. J.S. MIDDLETON.
19th February, 1937.
INTERVIEW WITH ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER.
I have made a note of the request from the Irish Labour Party re the Interview with the Archbishop of Westminster, and, though occupied with the Factory Bill at the moment, I will make out a draft as speedily as possible and submit it to the Archbishop. Mr. Duffy gives me the impression that he will regard such an endorsed document as confidential, and yet later on in his letter it is plain that publicity would be desirable.
The Archbishop made it quite plain that he did not desire and would discountenance a separate sectarian Catholic political Party, or sectarian Trade Unions. He said he wanted Catholics to get into the Trade Union movement and become members of their appropriate Trade Unions. Only in that way could they make their influence felt properly. He wanted them too as active, not indifferent, Trade Unionists. As regards the Labour Party, he said quite clearly and definitely, without any qualification or doubt, that any and every Catholic was entitled to join the National Labour Party of Great Britain if he so desired, or that there could be no religious or theological objection from the Catholic Church or authorities to his doing so. He was quite emphatic on this, and said that in repeating this observation he was following in the footsteps of his predecessor.
He was equally emphatic (it is only fair to state) against Communism, and he said that no Catholic could be a Communist and remain faithful.
At a subsequent interview I pressed him further on this, and he admitted it was the Materialistic Philosopy associated with modern Communism that led to his rather fervent opposition and emphatic decision. He admitted, that stripped of its Materialism Communism as a political creed might be tolerated, though he detested its obvious background of Force. I pointed out that applied to Fascism too, and he agreed. Finally, he showed me a letter from an avowed Catholic Communist who challenged the Church to deprive him of the opportunity of practising his religion and partaking of the Sacraments to the possible perdition of his soul. The Archbishop rather pathetically said that neither he nor any other Churchman could deprive "this man" of his Catholic religion or his religious human rights.
If the Irish Labour Party could supply me with any authoritative pronouncements made by Catholic clergymen (not laymen who have no right to make theological pronouncements) or press cuttings of alleged sermons or