13th November, 1936.
The Rev. Joseph F. Halsall,
I beg to thank you for your letter of the 12th November, and I have noted carefully the observations you make. I hope you will pardon me if I make the following comments.
I am not really concerned with whether any published account of the interview of the deputation with His Grace gave "great offence to Catholics", because my experience has been that there are some Catholics who are so conservative in politics that the bare mention of the fact that Catholics of Labour views have had an interview with His Grace would be a source of offence. You may not believe that, but I can assure you that in my long experience of politics I have met that sort of individual Catholic on numerous occasions. What I am concerned with is this. There were six members of the deputation, the sixth being an individual whom I did not know had been invited, and who appeared on the scene apart from the other members of the deputation. As I conceive the situation, His Grace spoke to us as confidentially as we spoke to His Grace, and there was no mention to His Grace of any account of the interview being prepared for publication. An informal meeting of the deputation was held immediately after they left His Grace, and no mention was made of any Press announcement; the subject was not discussed or mentioned and I left with the firm understanding that the interview being confidential was to remain confidential. That is a view to which I, personally, have strictly adhered. To my surprise an account appeared in the "Daily Herald" of the following Monday, and I immediately submitted my letter to the "Herald" dissociating myself both from the interview and from the fact of publication. The enclosure, however, of the issue of the "Herald" of November 6th will show that a condensed form of my letter was published in the "Daily Herald." This is proof that my letter was sent to the "Herald", a fact I wish to