HC Deb 25 March 1952 vol 498 cc204-5
45. Mr. Raymond Gower

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the national deliverances and the great improvement in public morale which followed days of national prayer during the last war, he will now recommend a period of national prayer for the achievement of a true and just peace between all nations of the world and the solution of our economic problems.

The Prime Minister

I do not feel able to support this suggestion at the present time.

A call to the nation to a day of prayer has always in the past been reserved for occasions which are clearly of the gravest moment and it is from this that the occasions have derived their peculiar force and value.

Mr. Gower

Will the Prime Minister assure the House that, while we have quite properly attended to the physical needs of defence and of our other problems, we should not neglect these spiritual resources which have inspired this country in the past and without which the noblest civilisation would decay?

The Prime Minister

I hardly think that that is my exclusive responsibility.

Mr. George Thomas

Is the Prime Minister aware that there is no need for him or anybody else to call upon those who wish to pray for peace so to do? Is he aware that the spectacular idea of a national day of prayer now on this issue is distasteful to many earnest-minded people who sincerely desire an improvement in international affairs and who believe that certain works towards an understanding might be just as helpful at this moment as one day devoted to prayer?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that requires me to make any addition to the answer that I have already given.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

On a point of order. Is it in order to mention Christianity in the House after prayer time?