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"Collectivism is coming, whether we like it or not," the delegates were told by no less a churchman than England's Dr. William Paton, co-secretary of the World Council of Churches, but the conference did not veer as far to the left as its definitely pinko British counterpart, the now famous Malvern Conference (TIME, Jan. 20, 1941). It did, however, back up Labor's demand for an increasing share in industrial management. It echoed Labor's shibboleth that the denial of collective bargaining "reduces labor to a commodity." It urged taxation designed "to the end that our wealth may be more equitably distributed. "It urged experimentation with government and cooperative ownership.
"Every individual," the conference declared, "has the right to full-time educational opportunities ... to economic security in retirement ... to adequate health service [and an] obligation to work in some socially necessary service."
The conference statement on the political bases of a just and durable peace proclaimed that the first post-war duty of the church "will be the achievement of a just peace settlement with due regard to the welfare of all the nations, the vanquished, the overrun and the victors alike." In contrast to the blockade of Germany after World War I, it called for immediate provision of food and other essentials after the war for every country needing them. "We must get back," explained Methodist Bishop Francis J. McConnell, "to a stable material prosperity not only to strengthen men's bodies but to strengthen their souls."
Politically, the conference's most important assertion was that many duties now performed by local and national governments "can now be effectively carried out only by international authority." Individual nations, it declared, must give up their armed forces "except for preservation of domestic order" and allow the world to be policed by an international army & navy. This League-of-Nations-with-teeth would also have "the power of final judgment in controversies between nations . . the regulation of international trade and population movements among nations."
The ultimate goal: "a duly constituted world government of delegated powers: an international legislative body, an international court with adequate jurisdiction, international-administrative bodies with necessary powers, and adequate international police forces and provision for enforcing its worldwide economic authority."
*Despite their zeal for world political, social and economic unity, the churchmen were less drastic when it came to themselves. They were frank enough to admit that their own lack of unity was no shining example to the secular world, but did no more than call for "a new era of interdenominational cooperation in which the claims of cooperative effort should be placed, so far as possible, before denominational prestige."