' An experience I had some years ago shed light on the conundrum. I had been elected by the students of Edinburgh University to be their Rector, and when I went to Edinburgh to be installed I had a wonderful reception. Then some months later I was asked by the Students' Union to put in a request to the governing body of the University that contraceptives should be made freely available by the University Medical Unit. I refused to do this, whereupon I was subjected to abuse, to the point that I found it necessary to resign. In a farewell sermon in St Giles' Cathedral, I explained why I had done what I had, and received some private thanks, but none publicly. The conclusion I came to was that in a libertine society any attack on libertinism is anathema ... Tom Driberg was an inveterate enemy of MRA; readers of his posthumous autobiography will see why.'26

Appendix to Chapter 23:

Danish Campaign to Combat Unemployment

The official account of the origins of what was to become a national campaign states, 'During 1938 people in contact with the Oxford Group met and considered whether it was possible to activate private initiative to supplement public efforts.'27 The idea, in essence, was that it was everyone's responsibility to find work for others. 'When a stone is too heavy to move,' the lawyer Valdemar Hvidt said, 'break it into small pieces and get many to carry it.' Unemployment was a matter of conscience for everyone, where each town and village would take action to find work for its own unemployed.

The first experiment was initiated by Knud Oldenburg of the Department of Forest and Heath. Oldenburg had, for example, formed a flying corps of people from Jutland towns who were once thought unemployable. They thinned the copses which an earlier generation had planted along the Jutland coast to reclaim the land, work which had now become essential but which the peasant proprietors had not the capital to undertake. This enterprise, which reclaimed men, land and what proved in the coming war to be valuable fuel, was at first financed voluntarily, but quite soon the Ministry of Social Affairs, with trade union agreement, guaran- teed the men a small wage until the work became self-supporting. 'Oldenburg, once a man of great personal ambition, had learnt to transmute this energy into national service after his contact with the Oxford Group.'28

In December 1938 Hvidt, Nielsen and their friends obtained an interview with the Socialist Prime Minister, Thorvald Stauning. 'We have achieved much in the social field and I had hoped the social changes would make people responsible,' he said. 'What is needed is the change of attitude which you have experienced.' He suggested people - leading farmers, employers and union officials - who, if they worked together, could bring a solution. On 1 August 1939 the National Association for Combating Unemployment (LAB) was founded, with Hvidt as Chairman and Nielsen as an Executive Member. Speaking at the inaugural meeting in Copenhagen, the Prime Minister 'expressed his own and the nation's gratitude for the surge of voluntary effort which had culminated in the Association and which had brought to work together men from all camps and classes who previously found it most difficult to co-operate on anything'.29