Paul Derrick (1916 – 1997) [Biography]

[From Catholic Authors: Contemporary Biographical Sketches, 1930-1952 (Volume 2), pg. 125 edited by Matthew Hoehn.]

Paul Derrick

Born in June, 1916 at Congresbury, Somerse, England, Paul Derrick is the son of Thomas Derrick, the artist. He was educated at Douai School, Woolhampton (1928 – 1933), Reading, and at Reading University (1936 – 1938) where he took a diploma in horticulture.

Working on various nurseries and fruit farms he has at the same time contributed over three hundred articles to various journals in England, the United States, Italy, Denmark, India and New Zealand. Most of these have been concerned with the problem of distributing property in an age in which production is normally on a larger scale than that of the family enterprise. Mr. Derrick is Chairman of the Distributist Council, a body representing various Distributist groups in England and Secretary of the Political Section of the Personalist Group, an English group associated with the French Personalists and their journal Esprit, founded by the late Emmanuel Mounier. Paul Derrick’s pamphlet “Production and the Person” was recently published by the Personalist Group.

Many of his articles have appeared in the New English Weekly, Catholic Worker, People and Freedom, Catholic Herald, Blackfriars, Month, Tablet, New Review, Commonweal, Cronache Sociale, and other periodicals.

His book Lost Property (1947) argues that the distribution of property necessarily involves the organization of production on a co-operative basis.

Mr. Derrick maintains that all the political parties in Britain are moving in a Distributist direction. “The Conservatives declare that their aim is to create a ‘property owning democracy ‘while the Liberals talk about ‘ownership for all.’ The Labor Party, for its part, has recently abandoned the nationalization of insurance in favor of ‘mutualization’ and seems to be moving towards a cooperative interpretation of socialism.”

Mr .Derrick is now working on another book and hopes some day to have his own co-operative fruit farm.

M. A. H.