11 DECEMBER 1964, Page 11

• Sia,—What is an American, an African, a Euro- Pean?

At what stage, if any. does a Welsh 'settler' in England become English or a European 'settler' in Africa an African? I take it that a Briton who takes out US citizenship papers becomes an Ameri- can forthwith. In that case, perhaps one of your many erudite readers could sort out the following.

My paternal great-grandfather was born in Dun- dalk, Co. Louth, and his wife in Clonmel. They emigrated to the United States. My paternal grand- father was born in Plymouth, Mass., my father in Windsor, Ont., and by coincidence I myself at Windsor, England. My mother was partly North American (Virginia), partly Chilean. Am I European or American? The answer to this question has a bearing on the following.

I emigrated to Rhodesia and became a Rhodesian citizen- by registration. My two sons are both Rhodesian-born. Their maternal great-grandfather was South African of Irish-American descent. Their grandfather, grandmother, and mother were all Rho- desian-born and never set foot in Europe. Nor had my sons until recently. Are they African or European?

Since both my sons support full independence for Rhodesia. have they not as much right to call them- selves 'African nationalists' as their black contem- Poraries? Or to be an 'African nationalist' is it essential to have a black skin and to turn one's back on one's forebears?

Finally, sir, when is a 'settler' not a settler? Is a Person of European origin or extraction 'a settler' in Rhodesia for no better reason than that he has a white skin? And in that case, are those who refer to white Rhodesians as 'settlers' not guilty of racial prejudice and discrimination on the score of race? -