11 DECEMBER 1964, Page 11

lik ma Letters

Letters from: Sir Anthony Meyer, MP. P. K. M. Donovan, David Charles Rose, George Chowd- haray-Best, Sir Douglas Glover, MP, Aneirin Tulfan Davies, R. Irvine Smith, Geoffrey Cros- sick, the Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, and Randolph S. Churchill.


SIR,—Your symposium on the colour problem does not bring much immediate comfort. Only Sir Cyril Osborne has any short-term remedies to offer, but even these, however sensible in themselves, become suspect in the light of his rejection of miscegenation. Mr. (now Lord) Brockway seems more concerned to keep his conscience unsullied than to mend matters. Mr. Chataway is certainly right about the long term; but there is a much more urgent short- term problem to be faced.

Only 10 per cent of the problem is prejudice, though if responsible politicians cOntinue to leave the field to extremists this percentage will rise

• sharply; 30 per cent is schooling, and 60 per cent is housing. Why should We not require and enable employers of immigrant workers to provide simple, decent hostel accommodation for them? All right, I know this means ghettoes and apartheid, but we have got them now. Better a compound in the countryside than a shanty town in the slums.

In the long run, as Mr. Chataway says, we must disperse the coloured population, both socially and geographically. To do it we may have to accept things like residence permits for immigrants and even official racial discrimination. This is all against my principles. But I am not sure that in this matter I can afford, any principles, beyond the over- riding need to make black and white like one another better. If racial discrimination is the price of racial tolerance, I for one am prepared to pay it.