11 DECEMBER 1964, Page 11

SIR,—*Obviously they cannot all come here': the, gloss of apparent

logic in •Sir Cyril Osborne's favourite cry has grown no glossier since his speech two years ago in Oxford, when he tried to enlist our sympathies by painting • a lurid picture of some hundreds of millions of Indians, Pakistanis, West Indians, Africans and Malaysians all pouring into Britain, no doubt bringing their various lower per capita incomes in their cooking pots.

• But what need of Sir Cyril's statistics? All his article is irrelevant in the light of his last para- graph: 'We should ultimately become a chocolate- coloured, Afro-Asian mixed society.' Well, why not? The preservation of the 'whiteness' of the 'race' as a creed is colour prejudice in it most literal sense: is Sir Cyril really implying that one shade of pigmentation is in some way better than another? Probably. As for our becoming 'Afro-Asian,' I never heard that the Portuguese, probably the most mixed nation in the world (if we exclude our own Celtic/ Brythonic / Goidelic / Roman/Saxon / J utish / Danish! Norman/Huguenot, etc. etc. composition), ever re- garded themselves as Afro-Asian--still less that they were so regarded by genuine Afro-Asians! To the above list of our forebears, incidentally, may be added the proportionately large Negro population of England in the eighteenth century, whose genes are now so spread amongst the population (having married out completely by the mid-nineteenth century) that they may have even filtered into the make-up of Sir Cyril himself.


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