14 JUNE 1963, Page 16

Sw,—As one of the 'native-born English sons referred to by

Mr. Mach-Ines, I wish to protest at his bland assumption that the attitude of the Anglo- Saxon-Danish-Norman-British-Jewish, etc., residuum. of the English population to the newer elements is one of 'indifference.' I do not think this is true, and I have certainly never found it so. I agree with him that the Commonwealth Immigrants Act was generally welcomed here, but it was not welcomed from motives generally of hostility. It was welcomed because this country is already heavily over-Ponu- lated, and any large influx cannot be readilY absorbed. Moreover, there is no absolute require- ment that a job must be assured to a prospective Commonwealth immigrant, as Mr. MacInnes states. It is still possible to gain admission without having a job in prospect. It may be that there are some second-generation immigrants who feel 'out of it' in this country; all that one can say to them is that they always have the choice of going to their country of origin. It is a fact too readily ignored by Mr. Maclnnes (an.d those who think like him) that Commonweal."' immigrants by and large come here in search of a better standard of living—in other words, more money. They do not come with either the conscious or the subconscious primary aim of promoting better understanding between the races or between the peoples. They are here, mainly, for what they can get out of us, that is, when they first arrive. We.are by nature a reserved people, but I do not believ'e that our indifference to the immigrants and their descendants who are amongst us is any greater than it is to our own countrymen. There are 'nal individual instances of friendliness, kindness a.n generosity, indeed genuine offers of friendship, which,. Mr. Maclnnes chooses wholly to ignore or at leas' to gloss over in his article. Neither are the faults and defects, where they exist, altogether one-sided —as many of his admirable character-sketches of tile different nationalities show all too clearly. GEORGE CHOWDHARAY-BEST

Oxford Union Society