14 NOVEMBER 1970, Page 19

Death in Angola

Sir: The letter from your corres- pondent M. Mortimer on the Church's support of revolution in Portuguese Africa has only just been drawn to my attention and, although belated, I feel I must reply.

From where on earth could Miss Mortimer possibly get the gall (or - naiveté) to say: 'Nobody could call Portuguese Africa racist' when its colour bars, its curfews, its cheerful support of all South African policies and, above all, the vicious war the Portuguese are waging against the Africans freely proclaim it to be one of the most racist states in the world. The war taking place between the Africans and the 50.000 Portuguese troops is an undisguised race war with references by Portuguese authorities to a war of extermina- tion. Africa South (vol. 5 no. 4) has reported the Minister of De- fence, presiding at the embarkation of soldiers for Angola, as saying:

'You are not going to fight against human beings, but against savages and beasts'. If this is the attitude of one of Miss Mortimer's 'law- fully constituted governments of friendly states' then I suggest we change our friends.

Thank God, at least, that our 'addlepated clerics' have finally shuffled out of their lethargy to take a stand. Revolution may not be the most Christian means of effecting social change but its sup- port by the Church does betray a greater awareness of world prob- lems than Miss Mortimer obviously has.

Trevor Bloom c/o Dept. of Law, Univ. of Leic., Leicester