1 JANUARY 1965, Page 13

John Bull's Six Counties

SIR,_Mr. Alexander Walker raises the old canard about religion being the source of discord in Northern Ireland—when any schoolboy there could tell him it is racial. The word 'Protestant' there does not denote one's religious affiliations so much as one's blood and traditions; it is synonymous with the word 'British,' as the term 'Catholic' is indicative of the nearly half a million native Irish there who resent being forced to live under a foreign (British) flag in their own land.

The conflict is identical with that of the Quebec problem in Canada. A new flag which would also recognise the national aspirations of the native Irish in Northern Ireland would appear to he a requisite first step towards the founding of a true democratic system of rule in Britain's oldest colony.

101 Westmorland Terrace, SW1