25 SEPTEMBER 1976, Page 14

Distracted Croats

Sir: It was mischievous enough of Richard West to venture into the field of modern Yugoslav politics with his particular equipment of badly regurgitated thirty-year-old propaganda ('These massacres were carried out in the name of the Catholic Church and to some extent with its connivance') and a few preposterous lies borrowed from an absurd Italian journalist about how buckets 'full of recently gouged out eyes brought back by the Ustashi' were apparently kept in Pavetic's office. Is it likely that Pavelic should keep such buckets around ? But for him to venture an opinion about the political attitudes of the British Croatian Society is pure madness.

There is nothing remotely odd about the fact that I should be president of this distinguished society. It is exactly the sort of post which Mr West would himself be offered nowadays if he were less frequently distracted. In fact I seem to recall offering it him in an emotional moment. If he could have concentrated his mind on the matter, he would have discovered that the society is entirely non-political, given to chamber music recitals and suchlike delights as a means of fostering the ancient, profound and almost mystical friendship between the British and Croatian peoples.

So far as the moribund androgyne BrozTito is concerned, nothing could surprise me less than to learn that 'Pope' Montini was trying to oil up to this mass murderer of some 360,000 Croatian Catholics. But inquiry suggests that this, too, is a total fabrication.

Auberon Waugh Mary Celeste Ward, Westminster Hospital, London SW1