27 NOVEMBER 1959, Page 14


SIR,-1 am grateful to Mr. Anthony for correcting my statement in 'Labour's Love Lost' about Mrs. Barbara Castle and Mr. Wellington Chirwa dining at Meikles Hotel, Salisbury. I admit I did not pay much attention to the outcry in the newspapers about the incident at the time, and have always been under the impression that they dined in a private room or an annexe to the hotel dining-room—an impression gathered from the many discussions I heard on the subject for many months afterwards: However, Mr. Chirwa assures me that this was not so—he and Mrs. Castle did indeed dine in the dining-room at Meikles.

1 apologise for .any annoyance my, inaccuracy may

have caused the hotel management, who were raced with a ticklish situation that might well have cost them some of their clientele. As it was. according to Mr. Chirwa, several people walked out of the dining:• room as a sign of protest when he walked in, sonic of them feeling so strongly about it that they phoned for the police, who sent members of their Special Branch along to the hotel to keep an eye on things

The correction, however, does not alter the point of the story which was that Rhodesians have never forgiven Mrs. Castle for violating one of their old• established customs. The fact that she succeeded it taking an African into their favourite hotel lot dinner would only have strengthened their grievance Neither does it change my assertion that this 'custom' is claimed by many to be a 'civilisation' bar. or 'class' bar and not a colour bar.—Yours faithfully.