31 JANUARY 1970, Page 26

The tragedy of Biafra

Sir: Having learnt something of Nigerian aspirations during twenty years in the West African trade, I have watched with sadness the developments in Nigeria since the words of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa -without losing my faith in, and hopes for, the Nigerian Federation.

r find a regrettable contrast between the magnanimity of General Gowon's welcome to the defeated Ibos and the bitter and partisan tone of your leader (17 January).

It is my earnest hope, and that of many of my friends, that events will relieve you of your worst apprehensions, and will give you an opportunity to infuse into your future publications more hope and encour- agement.

John Smith Naval & Military Club, 94 Piccadilly, London