31 JULY 1964, Page 13


SIR,—The exponents of the doctrine of apartheid appear to find their biblical justification in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 9. It is an ugly story with a tragic aftermath. Noah became intoxicated with drinking too much wine and behaved unbecomingly in his tent. Ham, one of three sons, saw him and told his brothers—Shem and Japheth—who took up a large garment between them, walked backward into the tent, and covered over their father. Later, Noah was told of the situation. Instead of feeling ashamed of himself, he 'took it out' on Canaan, the son of Ham, saying 'Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.' These words were not the voice of God—as so many people understand them—but the irrational muttering of a man recovering from the effects of too much wine!

Traditionally, the descendants of Shem and Japheth populated Asia and Europe, the descendants of Canaan occupied Africa. From this odd ancient story, arose the erroneous conception that the African was inferior to the Asian and European, and should be treated as such! It is clearly in contradiction to the Divine Mind, as expressed by Jesus of Nazareth : 'One is your Master and all ye are brethren.' When you pray, say Our Father.' A. J. BAMFORD 13 John Street, Beaumaris, Melbourne. Victoria, Australia