3 NOVEMBER 1979, Page 17

Welcome to foreigners

Sir: I have read the articles by Mr Tim Garton Ash with a great deal of interest, as my wife and I travelled by road to Poland this summer and shared some of the experiences he described.

His article 'The Bulgarian horrors' (20 October) with its opening sentences: 'The three-hour wait . . the little men in uniform. The form-filling . Grubby, badly-printed forms.. . 'brought back vividly the three hours my wife and I spent at the Polish frontier with a Polish officer who seemed determined to ignore a growing queue of travellers — and even then managed not to sign my currency form.

But I found a sense of proportion reduced the irritation. I discovered a degree of sym pathy with a Pakistani arriving at Heathrow airport; I wondered whether the reception he receives differs in any degree from the one we had. Has he a shorter period of waiting? Are British immigration officers more friendly, courteous and sympathetic to such visitors than. the Polish and East German frontier officials were to my wife and me? Somehow, I rather doubt it.

Incidentally, I think Mr Garton Ash was a little unfair to East German and Polish roads; they seemed to compare quite well with roads in this country. And the children everywhere seemed well-fed and wellClothed.

Peter Bailey Cam borne, West Horsley, Leatherhead, Surrey.