7 AUGUST 1964, Page 13

Sia.—Mr. Leo Baron's well-meaning article contains a fatal flaw. The

figures he quotes from the Labour Force Census, 1961, are

(a) 421 Africans earning more than £720; (b) 869 Africans earning more than £480;

(c) 8,258 Africans earning more than £300; and by themselves are probably inadequate to sup- port any firm conclusion. However, it is completely Every week there were cash prizes to be won, as well as cups and commission. In some ways we were back at school.

On Saturdays we had community singing, with a song-sheet specially printed and the words adapted to our needs. 'Onwards, salesmen, on- wards . . . selling as we go . . .' Afterwards, prize-giving, and pep talks from the head and some of his star pupils.

I remember a doctor who was rude to one of my boys and threw him out of the house. For nights afterwards we made a point of driving past, however late, and ringing the door bell and asking if it was convenient to give him a demo. He got quite nasty after a time and so did we . . . in those days I was much tougher. Nothing like door to door for bringing out the fighting spirit in a man—or, come to think of it, a housewife.

unjustifiable to apply any percentage general in- crease in earnings' as the same percentage to the number of people in any class, and this is what Mr. Baron has done with his 14 per cent.

To show how misleading this way of treating the figures is let us assume that over a period, say ten years, there is a general increase in earnings of 60 per cent. This is the factor which would turn an in- come of £300 into one of £480 and thus produce an increase of about 1,000 per cent in class (b). (Cf. 60 per cent increase in all classes per Mr. Baron's method.) If we can assume a similar increase in class (c), Sir Edgar Whitehead's estimate of twelve years to an African majority is by no means un- reasonable.

Mr. Baron has proved nothing. Mr. Hayhoe, on the other hand, shows us again how easily people arc persuaded of what they want to believe. It is par- ticularly distressing at a time when any middle ground should be zealously preserved, that Mr. Hayhoe should with specious argument exaggerate the differences between the two sides.

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