17 JUNE 1972, Page 28

Sir: While George Gale has been the recipient of a

well deserved chastisement in your correspondence columns for coming to terms with Europe — and hardly a day passes that some item of news underlines the sheer lunacy of the Government's policy — I have had the opportunity of witnessing a little of the 'great debate' in one of the other applicant countries, Norway.

Even to the outsider the difference between their deliberations and ours is quite striking. In Norway there would seem to be far more involvement on the part of the people. There the issue is not just for the politicians and moulders of public opinion but for the nation as a whole.

Books giving the pros and cons of Market entry were on prominent display in the Oslo shops. Some people were wearing 'Ja' badges, many more were dispaying ' Nei ' labels. There was a proliferation of well produced news sheets.

What particularly impressed me was that the young seemed to be at the forefront of the campaign against Market entry. There was even a group of smartly dressed students singing anti-EEC songs to the music of 'Rock Around the Clock' outside the National Theatre!

By contrast the debate at home has had all the ring of a put-up job, apart from the efforts of the hard core of genuine enthusiasts in the anti-Market ranks who are continuing the battle in the knowledge that, in the long run, they will be proved to have been right.

But most important of all is the fact that the Norwegian people are to have a 'consultative referendum.' This is undoubtedly the major reason for the widespread interest in the issue. It also puts to shame all those British Parliamentarians who plead the case for public participation in politics yet deny the people the opportunity of making their voices heard.

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Norwegian life is that the people still display a healthy pride in their independence. This was very evident on May 17, their national day. One of the tragedies of present day Britain is that we seem to have lost much of our national pride. If we do enter the EEC it will fade into oblivion.

James Towler 25 Moseley Wood Lane, Cookridge, Leeds