20 DECEMBER 1963, Page 12


SIR,—Too many people--including Quoodle in last week's Spectator—seem to think that the principles behind the Arab pressure on the Norwich Union and UN pressure on South Africa are identical. The racial policies of South Africa have been found by the UN to contravene its Charter and to cause a threat to the peace. Under Article 41 of that Charter the Security Council is fully entitled to decide that 'complete or partial interruption of economic relations' shall be employed to give effect to its decisions. The State of Israel, which is the object of the Arab boycott of certain business interests, is not in breach of the Charter nor is it threatening the peace. The boycott is therefore improper.

That Quoodle is unable to distinguish the two cases is sad; and if his view is right that all economic boycotts are futile, then one may wonder why the United Kingdom Government has at no time de- nounced those parts of the Charter which authorise this limited form of sanction in appropriate circumstances.

ROSALYN HIGGINS 18 Hallgate, Blackheath Park, SE3