20 JANUARY 1961, Page 13

New Gods in Ghana I . G. Arnamoo 'teething Troubles Professor

Geoffrey L. Slack Whitewash? Douglas Home, L. C. Smith,

Ludovic Kennedy, Elaine Grand

Literature into Life J. M. Newton Libraries and Authors' Royalties

Sir Alan Herbert, J. Alan White,

Disraeli Cecil Roth, A. L. Rowse The Congo M. Mainza Chona Cundoreet Bernard Williams NEW GODS IN GHANA

your issue of January 6, 1961, Mr. Cecil

Northcott, in his article New Gods in Ghana, makes certain statements, direct or implied, which I think should not be allowed to go unchallenged and with- out comment. I am not here disputing the facts of the article, but I think Mr. Northcott is grossly ex- aggerating when he suggests that people in Ghana arc afraid to speak publicly about their views. Maybe they arc not as vocal and vociferous as he found them before Independence in 1957. This is natural and quite understandable. With Independence achieved, the vast majority of the people feel that their energies, individual and collective, should be directed towards developing the country, and quickly drawilig it out of the morass which it found itself under the colonial regime. I hope Mr. Northcott is not challenging the right of the people of Ghana to adopt a governmental system which they consider Most suitable to their country's conditions?

It is invidious and completely wrong for Mr. Northcott to give the impression that Ghana people look up to Dr. Nkrumah as a god. Nobody in Ghana, least of all the man himself (whose modesty im- presses all but a few foreign visitors), has ever claimed or suggested this.

Concerning rituals still being used by Ghanaian Christians, may I remind Mr. Northcott that these rituals, about which he is contemptuous, such as libation-pouring, arc indigenous customs of the People and have no bearing on whether one is a Christian or not. After all, there are many similar Practices here in Britain—such as the ceremony of launching a ship. Slap-dash statements and comments on Ghana by riritish journalists and visitors do give a very wrong imPression of the Gauntry and its people, and thus

Put a strain on Anglo-Ghana relations, which we are

all keen to strengthen and develop.—Yours faithfully, 1. G. AMAMOO

Public Relations Adviser

Office of the High Commissioner for Ghana, 13 Belgrave Square, SW I