23 SEPTEMBER 1995, Page 31

Those were the days

Sir: I suspect you published Ms Bose's provocative piece (`Enough guilt for every- one', 19 August) in order to attract some nice rotten eggs from your readers.

To equate Japanese atrocities in China and South-East Asia, 'the rape of Nanking' massacre and Unit 731 bacterio- logical warfare amongst others, with British repressions in India at their worst and at a time of great military exposure only betrays the pent-up feelings of the author, based on subjective ideological considerations.

For myself and my family of French stock and no special friends of 'les Anglais', to have retained their identity and way of life unimpaired as British sub- jects during 150 years under the Union Jack in Mauritius is evidence enough of the liberal approach guiding British colo- nial administration. No empire has ever been built by choir boys and it was seen to it that British trade monopolies and industrial interests were guarded with a vengeance and not tampered with. Per- sonally, I thought and believed the system, run on the lines of a latter-day Roman empire, would endure for another 200 years. It didn't. Was Burma really better off without it?

Noel Rey

92430 Marnes-la-Coquette, France