28 MARCH 1931, Page 13

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Si,—I am very glad

to see that you have started a corre- spondence in your columns on the subject of the colour bar. It is a matter of supreme importance to the British Empire. I have read with particular interest the excellent letter of Mr. T. S. Ramanujam in your issue of March 14th. He mentions the amusing case of an Indian villager who, when he saw an Englishman' for the first time asked whether the gentleman was tainted with "white leprosy."

May I add another example of the way in which the coloured person may regard the white man's skin ? Many years ago, when I was teaching in a college in frills, one of my colleagues, a Mahommedan of high birth, invited me and the two other Englishmen teaching in the college to dine at his house. His wife was not present at the dinner. Obedient

to the strict rules of purdah, she would have regarded that as scandalous. But our colleague and host told us the next day 'that she had ventured to peep at us through a hole in the curtain, and that her subsequent comment was : " Why I