3 MARCH 1961, Page 16

Sig.—The people of Britain and of other COmmon- wealth countries

now have a golden opportunity (which will not recur) of enabling democracy to function once again in South Africa and of averting a head-on clash between the exponents of White Supremacy and the up-and-coming Black extremists, which is otherwise inevitable. And this involves no bloodshed, no interference in South African internal affairs, no boycotts. It involves simple adherence to Commonwealth principles: the refusal to admit as a Member of the Club a country whose Government follows a policy in rank disagreement with those principles.

To grant Verwocrd's request that South Africa should remain in the Commonwealth will greatly in- crease his prestige. His followers will feel that he was right when he said the Commonwealth would not reject South Africa when she became a republic, and his regime will be consolidated, lf, on the other hand, Britain and the rest of the members turn down Verwoerd's application, though Verwoerd may try to rally his forces on a cry of anti-Common- wealthism the Big Business clement will .forsake him (instead of fawning on him as at present) and many of his own followers will at last see the red light and realise Verwocrd is leading them to destruction.