YOUR advocacy of Britain arming the South African Government in your leader of July 31 demands a reply.
If the British Government sees a Soviet naval threat in the Indian. Ocean (and even the United States does not see it) then we should take the responsibility for meeting it ourselves, along with any other country which agrees with us. What we should not do is hand over warships and aircraft to a regime whose sole reason for wanting them is to gain respectability for itself and its wicked racial policies.
You make much of the threat of Communism. What is quite certain, however, is that for Britain to arm the South African Government would be a marvellous gift to Russia and China, because African countries, despairing of receiving support from the West, will turn increasingly to the East.
There is already tremendous Chinese influence in Tanzania (whose President happens to be a Catholic) precisely because of Britain's apparent indifference to the aspirations of African states.
You dismiss the idea that African countries should fear South. African aggression. Yet for the past four years the Vorster regime has been illegally occupying Namibia (formerly South-West Africa) and has been giving military and economic assistance to Ian Smith's "Government" in Rhodesia. Both these actions are contrary to international law.
Britain's policy in Africa must surely he to give every support and encouragement to democracy wherever it exists, .particularly in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana, all of which have governments elected by the majority of the people.
We must give no political or military support where democracy is absent, and this includes black-ruled states like Lesotho as well as white-ruled ones like South Africa, Rhodesia and Mozambique. "Thoughtful" Chislehurst, Kent.
We did not advocate arming South Africa. We posed certain questions that must be answered before a decision is made.—Editor.
YOUR leading article of July 31 could hardly be described as edifying.
The sentiment of "the Commonwealth countries taking our aid and insulting us and working to our 4jsadvantage" is worthy of Alf Garnett or the Daily Express at their worst. This kind of sentiment is hardly worthy of a Catholic newspaper. A decent Communist would consider it anathema to his code.
It is, however, typical of the increasingly isolationist policy of some of our'Rory drop-out friends. Presumably their solution to the problems of the underdeveloped nations is to give them the Pill!
Patrick O'Neill London, N.W.1 I.