I DO not know what it is about the South Afirican debate, Abut the subject seems to evoke some of the most outlandish statements ever to appear in your letter columns. Here are three prime examples from your issue of January 1. In an otherwise very reasonable letter, Patrick Wall, M.P. refers to the almost wholly African civil service in the Transkie as evidence that apartheid is coming to an end. Similarly in Russia, special areas are proudly exhibited as "proof" that freedom and democracy are flourishing, but the Soviet authorities have never gone so far as to advertise a complete state within a state for the edification of gullible Leftist intellectuals. Obviously Russia has much to learn from South Africa with the latter's publicity handouts on the Transkie. Anthony Grealish has a most original approach. He compares Britain's permissiveness with South Africa's affection for family, marriage and religion. Rather than compare the vices of one country with the virtues of another, Mr. Grealish would fairer had he compared vice with vice (permissiveness in a permissive society with apartheid in an oppressive one). Moreover, armaments can have no part in the propagation of permissiveness but they can have a direct and violent influence on the advancement and preservation of apartheid. First prize, however, must go to John Braine for his statement that no Christian may be a member of an organisation "which has been infiltrated by the Communists." If this were so, would not the Churches forbid their flocks from membership of many, if not most, important political, civic. welfare and charitable bodies? Instead of resisting infiltration, we would then see a series of immediate Cornmunist takeovers and the whole world would soon become slaves to Moscow and Peking. I feel sure that none of these three correspondents realised the implications of their statements when they put pen to paper. But there is a danger that their statements might be repeated by others in order to promote proper values — with ridicule as the inevitable reward for their pains. I assume that outlandish arguments were the only ones left to your correspondents whose aversion to apartheid somehow seems to have been overshadowed by an overscrupulous desire to protect the status quo in South Africa at all costs. Cyril Myerscough London, S.E.3.
HOW very fortunate that Mrs. Borkowski (January 1) is 4o live reasonably near to Westminster Cathedral. What an opportunity she has to hear and see the Liturgy being performed at such a high standard! One wonders why this family went to the cathedral at this time if they wanted no more than a short Low Mass with a few carols. This sort of service was unfortunately all too widely available elsewhere on Christmas Eve. Westminster Cathedral is one of the few remaining churches where British and foreign visitors can experience something of our cultural heritage. Long may it remain so. No praise is too high for this choir and the clergy who have served and are serving this great cathedral. M. M. Barber (Miss) Liverpool.