NEAL ASCHERSON (11 January) questions whether we should distinguish between political refugees and economic migrants in immigration policy. The truth is that this is an overdeveloped country and most Britons do not want to let more than a minimal number of immigrants of any type in.

There is much that richer countries can do to help the poorer ones; by writing off the third world debt for a start. If pressure could be applied to regimes which are persecuting minorities, we should do far more to benefit the victims.

In Robin Cook and Clare Short we have ministers who appear to understand the problems and have a willingness to act. They deserve our support.

John Coleman

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire