Letter: FO stands accused

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article 'With respect, Ambassador' (20 April), about the Foreign Office, reminds me of an occasion many years ago when, lunching with five senior civil servants, including two Permanent Secretaries, we were discussing the possible impact on 'The war of the two sugars' if Britain joined the EEC.

I, feeling that the case for cane sugar was being mishandled by HMG, said: 'What went wrong?' to which one of the company replied 'The Foreign Office, as usual, got it wrong.' Another added, 'Can anyone remember any occasion since 1900 when the Foreign Office got anything right?' Silence ensued.

Yours faithfully,


Nettlebed, Oxfordshire

20 April