Letter: The first black peer?

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The Independent Online
Carl Jackson (letter, 5 February) may be right to include Baroness Flather and Lord Chitnis in the category of "black"; but the actual skin colour of most people whose ancestors originated from the Asian sub-continent is brown.

However, if Carl Jackson insists on describing us as black (and some of us love it), then the first Indian to be created a peer was Sir Satyendra Sinha, who became Under-Secretary of State for India and was raised to the peerage of the United Kingdom in 1919. Indians had actually "sat" in the House of Lords before that; for example, the deposed ruler of the Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh, was seated on one of the woolsacks by special command of Queen Victoria in 1854, on a ceremonial occasion. But he was not a member of the House; and the woolsacks are, in any event, strictly speaking, regarded as outside it.

GEORGE CHOWDHARAY-BEST

London SW3

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