Sir, We write on behalf of a group of Australian citizens who" wish to mark the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine in Ireland, that sent thousands of Ireland's inhabitants to our country's shores. They were victims of a body of circumstances that we see repeating itself in Northern Ireland today. We are particularly conscious that once again a government based in England has demonstrated its power either to, promote a negotiable solution to the present problem, or to derail its progress by introducing pre-conditions to all party talks.

As children of the "old country", we are frustrated by the lack of democratic procedures and cannot reconcile this behaviour of the British Government with current principles of human rights and democracy. In this time of pre election campaigns, we urge all parties to consider seriously their position on all party talks for the future of the six counties.

We are well aware of the political reasons for the delaying tactics by Mr John Major and his Government. Indeed, as the child of the fairy tale cried out. "The emperor has no clothes". Yours, etc.,

Convenor, Irish Famine Commemoration Committee Melbourne, PO Box 215, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia.