PHILIP ROE cites the recent Algerian atrocity as evidence of how times have changed from the calm and peaceful world he knew 50 years ago (Letters, January 24).

Yet between 1954 and 1962, Algeria was the scene of a most dreadful war in which more than a million people died.

The violence spread to France, where hundreds more died in bombings and assassinations. The French government has admitted that, in a single night in 1961, the police killed hundreds of Algerians in Paris, many beaten unconscious before being thrown into the Seine to drown.

And it has been estimated that after Algerian independence a further 100,000 people, including many women and children, accused of collaboration with the French were murdered in cold blood.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 1960s too, but over-stating the positive features of the past while disparaging today’s world by the use of selective evidence is inaccurate and ultimately dispiriting.

Adrian Elliott, Horseman Lane, Copmanthorpe, York.