From Andrew McEwan in Strasburg
The main threat to Europe’s oil comes neither from the Arab producers nor opinionated members of the Dutch cabinet but from the loud- voiced MP’s of all Common Market countries.
The became clear yesterday following the European Parliaments 1.30 a.m resolution calling for ‘economic counter-measures’ against Arabs who are boycotting Holland.
The strong anti-Arab statement contrasted sharply with the conciliatory statement the Council of Ministers made last Tuesday in a bid to appease the Arabs.
If things were as they appear to be the prospect of economic sanctions would have delighted the Israelis – and horrified British Conservatives, since Britain has most to lose.
But both sides reacted cautiously. British, French and Israeli interests are much less far apart than generally realised.
The Council’s pro-Arab statement was a cover for a very different policy, details of which are being kept quiet for fear of upsetting the whole delicate artifice.
The plan is to ensure Holland’s oil supplies discreetly so as to not arouse the Arabs anger.
But the MP’s at Strasburg, either ignorant of the strategy or willing to upset it, made more and more inflammatory statements.
New peace moves will made today to end the miners’ and power engineers’ pay rows as Britain enters Day Two of a State of Emergency. Coal Board chiefs will put a three-point offer to union leaders of 270,000 miners this morning .
1. Output bonuses of up to 3 1/3% on work now pay later basis.
2. A threshold agree ment linked to the retail prices index.
3. A reshuffle of the current £44 million offer to give a bigger benefit to the lower paid.
Leaders of 18,000 power engineers who are banning out-of-hours repairs to back their demand for higher payments, are talking with the Electricity Council to explore ways of securing a vetoed agreement giving higher overtime pay inside the rules of Stage Three. The outcome of the talks will be considered at a formal meeting between the two sides next Tuesday.
Daily Mail Reporter
The Prime Minister has decided to make a major TV appearance tonight on the ITV programme This Week, to explain the Government’s crisis policies.
Mr Heath is responding to suggestions — like the one in the Daily Mail yesterday—that there is now a vital need for him to speak frankly to the people.
He will also be making a key speech to the Commons next week when he faces a labour motion of no confidence.
It could be that the Government has more shocks in mind after the credit clamp and power emergency. Ministers face pressure to tighten the squeeze even more.
Senior back-benchers were openly predicting yesterday a stiff increase in petrol tax, both as a fuel economy measure and to take more spending out of the public pocket.
Mr Heath feels that he should be seen by the public answering the questions the country wants dealt with both on the State Of Emergency and the shape of the Cabinet’s economic strategy after the shocks of the 13% Bank of England’s minimum lending rate, the squeeze on borrowing and the record trade deficit revealed yesterday.
His aim will be to stress that the basic policy of expansion still lives, however battered by events.
And he will press the Governments case for taking a firm line with the miners after their rejection of a pay offer which could be worth 16.5%.
Clubs, restaurants and cinemas have become early casualties of the Emergency Powers Act, rushed through to combat the fuel and power crisis.
All electric heating and non-essential lighting was switched off at midnight in every shop, office, and entertainment centre.
So far none of the essential services has been hit. Railways, buses, hospitals, fire services and other amenities were operating normally. But every Government building has answered a Ministry demand for a 10% cutback in fuel consumption.
Football League secretary Alan Hardacre also announced that all League games in the country would be brought forward by three- quarters of an hour next Saturday.
By Wilfrid Sendsll & George Lochhead
112 Votes Decide It
Mr Heath rode home tiumphant last night with a majority of 112 for British entry into Europe, a figure that exceeded all hopes and boosted the aim of winning “full hearted” consent.
The result of 356 votes to 244 was attained by a massive revolt of Labour MP’s, who despite intense pressure and a three line whip , flocked into the Government lobby behind deputy leader Mr Roy Jenkins and left leader Mr Wilson reeling in defeat.
Over one third of Labour MP’s supported the Tory Government either by votes or by abstention, and the Shadow Cabinet itself was split in half. It is a situation which tears open a rift not only in the parliamentary party but with the anti Market trades unions and party conference and must call into question the leadership of Mr Wilson.
After the vote Mr Heath said “Todays’s decision has been reached by a clear majority of the elected representatives of the people, men and women who, irrespective of party political differences, share the conviction that this decision is right for their country.
This is the outcome of years of patient negotiations by Governments of both parties. It marks the of ten years of debate. Now we stand ready to take our first step into a new world full of opportunities.
Our historic decision has been made. The British people accept the challenge. Let us show the ourselves to the that new world as we would wish it to see us, confident, proud and strong.”
The dramatic size of the Government’s majority now makes it extremely difficult for the Tory anti Marketeers to continue the battle against legislation in the coming session to take Britain into the European Community.
As for Labour, Mr Wilson admitted it was a “very disturbing result.” he said he hoped Mr Robert Mellish would stand again for the post of Opposition Chief Whip though Mr Mellish himself was saying he was “seriously considering” whether to accept re-nomination.
Mr Wilson claimed he had been able to work very closely with Mr Jenkins and he would work with the deputy leader “whoever it might be.” He said that “our one first purpose will be to reunite the party as a coherent force.”
Meanwhile the Government Chief Whip, Mr Francis Pym, was happily analysing his figures.
It was calculated that 39 Tories voted against entry with two abstentions while on the Labour side 69 voted for and 19 abstained. A total of 282 Tories voted for entry.
This, it was claimed, meant that the Tory party carried the motion on it’s own by a majority of 38 over all others.
In the House when the final figures were announced a mighty shout if jubilation came from the pro-Europe men, and of course the Prime Minister looked very pleased indeed.
Within the Labour Party, however, was dissension, “Why don’t you cheer with them?” Mrs Barbara Castle snapped at Mr Jenkins. All forgotten were the promises Mr Wilson had made as the six day debate neared it’s end.
“Today,” he had told the House, “is not the end. It is the beginning.”
Then came a pledge on the position of a future Labour Government in the event of Britain joining the Marketin, say, 1973 or 1974.
Mr Wilson said “It is a fact that one Parliament cannot bind it’s successor. But we recognise what is involved in a treaty signature.”
To Labour cheers he went on “We would immediately give notice that we could not accept the terms negotiated by the Tories and, in particular, the unacceptable burdens arising out of the common agricultural policy, the blows to the Commonwealth, and any threats to our essential regional policies.
“If the Community then refused to negotiate, or if negotiations were to fail, we would sit down amicably and discuss the situation with them. The Community could accept, or decide that we should agree to part.”
Shades of Frances’s late President de Gaulle and his vetoes of 1963 and 1967?
Mr Wilson slammed Mr Heath’s claim to have a mandate for Market entry and shouted for
the policy to be decided by “the free vote of a free British people.”
But it was, in the event, decided by the men on the spot. Triumph for Mr Heath. Disaster for Mr Wilson.
Written by Colin Pratt
Mr Harold Wilson was only trying to be discreet when he told fellow Yorkshire man Fred Hewitt to “button up” it seems But Fred thought the labour leader meant “shut up”
Yesterday the labour party was at great pains to explain that Mr Wilson really was trying to save 68-year old Fred acute embarrassment. It happened when Mr Hewitt,an insurance broker,from Kippax,near Leeds,got off a plane at London airport with Mr Wilson.
As photographers and sightseers rushed up, jovial Fred said: “Harold these chaps are waiting to talk to me not you” And as he wrote, in a letter in yesterday’s Daily Express: “Imagine my surprise when he came out with ‘button up.’
Last night the labour party’s international secretary Mr Tom McNally said Fred had totally misunderstood a man to man attempt at a cover up job. “Mr Wilson took his remark as the joke it was obviously meant to be and in like good humour advised him to button up …… A helpful suggestion that Mr Hewitt should rearrange his apparel before facing his public.”
Last night Fred replied “if I was a bit exposed the laugh is on me.”
Report by Arthur Chesworth: Amman
Jordan is moving perilously close to civil war. Plans are ready for the evacuation of Britons.
Fierce new fighting exploded today when King Hussein’s army moved against the Arab guerrillas here in Amman and in the northern town of Irbid.
I am typing this report sitting on the marble floor of the Intercontinental Hotel, my back against the wall. This hotel is on a hill over looking the fighting in Amman.
The building is being shaken by explosions of heavy artillery shells and mortar bombs.
Movement outside is impossible, the hotel is under constant sniper fire. All guests have been ushered down to the air raid shelter. Among them are mothers and children released by the Arab guerrillas from the Trans World and Swissair jets they hold in the desert.
The post office was attacked by guerrillas in the centre of the old city then they blasted away with mortars at army strongholds.
With Jordan on the brink of civil war Amman radio broadcast orders by army chief General Haditha and guerrilla chief Yasser Arafat. They directed their men to stop firing.
The fighting eased, but at nightfall sporadic automatic fire and rocket explosions could still be heard.
General Haditha is known to be sympathetic to the guerrillas , in his radio statement he said he had been entrusted with “full responsibility” by King Hussein.
Syria: Travellers from Jordan reaching the Syrian border town of Dera’a said Amman looked “as if it was burning”
The travellers said that when they drove through the north Jordan town of Irbid guerrillas showed them the bodies of seven of their men killed and,it was alleged, beheaded by the soldiers.
London: There are thought to be about 4,000 Briton’s in Jordan, most of them in Amman, writes squire Barraclough.
The British ambassador, Mr John Philips, has warned them through a ” Warden system” to be ready to move quickly with minimum luggage.
In London last night it was not made clear how an evacuation would be carried out.
The international Red Cross might be asked to supervise the operation. R.A.F. Planes in Cyprus would be the nearest British aircraft for the job.
Washington: The U.S. is selling Israel more Phantom fighter bombers. The number is reported to be about 16.