The Great Conspiracy
The Great Conspiracy to deceive Parliament and the people into supporting entry into the Common Market (EEC)
“Millions of people in this country will feel as I do, that legislation passed in this way, with no consent, cannot command the assent of the country and would lack moral and constitutional validity”.
Douglas Jay MP (for Battersea North) Speaking during the second reading of the European Communities Bill 1972 in the House of Commons 16th February 1972
What was it that impelled Douglas Jay to speak those impassioned words more than 30 years ago in the debating chamber that had been the protector of our freedoms and at the heart of Britain’s democracy for over a century? This expose sets out to investigate the background to Douglas Jay’s speech calling upon official Government correspondence, minutes of meetings and other documentation of the time.
When this expose was composed, (29th Oct 2004), Prime Minister, Tony Blair, together with his Foreign Secretary Jack Straw were in Rome for the official signing of the EU Constitution. They were willingly, even enthusiastically, conspiring with other European Heads of State to hand-over the remaining vestiges of their nations’ sovereignty to Brussels. To his credit, the then Conservative Party leader, Michael Howard, said that signing the treaty would put unprecedented powers in the hands of unaccountable [and one should add unelected] judges to re-write Britain’s labour laws.
This objection is grossly understated by Mr Howard, a former member of the Executive Committee of the European Movement. A reading of the Constitution document (entitled: ‘A Constitution for Europe’), reveals that the powers to be transferred transcend much more than just labour laws but affect our powers of selfgovernment over nearly every aspect of life. It has been interpreted as giving the EU the ability to strip nations of all power excepting that which the EU itself does not wish to exercise.
- No loss of essential Sovereignty
- Heath’s Campaign 1970 - 1972
- The Players
- The Public Campaign
- The Civil Service in action
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
- Broadcast Media Participation
- FCO Conspires to Neutralise the Keep Britain Out Campaign
- Tracking Enoch Powell
- FCO – General Comments
- Jean Monnet and his Comité d’Action pour les État-Unis d’Europe
- The British Council of the European Movement (BCEM)
- Participation by Brussels
- Town Twinning
- Convincing Conservative rank and file
- What happened to the Referendum of the People?
- The Parliamentary ‘Stitch-up’
- Conservative Whip’s Report – free or whipped vote?
- Whip’s Report - pressure on Conservative elected representatives
- European Communities Bill (1972) Second Reading - Hansard
- The motion was passed by 301 votes to 309 votes
- The Questions then…
List of Names in order of mention
The Government White Paper on the EU Constitution, issued in September 2004, stated that: “The legal primacy of European law was accepted by Parliament when we joined the EEC”. Yet the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Geoffrey Rippon, moving the motion on the 15th February 1972, for the Bill which took us into the EEC, said: “there would be no essential surrender of sovereignty…”. This mantra, in one form or another, was repeated throughout the campaign and the debates in Parliament. So we see a Government White Paper attempting to bury the truth. Nothing changes as we shall see.
It is typical of the contradiction between what Parliament and the public were told in the period leading up to the Parliamentary votes on the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA72) and the reality of what joining meant for British sovereignty. The effect on sovereignty was well known by the Government and its officials dealing with the issue, as are shown in the correspondence and reports of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), accessible through this narrative.
For instance, the now public and infamous document, FCO 30/1048 from 1971, ‘gives the lie’ to assurances given freely at the time. This document (including Dr Richard North’s accompanying commentary) is important to an understanding of the deception perpetrated on the British public; for example; we read in one paragraph:
“To control and supervise this process [i.e. officials and negotiators are to assume political roles] it will be necessary to strengthen the democratic organisation of the Community with consequent decline of the primacy and prestige of the national parliaments”.
Elsewhere, Dr North writes; ‘and chillingly, these civil servants applaud the process. They ‘know’ [knew] what they have [had] to do’:
“The task will not be to arrest this process, since to do so would be to put considerations of formal sovereignty before effective influence and power, but to adapt institutions and policies both in the UK and in Brussels to meet and reduce the real and substantial public anxieties over national identity and alienation from government, fear of change and loss of control over their fate which are aroused by talk of the "loss of sovereignty”.
The reader is invited to access and study Dr North’s commentary on the FCO document.
Other examples of the Government’s, and in particular, the FCO’s concealment of important knowledge they had of the implications for sovereignty and the Constitution of joining the EEC, is on record in the internal memos of the time. For instance memo from W J Adams head of the European Communities Information Unit (ECIU) to a Mr Morland of European Information Department (EID) demonstrated the wish to keep the true situation from becoming widely known: “…be aware of the Conservative Group for Europe’s wish to play down this issue as far as possible and reassure those people in Parliament and in the country who get emotional about loss of sovereignty”.
We shall see more of Mr Adams contempt for democracy and for the public that he was supposed to serve later in this account.
It may be legal (even this aspect has been the subject of debate), but is it possible for anyone to seriously argue that our membership of the EU has real legitimacy?
Edward Heath had always been an ardent integrationist and in the early 1960s was chosen by Harold MacMillan to persue negotiations with the EEC with a view to Britain joining the other six members. The attempt foundered in February1963 with General de Gaulle’s veto. Heath subsequently became the leader of the Conservative opposition in Parliament and was leader at the time of the 1970 general election. He was adamant that Britain’s place was at the ‘heart of Europe’ and campaigned in the election against a background of public hostility to entry. Polls of the time showed 70% of the people against with only 18% in favour. Then, as now, there was deep distrust of the idea.
To address this, Heath needed to provide reassurance and comfort. In a speech to the British Chamber of Commerce in Paris on 5th May 1970 and again during election campaigning, he said that he would ‘not go in’ without “the full-hearted consent of Parliament and the people”.
Heath won the 18th June election with a small majority; just 30 votes. He immediately set about campaigning to persuade the public that they must join the EEC. Use of the words lying and deceit should be reserved for the rarest of occasions, but it is up to the reader to decide whether this description fits, after reading this expose.
The players in this blessed plot (to use Hugo Young’s title to his book about our membership of the EU) to shoehorn Britain in at any cost were:
- The BBC
- Other visual media including ITV
- The Press
- Jean Monnet and his Action Committee for a United States of Europe
- The European Movement (metamorphosing itself into ‘Britain in Europe’ during specific campaigns)
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and particularly its Information
- Research Department (IRD), led by the notorious Norman Reddaway
- The FCO and its European Integration Department (EID)
- The FCO and its European Communities Information Unit (ECIU), headed by W J Adams – acting as a sort of information control.
- Conservative Group for Europe
- Some Conservative Ministers and MPs
- Surreptitious involvement by Brussels through its London office.
And, for the opposition:
- The ‘Keep Britain Out’ campaign, led by Christopher Frere-Smith
And individuals acting alone:
- Enoch Powell, MP
- Peter Shore, MP
- Tony Benn, MP
- And Douglas Jay MP, father of Peter Jay, presenter of the BBC Money Programme until the 1990s.
There was little time to be wasted. Heath’s majority was small and the British economy was in poor shape with high unemployment, rising inflation and trouble from militant unions - the Heath Government could fall at any time. The Bill for accession to the EEC was to have its first reading in October 1971, just 15 months away, and there was much to be done.
Ministers decided in June 1971 that they had “to convince members of Parliament that the tide of public opinion was moving in their favour”. Those were the days when MPs were more sensitive to the views of constituents.
The methods used by Heath’s Government, perhaps more than any others, precipitated the cynical attitude of people to politics and politicians that are current today, for Heath and his cohorts proceeded to use every trick in the book to turn public opinion to their way of thinking.
The audio track, ‘A Letter to the Times’, highlights, perhaps better than ten thousand words, the work of the FOC’s Information Research Department (IRD) led by Norman Reddaway. Reddaway (deceased) had been an IRD, MI5/6 linkman in the destabilisation of Sukarno, the Indonesian President, in the 1960s. The department had its origins in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in the Second World War. So IRD had a good pedigree when it came to subversion and it was, sadly, only too willing to use its skills on the home front to assist in the process of subsuming an unwilling people into an unaccountable European bureaucracy.
Geoffrey Tucker (the one with the gravely voice), prominent on the track, was an advertising guru and Heath’s coordinator of the public propaganda campaign. Tucker was the man interfacing between the EEC negotiating team in Brussels, the European Movement (part Government funded), IRD/FOC/MI5/MI6 (Norman Reddaway), the press and the visual media. In other words, he was a ‘mover and shaker’.
It is perhaps remarkable that Heath, could, so soon after winning the 1970 election, mobilise the civil service so quickly and find so many ‘willing hands’ to participate in, to use Hugo Young’s phrase again, ‘this blessed plot’.
The programme of action (including orchestrating letters to the Times and other newspapers, written by the FCO for willing MPs to sign) was agreed at regular private breakfast meetings (paid from European Movement funds), and held in the Connaught Hotel, London. These breakfasts took place weekly throughout most of the campaign.
The breakfasts were clearly central to coordinating the public campaign, allowing Government ministers and officials to meet journalists and media people secretly, away from prying eyes. Indeed, they had much to hide, and those taking part, still alive today, would be most perturbed to learn that their participation was now public. Roy Hattersly was so disgusted at the conniving, outside of normal governmental practises, that he never attended again.
Those attending included, besides Geoffrey Tucker and Mr Garret his official coordinator: the head and director of public relations at Conservative Central Office, Ernest Wistridge (Director of the European Movement), Anthony Royle (ministerial coordinator), Geoffrey Rippon, Heath’s political secretary (Douglas Hurd, MP, now Lord Hurd of Westwell), The editor of the Economist, the Managing Director of ITN, The Managing Director of BBC Radio Ian Trethowen, the Head of Current Affairs BBC TV, the Secretary of State for Aims of Industry, the Secretary of the Industrial Policy Group, a Director of ORC, the Liberal Chief Whip, the Secretary of the Labour Committee for Europe, the Assistant General Secretary of the Labour Party and the personal assistant to Roy Jenkins.
We further learn, from the book ‘Britain’s Secret Propaganda War’, page 148 (see appendices) that people from the Brussels establishment also attended.
A veritable roll-call of the ‘great and the good’.
It is noticeable that Roy Hattersly’s name has been left off Anthony Royle’s list. He wisely placed himself outside the conspiracy as previously mentioned.
Geoffrey Tucker claimed that he kept a notebook with three important headings:
"To convince MPs that the tide of public opinion is moving towards joining the EEC".
"We must rely greatly on the fast media":
TV - News at 10
World at One
Marshall Stewart, then editor of the Today programme, cooperated fully with the Breakfast Club project, and may even have been one of the TV people present. In any case, we are told, the collaborators succeeded in getting an extra five minutes added to the Today Programme to broadcast pro-EEC propaganda.
“Nobbling is the name of the game”, says Tucker. “This involved direct day by day cmmunications between our people and media personnel; e.g. FCO and Marshall Stewart of the Today Programme”.
A major problem for the Government was that some of the presenters were unsympathetic to the ‘project’ and they decided that they had to be removed (i.e. no serious opposition was to be brooked).
The audio track reveals that Jack de Manio, presenter of the Today Programme was removed for his ‘anti-marketeer’ views. Ian Trethowen, a friend of Ted Heath, was the MD of BBC radio and no doubt cooperated with this.
The net result of ‘nobbling’ and propaganda was that a sceptical public, who were only 18% in favour of joining, with 70% against in December 1970, were for a short critical period, in July 1971, evenly balanced (51:49) for entry. This, together with other pressures (see later) on MPs, was enough to persuade them to vote for the motion to join the EEC.
Documentation reveals seven FCO departments involved in the campaign:
1. Information Research Department (IRD), were the lead department and have already been mentioned. Norman Reddaway headed IRD. This department was involved more than any other in the propaganda and disinformation effort and set out to undermine those trying to resist the Government’s campaign. It is clear from the documentation that Reddaway had no scruples about how he used the civil service to misrepresent the case for joining and to neutralise opposition.
In a memo of 30th September 1970, just three months after the general election, he wrote: “The discreet promotion of letters to the press through confidential brokers should now sharply increase……” and in the same memo: “BCEM [European Movement] liaison is likewise important”. There is much in the same vein accessible to the reader.
Reddaway is not reticent in using ‘Goebbel’s style conditioning’ on his own countrymen. In his memo entitled ‘THE MESSAGE’ of 10th September 1970, he writes: “The message should be coherent and simple. Repetition is essential”.
‘THE MESSAGE’ (four pages) is an illuminating document and demonstrates that the art of spin preceded Alistair Campbell by several decades. Reddaway had worked out his own ideas about the benefits of membership. Whether or not he believed his own propaganda we shall never know. One suspects that, being an arch subversive, he did it for his own enjoyment and pleasure. The desire for truth and balance probably never entered into his head. Look at pages 1, 2 and 3 for details. IRD’s work output for the public campaign was quite phenomenal, they:
- Wrote over 50 articles for national and regional newspapers
- Wrote pamphlets for the Conservative Group for Europe
- Kept a steady stream of letters and articles to the press from September 1970 until October 1971
- drafted replies to over 2000 letters from the general public
- prepared about 60 separate background briefs for speakers, journalists and politicians, in addition to providing general reference material and speaking notes
2. European Information Department (EID) drafted speeches and letters. They even drafted a speech for Mr Howell (MP) for the Labour party conference. The reader may wonder what was a government department doing writing party speeches, but this was a regular activity throughout the campaign.
3. European Communities Information Unit (ECIU) planned the ‘Information Effort in the UK’ as well as the ‘Information Effort overseas’. They also seemed to have a role in intelligence, in particular, seeking out those people ‘for and against’ so that action could be taken to enlist their support for the campaign or neutralise those thought likely to give trouble. For instance they carried out an operation on BBC Scotland and determined that “All those involved in News and Current Affairs are pro-Marketeers and we can depend upon them to press for as much time as possible”. So much for civil service impartiality.
Also in the same letter ECIU writes: “I have written to the regional organiser of the European Movement in Edinburgh……”. This was an important operation for the FCO, because opinion was much more firmly set against entry in Scotland than the rest of the country.
Another ECIU letter shows that the unit was up to its neck plotting, and in particular, it organised speakers for recalcitrant MP’s constituencies and “A campaign of letter writing to MPs by constituents must also be promoted” As the expression goes: ‘I love my country but I fear my government’.
“There was, in addition, regular contact between ECIU and the producers of major current affairs programmes” where their help was needed.
4.Guidance and Information Policy (GIP)
5. Information Administration Department (IAD) - information control in other words. This unit had the function of controlling the information output to the campaign, presumably to avoid inconsistency of message and to ensure maximum public impact. No doubt it was this department that suppressed FCO 30/1048 - the findings on the impact on sovereignty.
The visits section of the IAD “launched a major programme of 1000 visits [paid for by the FCO – see elsewhere in this story] a year from Western Europe. These visits were aimed at creating favourable climate of opinion……..”.
6. Cultural Relations Department (CRD)
7. East/West Contacts and Student Welfare (EWCSW). This department was responsible for the British Council, which was itself active in the campaign. What student welfare had to do with the campaign is a question best left to the imagination but documentation makes references to campaigning in schools.
“Mr William Whitelaw [President of the Council] said that he would have a word with the BBC about a lack of co-operation on their part”. Is this the respectable amiable Willi Whitelaw, one of Mrs Thatcher’s closest colleagues during her administration?
The actions of the press have been described elsewhere in this narrative, here we are interested in how the broadcast media (TV and radio) ‘rose’ to the challenge urged on by Government.
At first TV, and radio, particularly the BBC, we are told, were cool to the campaign, needing to maintain impartiality as required in their charter. However, things changed rapidly under the onslaught from the FCO (in particular IRD). We are informed, in the audio track (‘A letter to the Times’), the “flood of letters” in the press, written by IRD’s officials and signed by MPs, induced a heightened interest. TV and Radio executives were invited to the strategic weekly breakfasts, which met privately at the Cannaught Hotel in London and where ministers, MPs, FCO officials and the European Movement collaborated with TV and Radio bosses to get the Government’s message across (it could be added: ‘at all costs’).
The audio track, itself, speaks volumes. But we also know from Anthony Royle’s report - ‘Approach to Europe’, that the MDs of ITN and BBC Radio (Ian Trethowen) and the Head of Current Affairs BBC TV attended. It was Ian Trethowen, a friend of Heath, responding to pressure to remove ‘anti-Europeans’ who got rid Jack de Manio the Radio 4 presenter, because he was against joining the EEC.
That there may have been other removals or changes is indicated by Geoffrey Tucker of Conservative Central Office, who reported: “we are fortunate that communicators were now basically in favour of our entry. This had not been true a few months ago”.
Royle tells us that Southern TV and Grenada accepted assistance and Scottish TV accepted pressure to do more generally. He also reports that: “Both television and radio, despite their rules of impartiality, were judged by the German Embassy, in a careful assessment in early August , to be contributing importantly and favourably”.
Royle concludes: “The impact was immediate. Reports from all sources indicated a substantial favourable movement of public opinion”, and “It produced the desired tide of public opinion in favour, at the right time before MPs returned to their constituencies, and in particular before they entered the conference season in September”.
The power of TV is well known, that is why TV attracts massive fees from advertisers. It is said that an advert for, say mars bars, will show an immediate threefold increase in sales following an advertising broadcast.
That the, independent (by statute) broadcast media colluded in the Government’s plan to deceive the public is a blot on that industry that remains to this day.
Christopher Frere-Smith was the Chairman of the ‘Keep Britain Out Campaign’. The FCO took a dim view of the organisation’s presence in the campaign and were not interested in a level playing field, as internal memos and correspondence make clear.
Frere-Smith wrote to the FCO complaining of the lack of access to regulations and other instruments passed by the EEC. A lowly official, Mr Simcock, drafted a seemingly honest and satisfactory reply, listing the various locations where the documents could be viewed. He added, incorrectly that: “the instruments will naturally be amended where necessary to take account of British interests before accession to the Community”. Incorrectly, because the Government accepted a ‘fait accompli’, ‘a take the whole of it or leave it situation’. The Government desperate to get in this time, had singularly failed to negotiate the Treaty as promised in the Conservative Party election manifesto. This failure was the theme of speeches during the Parliamentary debates.
However, W K Slatcher, Simcock’s superior in EID, rejected his idea of cooperating with Frere-Smith and writing to his own boss suggests:
“In view of Mr Frere-Smith’s notorious anti-market activities [Having a view about entry and campaigning for that view in a so called democratic society was now beyond the pale], it does not seem incumbent upon us to tell him the full story of the adaptation of secondary legislation to British requirements nor of the preparation of authentic English texts of Community legislation”.
Is this playing fair with a campaigning organisation who, were at that time, representing the majority of public opinion that was 70% against entry, with only 18% in favour? And one may well ask: whose side were these officials on? Perhaps, if President Clinton were to comment, he might well say: Well, it was the ‘foreign office’, stupid, that Frere-Smith was dealing with.
Earlier, in that year Frere-Smith had requested a grant similar to that received by the European Movement for campaigning but was flatly turned down by the Secretary of State. In an internal memo of 6th April 1971, R A Fyjis-Walker of the Information Administration Dept wrote, in response to Frere-Smith’s request for information on grants to non-governmental organisations campaigning for entry: “I think we should if possible avoid itemising the organisations who have received support [taxpayers money] from the FCO, since Mr Frere-Smith is then likely to campaign against them by name”.
So there it is; a civil service department paid for by taxpayers, who were required to be open, but were blocking access to vital campaigning information, blocking access to funding and denying information on funding to the ‘other side’, (which, as Anthony Royle’s account makes clear, was massive).
Conservative MP, Enoch Powell, was one of the most articulate and knowledgeable parliamentarians of the day and it annoyed the establishment that he worked tirelessly in attacking the Government’s EEC policy. Powell, fluent in a number of languages, carried out a programme of speaking engagements, both in Britain and EEC countries.
The establishment took a dim view, though, that an MP, and particularly one who was a member of the ruling party, should be seen to be speaking against Government policy abroad. Embassies in Europe were tasked with tracking Mr Powell during his speaking tour. There is a letter from the Bonn Embassy to the Frankfurt Consul General which demonstrates that campaigning against entry, even abroad, is to be resisted: “If Mr Powell’s visit to Frankfurt generates publicity and you feel that there is any counter-action which can be put in hand from here in Bonn, please let us know”.
Shadowing of Powell continued with his visit to Turin, where we find the British Embassy in Rome (P F Hancock) writing to the FCO informing them that they have instructed the Turin Consul to attend Powell’s lecture - “as a silent observer and go to any other functions….. ”. Hancock also informs the FCO in the same letter that he had met an Italian deputy whom he had sent: “some general briefing, including ideas for a couple of awkward questions”.
Back in Britain, Powell made a speech in East Ham which received prominent headlines in the national press. Mr Adams the FCO official that we have already come across, was incensed that he had not received advanced copy of the speech from the Conservative Party Central Office (CCO), which he suspected they were in possession of. Mr Adam’s anger echoes down the years in his memo. He writes to Mr Hugh Jones whom he rebukes for not getting the speech from CCO…. “This is a bad state of affairs and I think we must now insist that the CCO and the Labour Committee for Europe let us have advanced press releases by anti-Europeans in their respective parties as soon as they can get hold of them. Had we been given Mr Powell’s speech, we could have inserted a rejoinder in Mr Rippon’s speech yesterday”.
This was an example of direct collusion between the FCO and the political machinery of the Conservative and Labour parties. Mr Adams had clearly lost his temper over the matter. Why else would he have put such damming material into the record? Also, we see his prejudices out in the open, with his use of abusive language, calling his opponents (70% of the population) ‘anti-Europeans’.
In another memo (to the Parliamentary Unit) Mr Adams provides a response to a ‘sensitive’ parliamentary question from Mr Powell about FCO expenditure on informing the British public about the EEC: “The fact that one or two of these visitors [exchange of key figures between the UK and the EEC] have incidentally appeared on British radio and television is not something that we would want to be generally known. Otherwise we shall face the charge that this money is, in this indirect way, being used for propaganda purposes”.
Mr Adams clearly demonstrates a hatred for any opposition to his little bureaucratic games and shows that he was prepared to go to any lengths to get the country into the EEC, no matter what the country may have wished. We see in this expose that he was not alone. What was it that motivated these people, causing them to raise their game to near fever pitch?
At no time was our civil service, or the Government in general, concerned with providing the public with a balanced case of ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ for entry. This prejudiced attitude, unfortunately, has continued through successive governments down to this day. There is never a balanced discussion. Why?
This has led to a deep mistrust of our rulers and a tendency to take what we are told with a large dose of salt. Turn-out in elections has fallen year on year and the attempt to raise voting levels by going over to postal voting has resulted in election fraud. It should be clear that there is one act, that would reverse the situation.
Jean Monnet, a supranationalist (never mind democracy) was ‘behind-the-scenes’ masterminding every stage of the European ‘project’, from the early 1920s until the 1970s. Contrary to the image projected in FCO documentation of Monnet as an avuncular figure, interested only in progressing Britain’s application for membership of the EEC, he was no friend of Britain. He had worked to ensure that Britain was kept out of the European Coal and Steel Community in the early 1950s, fearing that it would interfere with his supranational plans (see appendix - ‘historical background’).
By the early 1970s, the Common Market of the six was well established, particularly the French designed Common Agricultural Policy (financial arrangements under the Luxemburg Treaty being completed just prior to agreement for Britain's accession). It suited Monnet’s plans to have Britain join, albeit, on terms which can only be described as derisory, Britain’s fisheries being sacrificed as one of the prices to be paid and it is pretty clear from the records that the space programme was also sacrificed in the deal.
During the first six months of 1972, when the ECA(72) seemed certain to go through, we see Jean Monnet appearing on the British scene, (even though he had no official role in the proceeding), to facilitate the process and direct the country towards the next stage of integration. The tone of ministers’ and officials’ memos and correspondence demonstrate they were in some kind of awe of the man and, although they were not entirely happy with his involvement, obviously went out of their way not to upset him. Perhaps they feared that he had the power to sabotage entry, even at that late stage.
Those interested in the history of the period will find the documentation fascinating; fascinating in as much as it shows Government, whilst telling the nation that they were only to be participating in a trading arrangement, were, in fact, working on the next stages of integration.
There is correspondence on common European action in the monetary field (economic and monetary union), the EEC’s political prospects, social policy, European monetary fund (anticipating the establishment of a European Investment Bank (EIB)) and even correspondence on external (European) relations. Astounding, as it may seem, Monnet even involved himself in the nomination of British European Commissioners.
Heath is quoted, in one memo: that Monnet’s idea on the development of employment policy, “merits further examination”.
The mindset of the Government was clearly at odds with its presentation to Parliament and the public.
Alec Douglas Home, the Foreign Secretary, positively grovels to Monnet and in a letter to him writes: “But I would like to say how much I agree with the method which you recommend should be followed in promoting the process of European integration”.
This letter by, perhaps, the second most important person in the Government, shows it (the Government) had almost lost all self respect and was prepared to, on the one hand, secretly discuss European integration with a foreigner, whilst on the other, deceive the British public and Parliament over their true intensions. Surely historians writing of this time will regard it as one of the blackest times in the long journey of the British nation.
One must now ask: how can the results of this sad chapter in our history be reversed?
(Usually know by its abbreviated name: European Movement (EM))
The United States Government, after the Second World War, covertly funded and encouraged, through its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), an almost bankrupt European Movement, whose aim was the establishment of an integrated European nation.
Between 1949 and 1953 the CIA provided the Movement with known-of funds of some £20 million in today’s money. In addition CIA money was poured into the related European Youth Campaign until 1959 – see reference in the Appendices to the book ‘Gold Warriors’, an investigative account of Japanese gold acquired in SE Asia between 1895 and 1945, and the use made of it by the CIA (Professor Richard Aldridge’s book - ‘The Hidden Hand’).
The campaign to establish the foundations of a European State through the European Coal and Steel Community and subsequently the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957 was successful on the continent of Europe. But there was little public interest in the UK for entry until Britain’s application to join in the early 1960s which ended with the French President, General de Gaulle’s veto in February 1963.
It was not until 1970 that a serious attempt at entry was tried again. But public opinion was strongly against, with polls in December 1970, just two years before we entered the EEC showing 70% of the people against with only 18% in favour.
The Conservative Party, under Ted Heath, a EU-enthusiast, had been re-elected in the spring of that year (1970) and used every means, licit and illicit (if not illegal) to dragoon Britain into the Common Market. The subject of this section is the part played by the European Movement,
The European Movement, led by Lord Harlech, was of immense value to Heath, in that it appeared unconnected with government presenting an image of itself as drawing support from ordinary members of the public, i.e. a sort of grass roots organisation. This image was far removed from reality.
The records make clear that the EM was an integral part of a highly effective governmental propaganda machine, collaborating (or colluding) to shoehorn the British people into the EEC, whether they liked it or not. There was close coordination between Government departments and the EM (as well as the British Council and the Conservative Group for Europe).
European Movement funding from the CIA, seems to have dried up by this time, but was now receiving regular funding from the Government by way of a FCO annual grant. Of perhaps even greater importance, was the fact that the EM attended most Government planning meetings held during the campaign.
The EM was proactive throughout the country and provided speakers for public and party political meetings and the FCO’s Information Research Department (IRD) was mobilised to provide ‘advice and help’ to them. The EM reported at one meeting (at the height of the campaign) in the Lord President's Office (William Whitelaw) that they were providing 600 speakers a month. At the same meeting the record also shows Norman Reddaway, head of IRD, was worried that, although they had ample capacity for producing letters for the campaign, it lacked the machinery to distribute them. The EM stepped in and undertook this work, receiving funding from the Government to do it – some grass roots organisation this.
The IRD wrote letters for the EM to place in the press and the European Information Department were mobilised to “provide ideas for reply” the same morning to the EM, to letters from ‘antis’ appearing in the press.
The Government were also fearful that they might be forced to concede a referendum on joining the EEC. The EM, though, were geared up to “discredit it in advance” – so much for democracy.
The EM also colluded with Brussels. The London based EEC Information Unit, as a foreign organisation, could not get directly involved in the campaign, so the EM stepped in again, providing an indirect means for their involvement by “distributing their material” on a wide scale using “direct mail organisations to undertake the distribution”.
That the EM worked closely with the Government, as if a part of the Government’s machinery, is seen again in the post Campaign report of the 15th February 1972 made by Anthony Royle MP and FCO minister. He reported: “The IRD/ECIU co-operation produced the basic material on which most of the subsequent productions were based – booklets, talking points, speeches, notes etc. Thus throughout the winter of 1970-71 all the infrastructure was laid down, the preparatory work initiated and the ground prepared for the European Movement in consultation with the FCO departments…. This preparatory work ensured that the Government’s open campaign [he means public campaign] was launched and carried out so effectively between July and October 1971”.
The report highlights the extra funding (tax money) gifted by the FCO during the campaign: “The FCO’s annual grant of £7,500 to the European Movement for its own visits programme was topped up several times, and smaller donations were made to other organisations”.
The report notes: The EEC’s London Information Office worked closely with the European Movement in promoting visits from this country to Brussels. These Brussels’ junkets for ‘soft’ targets, continue to this day.
The EM, presumably using Government money appointed a firm of advertising consultants “to organise an advertising campaign, and survey of public attitudes was commissioned. Corporate members [leaders of industry] of the Movement were asked to assist by including an EEC element in their own advertising”. The Times and British Leyland duly complied. The Movement’s advertising campaign reached a climax in the period July-October 1970.
The report continues: “Between September 1970 [3 months after Heath’s election victory] and October 1971, IRD kept up a steady stream of letters and articles to the press, working closely with the European Movement, …”.
Today it is clear that the European Movement was an indispensable and integral part of the Government’s machinery. Since the Government was never able to persuade more than 51% (and only for a short few critical months at that) of the public the merits of joining the EEC, even though it was presented as just a trading block, it could never have achieved the narrow (favourable) vote in Parliament (majority of just 8) without the EM’s participation.
Anthony Royle concludes: “BCEM [EM] advertising in the national and local press, including articles and list of prominent supporters, was generally agreed to have been very effective……anti-referenda and other activities all made their contribution, particularly at grass roots level. The campaign for letters to MPs was limited. The other arrangements for letter to the press on the other hand [in which IRD helped] worked splendidly”.
The lavish financing of the Campaign, Royle reports, cost the Government about £711,400 of which about £250,000 went to the EM; huge sums for the time. These sums, of course, ignore the costs of civil servants and the effect of their diversion from normal activities.
So there we have it, the EM effectively a quasi-government department posing as a grass roots organisation (nothing has changed to day). They were (and still are) working to undermine the hard won freedom, justice and democracy of the country. This is nothing short of scandalous, and moves should be made to have the EM publicly exposed for what it is and an audit should be carried out of payments made to all those members who have taken (and are taking) part in these appalling sorts of activities.
That the EEC had the status of a foreign power and therefore, by convention, should not interfere in the affairs of another country, did not seem to bother them, or for that matter, the Heath Government.
We have seen earlier the interfering from Jean Monnet (and his Comité d’Action pour les Ètats-Unis d’Europe) and the willing collaboration of the Government through the FCO’s European Integration Department, but we also see the Brussels machinery involved, clandestinely, in the British public campaign.
Anthony Royle reports in his ‘Approach to Europe’, that: “The EEC’s London Information Office worked closely with the European Movement in promoting visits from this country to Brussels”. These all expenses paid trips, were gifted to those who were seen as susceptible to that sort of thing and who might help promote a pro-EU line – beware of ‘Greeks bearing gifts’.
The European Communities Office in London was also not shy about providing pamphlets for the public information campaign, or the Heath Government concerned about it to happening.
The EEC Information Unit’s activities in the UK also figures in the record of the meeting of 31st March 1971 held in the Lord President’s office. The aforementioned Mr Adams, pointed out that, “the EEC Information Unit produced extremely good material but felt as a foreign organisation that it could not distribute it too widely”. The Government’s willing and ‘illustrious’ BCEM, usually, present at top Government meetings, stepped in: “It was agreed that the BCEM should distribute the Unit’s material on a wide scale under its own auspices”.
When the Heath Government was conspiring to smooth the way for Britain to join the Common Market in the early 1970s, there existed some bona fide twinnings between British and continental towns. The Government, however, saw in them a good opportunity to use them as a sort of ‘Trojan horse’ for propagandising a sceptical public into backing EEC entry.
Anthony Royle, the FCO minister who boasted of the magnificent effort of the European Movement in the Government’s campaign to join the EEC, set about visiting French Mayors from the 27th October 1972. Although the Campaign had already been won and the European Communities Bill 1972 passed, the Government was concerned with keeping the public on side and preparing the ground for further integration (although the public were told nothing of this).
In the memo on town twinning from the FCO’s European Integration Department (EID) to Norman Reddaway and others, the writer (J M Crosby) discloses the Government budget for this activity: “……and the note therefore concentrates on this element of the £6 million programme”. A huge amount in 1972.
The Town Twinning Association (TWA) thus lost its innocence and was drawn into the plot with a view to softening up the public for further steps in integration. To this day, there is an exchange of ‘officers’ between the European Movement and TWAs and it is not unusual for EM officials to be seen chairing TWA AGMs.
It would be unfair to postulate though, that those participating in town twinning exchanges are motivated by a desire for European integration because for the most part the motives are simply to enjoy the interchange with different peoples and cultures. After all, it is the differences between us, which make it worthwhile to associate in the first place. But there often seems to be an undercurrent of EU promotional activity and it does not go unnoticed that the French Twinning Association is a part of the Mouvement Européen which sometimes puts on EU promotional themes in their Hotêls des Villes (town halls) for visitors.
The European Union ingratiated itself into the Town Twinning movements in 1989 by providing financial support for twinning visits, provided there were no ‘folkloristic’ events involved in the visit. Towns wishing to twin with continental towns are now required to have their mayor swear an oath of allegiance to the EU.
The ‘Town Twinning’ web site throws further light on intentions: “To meet the objectives of bringing citizens closer together the European Commission, has since 1989, been running an annual programme to support town twinning schemes which it regards as a valuable way of involving ordinary people and their elected representatives in European integration and of strengthening their sense of belonging to the European Union”.
Another page reads: “A programme for the meeting [CAT programme] which is not merely touristic: folkloristic events and commercial exchanges are not co-financed. From 1999 onwards, support will only be granted if a special theme (i.e. European citizenship, European Union and its impact on local authorities, topical European policy issues such as, for example, the Amsterdam Treaty, the single currency, European elections, enlargement, and other ongoing policy areas, e.g. employment, a social Europe, culture, Common Agricultural Policy, etc) is included in the meeting programme”.
The oath reads: “We take a solemn oath:
To maintain permanent ties between our municipalities……
To join forces so as to further, to the best of our ability, the success of this vital enterprise of peace and prosperity: THE EUROPEAN UNION”.
As previously mentioned, the Conservative Party leadership moved swiftly following its June 1970 election victory to gain the support of the party’s rank and file and
Geoffrey Rippon went into some detail in his autumn conference speech to trumpet the merits of Britain joining the Common Market.
One has to ask what happened after his assurances that, “We shall not sign a Treaty of Accession which would commit us to the common fisheries policy, or to any [writer’s emphasis] agreement which did not satisfactorily protect our legitimate interests”. Sweet words of reassurance to be sure.
Later in his speech, Rippon provides reassurances on sovereignty: “So it is nonsense to say that Britain will no longer be ruled by the rule of the people’s representatives – or to put it in constitutional terms – by the Queen in Parliament”. Compare this with the notorious FCO 30/1048 report drawn up in the following months which provided a grim view of the prospects for Britain’s sovereignty, a view which has clearly been confirmed by present day events and the present headlong rush to an EU Constitution.
It is not surprising that the deceitful game played by politicians and officials, at the time, required that FCO30/1048 be protected by official secrecy until the year 2000.
No doubt, the conspirators concluded that by the year 2000, the events of 1970-72, would be of no public interest.
If they thought that then they were of course wrong. The European venture, lacking sound moral and constitutional legitimacy, would never be able to command
respectability or credibility. It is, in fact, just a ‘house of cards’ awaiting its time.
The one thing Ted Heath and his accomplices feared, in their headlong dash to join the EEC was a referendum. They must have quaked at the thought, so that Geoffrey Rippon dismissed a plea from Tony Benn for a referendum at the 3rd reading of the Bill, with evasion, claiming that the Government was authorised to present the legislation to the House. Rippon rudely puts Benn down, with: “I say in relation to the Right hon. Gentleman’s third intervention that he is more characteristic of a cockerel who believes that the sun gets up in the morning simply to hear him crow” – so much for the rights of the people to have their say in a referendum. It was true that referendums were an innovation in the UK at the time. Heath, himself, though, had proposed one for Northern Ireland, but this (joining the EEC) was an issue involving fundamental changes to the Constitution and the way the country was to be governed. Indeed Douglas Jay MP had pointed out that the other three applicant (to join the EEC) countries were holding referendums.
Tony Benn was a leading advocate of a referendum and campaigned for one. The establishment, though, hated those proposing one and in Anthony Royle’s report of events described those seeking it as ‘anti-Parliamentary’: “The anti-Parliamentary tendency found expression in a movement fanned by Mr Wedgewood Benn for a national referendum on the issue……it demanded attention through much of the campaign and in Parliament”.
That there was no serious demand for a referendum on joining is probably due to the ignorance of the public (and some Parliamentarians) of the huge constitutional implications involved. And because the ‘waters’ were muddied by repeating the mantra, that there was no essential loss of sovereignty involved, and the fact that referenda were untried and described by the Government (at least), as ‘un-British’, helps to explain why it didn’t happen.
The impact of the European Movement’s efforts in ‘talking down’ a referendum can only be guessed at, but the fact they did so, shows their determination to exclude the public from having any influence in the outcome. This was a matter of vital importance to everyone, since the issue was: who would be governing them in the future?
In retrospect, the fact that Edward Heath’s pledge of not joining without the “full-hearted consent of Parliament and the people”, was broken and a referendum refused was profoundly anti-democratic. The legitimacy of membership, as a result, is challenged to this day, and that is not surprising.
The later cynical attempt by Harold Wilson’s Government to retrospectively legitimise membership through the 1975 referendum could not repair the damage. Legislation passed by illicit means cannot be legitimised later by holding a referendum. It is no better than John Prescott’s October 2004 referendum to try to legitimise the appointed and illegitimate, North East England Regional Assembly (NEERA). NEERA was set up in 1999 as part of 8 English regions and part of the EU’s Europe-wide regionalisation process to ‘divide (England) and rule (it)’. The public are more aware now, and saw through the scheme and decisively rejected it by more than three to one in the vote. The public of 1975, however, were taken in by the promises (and fears) of the time, but were they to know then, what is now widely known, then…..?
It is remarkable that polls showed public opinion consistently running at more than 3 to 1 against joining the EEC in the first months of 1971, yet by July, polls recorded, albeit temporarily, support and opposition evenly balanced. This demonstrated the success of the Government’s high-powered, but illicit, campaign. The objective had been: “to convince MPs that the tide of public opinion was moving in favour of joining the EEC”, so that they would vote positively and overwhelmingly for, the then, forthcoming European Communities Bill. Although the Bill was narrowly passed at the second reading, the objective of demonstrating overwhelming support was not. There was no ‘whole-hearted consent’ promised by Edward Heath at the 1970 General election, not that this seemed to matter to him.
The following account provides readers with insight into the Parliamentary ‘stitch-up’ that helped to set the country on course for the division and recrimination that
continues unabated to this day.
It is not of course unusual for governments to use whips to make their MPs follow the party line and to get legislation through Parliament. The report by whip, Norman St John Stevas, (now Lord St John of Fawsley) examines the merits of a ‘whipped vote’ against a non-whipped vote. Stevas ponders: “Clearly the question whether to have a whipped vote or a free vote on our side is a vital and complicated one”. The decision, in the end, to have a free vote, was not made on grounds of the constitutional importance of the issue, or of it being a matter for MP’s consciences. No, the decision was purely pragmatic.
Stevas reasoned, that allowing a free vote would not change the voting intentions of Conservative MPs very much but a free vote “seems reasonably certain” to result in a higher Labour vote for the Common Market.
In the event the Government seems to have employed other means to make its recalcitrant MPs vote the ‘required way’.
At this distance in time it is more difficult to determine what occurred behind the scenes to persuade Conservative MPs to vote to join. However, there are enough Conservative MPs from the time, still alive, and there is sufficient evidence in documentation to be certain that pressure was applied.
Jeremy Paxman in his book ‘The Political Animal’ describes some of the methods used by whips to ensure compliance. In describing the activities of the ‘keeper of dark secrets' (the whips), he tells of one MP who had much to conceal, being asked to the whips office. The whip opened his safe, took out some compromising photographs and showed them to the MP. Paxman says he never gave trouble again.
Other ‘tools of the trade’ include, powers to dispense favours, such as sending MPs on all expenses paid ‘fact-finding’ missions overseas and honours to be dolled out.
There is no direct evidence of serious arm-twisting tactics having been used but the recalcitrant Teddy Taylor MP (now Sir Teddy Taylor MP) and then a Government minister, has recounted how Edward Heath approached him, and asked him why he would want to jeopardise his career in this way (by not backing the party). Although Teddy Taylor voted against the motion in the first and third readings of the Bill he voted with Government in the critical second reading. Five more Conservative MPs voting against would have meant that the Bill failed.
Neil Martin, MP for Banbury, spoke of pressures. In the House of Commons in his speech during the second reading he said:
“We anti-market Conservatives have had plenty of pressure put upon us, not by arguments on the merits of the case for joining but by other means. I believe that by behaving like that, the Conservative Party has harmed the very case that it was trying to make to us”.
In addition to the methods used by whips described by Paxman, pressure could and was put on MPs through their constituency organisation. Even Stevas alludes to this in his report: “Neil marten for example, is under very strong pressure from his constituents……”.
Officials were also involved in intimidating elected representatives. The European Communities Information Unit (EUIC) memo of 6th August 1970 points to Government sponsored activity (using civil servants) to pressure MPs in their constituencies; “The programme for such speakers should concentrate on constituencies represented by MPs who were doubtful about entry”. How disgraceful.
Stevas provides more anecdotal evidence of this in his report. He writes:
“Edward Brown could be persuaded on grounds of loyalty to party; Eric Bullus and John Farr will be influenced by opinions in his constituency; J H Gray does not wish to bring the Government down; Toby Jessel could be persuaded by a leading figure in the party; Geraint Morgan worried about his personal position; Jasper More and J H Sutcliffe could be won over if there is a shift in public opinion; Robin Turton concerned about the continuation of the Conservative Government”.
In addition to selective pressures on MPs, the strategic decision of Edward Heath, at the eleventh hour, to make the vote a confidence motion, with all that implied for MPs’ careers, would have been a most compelling reason for many to support the motion, regardless of their true sentiments.
An indicator of the degree of the pressure applied, are the cases of the 19 Conservative MPs, classified by the whips as ‘not wanting to go in’, but persuadable. It must be an indictment of the party system, that all of them, excepting one, lacked the courage to honour their convictions, and resist the pressure, that they voted for entry at the 2nd reading.
Even amongst the 21 Conservative MPs classified as being ‘hard-core unpersuadables’, the whips were able to get two to of them to change their minds and vote for entry, and another 4 to abstain.
It was most surprising then, after all this, that the most crucial 2nd reading was only passed by 8 votes.
And Harold Wilson, the leader of the opposition, speaking after the vote, rightly rebuked Edward Heath: “…in breach of his election promise, the Prime Minister has not got the full-hearted consent of the British people. Secondly he has not got the full-hearted consent of Parliament. Thirdly, when he said that he must get this through on Tory votes in a majority, he has not done so”.
The Bill received its first reading on 28th October 1971 even though ‘negotiations’ with the EEC were still in progress. In addition the EEC’s Treaty of Luxembourg had not yet been enacted (it would soon be) yet it would provide major changes to the way the Community operated.
The first reading was to approve the principle of joining (the EEC) and was regarded by MPs as authority for negotiations to be continued by the Government. There was no in-depth debate at this time. This was for the second reading, which took place on the 15th, 16th and 17th February the following year.
The second reading debate was long and bitter and resulted in the close result already described.
Many of the pages (of Hansard) for the 2nd reading can be accessed here. The following are some of the more dramatic and poignant speeches of the debate. They stand-alone and do not need amplification or commentary:
Geoffrey Rippon, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, moving the motion, assures the House that “…no Parliament can preclude its successors from changing the law”.
Enoch Powell asks why there is any doubt that requires the words: “except as may be provided by any act passed after this act [ECA72]” to be added, in referring to Rippon’s statement that Community law takes precedence. There was never an answer given.
Peter Shore for the opposition complains that the House had only had access to the Treaties, which the Communities had entered into, one week before.
Peter Shore stated that: “The vote of 28th October [1971, 1st reading] was taken long before negotiations were over and long before the 43 volumes [of the Bill]… and long before we saw the Treaties of Accession”.
Peter Shore stated: “we are to have imposed upon us a written constitution, a constitution that we did not write or did not even help to write”.
Peter Shore stated: “When the people feel they are being made subject to laws in which they feel they have played no part and taxes to which they have never consented, respect for both law and government is undermined. Our tradition for order and peaceful change is based not only on the character of our own people but on an enduring, if tacit, bargain between Government and governed that the former will play fair and will be scrupulous in how they deal with the people’s rights. But if Governments do not play fair, if they behave in a way people consider to be in itself unconstitutional, there is evidence enough in British history to show we are not a docile people but a very determined and fierce one indeed”.
Bert Oram stated: “I think he will find as this three day debate proceeds that many of us will wish to see it conducted not in the way he suggested, but in a much wider context, particularly in the context of the Government’s whole approach to the Treaty of Accession and its consequences and the way in which the Government has disregarded what we consider to be the proper rights of Parliament to examine the whole question of British entry”.
Peter Hordern stated: “That is why I take very seriously my right hon, Friend the Prime Minister’s assurance that no country’s vital interests would be overruled by other members. I rely on this safeguard and in the practice in the Council of Ministers on the unanimity rule”.
Geoffrey Rippon stated: “I said that there would be no essential surrender of sovereignty, and successive speakers from both sides of the House have agreed that there is no essential surrender of sovereignty”. Compare this with FCO 30/1048 Sovereignty and the European Communities written in 1971 with commentary by Dr Richard North.
Nigel Spearing stated: “...the idea of Parliamentary government and of democracy is based, as I understand it, on confidence, consent and credibility. People will only do things under the law if they have confidence in the way the law is made”.
Douglas Jay stated: “The speeches which we have so far heard from the Government Front Bench have seemed to me to be designed not so much to defend as to conceal what the Government are doing to Parliament in this Bill”.
Douglas Jay stated: “The three other applicant countries are to hold referenda on the question of joining the Community and apparently, rightly in my opinion, the Prime Minister proposes one for Northern Ireland. Nobody pretends that the Government have any mandate for this Bill from the people or anything approaching full-hearted consent”.
Douglas Jay stated: “Millions of people in this country will feel as I do, that legislation passed in this way, with no consent, cannot command the assent of the country and would lack moral and constitutional validity”.
Denzil Davies stated: “...the Bill provides that a 100 or more treaties – 10 volumes I am told – will also be incorporated into the law of the United Kingdom. No attempt is made even to list them, let alone list them in this Bill”.
“The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster tells us there are 1500 regulations, 40 volumes of them. There is no mention of the regulations in the Bill, no listing of them. None is annexed to the Bill. The reason is obvious. It is to debar us as far as possible from putting down Amendments so that these treaties, regulations and directives can be properly debated and so that the people who will have to obey them in future can know the law that they are obeying”.
Neil Marten stated: “Then there is the vital matter of the pledge given by the Right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister during the last election on June 2nd, 1970 and in Paris before then, about not joining the Common Market without the full-hearted consent of Parliament and the people”.
Neil Marten stated: “…But if we proceed on a small majority, the important election pledge given by the Prime Minister on behalf of our Party will have been broken”.
Neil Marten stated: “…. the public will regard politicians rightly with utmost contempt and I am not prepared to condone that”.
Neil Marten stated: “We anti-market Conservatives have had plenty of pressure put upon us, not by arguments on the merits of the case for joining but by other means. I believe that by behaving like that, the Conservative Party has harmed the very case that it was trying to make to us”
James Prior stated: “I believe the agriculture industry of this country is not only broadly in favour of joining but recognises very well that it has a great opportunity by doing so”.
Harold Wilson stated: “We may have these doubts about our ability to pay these bills because of the crippling burden imposed on our balance of payments by the terms negotiated”. Note that the economy went into serious decline following entry, resulting in Heath’s 3-day week (due to miner’s strike and resulting power shortages). Heath then called a general election on ‘who runs Britain?’ (meaning the unions or the Government). Ironically, he might well have asked: ‘who runs Britain? – the British Government or Brussels’.
Harold Wilson stated: “…. There has been virtually no consideration [talking of pro- Market newspapers] in these papers of the rights of Parliament, of the vast constitutional implications…”
Harold Wilson stated: “In our judicial system, evolved over centuries, the judge does not get involved in a case himself so much as listen to council for and against and then decided independently. That system is to be assimilated much more closely to the French system of law, where the judges are advocates for both sides, are examining juries, and at the end of the day pronounce judgement”.
Enoch Powell stated: “Let us wrap it up, so that what we are talking about is the full-hearted consent of the House of Commons. There was a debate in October - a debate which did not deal with a precise proposition such as this – when the House decided affirmatively by a vote of seven twelfths in favour. In no country with a written constitution, in none of the other countries which are participating in this operation with the United Kingdom, would such a proportion justify the major step which is involved in joining the Community. All of them have safeguards which require a much more generous margin even than that on which the House voted on 28th October”.
Alfred Morris stated: “…It is suggested that the Prime Minister may say tonight that he will resign if he is unable to carry this Bill. His reason for saying this would be that his European commitments are crucial to his policies as a whole. If he had said that at the General Election, he would have been the vanquished, not the victor. He would not have been the Prime Minister today”.
Edward Heath, The Prime Minister stated: “Therefore if this House will not agree to a second reading of the Bill tonight……my colleagues and I are unanimous that in these circumstances this Parliament cannot sensibly continue”.
The motion was passed by 309 votes to 301 votes
Harold Wilson, Leader of the Opposition stated after the result of the vote was announced: “…in breach of his election promise, the Prime Minister has not got the full hearted consent of the British people. Secondly he has not got the full-hearted consent of Parliament. Thirdly, when he said that he must get this through on Tory votes in a majority, he has not done so”.
The pages of this document reveal detailed information of the Heath Government’s campaign of the early 1970s, which took us into the, then, Common Market. The information revealed gives the full story of Britain’s entry to the Common Market, for the first time.
Readers should be asking themselves whether Parliament gave birth to a bastard in 1972. Was it really in the best interests of Britons to have a foreign order imposed on us? Was our entry, in the context of moral legitimacy and Britain’s Constitution of the time, illegitimate? Were Parliament and its elected representatives, subjected to undue pressures, (in some instances intense pressures) and to a subversive campaign, performing the role of reluctant midwife?
Did Parliament in 1972, and subsequently, by its action of handing over Parliamentary powers (the Conservative MEP Nirj Deva has estimated, in 2004, that 65% of our laws are made in Brussels, some put the figure higher) to the unelected and unaccountable Brussels’ bureaucracy, put its own legitimacy in doubt?
Hugh Fraser MP, speaking in the third reading of the EC Bill on 13th July 1972, foresaw the alienation from the electoral process that we see today and the desperation of Government who can do nothing about it (notwithstanding postal voting), without repatriating powers from Brussels, when he said:
“The history of Parliament over a thousand years has been the way in which the people of this country have been able to participate in the exercise of power. This has taken a thousand years to bring about”. “But I believe that it is certain that by going into Europe we shall see not something which is alien but a true alienation of the British people from the Government and the control of their own interests. That worries me greatly”.
Finally, we return to the opening quotation by the MP, Douglas Jay, that our membership of the EU (or EEC as it then was): “….lack[s] moral and constitutional validity”.
These pages have provided the evidence for the reader to consider his answers to these vital questions, vital because it affects our present-day attitudes to our membership of the European Union. Each must come to their conclusion and decided whether there is something to be done about it.
This account, has been of necessity, a short resume of the historical documentation from which it is drawn. Those readers seeking a deeper insight into the dreadful shenanigans of the Heath Government of the early 1970s can gain full access to the documentation by clicking here.
And this account leaves the reader with one final thought: Is it conceivable that the people of this country and our elected representatives would have had any truck with entry to the EEC if they had been aware of the double dealings that were routinely occurring in the period leading up to Britain’s entry in 1973?
It has been considered worthwhile providing, with this expose, reference to, what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive history of the European integration process, from the earliest times (just after the First World War) right up to the present. It helps with the understanding of the ‘greater picture’ leading up to the events in the early 1970s which took Britain into the EEC. Chris Booker and Richard North have published the book: ‘The Great Deception’ – ‘The Secret History of the European Union’.
The book was first published by Continuum on 19th November 2003 and will appear in paperback in the spring of 2005.
Click above to view Dr Peter Gardner’s assessment.
From Memorandum to: Opinion Formers, October 2004 by Lord Pearson of Rannoch: ‘I have space to expose only one proof of this terrible deception, by quoting a filleted extract of Sections 2 and 3 of the European Communities Act 1972, which is the Act which took us into what was then the European Common Market. It goes as follows: “All such rights, powers, liabilities obligations and restrictions from time to time created or arising by or under the Treaties ... are without further enactment to be given legal effect ... and be enforced, allowed and followed accordingly”.
”Subject to Schedule 2 to this Act, at any time after its passing Her Majesty may by Order in Council, and any designated Minister or department may by regulations, make provision ... for the purpose of implementing any Community obligation of the United Kingdom”.
Section 3 reads as follows:
“For the purposes of all legal proceedings, any question as to the meaning or effect of any of the Treaties, or as to the validity, meaning or effect of any Community instrument, shall be treated as a question of law (and, if not referred to the European Court, be for determination as such in accordance with the principles laid down by and any relevant decision of the European Court)”.
Articles 226-229 of the Treaty Establishing the European Communities (TEC) give the Luxembourg ‘Court’ the right to impose unlimited fines if we don’t obey everything agreed in Brussels.
Yet Edward Heath had the nerve to promise that “no loss of essential sovereignty” was involved in the passing of the 1972 Act. Harold Wilson said the same thing during the 1975 Referendum campaign. Both Prime Ministers pretended we had merely joined a Common Market. I fear Margaret Thatcher was deceived as to the way the Single European Act of 1986 would be used, which created the system of Qualified Majority Voting. She bitterly regrets it today, as I expect you know. John Major then misled us about the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, and Tony Blair misled us over the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 and the Nice Treaty of 2002. It has always been essential to keep the true nature of the Project from the British people. They have to be slowly sucked into the embrace of the corrupt octopus, until it is too late to escape. That is the very essence of the Project, and I hope you will agree it is working pretty well.
Click to view their campaigning leaflet.
The covert history of Yamashita’s gold. The book describes: “how Washington [CIA] secretly recovered it to set up giant cold war slush funds and manipulate foreign governments”.
Available at Amazon.com - Bowstring.net and Barnes&Noble.com
First published in 2001 by John Murray.
‘The most remarkable US covert operation was vast secret funding of the European Movement’.
'In 1948, its [European Movement] main handicap was scarcity of funds; indeed it was bancrupt and close to collapse. The discreet injection of $4 million by the CIA between 1949 and 1960 was central to efforts ...............'
‘This covert contribution never formed less than half the European Movement’s budget and, after 1952 it was probably two thirds’. ‘The conduit for American assistance was the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE)
‘The CIA funding operation through ACUE tells us a lot about the nature of American intervention in Western Europe’.
‘…….Strikingly, the same small band of senior officials, many of them from the Western intelligence community, were central in supporting the three most important ‘insider’ groups emerging in the 1950s: the European Movement, the Bilderberg group and Jean Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe’.
‘The origins of CIA covert funding for European federalists may be traced back to the little-known figure of Count Coudenhove-Kalergi’.
There is a wealth of information in this book to interest those curious about how we ‘got to here from there’.
Published by Sutton Publishing.
Chapter. 2 of this book ‘Lies and Treachery: the origins of IRD’.
Chapter. 9: ‘Agencies of Change: the News Agency Network’.
Chapter. 16: ‘Indian Summer: IRD and the EEC’
Quote: ‘Starting in November 1970, the meetings of the European Movement’s campaign group were held in its offices in Chandos House, Victoria, and were also attended by a representative of the Foreign Office. The presence of this civil servant was deemed sensitive enough to have it omitted from the minutes and deleted by means of an erratum slip when it was once included by mistake’.