PORTRAIT OF A WEEK
Since airline security has been tightened up, kidnapping seems to be replacing aircraft hijacking as the main terrorist weapon. In Canada an extremist Quebec liberation group which already holds British diplomat Mr James Cross abduc- ted a second victim. Mr Pierre Laporte, Minister of Labour in the Quebec Government. Mr Laporte was kidnapped from in front of his own home while playing football.
Mr Edward Heath wound up the Conservative Party conference at Black- pool with a rousing call to the British people to stand on their own feet. Gov- ernment policy, he said, would be directed towards less government, and the State would withdraw from all activities which were no longer necessary or could better be done by voluntary organisations and individuals. He was given an ovation last- ing more than seven minutes.
One point the Prime Minister made strongly was that while valuing the Commonwealth. Britain also was an independent country. Fitting the action to the words he forcefully put the case to President Nyerere of Tanzania for British sales of arms to South Africa. The President remained unimpressed by Mr Heath's argument, reinforced by Sir Alec Douglas-Home, that a Soviet naval threat exists in the Indian Ocean. A second round of talks, this time with President Kaunda of Zambia, was not expected to dent African opposition to the Government's policy.
President Nixon's peace proposals for Vietnam also ran into the sand with an apparently implacably hostile reaction from North Vietnam. Undeterred, Presi- dent Nixon intends to use next week's United Nations meeting to pursue his initiative.
At home the council workers' strike continued. with more untreated sewage being pumped into rivers, and the miners began voting in their strike ballot. Britain was enjoying a classical Indian summer, with temperatures in the high sixties. Minimum stake for Tote bets was raised from 44 to 6s; And, a sequel to the Garden House Hotel riot, the Council of the Senate decided that Cambridge proctors would not in future attend demonstrations in which undergraduates take part outside university property.