—Portrait of the Week
THE INDEPENDENT nuclear deterrent's week—pos- sibly its. last. In the 'most bitter Commons scene since Suez,' the Prime Minister blurted out under Tory taunts that the UK was dependent on US co-operation for the supply of essential elements of the Polaris submarines. `Lonsdale got twenty- five years for revealing less,' one civil servant was quoted as saying. Sir Alec Douglas-Home received no answer when he asked if Mr. Wilson still in tended to buy these 'rotten submarines,' Mr. George Brown was the only Labour MP to miss the division, and in the excitement most forgot to try to distinguish between the ANF, the MLF and all their ramifications.
A WEEK OF RUMOUR for the City—that the £ was to be devalued, that the Governor of the Bank of England had threatened to resign: but none were based on fact. The Bank of England revealed that the balance of payments deficit in the first nine months totalled £600 million, Sir Cyril Osborne told the Commons that 'the best way to regain foreign confidence' was for MPs to go without their pay 'rise, and all sides of industry signed Mr. Brown's declaration on incomes policy with the pomp of an international treaty. December unemployment was lower than for seven years. the Coal Board lost £18.4 million in the first half- year, and Dr. Beeching may not be transport overlord after all
RUSSIA'S NEW B AND K combination—Brezhnev and Kosygin—is likely to visit the UK in the spring, and Mr. Gordon Walker is to tour European and Iron Curtain capitals. Sir Roy Welensky resigned the leadership of the Rhodesia Party, and eight ballots for an Italian President failed to produce anyone. The US ended its ship- ping squabble with Europe, and pooh-poohed a' German plan for nuclear minefields along the East-West border, South Vietnam generals dis- solved the National Council, claiming 'this is not a coup but a readjustment,' and lzvestia reported that twenty-eight Russians had to walk thirty miles to Armavir when the Moscow-Sukhumi ex- press failed to stop at their destination.
'MR. BARBER CHOSEN AT SALE was the week's, most bizarre headline, referring to this Cabinet rem- nant finding a by-election to fight next month. The government is to abolish' health charges on February 1, Mr. Wedgwood Benn promised more celebratory stamp issues, and seventy cars piled into each other in fog on the Ml. Radio London began transmissions just as Dutch police silenced Radio Noordzee, the first pirate TV station. Official reports revealed that last year more crimes were committed but fewer criminals caught, and that Britons drank 8,496 million pints of beer. The Press Council had 43 per cent more complaints last year: this week several cases in- volving the Royal Family earned its rebuke, and the editor of the Daily Express commented that a staff photographer had been 'over-zealous.'
'IMMINGHAM CORPORATION again revealed seven Identical tenders from tyre companies, for the maintenance of its 1,700 buses, the UK's first uniformed policewoman, Mary Allen, died at eighty-six, and Beat the Clock is to come off in the summer. The Motoring Defence League closed down for lack of public support, the Scots and Welsh Nationalists are to be allowed party political broadcasting time, and the Met Office forecast a White Christmas.