3 OCTOBER 1992, Page 4


Battle of Britain The Prime Minister defended his eco- nomic policy before the House of Com- mons, which had been reconvened follow- ing the sterling debacle of the previous week. He was vigorously attacked by the new leader of the Opposition, Mr John Smith, who was generally judged to have had the better of the encounter. In con- trast, the appearance in the House, and at a subsequent meeting of the backbench finance committee, of the Chancellor, Mr Norman Lamont, was well received by Tory MPs. Mrs Lamont revealed that following the pound's exit from the ERM, she had, for the first time in months, heard her hus- band singing in his bath. The National Her- itage Secretary, Mr David Mellor, suc- cumbed to the stream of allegations by the tabloid press over the summer about his private life and resigned. He was succeeded by Mr Peter Brooke who had retired from the Cabinet in April. At the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool Mr Smith won overwhelming backing for his support of Mr Major's intention to endorse the Maas- tricht Treaty without resorting to a referen- dum. Because of this, Mr Bryan Gould, Mr Smith's rival for the Labour leadership in the summer, resigned from the shadow Cabinet. Thousands of job losses were

announced by, among others, British Aerospace, Pirelli, Sears and Rolls Royce Motors. William Douglas-Home, the play- wright and younger brother of the former prime minister Lord Home, died aged 80. A magazine survey estimated that the Queen is only the tenth richest woman in Britain; Lady Thatcher was ranked 134th with a fortune said to be £9.5 million. Paula Yates, who with her husband Bob Geldof launched a breakfast show on Channel 4, was summonsed for not having a television licence.

THE COMBINED Franco-German defence of the French franc's parity within the ERM succeeded in repulsing the massed attacks of the world's foreign exchange markets. In Brussels, Mr Lamont apologised for some of the recent criticism in the British press of Germany and the BundeSbank, but his demands for reform of the ERM were rejected by all 11 of his fel- low EEC finance ministers. Chancellor Kohl urged Britain to speed up its ratifica- tion of the Maastricht Treaty, and warned that no further concessions could be made to British fears over it. Official German cel- ebrations of the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the V2 rocket were cancelled.

President Iliescu of Rumania, a former communist, narrowly failed to win an over- all majority in that country's presidential election; a second round will be held in October. The United Nations said it feared that up to 400,000 people could die this winter in Bosnia from cold and starvation resulting from the civil war. In South Africa, the government and the ANC agreed to restart constitutional talks, but the move was condemned by the Zulu Chief Buthelezi who said his Inkatha Free- dom Party would boycott the negotiations. The Brazilian parliament voted to impeach, President Fernando Collor on charges 01 corruption. Mr Ross Perot, who abandoned his independent candidacy for the US pres- idency in the summer, said he would decide this week whether to rejoin the race. He claimed to have received half a million calls of support within 30 minutes of re-opening

his telephone centre. In Florida, a 12-year its kind, boy won his court case, the first of kind, to be allowed to 'divorce' his natural

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