A commenter at the Spectator's Coffee House has unearthed a little gem which shows beyond doubt that Britain's 1975 referendum on entry to the EEC (now the EU) was deliberately engineered to produce a 'yes' vote and funded in large part by, wait for it... America's CIA.
It also highlights the extent to which the BBC was complicit in the deception by removing anti-EEC broadcasters and providing extra air-time for the pros together with slanted pro-EEC programming.
Any europhiles currently calling eurosceptics conspiracy theorists or xenophobic Little Englanders should seriously re-consider their attitude. There's only been one bunch of conspirators around here since the end of WW2, and it isn't the people.
Here is an extract but do read the whole thing - it's only five pages and begins on p.12. (The rest of it is interesting too, particularly economist Roger Bootle's article, which is a hoot - talk about discredited).
Tucker: I went to the European Movement, and talked to them, and they helped to put the funding together for breakfasts which we held at the Connaught Hotel. Ernest Wistrich (Director of the European Movement) was there, actually to be briefed in many ways. Norman Reddaway (an official at the Foreign Office) wasthe person given to us by the Government, as our liaison man and he came to the breakfasts.Cook: The Information Research Department (of which Norman Reddaway was a member) at the Foreign Office seems to have had links with the intelligence community. Certainly, earlier in his career Norman Reddaway’s Information Research Department played a part in destabilising the Sukarno regime in Indonesia in the 1960s.Tucker: During that time … we got an extra five minutes on the ITN News in the evening added for us to give information.Cook: That five minutes came out of a direct negotiation with (ITN News Editor) Nigel Ryan at one of those breakfast meetings?Tucker: Yes – I mean it was a wonderful, wonderful news opportunity.Cook : And Radio?Tucker: Jack de Manio was a (Radio 4 Today programme) presenter who was terribly anti-European, and we protested privately about this and he was moved.Cook : By Ian Trethawan, Director of BBC radio and a known friend of Edward Heath.Tucker: We issued a newspaper, called the ‘British European’, edited by that famous cartoonist, Phillip Zick, and we distributed massive numbers of them freely. We used to have, for instance, in the Summer, on the beaches, young women giving them away and they used to wear T-shirts with the message ‘Europe or Bust’.Cook: T-shirts, a newspaper, bumper stickers, posters, a pop song, not to mention breakfasts at the Connaught Hotel. Making friends and influencing people on this scale never comes cheap. So who was picking up the tab?Spicer: Within business and industry there was a great deal of support and of course money … the figure of £5 million has been bandied about … which flooded in to the European Movement and to the Conservative Group for Europe.Cook: And who paid for the breakfasts at the Connaught Hotel?’Spicer: I think this was … you have to talk to Geoffrey Tucker.Cook.: Who paid for the breakfasts?Tucker: Well, I’ve never had much knowledge of the funding. The European Movement certainly paid for some of them. I don’t know …Cook: It is sometimes alleged that the funds that came to the European Movement had come in rather curious ways from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the United States. Is that something you’ve heard?Tucker: Yeah … and I was absolutely astonished by it. I was rather tickled about it. Frankly, I didn’t care where the money came from. I didn’t know about it. It could come from anywhere as long as it was there to do the job.Cook: That allegation that the CIA was involved in promoting a united Europe. It was the simplest of questions which led to the most surprising discovery about Edward Heath’s campaign to persuade the British people that to join the EEC was in their best national interests. Who paid for the European Movement? Who financed the publicity campaign?And:Aldrich: I was absolutely astonished to discover that the library had the entire archive of a CIA front organisation which documents from start to finish funnelling millions of dollars into Britain – with all its accounts, with all its receipts and correspondence, for example from British Labour MPs to individuals in American intelligence organisations. So I was absolutely astonished when I opened these dusty brown cardboard boxes not considered to be terribly important … and discovered one of the most exciting intelligence archives of the post-war period.Cook: That begs a question – why was Washington so interested in Western Europe?Aldrich: The US had invested a great deal of money in European recovery with the idea that only a recovered Western Europe would be able to resist Soviet encroachment … and the US was keen to see a federalist Europe because it views Europe almost in its own image. The Americans continually talk about the United States of Europe.Cook: So if the CIA were bankrolling European Union, how come no one noticed who was paying the piper?’Aldrich: The whole accounting structure of the European Movement was designed to hide the fact that CIA money was coming in. And the way this was done was to have a core budget which covered the fairly mundane activities of running the European Movement’s office, paying for the cleaners etc. All this came out of money that was generated in Europe. The CIA money was hidden by putting most of the operational costs, for example, the European Youth Campaign, into special budgets which were not subject to the normal accounting procedures. It was possible to hide CIA money and to make sure that most people in the European Movement were unaware that this CIA money was coming in. Very few people at the top were actually aware of where this funding was coming from.
So, come on Cameron, Lidington et al, let's hear about your wonderful 'referendum lock' one more time. Let's hear about 're-patriating powers back to Britain'; let's hear about not surrendering our national sovereignty and independence. Lie to us again.
What of the monarchy and the Queen's role in all this? She has, after all, signed every single sovereignty-removing treaty put before her and she created Ted Heath a Knight of the Garter for his endeavours. The Order of the Garter is awarded at 'the Queen's pleasure' and is "the pinnacle of the honours system in the United Kingdom. Membership in the order is limited to the sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than twenty-four members, or Companions".
Given how they take us for fools when it comes to referenda on the EU and how, were we ever to be allowed one, the EU would pour in far more propaganda funds than the CIA, I still think it's worth one last shot. At least this time we have the internet on our side.
UPDATE: The European Movement as it is now. Given that they selectively quote Churchill as a voice of approval on their 'history' page here is what he actually said:
We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not compromised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed.
posted by Goodnight Vienna