Independent from Long Beach, California on February 24, 1969 · Page 5
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 5

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Monday, February 24, 1969
Page 5
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Bonn Will Move Election If Reds Open Berlin Wall SENATE OIL PROBE GETS I M)ER WAY SANTA BARBARA i/T) -- A two-day U.S. Senate hearing into the Southern California o i 1 disaster opens here today. Sen. Joseph M. Montoya. D-N'.M.. will preside BONN (DPI) -- West Germany said Sunday it would consider moving its forthcoming presidential election out of West Berlin if East CSermany opens the wall dividing the city "for traffic between the peoples of both parts of Berlin." The East Germans earlier had offered to grant West Berliners passes through the wall at Easter in exchange for a West German agreement to hold the March 5 electoral college meeting elsewhere. The official West Germ a n r e p l y was announced here following a meeting in Siangan between Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger and Soviet ambassador Semyon K. Tsarapkin, who confirmed the East German offer. The announcement coincided with U.S. President Nixon's arrival in Europe on his tour that includes a visit to West Berlin next Thursday. It also was in Kdmund S. Muskie. D- Maine. chairman of the public works subcommittee on air and water pollution. City, county, state and federal officials will test:State Deputy Atty. Gen. Charles A. O'Brien is expected i. be the lead :'; witness. Re-r-;'sen!,ilives of L'n- ion Oil Co., operators of the offshore well which has leaked more than a quarter of a million pal- INDEPENDENT (AM) PRESS-TELEGRAM (PMj--A-5 ton? S?ach. Calif. Monday. p e $. 2 J, l?s» Ions of crude oil since it ruptured J a n . 23, w:H ;·!') apjiear h'-fore Mor.t';v;t and iiiembTs of the senatorial group which includes Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif. sudden contrast to previous statements by Bonn officials asserting the election would be held in West Berlin, despite the Communist offer. A WEST German government spokesman said Kiesinger found the Easter pass offer "encouraging" but was looking for a broader opening in the wall. He said West Germany would expect the East Germans to act first. "The chancellor empha- Envoy May Resign in London-Paris Row By ARTHUR L. GAVSHON LONDON M) -- Britain's row with France took a surprising turn Sunday with the man at the center of the Klorm-- Ambassador Christopher Soames--reported considering resignation. This possibility emerged after President Nixon set out on what lie had hoped would be a quiet fence- mending swing through five European capitals. Instead, a continental turmoil awaits him, with some of America's closest friends in fierce dispute and the f u t u r e of the Common Market in doubt. Soames flew in from Paris for a quick round of consultations with Prime M i n i s t e r Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart ami other British officials closely concerned in the confrontation with President Charles de Gaulle's France. A major issue in the exchanges, according to senior authorities, centers on whether the envoy can be dissuaded from quitting his post to protest the Wilson government's handling of the affair. Government officials claimed t h e i r disclosure of I lie French leader's proposals was vindicated by public and official reaction in the allied countries most affected. They said Chancellor K u r t Georg Kiesinger of West Germany was shocked and upset when Wilson outlined De Gaulle's thinking. Conservative l e a d e r s, a p p a r e n t l y sensing Soames' displeasure with (he government's handling of the a f f a i r , called a meeting of party leaders for today to formulaic official policy on the question and to seek a detailed explanation from the gov- e r n m e n t in Parliament. Soames is a former Conservative minister. When Soames returned to London Sunday morning, he carried a protest note from French Foreign Minister Michel Debre over London's disclosure of the De Gaulle proposal. There was no British reaction to the French complaint. Soames returned to Paris late Sunday night and refused to comment on the matter except to say that no meetings had been scheduled with Debre. Debre was to meet today with the ambassadors of France's five Common Market partners to present the French version of the De Gaulle-Soames talk. President Nixon was said to he resolved not to allow himself to be drawn into the dispute in t h e souse of taking sides. Most Allied diplomats thought, however, he will find it hard to avoid discussion of the implications when he meets government chiefs in Brussels, London, Bonn, Rome and Paris. Senior British officials, CHRISTOPHER SOAMES In Eve of Storm t u r n i n g to the Soanv.'S a f fair, disclosed the envoy had strongly urged Wilson and Stewart to enter secret talks with De Gaulle on the French leader's proposals for a new economic and political system in F.urope. Essentially these envisaged the transformation of the Common Market into--as Stewart put it Saturday -- "a loose, free- trade area with an inner political directorate of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, excluding the other countries with whom we are allied." The plan also foresaw the ultimate disappearance of the North A t l a n t i c Alliance when a true European independence had been b u i l t up. Informants reported further that Soames had argued against the Wilson government's decision to pass on to Britain's allies, including the Americans, the details of De Gaulle's program. As the envoy saw it the move would be taken in Paris as a breach of confidence and conse- q u e n t l y as a reason why De Gaulle could refuse to sec him again. But after careful consideration, informants said, Wilson and Stewart resolved to reject their envoy's advice, leaving him an extremely angiy man. Soames, who is married to the youngest daughter of the late Sir Winston Churchill, assumed his mission in Paris hoping to improve Britain's frayed ties with France and getting a real dialogue with De Gaulle. Informants said Wilson and Stewart were convinced, for one thing, that the French leader was setting a diplomatic trap for B r i t a i n . De Gaulle's suggestion that Wilson, not he, should publicly take the initiative for direct British-French talks was taken to be one sign of that. The British were resolved, also, to avoid being lured into a discussion of a situation designed ultimately to bring about the dismantling of NATO and an American withdrawal from Europe. Finally, informants said, Wilson felt he simply could not hold his long- scheduled conference with West German Chancellor Kurt Kiesinger in Bonn Feb. 12 and fail to inform him of De Gaulle's ideas. This, as Hie prime minister saw tilings, would have been a breach of faith, for West Germany's security interests were ai stake. Informed sources in Paris said France has protested to London the leaking of the Soames De Gaulle talk and added that the protest was delivered in a personal dressing down of Soames by Foreign Minister Michel Debre Saturday night. The Wilson government's fervent hope is that Soames will not resign because this could be w i d e l y misinterpreted throughout Europe. It also would be political dynamite in Britain. Although some of Edward Heath's opposition Conservatives have backed the government in the dispute, others might make political capital of a resignation. Soames was a Conservative Cabinet minister before Wilson took office. His acceptance of the Paris Mission disappointed some of his parly colleagues. Seek Women Draft TAIPEI /P -- The Chinese Nationalist government is drafting a bill that would require women to serve in the armed forces in time of peace as well as war, cabinet sources reported. The bill specifies that women between 18 and 45 years old would serve one year in (he armed forces to perform supplementary m i l i - tary duties. sized . . . that a transfer 01 the fedora! assembly (electoral college) could only i)e divided if concrete facts emerge," according 10 the spokesman, Conrad Ahlers. "He said ilia:, in his opinion, agreement in this matter must be accompanied by a permanent and positive regulation of traffic for the population of both parts of Berlin." In West Berlin, Mayor Klaus Schuetz said the city was interested in ··long-term arrangements" to allow traffic between the East and West sections of the city. THERE ARE SOO.OOO Wesi Berliners with close relatives in East Berlin. Special passes are granted to West Berliners in cases of family emergency, such as death. But the wall has been closed -to all others since 19G6, when the East Germans granted passes for Pentecost Sunday, a major religious holiday in Europe. In calling for traffic in both directions through the wall. Kiesinger also was asking for passage to West Berlin for East Berliners in contrast to the Communist offer that would permit only West Berliners to pass through the wall. Western officials expressed doubt the Communists would either open the wall on a permanent basis or permit two-way traffic through it. Such an agreement, they said, would restore the situation that existed before the wall was built in August, 1961. Both the Soviets and the East Germans have protested bitterly against West Berlin being chosen as the site for the election of a successor to retiring West German President Heinrich Luebke. They have threatened retaliatory measures against the isolated western outpost 110 miles inside East Germany and already have begun harassing t r a f f i c on the three highways that link West Berlin with West Germany. The Communists do not accept West Berlin as H part of West Germany and, thus, contend that holding the presidential election there is illegal. In threatening retaliatory measures, they assert there are no agreements providing for access to the city to anyone but military attachments and supply convoys of the three western occupying powers -- the United States, Britain and France. The East Germans have specifically banned the 1.03G members of the electoral college from using land routes to the city for the election. SPECIAL-SPINETS tit tbligatlon to buy iullcridltifyimdi. 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