9 NOVEMBER

PREPARATIONS MADE TO BURN IRISH CONVICTS ALIVE

[ 9 November 1804 ]

On 9 November 1804, panic erupted among the British garrison of the remote penal colony of Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, when they sighted a flotilla of ships, including the 64 gun warship Athenienne, and assumed they were under attack from the French. 

PALESTINIANS MARGINALISED AS THEIR LAND IS DECLARED A FUTURE ‘NATIONAL HOME FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE’

[ 9 November 1917 ]

On 9 November 1917, The Times published a letter, now remembered as the Balfour Declaration, in which Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour in a letter to Lord Rothschild, written a week earlier, promised to back, ‘the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.’ 1

BRITAIN DETERMINED TO VETO U.N. SANCTIONS AGAINST APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA

David Owen – via Wikimedia.

[ 9 November 1978 ]

Today in 1978, Foreign Secretary David Owen informed the Cabinet that a decision had already been taken to veto any UN resolution on South Africa which might require Britain to impose sanctions. He also warned that the United Kingdom might be the only member of the Security Council to use its veto. The United States couldn’t be relied on and France was ‘being most unhelpful.’

When Tony Benn, Secretary of State for Energy, asked whether the Cabinet would be consulted before any such move, Owen responded tersely ‘I cannot give that assurance.’  Prime Minister James Callaghan then interrupted to explain that ‘it might happen in the middle of the night. You might be telephoned at 2.30 in the night and be told the vote was coming at 2.45.’  Benn noted in his diary: ‘The Cabinet now is not even a rubber stamp, but a mere spectator of decisions made by the Prime Minister and a tiny group of Ministers’ and merely declared to the Cabinet without any time allowed for consideration, comment or discussion.’2

FOOTNOTES

  1. ‘Palestine for the Jews: Official Sympathy,’ The Times, 9 November 1917, p. 7.
  2. Ruth Winstone (Editor), Tony Benn: Conflicts of Interest, Diaries 1977-1980, Arrow Books, London, 1991, pp. 389-90.

Please feel welcome to post comments below.  If you have any questions please email alisdare@gmail.com

© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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