1. Overview

Chapter 2. PENSÉES AND THINKING IN THE E-AG ->

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Lest we forget

Society is indeed a contract.  It becomes a partnership between not only those who are living but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are not yet born.

– Edmund Burke   (quoted in ‘Politics Tomorrow’, a Journal of The European-Atlantic Group)

History can be a stimulus or a burden to those who wrestle with the problems of the present.  History is a good friend but a bad mistress.

The Rt. Hon. Douglas Hurd CBE MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, addressing the E-AG at the House of Commons on 24th January 1985

The European-Atlantic Group

Summary of the period 1954 – 2012

A retrospective by B. Justin Glass, Director of the E-AG 1988 – 2012

Introduction

Those hoping for an E-AG history that delves into international politics should head straight to the cache of the speeches delivered at the E-AG and the Book Reviews. This history is of the E-AG as seen when looking up at, and down from, its summits.

Millennial: this paragraph has you in mind.  Hard to convey now in a changed world what the E-AG accomplished from 1954 till when you were born; social media, diminishing reverence for ‘august’ personages, your sense of entitlement to pass judgement on greybeards, instant access to the Great of the political stage – if indeed such a mantle is merited when you can see so clearly their feet of clay – via media and demos and so forth contribute to a misunderstanding of what that aspect of ‘Life At the Top’ was then like at the E-AG. There are many different elites in society and the E-AG was a passport for those angling for an upward path in its own métier

Experts and the well-informed on topics discussed at the E-AG could, in relative privacy, glean what was going on from, and voice views to, the decision-takers. They were on the podium or floor or the Top Table at dinner, where guests were graded according to protocol and ranked according to social pre-eminence – tears could be shed if a guest felt unduly downgraded – and for their potential for mutual congeniality. The delegates felt empowered to make some difference, usually an imperceptible one, to the thinking processes that ebb and flow in the circles of high politics. It allowed those at the political summit from abroad or at home to meet counterparts on a relatively informal stage and engage in friendly, verbal spats; and to hobnob with Mr Joseph Public without hoopla. In those days there was much adulation of most of the Presidents, Royalty or the grandees who graced the E-AG speaker roster and audiences. The Group began inter alia as a meeting ground secluded from prying eyes for visiting Senators and Congressmen and Council of Europe representatives to cosy up to one another. Its remit grew early on to encompass in subject any controversy in any area of the globe where European and American interests were at stake. Its directing brain and sinews, those of Mrs Elma Dangerfield, extrapolated from this first principle that the world, even the cosmos – given meetings on the Space race – was its oyster. 

Some 150 delegates on average came monthly to a Committee Room in Parliament, frequently followed by dinner-discussions, rechristened dinner-debates in the 1990s, at a nearby hotel, usually St. Ermin’s, and, in the 2000s, premier London clubs. It meant that speakers often sang twice for their supper. Grand titles, a few with dubious middle-European provenance, and guests with impressive thumbnail CVs, adorned the E-AG Guest Lists.  The speakers were second to none. The press came, as well as Generals, specialists and diplomats by the score; a typical line-up at an event included several Ambassadors who, though asked to pay for their dinners might nevertheless attend, so bemused or amused were they at so brazen a request. Industrialists and academics came, though not in profusion. The time frame at a double-header event amounted to three hours’ worth of discussion, not counting receptions. It was too long for catchy slogans and sound bites to bamboozle the Brains Trust of which the E-AG gallery invariably was comprised. Delegates ‘had a go at’ what the Speakers were on about; they in turn tended to give as good as they got.

There was a yesteryear feel, not altogether illusory, of elegance in High Places in the talk about what mattered in ‘the realm’. English virtues were on display, politeness a watchword. It could seem, while rubbing shoulders with Milords galore, that guests were savouring the last exhalations of the Raj along with some of the old boys who had run the Empire. They were cut from the same mould as their predecessors, and so would cause The Hun to have second thoughts about tangling with them, but at the E-AG their human side was on display. Few cared if the ghost of ‘meat and two veg’ returned to haunt E-AG dinners. Justin Glass, when new to the team, was button-holed by Colonel Crawley whose name inadvertently had been omitted from the Guest List. The Colonel’s mock-plaintive plea, “But I only want a sandwich!” was not a comment on the very basic food served. The buzz of conversation about the latest international controversies was part of a mix that lulled politicos into unbending from their more public persona. As former Congresswoman Sue Kelly put it, “…you gentlemen want to loosen your ties, ladies kick off your shoes.” Neil Kinnock, having abbreviated in his diary the name of venue – The Jolly Group St Ermins Hotel – to Jolly Group was anything but disappointed.  It was quite some ‘Last Hurrah’.

Lt-Colonel James Crawley OBE
Lt-Colonel Mike Lowry MBE MC[1] and
Patrick Emek

The impressive details concerning those who came to the E-AG are in the monthly Guest lists. As the Argentine Ambassador, H.E. Dr Mario Campora, said in 1993 “I have been regularly attending…the E-AG.  I am well acquainted with the high standards both of the speakers and of the audience…”  Those interested in the political history of those times should visit the E-AG cache of speech transcripts, European-Atlantic Journals or hear tape recordings of E-AG events.  They say much about how we have got to where we are in international relations. 

Social Column in The Times newspaper, 5th February 2007

The Group earned its spurs in its bid to ‘inform’, as per the Charity Commission’s brief. Months before the first shot was fired in the Iraq War of 2003, twenty-two former U.S. Congressmen led by the Hon. Lou Frey from Florida spoke for a total of four hours. The event was chaired by Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP, and at the subsequent dinner by the Earl of Limerick, Sir Michael Burton giving the Vote of Thanks. The St Ermin’s hotel catering staff was tethered to their posts until 11.30pm. The Americans spoke in accents ranging from Southern drawl to clipped East Coast precision about Saddam Hussein’s iniquities, the throwing of his bêtes noirs to the lions and so forth, waxing almost biblical in their determination to wage war on him. Their British cousins were exhorted to do likewise. Public opinion was ill-prepared for it – a reservation shared by some, though not all, of the E-AG Top Brass, as relevant letters on file show. The American, ‘The only newspaper published in Britain for all Americans’ ran a headline article about the event:

‘…it was a clear and feisty exchange between people close to the government in America and people close to the government in the UK – on particularly the controversies regarding the war on terror.’ 

The Group also featured in The European[2].  Behind the public face of the Group, books and papers followed up the range of subjects discussed. The E-AG was not a lobby group.  It was independent, apolitical, and non-partisan, accountable only to its members, its record and reputation, and to no one else including the government of the day. The formula of ‘speaking truth to power!’ permeated its thinking.  This ‘truth’ was an individual, not a collegiate, totem.  There were almost a thousand members, a few with personal agendas or, to be candid, bees in their bonnets.  There were the eccentrics, usually amusing, who imbued the Q&A sessions with an aura of quintessential British idiosyncrasy. 

Dr John MacRae, doppelgänger of Karl Marx with ancient, long, flowing white locks, broad forehead and animated expression, once rose majestically, magisterially, to his feet to spear a Chinese Ambassador with the shaft that, judging him by his looks, was to be epoch-changing.  It transpired to be: “WHAT DO YOU THINK OF PEACE?” His Excellency took this as pertinent, not impertinence, so gave close attention to the implied proposition.  It was deducible after various circumlocutions that, taken in the round, he was, on the whole, peaceable.[3]  In this, he and Michael Shrimpton, author and barrister, were not peas out of a pod: British diplomats were more scandalised even than the French Ambassador to hear of the UK’s forthcoming unilateral Declaration of War on France!  As for Lady Snow!  No topic in her presence escaped her angst-laden if obscure slant on a fate befalling white elephants.  It came to seem global, whatever it was.  If speakers from far afield struggled to damp down her concern, none added fuel to her fire with more sanguinity about where their greyer mammal cousins might go to die.  Such exceptions stood out among the interrogative questioning, pace elephant (white) lovers and grim Little Englanders.  Tom Curtin, Head of Corporate Communications at UK Nirex – responsible for safe disposal of radioactive nuclear waste – made no reference to such Old Faithfuls when he wrote of Sir Richard Morris’ presentation to the E-AG on 22nd May 1995: ‘All at Nirex were very pleased (at) such a high level audience and we were most impressed with the depth of understanding and the level of questioning.’

House of Commons Greets US Congressmen’, The American, December 2002.

The experience of seeing at close quarters those who made the news was part of this charmed circle. The Group was a setting in which observant people could learn about the characters who sometimes changed the course of history.  Lord Rippon accompanied the Prime Minister, Edward Heath, when the instrument of accession to the Common Market was signed in 1972.  Geoffrey Rippon’s luminous, all-round intelligence, his incisive way of slicing through dross, seemed nothing if not rational.  He was chairing a committee with his customary gravitas when the topic of Europe came up. His remarks flowed in consistent patterns of tone and speech. It was only when sitting close to him that the pupils of his eyes could be seen dilating as soon as his pet beliefs were touched upon.  He switched in a trice from logician mode to one more akin to that of a visionary without the slightest of change of vocal inflexion.

Left: Lord Sherfield, Hon Royce Frith QC, High Commissioner for Canada addressed the E-AG on 27.4.1995 at the St Ermins Hotel; on his right are Viscount Montgomery of Alamein CMG CBE (Chairman, E-AG) and the Ambassador of Spain.  Elma Dangerfield is facing them. See Speech below and anecdote. Photo credit: Krishan Dutt LRPS


Right: Rt Hon Lord Hamilton of Epsom (Trustee & Chairman, E-AG), Sir Eldon Griffiths, Justin Glass, Sir Philip Goodhart (Trustee, E-AG)  & Julia Couchman at the East India Club. Sir Eldon was a long-standing Committee member perfectly attuned to the needs of the E-AG.  He was formerly an MP who immigrated to the USA where he ran the World Affairs Council in Orange County.  He had the ear of US Presidents.  He spoke to the Group in the East India Club on 6.4.2011

A student of the history of that era can get a snapshot of the big issues by casting their eyes over topics explored in the E-AG. A contemporary went one better; he had advance notice, as if the knowhow behind the programme foresaw the burning topics about to set the world by its ears.  It was called ‘the E-AG’s Jeremiah streak’. A Yugoslav Ambassador was invited to speak at the Group weeks before the first shot was fired in anger in a war few knew was to engulf his country. This Cassandra-like record of the Group looked set to be marred when a French Ambassador held forth at the E-AG podium, exuding goodwill about rosy bi-lateral relations. Thorny issues were all but resolved. Nothing was going to go wrong. The debate was squib rather than fireworks. Jeremiah, no quitter, unlatched the back door to let in Cassandra.  It transpired that, while speaking to the E-AG, the Ambassador’s house burnt down! President Kaunda of Zambia[4], a father of modern Africa, was hugely jovial as well as being highly educated by his missionary parents.  One hardly expected to see him in a Music Hall, much less in London’s Naval and Military club, treating the audience to a sing-song-along even if he was once captured on TV dancing with Mrs Thatcher.


The European-Atlantic Group Newsletter, Page 1 – May 2009 edition

President Kaunda with Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP at the Army and Navy Club with Dr Martin Kazuka and his grand-daughter in the background.

E-AG Chairmen and then Presidents: Sir Ralph (later Lord) Dahrendorf, KBE, FBA speaking on ‘The New Europe’ on 11.7.1991 at St. Ermin’s Hotel.  On his right is The Rt. Hon. Lord Rippon of Hexham QC, PC

President Vytautas Landsbergis[5], revered throughout Lithuania and across the globe as the man of iron who withstood the real threat of invasion by President Gorbachev, thus paving the way for the fall of the Iron Curtain and the independence of his country, came across at the E-AG as a thinking academic, one who made his fateful choices calmly, with volatile crowds on the streets and Russian troops ready to attack, much as a lecturer ruminating on delicate questions of alternative options.[6] 

The President was not at the E-AG to retell of past glories, but to warn the members, including MPS and Peers, of the dangers currently lurking on his country’s borders. Did all the vim and occasional venom make any real difference to the country at large? A tall order that. No one can say for sure whether a chance, though seminal, remark or new acquaintanceship can affect the thinking that leads to action. The rivers of historical happenstance are fed by innumerable tributaries.

Seating plans affect every guest’s experience at every event as the hubbub of a hundred conversations constricts meaningful dialogue to within the range of immediate neighbours.

Mr Glass has this to say to anyone asking why make a song and dance about all this sound and fury. He was enjoying a pub dinner with some friends, and the Lithuanian barmaid, hearing that he had met Landsbergis, gave all of them meals on the house!


President Landsbergis, Neil College and Justin Glass at the E-AG meeting at the Oxford and Cambridge Club in 2009 in an article appearing in the Lithuanian newspaper ‘Draugas’

The mantra at the E-AG was always: ‘What is the way forward?’ Speakers were asked to slant their discourse towards this perspective. Q&A sessions could bring this out more clearly, but three speakers at least wanted a reset of political systems in their countries.[7]

Speeches at the E-AG were mainly given by the people involved in taking the decisions. Transcripts went the rounds of institutes and think tanks. They were consulted, and included, in specialist publications. They played a part in shaping opinion, including in press reports and journals. Keen, off the record questioning at the E-AG may have prompted reconsideration of decisions.  We can never know.

Oliver Young, GATT Secretary-General, spoke at the E-AG in 1978, co-panellists being Sir Geoffrey de Freitas MP, Mr Eldon Griffiths MP, Lord Layton and Mr Russell Johnstone MP.  It was blandly put in the Annual Record that Mr Young ‘replied most frankly to the many questions raised by Members and Guests’. Weasel words those –replied most frankly’!  Similar understatement characterised the E-AG record when his successor at GATT, Arthur Dunkel, addressed the Group in 1991. The E-AG reportage was lofty, judicial, if in the sense of being diplomatic, prone to camouflage spiky questions and tough positions of speakers.  It papered over the gap between what was said and …what was really thought.  Newshounds however could throw such constraint to the winds, as in the example below:

Article in The Times newspaper, 16th May 1991 on the address by Arthur Dunkel to the E-AG at the St. Ermins Hotel [8]

It neither fell to that nor this E-AG record to hash over the thorny issues.  Transcripts do that job.  William Burger, European Editor of Newsweek, spoke at the E-AG in 1993 about the EU: “Americans are great believers in grassroots democracy and political accountability.  It still looks to us that a lot of power has been placed in the hands of 17 unelected officials…”  Howls of execration might greet his arguments, or cheers.  It would hugely protract the length of this account if it descended into that soup, or others.   The E-AG objective was that all sides of all cases be put well.

The books published by ‘European-Atlantic Publications Ltd’ conveyed a more historical aspect of the international scene. ‘My Flying Circus’ by Richard Leven was a gripping account by the pilot who flew the record number of WW2 daylight bombing missions, and whose additional claim to uniqueness was that he went on to enjoy a successful career as a circus ringmaster. So far so good, but the historical relevance lay in the light shed by this Englishman who studied at the Schule Schloss Salem, founded by Kurt Hahn. After being forced to leave Germany, Hahn founded in 1935 the UK school of Gordonstoun. The book has a fresh perspective on a period which, in Germany particularly, still seems a source of breast-beating. 

A more far-reaching revision of historical record was aired in ‘Hitler and the King’ by John Hall Spencer. It depicted the part played by King Boris of Bulgaria in saving the lives of thousands of Jews by hoodwinking Hitler. Churchill’s put-down of the King as a ‘weak and vacillating cipher’ had been the received wisdom but the E-AG helped to corroborate the views of Herr Herman Goering, Hitler’s WW2 Luftwaffe chief, in his more accurate depiction of the King as ‘a cunning fox’. Boris’s son Simeon, King and subsequently Prime Minister of Bulgaria, expressed gratitude to the E-AG for helping expose to the light of day the truth about what went on in the drama of those days.

Back cover of ‘Hitler and the King’ by John Hall-Spencer

The photograph (bottom left of book jacket) depicts Lady Symons, E-AG Chairman, presenting a cheque to John Hall-Spencer for winning the Elma Dangerfield Prize for literature. Political capital was made in the book’s blurb: ‘In a year when Bulgaria has acceded to the European Union, it is a timely reminder of the value of reintegrating these latest members of the European comity of nations.’.

20/20 vision is a wonderful thing, but a look back at the long list of E-AG events does not convey the heat of the moment, the nature of cutting-edge controversies, at least not without the help of imagination though, true, a sense of it all is conveyed by the E-AG transcripts and Journals.  Conversely words spoken at the E-AG could come back to haunt speakers. Robert Maxwell’s chief of Staff, Peter Jay, in 1987, quoted the novelist Trollope in decrying a deficiency of British culture, exemplified by the lady who ‘always had the utmost difficulty in distinguishing between commerce and fraud’. [9] Sir David Gore-Booth[10] quoted the observation of a Vice-Chancellor of Hull University, Professor David Dilks – “If we imagine that we can foresee even the broad outline of affairs five or ten years ahead we delude ourselves.” H.E. Don Felipe De La Morena, the Spanish Ambassador, was even more cautious at the E-AG in 1992: “A diplomat must never give predictions, not even about what happened yesterday!”


HRH Prince Hassan of Jordan addressing the Group in June 1995 at the St Ermins Hotel with Baroness Hooper CMG, Chairman of the Group.  (See transcript of the speech and debate in the E-AG Journal, ‘Politics Tomorrow’ in Speeches section)

Sir Anthony Buck giving the Vote of Thanks in the House of Commons in January 1990 to Peter Unwin CMG, Deputy Secretary General (Economic) of the Commonwealth.  On the right is The Earl of Bessborough who chaired the meeting.

The Directors knew when to use their own names, or those of others, in issuing invitations.  Shenda Amery on the E-AG Ladies Committee sculpted Prince Hassan. No prizes for guessing who invited a speaker pictured above.

The shape of things to come, however, could be descried on a good night at the European-Atlantic Group.  The press article below is an instance of the E-AG being put on notice of developments in train. The ‘Rapid Reaction Force’ is part of the tool box of the international community, but t’was not ever thus.[11]

Call for Reaction Force, UN, 26th February 1994

Many a speaker was glad of the chance of an E-AG rostrum when singled out for preferment by a Group with so august a letterhead. A look at the E-AG letterhead instilled the notion into those asked to speak at the E-AG and those invited to attend events that this was a special invitation.  Elma knew about Brand Image long before the term was fashionable. An entire column on the left-hand side of Group notepaper and its masthead were replete with names that bespoke power in the land. Once ensconced on that imposing paper, the halt or lame, the retired or even the deceased rarely defied Elma’s wishes that they remain in situ. Lord Montgomery grumbled that the nomenklatura was proof even against the sting of death. This was not quite fair. Vice-Presidents were asked annually for their consent to stay put and, if there was demurral or silence from the grave, then delay in re-printing the letterhead played its loyal part in keeping ermined shoulders to the public weal of the E-AG.


It may be deemed strange by aficionados of the E-AG that this account of its history has reached this point without closer attention to the founder, Elma Dangerfield CBE, ‘the most formidable lady in London’ according to the financier, Peter Oppenheimer.

Peter Oppenheimer speaking to the Group on 21st November 1988.
Elma Dangerfield CBE

Elma Dangerfield could put the fear of damnation into the heart of man a foot and a half taller than her, and a great many were. Called a ‘Pocket Thatcher’, a comment on her personality not her politics, which were Liberal, Elma was a force of nature. To know how the British Empire with so few people, relatively speaking, controlled a third of the globe, one could do worse that to behold her in action. This was a quintessential English memsahib, born to command, and who refined that breeding throughout her life. Not a moment to waste, Elma had a toilet bowl installed in her bedroom. Not a moment to waste in front of the mirror, Elma heaped coals on the head of the Duchess of Argyll who, if Elma was to be believed, bestowed on mirrors rather more than a modicum of scrutiny. It was ‘Do this!’ imperiously, and ‘Do that!’ to friends and especially foes. At the age of 92 Elma was still spending every night on the tiles in town.  Utterly determined, tough as old rope, totally self-assured, certain of her place at the centre of the E-AG and of its central place in the world, Elma let fly her brickbats in all directions. Little imagination would be required to envisage Jove himself ducking such a missile had she blasted one in his direction!  They came, they took it on the chin, and they fawned (the vast majority, that is, though Mrs Dangerfield would have couched it differently). “DON’T put it in brackets!  If you have something to say, say it!”

The following story is not merely apocryphal. Sheikh Yamani, the Saudi who controlled OPEC, the oil cartel, and effectively silted up European roads with queues at garages in the early 1970s with his oil price hike, had real power.  He was invited to speak to the Group, a favour conferred on him by Mrs Dangerfield. Elma was doubtless upset with OPEC because it threatened to curtail her scurrying about town, notwithstanding the words of Her Majesty’s leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Michael Foot, that “Elma is the most lethal driver in England!”  The date was set, the notices sent, and all awaited in awe the arrival of the mighty man.  Except Mrs Dangerfield. This did not mean that our diva set little store by the invitation, as Yamani soon discovered. He telephoned to cancel the engagement with sincere apologies. That, at least, was his intention at the start of the diatribe that threatened to perforate his eardrum:

 “YOU WILL COME TO THE GROUP.… IF YOU DO NOT COME IT WILL BE AN INSULT TO THIS COUNTRY!” The register of Elma’s tone descended to the sepulchral when she reached the climax with her deadly point: “And the Palace will have to be told!” 

No fool, Sheikh Yamani; he came, and he fawned. His impudence was forgiven, but not forgotten.  Elma’s regal demeanour was tempered with graciousness.  It was evident that the Duke of Edinburgh, when asked who qualified to be in the enclosure at the top of the dais, understood the E-AG pecking order. He replied “You have to know Mrs Dangerfield!” The past mattered not, it was the present that counted, and how to shape it into its proper design, that is to say in her image.  The envelope of every letter from her was marked ‘Personal! First Class! Urgent!’; her assistant, Rosemary, was despatched to the post office several times a day. Lord Judd, a former Labour Minister, never forgot being summoned to the telephone from a ski slope while on holiday in Switzerland, only to be asked by Elma about a seating position on the top table for an event the following week.  Elma always knew better than everyone, and everyone nearly always knew better than to disagree.  Elma got things done. Elma went out to bat for her people. It was part of the order of things.  Wary cronies, deeply respectful Parliamentarians, cowed traffic wardens, it was all the same. Elma would descend on country houses to visit friends like the Earl of Bessborough or Lady Killearn, often with her cat Poppety-Pooh in tow. And a host of weekend guests would be called from their recreations to hunt for Poppety when she disappeared into the long grass. 

Poppety P. Dangerfield with Elma in a rare sculpture pose

Elma’s late husband, Lt Cdr Edward Dangerfield, was said to have returned to his wartime post in the Admiralty on Mondays relieved at the prospect of being able to recover from his high velocity weekend with Elma.

Always ready with a purposive question at E-AG meetings in Parliament and often at the St Ermin’s hotel (see photo below), Elma’s words were invariably heeded, not least because of the sharply plum accent in which they were couched.

Elma’s spirit infused the Group even after her active period was over.  Her mid-nineties finally saw her retire to her bed, from which she hardly moved for about two years, her encyclicals dwindling to a faint trickle until the end came almost on the very day that her bank balance reached ‘nul points’. Her successor, Justin Glass, whose 26 years as Director included the decade following her demise, quaffed deep her lessons, her example and her formulas. The letterhead was continuously replenished by Properly Placed People in whose names and to whose contacts, and subsequently also to his own, invitations went forth.  Former Presidentscame, each seeing he was among coevals. Each month, without exception during Elma’s hospitalisation at the grand old age of 98, followed by her funeral in 2006, the procession of speakers continued unabated: David Blunkett, former Home Secretary, the Earl of Onslow, Sir Ronald Cohen who built a shopping mall in Gaza that was blown up by terrorists, the French Ambassador, Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, Lord Radice and so on, as if by decree of Elma from beyond the grave.  Justin’s determination to uphold the principles deeply instilled in him during his years at the feet of this most imperious of Mistresses once culminated in an awful moment after Manfred Wörner, the Secretary-General of NATO, accepted an invitation to address the E-AG’s celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of NATO. Over 500 prominent guests had booked to come to Guildhall when Herr Wörner, the man who was to hold the line of Europe against an attack by the Russians, rang the E-AG to apologise that he was unable to come.  He could not be the Guest of Honour when Germany was just about to opt out of NATO.  It was child’s play for him to fob off a European-Atlantic Group Director and no amount of larding with a perfunctory regret at this 11th hour withdrawal from the event could mask a crisis staring the Group in the face.  ‘Hamlet – without the King’ was a doddle in comparison.  There followed a Pavlovian moment as Mr Glass’s training kicked in: 

“But you HAVE to come! …If you do not come, it will be seen as an insult to this country!  And ….Oh my goodness!  The Palace must be told!” 

The formula worked its black magic.  English manhood was given no cause to blush. Buckingham Palace escaped by a whisker the convulsion that must have ensued at Herr Wörner’s snub.  The NATO Secretary-General came to Guildhall and, in the event, hardly a British grandee, save Prince Philip, would so much as speak to him.

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, the Secretary-General of NATO, Justin Glass and the Earl of Bessborough

© Copyright April 2020 All Rights Reserved – J. Glass.

[1] The European-Atlantic Group is listed among Mr Lowry’s Associations in his obituary (d.9.10.2008) in ‘The Telegraph’ which details some of his wartime exploits in India, Burma and Malaya as described in his book, ‘Fighting Through to Kohima’.

Neil Kinnock, former leader of the Labour party, spoke to the E-AG on 18th February 2002

[2] See article in later section on event in the Banqueting House with Otto von Habsberg

[3] Perhaps the question was not as wide of the acceptable mark as originally thought.  Abba Eban, former Israeli Foreign Minister, speaking to the Group put a not dissimilar rhetorical question: ‘…you promise Israel a just and durable peace. …If you are not careful you get into a philosophical argument about what is peace’. Dr MacRae was the Doctor present at the birth of Elma’s daughter and lived a fairly isolated life in Scotland’s Western Isles.

[4] President Kaunda founded the Zambian African National Congress and was the first President of independent Zambia.in 1973.  He spoke to the Group on 8.6.2008.

[5] President Vytautas Landesbergis spoke three times to the Group, twice in the Houses of Parliament and once at the Oxford and Cambridge Club on 3.6.2009. See speech in the Speeches section.

[6] King Hussein went one better, his delivery on 20.7.1989 so hushed that delegates strained to hear every word. His speech the Speeches section, and that of Prince Hassan, occasioned much debate.

[7] Chief Ajmal Khan (Afghanistan), Bo Aung Din (Burma), and Dele Ogun (Nigeria)

[8] Transcripts of the speeches byArthur Dunkel and William Burger are in the Speeches section

[9] The career of ‘Captain Bob’ Maxwell MC, a former MP and billionaire media mogul who bankrolled the E-AG Journal, ended in ignominy when a massive fraud was uncovered in his business dealings

[10] Sir David spoke to the Group on October 25th 1999

[11] Mr de Cuellar’s speech is in the Speeches section as is Dr Segell’s article referring to  the Rapid Reaction Force

Chapter 2. PENSÉES AND THINKING IN THE E-AG ->

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