More of the background facts behind the expulsion and exclusion of 105 Soviet officials from Britain was revealed today (Monday) British Prime Minister Edward Heath.
GV & CU No.10 Downing Street (4 shots)
CU Robin Day posing questions to Edward Heath (SOUND ON FILM)
TRANSCRIPT: QUESTION (SEQ. 2): "Why is it necessary to expel 105 Soviet officials from Britain in a wholesale and drastic manner?"
HEATH: "Because they were dangerous to national security, and my job as Prime Minister is to do everything I can to ensure the safety of this nation. We had considered this when we came into office, 16 months ago, and I authorised the Foreign Secretary to talk to the Soviet Foreign Secretary about it a year ago, in October last year. And he did so when Mr. Gromyko was in London. We put our position to him and we said please deal with this. He said would the Foreign Secretary write to him, which he did. There was no reply to that letter. The head of the Foreign Office discussed it in Moscow in the spring, nothing followed. The Foreign Secretary again wrote, giving the letter personally I think, to the Ambassador, in the beginning of August this year and nothing happened; and therefore we decided to act."
QUESTION: "Mr. Wilson on friday called it a bit of a phoney, and he appeared to suggest that it may have been timed for by-elections reasons."
HEATH: "It really is a contemptible attitude, of a man who was once Prime Minister and who had to handle national security himself, and who knew this position perfectly well, but didn't deal with it. To make a suggestion like that on a matter of highest importance and the security of the nation."
QUESTION: "Why was it timed when it was?"
HEALTH: "Because having had no action from the Soviets in the course of a year, we took the necessary steps to ask them to leave."
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Background: More of the background facts behind the expulsion and exclusion of 105 Soviet officials from Britain was revealed today (Monday) British Prime Minister Edward Heath. Interviewed by Robin Day of the B.B.C., Mr. Heath said that the great spy purge had its origins when he came into office 16 months ago. He bitterly rejected allegations by his predecessor, Labour leader Harold Wilson, that the purge was a vote-catching stunt: