"Warning - Restricted Area" signs read all along the fence and "Peace is our Profession" proclaims a notice above the entrance to the American Strategic Air Command centre at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.
"Warning - Restricted Area" signs read all along the fence and "Peace is our Profession" proclaims a notice above the entrance to the American Strategic Air Command centre at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. This closely guarded U.S. air base - filmed July 12 - was the starting point, July 1, of the ill-fated flight of the RB-47 reconnaissance aircraft which has become another bone of contention in the Soviet-American propaganda tussle that has been going full blast ever since Francis Powers and his U-2 fell into Russians hands.
After announcing, July 11, that the missing American plane was shot down "on a spy flight over Soviet territorial waters in the Barents Sea", Soviet Premier Khrushchev, with upraised fist, told correspondents in Moscow, July 12, that the new incident had shown how President Eisenhower's promises were obviously "not worth a bad penny". Resuming the old topic of the U-2, he said if spy flights were resumed this would be a provocation which would bring the existing tension to breaking point and might lead to the outbreak of war. Having previously attacked Pakistan and other countries accommodating American air bases - with near - disastrous results in Japan - Khrushchev took this occasion to declare that Britain was playing an "unseemly role as an American accomplice" and that Norway's behaviour was "unwise and dangerous".
America's response was prompt and bristling with indignation White House Press Chief Hagerty stated the missing bomber "at no time flew over Soviet territory, Soviet territorial waters or Soviet air space". The shooting down was "a deliberate and reckless attempt to create an international incident ... any attempt to connect the flight of this aircraft with the U-2 flight of May is completely without foundation."
Answering Opposition questions on the use of British bases by American aircraft, Prime Minister Macmillan announced, July 12 he was taking up with President Eisenhower whether there should be any modification or improvement in the "good working arrangements" which had existed between the two Governments since the Attlee-Truman agreement. He described the action of the Soviet Government as "absolutely illegitimate" and said the Washington statement issued in the matter "corresponds precisely with what we believe to be the case".