President Guetav Heinemann of West Germany began his State Visit to the United Kingdom on Tuesday (24 Oct).
President Guetav Heinemann of West Germany began his State Visit to the United Kingdom on Tuesday (24 Oct). It was an occasion of pomp and centuries-old ceremony. But, behind the pageantry and ranks of colourfully-clad soldiers, there was a strong security programme in force.
Britain was taking no chances with her guests, following reports that the Black September group of Arab extremists might attempt an attack. It was suggested they would try to seize the President, or some of his entourage, to barter their lives against those of the three guerrillas held in West Germany in connection with the Olympic Games killings of Israeli athletes. One report said that a commando gang had, in fact, been smashed prior to the visit, with the aid of Israel's intelligence forces.
The President's visit to Britain -- only the second by a West German head of state since the Second World War -- is one of a series of visits between Britain and the countries which make up the Common Market, which the UK has now joined. Already this year, Queen Elizabeth of Britain has visited France, and has received the Heads of State of the Netherlands and Luxembourg.