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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 15, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 32 THE LETHBRIOQE HERALD Saturday, February 1875 MP seeks official status for beaver Guerrillas fight Ethiopia's military rulers have given an encourag- ing reply to a Sudanese proposal (or a ceasefire in the civil war in the northern province of Eritrea, it was announced Wednesday. Since fighting broke out Jan. 11 between Eritrean guerrillas and Ethiopian govern- ment troops an estimated civilians have fled into Asmara from the surrounding area. Eskimo volunteers for moon journey OTTAWA (CP) Simon Sieyareak, a 32-year-old Whale Cove, N.W.T., man, has volunteered to become the first Eskimo on the moon. "I've never heard of an Eskimo going to and I'd like to try he. wrote in a letter to Wally Firth, MP for the Northwest Territories. "I'm a real Eskimo, I can't speak English, 1 don't have any parents or a wife, so no one has told me to the letter says. "Whether I live or die if I go doesn't matter; it's just that I would really like to go." The letter was translated from Eskimo by staff workers at Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, the national Eskimo brotherhood. Mr. Firth said he would advise the would-be astronaut that Canada has no manned space program. By STEWART MacLEOD OTTAWA (CP) When, a few weeks ago, Sean O'Sullivan Wentworth) introduced a bill in the Commons that would make the beaver an official emblem of Canada, there was laughter all around the chamber. He smiled just like John Diefenbaker' smiled when he accused the government, two years ago, of substituting the word Police for RCMP on their buildings across Canada. There was laughter then, too, as few in the House took the matter se- riously. But letters of support flow- ed into the .office of the former prime minister, and letters of protest flowed into the office of Solicitor-General Warren Allmand. A few weeks later, it was announced that the change would be halted and the initials RCMP would be restored on buildings and cars. Mr. O'Sullivan, at 23, is 56 years younger than Mr. Die- fenbaker, but as a former executive assistant to The Chief, he is not without his political savvy. If his private members' bill on the beaver goes down the drain like so many other such bills it won't be for lack of po- litical effort. At the moment there are indications the matter might reach com- mittee study in a matter of weeks. Mr. O'Sullivan decided to give the beaver official status after the state of New York began proceedings to make the animal the official emblem of that state. He was upset that the beaver, which appeared on Canada's first stamp, the five-cent coin, and other Canadian productions, was on the verge of being "stolen" as an emblem. But, in the normal course of events, his bill, at the bottom of a long list of private legislation, would not be heard for many months, if at all. However, he had another bill high on the list, and as a result of persistent behind- the-curtain negotiations, there is a good chance that when this other bill is called on Feb. 21, there will be un- animous consent to substitute the beaver bill instead. Furthermore, unless some individual MP throws a last- minute curve, there is a better than even chance that the bill will be referred to committee and perhaps even approved. Normally these private members' bills are "talked out" during the one-hour devoted to their con- sideration. Then they die on the order paper. But Mr. O'SUilivan, fueled by more than signatures of support, is confi- dent this issue is going somewhere. Several hundred letters have arrived in his of- fice, all supporting the beaver, and he says that Sena- tor Bernard Smith of New York was astounded by the reaction from Canada. "By making the Americans aware of our feelings, I hope we can convince them to find a more suitable he says. Many of the letters and peti- tions have come from school children. "We, the under- signed, find it a deplorable situation when our 'neighbors' decide to steal one of our favorite animals and emblems. says one petition. "If the beaver goes, we says another. Many of the signatures were sent to the CBC Radio program As it happens, which canvassed support for the legislation. Most have been forwarded to the New York legislature. "I don't think New York will adopt the beaver if we says Mr. O'Sullivan. "But if we don't do something, they very might well have it as their em- blem." Meanwhile, he is leaving no political stone unturned in his efforts to get his bill through the House. And Mr. Diefenba- ker is not saying just like a principal keeping a quiet eye on a favorite student. ACCEPT OFFER LONDON (Reuter) Leaders of Britain's coal miners accepted Thurs- day a new wage offer from the National Coal Board which is well above wage guidelines set by the Labor government. The deal, giving members of the National Union of Mineworkers increases of about one-third, averts the threat of a crippling pit strike. The deal gives coal'face workers a minimum basic wage of dollars a week. Homosexual ex-spy writes biography By KEVIN DOYLE LONDON a win- ter night in 1954, a young Englishman left the British Embassy in Moscow to meet a Russian friend outside the il- lustrious Bolshoi Theatre. The meeting led to a party and the party to a sexual orgy which turned Londonborn John Vassal! into a spy for the Soviet Union. His espionage trial eight years later was one of the most celebrated criminal cases in Britain dur- ing the early 1960s. Vassall was a homosexual Who had been appointed a military attache in the British Embassy in 1953. It was the height of the Cold War and the heyday of blackmail and East- West undercover work. Yet nobody in the British foreign service had bothered to check on the strength or nature of Vassall's sexual proclivities. Now released from prison after serving 10 years of an 18- year he has written his autobiography, Vassall, the Autobiography of a Spy, published here by Sidgwick and Jackson. In he blamed the foreign service for not making cer- tain he was "sexually straight" before appointing him to the ultra-sensitive Moscow post. After meeting his "skiing friend" at the Bolshoi, writes Vassall, he was taken to a sub- way station where he was introduced to another man. Everything seemed above- board, he says, and the new acquaintance "looked at me in a mysterious way with a Mona Lisa smile and black penetrating eyes." They then moved on to the Hotel Berlin and a private din- ing room, opulently set for 12 guests. Dinner, says Vassall, was friendly, relaxed and liberally spiced with vodka and wine. "Not until 1963 was it sug- gested to me that the wine I was given must have been drugged." Afterwards, only a handful of guests remained and one of the men suggested Vassall should take off his jacket since he looked warm. This done, it was suggested he take off all his clothes and again the fledgling, 30-year-old diplomat comolied. There then followed an ex- tended sexual session on a couch with three of the Rus- sian men, which ended when a fifth man took a series of pic- tures. Vassall's exploits with Rus- sian men continued with in- creasing frequency during the next several weeks with other photographs being taken. He says he had no idea of the net which was developing around him. Within a month, however, he was approached by the Russian secret service and told he had been caught in criminal activities and that his private life would have to be revealed to the Western press and the British em- bassy. The only way out, they told him, was to go to work-for them. The word spying was never used. The Russians said they only wanted to have pe- riodic meetings and talk about various personnel in the em- From that moment, says Vassall, he was irretrievably trapped. His movements, un- til he was finally caught in 1962, were minutely monitored by the Russians and he was never allowed to break out of the vicious circle. It was stupid, he says, for the British government and police to say later that he should have gone to the am- bassador and confessed all immediately. The am- bassador was Sir William Hayter and he, writes Vassall, had no time for junior, staff generally, let alone junior staff with homosexual problems. "Going to him or anyone in that cold, forbidding embassy would have ruined me." A year later, Vassall re- turned to London as a secre- tary in the naval intelligence division of the admiralty. He was told by his Russian con- tact to buy a camera and the photographing of secret docu- ments began. He says he never asked for payment from his contact but acknowledges that from time to time he was given money which enabled him to live comfortably in a flat in West London. His next job was even more important, assistant private secretary to T.G.D. Gal- braith, the new civil lord of the admiralty in the Con- servative government. But by 1962, Vassall was be- ing closely watched because of his high style of living and because of his time in Moscow. "In spite of my pre- monitions, it was a complete surprise when, as I left the northwest door of the Admi- ralty in The Mall, two men in mackintoshes came forward, flashed a warrant and asked rne to accompany them." Vassall's trial was swift. He pleaded guilty and he says the authorities were embar- rassed more at his being homosexual than at his being a spy, "perhaps because of all the other homosexuals they knew were in the civil ser- vice." Vassall also says he formed close relationships with'two British MPs after returning to England. In interviews with British newspapers after publication of the book, Vassall said both men are Conservatives and are still active in political life, although one has since been appointed to the House of Lords. He said one of the MPs had many Russian friends in Lon- don and that he warned him several times to avoid being compromised by them. Vassall, Roman Catholic son of a prominent Anglican vicar, now is 50 and has a job with a City bank. He offers little apology for being a spy except to say: "Of course I regret the past, but I do look forward .to the future with hope and confidence." PRISONERS RELEASED SANTIAGO (AP) Chile's military government released 27 more political prisoners Thursday to seek asylum abroad. The group, including top aides of the late Marxist president Salvadore Allende, gathered at Santiago's inter- national airport for a flight to Venezuela. 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