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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Thursday, September 5, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD POWELL Powell thorn in Tory side By CY FOX LONDON (CP) Northern Ireland may not prove a promising political base from which to launch a leadership bid in Britain but Enoch Powell may make things tough for Con- servative Leader Edward Heath in the expected British general election. The two right-wingers have been at dagger's point since 1968 when Powell, as Tory front-bencher, spoke out thunderously against colored immigrants and Heath swept him from the party hierarchy. But Powell kept biting at Heath despite pleas from party lieutenants and the open at- tacks from this maverick may have been part of the reason Heath flopped at the Feb. 28 general election. Now, Powell, a major political figure in the British Midlands, has accepted the Unionist nomination in the Northern Ireland constituency of South Down which, in effect, assures him of a Commons seat and perhaps another chance to attack Heath's leadership. In former days the Con- servatives of Britain were always assured of solid support from Ulster Unionists. But since Heath. as prime minister before the Feb. 28 downfall, sought some form of com- promise with the Irish Catholics, the Ulster Protestants withdrew their support of the Tory party. With Powell now likely to be at the Unionist front, that split between the Unionists and the Conser- vatives may remain, in- creasing Heath's dif- ficulties in trying to wrest power from Labor Prime Minister Harold Wilson. But there is more at stake than the future of Heath and the Conser- vative party. Powell, an effective speaker, may add to the Irish problem if he decides to rouse Ulster Protestants to take stronger action against the Irish Republican Army. Whatever his Ulster tac- tics. Powell's main goal may still lie at the heart of British politics. It wou'd be a crucial blow for Heath if the Conservatives win the coming election by a nar- row margin and have to seek Unionist support to maintain a minority government position. Nevertheless, at 62. Powell faces a rough ride if he stii! hopes to rise to national prominence from the rather isolated South Down riding. Mainland Britons tend to look on Northern Ireland with disfavor, no matter which side a politician represents The bombings and bloodshed have led to much suffering in Britain. Angry customs officers threaten wildcat strikes Diplomatic lies knotted WASHINGTON