50 Years Ago – 30 January 1971

30 January 1971

Ford said that they were facing “commercial suicide” if they implemented the pay demand that was being suggested by the 15 unions who represented 50,000 of their workers. Ford, who already paid over the industry average, said that the British car industry was going to be potentially increasingly uncompetitive. The trade unions said that they intended to start an all-out strike at the firm’s 22 plants in the UK.

Lord Robens (in above main image) confirmed that he was leaving the Chairmanship of the National Coal Board after ten years in the post, to become the chairman of Johnson Matthey.

Lord Carrington, the Defence Secretary, said that “a new secret weapon” was being sent to Northern Ireland to deal with the increasing amount of violence that was taking place in the Province. He said that details of the weapon were yet to be announced to ensure that it would remain a surprise, but he said that it would be “a deterrent to rioters”.