50 Years Ago – 12 May 1972

12 May 1972

Harold Wilson (pictured), the Leader of the Opposition, dismissed two of his front bench after they failed to turn up to a vote on the Housing Finance Bill. Maurice Foley, the spokesperson on Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and Alex Lyon, a spokesperson on Home Affairs, had both missed the vote despite a three-line whip.

The railway unions started another go-slow on the network in protest at the 12.5% pay offer, which had been rejected by the trade union officials. Geoffrey Howe, the Solicitor General, said “we are asking for a compulsory ballot because the situation is gravely injurious to the national economy”.

The SS Royston Grange disaster was reported by the media, a collision between a tanker and a steamship which led to the loss of 82 lives.