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EDITIONS
Monday, 1 January, 2001, 00:15 GMT
Secrets of 1970 revealed
British documents seen by the public for the first time have revealed how in 1970 the government negotiated with a Palestinian terror group, dithered over what to tell the public over Europe and became frantic over footballer Bobby Moore's arrest on the eve of the World Cup.

The documents also reveal that King Hussein of Jordan sought Israeli military help during the Black September crisis of 1970 - while at home the government contemplated prosecuting anti-apartheid campaigners.

Thousands of pages of top secret documents have been released under the 30 Year Rule.

In a special documentary and website, the BBC takes a closer look at the secrets behind some of the biggest stories of 1970.

Secrets revealed

According to the documents, the new Conservative administration of Edward Heath decided it had no choice but to negotiate with Palestinian guerrillas at the height of the international crisis that became known as Black September.

Ministers concluded that the British Government had to release one of the movement's most high profile commanders, Leila Khaled, after her hijacking attempt over UK airspace failed, landing her in a British police cell.

The year also saw the launch of the UK's successful bid to enter the European Economic Community, as it then was - but papers reveal that the government's thinking appeared to be to downplay sovereignty issues out of fear of losing public support.

While the media concentrated on what would happen to the prices of daily goods in the new Common Market, papers reveal that officials and the Prime Minister himself were already considering whether or not their membership of the new club would lead to European monetary union.

One of the year's most important stories happened on the eve of the General Election when the captain of England's football team - then reigning world champions - Bobby Moore, was accused of theft in Colombia.

Papers show the outgoing Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, demanded urgent action, fearing a public backlash if the government failed to win the footballer's release before the World Cup finals in Mexico.


You can find out all these stories in our UK Confidential special report.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Nicholas Jones
"The 1970 election was an upset for Labour"
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