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Britain's Watergate: The D-Notice Affair

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On 21 February 1967, Chapman Pincher published an article in which he claimed that thousands of private telegrams and cables were being scrutinised by security authorities as a routine measure. In the words of Barbara Castle, one his contemporaries in government, Harold Wilson then 'off his rocker'. He accused Pincher of knowingly breaching 2 D-Notices, a charge that was rejected by a resultant inquiry, chaired by Lord Radcliffe. Instead of letting the matter rest, Wilson then went after the hapless D-Notice Secretary Colonel 'Sammy' Lohan, smearing the Colonel's name with a series of fabricated accusations. In Fleet Street, Wilson was hammered for trying to curtail press freedom. Another victim of the Affair was the Foreign Secretary George Brown, pictured (left) looking 'tired and emotional'. Brown was criticised for being 'out to dinner' on the night before the article broke,and thus unable to block its publication.