On 30th April 1973 The Sun had already declared ‘Heath keeps watch on vice probe in high society’ and the News of the World had duly reported ‘Top People in ‘Sex Ring’ Probe. A top secret Scotland Yard and MI5 investigation into public figures involved in an international ‘vice racket’ was in progress and news had already spread to the States where The New York Daily News suggested the ‘vice racket’ may involve Government officials and ‘leading members of the aristocracy’. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ernest Bond and Det Chief Supt. Bert Wickstead were leading the investigation.
Lord Lambton resigned on Tuesday on 22 May and the following day Lord Jellicoe resigned over the ‘Vice racket’ too. Lord Lambton’s eldest daughter 18 year old Lady Anne was in a car with 3 others when it was stopped and searched for drugs. Drugs were found and it wasn’t until 3 or 4 days after Lambton resigned that his daughter was cleared of any potential drug charges by the Drug Squad, though her friends were not so lucky. However by Friday 25 May The Sun was announcing ‘More VIPs on Yard List’ and Saturday saw a few columns on the cover-up Lambton had been hung out to dry in order to keep concealed and for which he was to nurse an enduring bitterness over for the rest of his life – directed specifically at Lord Mountbatten.
See blog post: Battle of the Courtiers? A grudge-match beyond death: Lord Lambton vs Lord Mountbatten 24/08/14
Lord Mountbatten’s name may also have featured in The Playland Cover-up involving the second trial of 1975 [see Spotlight on Abuse: The Playland Cover-Up]
The new twist in the headlines at the end of May was no longer additional VIP names however, it was the crassly phrased “Call Boys Sensation”
Offering no more than what was printed below:
“Scotland Yard officers continuing their inquiries into stories of an international “top people’s” vice ring now have information to suggest that young boys, as well as call girls, may have been involved. There is no suggestion that this new line of investigation concerns the two Ministers who have already admitted associating with prostitutes. But the Yard has been told an organisation willing and able to arrange homosexual assignations has been active both in London and Paris – and possibly in other European capitals. Homosexual activities between consenting adults in private are not illegal. However, in this context, boys under the age of 21 are not regarded as adults.”
Unfortunately, although there may be a few other reports of this to find the news then becomes flooded with headlines of Princess Anne’s engagement to Captain Mark Phillips so that ‘Call Boys Sensation’ doesn’t last for long.
I’ve been putting it off but talk of Paris reminds me I need to return to Sir Stuart Bell MP’s autobiography ‘Tony Really Loves Me’ who spent seventeen years in Paris as an in-house lawyer before returning to the UK to enter British politics:
“Intent on becoming “a writer” he relocated to Paris, where he worked as a clerk in a law firm among whose clients was the European office of Walt Disney. One day, delivering documents there, he was asked whether he was a lawyer, and over coffee was persuaded that he should ask his employer to sponsor his education in the profession. This he did, and in 1970 was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn. The Disney boss next told him to demand a partnership, and when this was refused offered Bell work for his company, along with offices inside the Disney building at 44 Avenue des Champs-Elysées. With such a prestigious client he quickly found others, including Hewlett Packard and General Motors, and started to specialise in the lucrative area of European trade and international tariffs. His success was speedy and he expanded to offices in the exclusive Avenue Montaigne, premises that had been the wartime headquarters of American Forces (complete with an “Oval Office”).” [ Sir Stuart Bell: Labour MP who defended constituents over the Cleveland child abuse scandal, The Independent, 16 October 2012]