The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Two

On the day the Belgrano was sunk, killing 368 Argentine sailors, why had it taken 17 hours for an urgent telegram, containing the full details of the Peruvian peace plan, to reach 10 Downing Street?


Sunday 2nd May 1982 – No going back’.

The sinking of the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano at 18:57 BST outside the Total Exclusion Zone (TEZ) – whilst sailing away from the islands – and with an eventual loss of 368 lives, created much concern in the task force, and within the UK Parliament.

There was no going back after this. Out-and-out war became a foregone conclusion. We all knew it in our heart of hearts, but few of us breathed a word.

Peruvian President Fernando Belaunde Terry’s proposed peace plan had been presented to Thatcher’s Peruvian Ambassador Charles Wallace in Lima at midday on Saturday 1st May, the day before the sinking. Its receipt would have been officially acknowledged. Thatcher later lied straight-faced on BBC TV whilst on the election trail in May 1983, quoting ‘our boys’ to curry votes, and suggesting that the peace proposals “did not reach London until after the attack” on Sunday 2nd May.

As was customary, the UK’s man in Lima, Ambassador Wallace, would have followed up immediately around midday on Saturday 1st May with a FLASH telegram from Lima to London, describing the seven points of the peace plan – in detail, not in outline. I’ve searched for this crucial document in the UK National Archives but can’t locate it.

As a professional communicator, I knew 40 years ago the telegram was a well-used method and one of the most rapid and reliable means of transmitting textual information accurately over long distances. There was a strict protocol here as regards the timestamped recording of transmission and the acknowledgment of receipt. The records verifying this will exist somewhere. And the records don’t lie. Some of those who were in receipt of this information didn’t lie either.

Only a deeply dishonest individual would argue they hadn’t received any word from mediator Al Haig or their own ambassador AND hadn’t received a follow-up telegram 14 hours after it had been sent. Or worse, that an ‘outline’ version of events took 17 hours to reach them, during which time they’d gone ahead, issued an order to torpedo a ship, and killed 368 sailors.

There is evidence here from the lips of Thatcher herself that in 1982, telegrams were sent and received almost instantaneously.

So what happened to the Charles Wallace Telegram?

The cover story Thatcher used on BBC TV, describing her version of events as ‘fact’, whilst hawking for votes, was as insulting as she herself was beneath contempt.

A large number of prior and subsequent Lima / Wallace telegrams – listed here on the MargaretThatcher.org website – had been received and acted upon immediately. This time, the stakes could not have been higher. Why did such a reliable process, used in wartime by governments, appear to stumble and go so tragically wrong this time around?

Thatcher’s approval rating had been at an extremely low ebb prior to the conflict. Unemployment was high, the country had been through a recession and there was huge dissent within the rank and file of her party.

With hindsight, we can conclude that Thatcher’s driving motivation here was not to opt for peace and thereby protect us and preserve the lives of hundreds of Argentine sailors but to act out of callous, political self-interest, prevent her party fromsplitting down the middle, and her government falling from power. And to hell with the consequences.

It wasn’t simply a case of a vital, missing telegram. To quote Thatcher from her BBC TV “Nationwide” meeting with Diana Gould: “One day, all of the facts – in about 30 years’ time – will be published”.

We beg to differ. The MargaretThatcher.org website may have successfully reproduced some of the information, but the Cabinet Office fortress drawbridge has since been raised aloft – possibly for the next 40 years – and we may never get at the critical, concealed information, i.e. the telegram sent by now deceased UK Ambassador Charles Wallace on 1st May 1982.


https://paulcardin.substack.com

Here’s the links where you can purchase the eBook and printed versions of “Return to Bomb Alley 1982 – The Falklands Deception”:

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-912680-81-8
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-912680-82-5


Paperback on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1912680815


Ebook on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09WJD7PVZ


Universal ebook link: https://books2read.com/u/4ElOXl

Part ONE: https://wirralinittogether.blog/2022/03/27/the-serialisation-of-return-to-bomb-alley-the-falklands-deception-part-one/

Part THREE: https://wirralinittogether.blog/2022/03/30/the-serialisation-of-return-to-bomb-alley-the-falklands-deception-part-three/

Part FOUR: https://wirralinittogether.blog/2022/04/01/the-serialisation-of-return-to-bomb-alley-the-falklands-deception-part-four/

Part FIVE: https://wirralinittogether.blog/2022/04/04/the-serialisation-of-return-to-bomb-alley-the-falklands-deception-part-five/

Part EIGHT:

Part NINE:

Part TEN: https://wirralinittogether.blog/2022/04/23/the-serialisation-of-return-to-bomb-alley-the-falklands-deception-part-ten/

About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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13 Responses to The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Two

  1. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley 1982 – The Falklands Deception”. The book is now available at Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Plus and many more outlets… | Wirral In It Together

  2. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley 1982 – The Falklands Deception”. The book is now available at Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Plus and many more outlets… | Wirral In It Together

  3. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part One | Wirral In It Together

  4. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Five | Wirral In It Together

  5. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Three | Wirral In It Together

  6. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Four | Wirral In It Together

  7. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Six | Wirral In It Together

  8. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Seven | Wirral In It Together

  9. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Eight | Wirral In It Together

  10. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – Part Nine | Wirral In It Together

  11. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Ten | Wirral In It Together

  12. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Eleven | Wirral In It Together

  13. Pingback: The Serialisation of “Return to Bomb Alley – The Falklands Deception” – Part Twelve | Wirral In It Together

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