Northern Ireland

Oil Shortage Sees Electric Car Backlog - On this day in 1973

December 4 1973

THE Electromotion car company in Bedford, Massachusetts, has developed an eight-month backlog of orders for its $8,500 (£3,400) T-3 model electric car as motorists scramble to beat the oil shortage.

The car’s top speed is only 45-55mph and the range between battery charges is only 35 miles. But for urban travel, says company president Charles Myers, the day of the electric car has arrived.

(Amid chronic oil shortages, manufacturers started making electric vehicles including Electromotion which, although produced in Massachusetts, was made using parts from Swedish car maker Saab.)

I Won’t Speak to Pym – Paisley

The Rev Ian Paisley threw down the gauntlet last night to the new Northern Ireland supremo, Mr Francis Pym. “I am not going cap-in-hand to any arrogant English politician,” he told 3,000 cheering supporters in the Ulster Hall, Belfast. And he warned that he would not speak to Mr Pym until he and his Loyalist Coalition colleague, Mr William Craig, had been invited to this week’s tripartite talks.

Mr Paisley also launched a scathing “Send them to Coventry” attack on Mr [Brian] Faulkner’s Official Unionists. He called them “traitors”, and went on: “I am asking you to allow us to say you will have no relations in any manner with those who seek to betray us. He is prepared to sell you and me out to an All-Ireland republic.”

Mr Faulkner had shown he would do anything for power. He could not – and would not – be trusted, said Mr Paisley. He has sold Loyalist Coalition supporters out to an Executive-designate – on which three posts had been handed to the SDLP. The time had come to close the ranks, said Mr Paisley. He called for a commercial war against the pledged Unionists.

Mr Craig later echoed Rev Paisley’s sentiments and pledged his support to sabotaging the executive and the tripartite talks.

Chance for Fresh Start Says McAteer

Mr Eddie McAteer, president of the Nationalist Party, said it felt that the change of Secretary of State provided an opportunity to try again for a settlement which would bring peace.

“Mr [Francis] Pym is not bound by Mr [William] Whitelaw’s reckless pledge never to speak to the IRA who, like it or not, can help to deliver a practical peace which we all seek,” Mr McAteer said. “Any discussions which ignore the shattering realities on the streets are quite futile and may indeed be counter-productive. Mr Pym starts his task with the valuable qualification that he has not yet signed a detention order. Our view is that what are termed extreme 'loyalists' and the IRA must be listened to before realistic peace talks can begin.”

(Ian Paisley and Eddie McAteer offer differing views on the replacement of William Whitelaw as Secretary of State by Francis Pym.)