For 30 Years, Prince Has Been Trying to Influence Ministers ; PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE Correspondence from the Palace to Downing Street Asks Prime Minister to Take Action over Environmental Matters
Judd, s Terri, The Independent (London, England)
ATTEMPTS BY the Prince of Wales to influence government policy on matters close to his heart have continued for more than 30 years, documents released by the Public Record Office revealed yesterday.
Last year, the Prince was accused of overstepping his constitutional role by bombarding ministers, including Tony Blair, with letters attacking government policy. But correspondence to Harold Wilson made public for the first time showed the Prince has been writing to successive prime ministers for more than three decades.
In a hand-written note to Wilson, dated 12 September 1969, Prince Charles called on him to do something about the plight of the Atlantic salmon, complaining that modern fishing methods were allowing them "absolutely no chance".
Writing from Balmoral, the 20-year-old Prince said: "People are notoriously short- sighted when it comes to questions of wildlife and several species have been wiped out because no one has woken up in time to the danger. When you come up here next weekend. I shall attack you on the subject again!"
The Prime Minister later responded by assuring him that the North- East Atlantic Fisheries Commission had imposed certain restrictions off Norway. In another letter about the loss of seabirds in the north Irish Sea, Mr Wilson acknowledged that the Prince liked to be kept abreast of wildlife issues.
The young Prince's almost familiar relationship with the Prime Minister of the day was also illustrated by an earlier letter to Mr Wilson when the teenager thanked him for sending the Foreign Secretary, Michael Stewart, to speak to fellow pupils at Gordonstoun, assuring him: "There was no heckling and the questions were really quite sensible. …