Photographs of a VIP visit by Rt Hon John Stonehouse MP Minister of State for Technolgy in 1967
Stonehouse is remembered for his unsuccessful attempt at faking his own death in 1974 and allegedly being a spy.
Stonehouse maintained the pretence of normality until he faked his death on 20 November 1974, leaving a pile of clothes on a beach in Miami.
It appeared that he had gone swimming, and had been drowned or possibly killed by a shark. He was presumed dead, and obituaries were published despite the fact that no corpse had been found.
In reality, he was en route to Australia, hoping to set up a new life with his mistress and secretary, Sheila Buckley.
Stonehouse was alleged to have been a spy, when he began spying for Czechoslovakia in 1962.
In 1967 John was a junior Minister of Aircraft Production – hence his visit to the Dowty Apprentice Prizegiving.
He was involved in BOAC’s order of Boeing 707 aircraft from the United States, against his own recommendation that they should buy a British aircraft, the Super VC10.
This led to his making accusations against colleagues about the reasons for the decision. In March 1968, he negotiated an agreement providing a framework for the long-term development of technological co-operation between Britain and Czechoslovakia.
It provided for the exchange of specialists and information, facilities for study and research in technology, and such other forms of industrial co-operation which might be agree.
Sir George respected and liked John, his subsequent fall from grace was a great surprise.
Thanks to Martin Robins for his contribution to this post