British news:

The principal story in the British news today was the death of King George VI. The King, who had had cancer but was thought to be making a steady recovery, died in his sleep at Sandringham in the early hours of the morning. The official announcement from Buckingham Palace read:

It was announced from Sandringham at 10.45 a.m. to-day, February 6, 1952, that the King, who retired to rest last night in his usual health, passed peacefully away in his sleep early this morning."

It was the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, who broke the news to Princess Elizabeth, who became Queen Elizabeth II. The couple were on a royal visit to Kenya, staying at a hotel called Treetops, in Aberdare Forest, near Nairobi. The trip had been undertaken by them in place of the King, who was advised to stay at home and recover from his illness. They flew home as soon as possible, travelling from Entebbe to London by way of El Adem in North Africa. Their departure was delayed by poor weather at Entebbe.

Aside from the need to swear the new oath of allegiance, Parliament was suspended. The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, spoke of 'a spontaneous expression of our grief'.

In other news: The Central Transport Consultative Committee published a damning report on the standard of Britain's rail freight network.

Wartime price controls on rope, sewing machines, sanitary towels, wallpaper and sundry other goods under the various Prices of Goods Acts were lifted.

Foot and Mouth disease was confirmed among cattle at Harleston in Norfolk.

Alfred Moore was executed at Leeds Prison for the fatal shooting of Detective Inspector Duncan Fraser.

Archaeological excavations at the church of St Bride, Fleet Street, London, revealed what was hoped would be the remains of the medieval church destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666.

The Conservative Party held the constituency of Southport in a by-election called following the elevation to the peerage of the sitting MP.

Overseas news:

The Australian parliament heard the second reading of the Bill to ratify the peace treaty with Japan. Fears were expressed that the nation could not currently feel fully secure from future Japanese agression, and that Japan might yet become part of the growing Communist block in Asia. However, Mr Casey, the Minister for External Affairs, who moved the second reading, also conceded that Australia would not be pressing for fully appropriate compensation from Japan for the wartime regime's actions in the Pacific region, due to the present poor state of Japan's economy and the clear need for rebuilding.

The first meeting for two months took place in New York of the armistice delegations trying to end the Korean War. General Nam Il of North Korea proposed a full-scale summit to resolve a variety of unspecified issues associated with what he termed 'the Korean question'.

In Paris, the USSR vetoed the admission of Italy to the United Nations for the fifth time, in protest at perceived discrimination against states proposed by the USSR.

The South Australian branch of the Australian Labour Party announced a radical scheme to break Communist control of trade unions in the state.

Suspicion was growing in France that Konrad Adenauer was committed to the rearmament of Germany, despite claims made by the German representative Professor Hallstein to the contrary. Leaked comments by Dr Adenauer from a recent Christian Democrats conference in Bonn suggested that the Chancellor was preparing to manipulate discussions about European defence agreements and NATO for maximum advantage.

The Suffolk Regiment was reported to have killed ten Communist terrorists in Malaya, particularly in and around Selangor.

James J Moran, formerly deputy fire commissioner of New York, was found guilty of 23 charges of extortion of money from companies installing oil-burning furnaces. The proceeds of the former official's crimes were thought to amount to some $500 000.

In Bonn, the Bundestag voted over 90% in favour of free and democratic elections throughout Germany.

Source: The Times, February 7, 1952, replica edition printed February 7, 2002 to mark the 50th anniverary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. Noded today (March 30, 2002) to mark the death at the age of 101 of the King's widow, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

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