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DOCUMENT
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Monday 8.pm to 8.30pm
The award-winning investigative series returns, in which Mike Thomson takes a document as a starting-point to shed new light on past events.

Kenya's Bloody Summer

Monday 10 July 2006
Image of massacred victim in Kenya
Mike Thomson, unearths papers from the 1970s which show how Treasury mandarins tried to hide the real value of North Sea Oil from the Scottish people. 
Follow this link to view a gallery of images taken by Document during the making of this programme.
1974 was a year of political turmoil. The economy was in crisis with a 3 day week and raging inflation. There were two General elections but none of the parties could secure a Commons majority. Labour's Harold Wilson, took power twice but only thanks to a series of fragile coaltions.

Against this background, the Scottish National Party was riding high with a campaign claiming, "It's Our Oil" - arguing that an independent Scotland would be economically viable if it had its true share of the riches about to come on line from the rigs off its coast. In both general elections, the SNP, took seats from Labour and dramatically increased their share of the vote.

The Treasury papers, uncovered by "Document", reveal how worried officials were about the fate of the oil. In order to appease Nationalist sentiment, the Labour government was promising moves towards devolution but senior civil servants were alarmed that, if people in Scotland learned the true worth of the North Sea reserves, this might prove the first step on a slippery slope towards full independence. Britain 's
Financial credibility was at stake and the officials did their best to persuade ministers to avoid engaging in public arguments
about the economic viability of Scottish independence, while putting the breaks on their plans for a Scottish Assembly.
The papers make clear the Treasury was in no doubt that the SNPs sums were correct - if anything, the Nationalists had underestimated how wealthy Scotland would be if they went it alone.

With contributions from the former Labour Chancellor, Lord Healey, Professor Sir Neil MacCormick of the SNP and the political biographer Edward Pearce.

Related Links
News Online Report
SNP seizes on North Sea oil memo  
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