Secret papers: Castro's gift turned down by Wilson

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The Independent Online
Secret papers: Castro's gift

turned down

by Wilson

The Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, refused to accept a gift of a 10lb box of cigars from Cuban Communist leader, Fidel Castro, on the grounds it might be "misinterpreted" as payback for a recent bus contract from Cuba won by a British concern.

Whitehall was insisting that if Wilson smoked the cigars himself he would have to foot a bill for pounds 27 10 shillings and 5 pence (pounds 27.52) for carriage and customs duty. Instead, the cigars went to Government Hospitality to be offered to official guests.

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