BRITAIN: Icing for Harold's Cake

Just a single seat in Parliament was at stake in the by-elections in Coventry Northwest last week, but to British politicians the contest was pivotal. The Midlands city constituency had been Labor's, and the party's absolute majority in the House of Commons is only one seat. Laborites, moreover, had been quarreling hotly among themselves over a belt-tightening White Paper issued by the government last month, calling for billions of dollars of cuts in public spending (TIME, March 1). That was hardly a prospect to cheer a depressed industrial area like Coventry.


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