Denis Healey on Bilderberg

“Of all these meetings, the most valuable to me while I was in opposition were the Bilderberg Conferences . . . They were the brain-child of Joseph Retinger, a Pole who had settled in England after the Great War . . . he organised the Congress of the Hague, which launched the European Movement. Convinced of the need for a similar forum to strengthen unity between Europe and North America, he approached Hugh Gaitskell, General Colin Gubbins, who had commanded SOE during the war, and several leading politicians and businessmen who were concerned to strengthen Atlantic cooperation. They asked Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands to act as Chairman, because they rightly thought it would be difficult to find a politician whose objectivity would be above suspicion, and who could call Cabinet ministers from any country without causing offence.

I was invited to the first meeting and later acted as convenor of the British who attended . . . The Bilderberg conferences inevitably aroused jealousy because they were exclusive, and suspicion, because they were private . . . I wrote a paper for most conferences . . .

My years at the Bilderberg meetings also brought me many contacts in the financial world which now proved of great value. David Rockefeller, whom I had known since the very first Bilderberg meeting at Arnhem, was now head of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and particularly active in the international field . . . I still managed to get to several Bilderberg meetings as Chancellor. At Mégève in April, 1974, I met Helmut Schmidt, who was now once again my colleague, as Germany’s Finance Minister.

(The Time of My Life, 1989, pp195-6, 414-5)

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