West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, in Boon on Thursday (27 April) survived -- by a mere two votes -- an opposition attempt to overthrew his left-liberal coalition government on a motion of no confidence.
SV Bahr and Kohl taking seats.
MV Bahr making statement.
GV INT. Delegates take seats in Bundestag.
LV Erhardt and others coming out of polling booth.
STV Baron von Gutenberg filling out voting slip.
LV Delegates place votes in ballot box.
STV ZOOM BACK to GV delegates surrounding Brandt and applauding.
SV Hassel announcing vote PAN TO Brndt and Scheel and ZOOM back to delegates applaud.
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Background: West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, in Boon on Thursday (27 April) survived -- by a mere two votes -- an opposition attempt to overthrew his left-liberal coalition government on a motion of no confidence.
A Christian Democratic (CDU) motion of no confidence in the 58-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner gained 247 votes in a secret ballot in the closely guarded parliament building on the banks of the Rhine. This was two short of the absolute majority of 249 of the 496 member house needed for the motion to succeed.
The vote staved off the immediate threat to Herr Brandt's non-aggression treaties with the Soviet Union and Poland. However, the government faces an even stiffer test next week when the Bundestag (Lower House) debates ratification of the treaties.
The treaties are the cornerstone of Herr Brandt's entire "Ostopolitik" -- a two-year drive to improve West German relations with communist east Europe. Only the day before, East and West Germany agreed on their first traffic treaty aimed at easing travel restrictions on people and goods from both countries.
Successful conclusion of the negotiations, which began in November of 1970, was jointly announced in East Berlin Wednesday night (26 April) by Bonn State Secretary Egon Bahr and his East German colleague, Dr. Michael Kohl. Herr Bahr had interrupted his negotiations with the East Germans that morning for a last round of consultations with Herr Brandt and Foreign Minister Walter Scheel over the terms of the treaty and the opposition CDU move to topple Herr Brandt's government. He was then flown back to East Berlin in a special West German jet.
The new traffic agreement will not be signed until Bonn's treaties with Moscow and Warsaw are ratified.
SYNOPSIS: Two days of diplomatic tension and activity ended favourably for the government of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt. In East Berlin late Wednesday night, Bonn State Secretary Egon Bahr and his East German colleague, Dr. Michael Kohl, jointly announced that East and West Germany had agreed on their first traffic treaty aimed at easing travel restrictions from both countries. In a prepared statement, he said the texts of the inter-state treaty would not be published before it had been approved by both governments. Once the treaty came into force, Herr Bahr continued. East Germany would be ready to grant its citizens permission to visit West Germany in cases of urgent family business. At the same time, West Germans will be allowed to travel more freely to East Germany.
The success of the treaty agreement came against the background of an attempt by the opposition in Bonn's Bundestag to overthrow Chancellor Willy Brandt's government on a motion of no-confidence. Riot police ringed the parliament building on the banks of the Rhine as the four-hundred and ninety-six member house voted on the no-confidence motion on Thursday. But as the votes were counted, it became apparent to many that Herr Brandt had won.
The announcement of the vote totals revealed that the no-confidence motion received two-hundred and forty-seven votes -- two lass than the required absolute majority. The vote staved off the immediate threat to Herr Brnadt's non-aggression treaties with the Soviet Union and Poland. However the government faces an even stiffer test next week when the Bundestag debates ratification of the treaties.
In addition, the new traffic treaty agreement with East Germany provides that it will not be signed until Bonn's treaties with Moscow and Poland are ratified. But, for the moment, Herr Brandt and his government have survived.