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B—The Daily Collegian Thursday, September 9, 1976
Dutch prince to resign diplomatic, wildlife posts
THE HAGUE (AP) Prince Bernhard's imminent
departure as leader of the Bilderberg Conference and the
World Wildlife Fund as consequences of his involvement in the
Lockheed scandal was reported yesterday.
The former globetrotting diplomat, husband of Queen
Juliana, esentially would be left unemployed.
A spokesman for the Erasmus Foundation, named after the
16th century Dutch humanist, said Bernhard also has can
celled his Sept. 17 awarding of the Dutch-based Erasmus
Foundation's 1976 prizes, given annually for contributions to
European culture or science.
Bernhard resigned as inspector general of the Dutch armed
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forces and from all other public and private posts after an
inquiry commission's report on his involvement with
Lockheed Was made public Aug. 26.
The report said Bernhard had sought commissions from
Lockheed and had been extremely ,"imprudent and unwise,"
although it said no evidence was found to support allegations
that he had received a $l.l million bribe from the U.S. aircraft
He had held some 300 posts in Dutch business, military and
cultural organizations, including seats on the boards of the
Dutch national airline (KLM) and the Dutch-German VFW-
Fokker Aircraft Works. Some of the jobs paid him a salary in
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addition to his state stipend of nearly $300,000 annually.
The 65-year-old prince built up a vhde circle of high-placed
friends in his travels around the world to promote Dutch in
dustry. He says he has personally known every U.S. president
since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Bernhard launched the secret Bilderberg meetings in 1954,
eaying top government and businese officials from North
America and Western Europe should be able to talk with total
frankness behind closed doors.
Sources said several prominent participants have shown an
interest in continuing the Bilderberg concept, and 'the
Bilderberg steering committee will meet in October in London
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A Briton probably will chair next year's meeting, set ihr .
Apiil 22-24 at Torquay, England, the committee said.
Bilderberg secretariat here declined comment. •
Bernhard cancelled this year's conference, which lair'
scheduled for April in Hot Springs, Va. A governmiM
spokesman said he was stepping aside to speed up the probe ni
his role in the Lockheed affair. , .
Bernhard himself issued invitations -to the conferences. ,
Previous participants have included President Ford, who-
went to two meetings before becoming president; Henry A.
Kissinger, now U.S. secretary of state; former British Prim?.
Minister Edward Heath and West German Chancellor Helmut.
Schmidt. , .
Since 1961, Bernhard has headed and traveled widely for the - ,
World Wildlife Fund, an organization that seeks to saves
animals from extinction. .
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