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Diplomat James Cross back in England after release by FLQ

The Story

After eight weeks of confinement by the Front de libération du Québec, British diplomat James Cross looks back at his ordeal. Two days ago, on Dec. 3, 1970, Cross's abductors released him to police. In the beginning Cross tried to reason with his captors, having political discussions. But after the murder of Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte by another FLQ cell, Cross didn't feel much like talking. Today, he expresses condolences to the Laporte family (spoken in French): "Why Pierre Laporte is dead and I am free, I do not know."

Medium: Television
Program: Update
Broadcast Date: Dec. 5, 1970
Guest: James Cross
Duration: 10:15

Did You know?

• While in captivity, Cross watched 162 French television films.

• Cross's wife Barbara said her husband was "fit" upon his release but had lost a lot of weight.

• In exchange for his release, Cross's kidnappers received safe passage to Cuba by airplane.

• Later, six members of the FLQ's Liberation cell were convicted of Cross's kidnapping and sentenced to jail terms ranging from one to two years.

Also on December 5:
1837: Lower Canada, now Quebec, is placed under martial law during a rebellion that had broken out largely over constitutional issues.
1954: Canada announces the recall of its remaining troops from Korea.
2000: Seagram's, the 76 year old Canadian company sells its beverage division to Pernod Ricard, a French company.


The October Crisis: Civil Liberties Suspended more