Title: Prince Juan Carlos visits the 'National Center for Exploitation of the Oceans' in Britain
Duration: 12min., 52seg.
Sound collection: Radio Paris. Ramírez/del Campo
Summaries: Visita del principe Don Juan Carlos al Centro Nacional de Explotación de los Océanos de Brest en Bretaña. Entrevista con uno de los investigadores principales del Centro
Two tapes have been kept of the official visit of the Prince Juan Carlos to France: the first recording is divided into two parts, the first of them records the moment when the Prince Juan Carlos, his wife and his entourage left the Élysée Palace after a lunch offered by the President of the Republic, Georges Pompidou, on October 23rd, 1973. It was the second time that the man designated to succeed Franco visited France, and both times he received treatment as a head of State, proof of the good relations between the V French Republic and the Spanish dictatorship. It should be recalled that, under the Succession Act of the Head of State on July 26th, 1947, and as a coda to the process of institutionalization of the Franco regime undertaken since the end of the 1950s, Juan Carlos was put forward as the successor of Franco with the title of King (thus skipping the line of succession). His appointment was staged in July 1969 by the Spanish Parliament, in front of which the Prince would still take oath to, in short, continue the Francoist regime after the death of the dictator. It is no coincidence that the dissidence (in the country and in the exile) felt hostility towards him.
Julián Antonio Ramírez managed to approach the Prince in order to interview him about his conversations with the President of France ("the normal conversations between two countries that love each other and are friends"), but also, as Julán Antonio recalls in his memoirs (Ici Paris, 420) to remind him of the recent death in the exile of Pau Casals, Catalan cellist and world-wide famous composer; an issue which, as you can see, is not routinary nor innocent: "I was very sorry, he has been a great genius of the music around the world," was his response.
Concerning the second half of the tape, Julián Antonio Ramírez used as a link of union the visit of Juan Carlos, that evening, to the headquarters of the International Information Technology Company (C-2-I), in Recquencourt, near Versailles. Once there, the presenter managed to interview its Managing Director in Spain about the visit of the Prince and the potential projects for cooperation between France and Spain. The C-2-I was created in 1967 thanks to the "Plan Calcul" in order to achieve the independence of France (and of Europe) regarding computering and electronics. For instance, there were some projects for international cooperation to compete against the North American company IBM, who controlled around 68% of the global market in 1970. Spain, was from the beginning a country dependent on foreign production of both hardware (electronics) and software (programs). The industrial development policies, started up by the technocrats of Opus Dei since 1957, were not too separated from the production of the most traditional sectors, which had the motor industry as the most important sector of growth.
As the competitive production of hardware would have required a huge comprehensive plan with very little space for improvisation, the only possibility for Spain would have been, as the CEO says in the interview, the production of software. It required little start-up costs (most of them intended for specialists' training), and a more immediate profitability, provided that the commercial circuits that France made were taken advantage of, in the European framework of cooperation and at the expense of permanently depend on the hardware of foreign brands. Hence, the recording is a testimony of a missed opportunity, showing a situation which, with limited exceptions, has been perpetuated until the present day.
The second tape that has been kept about the stay of the Princes of October 1973, records the visit to the National Center for Exploitation of the Oceans, located in Brest, after a quick travel by helicopter. This Centre for the Oceans' Exploitation (a real pride for the French State) was in the vanguard of Europe in the study of the exploitation of the oceans' riches in all its dimensions (geophysical, geological, biological...). This tape, like the previous one, is divided into two parts: the first part, records the visit, with Julián Antonio Ramírez as simultaneous interpreter and translator of the things that were happening; regarding the second part - very didactic as well - includes a personal interview of Julián Antonio Ramírez to one of scientific heads of the Centre, in which the main lines of research and development that had been followed are detailed.
Towever, the stay of the Princes lasted several days (from the 22nd to 26th October 1973). They visited key locations in the Hexagon, specifically cultural and scientific ones. In fact, it has been preserved part of the documentation of the ORTF on the subject, including the account of programmed activities. Hence, for instance, during the 24th October, in addition to centres such as the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (in Saclay) and the magnificent Louvre Museum, there was a visit to the House of the Radio, located on the banks of the Seine, whose recordings, unfortunately, have not been kept.
University of Alicante. University Library. Fonoteca