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RETURN OF STONE IS POLITICAL PLOY

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The news that the ancient "Stone of Destiny" will be returned to Scotland (Aug. 2 Deseret News) is certainly a welcome development. Scots can rejoice that after a 700-year imprisonment under the English throne, this symbol of Scottish nationhood is now going home.

It should be noted, however, that the news has also been greeted with some hilarity north of the border. Prime Minister Major's newfound sensitivity to Scottish national pride is being seen for what it is: an obvious attempt to woo Scottish voters and keep the Tories from becoming a completely endangered species in Scottish politics at the next general election.Although the stone is an important symbol of Scotland's past, few Scots will mistake the symbol of nationhood for the reality of being an independent state.

The decision to return it may, however, be seen as a down payment in the direction of Scotland gaining greater control over her own internal affairs and ultimately control over her destiny as a free European nation.

May the return of the "Stone of Destiny" become one of the foundation stones of a new and creative phase in Scotland's long history.

Frederick S. Buchanan

Salt Lake City