12 Pages


The independent deterrent and the coming of Polaris
ByMatthew Jones

Following the completion of the nuclear review in late 1967, the final two years of the Labour Government had witnessed a long process of continual deferral of decisions over whether to embark upon a Polaris improvement programme. It reflects the MoD's reluctance to force the issue when scepticism and opposition could be found in Downing Street, the FCO and the Treasury. Throughout this period, Zuckerman and Press at the Cabinet Office, supported in some instances by the Treasury, had mounted an intermittent rear guard action as they sought to interrogate and probe the arguments and assumptions pushed by Healey and his MoD officials. As far as Zuckerman and Press at the Cabinet Office were concerned, the protracted debate over Polaris improvement had also been marked by continual frustration at their inability to provide a strong degree of central coordination to nuclear policy in both the civil and military fields.