chapter  8
38 Pages

Polaris in jeopardy, July–November 1967

ByMatthew Jones

The debate over Polaris improvement seen in the first half of 1967 triggered a prolonged and intense Whitehall struggle over the future of the entire programme, and reached a climax amid the buffeting shocks of economic crisis which hit the Labour Government in November, as sterling was devalued. By early September, there was general dissatisfaction across Whitehall departments about the disjointed nature of the contributions being made to the nuclear review, and as a result Cabinet Office officials began to stress the need for an overarching covering paper, with the departmental contributions either appearing as annexes or amalgamated to make one coherent whole. Despite the continuing misgivings of some within the MoD, during the latter part of October, senior MoD and Foreign Office officials began to work more closely together so that the lines of argument they were developing were as persuasive and as united as possible.