chapter  9
39 Pages

Polaris reprieved and the launch of a pilot study, November 1967–January 1968

ByMatthew Jones

The long intra-Whitehall debate over future nuclear policy reached a climax at precisely the same time as the economic problems that had been gathering for the Government since the settlement of the seaman's strike in the summer of 1966 suddenly burst into the open with the arrival of a major sterling crisis. The Prime Minister was prepared for the next round of ministerial discussions of the nuclear review with a minute from the Cabinet Secretary, delivered on 1 December, which noted that over the previous few weeks the issues had been more exhaustively examined than ever before and the questions to which Ministers should address themselves are now as sharply pointed as they can be. Healey had emerged from the PN Committee meeting in early December evidently concerned that he should have explicit Treasury sanction for the idea of a pilot study of improvement options.