By Kristan Stoddart
Kristan Stoddart unearths for the 1st time discussions that came about among the British, French and US governments for nuclear cooperation within the early to mid Nineteen Seventies. In doing so it units the scene for the improve to Britain's Polaris strength codenamed Chevaline and the way this might have introduced down Harold Wilson's Labour executive of 1974-1976.
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Extra resources for The Sword and the Shield: Britain, America, NATO, and Nuclear Weapons, 1970–1976
Heath had played a major role in the attempt in 1963 by the previous Conservative government of Harold Macmillan to join the European Economic Community (EEC), and he continued to regard membership as a priority political and economic objective for the UK. 8 The 1963 veto by De Gaulle following the Nassau Agreement suggested to many analysts that the future price of entry would include closer collaboration with France on nuclear weapons. ’12 Macmillan had been a strong advocate of close political ties with America.
146 Anglo-French nuclear discussions during 1970 and 1971 had been confined to the political level, with ministers, the Cabinet Office and FCO officials chiefly involved. MoD officials were aware of their existence from the autumn of 1971 onwards, and in February 1972 used Dr Robert Press, the Assistant Chief Scientific Advisor to the Cabinet (ACSA), who was a key link man between nuclear scientists and the policy-making community in Whitehall, to offer Trend some new and potentially significant technical information.
105 Cromer also anticipated that the Nixon administration might leave Britain out of the equation and provide assistance directly to the French, with the US National Security Council (NSC) questioning whether to tell the British under the Mildenhall Agreement. It was put forward that: Elements in State and Defense believe we should tell the British of our proposed cooperation with France. They rest their case on the so-called Mildenhall agreement and Hillenbrand letter in October, 1969 (Tab C) (cleared by you [Henry Kissinger]) under which we agreed to keep the British informed of any ‘nuclear defense cooperation’ we might contemplate with the French, and the British agreed likewise.