Between 1974 and 1979 the Labour Government, led first by Harold Wilson and then by James Callaghan, developed a programme of improvements to the British Polaris nuclear deterrent initiated during Wilson’s first government between 1964 and 1970. This Polaris improvement programme was known from 1974 onwards as Chevaline. Chevaline offered an indigenously arrived at solution aimed at maintaining the strategic nuclear targeting preferences of the British government through the ‘Moscow Criterion’. This came during a time of economic austerity in a changing strategic environment, leading Labour to explore nuclear cooperation with the French. It also led to calls from within the party to renounce nuclear weapons through unilateral disarmament. This article will shed fresh light on the bitter internal debates that ensued and how a select band of senior ministers responded to this dilemma.
|Number of pages||28|
|Journal||Cold War History|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Sept 2010|