Chapter

The End of Consensus: March–October 1966

Phuong Pham

in Ending 'East of Suez'

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580361
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722691 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580361.003.0005

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

The End of Consensus: March–October 1966

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Chapter 4 begins with the Wilson Government and the ANZUS allies fitfully trying to implement the policy of quadripartite co‐operation heralded in the 1966 Defence White Paper. With the countries still in deep disagreement over basic strategy, however, this exercise barely got off the ground. Meanwhile, Britain's financial position sharply deteriorated, with a mid‐year seamen's strike exacerbating the country's balance of payments problems. In the ensuing 1966 Sterling crisis, economic ministers pushed for an immediate, sharp cut in overseas defence expenditure. This demand was deflected by the Foreign Secretary into more measured cuts, which would not affect the basic thrust of foreign policy. In the aftermath, however, the Government initiated new Defence Expenditure Studies, aimed at reducing the annual defence budget to a target of £1850 million.

Keywords: Wilson government; defence expenditure; defence white paper; sterling crisis; ANZUS

Chapter.  13137 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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