• Short Summary

    THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IS DUE THIS MONTH TO PUBLISH DETAILS OF ITS DEFENCE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE, AND ALREADY PRIME MINISTER HAROLD WILSON IS IN THE MIDST OF A MAJOR ROW WITHIN HIS CABINET.

  • Description

    THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IS DUE THIS MONTH TO PUBLISH DETAILS OF ITS DEFENCE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE, AND ALREADY PRIME MINISTER HAROLD WILSON IS IN THE MIDST OF A MAJOR ROW WITHIN HIS CABINET.

    MR. WILSON RETURNED TO LONDON TONIGHT (SUNDAY) FROM HIS COUNTRY HOME FOR A TOP-LEVEL MEETING OF THE CABINET'S INNER COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE AND OVERSEAS POLICY. THE UNEXPECTED MEETING AT NUMBER 10 DOWNING STREET FOLLOWED WIDESPREAD REPORTS THAT THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE FOR THE NAVY, MR. CHRISTOPHER MAYHEW, WITH HIS PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY AND TOP OFFICIALS, HAVE THREATENED TO RESIGN IF THE GOVERNMENT CANCELS PLANS FOR THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER.

    THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE, MR. DENIS HEALEY HAS ALREADY SAID THAT DEFENCE SPENDING MUST BE HELD DOWN TO GBP2,000 MILLION A YEAR, AND TODAY'S MEETING OF MINISTERS AND TOP SERVICE CHIEFS WAS TO FINALISE PLANS THAT WILL PROBABLY INCLUDE THE BUYING OF AMERICAN F-111 BOMBERS, AND THE CANCELLATION OF PLANS FOR A GBP70 MILLION CARRIER.

    MR. HEALEY WILL HAVE TO CONVINCE CABINET COLLEAGUES THAT HE IS JUSTIFIED IN ASKING THEM TO AUTHORISE SPENDING MILLIONS OF POUNDS IN AMERICA, AND HE WILL ALSO HAVE TO CONVINCE THE ROYAL NAVY THAT HE IS JUSTIFIED IN DROPPING PLANS FOR THE NEW CARRIER.

    H.M.S. VICTORIOUS IS ONE OF THE FOUR CARRIERS IN SERVICE. TWO OF THEM, INCLUDING THE VICTORIOUS, ARE DUE FOR SCRAPPING BY 1973, AND UNLESS AN ORDER IS PLACED THIS YEAR THERE WILL BE NO REPLACEMENTS FOR THEM.

    LONG-TERM DEFENCE PLANNING IS INTIMATELY CONCERNED WITH BRITAIN'S ROLE IN THE FAR EAST, WHERE HER BASE AT SINGAPORE IS ARMED WITH BLOODHOUND ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES. ABOUT 51,000 SERVICEMEN ARE IN INVOLVED IN MALAYSIA. MR. HEALEY HAS JUST COMPLETED A TOUR OF THE FAR EAST, AND IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THERE WILL BE ANY SUBSTANTIAL REDUCTION I THE BRITISH COMMITMENT THERE AS LONG AS THE INDONESIAN CONFRONTATION OF MALAYSIA CONTINUES.

    SOLDIERS OF THE BRITISH ARMY, WHICH NOW HAS 180,000 MEN, ARE ALSO BASED IN ADEN. THEY ARE LIKELY TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE TROUBLED ADEN BASE TO BAHREIN UNDER THE TERMS OF THE PLANS NOW BEING THRASHED OUT IN LONDON. MR. HEALEY HAS PLANS TO REDUCE THE STRENGTH OF THE ARMY BY 16,000 MEN, AND HOME-BASED TERRITORIAL ARMY HAS ALREADY BEEN SCRAPPED. BRITAIN ALSO HAS COMMITMENTS IN EUROPE, AND MAINTAINS A SUBSTANTIAL FORCE IN GERMANY. THIS IS LIKELY TO BE EQUIPPED WITH THE NEW SELF-PROPELLED LANCE ROCKET, ANOTHER AMERICAN WEAPON DESIGNED FOR BATTLEFIELD USE AS A GROUND-TO-GROUND MISSILE. IT'S ANOTHER DOLLAR PURCHASE THAT MR. HEALEY IS DISCUSSING IN THE DELICATE TALKS AT NUMBER 10 BEFORE HE LEAVES FOR WASHINGTON THIS WEEK FOR A NATO NUCLEAR POLICY PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6KGFM6UF3T33G02CAXF3I0GP2
    Media URN:
    VLVA6KGFM6UF3T33G02CAXF3I0GP2
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    13/02/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:37:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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