The Sandys White Paper of 1957
In 1957 the new Minister of Defence, Duncan Sandys, sought to mould British defence policy and force structure to reflect the exigencies of war in the thermonuclear age. His termination of national service meant that even relatively, the importance of the deterrent would increase. His stress on the independence of Britain’s deterrent gave the impression to some of a new departure in British defence policy — at least in terms of the degree of commitment attributed to this posture. This chapter investigates these issues and analyses the contribution of Duncan Sandys to the substance of Britain’s nuclear strategy through a review of the 1957 White Paper negotiations as well as that document’s immediate implications for force structuring. It describes the political environment of the post-Suez world in which Sandys had to function and it argues that although he was guided by a strategic vision which recognized the merits of a policy of nuclear deterrence, he was more directly and immediately impressed by the economic necessity of terminating national service. It is further contended that his ‘New Look’ force posture followed more from the relative decline of conventional forces than from new plans for an increase in the absolute power of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.