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Ending 'East of Suez'The British Decision to Withdraw from Malaysia and Singapore 1964-1968$
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P. L. Pham

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580361.001.0001

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The End of Consensus: March–October 1966

The End of Consensus: March–October 1966

(p.98) 4 The End of Consensus: March–October 1966
Ending 'East of Suez'

Phuong Pham

Oxford University Press

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

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