Cab 195/19 cabinet minutes

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U.S. theory of diversification of deterrent – based on land, sea & air.

H.W. Pentagon believe tht. West can only m’tain deterrent’s credibility if variety of means of delivery is increased.

Details of Polaris submarine : method of operation.

If based on W. Scotland, they save 30% of force.

They want U.K. in on this enterprise. They also want this base : rather than one in Germany.

They want to sail their depot ship here this summer.
D.S. How many bases this side of Atlantic?
H.W. Only this one, for time being.
P.M. Vital to credibility – for this could fire “second”.

Depot ship: 85° north. Return flight from Prestwick. This makes Gareloch attractive to them. They like it too, because near to facilities & amenities of Glasgow. Awkward for us – v. near to v. large centre of populn.

Advantages : even for us, a hedge v. failure of Sky-bolt. And sea-borne deterrent will appeal to B. public opinion.

Do we do it? What do we get for it? Is Gareloch a good site? If we do go into this, get conditions enabling us to buy ourselves in?

On location, suggest a commission to investigate.
C. U.S. suggested Gareloch because they cd. then start this year, without waiting to build schools etc.,
H.W. Must ensure that R. will be able to produce these weapons in a short time.
S.L1. This is real deterrent. Important to get an option to join in it. New mil. developt. of gt. potential danger. We ought to get in on its organisation etc.,
D.S. As Allies we can’t refuse this gt. advantage to U.S.

Make up our minds we can’t afford to have both this & Sky bolt. If we had 3 Polaris & Sky bolt & V.C. 10’s, cost wd. be no less than Blue Streak. We shd. get the option & put ourselves in posn. to switch on deterrent.

H.A. In principle, I’m in favour of giving the facility. I also agree we shd. get an option – but avoid commitment.
H.W. If we build ourselves, it wd. come in after Sky bolt. Delay option until we know wtr Sky bolt works.
E.M. V. helpful if they wd. build one here.
H.W. Hull only : cdn’t build the rest here.
H. Dangerous feature is slender control. We shd. be in on it.
P.M. We can’t defend this on Attlee/Truman basis for bombers.
D.S. We cd. get assurance they wdn’t fire, w’out our agreement, w’in large area from U.K. – e.g. 100 miles.
P.M. We shd. try to have an officer with Saclant.
H.W. They want that.
R.A.B Public opinion is getting restive about U.S. nuclear forces in U.K. Annoyance at U.S. alert at time of Summit Mtg.

But U.K./U.S. must work together. We can’t stand alone. But this brings it to a head. We shall have to build some political structures to off-set irritations caused by presence of U.S. troops etc., here. Risk of increased anti-U.S. feeling.

D.S. Local popn. will be less annoyed by this than by S.A.C.
C. The longer you delay option, longer you p’pone training crews etc.,
P.M. We cd. do that in advance of deciding to buy or build ourselves.
H. Climate for integrating with U.S. is better since Paris. But danger on this is tenuous control : people will be nervous of this.
S.L1. Avoid use of word “base”.
J.M. Cd. we move back to combined C.O.S?
P.M. No : there are French.
P.M. Norstandt’s notion that land-based mobile Polaris missiles shd. be allotted to N.A.T.O – purchased on key-of-cupboard basis. Our C.O.S. are opposed on mil. grounds, as putting a strategic weapon in hands of SACEUR. French don’t want it because no contribn. to their wish to have independent nuclear capacity. Many don’t want G. to have them.

But Spaak favours it. Propose tht., if we have option to come in on Polaris submarine, we shd contract out of European M.R.B.M. We cd. have 3 P. subs. & say it was our contn. to this European plan. – wd. involve putting them under SACLANT.

H.W. Gates wd. think this a sensible contn. from U.K., with its naval traditions.
D.S. Do utmost to avoid NATO adopting it. But, if they buy it, cdn’t we get our P. subs. on same basis as bombers – e.g. under SACLANT only for bombing p’mme. We cd. throw our Thors into M.R.M.B. European plan.
P.M. Dangerous tendency to rely increasingly on nuclear weapons. Called tactical because short range : but capable of doing as much damage as a strategic weapon.
D.S. SACEUR already has, in r.a.f., force capable of dropping nuclear bombs on same targets.
P.M. Invite views on location of tender. They are keen on Gareloch. Alternative = F. William. 5 hours by road to Prestwick. Or 67 miles to airport at Inverness.
J.M. Disadvantage of Gareloch mainly is of hostile demonstrations etc.,
P.M. Admy. authorised to survey sites on the spot. Loch Linnhe.

C.C. 36(60). 21st June 1960.

1. Foreign Affairs. [Enter M.R.

(a) Cyprus.
S.L1. Agreement reached on a formula in session – with T.& G. Govts, now to be put to Mak. Govts. are also ready to put pressure on M. to conclude agreement. Defer statement in H/C. pro. tem.
P.M. If Mak. won’t settle now, we break off & summon conference of Govts.
(b) Nuclear Tests.
S.L1. R. have insisted tht. they shd. examine device used in any U.S. test explosion. And have now reverted to discussion of other points.
P.M. May be that R. don’t want to conclude agreement with this U.S. Adminn.
(c) European Co-operation.
S.L1. Thursday’s mtg. Tactics for mtg. on wtr we shd. join Euratom. 3 Benelux countries accused U.K. & Fr. of being negative on whole ques of co-opn. in Europe : gave us a chance to reply to that & make it clear that Six, not we, were hanging back. Ad hoc mtg. of Ambassadors in London. Agenda : how to discuss this ques : what about possibility of doing this in isolation : our military obligns. Show constructive spirit in exposing realities of the ques.
R.M. Examine this in context of satisfactory general settlement.
S.L1. Mil. diffies. are being raised by U.S.
H.A. Hope diffies., tho’ real, will be brought out by others.
S.Ll. Signs of some change of thought w’in Six – revulsion v. tight political Federation.
P.M. Ambassadors must have some good technical advisers.

2. Economic Situation

H.A. Views given on 25/4. Little change since – if anything sitn is tighter. External balance. I assumed £200m. drop in monetary position: since then imports in ac. forecast & exports have levelled off. Sterling has held – just above par – but prospects of continuing loss on reserves. Clear therefore some remedy shd. be applied. i) Stimulus to exports – Ty. & D/T are making study. ii) Reduce rate of expansion internally, to reduce demand for imports and make room for more exports. Hope this won’t develop to crisis – as in ’57. But steady pull over 2 yrs. Internal sitn. Unemployment v. small. Signs of competn. For labour. e.g. Ldn. busmen: £1 increase needed to keep them. c/living has remained steady – 2 yrs 1 month now. Over next 6 months likely to rise 1 or 2 points. Bank advances. Now want a decrease over 6 mos, not merely a check in growth. Private investment of all kinds wd. otherwise increase. Public expenditure on investment is showg. signs of levelling off. H.P. controls. Can’t yet gauge effect of April’s modest changes. No reason to fear that Hoovers is typical reaction. On picture as a whole, no doubt tht. some restriction is needed – for both external & internal situations. Limited no. of weapons: don’t use all at once: on other hand effects take time to mature. On balance I favour pretty early action, in course of the summit: to give us respite in wh. we work out methods for the long-pull to remedy our b/p.
M. Don’t think we have had time to gauge effect of actions taken. Also doubt tht. internal remedies will improve external situation. Don’t rush.
H.B. Lack of local remedies. For pressure on economy is local – e.g. Ldn., B’ham. General remedies, were in h.p., bite unhappily on Merthyr or Scotland, when no pressure.
H.A. Distinction applies only to man-power. Otherwise over-spending is general - & applies mainly to goods made in Ldn & B’ham.
H.B. Don’t accept that view. Much of spending goes into local service indies. But academic – because no local remedies. More generally, don’t use all weapons now. Keep some in reserve: & esp. bank rate.
J.M. Can’t we find means of checking consumption without cutting into money available for investment or production. Need for continuing prodn . expenditure in Scotland.
H.A. Even that doesn’t work. Even on bldg in Scotland, much of the expenditure is made elsewhere – for materials of various kinds. Even if we cd. apply discrimination, we shd. have to balance encouragement in our area by reduction elsewhere.
D.S. Stimulation of exports – consider loans, guarantees etc., even if not immediately remunerative. Can’t we be more flexible in this?
H.A. It is pretty flexible now. And gt. need is for exports which are paid for – only then will improve b/p position.
D.E. Agree with H.A. Any discriminatory policies must now be directed, not to unemplt., but to exports. Remedies. Unhappy about bank-rate. Affects movement of f. funds but no appreciable effect on amounts of money lent internally. Merely puts up its cost. You must restrict amount Banks have to lend, rather than rely on its price. Don’t raise b.rate therefore unless this is necessary in order to keep f. money here – to avoid pure exchange crisis. If special deposit scheme cd. be bolstered up by similar restn. on other institutions (e.g. investment houses) it wd. be even better. Don’t believe in reservg. some weapons until later – may be useless then.
I.M. On Scotland etc., I accept H.A.’s conclusion. On main issue I side with Mill’s. Risk of too much coddling of economy by Govt. Cdn’t we let things ride for a time - & say we so intended.
H. How soon cd. we act on h.p.?
H.A. Cdn’t make further increase now – only after 2 months. Must wait at least until we can gauge effects of that action. Limitation also of this weapon – for applies mainly to a v. few industries.
R.A.B. Essential to tighten credit base – otherwise we shall get into real trouble.
H.A. Fall in gilt-edge is welcome: for we shan’t get our economy straight unless we get higher interest rate.
R.A.B Special deposits. First step was not enough: we shd. act on that. B. rates I wdn’t move unless necessary for exchange situation. Legn. contemplated to extend sp. deposits plan to other institutions. Cd. this be advanced?
H.A. Haven’t yet found method. Hope we shall, & then be able to legislate next session. H.p. – no more at present. H.M.’s minute of 1957 on credit base. Doubtful about extending export credits – start a race which foreigners are bound to win.
H.A. Not enough to control volume of credit: must also control velocity of its circulation. And b.rate does help with that.
D.E. Bank credit as propn of deposits. Pre-war averaged 45%. Now is nearly 47%. Increase in total deposits only 10%: in credit nearly 30%: money obtained therefore, not from fresh deposits, but by sale of gilt-edged. Banks therefore will be more sensitive to Ty. Control now that pre-war patterns has bn re-established.
H.A. Action by us will certainly provoke ques: what are you going to do about Govt. expenditure? We can’t say anything on this at present: review about to begin. We cd., however, indicate that we shan’t allow it to rise above present level. Any increase therefore wd. have to be offset by cuts.
K. i) Two months’ ago long Ty. memo. forecasting developments. Have there bn. any changes from that?

ii) Can you increase exports w’out increasing investment?

H.A. Have always forecast need for series of anti-inflationary measures throughout this year. Said that at Xmas: again on Budget (when I made it plain tht. on economic grounds I ought to do more than I cd. on political gnds.) Two months ago: v. mild measures which I put fwd. as a first, not a complete, measure. At each stage I have contemplated need for further action later. Events have in main matched f’cast. But emplt. has bn. a little tighter: exports have levelled off: consumption v. slightly higher: wage increases threaten, unless mood is changed, and this will endanger exports.
E.H. Normal seasonal fall in unemplt. plus a little more. Real trouble is lack of skilled men in certain occupns. Speed of economy. Shan’t get training schemes unless T.U.’s see that economy is running fast enough to absorb them. Study Germany which runs economy w’out inflation at 5% unemployment. Let us be clear what problem is. If its not money, we ought to find means of dealing with it. It’s not confidence in £. It’s apparently monetary posn: & that means exports. Is our target of £400m. attainable. If not, we must adjust oversea spending loans etc. Can’t have our oversea policy unaltered if we can’t realise the £400m.
H.A. Agree. Present view: not unattainable if exports can rise to fill the openings that exist.
P.M. Fundamental ques. If import/export posn is unbalanced, run the economy faster. Others say: pull of home market is too great – therefore restrict. Shd. we go beyond modest measures already taken? From angle of restricting home demand, strong case for increasing level of special deposits plan. True, it wd. be logical to extend this to investment (h.p.) cos.; but practical effect is marginal. Fair enough to act on Banks alone, esp. if we can contemplate extendg. scope by legn. Anyhow, Banks have done v. well out of extendg. credit. Banks do not sufficiently regard themselves as trustees – to preserve capitalist system – operate too much on sole basis of profit motive: industry has a more up-to-date view of its public duty. We must educate or even control them – thro’ stronger influence at B/England. I therefore prefer extended use of sp. deposit plan. We must operate thro’ Banks: if appeals are ineffective, as shown, we must operate by control. This will operate only on volume of house demand. This therefore is method to use if that is what is needed. Bank rate – operates more on exchange situation. If business is good and your assets are strong, price of money doesn’t make much difference. Nor much influence on private borrower. Certainly its classical value is for exchange crisis – to attract f. money, even if it’s not: or to discourage foreigners borrowing here.
H.A. Dissented. Value of b.rate 50% psychological effect on home market.
P.M. Suppose we do end at £200m. down on monetary position – will that shake confidence in £? Seems clear enough we shd. increase sp. deposits notn. If D.E.’s argument about their pre-war pattern is sound, small action on this wd. pos. be enough. Bank-rate. If, we use this now, will it avert sterling crisis? (We ought to be increasing reserves in this time of the year.) Or shall we be at risk of creating our own crisis? For a second increase in autumn wd. be a crisis measure. Political posn is strong. But h/p crisis or inflation wd. damage us more than anything. Excessive pessimism in judgement cd be more easily defended, politically, than optimism. Final ques therefore is – shd. we use both weapons now. Remember retrospective effect of b.rate – applies to people who have borrowed not merely discourages those who contemplate borrowing.
H.A. It is for me to decide on timing of these measures – tho’ I have always believed in more consultn with colleagues than has bn. customary in the past; and I favour increased consultn. May I have authority to say, at some time tho’ not linked – formula on public investment: intention to hold it at level of this year.

3. Iron and Steel Industry [Enter R.W.

H.A. As in memo. G. Elec has now told me i) as private investor we wdn’t sell equity until expansion p’mme comes to fruition in 2-3 years. ii) don’t sell in a year; for net profit will be down next year and rise in ’63. : sell now or not for 2 years. iii) if it seems tht. we aren’t going to sell at all, this will make it diff. for him to expand executive staff. We shall, however, be criticised for selling prior charges at 15% loss. Tho’ Ty, say tht., so long as we have to borrow, there’s nil in this point. Elec. advice doesn’t warrant changing plan put fwd. in this memo.
M. I agree. I still support the alternative plan in memo. Tho’ this operation may involve a loss. ISRA’s operations as a whole will still show a profit.
R.W. I agree. Politically, any other course wd. be difficult. This can be defended – on basis of waiting until R.T.B’s expansion is complete.
E.H. This means R.T.B can’t be de-nationalised in this Parlt.
H.A. We cd. sell in ’63 – on basis of promising prospectus.
E.H. But by then the industry will again be under threat of re-nationaln
M. I believe (unlike Ely) that we cd. sell next year.
R.A.B. Postponement will not be agreeable to supporters. Para. 12., last line: this won’t go v. well.
D.E. With restns in view (Item 2) we can’t hope to sell much steel stock this year. Surely we ought to give priority to new money for R.T.B.
H.A. X/ That will be our priority in this package.
R.M. Strong arguments v. selling R.T.B. now. But believe, with E.H. that this will continue to be so for more than a year.
P.M. X/ Consider making a proportion of the debentures for R.T.B. convertible.
Memo – approved subject to X/ and X/

C.C. 37(60) 23rd June 1960

1. Parliament [Enter M.R., Prof. Craigton

R.A.B. Business for next week. Speakers in debate on steel de-nationalisation – R. Wood and Ch. Hill. Debate on P.M. Motion on homosexuality – handling of division. Debate on P.M. Mtg on 4/7. P.M. and Alport to speak. Allowances for car journeys by M.P.’s. Opposn can’t support. P.M. will reply to P.Q. to effect that this arrangement will not be introduced.

2. Cyprus

J.P. Talks to be resumed to-day. But now appears tht. G. Govt. have not put pressure promised on Makarios.

3. Housing Policy

H.B. Govt. have held initiative on housing since ’51. Shd. we retain it now, by a major Bill? Main ques: subsidies. Discontent in Party tht. these shd. continue to l.a.’s which make no move twds, economic rates. But higher rates in cities wd. not be popular. My plan wd. have effect of putting l.a.’s on a means test: no subsidy w’out proof of need (includg. satisfn on ques whr economic rates are being collected). Propose no larger amount of Govt. money but more rational distribution of it. Second main ques: do we try to break l.a. monopoly in houses built to let? No incentive to private enterprise. Good small l’lord has disappeared: most who remain are l’lords by inheritance not choice & wd. prefer to get rid of their house – property. Proposal: non-profit making h. assocns with Govt. subsidy. H.A. dislikes this plan: ready to try to find another. But do we want a position counter to Labour plan of municipalisation?
H.A. No main criticism of subsidy proposals. Tho’ I had hoped for a reduction in net total. Alarmed at prospect of subsidy for 2nd part of plan. Not part of our philosophy.
R.A.B. For the individual – higher rents are to be followed by higher rates. Municipal elections next summer: we want to make big gains. This plan wd. wreck that hope. Is rating Bill essential this next session? I wd. prefer to take housing first & have the other to a later session.
H.B. Bill for next session will be mainly industry – wh. will relieve house holder. The new valuation date is the politically awkward one – i.e. 1963. Political effects of housing Bill.
C. Sc. Problem is same – this worse. Timing: our revaluation comes first – ’61. Growing feeling tht. council house rents shd. be raised – to relieve rates.
R.A.B Will be a big load on next session’s legve. p’mme.
P.M.* Small Ctt of Ministers to consider this paper and our one on Rating.
D.E. Don’t exclude consideration of ques whr subsidy shd. be paid at all for slum clearance. We can’t afford to subsidise everything.
H.B. I want to confine subsidies to – slum clearance, overspill, houses for old people and
Agreed – as at *

[Enter B.C., P.M.G., R.W., D.W.S

4. Legislative Programme
R.A.B Next session – general conspectus.
I.M. Sierra Leone – now to A.1.
E.M. Trunk Roads shd. stand in B.2.
R.M. Hope Weights + Measures can come in early – its ready.
C. Scotland i) add a Bill on Flooding; ii) sheriffs pensions cd. be combined with Judicial Officers + kept in B.1. iii) Local Authorities (Publicity) is not suitable for Private Member.
D.E. Education. Libraries is prob. too long. But school leaving age (small) cd. go in if agreement reached.
D.W.S. Social Workers Bill won’t be ready for next session.
H.A. Awkward if Crown Estate Bill can’t be done next session. Might start in H/L.
R.A.B. Usual plan to get Bills ready for introdn in autumn.
Forward P’mmme
R.W. Coal re-organisation Bill – for 1961/2.
R.A.B. Wd. welcome more in acquisition suggn from colleagues.

[Exit B-C., P.M.G. R.W., D.W.S.

5. Nuclear Weapons [Enter C., G.W.

P.M. Consider substance – not drafting of message. i) Do we agree to having this tender here? ii) Do we press for F. Wm via Glasgow? iii) Do we make it a condition that we have an option to come in? – buy or build. iv) How do we handle relation of this with N.A.T.O I.R.B.M.
H.A. In general agreement. Yes to (i). On (iii) no more (and no less) than option. If we join it, I wd. prefer to build here. We cdn’t afford Sky bolt and Polaris at same time: periods of payment wd. have to over-lap. On (iv) I cd. just accept words in draft, but alarmed at potential share of U.K. in this plan if it were agreed.
R.A.B. Cd. we take this change to suggest closer co-opn on economic policies – U.K./U.S. – w’out which we can’t hope to give full support in world defence. E.g. U.S. support of sterling/U.S. attitude on Europe. In this or in a subsequent message.
P.M. Cd send a separate message. Magnitude of our defence contribn. &close integration with U.S. Must ensure tht. our economy can support it.
H.A. But v. little practical work cd. be done with this Adminn. And I wdn’t mention support for sterling because they are more nervous of the dollar.
C. Loch Linnhe is OK – easier, technically, for entrance. AEA are satisfied on safety – outside 3 miles from Fort Wm Tho’, of course, inferior qua logistics.
S.S. Don’t foreshadow, in first announcement, establishment of schools etc.,
E.M. Can we put in a sentence about bldg. some part of U.S. sub. here?
C. Won’t go well with U.S., who have never had any of their equipment built outside U.S.A. Better to concentrate on bldg. our own here.
H.A. COS support this Polaris project.

C.C. 38(60) 30th June 1960

1. Parliament [Enter M.R.,

R.A.B. Business for next week.
I.M. 7/7. Debate on C.D.C. Ministers decided in principle that it shd. continue, but there is an outstanding diffce with Ty. – which may have to come to Cab – on Tuesday if agreement can’t be reached.
R.A.B. Statement before Recess on Parly control of expenditure. Terms under discn. Procedure of Estimates CHY.

  1. Disarmament

S.Ll. R. walk-out. What next? Repves at Geneva at first favoured U.N. mtg. before Genl. Assembly: but second thoughts have brought cold feet. Views continue to be exchange. (x i.e. mtg of Dis. Commn) This mtg might result in new body: but no future in 10-Power group.

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