Thursday, 22 September 2016

"Until general disarmament has been achieved..."

I moved house a little over a year ago, so naturally many of my things are still in boxes piled up around the place.  Rifling through one of them today, I came across this pamphlet issued by the government in 1963 entitled "Advising the Householder on Protection against Nuclear Attack".  It's pretty sobering reading.

The first line of the introduction reads "The primary purpose of the Government's defence policy is to prevent war; but until general disarmament has been achieved and nuclear weapons brought under international control there still remains some risk of nuclear attack."  I suppose since the time of the publication some progress has been made.  The Partial Test Ban Treaty was signed late in 1963 and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty came later.  Still we have not been attacked by nuclear weapons, but "general disarmament" does not seem to be on the cards, except as an accidental side-effect of austerity, perhaps.