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By J. P. G. Freeman (auth.)

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Extra info for Britain’s Nuclear Arms Control Policy in the Context of Anglo-American Relations, 1957–68

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THE GOVERNMENT RESPONDS Having opted in 1955 to develop a hydrogen bomb it was only a matter of time before the government would have to answer the growing scientific criticism of the dangers of atmospheric testing. The subject of radiation hazards was no longer a matter of'mere' scientific discussion, but of political debate. The government was conscious of the need to answer critics of the test programme. In March 1955 the Prime Minister requested that the Medical Research Council (MRC) appoint an independent committee to report on the medical and genetic aspects of nuclear radiation and, in 1956, that committee reported to Parliament.

Blackett and Julian Huxley), tried to develop a systematic analysis of science and society mainly along Marxist lines. These men, recently described as a 'visible college',4 published numerous books and an endless series of articles in journals as different as The Spectator and Left Review. 5 All these various men were held together by a common spirit - the anti-fascism that is so clearly remembered today. 6 Even without the atomic bomb the scientific community in Britain would have been engaged in a continuing discussion of the role of the scientist in the post-1945 world.

The Political Committee also indicated that the scope for disarmament should be the regulation and balanced reduction of all armaments and armed forces; the elimination of atomic weapons and the international control of atomic energy which, while prohibiting atomic weapons, would facilitate the transfer of atomic knowledge for civil purposes. 62 The Sub-Committee was advised to meet alternately in each of the member nations - that is, in the USA, the USSR, the UK, France and Canada. The Sub-Committee met first in London in 1954 and Britain anc From Comprehensive to Partial Disarmament 19 France together proposed a large-scale, comprehensive disarmament plan that postulated early nuclear and conventional disarmament.

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