The ‘Close Relationship’ 1963–1969

  • John Baylis


The amendments to the McMahon Act in the late 1950s and the Nassau Agreement in the early 1960s represented in many respects the highest point in post-war collaboration between the two states in defence matters. From 1963 onwards relations in general were not bad: indeed cooperation in many different areas of policy, including defence, continued to be very close. Nevertheless relations, especially at the highest levels, have since then rarely if ever recaptured the kind of warmth and intimacy which led to agreements such as those between 1958 and 1963. Increasingly, divergences of national interests, preoccupations with domestic problems and a growing disparity in power tended to produce a cooling of relations between the two countries, which were reflected to a certain extent in a number of irritating difficulties.


Prime Minister Nuclear Weapon Nuclear Force Labour Government British Government 
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  1. 2.
    See G.W. Ball, The Discipline of Power (London: Bodley Head, 1968) and Pierre, op.cit. p.235.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    H. Wilson, The Labour Government 1964–70 ( London: Penguin, 1974 ), p. 70.Google Scholar
  3. 20.
    See P.G. Walker, ‘The Labour Party’s Defence and Foreign Policy’, Foreign Affairs Vol.XLII, No.3, April 1964 and Pierre, op.cit. pp.262–4.Google Scholar
  4. 32.
    N. Beloff, ‘Labour unlikely to scrap bomb’, Observer, 17 November 1963.Google Scholar
  5. 66.
    R.S. Crossman, Diaries of a Cabinet Minister, Vol.I, (London: Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape, 1975 ), p. 94.Google Scholar
  6. 75.
    L.B. Johnson, The Vantage Point 1963–69 ( London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971 ), p. 255.Google Scholar

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© John Baylis 1981

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  • John Baylis

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