1970-1979 | Nuclear Armageddon

Harold Wilson – nuclear weapons help us to woo Washington

20 November 1974 On 20 November 1974, during a Cabinet discussion on nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Harold Wilson presented his reasons why he thought Britain should retain them, with the inevitable consequence that the country would be a prime target in the event of any future nuclear war. Wilson might have argued that, despite the…

1970-1979 | Nuclear Armageddon

Ministers and MPs learn of Harold Wilson’s secret H-bomb test

24 June 1974 On 24 June 1974, Prime Minister Harold Wilson made a statement in the House on Britain’s nuclear deterrent. The previous year, the Labour Party Conference had voted by a clear majority to close down all nuclear bases in the United Kingdom and many Labour MPs had taken their seats ready to denounce any…

1970-1979 | Northern Ireland

Ulster Defence Regiment gunmen murder a Catholic couple

7 May 1974 On 7 May 1974, a Catholic couple, James Desmond Delvin, a bar manager aged fourty five, and his wife Gertrude, a librarian aged fourty four, were driving to their home in Dungannon in County Tyrone, with their seventeen year old daughter Patricia. Suddenly, a man dressed in what appeared to be a…

1970-1979 | Arms exports | Backing dictatorships | Chile

Foreign Secretary cites copper as reason for arming Chile’s dictatorship

24 April 1974 On 24 April 1974, Foreign Secretary James Callaghan explained to the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) why the Cabinet had decided to supply the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet with two Leander class frigates and two Oberon submarines. They had been under construction on the Clyde when the military coup, which…