Just Defence Charter signed

JUST DEFENCE LOGOAs those who seek to contribute to our national security in Parliament or other positions in public and professional life, the signatories of this Charter agree: 

1. The defence of our country and of our way of life must be strong and effective. This is the right of the British people and nothing less will enjoy their support. 

2. Defence policy must be for defence only, and clearly seen as non-provocative to others. Modern technology, which has changed so much of our industrial and social life, has also transformed the nature of warfare. Conventional defence can now become doubly powerful to deny success to an aggressor through the intelligent use of new and cost-effective technology. 

3. A non-provocative doctrine of ‘defence only’, will reduce international tension and substitute policies of political detente for those of political confrontation. 

4. Those who are clearly non-provocative in their policies will be best placed to stabilise any crisis and prevent it escalating into major conflict either through fear or misunderstanding. 

5. Since weapons of mass destruction are, by their nature, threatening and provocative, British defence policy should not depend on the use of nuclear weapons. To this end Britain should phase out the storage or operation of such weapons. 

6. The early reduction to a strict minimum of strategic nuclear weapons confined to the two superpowers would be a major and welcome step towards creating the conditions of detente and mutual security which will allow for the ultimate elimination of all such weapons. 

7. World security depends on the progressive reduction of all offensive weaponry, whether nuclear or non-nuclear. A ‘Just Defence’ policy for Britain would be a significant contribution to that end; and we should seek to persuade other countries with whom we are allied or associated to adopt a similar policy. 

8.  ‘Just Defence’ must accord with the principles of international justice, as defined in the Charter of the United Nations and the judgments of the International Court of Justice. 

9. Non-provocative defence and progressive disarmament could release very large resources for the support of social, educational, and health services, and the relief of poverty and hunger in the Third World. 

We, the signatories, look forward to the emergence of a new consensus on Defence Policy in Britain whereby – whatever the differences in their detailed proposals – all political parties will construct their policies within the framework of the principles of ‘Just Defence,.

Published by ‘Just Defence’: 7 Pound Place, Eltham, London SE9 5DN.  (Address no longer in use)



Initial signatories, in their personal capacity, include:

 Lord Beaumont

Rt Rev John Bickersteth  (Bishop of Bath & Wells)

 Professor J.W. Boag (London University)

 Rt Rev Stanley Booth-Clibborn (Bishop of Manchester)

 Sir Hugh Casson KCVO PRA

 Rev Dr Don Cupitt (Cambridge)

 Dr Bernard Dixon

 Rt Rev Tony Dumper (Bishop of Dudley)

 Colonel Sir John Figgess KBE , CMG

Professor Duncan Forrester (Edinburgh)

Cardinal Gordon J. Gray

 Rev Dr Kenneth Greet

Rt Rev Victor Guazelli (Titular Bishop of Lindisfarne  in East London)

Brigadier Michael Harbottle OBE

 Rt Rev Michael Hare-Duke (Bishop of St Andrews)

 Malcolm Harper

Professor Dorothy Hodgkin OM FRS (Oxford)

Sir Raymond Hoffenberg MD PRCP (Oxford)

Rt Rev Monsignor Patrick Kelly (Bishop of Salford)

Dr Anthony Kenny (Oxford)

Air Commodore Alastair Mackie CBE DFC

Rt Rev Hugh Montefiore (Bishop of Birmingham)

John Mortimer CBE QC

Professor John Nye FRS (Bristol)

Most Rev Keith 0’Brien (Archbishop of Edinburgh)

Jonathon Porritt

Professor Harry Ree  CBE DSO Croix de Guerre

Professor Joseph Rotblat  CBE (London)

Rt Rev David Sheppard (Bishop of Liverpool)

Rev Dr Kenneth Slack  MBE

Professor Hugh Tinker (Lancaster)

Rev Canon Kenyon Wright (Scottish Churches Council)


Undated but preamble included a reference to the 1987 election


Comments are closed.