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CABINET PAPERS
Complete classes from the CAB & PREM series in the Public Record Office
Series Three: CAB 128 & CAB 129 - Cabinet Conclusions & Cabinet Memoranda, 1945 and following

Part 4: The Macmillan/Home Governments, January 1957 - October 1964
(CAB 128/31-38 & CAB 129/85-118)

Brief Chronology, 1951-1964

1951

January
Eisenhower appointed supreme commander of NATO
The Iron and Steel industries are nationalised by the Labour government

March
Conference held in London on the creation of a Central African Federation

April
The European Coal and Steel Community is founded by the Treaty of Paris.
Festival of Britain opens in London.
Dr Mussadegh nationalises the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company
Gaitskell’s first budget raises taxes to pay for re-armament; introduction of NHS charges leads to resignation of
Wilson, Bevan and Freeman

September
Balance-of-payments crisis

October
The Conservative Party, led by Winston Churchill, wins the general election with a narrow majority (17 seats)

1952

February
King George VI dies

April
Eisenhower resigns as Supreme Allied Commander, and is nominated by the Republican party as its presidential
candidate.

May
European Defence Community treaty agreed

August
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) is ratified by the six signatories of the Treaty of Paris

October
Britain successfully detonates an atomic device and becomes the world’s third nuclear power
Mau Mau insurrection leads to state of emergency in Kenya

November
Eisenhower wins US Presidential elections

December
President Eisenhower visits Korea
By the end of the year Britain’s Balance of Payments stands at a surplus of £300m

1953
March
Stalin dies and is replaced by Malenkov as Soviet leader

April
Butler reduces income tax by 6d in the budget

May
US planes bomb North Korea

July
Korean armistice signed at Panmunjom

August
Soviet Union successfully tests a Hydrogen Bomb
The Shah regains power in Iran following the fall of Mussadegh

October
Establishment of the Central African Federation

December
Renè Coty wins the French Presidential elections
By the end of the year 327,000 new houses had been built under Macmillan’s housing programme.

1954

March
The US explode a Hydrogen Bomb on Bikini Atoll

April
Senator MacCarthy’s anti-communist hearings begin

May
French surrender at Dien Bien Phu
Geneva Conference on Vietnam opens

June
South Vietnam gains limited independence
Soviet Union rejects the re-unification of Germany at a foreign ministers’ conference in Berlin
The French government of Laniel falls and is replaced by that of Mendes-France

July
Eden announces that 38,000 British troops will be withdrawn from the Suez Canal Zone over the next two years

August
The French National Assembly’s failure to ratify the EDC treaty leads to its collapse
Ministry of Materials, and the Raw Cotton Commission abolished

September
Nine Power Agreement reached at London, ends occupation of West Germany and lays basis for Western European defence as later ratified by the Paris Agreements
The South East Asian Treaty Organisation (SEATO) formed.

October
Algerian uprising against French rule
Western European Union treaty signed

November
Colonel Nasser gains power in Egypt

December
Laos gains independence
US Senate condemns Senator MacCarthy for his communist ‘witch hunts’
354,000 new houses built by the end of the year

1955

January
Soviet Union recognises the Federal Republic of Germany

February
Baghdad Pact, which would later develop into the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) signed by Turkey, Iran and
Britain
Mendes-France's administration falls and is replaced by Edgar Faure
Malenkov is succeeded by Bulganin as Soviet Premier

March
Defence White Paper announces British intention to develop a Hydrogen Bomb

April
Butler introduces tax cuts in his Budget
Churchill resigns and is replaced as Prime Minister and leader of the Conervative Party by Anthony Eden
Civil war breaks out in South Vietnam between Bao Dai and Ngo Dinh Diem

May
West Germany joins NATO
The Warsaw Pact is signed
Federation of Malaya created as an independent nation
General election sees the Conservatives increase their parliamentary majority to 58 seats

June
Jean Monnet resigns as President of the High Authority of the ECSC, he is replaced by René Mayer
The Messina Conference on further European integration is held in Italy
Increasing unrest and violence in Cyprus

July
Eden states at a meeting of the IMF that he will not devalue the Pound
Treaty of Vienna returns full sovereignty to Austria.

September
Sterling crisis

October
The Republic of Vietnam established by President Diem
Eden’s first Cabinet reshuffle
Gaitskell replaces Attlee as leader of the Labour Party

1956

March
Archbishop Makarios is deported to the Seychelles

April
Bulganin and Khrushchev visit Eden in London

June
Record British exports of £238m recorded
Nasser nationalises the Suez Canal

October
Israeli forces launch attack against Egyptian positions as prelude to British and French intervention in the Suez Canal
Zone

November
British and French paratroops seize Port Said, but American and UN pressure results in a cease-fire before the entire
Suez Canal Zone can be secured
Occupation of Hungary by Soviet forces to crush demonstrations in favour of liberalisation
Eisenhower wins US Presidential elections

December
The last French and British troops leave Egypt

1957

January
Harold Macmillan succeeds Eden as leader of the Conservative Party

February
European Free Trade Association proposed by UK.

March
The Treaty of Rome signed
Macmillan meets with Eisenhower at the Bermuda Conference
Archbishop Makarios is released

April
Defence White Paper announces major reduction in defence spending

May
British H-bomb tested on Chritmas Island
Eisenhower offers Macmillan Thor nuclear missles

June
Commonwealth Conference held in London

July
Intervention in Oman
Start of Test-Ban treaty negotiations

August
Establishment of the Council on Prices, Productivity and Incomes (COPPI)

September
Bank rates raised to 7% in an effort to tackle the sterling crisis.

October
Maudling Committee on free trade areas formed.
Serious radiation leak at Windscale nuclear power plant.
Rent Act comes into operation
Macmillan travels to Washington for talks with Eisenhower; ‘Declaration of Common Purpose’
USSR launches Sputnik satellite into orbit

1958

January
Thorneycroft resigns as Chancellor of the Exchequer
EEC and EURATOM come into existence.
Macmillan undertakes a Tour of Commonwealth Countries
The Federation of the West Indies created

February
The Campaign for nuclear Disarmament (CND) is formed.
Industrial unrest in Britain
United Arab Republic formed by Syria and Egypt; and is soon joinecd by Yemen

March
Arab Federation created by Iraq and Jordan

April
Bank rate reduced.

May
De Gaulle becomes Premier of France following political turmoil caused by Algerian unrest.

July
Overthrow of monarchy in Iraq
Start of Cyprus negotiations

August
Chinese communist forces shell the nationalist held islands of Quemoy an Matsu, prompting the US to state its
readiness to use nuclear weapons to defend the islands

November
Berlin Crisis
Roy Welensky’s Federation Party wins elections in the Central African Federation

December
France rejects EFTA proposals.

1959

January
De Gaulle becomes first president of the Fifth French Republic.

February
Macmillan visits USSR
Civil unrest and riots lead to a state of emergency in the Central African Federation
Plans for Cypriot independence agreed upon.
Civil unrest in Central African Federation

March
A cease-fire is called betwee EOKA and British forces in Cyprus

April
£370m given away in tax relief in the Budget.
Gaitskell attempts to remove Clause Four of the Labour Party’s constitution committing it to public ownership.
Conservatives win the general election with an increased majority of 100 seats.

1960

January
Stockholm Convention establishes the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Macmillan begins a tour of Africa in Northern Rhodesia

February
Macmillan addresses the South African Parliament.
Monckton Commission travels to the Central African Federation
Paris Summit, first meeting of the six EEC countries since 1957.
France successfully tests a nuclear device in the Sahara Desert and joins the ‘nuclear club’.

March
67 demonstrators killed at Sharpeville, South Africa.
Macmillan visits Washington; the United States agree to supply the UK with Skybolt nuclear missiles

April
Bank rate raised to 5%
Public announcement of the abandonment of the Blue Streak project and intention to acquire Skybolt nuclear missiles

May
Paris Summit Conference on disarmament

July
Bank rate raised to 6%

August
Cyprus gains independence

October
Nigeria granted independence
The Labour Party is split by issue of unilateral nuclear disarmament at its conference
Monckton Commission report published

November
John F Kennedy wins US Presidential elections

December

Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) renamed into Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD)

1961

April
Sierra Leone granted independence (becomes a republic in 1971)

May
South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth

June
Britain sends troops and aircraft to Kuwait to counter a possible threat from Iraq

July
Fouchet Plan
Greece joins EEC as associate member
Ireland applies for EEC membership
Report of the Prices, Productivity and Incomes Commission

August
Denmark and UK apply for EEC membership
Berlin Wall built

October
Negotiations between EEC and UK, Ireland and Greece begin

December
Tanganyika gains independence and becomes a republic one year later
Macmilan and Kennedy discuss nuclear policy at the Bermuda Meeting

1962

January
Common Agricultural Policy introduced

March
Establishment of National Economic Development Council
Geneva diarmament talks

May
Norway applies for EEC membership

August
Jamaica and Trinidad granted independence

July
Commonwealth Immigration Act
‘Night of the Long Knives’; Macmillan sacks seven Cabinet, and four non-Cabinet, Ministers

September
Vassall case

October
Uganda granted independence

November
Cuban missile crisis
December
US announces cancellation of the Skybolt missile programme.
Macmillan and de Gaulle discuss Europe at Rambouillet
Nassau Agreement reached between Kennedy and Macmillan for supply of Polaris missiles to Britain

1963
January
President de Gaulle vetoes Britain's application to join the EEC
France and FRG sign friendship pact
Gaitskell dies and is replaced by Harold Wilson as leader of the Labour Party

March
Profumo makes a statement in Parliament dennying any “impropriety” in his relationship with Christine Keeler

April
Lord Radcliffe’s report into the Vassall scandal published
Profumo wins libel cases from the Paris Match and Tempo Illustrato

June
Profumo admits lying to Parliament and resigns; the ensuing scandal rocks the government
President Kennedy visits Berlin and delivers “Eich bin Ein Berliner” speech

July
Test Ban Treaty signed in Moscow
Yaoundé Convention; EEC offers reciprocal favourable trade terms to 18 African nations

September
Denning Report into security aspects of the Profumo affair is published
Turkey becomes associate member of the EEC

October
Macmillan resigns and Sir Alec Douglas-Home becomes leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister
Nigeria becomes a republic

November
John F Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Lyndon Johnson sworn in as President of the US

December
Central African Federation dissolved
Kenya gains independence and becomes a republic one year later

1964

April
Ian Smith replaces Winston Field as Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia

July
Malawi gains independence

September
Malta gains independence

October
Zambia becomes an independent republic
Khrushkhev replaced by Brezhnev as Soviet Premier
The Labour Party win a narrow majority in the general election and Harold Wilson becomes the new Prime Minister

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