Substantial savings will be made in the demands of defence on the nation's manpower and financial resources. More of our forces will be based in Britain. We plan no major change in the size of our contribution to NATO. The savings will be chiefly obtained from a significant reduction in our military presence outside Europe, and from some changes in its deployment.
––‘Supplementary Statement on Defence Policy’, July 19671
Our commitment is not to police the world. We have made it clear that we do not believe that to be the role of this country, but we have pledged this Government against any war…in which Britain would go it alone. This is the basis of our policy. Equally, it is our policy that we cannot police the world on the basis of far-flung military stations.
––Harold Wilson, prime minister,
in the House of Commons, July 27, 19672
I imagine historians will best remember my six years at the ministry of defence for the liquidation of Britain's military role outside