Unilateralist Demonstration Aldermaston March
(Previous Reference:CC (68) 26th Conclusions Minute 5)
3. The Prime Minister said that, in view of the risk of disorder arising as a result of attempts by persons taking part in the march from Aldermaston to London to break into the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) and the Royal Ordnance Factory, Burghfield, it was important that it should be made clear where responsibility for controlling any disorder lay. He had accordingly asked the Home Secretary, as the Minister responsible for the maintenance of public order, to ensure, in consultation with the Secretary of State for Defence and Minister of Technology, that a clear command structure was established, that adequate numbers of service and departmental police were available at the two establishments and, if necessary, that helicopters were provided to move police reinforcements to the scene of any disorders.
The Home Secretary said that the march was expected to attract to this country foreign students, including a number of German students of a type which had introduced new and more violent tactics on the occasion of the demonstration in Grosvenor Square on 17th March. The police were anxious that foreign students should be refused entry, but only one of those expected had been charged as a result of the disorders in Grosvenor Square and it was not clear on what grounds the exclusion of others could be justified.In discussion it was pointed out that this type of demonstration was increasingly being organised on an international scale by anarchist and Communist elements, who, unlike the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, were interested in provoking violence. The Government would be open to criticism if so soon after the Grosvenor Square demonstration they permitted foreign students to come and violence of a similar kind occurred.