Page 3, 24th October 1980

24th October 1980
Page 3
Page 3, 24th October 1980 — Probe into UK defence policy

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Locations: London


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Probe into UK defence policy

by Christopher Rails

BISHOP GRANT of Northampton and Bishop Guazzelli of fast London are among sponsors of the Alternative Defence Cornmission, which has been formed to investigate alternatives to Britain's present defence policy.

The Commission has the backing of the Lansbury House Trust Fund which launched it in conjunction with the School of Peace Studies at Bradford University. Catholic members of the Commission include Professor James O'Connell, Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University and Walter Stein, a moral philosopher.

Alternatives the Commission hope to examine include the possible role of territorial defence militias, of a European non nuclear force, and of non-violent resistance us a means of national defence.

The Commission's ehairman, Mr Frank Blackaby, explained that territorial defence militias would probably take the form of those in Sweden and Switzerland, where the enlisting of a number of civilians would ensure the internal defence of the territory and make it difficult to occupy.

The Commission will he asking for submissions from churches, trade unions and political parties. Mr Blackaby said the churches could provide valuable insights on ethical questions such as the problem of the just war theory in the climate of potential nuclear warfare.

Frank Blackaby is Deputy Director of the Institute of Economic and Social Research, and a former staff member of SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Liberal MP, and Catholic, David Alton, will he among more than a dozen speakers at next Sunday's national demonstration and rally against nuclear weapons, in central London. Other speakers will include Sister Margaret Byrne of the sisters of St Joseph of Peace, Tony Benn MP and Professor John Fergusson of the United Nations Association (UK).

The demonstration has been organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and its general secretary, Mgr Bruce Kent, said he expected some 50,000 people would participate.

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