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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Visions of War and Peace; Interview with Arthur Chalfont, 1986

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


In 1964, Lord Chalfont was appointed Minister for Disarmament, serving until 1970. He represented Britain at the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament (ENCD). In the interview he focuses heavily on the evolution and current state of nuclear non-proliferation, beginning with consideration of the Atoms for Peace program. He relates the views of both the nuclear weapons states and the non-nuclear weapons states, especially countries considered to be “near nuclear.” He describes the British government’s plan to kill the Multilateral Force (MLF) strategy for NATO. He explains the negotiating process during the ENCD, and the difference between what occurred at the negotiations and what occurred in bilateral and trilateral discussions (mainly between the U.S., the Soviet Union, and Great Britain) away from the negotiating table. He also looks at how nonproliferation treaties have succeeded and failed since the late 1960s, giving as examples the 1974 Indian nuclear test and Israel’s attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Visions of War and Peace
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Interview with Arthur Chalfont, 1986

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

Even in the best international atmosphere, the superpowers face continuing differences about hot to reduce the risk of nuclear war. This final episode analyzes the continuing themes of the nuclear age.

- American attitudes toward nuclear weapons are intertwined with American anxieties about the nature of the Soviet State. - NATO relies on a threat of first use of nuclear weapons in response to an attack even by conventional forces of the Warsaw Pact. - To date, there is no defense against nuclear missiles. - More and more nations are acquiring nuclear technology. - Many people confuse arms control with disarmament.

The challenge of the Nuclear Age is to find a new way for nations to resolve disputes so they will no longer resort to force.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Nuclear nonproliferation
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Nuclear-weapon-free zones
Myrdal, Alva, 1902-1986
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)
Goldschmidt, Bertrand
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970
Barre, Raymond
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
International Atomic Energy Agency
Gandhi, Indira, 1917-1984
Nuclear disarmament
Nuclear weapons
Great Britain
Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (1967)
Nuclear arms control
Soviet Union
International relations
Bhaba, Homi J.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Nuclear energy
United States
London, England
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Chalfont, Arthur Gwynne Jones, Baron, 1919- (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Visions of War and Peace; Interview with Arthur Chalfont, 1986,” 12/15/1986, GBH Archives, accessed July 15, 2024,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Visions of War and Peace; Interview with Arthur Chalfont, 1986.” 12/15/1986. GBH Archives. Web. July 15, 2024. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Visions of War and Peace; Interview with Arthur Chalfont, 1986. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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