Mason Review

The 1975 Mason Review was a review of UK defence policy conducted by the Labour Government's Secretary of State for Defence, Roy Mason.[1] The review was influenced by a Government decision to reduce the defence budget to 4.5% of Gross Domestic Product.[2] The review was intended to anticipate defence needs during the period 1975–1985.


The report made clear that despite the process of East−West Détente which was then gathering pace, the principle threat to the security of the UK remained the Soviet Union. Priority for UK defence resources was given to NATO commitments.

This led to four capabilities being emphasised in the review:

To support this focus on Cold War theatres, most British forces in the Mediterranean Sea were to be withdrawn, and there were to be further reductions in the Far East and the West Indies.

See also


  1. The Defence Review Proposals: Second Report from the Expenditure Committee : Session 1974-75 : Together with the Minutes of the Evidence Taken on 21st January 1975 and Part of the Minutes of the Evidence Taken on 4th and 11th February 1975 Before the Defence and External Affairs Sub-committee. H.M. Stationery Office. 1975. p. 78. ISBN 9780100225954.
  2. Taylor, Claire (19 October 2010). "A Brief Guide to Previous British Defence Reviews" (PDF). UK Parliament. p. 6. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
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