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In Yes, Prime Minister Series 2 Episode 7, Prime Minister Hacker referred to a math problem:

If it costs 5 billion pounds a year to maintain Britain’s nuclear defences and 75 pounds a year to feed a starving African child. How many children could be saved from starvation if the Minister of Defence abandoned nuclear weapons.

Sir Humphrey gave an answer:

None. They’d spend it all on conventional weapons.

I once thought the They here referred to the African people; but now I’m not sure.

Could it refer to the Ministry of Defence?

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Could it refer to the Ministry of Defence?

Definitely.

The question is what would the MOD do with their budget for nuclear weapons if those weapons were abandoned.

The MOD would spend it on alternative weapons instead.

In Yes, Prime Minister there is a general premise that budgets must be spent and, ideally for them, increased every year.

Budgets = Power

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