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Britons Blame America More Than USSR for Arms Race

December 6, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ Britons tend to blame the nuclear arms race more on the United States than on the Soviet Union and 44 percent believe a nuclear conflict inevitable, findings of a survey published Sunday indicate.

Forty-nine percent of Britons hold the United States responsible for continuing the arms race, while 45 percent blame the Soviet Union, according to the new survey.

The poll also found that 50 percent of the 2,347 people age 16 and over who were questioned believe the arms race will continue despite unabated despite U.S.-Soviet initatives to reduce their arsenals.

Reading University’s politics department and the polling organization Taylor Nelson Monitor conducted the survey before the superpowers reached final agreement on a treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles, to be signed in Washington this week.

Authors of the study said it was the most comprehensive ever undertaken in Britain to determine attitudes toward nuclear weapons.

Thirty percent of those questioned said they did not think the arms race would continue at the current rate, and 20 percent said they did not know.

The Reading study found that 44 percent of the British peopple believe that a nuclear conflict is inevitable.

On the question of nuclear survival, 82 percent of Britons said they did not think they could survive a nuclear conflict, 8 percent thought they could and 10 percent said they did not know.

No statistical margin of error or exact date of polling was given for the study, which is to be published in full next year.

Attempts to reach those who conducted the survey were unsuccessful Sunday.

Update hourly