‘Hij doorbrak de goede sfeer van camaraderie’ - Het aftreden van minister van Defensie Kruisinga en de gevolgen hiervan voor het latere Nederlandse kernwapenbeleid | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 125, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


In March 1978 Defence Minister Roelof Kruisinga of the Christian Democratic Party resigned over a cabinet conflict concerning the neutron bomb. It is generally assumed that his resignation was actually due to his difficult personality and his alcohol problem, and that it was therefore of little significance for the Van Agt government. This article argues that this view is incorrect. Kruisinga’s resignation was mainly due to a disturbed relationship with his colleagues in the cabinet. When Kruisinga was forced to abandon his own position on the neutron bomb and to defend the majority position of the other ministers, he was faced with moral conflicts which eventually led to his resignation. His departure was of great importance for the peace movement, because the issue of the neutron bomb was one of the factors that stimulated its rapid expansion in these years. This meant that, from that moment on, the government had to take into account the increasing pressure from social movements and parliamentary opposition.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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