HC Deb 02 April 1952 vol 498 cc1641-2
8. Dr. Bennett

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware of the increasing ugliness of naval ships designed since the "Dido" and "Town" class cruisers and the war-time fleet and "Hunt" class destroyers, culminating in the haphazard profile of the new "Daring" class destroyer; and if he will direct attention to the practicability of designing pleasant-looking ships without detracting from their fighting efficiency.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

Her Majesty's ships are designed to be fit for their purpose, namely, to fight with the maximum efficiency, and I can assure my hon. Friend that our latest warships will not be found wanting in this respect.

Dr. Bennett

In spite of a number of innovations having taken place since sail gave way to steam, it has never yet been impossible to design handsome ships. Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the fighting efficiency of a ship is contributed to substantially by the keenness and fondness of the sailors in her for that ship, because of their appreciation of good lines in these as in other circumstances?

Mr. Thomas

I assure my hon. and gallant Friend that I was on the "Diamond "only on Monday last, when I found that the men had a great affection for their ship. If he has any better or more attractive design himself, perhaps he will let me know.

Mr. I. Mikardo

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that anybody at the receiving end of a naval shell is more reconciled to the effects of it if he knows it comes from a beautiful battleship?

Mr. Thomas

I must say that I rather doubt it.

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