HC Deb 11 December 1957 vol 579 cc1237-8
10. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty when he will make a statement on the future of Great Britain's atom-powered submarine.

17. Major Wall

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty when he expects H.M.S. "Dreadnought" to be launched.

Mr. Soames

The building of the nuclear submarine "Dreadnought" is proceeding as planned. It is too early yet to announce a launching date.

Mr. Williams

Will my hon. Friend accept the thanks certainly of hon. Members on this side of the House who are interested in the naval and civil development of new methods of propulsion at sea, and will he remember the lesson in the aircraft sphere of the Vickers 1000 and bear in mind the importance of pressing ahead with this project as fast and as far as possible?

Major Wall

Can my hon. Friend give an assurance that no measures of economy will affect the launching of this warship, because it is vital for the future of this country as a maritime Power to develop nuclear propulsion for ships before the many other countries which are now engaged in the same task?

Mr. Soames

I can only say that the programme is going ahead as it was planned, and I have no reason to believe that that will be changed.

Mr. Steele

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say what assistance he is getting from the United States in this matter? Is there close co-operation?

Mr. Soames

Yes, Sir. Within the broad framework of what was arranged and agreed between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States when the Prime Minister visited Washington recently, nuclear propulsion, especially for military purposes, is obviously a feature which is going to be studied very deeply with a view to a greater degree of co-operation being brought about between the two countries; but it is too early yet to say what effect that will have upon any particular project.