§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. John Hay)
This will, to some extent, depend on the type of reactor chosen, but I am advised that, for a merchant ship, it would be at least three or four years.
Nuclear propulsion of warships is the responsibility of my noble Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty.
§ Mr. Hay
Yes, Sir. We are very concerned about this matter. The immediate object of getting a ship to sea is to gain experience. If we are to get full value from the experiment, it must be a ship economic to operate, compared with a conventionally-powered one. I think that it would be better to investigate carefully before taking a plunge in this matter and that is what we are trying to do.
§ Mr. Popplewell
Can the hon. Gentleman intimate when he hopes he will be able to give the order for a reactor, because it is important to our shipping interests at the present moment that they should have an "all clear" in this respect?