HC Deb 26 October 1960 vol 627 cc2347-8
42. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Defence if he will state the total expenditure on defence incurred by his Department, the three Service Departments, and the Ministry of Supply since the beginning of 1952.

Mr. Watkinson

Figures are only available by complete financial years. From 1st April, 1952, to 31st March, 1960, the total is estimated to have been £11,498 million.

Mr. Shinwell

Is this not a vast sum of money to have been expended in view of the fact that it appears that we have no adequate defence even at this time and that the Government are in a position of having to rely on the American deterrent and American means of defence? Where has all the money gone? Are we going on spending money in this foolish fashion and getting nothing for it?

Mr. Watkinson

That is the right hon. Gentleman's own personal view. It is not shared by a great many other people.