HC Deb 26 October 1960 vol 627 c2344
33. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Transport which reactor he has selected from the three he has had under consideration since last July for incorporation in the proposed experimental pilot nuclear-powered ship.

Mr. Marples

The complex task of evaluating the five tenders that have been received is proceeding as rapidly as possible, but will take some considerable time yet. I am not in a position to reach a decision until it is complete.

Dame Irene Ward

We have already been told how long this whole project will take to come to some conclusion. Cannot my right hon. Friend give us an idea now, in view of the fact that almost every country in the world is getting on with its nuclear propulsion and that I and a great many other people in this country very much regret the delay in Great Britain getting into the forefront of these developments which are of tremendous importance to our future?

Mr. Marples

I think it is an overstatement to say that every country in the world is getting on with the nuclear propulsion of ships. This is a technical committee which is sitting. It is not composed of Government officials only. We have on it the Atomic Energy Authority, shipbuilders, shipowners and Lloyd's Register. Until that technical committee reports, I really cannot do anything.