HC Deb 12 April 1961 vol 638 cc235-7
33. Mr. Lipton

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what is the cost of the security arrangements in connection with the Polaris base at Holy Loch.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

These arrangements are the joint responsibility of the United States Navy, the Royal Navy and the civil police. Twenty additional personnel of the Admiralty Constabulary are being brought in at a cost of £24,000. Apart from this, no extra security costs arise so far as the Admiralty is concerned.

Mr. Lipton

Is the Civil Lord aware that apparently any Tom, Dick or Harry can get on to this submarine whenever it is in Holy Loch? According to Press reports, radio transmitters of a somewhat irregular character operate in the neighbourhood. Everyone knows everything that is going on. Are not we getting poor value for the so-called security arrangements which Her Majesty's Government and the United States authorities claim to be providing?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

When I was there the day before yesterday, I formed a good opinion of the good sense which the United States authorities, the Royal Navy and the local police have exercised in dealing with canoeists and other demonstraters.

Sir J. Duncan

Can my hon. Friend say something arising out of his recent visit to "Proteus", particularly regarding the American view of the Scottish people?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

The Scottish people have shown their normal warm-hearted hospitality. Offers of hospitality have been numerous. The captain of the "Proteus" told me that at the beginning of the trip he received on average 100 letters daily, of which 92 showed warm support for the arrival of "Proteus" and only 8 of which were critical.

Mr. Burden

Is my hon. Friend aware that a group of people who are now proceeding to the Holy Loch have stated that anything might arise when they get there? Will every effort be made to discourage any activities which might be damaging to the security of the base and to Anglo-American relations?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

This matter will be taken into consideration. Some time must elapse before we know the body of opinion. It is noticeable that all the canoeists and, persumably, most of the marchers came from England and not from Scotland.

Mr. Manuel

Owing to the large increase in population in the Dunoon area adjacent to the Holy Loch, will the Civil Lord indicate what additional police and security arrangements will be necessary to maintain law and order? It is not only desirable people who come from England. There are others of another kind.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I think that that does not fall within the responsibilities of the Civil Lord of the Admiralty.