HC Deb 18 April 1961 vol 638 cc953-4
16. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give an estimate of the financial expenditure likely to be incurred by the local authorities, particularly in respect of police, education and housing, in the neighbourhood of the Holy Loch as a result of the Polaris base being established there.

Mr. Brooman-White

The likely additional expenditure is: police, nil; education, between £10,000 and £30,000 a year depending on whether additional accommodation is needed; and housing, nil.

Mr. Hughes

Can the Minister give any reason why the local authorities in this area should be penalised as a result of this new activity in their area? Does he not think that it should be a national charge? Is he aware of the statement made recently by the captain of the "Proteus" that billions of dollars were being saved by the base being there? Does he not think that it would be reasonable to claim some of the billions of dollars for the expenditure which is involved for the local authorities?

Mr. Brooman-White

If the local authority feels that it has special difficulties over this matter it can make representations to us. To date, we have received no such representations.

Mr. Mason

To complete the picture, will not the Minister also inform the House, apart from the defence benefits of the base, of the commercial and economic benefits to the area? We ought to know that before we reach a conclusion.

Mr. Rankin

In order fully to complete the picture, will the hon. Member also consider the danger created by the fact that it has been recently revealed that this weapon is still not fully tested?

Mr. G. Thomas

On a point of order. Are we to understand, Mr. Speaker, that you are opening the floodgates in order that we may all join in?

Mr. Speaker

I like to hear South Wales about every topic, but the last supplementary question was out of order.