HC Deb 07 March 1962 vol 655 c381
12. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what has been the total amount spent in each of the last three financial years on new construction and modernisation of warships, respectively.

The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. C, Ian Orr-Ewing)

In the three financial years 1958–59 to 1960–61, the cost of new construction warships was £40.7 million, £49.6 million and £56 million. Modernisation costs in the same years were £6.7 million, £5.2 million and £9.2 million.

Mr. Digby

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the importance of saving all possible money for new construction? Will he bear in mind that at this moment, I believe, the Americans have a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on trials and that we have no nuclear propelled surface ships envisaged for this year?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I will certainly bear these points in mind.

Mr. Willis

Will the hon. Gentleman say what the very great increase in the expenditure on modernisation was for?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

In the year just finished we were spending money on H.M.S. "Albion" and that took a good deal of money, and the refurbishing of H.M.S. "Eagle" also took a very considerable slice.