§ 6. Mr. Wainwright
asked the Lord President of the Council and Minister for Science the numbers of naval architects attached to the Atomic Energy Authority.
§ Mr. Wainwright
Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman think that we have sufficient naval architects attached to the Atomic Energy Authority? What intentions does his Department have to increase the numbers because of the Polaris submarines that we are building? Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider proposals for a nuclear surface vessel instead of one of 233 the Polaris vessels, to ensure that we are not left behind in this race?
§ Mr. Hogg
Those are three rather different questions. The two naval architects to whom the Answer relates are engaged in preparing preliminary specifications and investigating special construction features required for nuclear ships. They are part of a team consisting of four marine engineers and two naval architects and they are concerned with surface nuclear ships. I do not think that I am responsible for the construction of nuclear submarines. The third part of the hon. Member's supplementary question escapes me.
§ Sir L. Ropner
Is it not the Minister of Transport who is primarily responsible for the design of atomic propulsion for the mercantile marine?
§ Mr. Hogg
Yes, Sir. That would be so if one proceeded to the extent of a full-scale vessel, but the Atomic Energy Authority is concerned with research into the necessary reactors. It is reasonable in those circumstances that the British Shipbuilding Research Association, for which I am answerable, should have seconded two naval architects to the Atomic Energy Authority.