§ 5. Mr. Marten
asked the Minister of Technology whether he will visit the United States Navy at Holy Loch to discuss with them the technological benefits from the operation of nuclear-powered submarines and the development of Polaris missiles.
§ Mr. Marten
Will the right hon. Gentleman give the reasons why he will not go to Holy Loch? Is it true that it is because of his antics with the C.N.D. with his right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), who is sitting beside him, and the Aldermaston marches and all that? Would it be because of his background that he will not go there? Will he tell the House and the country why he has done this political somersault in so short a time?
§ Mr. Cousins
I am looking for the reference to that in the Question. Probably the hon. Member will reveal it sometime. The antics in which it is suggested we indulged have nothing to do with the use of technological benefits from the operation of nuclear-powered submarines and the development of Polaris missiles. I am not proposing to use in industry any underwater factories with the opportunity to fire at people from under the water.
§ Mr. Marples
Does the Minister realise that out of the Polaris technological advances, many advances have been made which are useful in industry and are being 1113 applied there? I refer particularly to the critical part played by the computer in civil engineering building and also at atomic power stations. Will he not, therefore, use every technological device which Polaris has thrown up?
§ Mr. Cousins
Certainly, I shall use every device that is thrown up. Like the right hon. Member, I have been doing some visiting, too, and seeing some of the advantages which have come from the advanced techniques, particularly in electronics. This has nothing to do, however, with the question of whether I visit a Polaris submarine base.