HC Deb 27 April 1966 vol 727 cc683-4
20. Mr. Burden

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will use Chatham Dockyard for the construction of hunter-killer nuclear submarines.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

I have nothing to add to the reply given by my predecessor on 27th October last.

Mr. Burden

Would not the hon. Gentleman admit that there has never at any time been any fault in the hull welding of a submarine built at Chatham Dockyard? If this dockyard is to be used as a repair unit, only so much hot welding can be done and welders will be unemployed unless there is cold welding also. In view of the great record of Chathham Dockyard in this sort of construction, would it not be wise to give it the opportunity of construction?

Mr. Mallalieu

Chatham indeed has a fine record. However, it would be a very expensive business to equip it for construction and we think that we have sufficient capacity already.