HC Deb 08 February 1966 vol 724 cc196-7
32. Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Minister of Technology if he will state the number of occasions on which he has made official visits to the Aldermaston establishment and the dates and reasons of such visits.

Mr. Cousins

None, Sir.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Why is the right hon. Gentleman so coy about making a visit to this establishment? Surely he enjoyed his former visits, when he marched in the "Easter Parade"?

Mr. Cousins

I appreciate that the hon. and learned Gentleman finds it a little difficult to hang his supplementary question on to that reply, but the reason why I have not been is not that I am coy but because that particular installation is engaged on defence work, which is primarily the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation. I have spent a great deal of my time going to places that are under my direct control and important to the job I am doing.

Mr. Hogg

But will not the right hon. Gentleman confirm that it is the continued policy of this Government, as it was of the last, to diversify the work at Aldermaston so as to include civilian research? Will he not visit Aldermaston for that purpose?

Mr. Cousins

Certainly, when it is appropriate to do so.