§ 53. Mr. Lipton
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many high-explosive bombs were used in operations against the "Torrey Canyon"; how many hit the ship or fell into the sea; and how many failed to explode either on the ship or in the sea.
§ Mr. Lipton
If that is the best information that we can get with hand-picked crews on an undefended target in reasonably good conditions, does it not look as if we are getting very poor value for our vast defence expenditure? Will my hon. Friend accept the proposition that it is time that somebody got a bowler hat for the lamentable Answer which he has just given?
§ Mr. Mason
That is a disgraceful reflection upon the efficiency of Her Majesty's forces. I should, in fairness, point out that two-thirds of the vessel was submerged and was seen only at low tide and, secondly, that after the initial 1203 strikes, it was covered with a thick pall of smoke and, consequently, it could not be seen whether there were direct hits or explosions.
§ Sir Knox Cunningham
Can the Minister give the cost of all the bombs which were dropped during the "Torrey Canyon" operation?