HC Deb 13 December 1967 vol 756 cc408-9
14. Captain W. Elliot

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is satisfied that the Royal Navy anti-submarine forces are strong enough to ensure the survival of this country in the event of a major submarine attack by a hostile power; and if he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Navy (Mr. Maurice Foley)

The present level of Royal Navy anti-submarine forces, together with those of our N.A.T.O. Allies, provides an effective shield against major submarine attacks. The introduction of the new classes of ships and equipment outlined in this year's White Paper will help to ensure that this remains the case.

Captain Elliot

Is not the Under-Secretary aware that the Defence Estimates of 1967 says: …it is no longer realistic for the Alliance to attempt to provide maritime forces for conducting a prolonged war at sea… So the allied forces will not be available. Is it not a fact that our own anti-submarine forces have never been so weak and that the threat from submarines due to technical progress has never been so great? Is it not the truth that, in the event of a submarine attack, this country faces defeat and ruin?

Mr. Foley

Certainly not.

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