HC Deb 01 May 1968 vol 763 cc1103-4
42. Mr. Hamling

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what studies he has set up on the possibility of building new types of submarine to replace existing types of surface warships.

Mr. John Morris

As part of our plans for the next generation of Royal Navy warships, announced in Cmnd. 3357, our growing force of Fleet submarines will provide in the 1970's the Fleet's main striking power against enemy surface ships and submarines alike. In these respects, therefore, they will become the capital ships of the future and our studies are geared to this concept.

Mr. Hamling

Is my hon. Friend not aware that modern navies and techniques call for new ideas in the building of submarines?

Mr. Morris

I am sure that my hon. Friend would not wish to criticise my right hon. Friend or myself in this respect. This is obviously one of the main con- siderations in the development of the present submarine fleet.

Dr. Bennett

Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House what total strength of such vessels he expects the Navy to have in the 1970's?

Mr. Morris