HC Deb 26 November 1970 vol 807 cc589-90
6. Mr. Wall

asked the Minister of State for Defence what proposals he has for speeding up the programme of hunter-killer submarines.

Mr. Kirk

I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave to the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell) on 5th November.—[Vol. 805, c. 425–6.]

Mr. Wall

Is my hon. Friend aware that not only is the rate of building of hunter-killer submarines giving cause for anxiety but so are the weapons with which these vessels are armed, both the torpedo and the lack of any under-water-to-surface weapon, such as SUBROC, are worrying?

Mr. Kirk

I am not happy about the weapon situation. I am looking into it closely.

Mr. George Thomson

Does the hon. Gentleman recall that in the last defence debate before the General Election one of the matters on which the Conservative Party was particularly firm was that it would bring about an increase in the hunter-killer submarine programme? Is this another promise that is now forgotten?

Mr. Kirk

No, the option remains open, but at the moment we think other things are slightly more important.

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