HC Deb 22 June 1972 vol 839 c699
20. Mr. Wall

asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the replacement of Honest John in the British Army of the Rhine.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend on 9th March.—[Vol. 832, c. 374.]

Mr. Wall

Does my hon. Friend agree that the replacement of Honest John is now long overdue? Would it not be possible to have some offset arrangement so that, if we bought Lance, the Americans would buy Harrier or Rapier, which offset would be a great advantage to the alliance?

Mr. Gilmour

As my right hon. Friend told my hon. Friend some time ago, this situation is always kept under review, but there are matters of cost, the extent to which our operational requirements are met and other priorities which have to be taken into account. If there were a purchase of Lance, of course offset arrangements would be very important.

Mr. Paget

Is it not true that the idea of tactical nuclear weapons has long been written off as nonsense? Surely we do not want to spend any more money on that nonsense.

Mr. Gilmour

No, it is not true.