§ Mr. Douglas
Will the Secretary of State comment on the lifespan of the boats? How will the reorganisation of the re-equipment affect the life of the submarines? Will he give some indication of the timing of a statement on future prospects?
§ Mr. Cook
Would the right hon. Gentleman care to comment on a press report last week that the Defence and Overseas Sub-Committee has felt obliged to cut the Polaris replacement programme from five submarines to four? If, at this early stage of the replacement programme, it has been necessary to cut the programme, would it not be more honest to admit that the replacement of Polaris is far too grandiose a project for a medium-sized Power in serious economic difficulties?