Tanks

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Supply – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th April 1955.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00 am, 4th April 1955

asked the Minister of Supply the cost of a Centurion tank and a Conqueror tank.

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

It would not be in the public interest to disclose this information.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

But is the Minister aware that in the time of the Labour Government these figures were given in debate by the Minister, and could he not clear up the mystery here?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

Yes, Sir, the hon. Gentleman has more than once drawn the attention of the House to the fact that some figures were given in the Report of the Select Committee on Estimates, but that was exceptional and will not be repeated.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

There may be good reasons why these figures should not be given, but would it not be more satisfactory if the hon. Gentleman would say what is the nature of the reasons why they should not be given?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would put down a Question about that.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that not only the Labour Government but also the present Government have frequently disclosed the cost of aircraft and other weapons, and what is the reason this information is withheld? It seems very mysterious. Can we get an answer?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

I have nothing to add to what I have said already.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

asked the Minister of Supply how the cost of the latest type of tank compares with the tank used in 1945.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

But is the Minister aware that the House will get the impression that these figures are not being given because they would shock the taxpayer?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

If the right hon. Gentleman would like to know, the cost of the Centurion tank has been coming down recently as production has settled into its stride.