Nuclear Submarine "Dreadnought"

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Paul Williams Mr Paul Williams , Sunderland South 12:00 am, 11th December 1957

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty when he will make a statement on the future of Great Britain's atom-powered submarine.

Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty when he expects H.M.S. "Dreadnought" to be launched.

Photo of Mr Christopher Soames Mr Christopher Soames , Bedford

The building of the nuclear submarine "Dreadnought" is proceeding as planned. It is too early yet to announce a launching date.

Photo of Mr Paul Williams Mr Paul Williams , Sunderland South

Will my hon. Friend accept the thanks certainly of hon. Members on this side of the House who are interested in the naval and civil development of new methods of propulsion at sea, and will he remember the lesson in the aircraft sphere of the Vickers 1000 and bear in mind the importance of pressing ahead with this project as fast and as far as possible?

Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice

Can my hon. Friend give an assurance that no measures of economy will affect the launching of this warship, because it is vital for the future of this country as a maritime Power to develop nuclear propulsion for ships before the many other countries which are now engaged in the same task?

Photo of Mr Christopher Soames Mr Christopher Soames , Bedford

I can only say that the programme is going ahead as it was planned, and I have no reason to believe that that will be changed.

Photo of Mr Thomas Steele Mr Thomas Steele , Dunbartonshire West

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say what assistance he is getting from the United States in this matter? Is there close co-operation?

Photo of Mr Christopher Soames Mr Christopher Soames , Bedford

Yes, Sir. Within the broad framework of what was arranged and agreed between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States when the Prime Minister visited Washington recently, nuclear propulsion, especially for military purposes, is obviously a feature which is going to be studied very deeply with a view to a greater degree of co-operation being brought about between the two countries; but it is too early yet to say what effect that will have upon any particular project.