Orders of the Day — Defence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st August 1961.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00 am, 1st August 1961

There was an air of great unreality during our debates early this year when we discussed the enormous sums of money which we were voting on the various Estimates, but there seems an even greater air of unreality about this debate. Yesterday, the House was crowded for a statement by the Prime Minister about the economic situation which was driving us into the Common Market. Tomorrow and Thursday the House will be crowded when we discuss the economic difficulties and financial crisis facing the country. In the middle, we are having a debate on the problems of defence, which implies consideration of defence expenditure.

The hon. Member for Bute and North Ayrshire (Sir F. Maclean) seems to be almost oblivious of the fact that we are in a financial crisis. He began by talking about a nuclear deterrent and then went on to talk about the conventional deterrent. He seemed to be almost oblivious of the fact that these demands will cost a vast sum of money.