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Vote a. Number for Air Force Service

Part of Orders of the Day — Air Estimates, 1962–63 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th March 1962.

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Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield 12:00 am, 12th March 1962

Would the hon. Gentleman clear up some doubts which are in the minds of several of us? The right hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker), who opened for the Opposition in the defence debate last Monday, gave his reasons for getting rid of the deterrent. I got the impression—perhaps wrongly—that the reason was not cost, but because hon. Members opposite object to it in principle. We are told it is not cost because they would have conventional weapons which would probably cost considerably more. If it is not cost, and if it is a matter of principle, they cannot have it both ways. Surely they can make up their minds now, without seeing a White Paper, or getting some information, as to when they would get rid of it. I think that they are trying to have the best of both worlds.