Oral Answers to Questions — Naval Programme

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1964.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Frederic Bennett Mr Frederic Bennett , Torquay 12:00 am, 3rd December 1964

asked the Prime Minister when he expects to announce the increases in the existing naval programme, both of manpower and vessels.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

The Government will frame proposals affecting the size of the Armed Forces as part of their review of defence policy as a whole.

Photo of Mr Frederic Bennett Mr Frederic Bennett , Torquay

When the Prime Minister makes his awaited announcement, will he recall his speech at Plymouth when he gave, for once, some extremely unequivocal pledges, namely, that we would have a stronger and more effective Navy, that we would forthwith reintroduce the hunter-killer submarine programme and that the Navy had been run down to a dangerous degree? If the latter statement is correct, does he think that we should wait as long as his announcement will take before doing something about it?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

We have waited many years, have we not? I certainly remember those particular phrases, and many more besides, in that speech made in Plymouth during the election. The hon. Gentleman will, I think, recognise that we have to present this defence statement in its entirety and that before we can find money for expanding any section of that programme we shall have to cut out the appalling waste which we have discovered in other parts of the defence production problem.