Surface-to-Surface missile

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice 12:00 am, 12th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the first British surface-to-surface missile for use at sea will be operational.

Photo of Mr Roy Mason Mr Roy Mason , Barnsley

I have nothing to add at present to the statements which my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Navy and I made in the recent Defence debates.—[Vol. 742, c. 553; Vol. 743, c. 614–5.]

Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice

Can the hon. Gentleman undertake that these missiles will be operational before aircraft carriers are phased out?

Photo of Mr Roy Mason Mr Roy Mason , Barnsley

I could not give such an assurance, but I think that the position will become clearer after we have examined the report of the Future Fleet Working Party.

Photo of Mr Victor Goodhew Mr Victor Goodhew , St Albans

This is altogether unsatisfactory. The Government have decided to abandon the aircraft carriers and surely it is essential that they should know whether they will have the surface-to-surface missiles to replace them, because without such missiles the Navy will be useless.

Photo of Mr Roy Mason Mr Roy Mason , Barnsley

We have in mind providing a light tactical strike capabality from either ships or helicopters, and the various alternatives are still under consideration.