Hebrides Rocket Range

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3 December 1969.

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Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire 12:00, 3 December 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the latest position reached regarding the proposed extension of the rocket range in the Hebrides.

Photo of Mr Ivor Richard Mr Ivor Richard , Barons Court

The latest position over the proposed extension and development of the Hebrides range is that the initial phase, involving improved instrumentation on South Uist, is almost complete. Development of the permanent installations on St. Kilda is well advanced, and work has started this month on houses for the permanent staff on Benbecula. Planning for the balance of the development set out in our public announcement made in November, 1968, is also well advanced.

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

Why did the Minister make a completely misleading statement on 15th October, when he claimed that the amount of civilian wages connected with the rocket range was running at five times the amount of the lobster catch, when since then it has been proved that the amounts are about equal?

Photo of Mr Ivor Richard Mr Ivor Richard , Barons Court

The hon. Gentleman knows that within 48 hours of having made the statement in the House I wrote to him and to other hon. Members most directly concerned in this matter correcting that. Not only that but I answered a Question, I think by the hon. Gentleman, within a few days. Any suggestion that anyone has been misleading the House by the slip that was made when I answered the first Question is, frankly, unfounded.