Polaris Weapons System

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st October 1975.

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Photo of Robin Cook Robin Cook , Edinburgh Central 12:00 am, 21st October 1975

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is his current estimate of the future life of the Polaris weapons system.

Photo of Robin Cook Robin Cook , Edinburgh Central

What does my right hon. Friend mean by "many years yet"? Does it represent a departure from the view of the previous Conservative Government that Polaris had an effective life until the late 1980s? If it represents a departure from that view, what has happened to enable the Government to depart from that view?

Photo of Mr Roy Mason Mr Roy Mason , Barnsley

No; I cannot be more specific than that. Without replacing the present Polaris system, there are still many years of life left in the system.

Photo of Mr Frank Allaun Mr Frank Allaun , Salford East

Is the Minister considering holding a nuclear test explosion at Nevada? If so, is it connected with updating or improving the Polaris warhead?

Photo of Mr Roy Mason Mr Roy Mason , Barnsley

I have explained to the House on more than one occasion that maintaining the effectiveness of the present deterrent may necessitate further tests and I have indicated already that there may be—I put it no higher than that—a need for another test some time next year.