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Re-Armament Programme

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 27 March 1952

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120.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence to what extent the implementation of the Budget proposals will affect the re-armament programme; and to what figure his recent estimate of £5,200 million will now have to be amended.

The general effect of the Budget in strengthening the economy of the country will clearly be favourable to the progress of the re-armament programme. The figure of £5,200 million was the theoretical cost of carrying out the programme originally estimated to cost £4,700 million in three years had this been possible. The period is now being extended. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister explained to the hon. Member on 20th February last, it is not at present possible to produce a figure for the total cost of defence over the extended period.