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Thor Missile Sites

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 17 May 1961

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32.

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps he is taking to render the Thor missile sites less vulnerable to missile attack.

Is it not the case that as they are at present the Thor missiles could all be destroyed within a few minutes of the outbreak of hostilities unless special attempts are made to harden them? Does the Secretary of State appreciate that these Thor missiles can be no more than a provocation? They are not really an effective instrument of deterrence? Are they not obsolete, and has not the time come to get rid of them or to give them some other use?

No, Sir. We are convinced at present that the threat is still predominantly from manned bombers and that the Thor missile still presents a serious deterrent.