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Nuclear Propulsion

Volume 645: debated on Monday 2 October 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will now make a statement about the development of a nuclear-propelled merchant vessel.


asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a further statement on the development of a nuclear-powered merchant ship.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his replies to this question in recent months have become very pessimistic from the point of view of those Who want to see a prototype at sea? Now that my right hon. Friend has had tenders in hand for a whole year, when will he make up his mind about it? Will there be a statement during the Recess?

I am afraid that this must be considered and is now being discussed in the light of the Chancellor's statement.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that now that Euratom is conducting projects in Germany, Holland, France and Italy, it would be quite disastrous if we abandoned this race? If the right hon. Gentleman is constitutionally unable to make a decision, will he ask the Prime Minister to designate another Minister who is able to make a decision?

I am afraid that the hon. Member is not right about marine nuclear power in Europe. My information is not the same as his, but I will make a decision as quickly as possible.

As the right hon. Gentleman is so constantly postponing decisions on major policy, may I ask whether it would not be a good idea if he changed the name of his Department to the "Ministry of Procrastination"?

That might have been true at some time when certain people were present in the Ministry, but not now.