DAVID Crawford (Letters, October 23) asks a question about why the UK Government allows a large element of UK tax revenue to be spent with the US facilities to support the UK nuclear weapon submarine resource. He answers his question by saying "money", because the UK itself is a substantial supplier of weapons

I believe that there is more to it than he suggests. The Labour Government at the end of the Second World War could have decided not to have nuclear weapons. It initially took the option to have them largely because of status and pride. Ernest Bevin, then the Foreign Secretary, stated: "We’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack on top of it." The costs of maintaining that status have become more and more expensive over the years, which has led to the UK becoming more and more reliant upon the US for technical support at a cost. The theory must be that it is better to have a nuclear deterrent sort of independent rather than not have such deterrent at all.

I also believe that status still has a large part to play in the UK’s position today, albeit we are far removed from the circumstances prevailing at the end of the Second World War. It is interesting that all five permanent members of the UN Security Council are nuclear powers: China, France, Russia, the UK and the US. The UK, no doubt, places great value upon that status and is likely to regard being a nuclear power as helping to sustain it. The original idea was that the five would progressively disarm in exchange for other states not acquiring nuclear weapon facilities. That idea has gone well, hasn’t it? Look at India and Pakistan and the likelihood of some others.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


I WAS surprised that no mention was made, in the article about the stranded seaplane in Loch Ness ("Seaplane raised from Loch Ness and now race begins to repair it", The Herald, October 23), of the 27 Catalina seaplanes based in Largs during the Second World War. Iceland Airways (now Icelandair) also operated one of its first commercial flights from Largs to Iceland in 1945. There is still at least one sunken Catalina lying in the bay which is now a regular diving site. So yet another claim to fame for the seaside town that used to advertise it`s ironmongers as the "largsest" in the world.

George Dale, Beith.


IN the brouhaha over an insulting epithet during a robust parliamentary exchange at Westminster ("Next time, Angela, ask yourself what Jacinda would do", The Herald, October 23 ), I am reminded of Welsh Labour politician Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), when Minister of Health in Attlee’s government, expressing his deep hatred of Conservatives by referring to them as “lower than vermin” during a public debate on 4th July 1948.

Now rightly credited for his role in establishing the welfare state and the NHS, and voted in 2004 first in a list of 100 Welsh heroes, it didn’t do "Nye" any harm.

Nor Margaret Thatcher, who joined a newly-established Vermin Club, progressed to the position of Chief Rat, and later Prime Minister.

Sticks and stones, etc.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.