Britain’s minister of defence, Denis Healey, breezed into Portsmouth and brought a few rounds of anti-Tory ammo with him.
Speaking in support of Frank Judd – fighting to retain his seat in Portsmouth West – Mr Healey gave a 30-minute account of his stewardship as defence minister, also touching on social and economic issues.
Under Harold Wilson’s Labour government, 1969 was the first year in British history more money had been spent on education than weapons of war.
Since 1964, £3bn was axed from defence budgets, with a further saving of £2bn planned for the future.
Mr Healey said: ‘Though we have saved money, we now have the best-equipped, best-trained and best-paid fighting men in the whole of Europe.’
Besides the American navy, the Royal Navy was thought to be the most formidable in the west.
After coming into power in 1964, Labour invested an average £102m a year on new ships, while the Conservative government, which ruled for 13 years before it, spent £74m.
Pictured: Mr Healey, left, chats with Frank Judd, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth West after the meeting.