The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty (Mr. John Dug-dale)
With the permission of the House, I desire to make the following short statement.
As a result of conversations between my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty and theMinistre des Armees,His Majesty's Government have agreed to lend to the French Government free of charge a light fleet carrier of the "Colossus" class. The loan will be for 2104 not longer than five years. His Majesty's Government hope that this arrangement will be of help to the French Navy which, at the moment, possesses no modern operational carrier. The French Government are at the same time buying six British-built frigates now on loan to the French Navy. I understand that an official statement is being issued this afternoon to the French Press in similar terms.