HC Deb 26 January 1955 vol 536 c132
9. Mr. Wyatt

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many aircraft carriers, and of what type, are now in commission; and how many are in reserve.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

I shall, of course, be giving full information about the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers in my Statement Explanatory of the Navy Estimates for 1955–56, and I should prefer not to anticipate that statement.

Mr. Wyatt

Why cannot the First Lord give the figures, which are very short and simple, and would not take very long to state? Or is he trying to conceal the fact that the Navy is retaining a number of obsolescent vessels which Lord Montgomery advised it to get rid of?

Mr. Thomas

I think the appropriate time to give these figures for which the hon. Gentleman asks is the time when the Estimates are presented. I can assure him that I am concealing nothing. I hope that he will be agreeably surprised when the Statement Explanatory of the Navy Estimates is presented.