HC Deb 29 April 1959 vol 604 c1251
15. Sir P. Agnew

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what aircraft carriers will be available for operational duties in the Fleet in 1970.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

It would be rash to predict what ships will be available over ten years hence. The remaining life of Her Majesty's ships "Victorious", "Centaur", "Eagle", "Ark Royal" and "Hermes" is, however, such that, barring the unforeseen, they should all be capable of operational service in 1970.

Sir P. Agnew

Can my hon. Friend give the House the assurance that there are no ships included amongst those names which will be over age by 1970? Can he say what plans the Royal Navy has for giving up-to-date air support?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I am happy to confirm that the hulls of these ships will not at that stage be over age. I think it would be wrong to lay down our exact plans for eleven years hence, but I can assure my hon. Friend that the Admiralty are very conscious of the need to provide air support at that date, and plans will be made in order to afford it.