HC Deb 10 February 1960 vol 617 cc439-40
12. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Defence how many landing craft are available to the Armed Forces; whether they are of modern design; and if he is satisfied with the position.

Mr. Watkinson

Apart from the Commando carrier H.M.S. "Bulwark", there are 130 landing craft in commission or reserve. A substantial number of the smaller craft are of modern design. As I informed the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) on 11th November, the future of our amphibious forces is under consideration.

Mr. Shinwell

Does that mean that we shall scrap the landing craft no longer regarded as adequate for military purposes?

Mr. Watkinson

The second half of the Answer means, if I may tell the hon. Gentleman, that new designs for a replacement L.S.T. for the Army and a new design for a naval assault ship are now under consideration, and will be take into account in the study I have mentioned.

Commander Maitland

Can my right hon. Friend say when the larger landing craft were built?

Mr. Watkinson

I do not think that I could, without notice, but I quite accept that some of them are getting rather ancient.

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