HC Deb 12 July 1961 vol 644 cc381-2
24. Mr. Willis

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what steps are being taken to expedite the conversion of H.M.S. "Albion" to the rôle of commando carrier.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

Special steps were taken to fit H.M.S. "Albion" into the dockyard programme at Portsmouth. She will be completed as soon as possible consistent with incorporating in her the lessons learnt with H.M.S. "Bulwark".

Mr. Willis

As recent events have shown the importance of these ships, can the Civil Lord say when this one is likely to be finished?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

We would hope that she would become operational towards the end of next year.

Sir J. Maitland

Is it intended that "Albion" and "Bulwark" will work together?

Mr. G. Brown

It would be unfortunate if they worked against each other.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

They will operate concurrently, one east and one west of Suez. To maintain continuous availability east of Suez, the carrier west of the Canal will be refitting part of the time.