HC Deb 20 March 1968 vol 761 cc389-90
5. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will reconsider the proposed cancellation of Chinook helicopters.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force (Mr. Merlyn Rees)

The R.A.F.'s order for the Chinook was cancelled last November. There is no question of reconsidering this decision now.

Mr. Campbell

Will not the cancellation of the whole order for Chinook helicopters cause serious loss of mobility to the Army?

Mr. Rees

As my right hon. Friend said to the House on 27th November, the Chinook purchase was designed to provide a capability which we have been able to do without until now. We will, therefore, have to do without it for a little longer …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th November, 1967; Vol. 755, c. 65.] This still applies.

Mr. Ramsden

Does this answer mean that, contrary to military advice, the Government are planning for a reduced size of tactical company lift?

Mr. Rees

It means no further decision has been made how to meet this capability, which we have done without for a very long time.