HC Deb 02 May 1995 vol 259 c163
11. Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement of his policy on the Hydrographic Office. [20086]

Mr. Freeman

The Government attach great importance to a specialist hydrographic capability to provide effective support to Royal Navy operations.

Mr. Luff

My right hon. Friend will understand that it is not simply because my brother-in-law is an officer in the hydrographic service that I attach such importance to its role in protecting this country's vital national interests. What reassurance can my right hon Friend give me that the service will have adequate ships to enable it to continue to defend those vital national interests into its third century?

Mr. Freeman

I am delighted to tell my hon. Friend that we have ordered a new ocean survey vessel, which is to be named HMS Scott, after Scott of the Antarctic. The ship will fly the white ensign, have a royal naval crew and be of great help to the hydrographic service.