§ 3.5 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it has been decided to do away with the appointment of Flag Officer commanding the Reserve Fleet; whether this decision was arrived at because it has been decided to do away with the Reserve Fleet; and why could this decision not have been given to the House during the recent Navy debate.]
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (LORD CARRINGTON)
My Lords, the appointment of Flag Officer Commanding the Reserve Fleet has been abolished because ships in reserve are now being kept almost entirely in Home ports, where they will be administered by Commanders-in-Chief, as they are abroad. There will be a Commodore, Reserve Ships, to advise on maintenance practice and standards. These developments follow from the policy of reducing the size of the Reserve Fleet announced in the 1958 Defence White Paper, and I did not think that they called for a special announcement in the Navy Estimates debate.