§ Mr. Churchill
asked the Secretary of State for Defence since when it has been the practice temporarily to "moth-ball" a proportion of BAOR Chieftain tanks specifically in consequence of manpower shortages; whether the number of tanks in light preservation—not DRICLAD—is greater or less than a year ago; and how soon he expects manpower strength to be sufficient to restore BAOR's operational Chieftain force to its normal peacetime establishment.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
Since December 1977 a proportion of BAOR's Chieftain tanks has been kept in light preservation because of manpower shortages. The number now in light preservation is slightly smaller than a year ago. It will be some time before the effect on manpower shortages of the decision to restore Service pay to its proper levels can be estimated, but all the tanks in light preservation could rapidly be brought into full operational use in an emergency.