HL Deb 13 February 1980 vol 405 cc309-10WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of the present international tension, they have come to a decision yet on the proposal to convert RFA "Tarbatness" for amphibious tasks in support of RM Commando; if not, whether they have any other plans to ensure instant mobility for this highly trained force; and whether they agree that the value of this force is diminished if it cannot be transported immediately to any scene of action.

The MINISTER of STATE, MINISTRY of DEFENCE (Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal)

The importance of instant mobility and in particular amphibious lift to the effective operation of RM Commando is fully recognised, but it is nevertheless necessary to be satisfied that any measure proposed to provide this capability is cost-effective. It is for this reason that the proposal to convert RFA "Tarbatness" has been under review, but I hope it will be possible to announce a decision shortly.

House adjourned at twenty-one minutes before eleven o'clock.