§ Mr. Foulkes
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has on the future of the royal research ship John Biscoe; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Walden
The RRS John Biscoe is now 29 years old and although structurally sound cannot reasonably be expected to continue Antarctic service much beyond the late 1980s. Discussions are currently taking place between the Department and the Natural Environment Research Council on the future logistic and research requirements of the British Antarctic Survey. The issue of a replacement for the RRS John Biscoe is being addressed as part of those discussions.