§ Mr. Tracey
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of HMS Malabar, Bermuda.
§ Mr. Hanley
HMS Malabar, a small Royal Navy base in Bermuda, has provided the United Kingdom with a valuable asset in what has in the past been a strategically significant location. In the changed environment, however, its strategic importance has greatly diminished, and after careful consideration, the Government have decided that the base should be closed in April 1995. The Government are most grateful to the Government and people of Bermuda for the support which they have given the base, and intend that continued visits by vessels of the Royal Navy will maintain the service's close association with the island.