Is there not an urgent need for replacement of this aircraft? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this matter was in the minds of the previous Government and that it is essential for the Services to have a decision at an early date? Is he further aware that it is also in the interest of our own aircraft industry that we should know whether this aircraft will be built here or abroad?
I am reviewing the content of the defence programme, including the question of replacing the Shackleton, and I am not prepared to go beyond that statement at the present time.