Orders of the Day — Statement on the Defence Estimates

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:24 pm on 19th October 1993.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Jeremy Hanley Mr Jeremy Hanley , Richmond and Barnes 4:24 pm, 19th October 1993

The hon. Gentleman has seen the map on the back of the document which shows the areas covered by this code of practice and by the subfacts system. Those are areas where we have seen a proven need for the system, but we are always ready to consider an extension to it. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will give me chapter and verse about the incidents to which he refers.

I know that a number of hon. Members take a keen interest in the Merchant Navy. As demonstrated during the Gulf crisis and more recently in the deployment of forces to the former Yugoslavia, merchant shipping continues to play an important role in military operations.

In July 1992 my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Defence Procurement announced the conclusion of a review by Government Departments of the defence requirement for merchant ships in times of crisis. This established that there were still sufficient vessels on the British registers for defence purposes. It did, however, identify the need for further study into the availability of British seafarers to man those vessels.