DEFENCE – ROYAL NAVY – 9 March 1998

Dr Julian Lewis: Is the Secretary of State aware that to deploy forces in far-flung theatres such as the Persian Gulf, it is vital to have anti-submarine warfare capabilities? Will he comment on the grave concerns expressed in a letter in The Times on 5 March by Sir Patrick Duffy, a Navy Minister in the previous Labour Government, about the proposal that the 12-strong hunter-killer submarine fleet is likely to be cut in the strategic defence review?