§ Mr. Prescott
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what financial contribution was made by his Department for the replacement of the Atlantic Conveyor in the Falklands war; for what purpose; and why it was not chartered to assist in the transporting of arms and forces to the Gulf military operation.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
The financial contribution made by the MOD is commercially confidential. As described in Cmnd 8758, "The Falklands Campaign: The Lessons", militarily useful features were incorporated in the vessel, involving principally a prefabricated helicopter flight deck. The vessel has not however been offered in response to our bids for sealift for the Gulf operation as other vessels more suited to the particular requirements were available for charter.