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Chieftain Tanks

Volume 960: debated on Friday 15 December 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he has been able to fulfil the undertaking he gave the hon.

Member for Stretford on 27th June, Official Report, c. 1205, that the manpower shortage which led to the mothballing of more than 10 per cent. of the British Army of the Rhine's Chieftain tanks will not exist when the next North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ministerial meeting takes place ; and if he will confirm that no tanks now remain mothballed for reasons of manpower shortage.

No such undertaking was given. On the question of manpower shortages in armoured regiments, I have nothing to add to the very full explanation I gave during the debate on the Armyโ€”[Vol. 950. c. 1775โ€“6]โ€”of the measures being taken by the Government. On the second part of the Question, there is no connection between the number of tanks in the war maintenance reserve, which are the only ones in mothballs, and manning levels in armoured regiments.