asked the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the disposal of HMS "Ark Royal".
On 21 November 1978 my predecessor announced that "Ark Royal" would pay off at the end of that year, and that arrangements would then be made for her to be scrapped.—[Vol. 958, c. 533.] Since then, however, a number of serious proposals to preserve the ship have been submitted to us. We have thoroughly examined these, but after very careful consideration have concluded that none of the proposals put to us is in all respects satisfactory and that the most fitting end for the ship would therefore be her disposal for scrap. We intend to arrange for her early sale by tender for this purpose.