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Hms Cavalier

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will take steps to ensure the retention and display in the United Kingdom of HMS Cavalier. [15040]

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to ensure that HMS Cavalier is retained in the United Kingdom. [15518]

The sale of HMS Cavalier has been agreed between South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council and Star Cruises of Malaysia. South Tyneside MBC has maintained the ship for 10 years, but now considers the costs too great to continue. The agreement secured with the purchasers means that the ship will be maintained in a good state of repair.It is not yet clear whether HMS Cavalier requires an export licence on heritage grounds from my Department since there is as yet no firm valuation for the ship. If it is decided that a licence is required, HMS Cavalier will be subject to the normal considerations as to whether a licence should be granted or the decision deferred.We owe a great debt to those who served in the Navy and I appreciate that the future of HMS Cavalier is a matter of importance to them.