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Ships' sale: Seven minesweepers are to be sold, it was announced last night by Jeremy Hanley, Minister of State for the Armed Forces. The Royal Navy's river class vessels retain only a very limited mine counter-measures capability as a result of significant advances in mine technology, he said. Five will remain in operational service, four will be used as patrol craft, one as a training ship, and the rest will be sold.

TODAY'S BUSINESS: Commons: Environment questions. Finance Bill, Ways and Means resolutions; Grants to Redundant Churches Fund Order; Rateable values orders; Nuclear Installations (Increase of Operators' Limits of Liability) Order; Scottish legal aid orders; Local Government (Wales) Bill, motion. Lords: Debate on Procedure Committee report; debate on care in the community; debate on defence; National Parks Bill, Second Reading.