SIR - With councils short of money, it is perhaps no surprise that none was forthcoming to be the national host for Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 29.

Some folk will be pleased at the lower profile of HM Forces last weekend but perhaps it is they who most need reminding that the principal role of the armed forces is deterrence of conflict, security of our islands and our 14 Overseas Territories, and the protection of trade, 95per cent by volume of which is by sea.

While state ceremonial in London and Edinburgh brings to the fore soldiers and RAF aircraft, the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary remain out of sight, over the horizon and out of mind.

There used to be Navy Days in the naval base ports, ships open to visitors, but no longer - Britain is sea-blind.

Britons pay for the Royal Navy and should, on occasion, be able to see the ships and meet their men and women.

Perhaps the new government should consider introducing a national Navy Day? I would favour its being on June 1 - the anniversary of a battle, the Glorious First of June (1794).

It would be good, too, to see the splendid White Ensign on public buildings nationwide, especially Old Admiralty Building, Somerset House and Admiralty Arch in London.

Lester May (Lieutenant Commander, Royal Navy, retired, London