Argus was in Reserve 1932-36. At that point she was given an extensive refit as a Queen Bee (remote controlled aircraft used for fleet gunnery practice usually a Tiger Moth) Carrier which completed in Aug 1938. By Aug 1939 she was back in Reserve to be brought forward in Oct as a training carrier to release Furious, which had been filling the role based out of Rosyth since May 1939, for an operational role. At that point she went to the Med to work with various deck landing training units based in the South of France.I was thinking more about the Eagle and the Hermes.
Argus was pretty much a training ship if she was in commission at all in the 1930s.
The Eagle and Hermes were 5-6 kts slower and had shorter decks. I don't know if at some point they just wrote them off (even if just in their own minds) when they figuring out the landing speeds and flight deck requirements for the new aircraft.
During the 1930s Eagle and Hermes had more or less rotated on tours on the China Station, and time in refit and/or Reserve. Aug 1939 found Eagle in the Far East and Hermes at home as a training ship about to be reactivated as an operational carrier.
In mid-1939, RN plans looking forward to 1942, make no mention of either Argus or Eagle, so I presume that the intention was to scrap them. Furious was to be the training carrier. Hermes, C&G would, in the event of war, be acting as trade protection carriers. The locations would vary depending on whether it was war with Germany / Italy or Japan (note war with both simultaneously was not part of pre-war RN planning). Had peace continued they would have been in Reserve. By then of course it was anticipated that there would be 7 modern fleet carriers available.