HC Deb 22 December 1919 vol 123 cc971-2
2. Rear-Admiral ADAIR

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there have been several cases of destructive fires in ex-German merchant ships, such as the "Boonah," now in the Royal Albert Dock; and whether any special investigation as to the cause of these fires has been or is to be made?


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the number of fires on ex-German ships; and whether inquiries show that the causes are all accidental?


Attention has for some time past been directed to the number of fires which have occurred on merchant ships, including those referred to in the question, and special arrangements have been made for investigating them. It is not yet possible to state the result.

Commander Viscount CURZON

Is there any suspicion of foul play in connection with these fires?


That suggestion has been put forward and I have had preliminary investigation made. It seems much more probable—I will not go further than that—that the fires in some cases have arisen through old bunkers not being cleared out.