HC Deb 10 June 1931 vol 253 cc1020-1
Captain W. G. HALL (by Private Notice)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is in a position to make a statement to the House upon the disaster in Eastern waters involving the sinking of a British submarine with regrettable loss of life?


I deeply regret to inform the House that His Majesty's submarine "Poseidon" was rammed and sunk by the steamship "Yuta," a Chinese vessel of 1,735 tons at 12.45 yesterday, 9th June, 21 miles north of Wei-hai-wei. The submarine was on the surface at the time of the collision. The Commander-in-Chief, China, who is proceeding to Wei-hai-wei, reports that the total number now saved and alive is five officers and 30 men. Two more ratings who came to the surface have died, and 18 ratings are missing. The wreck has been located, and efforts are being made to-day to raise the submarine. "Medway" (submarine depot ship), "Hermes," "Cumberland," and other naval units are on the spot.

All survivors were picked up by the steamship "Yuta" shortly after the collision, with the exception of six ratings who escaped from the wreck by means of the Davis submarine escape apparatus between two and four hours later, and were rescued by boats from British warships. Of these it is regretted that two subsequently died and one is in a critical condition. These men were in the fore compartment of the submarine when she sank. I am sure that all Members of the House will wish to associate themselves with the message of heartfelt sympathy which the Admiralty are sending to the bereaved relatives.

Captain HALL

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that the families and the relatives of these men who have lost their lives will be looked after?


The same question was raised two years ago. Inquiries have at once been set on foot as to what are the liabilities of the Government in the matter, and I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that whatever is possible under the regulations passed by this House will be done.