11. Captain WATT
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can make a further statement as to how the work of raising His Majesty's Submarine M2 is progressing and the causes of the delay?
Since the reply given to the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) on 25th May, weather and general conditions have been mainly good and the work of preparing and testing the submarine for the purpose of blowing out the water has been considerably advanced. During this 1276 work it was found on 23rd June that the main tank blowing valves inside the hull were open, resulting in the interconnection of these tanks, a state of affairs which was not previously apparent. As a result it was found necessary to suspend lifting operations until this unforeseen circumstance could be dealt with. Work continued satisfactorily until 29th June when a change to south-westerly weather made work impossible. On. 5th July, weather and tide conditions were again favourable and work was recommenced and is still in progress. In addition, four lifting pontoons, or "Camels," are being placed in position, one at each side of bow and stern, for the purpose of supplying a further reserve of buoyancy now considered necessary. During the weekend 9th-l1th July, an attempt to raise M2 was made. At this attempt the bow of the vessel was raised some 15 feet without difficulty but a serious leak from the bow torpedo tubes developed; which has proved too great to allow any further attempt to be made until the leak has been located and stopped. It is now considered desirable to seal up the bow tubes so that possible future leaks may be effectually prevented and work has already been commenced on the outboard ends of the tubes, but until this is completed no further attempts can be made to raise the vessel. If the good weather conditions continue, further efforts may be made in the course of the next few weeks, but in operations of this nature it is not possible to give any definite forecast of developments.