HC Deb 16 March 1938 vol 333 c390
11. Mr. Day

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many unexploded filled mines have been trawled or washed ashore in the British Isles during the three years ended to the last convenient date; and what special measures are at present being taken to clear unexploded mines from the bottom of the ocean in localities where the risk still remains?

Lieut.-Colonel Llewellin

No special measures are being taken to clear unexploded mines from the bottom of the ocean. In this connection I may point out that a filled mine is not in itself a danger unless fitted with primer and firing mechanism in an efficient state. For the three years ending June, 1936, Admiralty records show that the number of explosive filled mines washed ashore or reported as being trawled up was 14. None of these could have been made to explode through its own mechanism. In these circumstances it was thought unnecessary that reports of mines collected should be made to the Admiralty, and I have, therefore, no figures later than June, 1936.

Mr. Day

Were any lives lost in trawling for these mines?

Lieut.-Colonel Llewellin

No, Sir. The 14 mines drawn up in the three years before June, 1936, would not explode of their own accord, and in order to destroy them, new primers had to be fitted.