HC Deb 06 April 1922 vol 152 cc2455-6W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he has any information as to the condition of the Black Sea ports with regard to obstructions to navigation; and, if so, which ports, if any, are in as safe a condition for shipping as was the case before the revolution in Russia?


No information is available as to the conditions of ports of the Black Sea during the period preceding the revolution in Russia. The present position is that practically all such ports are guarded by mines or other obstructions and are approached by swept channels. I understand from the Admiralty that the limits of the minefields and the instructions for approaching the ports are given in Mine Warnings to Mariners No. 422 and Addenda, and that instructions for entry are published for the following ports in Russia and the allied republics thereof: Odessa, Nikolaiev, Novorossisk, Perekop, ports in the Sea of Azov, Batum and Poti, and also for the ports of Burghaz and Varna (in Bulgaria); and Constanza and Sulina (in Roumania). In addition to these instructions, details are given of the position of minefields off various ports and in the Straits of Kertch. It is understood that the Russian Government have given notice that mines may be laid anywhere within 12 miles of the Russian coast.