HC Deb 21 March 1922 vol 152 cc272-3W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the trawler "Ebro's" report that she passed through a large minefield off the Isle of Wight; whether all mines laid by us have been accounted for; and what steps, if any, are being taken by us to promote the safety of sea-going craft by ridding the seas of these dangers?


On the reports of supposed drifting mines off the Isle of Wight being received from the French trawler "Brode" and other sources, torpedo boat destroyers were dispatched in accordance -with the usual practice to sink them, but up to the present none have been found. No British, Allied, or enemy mines were laid in the positions reported, and the mines sighted may possibly originate from either the wreck of a mine carrier which was sunk to the eastward of St. Catherine's in February, 1918, and which carried a cargo of unprimed mines, or from a field of dummy mines laid in the vicinity of the Shambles light vessel in January last. The late south-westerly gale was in all likelihood responsible for these mines coming to the surface. In either case, the mines are innocuous and are no danger to navigation. All British minefields were completely cleared during the post-War mine clearance.