HC Deb 16 November 1954 vol 533 cc29-30W
Mr. Bottomley

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will make a statement concerning the delay of H.M.S. "Delight" in sailing from Her Majesty's Dockyard, Chatham.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

The delay in the sailing of H.M.S. "Delight" from H.M. Dockyard, Chatham, to take part in a N.A.T.O. exercise at sea, was occasioned by the discovery of sand in the ship's steering machinery on 4th November. Although the damage proved to be slight, the ship was retained at Chatham for examination of the machinery and inquiry into the incident. While these investigations were proceeding, two valves which should have been open were found shut; this however caused no damage. The ship has now sailed and a naval board of inquiry will report shortly. Although it has not yet quite completed its inquiries, I have no reason to suppose that this was sabotage with a political motive, nor is there any evidence to suggest that dockyard employees were responsible in any way.