HC Deb 22 June 1964 vol 697 c22W
Captain Kerby

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations he has received from the French Ministry of Health regarding the dumping of fluoroacetamide poisonous chemical waste in the English Channel in 40 gallon metal drums marked, Made in England, which were caught in French fishermen's nets off Finisterre; whether these drums formed part of the poisoned Kentish soil compound which was to have been deposited in 2,000 fathoms over the Atlantic Shelf; to what extent the off-loading of these poison drums at sea was officially supervised: and if he will make a statement.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No representations on this subject have been received from the French Ministry of Health. The French Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture requested Her Majesty's Embassy at Paris to arrange for a British expert to inspect some drums trawled up by French fishermen which it was thought might be of British origin.

An expert of the Ministry of Transport visited Britanny on 16th June. He reported on 17th June that none of the drums he inspected could have formed part of the consignments of poisoned soil or industrial waste from Smarden because the method of packaging was entirely different.

I understand that the drums examined contained only oil, sand, gravel and fibrous waste. There is no evidence that they were dumped from British vessels, but we are giving further assistance to the French authorities in seeking to determine the origin of the contents of the drums.

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