HC Deb 04 November 1965 vol 718 cc230-1W
Mr. Hayman

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the spoil ground of the Admiralty where rubbish from the Admiralty is tipped, in view of the fact that such rubbish is often returned to surface and within the past week contained bottles of poison which were distributed along some miles of the coast and required the services of the police and other civilian officers.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

The disposal of garbage from H.M. ships and H.M. Dockyard at Devonport is carried out by a civilian contractor, who, using his own lighters and tug, deposits the sinkable material at sea in either the spoil ground which is about seven miles North East of Eddystone Lighthouse or the dumping ground to the West of Rame Head.

Special instructions are normally given to the contractor about the disposal at sea of any normally buoyant receptacles to ensure that they do not float. Alternatively, the receptacles are first rendered sinkable before being handed over to the contractor.

A recent incident involving the Navy was the disposal of a number of condemned tins of ferric chloride, to which I presume my hon. Friend is referring. I am sorry to say that in this case not all the tins were punctured, and as a result, some were washed ashore.

A Naval inquiry has been held to prevent any future mistakes of this kind.