§ Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the operation which took place in October, 1966 by Her Majesty's forces in the River Medway designed to remove pollution from the river, indicating the results of the operation; and if he will take similar steps to remove from British beaches tar and other substances which spoil them for holiday makers and other swimmers and are inimical to the British tourist industry.
§ Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu
Naval and Army units helped the Kent Fire Brigade and other civilian organisations under the direction of the Medway Conservancy Board to clear the 1,000 ton oil spillage which occurred in the Medway on 18th September. The work is still going on.
The Services helped on this occasion because they were on the spot and had the necessary resources. Responsibility for the cleanliness of beaches rests with the local authorities concerned.