HC Deb 27 January 2000 vol 343 c223W
Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he took, following his oral statement of 28 January 1999,Official Report, columns 564–76, to ensure that contrary opinions to the official view of the HMS Glorious affair were fully taken into account in the latest revision of the official account; and if he will make a statement. [104751]

Mr. Kilfoyle

[holding answer 24 January 2000]: The circumstances surrounding the sinking of HMS Glorious have been most thoroughly researched within the MOD, during which opinions and interpretations from a wide variety of sources have been considered. In the course of these exhaustive investigations some new information has come to light which has enabled the MOD to make further minor revisions to the account already provided. This new information incudes the fact that it was the Commander in Chief Home Fleet who insisted that the Glorious should be diverted to Scapa Flow to conduct a court-martial, and not the captain of the carrier himself. In addition, since January 1999, the Naval Historical Branch has been able to track down the daily intelligence summaries which show that the late Sir Harry Hinsley's recollections, broadcast in the Channel 4 programme, were in error. These records, which in the original, are signed off by Sir Harry show that Bletchley Park did indeed report increased wireless signal traffic in the Western Baltic and the Kattegat during the relevant period, but that the assessment of experts at the time was that it was associated with U-boat activity, and not that of heavy German surface ships.

This extra information does not bring into question the conclusions arrived at in the MOD paper reviewed by my predecessor after the adjournment debate in this House in January last year. I shall arrange for a copy of the revised paper, incorporating these slight amendments to be placed in the Library of the House.

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