Torpedo Control, Firth of Clyde

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3 December 1969.

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Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire 12:00, 3 December 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the arrangements for control of torpedoes in the Firth of Clyde.

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Sutton

A comprehensive system of warnings and safety signals is used for the torpedo range in Upper Loch Long, and there are safety regulations in all other areas. Following the recent incident, torpedo firing in Lower Loch Long is at present suspended and I am having a detailed investigation made.

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

Can the Minister explain how a torpedo got loose in the Clyde three weeks ago? It caused considerable consternation amongst shipping there before it reached the end of its excursion.

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Sutton

The torpedo to which the hon. Gentleman refers over-ran because the motor failed to cut out as programmed. I can understand the consternation it caused.