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Warships: Wrecks

Defence written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Smith Andrew Smith Labour, Oxford East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the protection of maritime war graves in international waters; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The Government view wrecked military vessels, wherever they may lie, as being the last resting places of those who lost their lives in the ship's sinking. As a general principle we believe that such sites should remain undisturbed to the maximum extent possible.

With regard to the protection of such wrecks in international waters, depending on the circumstances of the individual case we would look to make use of our rights in international law together with domestic legislation where appropriate.

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