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Hms "Bittern"

Volume 148: debated on Tuesday 8 November 1921

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65.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, with reference to the question to him of 14th April last regarding the judgment in the action at the instance of the Admiralty and others against the owners of the ss. "Clan Sutherland," and the reply thereto, whether, seeing that no steps were taken by the Admiralty to rebut the charges of looting against the crew of H.M.S. "Bittern," although evidence was available, and in order to satisfy the desire of the relatives of members of the crew of the "Bittern" who lost their lives when the "Bittern" was sunk on 4th April, 1918, who resent the imputation of guilt which attaches to the memory of those men, the Admiralty will now institute a special inquiry into the charge of looting against the crew of the "Bittern," with a view of removing from the crew as a whole the stigma which, on account of the judgment referred to, attaches to each member of the crew, whether innocent or guilty?

The answer is in the negative. I repeat that the service records of "Bittern's" crew were not in any way affected by the allegations which were made at the trial.