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Mined Areas (Traffic)

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1951

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10.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will reconsider the total prohibition of traffic through the Sturbridge and Gilkicker mining grounds, these being in waters which are exceptionally busy.

No, Sir. These areas are required for naval training. Craft which pass through them run considerable risks, and an announcement has recently been made in the "London Gazette" of 3rd April to remove any doubt about the legal position.

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary appreciate that a very large part of the traffic which is constantly going through these areas, with or without any prohibition being enforced, consists of vessels too small to own charts and possibly too ignorant to know about the prohibition? Would it not be more reasonable to relax the regulations for them?

I could not agree with that. These areas are very well known, and have been in existence for over 20 years. Small craft are likely to be local craft and, therefore, to know the area well.