asked the Minister for Trade if he will make a statement about the outcome of the 1981 diving survey on the wreck of the munition ship SS "Richard Montgomery".
I have considered the report of the diving survey carried out by the Royal Navy in July and August 1981, and the subsequent expert analysis of its findings. The condition of the hull shows some deterioration since the survey that was undertaken in 1978, but it continues to contain the ammunition, all of which is now embedded in heavy silt. No attempt was made to remove the ammunition during the diving survey. The report recommended that an external survey of the wreck, together with some work on the derricks, should be undertaken in 1983 and arrangements are being made for this. The ammunition will continue to be left undisturbed.I am satisfied that all reasonable precautions are being taken to safeguard the wreck and its cargo.