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Hms Conqueror

Volume 127: debated on Friday 12 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, in the light of recent statements by a former official in his Department, Mr. Paul Newbigin, he will reopen the inquiry into the disappearance of the navigator's log book of HMS Conqueror.

I have already written to the hon. Member to explain that recent suggestions in the press that the missing control room logs of HMS Conqueror were destroyed on official orders have been looked into and found to have no substance. The civil servant alleged to have claimed that he was present at the destruction of the logs had no involvement in the administration or reception of units, including submarines, returning from the Falklands conflict. Indeed, he has never been in a post which brought him into contact with naval logs of any kind. As no new light has been shed on the disappearance of the logs since the statements made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) on 30 November 1984, at columns 593–94, and by my right hon. Friend the Member for Tonbridge and Mailing (Mr. Stanley) on 25 October 1985, at column 277, it would serve no purpose to reopen the inquiry.