§ Mr. Judd
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the recent fire in H.M.S. "Victorious" in Portsmouth Dockyard with special reference to previous incidents of the same kind, to casualties and to civilian, Ministry of Defence and Naval co-operation in dealing with the emergency.
§ Mr. Foley
A fire was discovered early on Saturday morning 11th November in the senior rates mess deck of H.M.S. "Victorious", now under refit at Portsmouth dockyard. It was brought under control and extinguished by the ship's company with immediate and invaluable assistance from the Portsmouth City Fire brigade and the dockyard fire brigade. There has been no other serious fire in "Victorious" in recent years.
I regret that one rating lost his life. Two other ratings are being detained in hospital.
A board of Inquiry has been set up to investigate the circumstances of the fire. A survey is being carried out by the dockyard to establish the extent of damage in the ship, and repair work has begun.