§ Mr. Wray
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what type of records are destroyed by his Department when they are considered to be of no further administrative use; 
(2) who made the decision to destroy records relating to the sea disposal of chemical weapons in the Baltic sea after World War 2; 
(3) who makes the decision to destroy MOD documents when they are considered to be of no further administrative use; 
(4) for what reason the UK extended the period of the classification of documents relating to the dumping of Axis chemical weapons in the Baltic after World War 2 to 2017. 
§ Dr. Moonie
The Ministry of Defence and the services create a significant amount of material during the course of business. As a consequence records are initially reviewed locally by those responsible for their creation. Where records are perceived to have no more value they may be destroyed locally. Records thought to have continuing administrative or possible historical value are transferred to the MOD's main archives. They are in due course reviewed by the MOD's staff in a process reflecting the requirements of the Public Records Act, 1958 and 1967.70W
I am arranging for a copy of the MOD's historical report on CW sea dumping, details of which were submitted to the Helsinki Commission, to be placed in the Library of the House. The MOD is not familiar with any record, on this subject, closed until 2017. However if the hon. Member would care to provide further details I will look into the matter and write to the hon. Member.
§ Dr. Moonie
The United Kingdom, the United States of America, Russia and France undertook dumping of confiscated German chemical munitions into the Baltic and Skagerrak between 1945 and 1947. However, after World War Two, it was the administrative practice to destroy records of sea disposals of munitions, including chemical weapons, when such records were perceived to be of no further administrative use. As a result of this practice, a detailed inventory of all conventional and chemical munitions does not exist. Where relevant British records on this subject do survive, they have been declassified and transferred to the Public Record Office in accordance with the terms of the Public Records Act, 1958 and 1967. We do not have details of the quantity or content of munitions dumped by other nations.
The consensus of international scientific opinion is that munitions on the seabed present no risk to human health or the marine environment provided they are left undisturbed. While the United Kingdom has no plans to monitor or remove conventional or chemical munitions dumped on the seabed, I am aware that NATO was approached by the Russian Government in 1997 regarding possible cooperation in the monitoring and prevention of leakage of chemicals from the German chemical weapons stocks sunk in the Baltic and Skagerrak after World War Two. Liaison on this issue with the Russian Government is continuing through NATO's Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society (CCMS), but no decision has yet been reached as to whether NATO will participate in any monitoring or preventative action.