US NAVY submarines ''took advantage of the people of Scotland'' by

dumping radioactive material in the Holy Loch throughout the 1960s,

according to a former nuclear submarine commander.

In a television documentary to be shown on Channel Four tonight,

Captain James Bush, former commander of the Polaris ballistic-missile

submarine Robert E. Lee, admits he has been ashamed of his actions ever


He says radioactive primary coolant was dumped in the loch by his

submarine and others, despite the fact that American submarines never

discharged coolant in US waters.

He adds: ''I think we should have done it in our own country and not

taken advantage of the Scots who were so wonderful, and here we were

discharging radioactivity into their harbour. I'm quite frankly


Last night Labour MP George Foulkes said he planned to question

Defence Secretary George Younger and Scottish Secretary Malcolm Rifkind

on the affair in the Commons next week.

He said the revelations in the programme, which was made by Scottish

Television, were extremely worrying, particularly because the

information had come out so long after the event.

''This reinforces and confirms the fears we have had. We have been

getting particularly worried about the Clyde and the north part of the

Irish Sea because of nuclear discharges from the Sellafield plant and

from other sources,'' said the MP.

''This is the kind of thing we have been suspicious about and asked

questions about, and been given assurances on in the past.

''We need some kind of assurance that this kind of thing is not

continuing and building up contamination.''

However, the US Navy in London yesterday insisted that all of the

discharges referred to by Captain Bush were well within environmental


Lieutenant Michael Brady said: ''A record check has confirmed that the

radioactivity level of any and all releases referred to by Mr Bush would

have been well within national and international environmental


He added that monitoring carried out in the Holy Loch and the

surrounding area by British scientists had shown radioactivity to be at

normal background levels.

Lt. Brady said every effort was made to minimise discharges, although

they might happen from time to time. He added: ''If there are discharges

they are still within national and international environmental


There was no difference in the standards operated by the US Navy in

American or international waters.

The Ministry of Defence said it could not comment on the matter until

it had seen the programme.

A Royal Navy source confirmed that recent and past monitoring of the

waters around the nuclear submarine base in Faslane and elsewhere in the

Clyde area had not shown levels of radioactivity to be above normal,

although it was ''certainly not'' normal practice for nuclear-powered

subs to discharge radioactive coolant.

Bush is now working for the Centre For Defence Information, a pressure

group made up of former military men, based in Washington DC, and which

campaigns for an end to excessive secrecy in military matters.

The documentary also looks at the possibility of a nuclear accident at

Faslane, Rosyth or the Holy Loch bases, and a physicist interviewed for

the programme says an accident on a nuclear submarine would be of the

same scale as the Chernobyl disaster.