HC Deb 10 May 1915 vol 71 c1351

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that neutral ships are constantly putting in at the Shetlands, many of them bound for Swedish ports; that no search is made, the authorities being satisfied with an examination of the ship's papers by the Customs and a detention of three days; and whether he will consider the advisability of seaching these vessels for contraband of war?

Mr. PRIMROSE (for Mr. Churchill)

The Admiralty are fully aware of the Customs arrangements for dealing with neutral ships putting in at the Shetlands. The actual search of a ship's cargo for contraband is impracticable without discharge of the cargo, for which there are no facilities in the Shetlands. But the Customs never allow the ships in question to proceed until the Admiralty and the Foreign Office have decided, by reference to the circumstances of each case, what action should be taken as regards her cargo. If it be decided that any part of the cargo is to be discharged, or that a search for contraband is to be made, the ship is brought round for the purpose to another port at which there are adequate facilities for discharge.