HC Deb 14 August 1919 vol 119 c1597
4. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether friendly and Allied nations have been warned of the areas off Kronstadt sown with British moored mines; whether a passage has been left for merchant ships proceeding to Petrograd for trading purposes; and, if so, whether this has been notified to merchants in neutral countries?


Allied and neutral countries have been informed that, owing to the risk of mines, passages to Petrograd should not be undertaken. As the forte on the shores of the Gulf of Petrograd are in the hands of the Bolsheviks, a passage through the Bolshevik minefields, which are known to exist in the Gulf of Petrograd, could only be swept at great risk to our mine-clearance vessels, the crows of which are not signed on for service under gun-fire. A channel cannot be declared to be free of mines unless and until the fact has been proved by sweeping, and consequently, the last part of the question does not arise.

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