HC Deb 15 November 1920 vol 134 cc1501-2
25. Lieut-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister if he can now say whether the Italian steamship "Ancona" was stopped at sea on her way to Novorossisk and taken to Batoum by British warships; and why we are interfering with trade between Russia and Italy in this way?


As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House stated on Monday last, in reply to a question by the hon. Member for West Bermondsey (Mr. Glanville), the Italian steamer "Ancona" has not been interfered with in any way by His Majesty's ships. The Italian authorities have no knowledge of this alleged incident, and state that the "Ancona" stopped off Batoum to await orders from the agents respecting the discharge of her cargo, and anchored there on receipt of these orders.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this ship was laden with 20,000,000 liras worth of goods for Novorossisk, and was prevented from going there, taken to Batum and ordered to Kerch; that the captain protested and said he must go to Italy; and that a Note has been addressed to His Majesty's Government by the Italian Royal Government?


The telegram states that "the Italian naval authorities here"—I think that means Constantinople—"can give no explanation of the rumour. The captain of the 'Ancona' has been personally interviewed, and states that he has never met a British man-of-war."