HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc4-5
3. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Minister of Economic Warfare how many tons of merchandise have been detained by His Majesty's Government for inquiry as to its contraband character; how much has been released; and how much finally declared to be contraband?

Mr. Cross

The total amount of merchandise seized as contraband up to 4th November, was 420,500 tons, but no final decision has yet been reached in the Prize Courts. The hon. Member will appreciate that it is not possible to provide figures of the amount of merchandise detained for inquiry and released. The number of ships detained varies hourly, and it is frequently unnecessary to take details of all consignments included in their cargoes.

Mr. Levy

May I ask whether it is true that this contraband still remains in the boats, that the boats are consequently put out of action and not used, and that none of this contraband has yet been released and sold?

Mr. Cross

No, Sir, that would not be true as a general statement.

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