HC Deb 06 March 1940 vol 358 cc368-9
33. Mr. Shinwell

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that Swedish iron-ore is being conveyed by sea from Narvik to German ports; and whether any attempt to intercept these cargoes has been made?

Mr. Churchill

His Majesty's Government are aware of the transport of Swedish iron-ore to Germany and of its importance to Germany, but the arrest of such traffic would involve many serious considerations.

Mr. Shinwell

While appreciating the difficulties, is the right hon. Gentleman taking any steps at all to intercept these cargoes?

Mr. Churchill

We are always giving prolonged consideration to the matter, but so far I have not taken any steps.

Mr. Mander

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any action has been considered by way of legitimate reprisal against German action in sinking neutral vessels?

Mr. Churchill

I would confine myself to saying that all relevant matters are constantly being considered.

Mr. Watkins

Are the boats in question those to which the right hon. Gentleman referred as wriggling down the Norwegian coast?

Mr. Churchill

I think it is pretty well on the same lines.