HC Deb 05 November 1940 vol 365 c1221W
Mr. N. Maclean

asked the Minister of Shipping, with regard to the decree issued by the Rumanian Government to take over the control of all British-owned and British-chartered vessels in Rumanian territorial waters, whether he can state the number of vessels affected and the approximate tonnage under the British flag; whether he will make a statement on the position; and what action the Government proposes to take?

Mr. Cross

Approximately 60 craft, mainly river tugs and barges, of which 20 are British owned and some 40 British chartered are affected by this decree. The approximate tonnage under the British flag is 17,500 tons. A large proportion of the craft in which this country is interested got away from the Danube before the end of June. In addition, a large number of French vessels which have been purchased by my Department were also removed. Repeated protests were made to the Rumanian Government against the detention of these vessels on the Danube and three ocean-going Rumanian vessels have been seized and held and a fourth Rumanian vessel is now on her way to this country under armed guard. The tonnage of the Rumanian vessels thus held by us is approximately 20,000 tons.