§ Mr. A. Edwards
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare whether he has any information regarding the circumstances under which 1881W Germany took possession of the A. B. Freja, a British-owned iron ore mining company situated in North Sweden; and what steps he is taking to prevent supplies of ore reaching the enemy from that mine.
§ Mr. Foot
According to my information the statement contained in the Question is not entirely correct. Early in the war the Germans attempted to obtain control of the shares of A. B. Freja, which were then in Sweden, on the grounds that this firm was a member of the Witkowitz group of Czechoslovakia which was operating under German control. The shares were, however, brought safely to this country. The German action failed in the court of first instance and an appeal to a higher court has also been rejected. I have, at present, no actual evidence that the ore from this mine is being shipped to the enemy, but in view of the hon. Member's Question I have directed that further inquiries should be made.