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German Cruiser "Prinz Eugen"

Volume 380: debated on Wednesday 3 June 1942

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asked the Secretary of State for Air at what time on Saturday, 16th May, the German cruiser "Prinz Eugen" was sighted exercising in a Trondheim fjord; at what time on the following day she was sighted steaming south and at what time attacked; whether any 21-inch torpedoes were used by the attacking aircraft; and whether the present whereabouts and condition of this warship are known?

It is not in the public interest to give details of this operation. Excellent work on the part of Coastal Command enabled successful reconnaissance to be carried out in difficult circumstances on 16th and 17th May, in consequence of which the attack developed between 7.45 and 8.30 p.m. on 17th May. The most recent information indicates that the "Prinz Eugen" is now being repaired at Kiel; I have nothing to add to what has already been published regarding the damage she has suffered.

How is it that facts which it is not in the public interest to disclose to the House can be detected by hon. members for themselves by a careful study of authentic despatches by newspaper correspondents, and will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider his refusal to give these facts in answer to my Question if I show him the answers to them in "The Times" despatches?

I do not know what the hon. Member means by "authentic." It is an adjective which would certainly not apply to a number of despatches on air operations. Certainly, if the hon. Member will show me any articles he has read, I shall be glad to consider them.

When this ship is finally disposed of, will it be in the public interest to tell us?