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"Scharnhorst" And "Gneisenau"

Volume 480: debated on Wednesday 8 November 1950

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will consider republishing the despatch covering the escape of the "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" from Brest during the last war, together with all additional information on this episode in the possession of his Department, the Air Ministry and the War Office, in view of the offence given to the people of this country by the propaganda recently put out by the Soviet Ministry of Marine, particularly to the relatives of those members of His Majesty's Forces who lost their lives in that action.

The Report of the board of inquiry which was published in 1946 as Command 6775 is still available from the Stationery Office. The Report refutes any suggestion that we deliberately allowed the "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" to escape, and the board of inquiry stated that they were impressed by the evident determination of all our forces to press home their attacks.

I have seen only newspaper summaries of the article in "Red Fleet," but if they are accurate, then that journal only besmirches its own record. It does nothing to touch the honour of those who died in fighting a gallant but unsuccessful action.