- Project Runeberg -  Diplomatic Reminiscences before and during the World War, 1911-1917 /

(1920) [MARC] Author: Anatolij Nekljudov - Tema: War, Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XIX. Sweden in 1915

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produce had been fetching in Germany from the outbreak
of the war, the southern provinces of Sweden, which
up till then had supplied the country almost exclusively,
began to send to the other side of the Baltic wheat,
flour, butter, cattle, pigs, poultry. At first the profits
were fabulous; later on the belligerents, enemies of
Germany, and the Swedish Government itself put a stop
to this traffic: Sweden was in danger of starving if her
agricultural provinces, situated at the southern end of
the kingdom, continued to send off to Germany all the
produce that she had hitherto sent up north.

In this case the demands of the Powers of the
Entente coincided with the well-understood interests of
the Swedish Government. But the world-war gradually
led to such an extension of the idea of contraband of
war that the trade of neutrals and finally their entire
economic existence were hampered by it in a way that
could not have been imagined, and of which the famous
“continental blockade” was but a feeble prototype. In
January, 1915, the lists of goods and commodities which
were considered contraband of war were so large that
hardly anything was left for the neutrals’ trade with the
belligerents; and the longer the war went on, the
stricter and more numerous became the prohibitions.
And this was not all: the belligerents forbade the
exportation out of their countries of a whole category
of products, some because they were necessary to the
prosecution of the war (such as coal, petrol, etc.), others
because if they had been bought by neutral countries,
they might have found their way from there into enemy
countries. Finally, partly to prevent their country being
deprived of commodities absolutely indispensable for
direct or industrial consumption, partly to bring pressure
to bear on the belligerents and to extort concessions
from them, the neutrals themselves drew up long lists
of prohibited exports.

Sweden, in consequence of her geographical position,
was in a very peculiar situation. As the Baltic was

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