- Project Runeberg -  Diplomatic Reminiscences before and during the World War, 1911-1917 /
335

(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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North and South America, Russia, the British colonies,
Italy (sulphur).

Consequently the belligerent countries of the Entente
had, or seemed to have, more of a hold on Sweden than
Germany had, for the vital imports of the country
mainly depended on their good will. This was how
the matter was viewed in England, and in 1915
negotiations were opened with Sweden through a
commission of English specialists who came to Stockholm
to conclude an agreement based on a strict regulation of
Swedish imports and on the control of the consumption
of the imported goods. However, these negotiations
ended in nothing, the principal reasons being:

(1) As concerns the importation of corn and forage,
Russia, in spite of her oft-repeated promises, could only
supply a small quantity of what Sweden needed; the
railways of Russia, and particularly of Finland, were so
blocked, and possessed so little rolling-stock that the
quantity promised could never be conveyed to Sweden.
Wool and Russian hides were becoming more and more
scarce, even for home use and that of the Russian
armies; hence none could be subtracted for Swedish
use.

(2) England could not manage to supply Sweden
with the same quantity of coal as she supplied before the
war. Towards 1916, the importation of English coal
was reduced to two and a half million tons and an equal
quantity came to Sweden from Germany, who for the
purpose used the coal pits of Poland which she had
seized in 1914 and 1915.

(3) Italy, far from being able to threaten Sweden
with cutting off her delivery of Sicilian sulphur, was
anxious to find a market for this important national
production, and moreover western countries were in
urgent need of Swedish wood-pulp, so that in their own
interests they could not restrict the output of this
product, of which sulphur is one of the essentials.

(4) Germany, on the other hand, besides her coal, had
very effectual means of bringing pressure to bear on

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