By Elisabeth Barker (auth.)
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Additional info for British Policy in South-East Europe in the Second World War
The Foreign Office strongly opposed any such undertaking in a neutral country. The scheme died. 12 In addition to destruction plans, there were also two or more other plans, for blocking the Danube. One was the special responsibility of Economic War, Sabotage and Subversion, 1939-41 37 Julius Hanau, a South African who had served on the Salonika front in the 1914-18 war and had then settled in Belgrade. He had been recruited for Section D by Grand in June 1938, and he was later told that it was a major British interest to block the Danube in the event of war.
117 At first it seemed as though the Greeks would agree. King George II sent a letter to King George VI, of which a copy reached the Foreign Office on 2 December, apparently pressing the British to establish air forces in Northern Greece: 'as I see it ... you may not only deal the Italians crippling blows, but you may even deter the Germans from moving against Greece for fear of losing Rumanian oil ... 12° Meanwhile all operational British air bases remained south of the Mount Olympus-Arta line.
16 But there were obstacles. When Chamberlain told the House of Commons on 2 April that one 'weapon in our armoury' was that of purchase, he added: 'it is obviously out of the question to purchase the entire exportable surplus of Germany's neighbours'Y The Treasury fulfilled its traditional role of keeping a tight hold on the purse-strings. In April 1940 the first Minister of Economic Warfare, Ronald Cross/ 8 wrote a pleading letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir John Simon: 'I think there is no reason to doubt the importance of doing everything that we can to keep Germany short of fats ...