§ 40. Mr. FELL
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if the steamship "Mauretania" is now under charter by the Government; if so, since what date was she chartered; what is the average total cost per month of running the ship; what was the date when she completed her last voyage; and what is she doing at the present time?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The "Mauretania" is at present under charter to the Government. She has been on hire since 11th May, 1915; she completed her last voyage on 25th January, 1916. Since then she has been prepared for further service as a hospital ship. In view of altered circumstances, however, it has now been decided that she can be dispensed with and is being returned to her owners. It is not considered desirable to publish the cost of the ship, but the arrangements made with the owners were very favourable to the Government, the company having agreed to waive the rates payable under their agreement made with the Government before the War.