HC Deb 20 February 1918 vol 103 cc710-1
3. Mr. LYNCH

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can throw light on the circumstances in which German raiders and submarines have been able to operate with success in the Channel near Dover?


An answer to this question would involve a detailed account of our dispositions, which it is undesirable to make, as such information would be of considerable value to the enemy, and cannot be made public. Much as we may regret the measure of success which followed the enemy's flying visit of last Friday morning and the attack of his submarine of last Saturday morning, involving as they did the loss of gallant lives on the trawler and the drifters, the death of one child in Dover, and inflicting injuries on seven other persons, to build upon that the contention that German raiders and submarines can operate with success in the Channel near Dover is entirely unjustified by the facts.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that such a thing will not take place again?


I cannot give that assurance. No matter how tight your grip, or how complete your control of the seas, you cannot on black night, when there is very little visibility, prevent attacks of this kind.

Commander BELLAIRS

Is it not the case that the Admiralty have every reason to be satisfied with the results which have been achieved in recent weeks by the Admiral Commanding the Forces at Dover?


Yes, Sir.