HC Deb 30 May 1918 vol 106 c979
100. Mr. FRANCE

asked how many ships of 1,600 tons or over on the British register have been lost toy enemy action and marine risk during the four weeks ending Saturday, 25th May?


By a recent decision of the War Cabinet after very full consideration, and in agreement with the Allies, mercantile losses are now published monthly in the form of "tonnage" figures. It is not proposed to supplement this information by publishing also the number of vessels lost in any month or other period.

101. Mr. ALDEN

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the recent reduction of shipping losses published for last month indicate a more successful resistance to attacks by submarines or are the result of fewer attacks by submarines due to withdrawal for refitting by the German Admiralty; if he can state whether ship production has yet begun to balance ship destruction; and, if not, when he anticipates that we shall begin to wipe off arrears of shipbuilding?


Until final figures of world output for April, May, and June are available it is not considered desirable to make any more definite statement than that of the Prime Minister in his speech of the 24th May at Edinburgh, to the effect that the Allies as a whole are building merchant ships faster than the Germans can sink them. The reduction in losses is of course not due to any one cause, but to a combination of all factors, offensive and defensive.