HC Deb 29 May 1922 vol 154 cc1682-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of merchant ships of this country which were lost during the War by enemy action and the value of such ships and the value of their cargoes; how much was paid by the Government to the owners of such ships and cargoes; and if any statement on the subject is available?


The number of British merchant ships lost by enemy action up to the date of the Armistice is 2,479, as stated in the return of British vessels lost or captured by the enemy. (House of Commons Paper No. 199 of 1919.) It is not possible to give a complete statement of the total value of the ships and their cargoes, but in regard to such ships and cargo as were insured under the various Government Schemes, the following figures are given in the preliminary statement of results of the Government War Insurance Schemes (Cmd. 98). Total amount paid in respect of ships, approximately, £64,206,000, and of cargoes, approximately, £68,281,000. In addition, the sum of £98,790,000 was paid in respect of total losses of requisitioned ships. Final figures of losses cannot be given till the accounts are closed.


Would it not be of the greatest advantage to have some statement got out on this subject, so as to assist speakers who are discussing the losses of this country?


How much was paid by the Government to the legal representatives of those who lost their lives in these ships owing to enemy action?


I must have notice of that question.