HC Deb 13 May 1941 vol 371 cc1072-3
41. Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the Prime Minister whether on the analogy of not publishing the damage by enemy action to shipyards, factories, warehouses, railways, roads, etc., he will discontinue the publication of shipping losses, while communicating them as necessary to friendly Powers?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)

In all these matters, a balance has to be struck between giving the utmost information to the public and the least possible helpful information to the enemy. At the present time we are publishing our shipping losses monthly, as this seems to meet both the aforesaid conditions most agreeably. But all these questions have to be kept under constant review in the light of changing circumstances.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware how often these figures are misinterpreted, un backed as they are by great achievements and relevant facts?

The Prime Minister

If you have no great achievements, you will find that the absence of figures will not prevent misrepresentation and misinterpretation.