Oral Answers to Questions — Shipping Losses (Publication).

– in the House of Commons on 18th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

asked the Prime Minister whether he will reconsider his decision not to publish shipping losses; whether he will state the figures of Allied losses in recent months; and whether he is aware that statements on the subject are being circulated in the United States of America?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The position is as stated in the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) on nth June last, of which I am sending him a copy. I have nothing to add to that reply.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that President Roosevelt, Admiral Lang, and Admiral Vickery have all made public statements in the United States and that those statements are well known to the enemy? Is it not time that the public in this country were made aware of the gravity of the position?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I do not think that that affects the validity of the reasons which were given before for non-publication in this country.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Would the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration that if the grievous, though not irremediable, position, which is known to a great many of us, is not made known to the public, the public will have one of the nastiest shocks they have ever had in their lives, in the next two months?

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

Are the figures published in the United States likely to be published in this country?

Photo of Mr Clement Davies Mr Clement Davies , Montgomeryshire

Is there any possible reason why the figures, say, up to the end of March, could not be published? I can understand the general reason, but surely figures up to the end of March could be published.

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I will consider that suggestion.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the figures for April have been published in the United States, are known to shipowners and others in this country and disclose a very alarming state of affairs? Will he consider whether we ought not to have some statement, reassuring or otherwise, from the Government on this matter?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

The Question relates to recent months. I do not think it is affected by figures published some time ago and in another country. I will certainly bear in mind the points just raised, and I will discuss them with the First Lord of the Admiralty.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I am very sorry, Mr. Speaker, to have to ask for facilities, if they can be afforded, but I give notice that I shall endeavour to raise this matter on the Adjournment.