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THE shipping problem is not just another name for the Battle of the Atlantic. Overloaded warehouses in Batavia and political crisis in Rio may result from torpedoings in the Atlantic; but the solution of the problems they create cannot wait on the defeat of the submarine. World shipping problems must be met within their own terms of reference and solved by the means at hand. British control of the Atlantic and a successful defense of the British Isles may depend on there being enough ships in the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Oceans. The shipping problem is not one, it is many; it concerns not only embattled Britain and her American armor-bearer, but all countries that live by the purchase or sale of goods beyond the seas.
"It must be remembered," says Sir Arthur Salter, "that sea transport is almost as transferable as money itself."[i] From this premise it is clear that the British problem, and the problem of American aid to Britain, must be seen as a part of the world shipping situation. Every ship afloat and beyond Axis control is, in a sense, available for solving every wartime shipping problem, and almost every shipping problem is related to the British war effort. To secure war supplies from the United States, Britain must have transatlantic shipping; to guarantee the manufacture of those supplies in this country, there must be transpacific shipping. The war contribution of the Empire is communicated through ships. Ship transport for supplies may decide the attitude of borderline countries toward the war. The demands on world shipping as a whole and British and American shipping in particular arise from all of these needs.
No neat statistical etching of the British or world shipping position is possible. Some of the data are uncertain and behind the times; some are lacking. Yet a rough draft, showing at least the problem's dimensions, must be prepared as a preliminary to framing a solution.
The Germans claim to have sunk 11 million tons of British, Allied and neutral shipping from the outbreak of the war through April 1941; the British put the figure at 6.1 million tons.[ii] It is generally taken for granted that the German total is exaggerated, as, quite apart from propaganda motives, the Germans are in no position to determine sinkings accurately. The British might be expected to minimize their losses for the sake of morale. Admiral Sims wrote that at their first interview, on the entry of the United States into the World War, "Admiral Jellicoe took a paper out of his drawer and handed it to me. It was a record of tonnage losses for the last few months. . . . These figures indicated that the losses were three and four times as large as those which were then being published in the Press." [iii] On the other hand, a desire to speed American aid, particularly in the matter of convoys, might prompt the British to write their losses large, especially of ships carrying American supplies.[iv] Perhaps these motives result in something like a balance. In any case, neutral observers are inclined to believe that the British figures are fairly accurate. With these caveats, and in lieu of alternative data, British figures will be used to discuss sinkings. They are subject to revision by the Admiralty for several months after they have been issued; and they do not include merchant ships lost on naval duty.
The monthly pattern of sinkings is significant. For the first half year of the war, sinkings averaged about 190,000 tons per month. The figure fell during the Scandinavian campaign, rose sharply in May, and spurted to over half a million tons in June, the month of Dunkerque. From July through the end of 1940, German submarines, operating now from bases along the whole western coast of Europe, raised their monthly average to 390,000 tons. A drop during the winter weather was followed by sinkings of 489,000 tons in March and 488,000 in April (including the Balkan campaign), bringing the total for the first third of 1941 to 1.6 million tons. It seems likely that sinkings for 1941 will total some 5 million tons. An intensive German effort might well raise the total above this mark; better protection for British convoys, whether through American help or not, might keep it lower. The rate of loss sets the pace for the shipping problem.
In the summer of 1939 the world's merchant marine (all ships of 100 gross tons or over, excluding Great Lakes shipping) totalled 66.5 million tons, somewhat more than was required to carry world trade at that time. After twenty months of war, the supply of merchant vessels available to countries not under German or Italian control had apparently fallen to between 52 and 54 million tons, a drop of some 20 percent.[v] At the same time, the demand for shipping rose. Though import restrictions and the blockade have curtailed or eliminated many kinds of trade, their effect seems to have been more than offset by the British war effort, increased production in the United States, longer trade routes, congested ports, slow convoys, and the use of merchant shipping by armies and navies.
Merchant tonnage directly under British control has increased since the war began. In June 1939 some 20.6 million tons of shipping were registered in the British Empire, 87 percent of it in the United Kingdom. The British have captured at least 400,000 tons of Italian and German ships. From the merchant marines of the occupied countries (including France) they acquired about 7 million tons. Some of these ships are operated by the governments in exile along lines approved by the British. Ships totalling more than 800,000 tons were bought from the United States. New building in the British Empire during the first twenty months of the war was probably between 1.4 and 1.7 million tons. To all this should be added whatever neutral shipping the British may have on time charter above what they had in the prewar period, as well as those parts of the Greek and Jugoslav merchant marines coming to Britain. The subtraction of 6.1 million tons sunk leaves Britain, at the end of April, in direct control of 24-26 million tons of shipping, considerably more than before the war.[vi] It would be fallacious to regard this as a net gain of 30 percent in ships available to the British, as much of their commerce has always been carried in foreign bottoms. Foreign flagships carried 46 percent (by net tonnage) of United Kingdom imports during 1938. Nevertheless, it is an advantage to the British to have this larger number of ships directly subject to their wartime controls, and not to have to compete for them in a world market.
Not all the ships are effective merchant tonnage, however. The figures include many ships too small for overseas trade, and also passenger ships. Damages as well as sinkings reduce the supply. No official figures are available as to the number of British merchantmen laid up for repairs at any one time, but they are probably about 1.5 million tons, perhaps more. The Royal Navy has taken over numerous merchant ships to serve as auxiliary cruisers and patrol boats; the Army has taken transports and supply ships. By the autumn of 1940, the services were believed to have taken about 4.5 million tons of merchant shipping. With the development of the war in Africa and the Near East this figure rose, probably to 7 million.
Perhaps 16 to 18 million tons of shipping are available to the British for merchant traffic at any one time. Ordinarily Empire routes far removed from the United Kingdom absorb some 2 million tons. Recent reports suggest that less than a million tons are now so engaged; but there may be difficulty in keeping the total as low as this for a long period of time. Most British ships have been withdrawn from world trade routes outside the war zone, and the remainder are being taken out. British ships -- many of them coastwise vessels -- entering and clearing Chinese ports fell from 8.3 million tons in 1939 to 4.4 million in 1940. However, there are still Norwegian freighters in the Latin American trade, and Norwegian and Dutch ships, largely tankers, in the Far East. This has usually been taken to mean that Britain's position is not absolutely desperate. The ships are kept there, it is believed, as part of a compromise with the owners and in hopes of holding open trade routes for British shipping in the postwar period. Negotiations for the replacement of these ships by American vessels have probably been going on. Without such replacement their withdrawal would create serious difficulties. They comprise, for example, about one-fifth of all the ships plying between Latin America and the United States.
Probably about 15 million tons of shipping are used to supply the United Kingdom. The task is much greater than in peacetime. It is no longer possible to obtain 32 percent of the United Kingdom's imports from nearby Europe, as in 1938, and ships from the Far East must sail around Africa. As is well known, the convoy system reduces the carrying power of the merchant marine. The collection of convoys causes delay; their speed is that of the slowest ship; some of them being reported to go as slowly as six knots an hour. At least 25 percent reduction in carrying power for ships in the war zone is usually attributed to the use of convoys, though this may be somewhat mitigated by allowing fast ships to travel alone. There is congestion at the English ports, arising from the arrival of large convoys, bombings, and the difficulties of unloading at night in the blackout. Over-all figures conceal the strain on British shipping resulting from heavy losses in specialized carriers such as tankers and refrigerated ships. While figures are not available, it is generally understood that a higher percentage of these ships has been lost than of ordinary cargo vessels.
Reduced capacity and efficiency make annual losses of 5 million tons very grave. The British are traditionally a nation of shipbuilders, but there is little prospect that their prowess in this field will be adequate to meet present needs. In his address of May 27, President Roosevelt said that "the present rate of Nazi sinkings of merchant ships is more than three times as high as the capacity of British shipyards to replace them: it is more than twice the combined British and American output of merchant ships today." Even this statement may be too optimistic. In 1938 over a million tons of merchant shipping were launched in the United Kingdom. Accurate figures are not available for 1939 and 1940, but most estimates put each year's launchings at about a million tons. However, a Department of Commerce estimate placing British shipbuilding in the first nine months of 1940 at 400,000 tons suggests that the output for that year might have been considerably lower. Naval construction and the repair of damaged ships occupy many of Britain's yards and much of her labor. The shipbuilding rationalization scheme closed and razed numerous yards in the years before the war; in 1938 Britain had 40 percent less shipbuilding capacity than in 1918. Bombings and the blackout hinder the building of new yards and the full utilization of existing capacity. Estimates putting British launchings this year at 1.5 million tons are probably over-optimistic; two-thirds of that figure is more likely. The rest of the Empire's shipbuilding capacity is small; launchings in 1938 equalled 28,000 tons. Orders for ships have been placed in Canada, Hong Kong and elsewhere, and new shipyards are being built in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Much of the Dominions' effort, however, is going into the construction of corvettes and other small naval craft. Certainly they will make no significant addition to the merchant tonnage supply until 1942. It is doubtful if their output for this year will exceed 100,000 tons.
New British building may replace as little as one-quarter of this year's sinkings. A small amount of slack might be taken up in the use of the merchant marine -- some further tonnage might be withdrawn from foreign routes, convoys might be more efficiently handled, commodities might be purchased from Canada and the United States rather than from Australia, Argentina and New Zealand. A total collapse of the Near Eastern front, whatever its strategical effects, might free some merchant shipping and additional naval vessels for convoy; but it might also bring new problems of protecting ships off Africa and in the Indian Ocean. Britain alone cannot supply the new tonnage needed to maintain her present rate of imports. She must have ships from abroad. The possible sources are few. Use of all the ships of Axis and occupied countries now laid-up in ports in the Western Hemisphere would yield over a million tons, a very considerable help. It is doubtful if much tonnage can be chartered or bought from the remaining neutral countries of Europe and Latin America. Seventy-five percent of Japan's fleet, once a great earner of foreign exchange, is now engaged in Asiatic waters, and the rest carries little but Japanese imports. Withdrawal of Dutch and Norwegian tonnage from the Japan trade would intensify Japan's problems, raising political issues the British and American Governments apparently wish to avoid. It is to the United States that Britain must turn for large-scale shipping aid.
The first measure of American wartime merchant marine policy -- in the Neutrality Act of 1939 -- curtailed the tonnage potentially available to Britain. Though of minor importance to the British in the past, the 500,000 tons of American shipping laid-up under the Act and now employed on other routes, would have been precious in wartime and, in the absence of the law, would have been augmented by other American ships drawn into the Atlantic by higher freight rates. At the same time, the Maritime Commission gave permission for sales of about 800,000 tons of ships, many of them over-age, to British and Canadian purchasers. Britain also secured more or less direct benefits from the 450,000 tons of United States shipping, largely tankers, transferred to Latin American or European registry during the first year and one half of war. Late in February 1941, Maritime Commission officials were reported as saying that American needs made it impossible to transfer or sell any more ships abroad.[vii] Since the Commission's laid-up fleet of 700,000 tons has been depleted, further transfers would be at the expense of the active merchant marine, except to the extent that they were replaced by new building.
Since 1936 the Maritime Commission has had a merchant shipbuilding program designed to replace the high percentage of over-age tonnage in our fleet, much of which dates from the World War. The program was speeded up after war broke out and was supplemented by an emergency program calling for the construction in 1941 and 1942 of 200 "ugly ducklings," partially pre-fabricated ships of a standard design, inferior in excellence to the Maritime Commission's ships, but quicker to build. A British order for 60 cargo ships of about 10,000 tons each was also placed here. The production schedules on this program call for the launching of slightly over a million tons of new shipping in 1941 and about 2.3 million in 1942.
Whether the schedule can be speeded up, or whether it is itself optimistic, remains a matter of dispute among the experts. Early in April the President announced that he would use $500 million of the lease-lend appropriation to build 56 new ways and 212 ships for Britain. The tonnage of these ships has not been announced, nor has the date when they should be completed. It seems unlikely that any will be launched before 1942, and the majority of them will probably not appear until late that year or in 1943. A figure of 5 million tons is sometimes mentioned as our output of ships in the latter year. To reach this figure it will be necessary to push the shipbuilding effort much harder than is now being done and to begin work now on new ways and yards. More general use of pre-fabrication and possibly resort to wooden ships would also hasten construction. On present schedules, the combined rate of British and American shipbuilding will not equal half the rate of loss from sinking until sometime in 1942. This may be bettered by increasing the shipbuilding program or reducing the sinkings. The nub of the building problem is the relatively long lapse of time from the building of ways to the launching of ships.
The building of ships is the only fundamental way out of a world shortage. But the new supplies of tonnage to be expected this year are inadequate to the need, and little can be done to increase them. The problem is immediate; things will get worse, not better. To cope with this crisis, American policy must concentrate on making the best possible use of available tonnage in whatever routes it is sailing. The need for ships is not limited to the North Atlantic. The general shipping shortage has made it difficult to secure space for United States imports of jute, hides, vegetable oils, and other raw materials from Latin America and Asia. The accumulation of stockpiles of strategic materials has been hampered. The spectre of future shortages begins to be seen, though still not so clearly as it should. The rise in freight rates, though somewhat restrained by government pressure and British controls, is an element in increasing domestic costs which lies outside the scope of present price controls, and threatens the financial structure of the defense economy.
Cognizant of this situation, the President on February 10, 1941, addressed a letter to Admiral Land, Chairman of the Maritime Commission, stressing the importance of shipping to the defense effort and asking his advice and assistance regarding the "maximum utilization" of the merchant marine. The Maritime Commission then set up a Division of Emergency Shipping which sought to smooth out difficulties by conferring with shippers. Coördination in the use of shipping space and informal priorities for strategic materials were instituted. Some of the difficulties arose from the acquisition of merchant shipping by the Army and Navy. A partial solution was reached by arranging that some of the supplies for West Indian bases should be carried by southbound freighters in the Latin American trade, instead of by special ships which would then return empty to the United States. Army ships returning from the Philippines were also used to carry strategic materials. By the end of May the services had taken over 400,000 tons of passenger shipping and an undisclosed number of cargo vessels, particularly fast ships of the latest types, originally designed as potential naval auxiliaries. The increased rate at which merchant ships are being acquired by the Army and Navy threatens to become a serious factor in limiting the tonnage available for other uses.
On April 30, President Roosevelt asked the Maritime Commission "to secure the service of at least 2,000,000 tons of merchant shipping which now exists and plan the operation thereof in such a manner as will make their cargo space immediately effective in accomplishing our objective of all out aid to the democracies." This was the first action approaching a mobilization of American shipping resources to meet the emergency. Arrangements were made almost immediately for 25 tankers to be used to carry oil from Latin America to east coast ports in the United States, where it would be transferred to British ships for the run to the United Kingdom. Later 25 more tankers were supplied. On June 4 the Commission ordered Gulf and Atlantic coastwise shippers to divert half their ships to the pool. By making use of all the laid-up shipping of Axis, French and occupied country registry in United States ports, about one-quarter of the 2 million ton pool would be supplied. However, the damaged German and Italian ships will not be ready for use for some time. It may be possible to purchase some of the laid-up ships in Latin American harbors, but at least a million tons and probably more will have to come from the active United States merchant marine.
At the end of December 1940, some 4 million tons of our shipping plied in coastwise or intercoastal routes -- nearly 60 percent of our whole merchant marine of 7.2 million tons.[viii] In the period from October 30, 1939, to the end of 1940, some 400,000 tons were withdrawn from the coastwise trade for sale to Britain or to take advantage of the higher freight rates on deep-water routes. The fifty tankers taken for the pool in May came largely from this source, leading to predictions that the consumption of petroleum products in the eastern United States would have to be sharply curtailed in the coming year. In urging Congress to pass a bill providing for condemnation of rights of way for a pipeline from Texas oilfields to Middle Atlantic refineries, the President stressed the need for additional transportation facilities to offset the reduced tanker supply. The withdrawal of numerous ships from the coastwise trade which has begun will require some adjustments in our economy. Reduction in water transport would increase the burden of American road and rail carriers. This pressure, coupled with the rise in industrial production, will probably necessitate an expansion of railroad facilities, including an enlarged production of rolling stock and other equipment. This in turn will intensify the strain on steel production. The higher freight charges for overland transportation will also tend to increase production costs of many items. Drawing on Great Lakes shipping would have similar effects. Some of the 2.6 million tons of shipping on the Lakes could be brought out through the canals to the open sea, but the need of bottoms on the Lakes is so great that a new law has been enacted allowing Canadian ships to carry iron ore between American Lake ports to relieve the burden on our own vessels.
There are no other domestic reservoirs of shipping. Any additional ships must be withdrawn from overseas routes, thereby aggravating one problem to ease another. The choice as to the relative importance of different uses, cargoes and routes can be made wisely only in terms of our defense economy as a whole. Some form of priorities for raw materials imports, drastically applied, would lay the foundation for a more efficient use of shipping. Shorter hauls, made possible by shifting purchases to nearer sources, would also save tonnage. Philippine sugar is already virtually barred from this country by high freight rates and the lack of ships. It has been suggested that Asiatic raw materials might all be delivered at west coast ports and carried the rest of the way by railroads and trucks. The purchase of increased quantities of semi-finished goods instead of the bulkier raw materials may be possible in a few cases.
Once priorities have been established, and imports regulated, so that it is known to what extent the rubber, jute and manganese are to share space with bananas, coffee and spices, it will be possible to calculate more exactly how much shipping can be spared, and from what routes. It will be necessary, of course, to control the ships themselves in order to be able to move them where they are most needed. If Britain needs ships in the North Atlantic, and if the United States remains on a short-of-war basis and retains the Neutrality Act, they can be transferred to British or other registry. If they are to be used outside the war zone, they can remain under United States control. Or some compromise plan can be worked out, such as chartering the ships to the British for use outside the war zone, as was done in the case of the first 25 tankers collected in May. The aims of American shipping policy would not be dictated by defense needs alone, though these would be the weightiest factors, but also by political motives -- the Good Neighbor policy, aid to China, the strategy of food -- and by the usefulness of shipping control as an instrument of economic warfare. To the extent that the merchant marine was more efficient under a unified policy, larger amounts of consumption goods might be imported than would otherwise be possible.
Sir Arthur Salter has said: "I am confident that there is presently available in America enough merchant tonnage to form the so-called bridge of ships, until such time as the combined ship construction efforts of the United States and Great Britain begin sending new vessels off the ways."[ix] There is every reason to believe that this is true, provided the United States makes the most efficient use of its merchant marine. Perhaps this can be done by the present program based on the coöperation of the owners and operators. It is doubtful. Coöperation is secured for specific problems involving a clear and immediate need, but a shipping policy articulated to our defense economy as a whole must be conceived in larger terms and be planned in relation to future needs in a situation which will deteriorate so long as sinkings exceed launchings. Coöperation is likely to be a cumbersome, halting process. As shippers are called on to make greater sacrifices -- in terms of what they might get in a free market -- coöperation will be harder to secure. Compromise is basic to coöperation, for the shippers' needs as well as the government's must be considered. It is not conducive to immediate and drastic action.
The requisitioning of our entire merchant marine is the prerequisite to using it at its maximum. Section 902 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 empowers the Maritime Commission to requisition ships in a national emergency or "whenever the President shall proclaim that the security of the national defense makes it advisable. . . ." Once requisitioned, the routes, sailings and cargoes of all ships could be determined by government order, though the actual operation of the vessels might be left in the hands of their managers, as is now done in England. Owners would receive compensation for their ships on agreed terms and freight rates could be fixed at whatever level the Government chose. For many years we have subsidized the operators of deep-sea ships in one form or another, and protected coastwise ships from foreign competition. This policy was justified by the claim that it is in the national interest to maintain a merchant marine. Now it is in the national interest to use it.
Requisitioning raises many problems. At what rate shall the owners be paid? How shall the demands of different government agencies be coordinated? What weight shall diplomatic policy have in comparison with defense needs? Shall shipowners, who retain an interest in the ships they expect to have returned after the war, be employed by the Government to help operate the control? What representation shall be given to maritime labor? The problems are difficult, as would be those of any kind of control or of no control at all. Of the many possible types of government regulation of shipping, requisitioning is the best because it makes possible a unified control of the entire merchant marine in terms of the whole pattern of national needs. As Sir Arthur Salter explained it to the British Parliament: "Under requisitioning you can, as you cannot under a licensing system, plan ahead, take a look at your whole programme of imports, look at the whole of the ships operating. You can make a plan of the whole and no one who has not access to the whole of the facts can do that."[x]
Requisitioning will not take care of one important matter: the foreign ships carrying our goods. Only about 30 percent of our prewar imports (on the basis of cargo tonnage) arrived in American ships. Undoubtedly this share has risen since the war began. But of the 119 ships in the Latin American trade in March 1941, only 54 were of United States registry. Clearly some means must be found to bring foreign ships within range of an American ship control. Many such ships are in fact American-owned, though of foreign registry, and may be subject to requisitioning. Bunker control proved a useful instrument for bringing neutral ships into British service in the World War. Under this plan ships may fuel only if they are on voyages approved by the shipping authorities. Harbor regulations or the issuance of warrants may be similarly used. Some owners might prefer not to touch at American ports rather than meet these terms. But if our program were geared to that of the British, the field left for such ships would be small; Japan would be the biggest customer. Should the situation become serious through the defection of too many ships, we might have to choose between offering inducements to enter our trade, in the form of very high rates, or of applying economic and political pressure on the individuals or countries involved.
The relationship between the American and British merchant marines is of the greatest importance. Under present conditions, the United Státes seeks to free ships from its services, and freed ships are then turned over, in one way or another, to the British. This procedure is unsatisfactory in that it contributes nothing towards the solution of our own problems. If our merchant fleet were requisitioned, a more coherent program could be worked out. Unless there is coördination there will be friction and working at cross purposes, with a consequent loss of efficiency. Even operating in close harmony there would be conflicts of interest and differences of opinion as to the best way to achieve agreed ends. The organization of such coöperation is beyond the scope of this article. Two chief instrumentalities suggest themselves: a specialized advisory body, modelled on the Allied Maritime Transport Council of World War days; or a joint board with virtually complete power over the two merchant marines. Whatever the form, the need for the articulation of the two programs is patent. Shipping is the crucial central link between the two war economies as well as between each economy and the areas of the world on which it depends for sustenance. Conceivably, Anglo-American coöperation in this sphere might strike roots and become the nucleus for a wider international organization, or at any rate for closer coöperation between the two countries in other spheres. In the postwar period, no less than in wartime, there will be problems to solve. Though the outside pressure will be absent, the merit of joint solutions will remain.
Whatever may come of this, and whether Britain wins or loses, the immediate wartime needs of the United States in the field of shipping are dual: increased shipbuilding, and maximum utilization of the ships available. These will not come about of themselves, but must be brought about by planned policy and strong action.
[i] "Allied Shipping Control," p. 31.
[ii] Unless otherwise noted, figures in this article refer to gross tons, a measure of capacity in which a ton is taken as equal to 100 cubic feet. The gross tonnage of a ship is the capacity of the space between the sides and ceiling of the hull plus the storage or living space above decks, with deductions for water tanks, wheelhouse and certain other installations.
[iii] Quoted in "War Memoirs" of David Lloyd George (London, 1938), vol. I, 689-90.
[iv] In a letter to Senator Vandenberg, Admiral Land gave world sinkings for the first four months of 1941 as 781,914 gross tons, less than half the British Admiralty's total (New York Times, May 8, 1941). It has been suggested that Admiral Land's figure was based on newspaper reports only. The Maritime Commission's Division of Economics and Statistics declines to explain the discrepancy, on the ground that it publishes no information regarding merchant shipping losses.
[v] Total sinkings, including Axis ships, probably equalled 7.5 million tons. New building outside the Axis area, but including Japan, probably did not reach 3 million tons. Of the 6.5 million tons of unsunk German and Italian ships, the British captured at least 400,000, leaving the rest in Europe or laid-up in foreign harbors. A number of those used in the Mediterranean or in European coastwise trade have probably also been sunk by the British. The merchant marine of the occupied countries, including France, exceeded 12 million tons in 1939. Perhaps 1.3 or 1.5 million tons were sunk, and the British secured about 7 million. The remaining 3.5 or more million tons were under Axis control or in foreign harbors, save for parts of the French fleet still operating, claimed by Vichy to exceed 1.5 million tons. In all, something over a million tons of Axis and occupied country shipping is in foreign harbors, including that seized by the United States and Latin American countries. There are 600,000 tons of Axis shipping in Latin America, 150,000 in the United States, almost 300,000 tons of French, Danish and other laid-up ships in the United States and an undetermined amount in Latin America. Further deductions should be made for the Greek and Jugoslav ships which fell into Axis hands. Those sunk before the end of April are included in the 7.5 million above. It must be emphasized that the wartime figures are all estimates, but they have been compiled and checked by the best sources available.
[vi] It is not quite accurate to subtract the whole 6.1 million from the British total as it includes neutral tonnage not under British charter but, presumably, sailing to the British Isles.
[vii] As a matter of fact, some sales and transfers have taken place, though at a much slower rate than in 1940. Outstanding among these was the transfer in April to Britain under the Lease-Lend Act of four large speedy cargo carriers of the newest design.
[viii] Figures for the United States merchant marine refer to ships of 1,000 gross tons and over.
[ix] Journal of Commerce, May 8, 1941.
[x] Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, March 18, 1940, col. 1769.