23 MARCH 1918, Page 1

Sir Eric Geddes told the House that the world's merchant

ton- nage, exclusive of enemy ships, had been reduced during the war by 2,500,000 tons net out of a total tonnage of 33,000,000 up to the end of last year—a net loss of eight per cent. Of the total British tonnage of 18,000,000, we had suffered a net loss of 3,500,000, or twenty per cent. The first year of unrestricted submarine warfare, ending with January, had caused an actual loss of 6,000,000 tons of Allied and neutral shipping ; the enemy falsely claimed to have destroyed 9,500,000 tons. The figures of further losses would be given periodically—perhaps once a quarter and slightly in arrear—as well as the figures of the new ships built.