THE SWEPT SEA
[From London 'Shipping Gazette' Weekly Summary.] The Board of Trade, on November 27, issued a table showing how 16 weeks after the war the German merchant flag has been swept off the ceas. The fisures are worth a. little 6tudy. Of steamships Great Britain has over 10, COO. Of this number 98.1 are plying. Only 196 are "unavailable," and "of these 125 have been either captured or detained in German port?. As many a-s 71 are merely held up in the Black Sea or the Baltic. The German steamship total is given as 2..090. Of these, 1,221 vessels, or 58.4 per cent, of the number, are either captured, detained, or seeking refuge in German or neutral ports. Of tho balance of 869, only 10 are known to be at sea. All the rest, including 744 steam trawlers and small coasters, are "not accounted for." To suppose that more than a minute fraction of these 869 vessels arc getting a, living is to imagine the impossible. We daresay that in German waters there is isome pottering coasting trade in progress, but to all intents and purposes the 5.000,000 tons of steam under the German flag is cither captured or is in hiding and it, "useless. A more complete demonstration of the value of sea power there never WW. Herr Hcineken said the other day that all was well with German shipping, except that dividends might have to be tern-' porarily suspended. This, of course, is his pleasant way of speaking of prospective bankruptcy." Millions of German capital ifi invested'in German shipping. Not merelv is tho money not earning a cent., but the instruments which represent it are rotting and eating their heads off. Meantime, other people are, appropriating the business ior which these, ships were built. If the war lasts two or three year.", as it easily may, where will be the capital of the German chipping companies? We noted the other day the observation of Herr Ballin that England was already conquered because she was hiding her Fleet. This, of course, is the sort of flap-doodle on which the German nation is fed. If England's Fleet is in hiding, why are 38.1 per cent, of British steamships going about, their business as usual? That is the puzzle. You cannot, of course, be the bosom friend of the Chief Hun unless you are .prepared "to flatter, and flattery and truth axe not always th* same thing. Clearly the business of the British Fleet is to keep on "hiding," and that of British shipowners to consolidate the fruits of invisible sea power.
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THE SWEPT SEA, Evening Star, Issue 15701, 15 January 1915