File No. 763.72/3249

The Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page) to the Secretary of State


5625. Because of slowness of mail I wire following for your information: I was privately but authoritatively informed February 4 that two German submarines had been sunk on the 3d. Prime Minister informed me last night that two had been sunk the day before. These authentic bits of information indicate success in dealing with them. The Admiralty doubts whether the Germans, have as many as 150 submarines in all. In spite of present submarine successes they feel sure of destroying [enough] in a reasonable time to make the sea comparatively safe. Winston Churchill informs me that he has had a careful mathematical study made of whole problem which demonstrates conclusively to him that the submarines must fail to embarrass shipping very seriously for any considerable period. Four armed merchantmen escape for every one unarmed, and British are arming their merchantmen as far as possible. Prime Minister told me also that his Government’s latest [Page 122] secret report of conditions in Germany just received shows that privation and hardship of people have recently increased enormously.