No. 57  NAI DFA Secretary's Files P12/14/1

Confidential report from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 13) (Secret)

LONDON, 6 May 1941

It has not been made public but I understand that the recent raids by the Germans on Liverpool and in Scotland were, from their point of view, exceptionally successful.1 The last raid on the former is said to have been more disastrous than all the previous raids put together. They have completely destroyed the Huskisson Dock, put the Canada Dock out of action, and destroyed the greater part of the warehouses and sheds on Merseyside. Two large ships laden with munitions, probably for the Middle East, together with a fully loaded munition train were all hit, causing of course devastating explosions. Eleven other ships were sunk.

The delay to shipping at this important port is most embarrassing to the British and attempts are being made to carry out loading and unloading operations in the middle of the river. The dockers I hear are not pulling their weight. On the related question of shipping losses the British returns are not complete. A ship for example may reach port badly damaged from enemy action and remain in the shipyards for repair for from nine to twelve months, but this does not appear in the shipping losses. The efforts which the British have made to quicken the turn-round of ships in dock are now frustrated both at Liverpool and at Portsmouth.

Greenock is a highly concentrated town owing to the limited space between the sea and the range of hills rising steeply at the back. Port of Glasgow, a shipbuilding extension of Greenock is similarly placed. The destruction in these two places was considerable. Apart from the fact that thousands were rendered homeless, shipbuilding yards, a sugar refinery, and bonded warehouses were all very badly damaged.

A friend of mine told me how Mr. Churchill arrived in Liverpool looking very old and exhausted. He was shewn around the ruins but scarcely spoke, beyond a word or two to those who had been rendered homeless. After lunch he asked the Lord Mayor2 to be left alone for about an hour. After this he addressed three separate big groups of dockers at informal meetings. The Lord Mayor said he became a new man and thrilled everybody who heard him.

[signed] J. W. DULANTY

1 Liverpool was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe in the first week of May 1941. The shipyards of Clydebank, Scotland were also targeted in mid-March 1941, as were Glasgow and Aberdeen.

2 Sir Charles Sydney Jones (1872-1947), Lord Mayor of Liverpool (1938-42).

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