Count Dohna and His SeaGull ©
British Shipping Controller
On December 10, 1916 Sir Joseph Maclay, a Scottish ship owner, became the first British Shipping Controller. The newly appointed cabinet member was charged with organizing merchant shipping in order to supply the United Kingdom with the materials to fight the war.
During the war, vessel movements were controlled to minimize loss to raiders and submarines. Ship sailings and routes were tightly controlled, convoys were organized and an ambitious shipbuilding program was started. British vessels were confiscated as needed. Ships were chartered or purchased from many nations. Vessels of neutral nations in United Kingdom waters were subject to seizure and many were taken for the war effort.
Following the war, under terms of the Versailles Treaty, ships passed to Britian as war reparations were allocated by the Shipping Controller to various shipping lines.
SeaGull and her sister ship Pionier were passed to the British Shipping Controller and subsequently allocated to the Elders and Fyffes Company, Liverpool, England.
MERCANTILE MARINE, by Edward Keble Chatterton, 1923.
THE MERCHANT SEAMAN IN WAR, by L. Cope Cornford, 1918.
Last Revision: March 4, 2007.
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