HC Deb 20 July 1871 vol 208 cc51-2

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he is aware that in 1853 the Navy Estimates were closed on the 22nd of February, with the exception of a Supplemental Estimate for the Royal Naval Coast Volunteers, then established for the first time, which was not presented to Parliament till the 29th of July; that in 1860 the Navy Estimates were closed on the 15th of June, with the exception of an item of the Half Pay Vote amounting to £12,000, for the retirement of Naval Officers of the higher grades, which was objected to when the Vote was under discussion, and deferred, by consent, for future consideration, and of a Supplemental Estimate of a Grant to the Marine Forces employed in China, presented on the 13th July; and that in 1861 the Navy Estimates were closed on the 9th of June, with the exception of a Supplemental Vote for Iron Ships, which was not presented till the 22nd of July?


Sir, I was much surprised when I saw the right hon. Gentleman's Question on the Paper, inasmuch as I have given particular directions in reference to my inquiries that Supplementary Estimates should be carefully excluded, and my private secretary sent to the Admiralty for that part of the Return which relates to the Navy. I believe, however, the statement of the right hon. Gentleman is substantially correct, and I am at a loss to understand how the error, which I deeply regret, could have arisen in the report made to me. I am anxious, therefore, to assist the right hon. Gentleman in regard to any of the Motions which he wishes to bring forward. The noble Lord the Member for Chichester (Lord Henry Lennox) is not willing to take Tuesday evening for discussing the loss of the Captain, and, if it is agreeable to the right hon. Gentleman, he can bring on his Motion respecting the management of the dockyards on that day. A definite arrangement on this point can be made at a later hour of the evening.