asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether he is aware that the Navy Estimates for the ensuing financial year do not bear the signature 1672 of the late First Lord of the Admiralty, but are signed by the Junior Lords only, who, under the Order in Council of 14th January 1869, do not form part of the responsible Government of the Navy, but are executive subordinates under the First Lord; and whether, as the Estimates have not been presented on the authority of a responsible Minister, he will undertake to give them a careful revision, and to satisfy himself that they have been prepared with due regard to the national interests, before proposing them to Parliament?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
Sir, the right hon. Gentleman is somewhat premature in addressing me as First Lord of the Admiralty, as I have not yet formally received that appointment. However, I am prepared to answer his Question. If the Navy Estimates, which have been laid on the Table, do not bear the signature of the late First Lord of the Admiralty, he was responsible, to a great degree, for the policy embodied in those Estimates; and not only that, but he submitted that policy to his Colleagues in the Cabinet, and the Government are responsible for that policy. As regards the details of the Estimates, the right hon. Gentleman may rest assured that I shall propose nothing to the House without being satisfied myself that it has been prepared, as he expressed it, with a due regard to the national interests.