HC Deb 14 March 1887 vol 312 cc209-11

So much for the question of armaments and stores. Coming now to administration, I may observe that the cost of administering the War Office shows an increase of £2,600 due to the increments of salaries, most of the clerks appointed at the reorganization of 1857 having now reached their maximum. It may be not uninteresting to trace the history of this Vote. It shows, as estimated for 1886–7. an increase of £6,700 since 1864–5, and of £33,800 since 1857–8. But in 1857–8, the Army Reserve, and the Volunteers did not exist, and the Regular Army was smaller by £25,000 men. Since 1857–8 the Intelligence Department, which cost £12,300 in the current year, has replaced the small military Topographical Department, supervised by the Director of the Ordnance Survey. Yet the cost of administration, which in 1857–8 was about £1 18s. 4d. to every £100 administered, had fallen in 1886–7 to £1 1s. 2d., a decrease of 17s. 2d. per £100 expended. In 1864–5, the charge fur clerks was higher by £10,000 than in 1886–7, though the work has largely increased in the interval. The reduction has been mainly caused by the employment of cheaper labour. The civil clerks have been reduced by 13, while the military clerks have been increased by 65. By these savings the expenditure on the Intelligence Branch, the increase of technical staff from 21 to 43, and of the "Works Branch from 13 to 20, has produced a net increase of £6,800 only in 22 years.