HC Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 cc547-8

The average annual expenditure upon the Navy (deducting the Transport Vote, which is for services rendered to the Army) of the four years ended 31st March, 1885, when all the Naval Powers in Europe, except England, were so busy, was—

Navy Expenditure 10,628,000
Gun Navy Expenditure † (Army Vote) 738,000
Total average annual expenditure for four years ending 1884–85 11,360,000
In 1885–86 Navy expenditure was 14,724,000
In 1885–86 Gun expenditure † (Army Vote) 1,600,000
Total, 1885–86 16,324,000
In 1886–87 Navy expenditure (estimated) was 12,941,000
In 1886–87Gun expenditure† (Army Vote) 1,685,000
Total, 1886–87 14,626,000

being a total excess during the two years of £8,218,000 over and above the average expenditure of the four preceding years.

If this great sum had been spread over this period of six years more evenly, and if consideration and a continuous policy had attended its disbursement, the Navy at this moment would be far stronger than it is.

On the other hand, the increase of strength which this sum will ultimately give would have been more economically attained if hurry and scare had not attended its outlay.

The conclusion to be drawn will, I trust, not be lost sight of by subsequent Administrations and by Parliament.

† Includes estimated value of services performed by War Office, beyond actual provision for Navy in original Army Estimates.