§ The past year has been one of unusual activity. Many of the changes and reforms I have enumerated have been prompted and carried through by the personal interest taken in them by individual members of the Board. The Heads of the Departments have heartily co-operated with the Board in their endeavours to place naval administration on a more business-like and efficient footing.
§ What has been done makes apparent how much still remains to be effected before the condition and organization of our Navy can be said to be thoroughly satisfactory. The completion of the large ironclads and cruisers mentioned 584 585 before renders that portion of our Fleet more efficient, but by contrast makes still more apparent the obsolete and unserviceable condition of the great majority of our gun-boats and sloops.
§ The very improvements that recent changes have made show how large a field for reform there still remains in parts of our naval system which have not yet been touched.
§ GEORGE HAMILTON.
§ February 28, 1887.