HC Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 cc543-7

Soon after the proposals for this increase to our naval strength had been assented to in 1885, the prospect of a possible war compelled the Government to apply for a large Vote of Credit, of which £2,000,000* was appropriated to naval purposes. A large additional sum was also granted for the manufacture of naval ordnance, and included in the Vote of Credit allotted the War Department.

*Exclusive of £500,000 for transport (Army Department).

A considerable amount of orders and of work were given under these Votes of Credit, which were not covered by the sums allotted to them, and have since become a charge upon the annual Estimates.

These are the causes of the exceptional expenditure of the past two years, for during that period Navy Votes have had to meet not only the ordinary wants and wastage of a great Service, but the accumulated arrears of an antecedent period of insufficient provision.