HC Deb 12 March 1889 vol 333 cc1501-2
MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can state approximately what is likely to be the annual increase of expenditure per annum for repairs, salaries, wages, provisions, pensions, &c., when all the ships that he contemplated building have been added to the Navy?


; The Question of the hon. Gentleman divides itself into two heads—the increase of cost for manning the new vessels, and the cost of their maintainence and repair. We estimate that for the first purpose it will be necessary during the next five years to increase the Vote for men in the aggregate by 5,000, and an approximate estimate of the cost of their pay and provisions will be between £250,000 and £300,000 spread over that time. I have not had time to have an estimate of their pensions calculated. The cost of repairing the new ships may roughly be calculated on the following basis. The older ironclads which have been constantly in commission, and the life of whose boilers is much shorter than that of ships of the most modern type, cost in maintenance and repair about 2 per cent per annum on original cost of construction; the cost of cruisers and other vessels is considerably less. A large proportion of these new vessels will not be constantly in commission, and their boilers will last longer than those of the vessels they replace. A deduction may, therefore, fairly be looked for in regard to both these points from the average estimate I have given. For the first few years that new vessels are in use the cost of repair and maintenance is very small.