§ LORD CHARLES BERESFORD
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will now inform the House how many of the 100,050 officers and men, voted in the Naval Estimates, 1897–8, were actually borne on 31st March, 1898; how many of these were actually available for commissioning ships, excluding all with less than six months' sea training; and how many of the 100,050 were men, and how many boys?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
According to the latest Returns the total number of 100,050 officers, men, and boys voted in the Navy Estimates, 1897–8, has been fully realised, the actual number borne on the 25th March last being 100,052. Included in this number are 3,880 "Service" boys, and 6,265 boys under training. I am unable to answer the Question of the noble Lord as to the number actually available for commissioning ships, as, apart from the question of length of sea training, the degree to which men would be taken from ordinary peace duties, such as the coastguard stations, or the various educational establishments, to be put on board ship, would depend upon the nature of any emergency winch might arise.