HC Deb 31 March 1910 vol 15 cc1450-1

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that it is difficult to find out exactly what the cost of adding a ship to the Navy is, owing to the present form in which the Navy Estimates are made out; whether the total estimated cost of H.M.S. "Temeraire," including guns, is £1,743,955; whether he will designate how much her outfit of ammunition and permanent stores, including reserve of guns and reserve of ammunition, costs; whether he could add a column or columns in the Navy-Estimates showing what the whole cost of adding a ship to the Fleet is as far as material is concerned; whether it would be possible to schedule the various ratings in the complements actually allowed to every ship in the service, placing the commissioned ships on one list and nucleus crew ships on another list, instead of as now, Ships on Active Service, 70,345, etc.; and whether it would be possible, instead of placing Disposable Supernumeraries, 19,965, as now, that their numbers could be shown in columns, stating their ratings, and where they were stationed?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna)

From the general tenour of the question, I gather that the Noble Lord takes exception to the present practice of not including in the programme part of the Navy Estimates the estimated cost of stores and gear (Votes 8 and 9) which may be held in reserve for a ship. As far as Vote 8 is concerned, the figures published as the first cost of a ship cover the whole of the charges involved in building, engining, and equipping her as a fighting machine, including first fitting stores— that is to say, anchors, cables, and boats. The cost of supplying sea stores, such as running tackle, lubricating oils, and such-like consumable articles, which are essential for actual service, but which need constant replacement under working conditions, are not included in the statement of first cost. The figures quoted for the "Temeraire," namely £1,743,955, cover the whole of the Vote 8 charges, plus the ordinary proportion of establishment and incidental charges, and the estimated value of the guns, chargeable to Vote 9. The approximate cost of guns, ammunition, torpedoes, and other naval ordnance stores for the "Temeraire" is £304,200. With regard to the fourth part of the question, the existing arrangements are considered to meet all reasonable requirements, and additional columns would only further complicate the matter. As regards the remainder of the question, it is undesirable to publish particulars of the complements of His Majesty's ships or of disposable supernumeraries. Certain information as to the latter is already given in footnote (b) on page 14 of the Navy Estimates.


May I ask what proportion of the money voted by this House for new construction capital is spent upon labour in the dockyards, and what proportion is spent outside?


If the hon. Gentleman will be so good as to put his question on the Paper I shall be glad to answer it.