HC Deb 28 March 1912 vol 36 cc741-2W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what is the amount of the German Navy Estimates for 1911–12, and what would be the amount of the German Navy Estimates if in their Estimates were included the same charges as are borne on our Estimates; and will he say what these charges are?


The German Navy Estimates for 1911–12 amounted to £22,031,788, which includes £541,732 for items for which there is no equivalent in the British Estimates, comprising fortifications and garrisons of naval ports, pilot and lighthouse service, meteorological service, secret service, grants to municipal authorities, Admiralty buildings, etc. The comparative figure for Germany thus becomes £21,490,056. On the other hand, the British Navy Estimates include the following items, for which there is no equivalent in the German Estimates: Retired pay, pensions, gratuities and compassionate allowances, civil superannuation, etc., Coastguard, steamship subsidies, and reserves. These items in the British Estimates of 1911–12 amounted to £3,819,772. To this must be added certain expenditure on big naval works, and particularly the annual charge in repayment of works loans borne on British Navy Votes, and amounting to £1,322,752, the corresponding item to which in Germany falls on the Votes of the Minister of the Interior. Further, it must be remembered that the personnel of the British Navy is maintained on a voluntary system, resulting in increased charges on Votes 1, 2, and 3 of our Navy Estimates, that have been estimated to amount to little short of £3,000,000. The amount expended on such of these non-equivalent services as exist in Germany does not admit of accurate determination, but it would appear that in order to arrive at a true comparison of the respective Navy Estimates of the two countries, an approximate reduction of £8,000,000 should be made from the British figures. On this basis the Navy Estimates of the two countries for 1911–12 should therefore read: Germany, 21½ millions; Great Britain, 36¼ millions. It must be added that these figures take no account of the additional expense incurred by the British Government in maintaining foreign stations.