HC Deb 18 July 1923 vol 166 cc2327-8W

asked the Prime Minister whether he will state, in tabular form, the expenditure incurred by the chief countries of the world, including our own, in 1913 and 1922, respectively, on their naval, military, and air forces, showing the percentage of increase or decrease, as far as possible, based on the sterling or real values in each case?


The information which the hon. Member seeks is already available, in regard to several countries, in the League of Nations' publication entitled, "Budget Expenditure on National Defence, 1913 and 1920–22," a copy of which may, I understand, be seen in the Library, and to which I would refer the hon. Member. Of the chief countries not included in this publication (namely, United States of America, Germany, and Russia), the defence and expenditure of the United States of America is as follows:

1913–14 (Closed Accounts):
Defence 316,303,000
Army and Navy Pensions 173,251,000
1922–23 (Most Recent Estimates):
Defence 675,046,000
Army and Navy Pensions 252,350,000
As regards Germany and Russia, I doubt whether it would be possible to attach any value to such figures of expenditure as might be given, having regard to the dislocation of the exchanges of these two countries. The hon. Member will doubtless recall that the strength of the defence forces of Germany are now regulated by the Treaty of Versailles.