HC Deb 15 March 1939 vol 345 cc433-4W
Mr. C. Wilson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he can state the cost of the latest types of battleship, battle cruiser, destroyer, light cruiser, aircraft carrier, and submarine, respectively; what proportion of the cost is due to material, labour, establishment charges, and profit; and what is the annual cost in the case of each type of wages, salaries, victualling, clothing, repairs, maintenance, and other expenses?

Mr. Shakespeare

No battleship has been completed since the "Rodney" in 1927 which cost approximately£6,150,000.

No battle cruiser has been completed since the "Hood" in 1920, which cost approximately £5,700,000.

The following examples illustrate the approximate costs of the latest types of vessels built or completing in the other classes mentioned:


The approximate cost of a "K" class destroyer, 1,690 tons, built by contract, is £500,000.


"Gloucester" (9,300 tons) of the "Southampton" class, recently built in His Majesty's Dockyard, Devonport, the machinery being supplied by contract, cost approximately £2,000,000. The cost can be divided approximately as follows:

Dockyard labour 16
Dockyard material 13
Dockyard Establishment charges 10
Contract work 61

"Hermione" (5.450 tons) of the "Dido" class, building by contract, will cost approximately £1,480,000.

Aircraft Carriers:

The "Illustrious" (23,000 tons) now in course of construction by contract will cost about £3,830,000.


The "Seal" (1,520 tons) building at His Majesty's Dockyard, Chatham, will cost approximately £430,000, divisible as follows:

Dockyard labour 39
Dockyard material 17
Dockyard Establishment charges 29
Contract work 15

The "Triton" (1,095 tons) built by contract, cost approximately £350,000.

"Unity" class submarines (540 tons) built by contract, cost on an average about £205,000 each.

A division of costs over the several headings mentioned is not available in respect of vessels built by contract.

The foregoing figures are exclusive of the cost of first outfit and reserves of guns, torpedoes and ammunition.

The approximate annual cost for pay, victualling, clothing, repairs, maintenance and other expenses (excluding the accruing liability for pensions to personnel) of the various types of vessel mentioned above are:

Battleship ("Rodney") 317,000
Battle cruiser ("Hood") 311,000
Destroyer ("K" Class) 57,000
Cruiser ("Southampton Class) 196,000
Cruiser ("Dido" Class) 130,000
Aircraft Carrier ("Illustrious") 581,000 (a)
Submarine ("Seal") 40,500
Submarine ("Triton") 36,500
Submarine ("Unity") 27,000

(a) Inclusive of maintenance of aircraft and of air personnel.