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many ways the new Navy Estimates are remarkable, and the Parliamentary debates thereon have been notable. An unfortunate leakage of information took place during the later stages in the preparation of the Estimates, and the belief became general that the Admiralty had yielded to external pressure and consented to accept a less sum than was originally considered necessary. In the course of the debates Mr. Arthur Lee in the House of Commons and Lord Cawdor in the House of Lords made direct allusion to this subject, and challenged representatives of the Admiralty to deny the statements that had been made public. Naturally no reply was given, and it is to be regretted that any touch of party spirit should have been imported into discussions of naval policy. Every serious student of naval administration will agree that, in the public interest, it is essential, until the Estimates for a coming year have been finally settled by the responsible authorities, that all information in regard to them should be treated as strictly confidential. Happily leakage like that which has occurred this year is a rare departure from an

VOL. LXIII–No. 374


honourable tradition, and it may be hoped that there will be no recurrence of such premature and unauthorised publication. Responsibility for the maintenance of our defensive forces at a proper standard must necessarily be borne by the Government. Upon the Cabinet rests the duty of determining governing conditions by which the standard of naval and military force shall be fixed : upon the Admiralty devolves the duty of deciding the character and extent of the naval expenditure necessary to fulfil these governing conditions. There must be a period of examination, preparation, and adjustment before the Admiralty programme and estimates of time and cost can be completed and submitted to the Cabinet ; which in its turn has to deal with the Estimates placed before it by all departments of the State. During these preliminary stages of estimate-making a strict preservation of official secrecy is both necessary and proper. Press discussions, appeals to public sentiment, and political pressure are entirely out of place during this period ; the Government is responsible and must have freedom of action. On the other hand, Parliament, press, and public are within their rights in thoroughly examining and freely criticising the Estimates as soon as they have been presented, in order to obtain an assurance that the policy represented in the Estimates is sound, and that the financial provision is adequate and well distributed—in a word, that our naval supremacy has been made secure. Experience proves that an intelligent public interest in naval affairs is of immense advantage. In many cases the national determination to maintain a supreme Navy, and to keep the lead at any cost, has furnished a needed stimulus to official action. therefore desirable that the broad features of the Navy Estimates should be understood generally. These features are masked to a great extent by masses of figures that have little meaning for ordinary people ; but they can be made intelligible with a little trouble by those possessing technical and expert knowledge. On previous occasions the writer has endeavoured to give assistance of this nature to readers of this Review : he proposes in the following pages to make another such attempt, and to state briefly the principal facts disclosed by the Navy Estimates for 1908-9.

This task is made lighter by full and clear explanatory memoranda and financial summaries which accompany the Navy Estimates this year. For these features Lord Tweedmouth and Mr. Robertson deserve special acknowledgment. Throughout the Estimates themselves, and in the course of the debates, Parliamentary representatives of the Admiralty have been perfectly frank in their explanations of the actual position of affairs and of the causes which have led thereto. At last the public has the means of understanding the nature and financial effect of the great changes in naval policy introduced in 1904-5. Many obscure features in recent Navy Estimates are now illuminated, and the real causes are officially revealed by which the


total expenditure from naval votes has been brought down from a maximum of 36,860,0001. (round figures) in 1904-5 to 31,419,0001. in 1907-8. It is made clear also why, after four years of declining naval expenditure provided for in Navy Estimates, Parliament is asked to vote 900,0001. more for the coming year than for its predecessor. The ascending scale of expenditure thus initiated is more notable because of the attendant circumstances. From the first the present Government has declared its earnest desire to reduce outlay on arma

a considerable section of its supporters pressed for that reduction, and resented their defeat. A comparison of details in the individual votes of the Navy Estimates with the corresponding votes in recent years shows that every possible effort has been made to minimise expenditure in the coming year. Yet in spite of all the circumstances, and notwithstanding a decrease of 555,0001. in the expenditure on new construction as compared with 1907-8, the Government has been compelled to authorise an increase in the total vote of 900,0001. Nor is this all. There can be no question but that the scale of naval expenditure will continue to rise in the years that follow. In the new Estimates are included many items for which the provision in 1908-9 is small ; whereas the subsequent total liability thereon is very large and will have to be met in future years. This outlook is, in a measure, a sequel to action taken by the Admiralty during the last four years ; leading as it has done to greater activity abroad in the construction of larger and more costly types of warships. It is also largely due to great efforts made by Germany to develop its war-fleet and naval power ; followed by corresponding action in the United States and France. Fifty years after the ironclad reconstruction was begun we find ourselves still engaged in a never-ending contest for that command of the sea which is vital to the security of the British Empire.

There is no dispute as to the satisfactory position of the Royal Navy at the present time ; nor doubt of its continuance for two or three years, even if foreign programmes were completely fulfilled both as to numbers of new ships laid down and anticipated dates of completion. Mr. Asquith and Lord Tweedmouth have declared in unmistakable language the fixed intention of the Government to maintain our naval supremacy whatever the cost may be ; but the outlay involved will be

very great, and it is as well to face the facts and to understand them.

A valuable aid to such understanding will be found in the following table, reproduced from the Navy Estimates. In it are summarised admirably the gross expenditure on naval services from 1904-5 onward ; and in considering the figures it must be borne in mind that the great changes in naval administration, on which serious differences of opinion prevail, were begun towards the end of 1904.

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37,659,500 33,845,631 32,168,340 31,696,644 32,677,971

1 3,402,575 3,313,604 2,431,201 1,135,000 896,925

Expenditure from

Value of Stores årawn

from Stock, without
replacement, in aid

of cash expenditure. Expenditure on behalf

of Naval Services from Votes of other Departments.

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41,435,761 38,300,780 35,977,825 34,443,804 34,457,788



Many readers of this Review will not be well acquainted with the history of the Royal Navy during the last twenty years; and the figures in the table may be made more interesting and intelligible to them if certain facts are briefly stated. Commencing with the second line of figures (Annuity under Naval Works Acts), it may be explained that the enormous expansion of the Royal Navy in recent years has made necessary a series of great civil-engineering works. Amongst these are the enclosure and defence of harbours ; the adaptation of naval ports to present needs of the fleet; the construction of naval barracks and hospitals, magazines, torpedo ranges, &c.; and considerable extensions or improvements of dockyards. All these works form part of one great scheme of naval development initiated when Lord Spencer was at the Admiralty in 1893-5. These works have involved, or will involve, an expenditure originally estimated at nearly 32} millions sterling, and now estimated at nearly 30 millions. Included in the list are Dover Harbour, costing 31 millions ; Devonport Dockyard extension, costing 41 millions ; Gibraltar Dockyard extension, costing 24 millions ; and works at Simon's Bay, costing over 2 millions. A series of Special Acts of Parliament has been passed (from 1895 to 1905) authorising loans for the execution of this programme, and providing for the redemption of these loans by means of annuities to be paid out of naval funds. The first annuity became chargeable in 1902, and amounted to 122,2551. From year to year the annuity has grown in amount, reaching 634,2001

. in 1904-5, 1,214,4001. in 1907-8, and 1,264,0001. in the coming financial year. The expenditure out of loans began in 1895-6, when it was

721,000l. ; in 1904-5 it had risen to 3,402,6001. Since that date, as important works have been completed, expenditure has gradually fallen. For 1907-8 it was estimated at 1,135,0001., and for the coming year at 897,0001. A decision was taken last year to charge the cost of further new works to Annual Estimates and to abandon the loan system. For many years to come, however, the annuity will continue to be a heavy charge on the Navy Estimates. In 1908-9 it will amount to 1,264,0001., as against a total expenditure on actual works buildings and repairs (Vote 10) of 1,043,0001. The expenditure on additional new works already decided upon, but as yet in very early stages of advancement, will involve considerable increases in this vote while the annuity is running. For instance, on the naval base at Rosyth 34 millions are to be spent, according to present plans, and larger expenditure may follow; but only 30,0001. has been voted for 1908-9. Lord Tweedmouth stated in the debate in the House of Lords (on the 18th of March) that it is hoped to complete this work in seven years. If this is done, the average annual charge on Votes 10 and 8 will be about 460,0001.-or an increase of 45 per cent, on all works included in Vote 10 for the coming year. Besides Rosyth, other large works are in hand or contemplated, most of which have been made necessary by the recent construction of many very large ships, such as the Dreadnought and Invincible classes. At Portsmouth Lord Tweedmouth states that a new entrancelock is needed, because at present these 'new ships cannot be taken in without great difficulty. This entrance-lock is to cost a million, and to occupy four years in construction : only 65,0001. is to be voted for the coming year ; the average annual expenditure in the following four years will therefore be about 220,0001. At Haulbowline the dry dock is to be lengthened to receive the large new ships at a cost of about 120,0001., and 74,0001. will be required after 1908-9. On other works, after that year has ended, large sums will have to be spent—including 280,0001. at Simon's Bay, nearly 200,0001. at Dover, and 140,0001. at Devonport. The total liability on large works at Rosyth and elsewhere requiring to be met out of Estimates subsequent to 1908-9 will be from 41 to 5 millions. Facts such as these convey some idea of the magnitude of the indirect needs of a modern navy. They throw a strong light also on the lack of full appreciation of necessary requirements displayed in the Memorandum on Admiralty Policy issued by Lord Cawdor at the end of 1905. It was stated therein that many projects which appeared inevitable owing to want of dockyard accommodation can be abandoned ' because of the

removal of ships from the fighting list.' It was added that 'the saving here (on projected works) has been about five millions sterling' -an imaginary economy truly, in view of the figures given above. Obviously, if the construction of very large and deep-draught ships continues on a great scale, and with successive increases in size like

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