Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

(4.) £801,572, Naval Stores.

I to believe there would be an estimated MR. CANDLISH said, he wished to excess of £100,000 on Vote 10, section 1, ask what securities the Government had and also some minor excesses. The to offer that the sum asked for would Treasury was accordingly asked to aunot be exceeded at the end of the finan- thorize a Supplementary Estimate for cial year; and whether the Estimates £111,000; but were, at the same time, submitted under Vote 10 for the year informed that no material alteration was ending 1868-9, had or had not been ex- to be expected in the other Votes. That ceeded. He would call attention to the official letter was dated the 26th of immense discrepancy between the esti- March, just before the close of the finanmated amount and the sum actually ex- cial year. But only five days later this expended under this Vote for 1867-8. A cess of expenditure, which was officially statement had been put in the hands of placed at111,0001., had grown to 230,0001. hon. Members of the savings and defi- Upon the whole of the Navy Estimates, ciencies upon the grants for Navy ser- there appeared to be an excess of vices for the year ended March 31, 1668. £366,000. He wished to ask his right One of the items, for paint materials, hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admioil, pitch, tar, tallow, and other miscella- ralty what explanation could be given of neous articles, was estimated at £187,194, these circumstances—whether there was while the actual expenditure was any reason to apprehend inaccuracies of £229,654, or an excess of no less than a similar nature in the Estimates for the £42,460, or 221 per cent. A note ap- year 1868-9, and whether any guarantee pended to the Estimate stated that this could be given that the present Estiexcess was due to a larger purchase of mates would not be subject to a similar miscellaneous stores than had been an expansion in actual expenditure ? ticipated, and to a rise in the price of MR. CORRY said, that although the oils and materials in the m ket. As Estimates were prepared before his apfar as any unforeseen rise in prices went, pointment to the Admiralty, yet, as he the excuse

was valid, but it was the held the office of First Lord during the business of the Department to anticipate year in which the considerable deficiency accurately the wants of the year. For referred to had accrued, he should like coals, in like manner, the Estimate was to give some explanations respecting it £207,531, and the actual expenditure before the right hon. Gentleman the £345,520. Of that amount £36,000 ap- First Lord of the Admiralty replied. parently were paid for coals sent out to The Admiralty always laboured under the Cape of Good Hope for the trans- this difficulty that they never knew acport service connected with the Abys- tually how they stood till the expendisinian Expedition ; but, after deducting ture during the financial year on foreign that amount, there was still an excessive stations was brought to account; and in expenditure of £101,409, or 50 per cent the year 1867-8 a combination of unon the sum voted by Parliament. The foreseen events most unfortunately frusnote to the Estimate again explained trated their calculations. Exclusive of that the purchases on foreign stations the expenditure on account of the Abyshad greatly exceeded the anticipations sinian Expedition, the total formed at home as to their probable re- amounted to £366,545, the whole of quirements ; but it was the duty of which had arisen from circumstances the Department to be as well informed which the Admiralty could not by any about the probable wants upon foreign possibility control. Upon Vote 2, where as upon home stations.

The total sum an excess of £97,000 was shown, he granted by Parliament upon the 1st had calculated upon a saving of £28,000, section of Vote 10 was £855,511, and in consequence of the smaller number the total expenditure under the same of men borne than voted. Of this excess head amounted to £1,085,926, being an no less than £35,000 was owing to the excess of £230,415, or 27 per cent on rise in the price of flour for biscuit. the sum voted. On the 26th of March, Moreover, for the first time, and as an 1868, application was made to the Trea- experiment, soft bread had been issued sury by the Lords of the Admiralty, as a general ration to the ships' comsetting forth that from Reports received panies in port in lieu of biscuit; it could from the Storekeeper and Accountant not by any means be foreseen how they General of the Navy there was reason would like the change; but the men

excess

[ocr errors]

liked it so well that, instead of so much the admiral was sent to a distant stabiscuit being left and entered as savings tion to protect commerce amounting to —which were purposely fixed at rates the value of £100,000,000 a year, and if considerably below the cost prices—when any considerable number of his ships soft bread was issued they ate the whole proved unfit for that duty without extenof it, and this made a difference in the sive repairs, it was not unnatural that figures of £16,000. A rise in the price he should undertake the responsibility of of rum accounted for £4,791 ; stores pur- putting them into serviceable condition. chased for the War Office, but not taken This sum of £49,000, therefore, instead off the hands of the Navy and paid for of being recouped from Vote 10, section 2, during the year, occasioned a deficiency remained as an excess under Vote 6. On of £4,053. The new rations of pre- Vote 10, section 1, there was a gross exserved meat, issued, for the first time, cess, exclusive of the Abyssinian excess, in lieu of salt beef, were found so palat- of £193,915. The first item of this exable that the men ate whole of them cess was on account of some pitch pine instead of leaving, as they had done in delivered in 1867, under a contract which former years, meat to the value of had been entered into some years before, £38,000. In all these matters the Com- but the execution of which had been demittee would perceive that the Depart- layed in consequence of the Civil War in ment had really nothing to guide them. America, and the blockade of the ports The sums which he had enumerated of export. When the ports were remade up £97,844, the excess upon opened at the close of the war the conthis Vote being £97,058. He came tractors proceeded to fulfil their engagenext to the excess of £48,918 upon ments, and the Law Officers of the Crown Vote 6. This excess had been foreseen having given the opinion that the conand authorized by the Treasury under tract still remained in force, the Adthese circumstances—In the course of miralty was compelled to receive the the autumn the department of the Con- pitch pine, and had thus to pay unextroller represented to him that upwards pectedly the sum of £11,100 in excess of £50,000 of the Vote for building con- of the Estimate for the purchase of tract ships would remain unexpended, stores. The next item of the excess was principally owing to the late period at £14,500, in consequence of the rise in which the contracts had been taken up. the price of oil, while the excess of Being very much dissatisfied with the £80,915 was due to an unexpected exstate of the reserves of ships in the penditure of coals and other stores, ports as he found them, and having then chiefly on the China station. This was no reason to expect that there would be occasioned by political events of great an excess of expenditure under any other magnitude which occurred in Japan head, he wrote to the Treasury, and ob- during the course of the year, and led, tained their sanction to apply this esti- as the Committee was aware, to a civil mated surplus, under Vote 10, section 2, war. At the urgent request of the the greater part to the hiring of tem- British Minister, Sir Henry Keppel proporary artificers in the dockyards for the ceeded from China to that part of his purpose of expediting the ships being station with the greater portion of the brought forward for the reserves, espe- force at his disposal—including his flagcially the iron-clads, and the remainder ship the Rodneythe Ocean (an armourtowards building the Active, a sister cor- clad), and several corvettes. Other navette to the Volage — a class of ships in tions, including France and America, which the Navy was very deficient. He Portugal, Holland, and Spain, also colhad explained this in moving the Navy lected a considerable force in Japan, the Estimates last year. Unfortunately it so whole amounting to no less than twentyhappened that, from causes which again seven pendants. The unforeseen emcould not be foreseen, the saving which ployment of so many of our ships at a was anticipated under Vote 10, section 2, distance of nearly 200 miles from their did not accrue. The admiral on the depôt of stores, necessitated large purstation, without authority from home, chases of coals—more especially in Japan expended a large sum in repairing gun- -at exorbitant prices, and to this cause boats in China. This was a system not the greater part of the excess is atto be encouraged ; but, at the same tributable. An excess of £25,930 on time, it ought to be remembered that Vote 14 was occasioned by the Go

vernment having to pay damages for the could not have been foreseen at the time sinking of the Osprey by the Amazon, when the Estimates for the year were which was not known when the Esti- prepared. mates were under preparation. On MR. CHILDERS said, that not having Vote 17 there was a total excess of been concerned in any way with the £84,000, composed of £50,000 for the preparation of the Estimates for the carriage home of troops from New Zea- year 1867-8 he could add but little to land provided for in 1866-7, but not ex- what had fallen from the right hon. pended until the following year in con- Gentleman opposite upon this subject. sequence of the troops having been unex- He could, if necessary, have verified pectedly detained in the colony; £10,000 most of the right hon. Gentleman's for the naval proportion of the charge statements. One considerable item of for the Crocodile and Serapis, troopships, the excess arose from the increase of the under the arrangement entered into be- expenditure at the dockyards at the end tween the Imperial and the Indian Go- of 1867. In October, 1867, the right vernments subsequently to the period hon. Gentleman engaged 2,000 additional when the Estimates were prepared ; men in the dockyards, and in the follow£15,000 for arrears of old War Office ing March he discharged 5,000 men from claims standing over for many years, but them, a course which he (Mr. Childers) which had been brought to å settlement felt bound to say, was intimately conin consequence of changes effected in nected with the distress now existing the system of accounts. There was also among the dockyard labourers. It £9,000 for expenses incurred under the would have been far better to have recent arrangement for landing of Indian spread that additional outlay over two troops intended for the western districts, years than to have expended it in the at Plymouth, which necessitated the es- short space of six months. An hon. tablishment of a second depôt at that Member near him (Mr. Candlish) had port, for the special descriptions of pro- inquired whether the Votes of 1868-9 visions with which troop-ships are sup- would be exceeded, and particularly plied. It would be seen that the figures whether there was any security that he had enumerated amounted to within Vote 10 would not be exceeded. As a £3,000 or £4,000 of the total excess question of fact he was not in a position over the Estimates. On the other hand to state definitely the exact condition of he had anticipated that savings on the Vote 10, because the expenditure under Estimates under Votes 1, 2, and 11 that Vote was dependent so much on would have amounted to something like the action of officers on distant stations. £100,000, but in the place of there He did not think that the expenditure being that sum in hand at the close of under that Vote, under the former systhe financial year there was, he was tem, under satisfactory control. The sorry to say, a balance the other way of whole of the expenditure in the first £366,575. That, of course, was the part of Vote 10 would be in future disamount of the difference between savings tinctly under the responsibility of the and deficiencies, and among the latter Controller of the Navy, a reform which there was an excess of £55,000 above he believed would be a very useful one. the Estimate for the purchase of “mis- He could not, however, at the present cellaneous siures." That item provided, time, accurately give all the particulars among innumerable other articles, for he would wish to give respecting this the purchase of metal fittings for gun Vote, because the information received carriages made in the dockyards, slides, from distant stations respecting the stocks racers, and for armour-clad ships them- and issues of stores was not wholly saselves-nearly the whole of new types tisfactory, He and his hon. Friend and patterns, on which it was absolutely the Member for Montrose (Mr. Baxter) impossible to calculate with any degree had, however, been endeavouring by all of accuracy what the expenditure would means in their power to procure precise be. This item was usually exceeded, as information on that head, and they hoped it was the practice to keep the Estimate to be able at a future period to control low, with the view of discouraging ex- expenditure for stores both at home and penditure as much as possible. He abroad more effectually than was now thought he had shown that the ex- practicable. No little economy might be cess had resulted from causes which effected in the purchase, custody, and sale of stores, and he trusted that when reduction of the sum set apart for experithe new arrangements were matured mental purposes from £12,000 to £2,000 there would be a decided improvement was very injudicious. In these days of in the construction of Vote 10.

new projectiles, new guns, and new MR. ALDERMAN LUSK said, he should modes of covering vessels with armour be glad to have some explanation as to it was necessary to make a large number why they were called upon year after of experiments at Shoeburyness to see year to vote much larger sums for the how those inventions were likely to anpurchase of timber, anchors, cables, and swer; and yet they were placed in the cordage than were actually required, position of giving up all, or nearly all, and what became of the surplus. The the valuable information to be obtained sum taken last year for cables was in that way for the sake of a matter of * £150,000, the quantity issued, £24,000; £10,000. That he could not regard as for anchors, £182,000, quantity issued, at all a wise economy. Again, while £25,000, and he gave many other that item had been largely decreased, similar instances.

there had been an increase from £2,000 MR. CHILDERS said, that in reply to £8,000 for the inspectors who superto his hon. Friend he could only repeat intended the building of contract ships. that he and his Colleagues had taken very That was 5 per cent on the cost of congreat pains in preparing this Vote, and struction. This year they were to pay that, considering the short time they had only £161,000 for ships built by contract, to deal with it, they had already effected against £435,000 paid last year, and yet very considerable reductions. It was not the cost of inspectors was quadrupled. intended to buy a single ounce of oak This was a matter which required extimber this year, and only £10,000 worth planation. of teak would be purchased. Neither MR. CHILDERS said, the reduction was it proposed to buy any new anchors in the Vote for experimental purposes during the present year. The supply of did not proceed from motives of economy. canvas about to be bought would be much That Vote had fluctuated up and down less than formerly, but the supplies of from year to year perhaps more than any hemp, yarn, and cordage would be placed other Vote in the Navy Estimates; and on a more satisfactory footing.

in the present financial year they did not MR. SAMUDA said, he wished to ask look forward to its being necessary to what would be done with the very large spend much in experiments. The cost of stocks of timber which must have accu- the experiments on guns at Shoeburyness mulated in the dockyards which were to did not fall upon the Admiralty, but on be suppressed ? In his opinion consider the War Office. [Mr. SAMUDA said, he able reduction in the Estimates ought to believed the cost of the targets fell on be effected by transferring those stores to the Admiralty.] The cost of the targets other yards where timber was required. was only a small part of the cost of exHe was doubtful whether at least periments. As to the increase from £2,000 £12,000 worth of timber would not be to £8,000 for the superintendence of found in the dockyards, and his impres- ships building by contract, that was only sion was that there was a considerable an apparent, not a real, increase, because quantity at Woolwich. He quite con- formerly the salaries of those officers curred as to putting the stores under the were borne on other Votes. He did not control of the same officer who took understand what his hon. Friend meant charge of the building, and thought by the item of £161,000, The Vote for great advantage would result.

ships building by contract was £420,000, MR. CHILDERS, in reply, said, that and for engines, £295,000 ; in all, most of the stock of timber at the yards £715,000; on which, £8,000 was a little which were to be suppressed had been over 1 per cent. used up. There was but a very small MR. CORRY thought that it would not quantity of teak timber at Woolwich— be an inconvenient moment for him to not more than 100 loads.

say a few words on the subject of our Vote agreed to.

foreign squadrons. In the speech made

by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Childers) (5.) £767,070, Steam Machinery and two years ago on that question he asShips built by Contract.

signed only one corvette and one small MR. SAMUDA said, he thought the vessel for the service of Japan, and that VOL. CXCV. (THIRD SERIES.]

H

a

alone would have been sufficient to satisfy “I think it is my duty to represent to you the him how ill-considered the whole scheme importance of Iler Majesty's naval force in this of the distribution of our ships on foreign country (Japan) being maintained at a standard stations, as then proposed, had been. of not less than six or seven effective vessels, in

which I do not include gunboats. We have alSuch a force was obviously insufficient ready six points to protect-Osaka, Hiogo, Nafor the protection of British interests in gaski, Yedo, Yokohama, and Hakodadi.” a country strongly averse from communication with foreign Powers, with which In July last, Sir Henry Keppel wrote

thuswe had treaty rights to maintain, and the internal affairs of which were then, " The protection of our vast trade, the supand still continued to be, in a very un- pression of piracy, and the large number of consatisfactory state. Soon after his right sular ports in China and Japan render it apparent hon. Friend spoke, a civil war broke out that the number of pendants cannot well be less

than at present." in Japan, and the presence of no less than twelve of the vessels of Sir Henry And in a more recent letter Sir Henry Keppel's squadron, and of fifteen vessels Keppel referred to the unsettled state belonging to other nations, was deemed of affairs and the necessity of maintainnecessary to the security of commerce, ing, and even adding to, the strength of and of the lives of those engaged in it, the squadron. He confessed therefore that and of the ministers and consuls re- he was surprised to find his right hon. presenting the various Powers. For Friend proposing to reduce, by somehimself he greatly regretted that the thing like one-third, the whole force in chief reduction proposed to be made that part of the world, with which we by the Government in our foreign had an enormous trade, which, as well squadrons would fall on the China as the lives of those engaged in it, would station—the foreign station on which be exposed to great peril if not properly of all others it was perhaps most im- protected. With regard to the flying portant that the strength of our squad-squadron, he wished to know what the ron should be maintained. It was now intention of the Government on that proposed to reduce the naval force there subject was. It was doubtless imporfrom thirty-four ships to twenty-five, tant that our crews should be taught and the men from 4,000 to 2,800. He evolutions and seamanship as they alwas surprised to hear that the Foreign ready were in the Channel and MediOffice concurred in any large reduc- terranean squadrons; but at the same tion of the squadron in China, because time there were objections to a flying our ministers and officers in those dis- squadron. He believed that squadron tant quarters had always written home would be composed of some of the finest in a very different sense. On what ships in our Navy, and he should like authority was the proposed reduction to know where, in the case of emerbased ? Certainly not on that of gency, they were to be found—on this Sir Henry Keppel, for he had asked or the other side of the Cape, in the for more vessels just before he (Mr. Atlantic, in the Pacific, or where ? Corry) left the Admiralty; neither on When the Russian War broke out the that of Sir Harry Parkes, for on Government of the day was able to reJanuary 30, 1868, Sir Harry Parkes call the Channel squadron, then comwrote that the force in Japan was not manded by a gallant relative of his own, larger than usual-namely, one ocean and cruizing in the Atlantic, without deiron-clad, four sloops and three gun- lay; because there was an appointed boats; making together eight ships, in rendezvous where it was to be found; lieu of the two which his right hon. but this would be impossible in the case Friend proposed to keep there. Sir of an expedition circumnavigating the

. Harry Parkes added that “the United globe. Our officers and men, he believed, States had four heavy vessels, and would derive more advantage from the France one frigate and four corvettes, so actual work on a station than by going that it would be seen that the force on a sort of excursion all round the maintained by those two other Govern- world. Wars now-a-days were finished ments was not generally dissimilar to our in a single campaign-as, for example, own.” In the month of February, 1868, that against Abyssinia and other recent Sir Harry Parkes wrote to Sir Henry wars and if our squadrons were reKeppel in these terms

duced down to starvation point, and a

« ZurückWeiter »