Navy Estimates.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 18th May 1922.

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Captain BENN:

34.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he can state, apart from reductions consequent upon the Washington Agreement, what is the net annual saving effected in the Naval Estimates?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

It is not possible to give the net annual saving on Navy Estimates if by net annual saving is meant the saving which will be continued year by year. For it is evident that certain classes of savings,e.g., those resulting from reduced purchases of oil fuel in 1922–23, as compared with those in 1921–22, or in the Sketch Estimates as submitted to the Geddes Committee, will not necessarily be repeated in subsequent years. The Navy Estimates for 1922–23 show a reduction, as compared with those submitted to the Geddes Committee, of £16,300,100. To this sum must be added a sum of £3,054,800 included in the current Navy Estimates on the non-effective Votes and involved by the reduction of naval personnel, These figures taken together amount to £19,354,900, and if from that sum be taken the £11,095,300 due to the stoppage of the four battle-cruisers, as the result of the Washington Conference, the net reduction may be taken as £8,259,600. I deprecate, however, the attempt to distinguish too sharply between the savings due to the Washington Conference and those resulting from the recommendations of the Geddes Committee. The Cabinet, in considering the Navy Estimates for 1922–23. had in mind the successful issue of the former as well as the latter, and were, of course, influenced by both in coming to their conclusions.

Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that no fewer than 1,800 naval officers and many thousands of men are being economised in the Navy this year?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. Member is making a statement.