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MERTHYR GUARDIANS.I

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.MERTHYR TOLICECOUKT.I

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THE NAVY ESTIMATES.

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THE NAVY ESTIMATES. ENORMOUS EXPENDITURE. In the House of Commons on Monday,Mr. Goscb^ rose to expound the naval programme'and policy £ the Government. With regard to the rersoti'l ol Navy, he wished to dispel the fallacv that the Gover0' ment bad difficulty in obtaining eufticient men t the service. Last year the increase in the tof number of men was about 5,000. and he propped 0 sanction a further increase of 4,900 men. The recru' ing for the marines bad been moat satisfactory, but •! the number of men waa to be increased additi°D'' hoepital and barrack accommodation would Lec°°^ nece&sarj', nnd consequently additional ex pond it^! would be proposed uuder tliiee two heads. experiment of obtaining from the mercantile mario*5 certain number of commibsioued otticere our naval strength, but this waa only a tempor« £ expedient, and we must continue to rely on system of education as carried out in the rital)f"o for the supply of officers to our fleet. They outfit however, to consider whether the area from wh'c« they drew their cadets was not too small, and he conferred with the headmasters of our great echo^J who were most anxious to establish Navy classes. P, therefore proposed that the boys should be kep{ 11 the ordinary schools a year longer than at pre6^ before they entered the service, and that they sho^L have lo months of peliminary training instead of Moreover, it waa intended to substitute a colta £ 0?f nhore for the Britannia. Passing to the nuention mobilisation Mr. Goschen remarked that we now h £ two additional battleships in the Channel in t])A Mediterrenean, and in China. Efficient sbipe b\ also been substituted for old vessels and. J flying Kquadron had been organised wbi^ added largely to the number of our shir afloat. With regard to suns and arnmunit^' scarcely sufficient provision was made in tile last t years, and accordingly the Admiralty had in the P^i sent year spent £ 200,000 extra for which he shoU*0 proj>ose supplementary estimates. He regretted ttato that it would be necessary to ask the Hous* assent to an increase of no Wthan £ 850,000 on vote for ordnance and ammunition, but he need hardv remind the House that it would be useless to 8rtr the ships and to refuse the ammunition. A furtb*. result of the increase in guns and ammunition be that additional storage room and more niagazi11 » would become nectary Last year money taken, under the .Naval Works Act, for the eitens^ of the mole and for the construction of a dock Gibraltar, and Her Majesty's Government had decided to build three docks there instead of one, to provide all fche accommodation required by au strategic position. The cost of the word's **2 eetimated at £ 3,250,000, in addition to the £361,VV; already provided. The H mount, he admitted, large, but he did not think it was staggering, and b* truated that the Government would in this matt"r receive the aupport of a large majority of the roe' ber« of the House of Common?. The had caretnlly considered all the questions relating the -trategie position of Gibraltar, and, with a of their responsibility, thev Raked the House to vo«f thjs additional amount. They also intended to for money to defray the coat of preliminary eurve?'* in regard to docks at Mauritius and Simon's To^'t The amount taken by the Bill of last rear for »»v* works at Dover was £ 2,000,000, but he believed tb*; cost waa very preatly underestimated and ho nr-moo!- I that the total amount provided by the Bill of 1* I ^ar^rnm^wf00:f"if,hoUJ'J tlli? year be iiierea54 to dEK.OOO.OOO. With reference to the tiniLtIO of the measure, he was authorised to »t* £ that the Chancellor of the Exchequer wo'" generously put aside the surplus (if this vear after natjsfyiug the Supplementary Estimates, to be a funu which, in the firat instance, would supply the diture under the Na\al Works Bill. Turning next t(1 I the question of ship-building, the right hon. gentlerof described the efforts of the last few years, since thj paaaiog of the Naval Defence Act in 188P. course, iu the hrst year there were certain *=hi!^ under construction which he left out. He summarise" roughly the work of three poriotia-theyaval Defeo^ programme the programme intervening between Naval Defence Act and Lard Spencer's larsre pr"* gramme of 1894 and, thirdly, this last program' itself. The Naval Defence Act added to the Navy ships, of which ten were battleships. The intermedial period supplied three battleships—viz., the RenoW^ i au<1 Magnificent—five cruisers jneludifl? the Powerful and the Terrible; four sloops and torpedo-boat destroyers. Adding up the 70 of th* Naval Defence Act. tlw 12 ships of the internedia"* period, and the 23 of Lord Spencer's programme, be arrived at a total of 105 ships and 62 toriiedo bo»» deetroyera. This waa a formidable list, and yet b« should have to ask the House to add to it. The off&b of the Naval Defence Act was as follows Of the 7° ships built under it there was at the present moment commission ten battlealii^, 27 eruiKers, and nine tor- pedo-gunboats. 1 he Mediterranean Squadron had thref Defence Act battleships (out of nine) and fix (out uf seven) liefenoe Aofc cruisers of first and second class the Channel Mquadron had four Defence Act battle shi[>s out of si\ while the Particular .Service ron waa (excepting tor|>edo-boat destroyersl <>»itir?b# composed of Defence Act ehipa. The bkuavlemeuUi'? Estimate which Her Majesty's Gov^oioent felt sff their duty to submit to the Mouse sistiotinted to £ 1,100,000. The number of ship, which thar «r»- I posed to add to tliwi now m Cùul'6e 01 curutructio" was an follows—tivelxattleships, four first-class cruise^ three second .class cruiser*, six third-class cruiser* 28 torpedo-boat destroyers. Thus 13 battleships would be in course of construction durmg the present yrltl. This and the additional number of cruisers represeutfd the deliberate opinion of the Admiralty as to th* requirements cf our Navy, Looking to the iocreM! numtH-r of ahip, the cost, in addition to what >r» ~brf in hand at the beginning of the year. »or.T,l mmOTO spread over three years, to bnibh the whole of Lord Spencer's shipi and ale" the whole of their own by July, 1899. He might th^ the expenditure proj«xsed— £ 1 000 00& supplemental estimate; £ 21,800,000. patiinatH' for £ 14,000,000, N^al Ml over a certain number of vears froW 1889 to 1899, Naval Defence £ 21,000,000, interaedi^ programme £ 5,000,000, programme now uuder execu- tion £ 29,000,000, total £ Sa,000.000 Tn an ekgtu* peroration the right hw- gentleman declared, ami<* loud cheers, that these estimates were not submitted in any spirit of provocation, but that they were esti- matee of self-defence aud were based ou the specif couditiony of this countrv. The British people unani- mously deruauded that their fleet should represent tb* self-reliance of a great nation, aud to that unanimity Her Majesty a Government commended these Lsti* boriie' satisfied that the cost would be cheerfully On the motion of Mr. Balfour, the debate w*« i adjourued, ,1 J