7 MARCH 1896, Page 1

Mr. Goschen made the statement of his programme for the

administration of the Navy on Monday, and a profoundly interesting statement it was, though it contained no com- parison between our naval strength and that of the other naval Powers. He showed how any effort to expand the Navy in one direction, as in the manning of the old and new ships, involved extra expenditure in a great many other direc- tions,—such as docks abroad, hospitals at home, training. schools for boys, Naval Reserves for the future, guns and ammunition, and storehouses for the commissariat, Sze.; and he insisted that to have an efficient Navy, expansion must go on in all directions, and not only in a few of them. The Active List of the Navy contained 88,850 men last year, and this he is going to increase by 4,900. He declared that the difficulty about manning the Navy does not exist, and that the Naval Reserve is in a very healthy condition; he explained bow both the Channel Fleet and Mediterranean Fleet had been reinforced ; and he gave a most encouraging account of the actual performances of the two new ships added to the Channel Fleet, the Magnificent' and the Majestic.' The new works at Gibraltar, where docks are being built, he esti- mated at 21 millions of pounds, in addition to £361,000 already provided (the only statement which elicited a cry of " shame " from some one who evidently felt none). The Government are sending out orders to estimate the cost of new docks at Simonstown at the Cape of Good Hope, and at Mauritius, where docks are needed, and he stated that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had agreed to devote the surplus of the current year,—Sir William Harcourt's sur- plus,—to defray, first, the supplementary Naval Estimates of this year, amounting to £1,800,000, and then the new works at Dover and at Gibraltar and the naval worke in general.