7 MARCH 1896, Page 2

After giving an estimate of the naval force that has

re3ulted and is resulting from the work of the last seven years (of which we have said something in another column), Mr. Gosehen stated what he proposed to add to the ships already completed or begun. He proposes to add five battleships, four first-class cruisers, three second- class cruisers, six third-class cruisers, and twenty-eight torpedo-destroyers, all of them over and above those which are already built or building. Stating that Sir William White, who had approved all these proposals before leaving for the restoration of his health, had now built one hundred and thirty battleships, and that not one of them had exceeded its estimated draught or fallen short in stability, he added that in the case of the newest of them, the 'Magnificent' and the 'Majestic,' the draught had proved to be two hundred tons less than he had allowed for. The total Navy Estimates for the coming year would be £21,823,000, an increase of £3,122,000 on the votes of last year (which were £18,701,000). Mr. Goschen held that his estimates are by no means alarmist estimates, and are not at all of a provocative character. They are intended to ensure our commerce, and especially our food-supply, from attack, and we could not ensure these adequately without making a very large increase on the Estimates of less troubled years.