19 MARCH 1921, Page 3

The Navy Estimates were issued on Monday. The Admiralty asked

for £82,479,000 net for the coming year—a reduction of £8,393,300 on the current year's expenditure. Lord Lee, in his explanatory statement, said that the number of capital ships in commission would be reduced from 20 to 16 ; one of the four destroyer flotillas with the Atlantic Fleet would be placed in reserve ; the four cruisers of the South American squadron would be withdrawn as well as one cruiser from the North American and one from the South African squadron ; eight of the older battleships with 12-inch guns would be sold. The strength of the Navy, in officers and men, would be reduced to 121,700—or 6,000 less than at present and nearly 30,000 less than in 1914. The dockyards, it was added, would require only 43,000 workmen in full employ, as compared with 51,000 men now employed on naval work and 5,000 engaged on other work. The completion of the light cruisers, destroyers, and submarines begun during the war would cost £3,250,000, which was to be regarded as a non-recurrent war liability.