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they remain recorded in various documents.


to the facts stated in the Observations and Suggestions, they are, nearly the whole of them, taken from the Blue Book of the Committee of 1848; the remaining few from authentic documents that could be produced, if occasion should require it; and, in as far as possible, the very words of the InspectorGeneral have been employed for the elucidation of his opinions.

Hampstead, July, 1850.

M. S. B.


&c. &c.

THE Report of the Committee on Navy, Army and Ordnance Estimates, together with the Minutes of Evidence and the Appendix, afford an immense mass of information respecting naval concerns, such as, there seems good reason to hope, will, without cramping the efficiency. of our Navy, tend to a diminution of expense in upholding it. The investigations entered into are the more valuable, the members of the Committee being not only of different opinions as to general policy, but there being amongst them representatives of several of the naval administrations of the last twenty years, so that the measures of the different Boards of Admiralty during that period were fairly examined into. The labour bestowed by the Committee has been immense in examining witnesses and papers called for; the Report, with the Minutes of Evidence and the Appendix, forming together a Blue Book of no less than 1,112 pages. Remarkable impartiality is manifested in the Committee's patient attention to complaints of mismanagement, as also

their extreme care in their endeavours to elicit truth; they lament, however, that although they perceive the need of reform in a variety of instances, yet their want of technical and practical knowledge renders it impossible for them to indicate the means by which that reform could be advantageously effected.

To a deficiency in that same technical and practical knowledge, unavoidably so frequent in superiors of the Admiralty, may be attributed the various imperfections existing in details of management in the civil branch of naval service; imperfections which lead to a needless or extravagant expenditure of the public money; for it is not conceivable that any administration would authorise outlay, but in the belief that it would be productive of some corresponding advantage. Looking back, indeed, for more than half a century, to the several Boards of Admiralty, different as have been their political views, not one of them has been considered as influenced by corrupt motives for the measures they sanctioned; nay, most of them appear to have used their best endeavours to produce desired effects with good economy, and many of them have sought to improve the management of the business under their control; yet retrenchment of expenditure, now so loudly called for, and so greatly needed, has of late not been effected in the Naval Department at least.

The Committee report upon the Estimates according to their numerical order, observing that it will

be necessary to examine them in detail, as "in each of the years 1844-5, 1845-6, 1846-7, there has been an excess of expenditure, and it has been admitted that when the accounts are closed for the year 1847-8, a further grant will be again required for a similar excess."

They observe, on examining vote No. 1., that the "number of men voted determines the effective force for the ensuing year."

It seems that here a blind adherence to ancient usage stands in the way of useful reform of the Naval Estimates. It must be admitted that the efficiency of our Navy rests on its power of annoyance to and destruction of an enemy. Before the invention of gunpowder, the amount of that annoyance depended on the number of men employed in naval warfare. The implements of destruction were then no other than weapons wielded by the hand of man, and that whether adapted to strike objects within reach, or missiles thrown to a distance by hand, or even sometimes masses of great weight discharged by engines; but still the force employed to throw those missiles was no other than the muscular force of man: at that time, then, the number of men did determine the amount of effective force. Now, on the contrary, since the introduction of gunpowder, the number of men is but of secondary importance; it is now the quantum of shot that can be thrown in a given time, which constitutes the amount of effective force in our Navy. If this be true, it is therefore the quantum of shot which

should now form the basis on which Naval Estimates should be grounded. It is remarkable that a particular, apparently so obvious and undeniable, should hitherto have escaped observation by the many who have taken an interest in naval concerns; or that it should not have been acted on in drawing up the Estimates; yet so entirely has it been neglected, that neither in the Report of the Committee, nor in any part of the Evidence before them, nor in the voluminous Appendix, is there one single notice of the number and weight of shot that can be thrown at once from any vessel, or in any given time; nor is there any attempt to exhibit the expense of producing any given amount of effective force. The number of guns in a vessel is repeatedly stated, their diameters frequently, so also their length and their weight, yet never the weight of shot thrown in a broadside. This particular, it is true, might by calculation be obtained in cases where the diameter of the guns is specified, or that the armament consists of such a number of 32pounders, for instance; but the important item of the number of men requisite to work those guns, as also the rapidity with which they could be fired, are data which could not be obtained either from the Report itself or its Appendices.

Were the real effective force of our Navy, namely the quantum of offensive missile it could throw in a given time, to be taken as the basis of Navy Estimates, much perspicuity, now unattainable, would be afforded to the House. Besides which, in the

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