The cost of the army and the navy in peace time


May 2, 1891
In a time of peace there is spent on the defences of the British Empire the sum of fifty-three and three-quarter millions annually. A return has been presented to Parliament showing the expenditure on the army and navy for the year 1890-1, according to which the expenditure during the year for naval and military purposes was £36,572,642. Of this sum £17,500,000 went to the army and £14,000,000 to the navy.

The Manchester Guardian finds fault with the return for the reason that it does not tell everything. To begin with, the total amount spent on the army was really within a fraction of twenty millions. The reason why two millions are suppressed is that they are not paid by Great Britain. A fraction of the two millions is obtained by the sale of stores, new and old, and by stoppages out of soldiers’ pay.

A quarter of a million is paid by the Crown Colonies as a contribution towards their defence, and the remainder, about a million and a half, by India. The charge for the navy undergoes similar treatment, though on a smaller scale. No official account for the whole Empire is published, and the sum referred to above as the amount spent on the whole Empire is obtained from independent sources.
(Source: Lancashire Evening Post: May 2, 1891)

1891 Army and Navy cost

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