Economic Aspects of Late Victorian Naval Administration.

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      This article focuses on the economic aspects of late Victorian naval administration. Throughout the nineteenth century defense was one of the two largest items in government expenditure and, apart from transfer payments, it was the largest item. Indeed, at least from 1885 it was the largest item on any reckoning. Expenditure on the Army and Ordnance regularly exceeded that on the Navy, but in the late nineteenth century it was the Navy that was causing much the largest increases, and from 1896 onwards expenditure on the Navy was always more than half the total defense expenditure. The size of the labour-force involved is a reminder of another important way in which naval administration had economic consequences. The deployment and equipping of so many men were matters offering scope for very wide variations in efficiency. The business problems were all the more immediate because the Admiralty chose to be directly responsible for the production of so many of the things needed by the Navy.