§ MR. BELLAIRS (Lynn Regis)
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that a recent Return, Dockyard and Contract Built Ships (No. 337 for 1905), gives figures of comparative cost, without any explanation of the fact that the Royal dockyards only build hulls of ships with a few exceptions, such as the engines of His Majesty's Ship "Encounter"; whether the dockyard charges include depreciation on buildings, machinery, yard craft, and interest on capital cost; whether he is aware that the accounts of the ordnance factories, on the recommendation of a committee, insert explanations that prices for Government work do not include price of land, interest on capital, or other trade charges not included in Government manufacture; and whether this practice can be carried out in such publications as the Navy Estimates.
(Answered by Mr. Edmund Robertson.) The Return in question asked only for: The "completed cost" of each ship. As regards the inclusion of charges for depreciation on buildings, etc., no capital account is kept, and depreciation is not included, as such, in the dockyard charges; but the figures shown in column 7 of the Return include a fair proportion of (a) the annual outlay upon new workshops, building slips, storehouses, fixed ma chinery, etc., and (b) of the cost of their maintenance, and also (c) the amounts due to depreciation of workshop plant. It is not, therefore, considered necessary to insert explanatory notes as suggested 1114 by the hon. Member, in such publications as the Navy Estimates.