NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
15th February, 1918 : A Royal Commission inquiring into the management of the Australian Defence Departments has found reckless spending and fundamental defects which it says should be immediately remedied. The Commissioners, three business experts, estimated that the departments were carrying £2,000,000 worth of excess military stock – one third of the total value of defence stores. They said a serious blunder had been made in the purchase of more than 1,000 wagons which were unsuitable and very few were used. Poor records of stores purchased made assessment difficult, but the undue accumulation of supplies was straining storage space.
[ A Royal Commission into traitors in charge of Australia’s defence spending, better known as expensive disarmament, is well overdue.
UPDATE – Military financing is a gold mine for some: “James Brydges, who amassed a fortune out of the office of Paymaster of the Forces in the reign of Queen Anne, possessed four large houses in or near London which he could fill with pictures. Paintings by Rubens, Paolo Veronese and Van Dyck could still be picked cheaply – in fact Brydges could afford to give away Van Dycks as presents – but he hankered after Michaelangelos and Raphaels as well.”]