Fifty odd years ago in 1957, when, guess what ?, money was tight and cuts were needed, politicians were asking detailed questions about the naval budget.
They wanted to know how much the sharp-end of the navy was costing relative to the costs of the blunt-end, the support end.
Part of that questioning process came down to the numbers of "FRIGATES" we had [note the inverted commas] with politicians exercising childish delight in using coined expressions they had newly come upon viz STONEWALL "frigates", and from that, STEEL "frigates" - "frigates" meaning naval assets.
They [politicians] wanted to know why London and Portsmouth seemed to have more stonewall frigates than any other home geographical area, questioning the need. The Secretary for the Navy reminded them that Portsmouth was our premier naval port which had a bearing on the Portsmouth question at least. "It may not have been noticed by the navy that Winchester, for example, is not in Portsmouth, nor indeed anywhere near the premier port. Why are there so many stonewall frigates in Hampshire ?"
The Secretary for the Navy answered that question by first choosing to eliminate stonewall frigates directly associated with the Portsmouth and Gosport areas. Once done, he could go on to state that the Admiralty either owned or rented the following buildings [stonewall frigates] in London and in Hampshire.
Following is the list of properties:—
Property in London owned or leased and occupied by the Admiralty
Furze House, 41, Queen's Gate Terrace, S.W.7.
M/T Depots, Kidbrooke.
Garages, St. Martin's Mews, W.C.2.
Royal Victualling Yard, Deptford.
Supply Reserve Depot, Deptford.
Royal Arsenal, Woolwich (part of).
21, Montpelier Row, Blackheath, S.E.3.
St. Georges House, 195–203, Waterloo Road, S.E.1 (part of).
P.L.A. Buildings, Tower Hill, E.C. (part of).
24–28, Charing Cross Road, W.C.2.
R.N. College, Greenwich, S.E.3.
R.N. Tactical School—Royal Military Academy, Woolwich (part of buildings of Academy).
680, Commercial Road, E.I4.
58, Sirdar Road, Notting Hill, W.11.
47, Russell Square, W.C.1 (part of).
City House, White City, Shepherds Bush (part of).
41, The Mall, Ealing, W.5 (part of).
In addition to the foregoing the Admiralty rents certain premises used as furnished quarters by naval ratings serving in the London Area.
Property in London leased or owned by the Ministry of Works but occupied by the Admiralty
Queen Anne's Mansions.
Oxgate Lane, Cricklewood, N.W.2
Rex House, Lower Regent Street (part of).
82, Charing Cross Road, W.C.
111, Penfold Street, N.W.8.
Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street (part of).
24, Kingsway (part of).
Station Approach Buildings, Kidbrooke, S.E.3 (part of).
304, 306–7, Elvedon Place. Park Royal, N.W.10.
20–21, Cornwall Terrace, N.W.1 (part of).
Audit House, Victoria Embankment, E.C.4 (part of).
43, York Terrace, N.W.1.
LIST OF ADMIRALTY ESTABLISHMENTS ETC., IN THE COUNTY OF HAMPSHIRE, OUTSIDE THE BOROUGHS OF PORTSMOUTH AND GOSPORT.
BOURNEMOUTH COUNTY BOROUGH
Bournemouth: West Howe Torpedo Establishment, Ringwood Road.
DROXFORD RURAL DISTRICT
Portsdown Hill: Admiralty Signal and Radar Establishment.
Southwick: Navigation School (H.M.S. DRYAD), Southwick Park and New Barns, Southwick.
Swanmore: Salvage and Balloon Depot.
EASTLEIGH MUNICIPAL DISTRICT
Chandlers Ford: Victualling Store Depot. Harnley Road.
FAREHAM URBAN DISTRICT
Fareham: Internal Combustion Engine Depot, Blackbrook Farm.
Fareham: Office Accommodation, Old Manor House, High Street.
Fareham: R.N. Electrical Training School (H.M.S. COLLINGWOOD).
Fareham: Victualling Store Depot, Roche Court.
Lee-on-Solent: R.N. Air Station.
Titchfield: Dockyard Storage Depot, Buildings 23 to 26, R.A.F. Station Titchfield.
HAVANT AND WATERLOO URBAN DISTRICT
Emsworth: Metallurgical Laboratory, Emsworth House.
Havant: R.N. Mining Establishment, Westleigh House.
Havant: Works Pound, Stabling Block and outbuilding Warblington Lodge.
Purbrook: Radar and Plotting School, Fort Purbrook.
Waterlooville: R.N. Store Depot, London Road.
KINGSCLERE AND WHITCHURCH RURAL DISTRICT
Kingsclere: C.I.N.O. Proofing Range.
LYMINGTON MUNICIPAL BOROUGH
Keyhaven: Beach Intelligence Research Station, Lymington Coastguard Station.
NEW FOREST RURAL DISTRICT
Hythe: Small Ships Commissioning Base (H.M.S. DILIGENCE).
Marchwood: R.N. Armament Depot.
Marchwood: Pontoon Store Depot.
PETERSFIELD RURAL DISTRICT
Petersfield: R.N. Signal Training Est. (H.M.S. MERCURY).
ROMSEY AND STOCKBRIDGE RURAL DISTRICT
Dean Hill: R.N. Armament Depot.
SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY BOROUGH
Southampton: Office Accommodation, 8. Bugle Street.
Southampton: Office Accommodation. 7 rooms, 2nd and 3rd Floors, 1A, Bugle Street.
Southampton: Office Accommodation. 6 rooms, 2nd Floor, Prudential Buildings.
Southampton: Office Accommodation. Various rooms in South Western Hotel.
Southampton: R.N.V.R. Solent Division. Site and berthage facilities at No. 14 Berth Southampton Docks.
Southampton: R.N. Store Depot, Provender Store and Yard at Empress Docks.
Southampton: R.N. and R.M. Recruiting Office, 6, Orchard Place. Queens Park Road.
Woolston: R.N. Store Depot.
WINCHESTER MUNICIPAL BOROUGH
Winchester: R.N. and R.M. Recruiting Office, Site near Winchester Station.
WINCHESTER RURAL DISTRICT
Botley: West End Victualling Store Depot.
Winchester: W/T Station, Flowerdown.
Worthy Down: Naval Air Electrical School (H.M.S. ARIEL).
There is no record of what the politicians must have thought about these lists, but such lists, albeit smaller, were replicated throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, and that was for the Royal Navy only. As it was then in the late 1950's, so it is today - that there were [are] many tens of thousands of non combatants supporting [?] just a few thousand active sailors. The proverbial 'tail wagging the dog', if not operationally, then certainly financially.