Social reform, military accounting and the pursuit of economy during the liberal apotheosis, 1906-1912
The Liberal Governments that took office in the years immediately before World War I pursued a policy which sought the radical transformation of British society by establishing the foundations of the modern welfare state. Liberal beliefs required that the funding for this would have to be obtained by achieving economies in other government spending, most especially spending on the army. However, with mounting international political tensions, the new Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane, knew that Britain's security demanded a significant military capability. Thus, to allow the spending on social reform and to provide an army ready for war, Haldane introduced administrative reforms to ensure that Britain's army was both economic and efficient. These reforms included the beginnings of an 'object-based' system of military accounting which promoted a dominant role for the military in financial decisions.