These prisons received all sentenced to short terms of imprisonment, the long-term convicts going to the bagnes (the great convict prisons at the arsenals of Rochefort, Brest and Toulon), while in 1851 transportation to penal colonies was adopted.
The central organization also comprises a number of departments (services) entrusted with the various branches of naval administration, such as administration of the active fleet, construction of ships, arsenals, recruiting, finance, &c. The minister has the assistance of the Conseil suprieur de Ia Marine, over which he presides, consisting of three vice-admirals, the chief of staff and some other members.
The Conseil .suprieur devotes its attention to all questions touching the fighting efficiency of the fleet, naval bases and arsenals and- coast defence.
In regard to the constitution and maintenance of the naval forces, the administration of the arsenals is divided into three principal departments, the first concerned with naval construction, the second with ordnance, including gun-mountings and small-arms, and the third with the so-called submarine defences, dealing with all torpedo materiel.
From Manchuria, it was assumed, the political influence and spontaneous infiltration would naturally spread to Korea, and on the deeply indented coast of the Hermit Kingdom might be constructed new ports and arsenals more spacious and strategically more important than Port Arthur.