In 1912, German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg ended the naval arms race. His aim was to secure an understanding with the British to end the increasingly isolated position of Germany. Russian military expansion compelled the Germans to prioritise spending on their army and therefore less on the navy. The initiative led to the Haldane Mission in which Germany offered to accept British naval superiority in exchange for British neutrality in a war in which Germany could not be said to be the aggressor. The proposal was rejected, as Britain felt that it had nothing to gain by such a treaty since its naval superiority was insecure, but the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey favoured a more assertive policy against Germany. 
The Scouting Force at one time consisted largely of destroyers. Admiral Richardson's autobiography gives its composition as 38 destroyers and a light cruiser flagship. In 1937, though, changes were made in the composition of the Scouting Force. By 1939 it consisted of an incongruous combination of twelve heavy cruisers, one light cruisers, and all of the land-based patrol aircraft. This of course was an administrative, paper organization. In practice the fleet was increasingly experimenting with task forces, including tactical combinations of aircraft carriers (administratively, Aircraft, Battle Force) and heavy cruisers (administratively under the Scouting Force).