MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, can he state the nature of the functions exercised by the Joint Naval and Military Committee on Defence, consisting of five Naval and five Military Members, with two joint secretaries, as set forth in the Navy List. Do these functions resemble or overlap those exercised by the Cabinet Committee of Defence; and, if not, in what way do they differ from them. And, are the members of the Joint Naval and Military Committee appointed for a definite number of years, or during their tenure of other appointments ex officio; do any of its members receive any, and, if so, what extra rank or pay on appointment to this Committee; is any record kept of this Committee's 172 proceedings; and how many times did it meet during the year 1900.
§ * THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. ARNOLD-FORSTER,) Belfast, W.
The Joint Naval and Military Committee is an inter-departmental Committee composed of four Naval and four Military Members, with the Under Secretary of State for War as President, and with two joint secretaries, of whom one is Naval and the other Military. The Committee was formed for the consideration of questions of coast defence, in which the Admiralty and the War Office were jointly interested. Subjects for consideration are referred to the Committee either by the War Office or by the Admiralty, or by both in agreement. Subjects may also be referred to it by the Colonial Defence Committee. Subjects for consideration can also be brought before the Committee by individual members of the same. The Reports of the Committee are submitted to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty and to the Secretary of State for War. The functions of the Committee do not resemble those exercised by the Cabinet Committee of Defence. The members are ex-officio. They do not receive any extra rank or pay on joining the Committee. A record is kept of the proceedings. The Committee met once during the year 1900.