§ COLONEL WELBY (Taunton)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Committee of Imperial Defence has arrived at the authoritative decision, on which it was engaged in July, 1903, as to the force which should be maintained for the defence of the United Kingdom; if so, what its numbers and composition should be, and the number of invaders it is calculated to repel.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The Committee of Defence are clearly of opinion that invasion of these islands in such force as to inflict a fatal blow or threaten our independence is impossible. The governing consideration which, as it seems to us, ought to determine the number of troops to be maintained depends not so much on considerations affecting home defence as upon the claim which Colonial and, still more, Indian needs may make upon our military resources.