HC Deb 26 July 1910 vol 19 cc1933-4
Captain COOPER

asked the Prime Minister whether any member of the Imperial Defence Committee has commanded the forces in India or acted as Sirdar; and whether he will consider the advisability of enlarging the Committee so as to include some officer of Indian, Colonial, or Egyptian experience?


None of the present members of the Committee of Imperial Defence have commanded the forces in India or acted as Sirdar; but some of them, in particular the Chief of the General Staff, have long and wide Indian experience. The constitution of the Committee is elastic and admits of distinguished officers being invited to attend meetings when expert opinion is required regarding matters of which they have special knowledge. Both Field-Marshal Sir George White, formerly Commander-in-Chief in India, and General Sir R. Wingate, the Sirdar, have so attended meetings.


Would it not be as well to utilise Lord Kitchener's abilities as soon as possible, in view of the recent statement in the Press that he has been invited by a foreign Power to reorganise its forces?


I do not see how that arises out of the question on the Paper. I strongly deprecate this putting forward of the names of particular officers.