HC Deb 14 February 1933 vol 274 cc812-3

asked the Prime Minister if he will give the names of the members of the Committee of Imperial Defence; the number of times the committee met last year; the date of the last meeting; and the total emoluments of the members of the forces of the Crown who are attached to the committee?


In constitutional theory the Committee of Imperial Defence consists of the Prime Minister and such persons as he chooses to ask to assist in the committee's deliberations. At the present time, under my instructions, the following are associated with the work of the main committee:—

The Lord President of the Council, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, Dominion Affairs, the Colonies, India, War and Air, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Chiefs of Staff of the three Defence Services, and the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury as the head of the Civil Service. In addition, a considerable number of Ministers, as well as experts outside the Government, are associated with sub-committees. Taking the whole organisation, the number of meetings in 1932 was 156. The last meeting—of an important sub-committee—took place this morning.

It has always been found convenient to transact most of the business at subcommittees, and this procedure was especially necessary in 1932 owing to the absence at Geneva, Lausanne and Ottawa of Ministers usually summoned to attend the Committee. In consequence, there were only three formal meetings of the main Committee. In reply to the last part of the question, if the hon. Member is referring to the emoluments of the three chiefs of staff, I would refer him to the Estimates presented to Parliament of their respective Departments. As in the case of all other persons associated with the work of the Committee, they do not receive any extra emoluments in respect of their services at the Committee of Imperial Defence.


Are the Dominion Governments represented on the Committee of Imperial Defence?


They are represented by invitation, just as other interests are represented.