HC Deb 07 May 1940 vol 360 cc1035-6
45. Mr. Mander

asked the Prime Minister to what extent there exists at the present time, in connection with the allied war effort, a joint Anglo-French secretariat; and whether it is proposed to extend this as necessity may require in the future?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

Yes, Sir. Joint Anglo-French Secretariats have been established in connection with various aspects of the Allied war effort. These arrangements are being, and will be, extended as and when necessary. With the hon. Member's permission, I am circulating a statement giving detailed particulars in the Official Report.

Mr. Mander

Can the Prime Minister say whether consideration has been or will be given to associating with these secretariats other Allies besides the French?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that there has been any such suggestion up to the present. Obviously, the important thing is to get the closest association between the French and ourselves.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Does the secretariat include military, naval, and air representatives?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. The hon. Member will see that that is so when he looks at the statement which I am circulating.

Following is the statement:

From previous statements which I have made in this House, the hon. Member will be aware of the existence of a comprehensive organisation for ensuring close Anglo-French co-operation in the economic war effort of the two countries. The Anglo-French Co-ordinating Committee, which forms the nucleus of this organisation, has a permanent Allied Chairman and a joint Anglo-French secretariat. The eight Anglo-French permanent executive committees, which function under the general guidance of the Anglo-French Co-ordinating Committee, similarly have joint secretarial arrangements. On the military side, collaboration with the French High Command is maintained by means of an Allied Military Committee sitting permanently in London and consisting of senior officers of the three fighting Services of the two countries, whose duty it is to examine military problems from the Allied point of view and to submit their recommendations to their respective chiefs of staff.