HC Deb 18 November 1936 vol 317 c1806W

asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence whether the Committee on Imperial Defence is taking any steps to secure help from, or co-ordination with, the Colonies, the Dominions, and India, respectively, in connection with the defence emergency, more particularly as regards air and recruiting?


The answer is in the affirmative. All practicable steps are being taken through the machinery of the Committee of Imperial Defence and otherwise to secure co-operation and co-ordination among the various parts of the British Commonwealth with regard to defence policy. Dominion Governments are kept fully informed of all developments in connection with the defence situation.

In the case of India, the India Office is represented at all meetings of the Committee of Imperial Defence and on all Sub-Committees in which India is interested.

So far as the Colonies are concerned there is a Standing Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence, known as the Oversea Defence Committee, which is specifically charged with the responsibility of advising the Government on all questions of Imperial defence as affecting the Colonies. Close and continuous contact is maintained between this subcommittee and Colonial Administrations through the medium of the Colonial Office.

With regard to the specific question of air and recruiting, schemes have already been prepared to secure help in the provision and training of both pilots and aircraftmen. Arrangements have also been, made to facilitate recruiting for the Royal. Air Force in the Colonies. In this connection I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the reply given to his question addressed to the Under-Secretary of State for Air on the 12th November.