§ Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what he has done since October, 1964, to unify the financial control of the three armed forces.
§ Mr. Healey
Progress has been made in two main fields. The first concerns the rationalisation of Service logistics and administration. Provision of a number of items such as food, clothing material and small arms, is now, as has been recorded in successive Statements on Defence Estimates, the responsibility of one or other of the Services on behalf of all three, and in consequence the financial responsibility for these activities is now exercised on a unified basis. Similarly, Defence Lands expenditure has since 1st April, 1965 been unified.
Secondly, good progress has been made in financial control in the field of Defence policy as a whole, particularly that of decisions on development and procurement of equipment. Methods and procedures of costing have been established on a broadly consistent basis so that realistic cost comparisons can be made as between the three Services. In particular the functional costing system has been developed. In conjunction with the improved resources for the objective analysis of defence problems such as are provided by the Defence Operational Analysis Establishment, it is now an effective instrument in the central planning of Defence policy.