asked the Prime Minister, in view of the great economies effected by the fusion of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps into one air service, whether he will appoint forthwith a Minister of Defence, as recommended by the Geddes Committee, to examine the decisions of the Washington Conference with the view of making further economies before the Naval Estimates are finally submitted to this House for approval?
No decision has been taken by the Government on this very serious question of principle. It. would in any case be quite impossible to make so extensive a change operative during the present year. The question will, however, be considered during the year, and the possibility of combining certain elements in the staffs of the three services for the purposes of common study and also of combining certain of the common administrative services of the three Departments will be explored by technical sub-committees of the Committee of Imperial Defence.