DEF040204 - No. 11

Session 2003-04

4 February 2004

Defence White Paper

Defence White Paper


The Defence Select Committee has today issued a call for evidence and terms of reference for its inquiry into government proposals for delivering security in a changing world.

The proposals, which were published in the form of the Defence White Paper, will come under scrutiny over the next few months as the Committee takes written and oral evidence from a range of key players and interested parties on the fundamental assumptions underlying the plans.

In particular, the Committee will ask how well the government's scheme fits with the current organisation and structure of the armed services. Members of the Committee will also examine how the proposed changes will impact on existing structures and equipment programmes.

Announcing the inquiry's terms of reference, Defence Committee Chairman Rt Hon Bruce George MP said:

"This inquiry into the Defence White Paper will allow us to build on previous work we have undertaken both on the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) in 1998 and the New Chapter to the SDR in 2003.

"Significant changes to the way our armed forces operate are being proposed and it is the Committee's role to ensure that these plans are carefully scrutinised. This is an excellent opportunity for the Committee to feed into a crucial debate on defence policy and to inform Parliament and the wider public about the nature and implications of the Government's proposals."

The full terms of reference for the inquiry and details on how to submit evidence can be found on the Committee's website at:


1. Eighth Report, The Strategic Defence Review, HC 138-I, II & III, Session 1997-98; and Sixth Report, A New Chapter to the Strategic Defence Review, HC 93-I & II, Session 2002-03

2. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon Bruce George MP (Chairman), Mr Crispin Blunt MP, Mr James Cran MP, Mr David Crausby MP, Mike Gapes MP, Mr Mike Hancock CBE MP, Dai Havard MP, Mr Kevan Jones MP, Mr Frank Roy MP, Rachel Squire MP, Mr Peter Viggers MP

3. News Release: 11


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