Select Committee on Defence Eighth Report

Letter to the Chairman from the Secretary of State for Defence on the Strategic Defence Review

  You will recall that the Government was elected on a manifesto commitment to provide strong defence for the United Kingdom in a rapidly changing world. The Strategic Defence Review, which is intended to put this commitment into practice, is now well under way. One of my main aims for the Review is to create a much wider degree of national consensus on defence policy. To achieve this, I am determined to ensure the maximum level of outside input into the Review process.

  You will wish to be aware that I have therefore established a panel to provide from time to time expert advice to me, my Ministerial colleagues and officials. The names of the panellists are as follows:

    Sir Michael Alexander (UK Ambassador to NATO 1986-92, RUSI)

    Janet Bruce (Lady Balfour of Burleigh)

    Janet Cohen (Charterhouse Bank Ltd)

    Professor Lawrence Freedman (King's College, University of London)

    Air Marshal Sir Timothy Garden (Director RIIA)

    Lord Gladwin of Clee

    Dr James Gow (King's College, University of London)

    Professor Colin Gray (University of Hull)

    Simon Jenkins (The Times)

    Richard Lapthorne (British Aerospace plc)

    Dr Patricia Lewis (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research) (UNIDIR)

    Admiral of the Fleet Sir Julian Oswald (Chief of the Naval Staff 1989-93)

    Trevor Phillips (The London Programme)

    Sir Michael Quinlan (Permanent Secretary, MoD 1988-92, Ditchley Foundation)

    John Rose (Rolls Royce plc)

    Alan Rudge (British Telecom plc)

    Colonel Terence Taylor (IISS)

    Field Marshal the Lord Vincent (Chief of the Defence Staff 1991-92, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee 1993-96)

  The main tasks of the panel will be to inject expert opinion into the Review and to act as a sounding board of our emerging conclusions. The names will be released publicly by way of a press release from my Department on Thursday 9 October.

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Prepared 10 September 1998