Examination of witness (Questions 100-101)|
THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2001
GCB, CBE Chief of Defence Staff Chairman
100. Thank you. Everybody bar the policeman
has been exposed to those questions in the last 12 months and
I suspect the Secretary of State will have the same sorts of questions.
One final question, to save me going through all the Committee
reports since 1979. How many times have you appeared before the
(Admiral Sir Michael Boyce) This is my first time,
101. We will make sure that no prospective Chief
of Defence Staff will ever be able to say that again. All I can
say as a submariner trained in avoiding the enemy you have done
exceptionally well. Finally, I think you should come and give
us a little course in self-publicity because I have seen this
recently "One in three troops lives in `slum barracks'.".
"MoD chief hits out at inadequate recruits.". "Children
need a clip round the ear says force chief.". "Chief
of defence wants to see more women in battle", even supported
by the editorial in The Daily Telegraph which makes me
feel a little bit sceptical, and "Keep your clothes on
Corporal" where The Sun attributed a number of
statements to you. They say "The £150,000 a year military
supremo made it clear that Roberta Winterton, 20, and Heidi Cochrane,
24both following in the footsteps of saucy `Captain Crumpet'
Angela Jacksonhave no place in the force". Then you
have the endorsement of The Sun "We like the cut of
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce's jib . . . and not just because he
chose The Sun to speak to first". All I can say is
with the endorsement of The Daily Telegraph and The
Sun you need to watch yourself before this Committee in the
future. I am sure, absolutely certain, whoever chose you were
admirable in their choice. We wish you a very long career and
many appearances before the Defence Committee. I promise you that
having failed to come before us in the last 20 years means you
will have a lot of catching up to do, and we promise you we will
give you ample opportunity to rectify that appalling deficiency
in your curriculum vitae which had we noticed it before we invited
you, would have caused us to give you a much more difficult time.
Thank you very much and good luck in the future.
(Admiral Sir Michael Boyce) Thank you.