House of Commons - Minutes of Proceedings
Minutes of Proceedings The Defence Committee


The Defence Committee

The Defence Committee is appointed to examine on behalf of the House of Commons the expenditure, administration and policy of the Ministry of Defence (and any associated public bodies). Its constitution and powers are set out in House of Commons Standing Order No. 152.

The Committee has a maximum of eleven members, of whom the quorum for any formal proceedings is three. The members of the Committee are appointed by the House and unless discharged remain on the Committee until the next dissolution of Parliament. At the Dissolution of the 1997 Parliament the membership of the Committee was as follows:1

Julian Brazier TD MP (Conservative, Canterbury)2
Jamie Cann MP (Labour, Ipswich)2
Harry Cohen MP (Labour, Leyton and Wanstead)2
Mike Gapes MP (Labour/Co-op, Ilford South)3
Bruce George MP (Labour, Walsall South)2
Mike Hancock MP (Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South)4
Stephen Hepburn MP (Labour, Jarrow)5
Jimmy Hood MP (Labour, Clydesdale)2
Dr Julian Lewis MP (Conservative, New Forest East)6
Laura Moffatt MP (Labour, Crawley)2
Peter Viggers MP (Conservative, Gosport)7
On 16 July 1997, the Committee elected Mr Bruce George as its Chairman.

The Committee has the power to require the submission of written evidence and documents, to examine witnesses, and to make Reports to the House. In the footnotes to this Report, references to oral evidence are indicated by 'Q' followed by the question number, references to the written evidence are indicated by 'Ev' followed by a page number.

The Committee may meet at any time (except when Parliament is prorogued or dissolved) and at any place within the United Kingdom. The Committee may meet concurrently with other committees or sub-committees established under Standing Order No. 152 and with the House's European Scrutiny Committee (or any of its sub-committees) for the purpose of deliberating, taking evidence or considering draft reports. The Committee may exchange documents and evidence with any of these committees, as well as with the House's Public Accounts, Deregulation and Environmental Audit committees.

The Reports and evidence of the Committee are published by The Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications of the Committee (including press notices) are on the internet at A list of Reports of the Committee in the present Parliament is at the end of this volume.

All correspondence should be addressed to The Clerk of the Defence Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. The telephone number for general inquiries is 020 7219 5745; the Committee's e-mail address is

1  Rt Hon Menzies Campbell CBE QC MP (Liberal Democrat, Fife North East), was appointed on 14 July 1997 and discharged on 1 February 1999, John McWilliam MP (Labour, Blaydon) was appointed on 14 July 1997 and discharged on 24 November 1999, Dari Taylor MP (Labour, Stockton South) was appointed on 14 July 1997 and discharged on 8 December 1999, Michael Colvin MP (Conservative, Romsey) was appointed on 14 July 1997 and discharged on 3 February 2000, Crispin Blunt MP (Conservative, Reigate) was appointed on 14 July 1997 and discharged on 21 February 2000     back

2  Appointed on 14 July 1997     back

3  Appointed on 24 November 1999     back

4  Appointed on 1 February 1999     back

5  Appointed on 8 December 1999     back

6  Appointed on 3 February 2000     back

7  Appointed on 21 February 2000     back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared: 24 October 2001