Select Committee on Defence First Special Report

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. The present membership of the Committee is as follows:[1]

    David Crausby MP (Labour, Bolton North East)
    Rt Hon Bruce George MP (Labour, Walsall South)
    Mike Hancock CBE MP (Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South)
    Gerald Howarth MP (Conservative, Aldershot)
    Kevan Jones MP (Labour, Durham North)
    Jim Knight MP (Labour, South Dorset)
    Dr Julian Lewis MP (Conservative, New Forest East)
    Patrick Mercer MP (Conservative, Newark)
    Syd Rapson MP (Labour, Portsmouth North)
    Frank Roy MP (Labour, Motherwell and Wishaw)
    Rachel Squire MP (Labour, Dunfermline West)

    On 18 July 2001, 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

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  Appointed on 16 July 2001 Back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 24 July 2001