§ MR. GOURLEY
asked the Secretary of State for War, If he will be good enough to inform the House of the object and nature of the War Office inquiry about to be made with reference to our existing military organisation; and, whether it is intended that all branches of the Service (Regular and Auxiliary) are to be represented, or only those of the Regular Army, through officers who have hitherto failed to carry out in detail the objects intended to be accomplished under the Depôt Centre system? He should also like to know whether a Royal Commission or a Committee was to be appointed?
§ COLONEL STANLEY
Sir, I am afraid I should be obliged to go into a great deal of detail if I were to explain the whole object and nature of the War Office inquiry. Speaking generally, I may say that it is to ascertain all the points in the short-service and reserve system and the localization system requiring amendment, so as to make those systems work properly. With regard to the representation of the different branches of the Service, the Committee will consist wholly of officers serving in the Regular Force; but some of those officers are intimately acquainted with all the requirements of the auxiliary branches. I must demur, if I am allowed to do so, owing to the form of the Question, to the last part of it. I cannot accept that as a correct statement; but I may say that, as far as possible, I am endeavouring to obtain a Committee which shall be composed of officers wholly unconnected with the present administration of the Office. There are two officers who, owing to their positions, will be included in that inquiry who are in some degree connected with the Office; otherwise it will be a Committee composed from the outside. It will be a Committee, and not a Royal Commission.