§ MAJOR SEELY (Liverpool, Abercromby)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the proposal to create a Mediterranean command, with headquarters at Malta, is to be carried into effect; and, if so, when.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. HALDANE,) Haddington
His Majesty's Government have decided to create a new command in the Mediterranean with headquarters at Malta, and I should like to take this opportunity of making an announcement as to the future arrangements for the conduct of civil and military affairs in the Mediterranean. The King has approved of His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught being appointed thereto as Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief and High Commissioner in the Mediterranean. The force under His Royal Highness's command will comprise the garrisons of Gibraltar and Malta, the detachments in Crete and Cyprus, and the British troops quartered in Egpyt and the Sudan. As all matters of local military administration, except the more important cases of discipline, will continue to be disposed of by the Governors of Gibraltar and Malta, and the General Officer Commanding in I Egypt, His Royal Highness will be able to devote his attention to inspection and training, and to the consideration of questions of strategy and defence within the limits of his command. For the Colonial administration of Gibraltar and Malta the respective Governors will remain solely responsible; and similarly in Egypt and the Sudan all civil and political matters will be dealt with as heretofore by the Agent and Consul-General in Egypt, to whom the Governor-General of the Sudan and Sirdar will continue to be responsible for the administration of the Sudan and of the Egyptian and Sudanese forces. In regard to questions of policy which involve military considerations the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief and High Commissioner will be consulted by the representatives of the Foreign and Colonial Offices before they lay their views on such questions before their respective Departments. I may add that the creation of this new command will cause no increase of expenditure. The date on which His Royal Highness will take up 314 his command has not yet been definitely fixed.