3. Mr. Slater
asked the Secretary of State for War what progress has been made in the reorganisation of the British Army of the Rhine; and what additional responsibilities have been given to divisional commanders.
§ The Secretary of State for War (Mr. John Profumo)
The organisational changes in the British Army of the Rhine, which were outlined by my hon. Friend in the Army Estimates debate have already come into effect. They represent a change of emphasis in the control of supporting arms and services and not a major reorganisation. No additional responsibilities are being given to divisional commanders. It is merely that experience has shown that in certain circumstances it is easier to decentralise than to do the reverse. The new organisation will be more economic and flexible than the other.
§ Mr. Jeger
The right hon. Gentleman has been good enough to say that that was the express intention of the Under-Secretary of State in the recent debate, but can he explain what actual economies have been effected by this reorganisation? It was specifically stated that by reorganising the divisional basis economies could be effected.
§ Mr. Profumo
It was not intended primarily for economies. This is a question of modification of structure and command in the light of experience, which I think is always a good thing and which happens from time to time. It comes to this: administrative units of brigade group, instead of being under the direct command of the brigade group commander, are now controlled by heads of services at divisions, C.R.A.S.C., C.R.A.O.C., and so on.
§ Mr. Mayhew
If it is true that divisional commanders have been in command all the time, what exactly have they been doing during all these years?