DEFENCE (FRONT BENCH) – ARMY TRAINING – 26 January 2004

Dr Julian Lewis: The White Paper rightly emphasises the revolution in military affairs and the importance of technological advance rather than numbers, but does the Minister [Ivor Caplin] accept that when it comes to peacekeeping duties in particular, Army training must reflect the fact that large numbers of people need to be on the ground for such operations?

May I also take this opportunity to tell the Secretary of State – at the beginning of what may prove to be a deeply unpleasant and stressful week for him – that many Conservative Members, especially on the Shadow Defence Team, well remember the many kindnesses, courtesies and levels of consideration that he has shown us on a personal basis? We should like to put that on record.

[For later developments, click here.]