|Activity||A Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence was appointed to assist the Prime Minister in 1936, but, in 1940, the post was abolished when Churchill became Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. Post-war the Minister of Defence was in charge of a Ministry and responsible to Parliament for the co-ordination of the three armed services and their supply. The ministry was formally constituted in 1947 and in 1957 their powers of authority were increased. |
In 1963 the Ministry of Defence, Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry were amalgamated, and arrangements were made for collaboration with the Ministry of Aviation. The Secretary of State now had complete control of defence policy and the administration of the three services - the Naval, Army and Air Staffs continued to operate independently but brought together in joint committees. The new organisation included three ministers of state who headed and implemented policy within the Navy, Army and Air Departments and a Defence Secretariat under the Permanent Under Secretary of State. The Chiefs of Staffs Committee was unchanged by the creation of the new ministry, and remained collectively responsible to the government for professional advice on military strategy and operations. The Naval, General and Air staffs of the Joint Service Staff of the pre-1964 ministry became the new Defence Staff, responsible to the Chiefs of Staff Committee. An expanded Defence Scientific Staff was established under the Chief Scientific Adviser who oversaw the work of the Defence Research Committee and the Weapons Development Committee. Intelligence matters were completely integrated between the three services, under the Defence Intelligence Staff.
1967 saw a re-organisation of the ministry aimed at moving towards a functional rather than service based structure. The three ministerial posts were replaced by two functional ministerial positions, the Minister of Defence (Administration) and Minister of Defence (Equipment). The Defence Staff was formed from the existing Naval, General, Air and Joint Service Staffs, and was responsible to the Chiefs of Staff Committee rather than the Chief of Defence Staff. The appointment of Deputy Under Secretary of State (Civilian Management) created a single civilian management organisation for all civilian staff. In 1969 the Directorate for Statistics, Management Services, Accounts and Contracts was established. 1970 again saw a new administration with the appointment of three single service Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State appointed under one minister of state.