When Minister of Militia Sam Hughes arrived in London, Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener, War Secretary of Britain, informed him that the Canadian regiments would be broken up and their officers and men dispersed among the British regiments. Kitchener justified this decision on the grounds that the Canadians lacked training and experience.
Hughes adamantly refused this proposal, even when Lord Kitchener gave him a direct order to comply. He took the position that the officers and men were in the pay of Canada, and the Canadian government should, therefore, control them while they were overseas. As a result of his obstinate refusal, the Canadian troops were kept together, and, once additional Canadian divisions arrived in France, they formed the nucleus of the Canadian Corps. Later, Canadian Deputy Chief Justice E.L. Newcombe prepared a memorandum that reinforced Hughes' position. He determined that, legally, the Canadian Expeditionary Force was composed of Canadian militia on active service overseas defending their country. For that reason, the Canadian government had the legal right to maintain control of Canadian troops serving overseas.