Evidence from Government
6. We are dismayed that it should have taken
so long to produce the response to our February Report. In its
recent Report the Liaison Committee emphasised that government
responses to select committee reports must be made within two
months of a report's publication, and concluded that " too
many replies are missing this deadline".
7. We do however wish to record our appreciation
of the quality of the voluminous written evidence we have received
in the course of the last year, and of the readiness of Government
to supply us with the detailed information we have requested.
Such scrutiny is demanding on those scrutinised as well as those
conducting the scrutiny. The pages and pages provided by Government
of details of the content of individual licences may seem to disappear
into a black hole. Although we have been able to publish only
a small part of the papers received, they are in fact the raw
material of parliamentary accountability. Using this information,
we have been able to put into the public domain facts and issues
which have not hitherto been available, leading we hope to a greater
appreciation of the complexity and significance of the strategic
export control regime and a better informed public debate.