Memorandum from the Prime Minister concerning
the Joint Intelligence Committee (8 March 2000)
Thank you for the letter which you and Donald
Anderson sent me on 17 February asking that a representative of
the Joint Intelligence Committee appear before your two Committees
with the Chief of Defence Intelligence.
I understand your wish to examine the background
to the Kosovo campaign. However, there are particular problems
associated with your request to hear from the Joint Intelligence
Committee. The Committee provides assessments which form part
of advice to Ministers. This is an area not normally disclosed
to Select Committees. In addition the intelligence background
itself is highly sensitive, of a level of classification which
again is not normally disclosed to Select Committees.
Parliament recognised the special difficulties
which Select Committees would have in handling intelligence matters
when it decided to set up the intelligence and Security Committee.
They are planning to examine the intelligence aspects of the Kosovo
campaign in the next few months and I would expect to make their
report available to Parliament to the fullest extent possible.
In addition, I understand that the Defence Secretary is content
for the Chief of Defence Intelligence to be part of one of the
MoD teams that will be giving evidence to the Defence Committee
later this month.
I am copying this letter to Donald Anderson.