Examination of witness (Question 140-159)
TUESDAY 1 MAY 2001
140. It is not owed by Hollis Industries, is
(Mr Robinson) It is not what?
141. It is not owed by Hollis, it is owed by
(Mr Robinson) No.
142. You thought you were going to get Lock's
(Mr Robinson) Yes.
143. It was for Lock, not Hollis. If we go even
to the address "Hollis Industries". Do they work out
of the same address both Hollis and Lock?
(Mr Robinson) No. Hollis had a registered office,
that was all it had. Lock was up here in Oldham.
144. In that case why did you not write to them?
It was their debt, they had an office, they had an accountant
they owed you the money.
(Mr Robinson) That was quite clear. The Lock situation
was a very bad condition. It was up to Maxwell himself and Kevin
and Michael where the money was paid. The instructions for that
invoice would have come from them, absolutely from them. We would
not have sent it to Lock at all. It was always understood it would
come from one of the Maxwell overall holding companies. Hollis
had no money, as I think Kevin said there somewhere, so it probably
would have been paid by PAGB, which it was not, but then re-invoiced
to Hollis. I do not think there is anything strange in our seeking
payment from Maxwell at the centre.
145. From Hollis. Stick to what we know. You
wrote to Hollis. You billed Hollis and it says a charge was put
to Hollis. That is what it says there.
(Mr Robinson) No, we were paid by PAGB if we were
146. Why did you not bill them?
(Mr Robinson) Pardon?
147. Why did you not bill them?
(Mr Robinson) We were not told to.
148. That would have been better, you would
have more chance of getting it?
(Mr Robinson) No, I do not think so, you would have
had more chance of getting it only if Robert Maxwell says you
can have it.
149. We have two people who said you can have
(Mr Robinson) Robert Maxwell. May I just complete
that point? It was all subject to the Chairman, Robert Maxwell's
agreement. There is no other person. Did I mention somebody else?
Mr Williams: When you say "him"
you mean Maxwell?
Mr Campbell-Savours: No one else.
150. In effect what you are saying is it did
not matter whether you wrote to Hollis or whether you wrote to
Lock, they were synonymous?
(Mr Robinson) No. What it meant was, what you put
on a piece of paper was not important, what you needed was Bob
Maxwell's agreement to pay it. He would then make up his own mind
how to pay it. That much seems absolutely clear to me and unquestionably
clear. I cannot see any question about that at all.
151. If you wrote to Hollis, the logic of your
position is you would have written to the master company.
(Mr Robinson) Who knew what the master company of
152. If anybody did, you did. My God, if you
do not understand it.
(Mr Robinson) I think I take exception to that remark,
if I may. The idea that I was in any way central to Maxwell operations
153. You have just told us really that the money
would not have come from Hollis, it would not have come from Lock,
it would have come from Pergamon.
(Mr Robinson) I did not say that. I said it came from
Pergamon. I did not say where it would have come from. What I
said was what you needed was the agreement of Bob Maxwell and
then he would himself decide how to pay for it. May I just come
back to your other point, may I, where you said if I do not know
nobody would. I do not want to be in any sense offensive or rude
but, do you know, after the Maxwell collapse I was not interviewed
by any of the people involved in this. So peripheral were my activities
in these areas that I was not at the centre at all. It was, if
I may say so, a far leading remark that was made. May I say I
was not interviewed by any of the people in that inquiry that
followed the Maxwell collapse.
154. The allegation is you did not register
Hollis. You are saying you did not have income from Hollis?
(Mr Robinson) Yes.
155. You did have income from Lock?
(Mr Robinson) Which I did not register until I received
156. Did you register Lock?
(Mr Robinson) Can I start again? You said I did have
income from Central & Sheerwood.
157. From Lock. You were entitled, you had a
pecuniary interest in Lock. Did you register that other interest?
(Mr Robinson) What is the other?
158. Hollis and Lock? The charge was
(Mr Robinson) They are one and the same thing.
159. They are one and the same?
(Mr Robinson) Can I come back and explain exactly
what I think you are after here. It comes back to the same thing
all the time. My initial statement to Sir Gordon was that I did
not seek nor receive any remuneration in my capacity as executive
chairman of Hollis.
5 Note by witness: I should have answered yes
to this question. Back