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Mr. Gordon Prentice: Before my right hon. Friend deals with that, may I take him forward to the period between January and February 2003? Hans Blix had told us that he had visited the sites most likely to harbour weapons of mass destruction. He did not find any, and he had a telephone conversation with our right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 20 February. Why was there no re-evaluation of the intelligence following Hans Blix's statement?

Mr. Straw: I shall deal with that in a second. I was not listening in to the telephone conversation with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister—just to reassure my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones)—but my right hon. Friend had many conversations with Dr. Blix. So did I. I went to the Security Council five times in 10 weeks over that period, but we did not require a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister to let us know what Dr. Blix thought; nor did we require any intelligence about Iraq. What we did have were Dr. Blix's reports on the Security Council table—on 27 January 2003, on 14 February 2003, on 28 February 2003 and on 7 March 2003. Each of those statements from Dr. Blix made it clear that the Iraqi regime was simply not co-operating.

Gregory Barker (Bexhill and Battle) (Con) rose—

Mr. Marshall-Andrews rose—

Lynne Jones rose—

Mr. Straw: No, I will not give way. I have already given way to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak. What I will do—as my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) has raised the issue of non-compliance—is refer the House to pages 188 to 196 of the Butler report, which explain how Iraq had failed to comply with resolution 1441.
20 Jul 2004 : Column 284

I respect most of those who disagreed with the House's decision on 18 March to go to war, but I ask colleagues to remember that—as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister pointed out so eloquently earlier today—once resolution 1441 had been passed, the argument was not about intelligence. Once the resolution had been passed, the argument about intelligence fell away. I scarcely, if at all, remember referring to intelligence of any kind, still less to 45 minutes.

Mr. Marshall-Andrews rose—

Lynne Jones rose—

Mr. Straw: I have already given way to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak.

The issue was whether there had been compliance with resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 laid down, in very specific terms, very clear obligations on Saddam Hussein—first, for a full, complete and accurate disclosure of everything he had by 9 December. Saddam failed to make that full, complete and accurate disclosure by 9 December. So that the House understands the transparency with which we dealt with the issue before it, let me say that I submitted to the House a lengthy statement about Iraqi non-compliance with resolution 1441, giving chapter and verse of how Iraq had failed to comply.

There is only one respect, in this document, in which what I said was based on intelligence. It is contained in 10 pages. It concerns the requirement for Saddam Hussein to allow scientists to be interviewed—without tape recorders, without bugs in walls, without five minders turning up with the scientists, which was what happened to begin with—and in certain circumstances to allow them to be interviewed outside as well as inside Iraq. We said that that requirement had not been met. That was patent to everyone: intelligence was not needed. However—I own up to this—we went on to say

The other 10 pages arose from facts that were known publicly. I do not think anyone would seriously dispute that Saddam was a murderer, ready to threaten execution for far lesser crimes than he would have had in mind—and he most certainly would have done so.

Moreover, what is absolutely the case is that Saddam did refuse to allow scientists to be properly interviewed. He did refuse compliance. As I told my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle, I was in the Security Council five times, and on none of those occasions—not on 20 January, not on 27 January, not on 5 February, not on 14 February, not on 7 March—did one of the other 14 members of the Security Council ever say that Saddam was in compliance with the terms of resolution 1441. That is what we need to remember. That was the basis on which we put a motion to the House on 18 March, and the basis on which we went to war.

Mr. Dalyell rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.
20 Jul 2004 : Column 285

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House divided: Ayes 41, Noes 255.

Division No. 234
[7:59 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Barnes, Harry
Berry, Roger
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Cohen, Harry
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Dalyell, Tam
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Doughty, Sue
Drew, David (Stroud)
Efford, Clive
Ewing, Annabelle
Fisher, Mark
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Hancock, Mike
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
McDonnell, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Organ, Diana
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Salmond, Alex
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shepherd, Richard
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Trickett, Jon
Wareing, Robert N.
Weir, Michael
Wishart, Pete

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Kelvin Hopkins and
David Taylor


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Barron, rh Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, rh David
Borrow, David
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Corston, Jean
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Darling, rh Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Dawson, Hilton
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
MacDougall, John
McFall, rh John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prescott, rh John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Salter, Martin
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Squire, Rachel
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Straw, rh Jack
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Ward, Claire
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:

Joan Ryan and
Gillian Merron

Question accordingly negatived.

20 Jul 2004 : Column 287

It being after Eight o'clock, the motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put.

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