Examination of Witness (Questions 120-128)|
5 JULY 2004
Q120 Bob Spink: But had it worked
Professor Southwood: I think what
you are trying to get at, and I am not afraid to say it: had it
worked, then I am sure I would have been sitting here trying to
defend why all missions were not done this way, and that would
have made my life even more interesting than it is now. Of course,
I wanted it work.
Q121 Chairman: As a last question: why
do you not publish it?
Professor Southwood: It is not
for me to publish it. It is an independent inquiry report. There
are two parties to that: the British Government and the European
Q122 Chairman: Are you keen on it being
Professor Southwood: I do not
mind. Let me just state that I am not speaking ex cathedra.
As a private position I do not mind. From a public position, I
have to say ESA and the United Kingdom, and this is now speaking
ex cathedra, made an agreement not to publish for reasons
that I think are explained to you. One was because it involves
inter-governmental agreements and the second was that there are
issues concerning, say, the commercial relationships between several
Q123 Chairman: Those little sentences
could be blanked out and the majority of that report could be
published? A lot of what you have said is in there.
Professor Southwood: I deliberately
did not bring the report with me so you would get what I thought
and what my colleagues thought. I also deliberately tried to avoid
the sensitive areas.
Q124 Chairman: You have done that and
we have done it too.
Professor Southwood: I think that
is a very good idea.
Q125 Chairman: Is it not time to open
it up now and put it out there? People are asking for it.
Professor Southwood: I think this
is a matter of policy. I am not a lawyer and I am only recently
a civil servant. I do not feel capable of answering that question.
Q126 Chairman: Has ESA got an official
position on this document?
Professor Southwood: The ESA position
is that they do not normally publish. They did not publish, for
instance, the much more expensive failure, the inquiry board report
on the Ariane 157. That was far more serious for Europe than the
loss of Beagle 2.
Q127 Chairman: Do you think the British
are the inhibitory force here?
Professor Southwood: It was a
joint agreement, so I do not think you can blame it on one side.
I do not have anyone from the UK Government sitting beside me.
Q128 Chairman: I am not going to get
you to say it, am I?
Professor Southwood: No.
Chairman: Thank you very much, Professor
Southwood. It has been very interesting.