Examination of Witnesses (Questions 60-62)|
8 NOVEMBER 2006
Q60 Mr Horam: So what would you do
Mr Ross: Put more forces in, not
Q61 Mr Horam: More troops?
Mr Ross: Yes. You make damn sure
that the experiment works. We have a duty to those people.
Q62 Chairman: Do you take the same
view about responsibility to the Iraqi people and the Iraqi democratic
institutions, or do you take a different view?
Mr Ross: I have the same view
about our responsibility to the Iraqi people. After we have created
that chaos, we have a duty to do our best to put it right. I am
impressed by the views of what is still a democratically elected
Government in Baghdad and what they say. I take those as my lead
in these matters. I must say that it is not unpersuasive when
the commander of the British Army tells us that the presence of
British troops is actually a further provocation for violence.
That has to be taken seriously too.
Chairman: Mr Ross, Black Rod is
now approaching to end the proceedings, and that might be a good
point at which to conclude our discussions. I say personally that
I think that you should take advice before you hand over anything
that might get you into problems, despite Mr Mackinlay's protestations.
Andrew Mackinlay: As long as it
is on the record
Chairman: Yes, it is on the record.
Andrew Mackinlay: I am surprised.
As Chairman, you should be coaxing and encouraging witnesses to
give full disclosure, and I hoped that you would do that in discussions
with the Clerk.
Chairman: I am trying to ensure
that witnesses do not make a decision on the spur of the moment
that might have wider consequences without thinking through those
Andrew Mackinlay: I absolutely
agree. It has to stand up in Parliament.
Chairman: It is up to Mr Ross
what he chooses to do, but I think that he should give it considered
thought rather than give way to being pressured. It is his decision,
but I am just saying that as we conclude the proceedings today.
Mr Ross: Mr Chairman, I have given
it years of thought. This has been on my conscience for a very
long time, and I was waiting for an opportunity under privilege
to share my evidence to the Butler inquiry. I would be happy to
share it at this point with the Committee.
Chairman: That is fine. That is
your decision. I therefore conclude the proceedings and wish everybody
a very happy end to the parliamentary year. We will be back next
week. Thank you, Mr Ross.