Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from
Mr Carne Ross, Director, Independent Diplomat, dated 6 December
Your letter of 6 December.
Please find enclosed a copy of my evidence to
the Butler inquiry in 2004, which is disclosed to the Foreign
Affairs Committee on the basis of and in accordance with its express
requirement that I disclose it as part of my evidence to the committee.
It is of course a matter for the committee what
if anything it wishes to do with the evidence but it would, in
my view, be unfortunate if the committee were publicly to rely
on or comment in any way on my evidence without making the document
itself public. It would be strange and unfair if comments were
to be made about this document out of context and without the
public being aware of its contents or my being able to make any
comment on it.
I want to make clear to the committee that I
do not regard this evidence as anything other than a small part
of the story of policymaking before the war. I was but one of
several officials involved, and of course I was not at the most
senior level. I also left the British governmenton sabbaticalin
It is clear that what is required, either from
the committee or parliament in general, is a more systematic and
thorough inquiry into decisions on Iraq in the run-up to the 2003
invasion. Scrutinising individual officials or documents in piecemeal
fashion cannot provide an authoritative or complete picture.