Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from Mr Carne Ross, Director, Independent Diplomat, dated 6 December 2006

Dear Steve,

  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 government—on sabbatical—in June 2002.

  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.

Yours sincerely,

Carne Ross

Director





 
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