Examination of Witness (Question Numbers
2 NOVEMBER 2009
Q115 Chairman: Lord Martin, thank you
very much for attending upon the Committee today. I would also
thank you for preparing such a detailed statement in advance.
I think the Committee would find it helpful if you were willing
to read that statement to us. It will of course be published in
due course as part of the Committee's papers, but I think it would
be helpful in focusing our minds if you were to read it to us.
Just one preliminary matter, in the course of your statement you
make reference to the actions of a number of others from which
it might be implied that some criticism was appropriate in relation
to them. I should of course make it clear, as I am sure you will
understand, that we will be ensuring that anyone who is referred
to in your statement in such a manner has the opportunity to respond
in due course.
Lord Martin of Springburn: That
is only right and fitting, Sir Menzies. In the interests of clarity,
I know I am here to speak to my statement and answer any questions
that you may have, and I know it is about my experiences of the
situation, but I did read the Johnston Report, and of course I
do not have the access to papers that I once had but there is
a point that I do seek clarification on and I do not know if your
Clerk might be able to help. It means that we will all be on the
Q116 Chairman: It might be helpful
if we dealt with that now.
Lord Martin of Springburn: I would
rather we dealt with it now. On page 45 of the Johnston Report
a small paragraph says: "Police evidence indicates the Serjeant
at Arms was first approached by the police on 20 November about
consent to search. She was seen again on 26 November 2008 about
the need to search offices of an MP. She gave her written consent
on 27 November 2008 by letter and signed a form in Book 101 confirming
her consent." The clarity I would like is that in my statement,
and I will read it out, I did say that it was brought to my attention
that the Clerk of the House instructed the Serjeant when he discovered
there was a search to write a letter to the police officer in
charge of the search and the effect of that letter was to constrain
the search to the charge brought against Mr Galley and Mr Green.
The way that report reads, it is as if the letter and the signed
form were presented simultaneously. That may be just the way it
is presented but I wonder if that is not the case then can I ask
were there two letters submitted to the police on that day, that
is 27 November?
Q117 Chairman: I do not think we
can give you an unequivocal answer to that, Lord Martin, but since
you have raised the issue we most certainly will raise it when
we question the author of the Johnston Report.
Lord Martin of Springburn: Thank
you very much.
Q118 Chairman: If it has any significance
in relation to the evidence you give today then we will ask you
to comment in reply, if necessary in writing.
Lord Martin of Springburn: It
is just that I want clarity. The way that reads there is one letter.
If that one letter is the letter that I referred to then that
clears up the matter but if there were two letters then it should
have read there were two letters presented to the police.
Q119 Chairman: I agree with you,
there is something of an ambiguity. You can take it that we will
pursue that ambiguity as appropriate and if we think you need
an opportunity to respond then we will give you that opportunity.
Lord Martin of Springburn: Thank
you, Sir Menzies.