Select Committee on Economic Affairs First Report


Letter from Mr Glyn T. Davies, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy, London, to the Chairman dated 16 October 2002

This letter is in reference to the invitation by your committee for the United States to submit evidence on the economic impact of globalization. The evidence was to take the form of written answers to questions submitted by the Committee, and was to form part of the report of the Committee's inquiry.

I very much regret to inform you that the United States will be unable to provide written responses to the questions that the Committee has posed. In spite of efforts on the part of the embassy, my authorities in Washington have advised me that they will be unable to approve a written submission on this topic. Our lawyers have made it clear that going on record before the legislative branch of another government is extremely difficult for us. If we were to agree to do so on one occasion, we would find ourselves obliged to agree to do so whenever we were asked. We therefore need to be extremely cautious in taking actions that would seem to create a precedent. I know that in certain circumstance in the past we have provided evidence to the Parliament. In fact, it is largely because of the increase in requests of this sort that my authorities have decided to draw the line, albeit reluctantly. Additionally , given the broad nature of the topic, it would be difficult for us to explain our stance in a way that could not be misrepresented or taken out of context, not by the House of Lords, but by other who might read the report.

My staff has already spoken to Christine Salmon, the Clerk to the Committee, and informed her that we will be unable to provide written evidence. She understands that we are constrained by our authorities in Washington. We would be willing to appear before the committee informally and off the record to discuss this issue, if the Committee would find it useful. I am sorry for any inconvenience this decision may have caused you and the Committee.

Glyn T. Davies

Deputy Chief of Mission  

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003