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
Glyn T. Davies
Deputy Chief of Mission