My Lord,

          As a descendant kinsman of your distinguished predecessor, the late Lord Ardwell, I am writing to request justification for the 100-year embargo on documents and official information relating to the Dunblane massacre in 1997.

        It is my understanding that there is no statutory authority for such an embargo that appears to be at unequivocal odds with freedom of information legislation and the public interest which remains considerable.  Indeed public suspicion has been heightened by the excessive length of silence imposed.  This has led to a widely-held concern that certain senior politicians at the very heart of government may have been implicated in the tragic events at Dunblane where so many innocent children were murdered and they therefore must have something extremely serious to hide.

        However it is a fact of life that eventually, sooner or later, the truth will always emerge.  Nothing can ever be so wicked that those responsible for upholding the law, should seek to conceal the truth rather than fulfil their duty by bringing those accused of wrong-doing to justice.  The longer this process is delayed, the more serious for all concerned and the deeper public suspicion becomes.  If on the other hand there is no question of impropriety or wrong-doing, then there can surely be no possible reason for any embargo.  The fact that there is an embargo, and an uniquely long one, implies that there is a great deal to hide and a political determination to ensure that it remains hidden for several generations.  It is unacceptable for this cloud to overhang Parliament.

        I do not believe there can be any justification for this embargo and especially if there is no legal authority to maintain it, it must surely be your responsibility and duty as the first law officer in Scotland to take appropriate action in the public interest.

        I have the honour to be, my Lord, yours truly,

Co-Founders John Gouriet & late Norris McWhirter CBE; Committee: Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Frederick Forsyth CBE Edward Fox OBE David Hempleman-Adams Capt. John Hutchinson FRAeS FRIN
Dr. Lindsay Jenkins David Shepherd OBE Editor: Roy Faiers Treasurer: C.J.K. Arkell FTCA
Legal Advisers: Leolin Price CBE QC John Bingley

White’s Meadow Bicknoller
Nr. Taunton
           Somerset TA4 4EG

Colin Boyd QC

Tel: 44 (0) 1984 656256
44 (0) 7831 342909

24th February 2006

Co-Founder & Chairman


John Gouriet

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The stained glass window in St Blane's Church, Dunblane, which commemorates the victims of the 1996 massacre