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
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
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,
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