18 Shore Road
Tel: 0131 331 1855
6 January 2004
Public Petitions Committee
Public Petitions Team Support
Public Petitions Committee
Dear Mr McConachie
THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT - SUBMISSION OF PUBLIC PETITIONS
PE652 & PE685
In support of evidence submitted with the Public
Petitions Committee in relation to the above petitions PE652 and PE685,
please find enclosed a copy of an article of serious significance
by Marcello Mega that appeared in the News of the World on
Sunday, 28 December 2003. It further bolsters my earlier submitted
News of the World article by Marcello Mega of 9 November 2003, along
with an article that appeared in The Herald on Wednesday, 13 November
I apologise if I appear overly pushy with this supplication,
but I am sure the entire PPC will appreciate the enormity of it, especially
in the light of Lord Burton's revelations in the News of the World.
The "News of the World Investigates"
article by Marcello Mega, published on 28 December 2003, is typed
out verbatim below:
The inquiry into the Dunblane massacre was a massive
cover-up, a top Scots Freemason has sensationally claimed. Former
Grand Master Lord Burton says that Lord Cullen's official probe suppressed
crucial information to protect high-profile legal figures.
He says they may belong to a secretive "Super
Mason" group called The Speculative Society. Some had links
to the Queen Victoria School where gunman Thomas Hamilton was allowed
to roam free before the 1996 atrocity. [DUNBLANE SCHOOL KILLINGS ]
And Lord Burton revealed that he was bullied and
threatened by other peers when he tried to raise his concerns in the
House of Lords. [Ed. ~ The main protagonist
was Spec member, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie. LINK]
Last night the 79 year-old aristocrat said: "There's no escaping
the fact that there's something sinister about the whole affair."
He was prompted into action after reading in the News of the World
last month that police are investigating claims that pupils at QVS
were regularly taken away and sexually abused.
The Cullen Inquiry failed to investigate why suspected
paedophile Hamilton was allowed to wander around the school whenever
he liked, running camps and using the shooting range.
Former housemaster Glenn Harrison told us how he
even found Hamilton, 43, creeping around the dormitories at night.
He said Hamilton, who murdered 16 pupils and a teacher at Dunblane
Primary School in 1996, had close links to a top cop. Glenn
said he was aghast that he was never called to give evidence at the
Cullen Inquiry. He said: "I was one of the people
who was making a fuss about Hamilton long before he killed those children,
but no one wanted to listen." Now Lord Burton has
contacted him at his new home in the Shetland Islands LINK,
saying he believes Glenn wasn't called to give evidence to avoid the
embarrassment of top legal names being dragged into it.
The QVS is for schoolchildren of the military services
and has long-standing links to high office; its current patron is
the Duke of Edinburgh. Whoever holds the position of Secretary
of State for Scotland becomes president and Scotland's second-most
senior judge, the Lord Justice-Clerk, becomes a commissioner.
Lord Burton said: "I was Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of Scotland at the time and I'm aware that most of the
conspiracy theories around Dunblane revolve around allegations of
a Masonic conspiracy. I do have some difficulty with that,
but I have learned of an apparent connection between prominent members
of the legal establishment involved in the inquiry, and the secretive
Speculative Society. The society was formed in Edinburgh
University through Masonic connections so I accept that there might
be a link by that route. But Hamilton was never a Mason. His
interjection: Thomas Hamilton enrolled as a member of Lodge Garrowhill
(Lanarkshire Middle Ward) No. 1413, 118 Garrowhill Drive, Garrowhill,
in 1977, the same year he was granted a firearms certificate.
Without any shadow of a doubt, his files connecting him to Freemasonry
would be destroyed after the atrocities on 13 March 1996.]
Current members of the Speculative Society include
Lord Cullen and a number of other judges, sheriffs and advocates. Lord
Burton has been trying for years to get to the bottom of the conspiracy
theories, using his influence in the House of Lords until the reforms
meant he was no longer entitled to sit in Westminster. Last
night he said: "I tried repeatedly to raise concerns about the
inquiry during my time in the Lords, and I was bullied and threatened
by powerful peers loyal to the Conservative Government of the day,
who warned me of dire consequences if I continued to embarrass them."
- Bear in mind, Malcolm Rifkind was the Foreign Secretary at the time
- and they do not come much higher in government than that - and Malcolm
Rifkind's friend and his then Chairman of his constituency party at
Edinburgh Pentlands, Robert Bell, according to the front page lead
of the Edinburgh Evening News on 23 March 1996, sold guns
and ammunition to Thomas Hamilton only a few weeks before the Dunblane
massacre, and it was reported he said he would sell him guns again.
sent this information to Lord Cullen in a letter dated 27 February
a copy with which the Public Petitions Committee were all provided
as additional evidence to PE652. LINK]
But the determined peer pressed on and on and in
1999, asked a question in the Lords which revealed that documents
from the inquiry had been locked up for 100 years. Among them
was a police report revealing that Hamilton had been accused of sexually
abusing boys and had been considered by some officers unfit to hold
a firearms licence LINK.
Lord Burton added: "We still need to know why that was
necessary. Who was the secrecy protecting?"
Although the official reason is to protect the families
of possible abuse victims, it's unusual for documents to be locked
up unless for matters of national security. In July, Dunblane
ambulance worker Sandra Uttley told the News of the World
how she and friend Doreen Hagger had drawn up a 50-point, 5,000-word
dossier calling for secrecy surrounding the tragedy to be lifted LINK.
They claimed that dozens of questions have gone unanswered and crucial
lines of enquiry were ignored. Former ambulance worker Sandra
said: "There may be other individuals who should face prosecution."
Glenn Harrison had kept dozens of files from pupils
alleging bullying and abuse while he was at the QVS and wrote to parents
warning of the dangers in 1991 LINK.
It led to him being ousted from the school and just days before
he left, police raided his home and confiscated the files. When
Glenn read Sandra's story, he went back to the police - and this time
they agreed to investigate.
Last night he said he in turn had been glad to receive
the call from Lord Burton ... He added: "I've been making noises
for years and I sometimes despair and think it's time to just accept
we'll never get to the truth. "But I think we owe
it to all the people who were so affected by the killings to continue
to demand questions that were never asked."
Glenn told us that Hamilton had been a friend of
Ben Philip, the senior housemaster at QVS. Mr Philip died in
December 1993, aged 46, when he fell from a ladder while hanging decorations
Glenn said: "They were friends so Hamilton was a regular visitor
to the school and I was introduced to him. Ben Philip was a
decent guy who was very trusting LINK.
I think he thought he and Hamilton shared interests in things like
the outdoors, and he couldn't see that Hamilton had another motive
for wanting to be around the school.
"Hamilton ran camps in the school grounds and
he used the shooting range freely. He came and went as he pleased,
almost as if he owned the place, and no one has ever tried to explain
why he had such freedom. I am still haunted by the memory of
pick up my newspaper on March 14 1996 and reading about what had occurred
at Dunblane Primary School the day before. I just knew the killer
had to be Thomas Hamilton. He should have been stopped."
Demands have already been made to the Scottish Executive
to investigate the influence of the Speculative Society. It
was formed in 1764 as an off-shoot of the Masons and has counted Sir
Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Hugh McDiarmid among its
most celebrated members.
The Spec, as it is known, is described by its members
as a debating club. They meet in candlelit vaults below Edinburgh
University's Old College in the winter. Prospective members
are normally approached while still studying at the university.
Its membership - which was secret until a year ago - reads like a
Who's Who of the rich and powerful in Scotland LINK.
Campaigners were determined to reveal the membership
amid concerns, many expressed by senior lawyers who are not members,
of the disproportionate influence the Spec is said to wield.
One legal figure who has long been suspicious of the Spec said: "Members
laugh off the suspicions and say it's just a debating club.
But, given that the members are picked as undergrads and almost without
exception go on to reach the pinnacle of their careers, you have to
think either that those making the selection are very astute at spotting
potential, or that membership gives you a big leg up in life.
I know which option I favour."
I will be much obliged if you could respond at your
earliest convenience. Please also keep me abreast of any
progress with PE652 LINK,
which was heard over two months ago, and of any proposed date for
the hearing of PE685 LINK.