Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Draft dossier rumblings

Iraq: Weapons

5 July 2007 : Column 1145/6W

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consider further the merits of releasing into the public domain the draft of the September 2002 dossier on Iraq written by John Williams.

Dr. Howells: This issue is the subject of an ongoing appeal to the Information Tribunal following a recent decision by the Information Commissioner. However, as I recently made clear in the House on 13 June 2007, Official Report, column 296WH, the Government believe it is vital to provide "thinking space" for officials and others involved in drafting policy documents. They should not feel constrained in presenting their ideas because they fear these will be made public. This principle is specifically recognised in the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.



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