Attorney-General (Advice on Iraq)

– in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 24th March 2005.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General 12:30 pm, 24th March 2005

To ask the Solicitor-General if she will make a statement about the circumstances surrounding the letter from Mrs. Elizabeth Wilmshurst and the Attorney-General's change of opinion on the legality of military action in Iraq?

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

Let me take the two parts of the question in turn: first, the circumstances surrounding Ms Wilmshurst's letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's legal adviser of 18 March 2003.

Elizabeth Wilmshurst was one of the deputy legal advisers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As is now well known, she submitted her resignation on 18 March 2003 because she disagreed—I quote from her minute of that date—that it was

"lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution to revive the authorisation given in SCR 678".

Given that difference of views, her resignation was an honourable course to take and in accordance with the civil service code.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received a number of requests for the text of Ms Wilmshurst's letter under the Freedom of Information Act, which came into force on 1 January this year. These requests were initially refused, mainly because much of the content of Ms Wilmshurst's letter contained personal data, the disclosure of which would have contravened the first data protection principle under section 40 of the Act.

Following the publication in The Guardian on 23 February of a number of quotations from the letter, however, we took the view that disclosure of this information would no longer contravene the first data protection principle. We therefore disclosed the letter yesterday. Two sentences were however omitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from the document because their content concerned the provision of legal advice in relation to the use of force against Iraq. Regardless of whether these references were accurate, this information was covered by exemptions in the Act that apply to confidential legal advice and the formulation or development of Government policy. Some were also covered by exemptions for ministerial communications and for Law Officers' advice.

It was entirely proper for the Government to withhold information under the provisions of this Act. Indeed, as the Minister who was responsible for taking what was then the Freedom of Information Bill through Parliament, I can recall no suggestion from any party in the House that the Government's legal advice should not be exempt from such disclosure.

Let me now turn to the second aspect of the question: the Attorney-General's opinion on the legality of military action in Iraq. This whole question is covered extensively in Lord Butler's report on intelligence on weapons of mass destruction at paragraphs 366 to 387, and I commend those paragraphs to the House. Ms Wilmshurst gave evidence to the Butler inquiry, and the substance of her position, then as now, is covered in paragraph 376 of the report.

In the light of Saddam's failure to comply with his very clear obligations, set out in United Nations Security Council resolution 1441 of November 2002, the United Kingdom, United States and Spain tabled in February 2003 a further draft resolution in the Security Council, posing tough but attainable tests for Iraq. That gave Saddam Hussein the final opportunity to comply, which was offered by resolution 1441.

I attended a series of ministerial Security Council meetings in the early months of 2003, the last of which was on 7 March 2003. As I said in my speech to the Security Council on that day, not a single member of the Security Council disputed that Saddam was in material breach of his obligations under resolution 1441 and preceding resolutions. He had not fully complied with the clear obligations set out in 1441 and the preceding resolutions.

The Attorney-General, in his written answer of 17 March 2003, gave what he has described as his genuinely and independently held view that military action in Iraq was lawful on the basis of Saddam's breach of the then existing UN resolutions. As he then said, authority to use force against Iraq derived from the combined effect of resolutions 678, 687 and 1441. A large majority of the House supported on 18 March 2003 the Government's motion before the House to take military action in respect of Iraq, in view of Saddam Hussein's continued failure to comply with his clear obligations, imposed by the Security Council.

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General

May I say that I am intrigued and a little puzzled that the Foreign Secretary is replying to this question, which was directed to the Law Officers?

Will the Foreign Secretary confirm that the censored paragraph removed from Ms Wilmshurst's letter of resignation, and shown on Channel 4 yesterday, has now been revealed? Why was it covered up? Does he agree that it shows clearly that until 7 March, the Attorney-General held identical views to those of the Foreign Office legal team that the use of force against Iraq required a further UN resolution or it would be unlawful, irrespective of whatever previous resolutions there had been? What, then, made the Attorney-General change his mind? What change of law or fact enabled him to alter his stance?

Ms Wilmshurst's note further makes clear that the Attorney-General's position changed twice. Why did that happen? Why did his continuing doubts, which we now know were present in his letter of 7 March, as he believed that a decision to go to war might be challenged in the courts, change into complete certainty of legality, apparently following his meeting with Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan on 13 March? What was said in the intervening period? What happened to enable him to alter his position?

Does the Foreign Secretary not realise how corrosive the entire episode is to trust in Government? It would be far better were the entire paper trail to be published, to reassure the public that the Attorney-General was neither leant on to change his views for party political reasons, nor deceived by the Prime Minister on the facts on which war might be justified.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

Let me deal with the hon. Gentleman's points in turn. First, on why we refused to publish those two sentences, I have set out the reasons. The issue for the whole House, and not least the shadow Attorney-General, is whether he and his party are now moving from a clear position that Law Officers' advice should not be published to proposing that Law Officers' advice, and that which contributes to it, should be published.

I draw the House's attention to the fact that when a similar issue arose, albeit in respect of a different subject—legal advice in respect of the ratification of the Maastricht treaty—the then Attorney-General set out clearly that he could not recall any occasion when the Law Officers' advice had been disclosed, and would not break precedent.

When we discussed the issue of the Freedom of Information Bill in the House, the House as a whole was absolutely clear that legal advice, and the background to that legal advice, should not be disclosed, for very good reasons. If the hon. Gentleman is now saying, on behalf of his party, that that should change, he had better say so; but the implications for good government are very grave indeed.

The hon. Gentleman then made a wholly tendentious claim based on his reading of Ms Wilmshurst's letter. He said that it showed clearly that the Attorney-General had one view on 7 March and a different view later. He asked what change of law or fact had taken place. The letter showed nothing of the kind—but yes, there was a change of fact, which was before the House on 18 March. I am astonished that the hon. Gentleman, who voted for the resolution in favour of military action on 18 March, seems to have forgotten that.

Throughout the period following the passage of resolution 1441, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I, every other member of this Government and, indeed, all the Governments who later formed the coalition were seeking to ensure that there was clear compliance by Saddam with the obligations imposed on him by resolution 1441 and the resolutions that preceded it. When it became clear that that was not the case, we worked night and day for a second resolution. We did not work night and day for a second resolution because it was required by the terms of resolution 1441: it was not. I can go into the negotiating history of resolution 1441 in very great detail. I can point out to the House that France proposed at one stage that there should indeed be a lock requiring a second resolution in resolution 1441, but backed off from that proposal. Everyone who knows the text of resolution 1441, and that of operative paragraphs 4, 12 and 13 in particular, will know that there was no requirement whatever for a second resolution. We sought a second resolution because we sought a consensus in the Security Council, and what changed between 7 and 17 March was this: it became very clear that that consensus was not possible.

The hon. Gentleman's last point concerned the effect of refusing to disclose the Attorney-General's advice. The Attorney-General's advice was before the Butler inquiry. The Attorney-General gave advice to the Butler inquiry, and so, as I have said, did Ms Wilmshurst. That was the appropriate setting in which to examine the advice in detail. Lord Butler concluded that the Attorney-General had given clear and categorical advice to the Cabinet, and that in his judgment it was lawful under resolution 1441 to use force without a further United Nations Security Council resolution. That was the position after full examination, and that is the position now.

Photo of Michael Moore Michael Moore Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

The Secretary-General of the United Nations himself has said that the war in Iraq was illegal, so it is hardly a surprise that the Attorney-General started from that point as well. It would not be the first occasion in history when a lawyer had changed his mind and his advice, but there was no change in the legal position during the period before the country went to war; nor was there a material change in the facts, such as evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction.

Can the Foreign Secretary tell us whether there is a formal written justification documenting the shift in the Attorney-General's position, which occurred not once but twice? Can he tell us whether the final advice of the Attorney-General was consistent with the independent external advice that the Government received? If not, is it not the case that the full text of Elizabeth Wilmshurst's resignation letter has now completely undermined the Government's position on the war in Iraq?

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

We are all aware of what the Secretary-General of the United Nations said. It emphasises the fact that on this issue there were disagreements about the legal position. That is well known—but the truth is that there are often disagreements about legal positions and legal advice. There are disagreements in respect of matters of domestic law, on which the law is always more certain; still more are there disagreements in respect of matters of international law. These judgments were held independently, they were held honourably, and they were well known in advance of the debate on 18 March and the House's decision to take military action. With great respect to Ms Wilmshurst, what she has said in the letter and in the evidence that she gave to Lord Butler does not change that position one iota. It was a matter of debate. But, while I respect those people who took a different view, the truth is that the view of the British Attorney-General was widely shared across the world—not just by the Law Officers' equivalent in the United States, but by many other Governments. There was just a genuine difference of opinion.

That answers the hon. Gentleman's first and third points. He also said that there was no material change in the facts. I am sorry, but he was not at the Security Council five times between January and March 2003, and I was. There was a significant change in the facts. We had hoped in early January was that there was going to be full compliance by Saddam with the terms of the resolution. He was given a very clear obligation to do so. It became clear, however, not least on 7 March in the 173-page document submitted to the Security Council at the end of that meeting by Dr. Hans Blix, with 29 separate respects, talking about unanswered disarmament issues. I put this before the House on 18 March. It spelled out in detail, if any were needed, why Saddam was failing to comply with his clear obligations. Those facts were on the record and they have never been contradicted since. That was the judgment of UNMOVIC, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission. We did not need intelligence to make our judgment before the House on 18 March; we could see for ourselves that Saddam was in further material breach, and, as I pointed out to the Security Council on 7 March, there was not a single Minister around the table at the Security Council at that stage—even on 7 March—who was denying that Saddam was not fully in compliance with his obligations.

What also changed between 7 and 17 March, as I pointed out to Mr. Grieve a moment ago, was that we were hoping against hope for a second resolution and we did not get one. We still judged that Saddam was in material breach, and that was the basis on which the House came to its view on 18 March.

Photo of Mr Donald Anderson Mr Donald Anderson Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee

The Attorney-General said on 23 February this year that, in his parliamentary reply of 17 March, he had explained his "genuinely held, independent view" that military action was lawful, and that he had not been leant on in any way. If the critics are now saying that he was lying—a very serious charge to make against any Minister, particularly the Attorney-General—that his view was not independent or genuinely held and, indeed, that he had been leant on, let them say so openly.


If the consequences of saying that someone is a liar are severe, then does this not make lying all the more easy to get away with.

"If you really want to be a good journalist, you only have to remember two words: governments lie." -- I.F. Stone

Submitted by Julian Todd

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

I agree entirely with my right hon. Friend about that. All of us have every respect for Members of all parties on both sides of the House who took a different view on the rightness of taking military action and who voted against the Government on 18 March. What is far less impressive is the position into which the official Opposition now appear to be manoeuvring themselves. They are using this entirely spurious issue as a smokescreen to avoid their own responsibility for the fact that they voted for this military action. They voted openly for it, and they voted on the basis of the clear and public information before the House that Saddam was in clear, fundamental material breach of his obligations. They might not like it, but it happens to be true.

Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor Conservative, Rochford and Southend East

As one of those who did not vote for the war on Iraq, may I sincerely ask the Foreign Secretary whether he thinks that this disclosure will have a dreadful effect on the parents and relatives of those who have lost their lives in this conflict? Does not he genuinely believe that this problem of credibility will go on and on, unless the Government are prepared to publish all the documents involved? Would not that be the right way to deal with the problem, instead of letting it go on and on, as it inevitably will?

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

No, I do not, for this reason. The Attorney-General's legal advice was clear. It was known. It was reflected in the view of his advice, which he put before the House of Lords on 17 March, and which I repeated in this House, along with a longer explanation of the basis of his view in respect of the legality. His view was that it was lawful for us to take military action in respect of Iraq. That was the view that he came to at that stage. He was examined in very great detail by Lord Butler, and Lord Butler confirms his view. There is a very much wider issue about whether the House should go down the road of requiring the advice of Attorneys-General to be made public. As I have said, when the matter was debated by the House, and for very, very good reasons, not one Member of this House ever suggested that the exemption for legal advice proposed in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be removed. It is there for very good reasons and nothing material has changed. Indeed, just to underline the paucity of the view taken by the shadow Attorney-General, in this particular case, unusually, what was made known to the House was the view of the Attorney-General set out in that written answer of 17 March. When Lord Butler examined the Attorney-General in detail, he also confirmed that that was his view.

Photo of Professor Ross Cranston Professor Ross Cranston Labour, Dudley North

Does my right hon. Friend accept that no Attorney-General from either party will barter their integrity, and least of all this Attorney-General, who was a leader of the Bar, on such an important matter for purely party political purposes? Does he recall what the Bar Council of England and Wales said about this matter at the time: that the advice and the working papers should not be published because it would severely undermine legal professional privilege?

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

I am grateful to my hon. and learned Friend for that. The Attorney-General is a man who all of us know is of the greatest integrity and also a very good lawyer. He came to his view for sound reasons. It was independent and it was genuinely held. My hon. and learned Friend is also right to draw attention to the fact that the requirement to protect the confidentiality of legal advice has been supported not only by successive Governments—I would be astonished if the shadow Attorney-General is now departing from that; if he is, perhaps he or his colleagues should say so—but by the Law Lords in a series of judgments, as well as by working barristers represented by the Bar Council. There is every reason for it, and it is good government that would suffer were we to remove that requirement.

Photo of Peter Viggers Peter Viggers Conservative, Gosport

After five years as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Law Office, I am of course very aware that there is a convention that the Law Officers' advice should never be revealed. However, it is open to the Government to waive that convention if they wish, and the facts in this case are unique. Do the Government realise that if they do not make full disclosure, they will have only themselves to blame if people continue to believe the worst of the Government?

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

I do not accept that, and the Butler inquiry set out in some detail the very rare circumstances in which, in the last 100 years, the advice of Attorneys-General has been released. I think that it pointed out that it has happened on only three occasions: two in respect of legal action and one, as it happened, in respect of the Westland affair where the whole of the advice was leaked by a divided Cabinet and it was made public in any case.

Photo of Robin Cook Robin Cook Labour, Livingston

I am sure that my right hon. Friend would wish to agree with me that Elizabeth Wilmshurst was a distinguished legal adviser who did very valuable work in the international criminal court. Would my right hon. Friend confirm that, unlike those on the Opposition Front Bench, she was always consistent in her view that invasion of Iraq would require a second resolution? Would he further confirm that the Attorney-General shared that opinion, an opinion that he no doubt held genuinely and independently, from September 2002 until March 2003, when he changed that opinion? May I put it to my right hon. Friend, who is an experienced Member of the House, that perhaps the time has come for him to reflect on whether there is so much in the public domain that it would be better for the Government to let out the whole truth? The Government have published one opinion from the Attorney-General. Surely the less damaging course for the Government now is to publish both opinions and explain exactly what it was that persuaded the Attorney-General to change his opinion in-between.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

On my right hon. Friend's first point, yes I accept, and I always have done—I have made this very clear very publicly—that Elizabeth Wilmshurst was a very fine legal adviser in the Foreign Office, she has acted honourably throughout, and it is certainly the case that her view about the potential legality of any military action without a second resolution after 1441 was well known to me, and I think to others within the Government. But as I have said, that was her view, and I think she accepted—certainly it has to be accepted—that the final arbiter of the Government's legal position is the Attorney-General and not any individual legal adviser, however distinguished.

On the second point that my right hon. Friend invites me to discuss, what is the case is that before the passage of resolution 1441, there was a widespread view that military action would at the very best be wholly ill-advised without what became the first UN resolution in 2002, and could be unlawful, but that was changed by the passage of resolution 1441. I simply invite my right hon. Friend to refresh his memory about the terms of resolution 1441, which set out clear obligations on Saddam Hussein. Operative paragraph 4 set out the terms of a further material breach; operative paragraphs 11 and 12 set out how any further material breach should be reported and considered by the Security Council; and operative paragraph 13 made it very clear to Saddam Hussein that "serious consequences" would follow in respect of a further material breach.

It was the judgment of the Attorney-General—and I may say, although I am not the Government legal adviser, it was my judgment based on my intense knowledge of the negotiating history of resolution 1441—that the effect of 1441 was to revive the authority of resolutions 678 and 687 and—[Interruption.] Well, we did not get a second resolution because it was not possible, but it was never needed legally, and I made that very clear to the House—crystal clear, on the record—when I reported the passage of 1441 to the House on 24 November 2002. [Interruption.] As someone behind me says from a sedentary position, the resolution is worthy of re-reading. It sets out clearly the position. The Attorney-General was in no doubt by the middle of March that Saddam, on the basis of evidence that we provided, was in clear further material breach, and that military action was justified.

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg Conservative, Sleaford and North Hykeham

The right hon. Gentleman, in justifying the legality of war, is resting his case on the three resolutions that he has cited. He has been reminded that the Secretary-General of the United Nations said that the war was unlawful. Would not the right hon. Gentleman accept that the Secretary-General is singularly well placed to advise as to the legal impact of Security Council resolutions? Is not the truth this: the Attorney-General, as a good House lawyer, came to give the best argument that he could in order to provide legal cover for a decision already taken when war was then inevitable and in order to provide the best justification that he could for a war that was being prosecuted for reasons outside those publicly stated by the Prime Minister?

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

That allegation is completely untrue. It is unworthy of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, and he knows it. I made it clear, and so did the Prime Minister, repeatedly, that we wanted to see the issue of Saddam Hussein's clear breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions resolved peacefully. The phrase that I used repeatedly, in the Security Council and outside, was that we would of course take yes for an answer. Had there been any evidence of compliance with resolution 1441 in those Security Council resolutions, it would not have lain in my mouth to say to my colleagues, without demur from any of them, in the Security Council on 7 March, that not one had claimed that Saddam was in compliance with the Security Council, nor would it have been remotely possible to have come before this House on 17 and 18 March and make the case for military action. The case for military action, I remind the House, was on the basis of a breach of Security Council resolutions rather than on any matter of intelligence. The evidence was put before the House in two successive Command Papers and, I add, the Iraq Survey Group has confirmed that it ascertained a clear and continuing breach by Saddam of those disarmament obligations.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick Labour, Walsall North

Should we not keep reminding everyone that there was a very large majority in favour of taking military action at the time? Those who voted for such action presumably did so on the basis that it was legal—otherwise they would not have voted accordingly. Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is pretty grubby to see those who voted for and enthusiastically backed the war now jumping on the anti-war bandwagon? What sort of respect can anyone have for the official Opposition?

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

I agree with my hon. Friend and I commend him and other colleagues on both sides of the House who have been consistent on this matter. If only we had seen similar consistency from the Opposition Front Bench. If I recall correctly, all the Conservative Front Benchers voted in favour of the resolution of 18 March, yet from July last year, we have seen the extraordinary spectacle of the Leader of the Opposition trying to have it both ways. In The Sunday Times of 18 July last year, he made two wholly contradictory statements. First, he said:

"If I knew then what I know now, that would have caused a difficulty. I couldn't have voted for that resolution."

He then went on to say:

"I think I would have voted for a differently worded resolution that would have authorised the war", adding that he was

"still in favour of the war".

Well, it is time for the Opposition to put up or shut up on this matter of the military action.

Photo of Adam Price Adam Price Spokesperson (Economy and Taxation; Education & Skills; Miner's Compensation; Regeneration; Trade & Industry)

The Foreign Secretary will know that the Attorney-General has a duty to provide legal advice to Parliament in addition to his duties in relation to the Executive. Was not his written answer of 17 March 2003 effectively the provision of such advice to Parliament? In that case, should not Members of Parliament be entitled to see the background papers, setting out the detailed considerations relating to the legal issues on which the Attorney-General's published view was based?

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

With great respect to the hon. Gentleman, the requirement on the Attorney-General to provide legal advice to Parliament is very limited indeed and it is a wholly separate duty from the clear and continuing requirement to provide legal advice to the Government internally. Such advice is very clearly protected by the long-standing principle of legal professional privilege, confirmed by the Law Lords and many other courts. It is protected by the ministerial code. As recently as four years ago, the House had every opportunity during the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill to disagree with that. As I have already said, not a single Member on either side of the House ever proposed that the advice of the Attorney-General should be made public in the way that is now being suggested.

Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the failure to circulate the Attorney-General's background documents to the Cabinet was a failure to comply with the ministerial code? Having asked the Prime Minister for an undertaking relating to factual matters, the Attorney-General clearly changed his mind. Keeping all that secret was done to mislead the Cabinet, and the publication of only partial legal advice from the Attorney-General was done to mislead Parliament. These are terribly serious matters, which can be cleared up only by putting everything openly on the record. Otherwise, the very institution of the Attorney-General as a reliable part of our constitutional arrangements will be brought into doubt.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

I am sorry to say that I do not accept any part of what my right hon. Friend said. There has been not the slightest evidence of providing anything other than the straightforward facts of the matter both to this House and to the other place. There is no secret about the fact that the Attorney-General sought the view of the Prime Minister as to whether Iraq was in further material breach. That was set out clearly in the Butler inquiry's report.

As to the matter of the ministerial code, that charge, which my right hon. Friend has made in the past, was fully dealt with by Sir Andrew Turnbull, the Cabinet Secretary. Paragraph 23 of the code, which I happen to have in front of me, is much more narrowly drawn than she suggests. The Attorney-General was actually present in the Cabinet—I re-examined the minutes this morning—and offered the clear view that military action in respect of Iraq, as of 17 March, was lawful. I recall that my right hon. Friend was there and voted in favour of military action—and I am glad that she did. The Attorney-General was there to take questions. [Interruption.]

Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone

Does the Foreign Secretary recall that it was my question to the Prime Minister on 14 March that gave rise to the subsequent publication of the Attorney-General's opinion in the House of Lords? My question asked about the basis on which it was proposed that we should go to war. More and more facts, and more and more contradictions have emerged. Indeed, I recall that in her resignation speech, Clare Short accused the Prime Minister of misleading both her and Parliament—and she has repeated much the same today.

Does the Foreign Secretary accept that, under the rules and conventions of the House and under the rules of ministerial conduct, it is the Prime Minister—I see him in his place now—who is responsible for deciding on the disclosure of the Attorney-General's advice and for rectifying any misleading statements that may have been made? I tabled a question to the Prime Minister—[Interruption.] Will the Foreign Secretary now answer the charge whether the Prime Minister—

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

With apologies to the hon. Gentleman, his question to the Prime Minister of 14 March 2003 did not immediately come to mind. The House wished to be informed of the Attorney-General's legal advice and that was what happened. My noble Friend the Attorney-General answered a question in the House of Lords, which was repeated in this House, and I published a detailed explanation of the background. There is nothing odd about the view that we took. Anyone who knows the history of what happened in Iraq and of what happened after achieving resolution 1441, knows that the evidence was overwhelming—no one contradicted it at the time—that Saddam was in clear further material breach of his obligations. He was given a final opportunity under the first paragraph of resolution 1441 and he was told specifically what would amount to a "further material breach". There was no requirement whatever in 1441 for a second resolution. I am as comfortable as I was on 18 March in being absolutely clear that the military action that we took was justified—and it remains justified in the light of what we now know.


Er, that would include knowing that there was no WMD, and that Iraq was fully in compliance with all UN Resolutions up to date (it was not occupying Kuwait, and did not possess any banned weapons).

Submitted by Julian Todd