Cullen Inquiry

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Nov 6, 2003, 7:30:12 PM11/6/03
Cullen Inquiry (100-year Closure Order) (PE652)

The Convener: Petition PE652 is from Mr William Burns, who is present. The
petition calls on the Scottish Parliament to consider a range of issues,
including initiating a new inquiry into events that relate to the Dunblane
massacre; the 100-year closure order on some files that relate to the Cullen
inquiry; and membership by the Scottish judiciary of the freemasons, the
Speculative Society and other similar organisations. Mr Burns has supplied a
considerable amount of material with his petition, (Col 22) with the
specific request that it be made available in full to all members of the
committee. Accordingly, a copy of all the material provided has been issued
to each member with their meeting papers.

Before we begin, I make clear that the committee has been advised by the
Parliament's legal office that it would not be within the competence of the
Parliament to overturn a court order, and that those sections of the full
petition that call for such action are therefore inadmissible. The
petitioner has been advised of that and has indicated to the clerks that he
disagrees with the advice, which he has the right to do.

For legal reasons, the full text of the petition was removed temporarily
from the Parliament's website. The clerks were advised that it could be
argued that certain statements made in the petition are defamatory and that,
because the petition has not yet been considered as part of the proceedings
of the Parliament, the publication of the petition on the website could
leave the Parliament open to defamation action. Guidance on the submission
of petitions states clearly that petitions should not

"include language which is intemperate, inflammatory, sarcastic or

The petitioner has been advised of the reasons for the temporary removal of
his petition and that it will be reinstated on the website immediately after
the meeting.


William Burns: I do not think that anyone in Scotland now believes that the
Cullen inquiry into the Dunblane massacre was anything other than a masonic
whitewash. The 100-year gagging order on my correspondence with the inquiry
confirms that. The committee has been provided with copies of my documents,
so it cannot now ignore the solid evidence that exists.

At the time of the inquiry, Lord Cullen claimed that there was no evidence
of child sex abuse in relation to Thomas Hamilton and his connections, but
seven years later Lord Cullen uses the fact that there was such evidence to
place a gagging order on the files, claiming that it was imposed to protect
the names of victims, although most of the files that have been buried do
not mention victims' names. My files fall into that category. It must be
clear to the committee that my letters to Cullen were gagged only to keep
the masonic implication of their content out of the equation and out of the
public eye.

The Lord Advocate has stated:

"There is no statutory basis for the closure of records created by Scottish
public bodies."

(Col 225)
Those are his words, not mine. They were published in a news release of 18
March 2003, under the heading "Dunblane police reports released". That
disclosure alone makes a mockery of the view of the clerk to the committee,
Steve Farrell, that it is not within the competence of the Parliament to
overturn or interfere with the terms of such an order. The Scottish
Parliament is the only body with the power to create a framework for
imposing closure orders, but it must do so in the public interest, not in
the interest of collaborators in secret societies.

The Lord Advocate goes on to say:

"The Public Records (Scotland) Act 1937 ... makes provision for the
preservation, care and custody of the public records of Scotland. The terms
of the legislation are permissive."

That means that they are lenient, tolerant or liberal, reflecting a belief
that there should be as few restraints as possible. Preservation, custody
and care of records do not mean the exact opposite-smothering, stashing and
snaring of public records.

The report continues:

"By contrast, in England and Wales the Public Records Act 1958 (as amended
by the Public Records Act 1967) sets a statutory 'closure period' of 30
years after which records must, with limited exceptions, be made available
to the public. The 1937 Act does not impose similar obligations on Executive
departments, but in practice those procedures are followed in Scotland."

The phrase "in practice" means nothing and could be replaced with the words
convenience, habit, obsession, fixation, weakness or a number of other
meaningless slogans. Even tradition has no authority in law. The fact that
something is widespread practice does not create a power that Parliament has
denied or for which it has not legislated.

Because there is no framework for closure orders in Scotland, I call on
Parliament to enact unequivocal legislation to prevent people with a vested
interest from burying evidence and diverting the onus on to everyone from
judges to procurators fiscal, the police, clerks and every Tom, Dick and
Harry chosen for the purpose, so that the real culprits can distance
themselves from their illicit undertakings. This closure order was enforced
not to protect the names of the children concerned, who are now adults, but
to protect the names of very high-profile masons and paedophiles.

Helen Eadie: In January 2003, the Justice 2 Committee agreed to take no
further action on a similar petition, with the proviso that it would
consider revisiting the issue if there were evidence of specific cases in
which difficulties had arisen over judicial membership of the freemasons or
the Speculative Society. The Public Petitions (Col 226) Committee believes
that it is one thing to make statements and allegations, but another to
provide evidence. Do you have evidence that we could refer to the justice

William Burns: The committee has my initial letters asking Lord Cullen
whether he was a freemason, on which a 100-year closure order was placed. I
know for a fact that it is a masonic ruse to get someone else to deny that
you are a mason. It is another ruse that someone who is asked whether they
are a freemason can say that they are not-they have to be asked whether they
have ever taken the oath of an entered apprentice. Lord Cullen used the ruse
of getting someone else to deny that he had been a mason when he got Glynis
McKeand, the secretary to the Cullen inquiry, to telephone me to deny it. To
my everlasting regret, I took that as read at the time. Later I found out
that he is an extraordinary member of the Speculative Society, numbered at
1702. The Speculative Society is an offshoot of freemasonry; it was formed
by masons in the Canongate Kilwinning lodge in Edinburgh. That is a fact; it
is a masonic set-up.

Helen Eadie: I will press this issue a little bit further because it is one
thing for you to give us hearsay, allegations and statements, but it is
quite another to provide substantive evidence. I ask you again, do you have
substantive evidence that can be referred to the Justice 2 Committee, which
said that it would consider revisiting the matter if substantive evidence
was provided?

William Burns: Are you asking for evidence of the Speculative Society?

Helen Eadie: Either.

William Burns: I have the list of members of the Speculative Society and
Cullen is on it.

The Convener: I do not doubt that the list exists, Mr Burns. Helen Eadie is
asking whether you have any evidence that connects members of that society
to any decision that has been made and the impact of that decision, so that
we can take the petition further.

William Burns: It was widely reported that Thomas Hamilton was in the
freemasons. While evidence was being given, I was reading the papers on a
daily basis and I asked Cullen to ask every witness whether they were in the
freemasons. It looks as if there was a cover-up to protect Thomas Hamilton
over many years. The evidence is in my submission and in the embargoed
documents that have been put under the 100-year closure order. Why else
would those documents have been put under a 100-year closure order? They do
not mention one name of a child victim. I do not know the names of any of
the child victims. The only thing I referred to was freemasonry and Cullen
has embargoed my letters (Col 227) to protect freemasonry. That is obvious
if you read the letters-there is no other reason. It is the masonic
implication that has been buried, as far as my letters are concerned. I am
asking you why else Cullen would have buried the documents. He has done it
because they expose the masonic connections.

Jackie Baillie: In your view, that is critical to the wider issue. From what
the Lord Advocate has said about this matter, I understand that evidence of
any child's name had been removed from police reports and they were ready to
be released. The National Archives of Scotland is producing a full catalogue
of all the material and submissions. As you will appreciate, there is a huge
volume of material. The Lord Advocate has gone on record as saying that when
that catalogue is complete, he will consider what material can be released
and whether all the material should stay under the 100-year closure order. I
would have thought that that would go some way to satisfying your concerns.
Am I misreading the situation?

William Burns: You are not misreading it; I see where you are coming from,
but it could take another 99 years to release material.

Jackie Baillie: I would hope not.

William Burns: So many high-profile people are involved that that could be
another ruse to put the public off. It is the Parliament's duty to insist on
having another inquiry so that we can be done with all this nonsense. It is
just another stalling tactic. My correspondence with Cullen should be
accessible right now because there is nothing in it about any children; it
is about the masonic implication and that is the only reason why my
correspondence has been buried.

Carolyn Leckie: I am particularly interested in the evidence that you
provided to show the amendments that have been made to the archived
references to your correspondence. It concerns me that they had to be
amended. Your correspondence and some of the subjects that you raised were
acknowledged as necessary for inclusion in the archive. If someone were to
run a search relating to the material that you mentioned, your name would
not be attached to them. I share some of your concerns about what evidence
has already been placed in the public domain. Will you expand on any
correspondence that you have had in relation to what is currently not in the
public domain? What evidence do you believe is not already in the public

I am a member of Unison, which asks in its application form, "Are you a
member of the freemasons?" I agree that people have the right to ask that
question. In the explanations that you have received, has it been explained
why that question is not considered to be legitimate?

(Col 228)
You have raised legitimate questions about the 100-year closure order and
its relationship to the powers of the Parliament. I believe that the
Parliament should consider investigating the matter and perhaps creating a
framework to state how long a closure should last and what is acceptable and
what goes a wee bit too far.

William Burns: I believe that there is to be legislation to compel MSPs to
declare whether they are members of the freemasons. Is that true?

The Convener: I think that it is being discussed, but I do not know what
stage it has reached.

Carolyn Leckie: I make it clear that I am not a mason-I am a woman and I
would not be allowed anyway.

William Burns: If no one has anything to hide, they should state that.
Members of the judiciary should declare whether they are freemasons,
especially when they are judging civil cases. Freemasons take an oath of
allegiance to one another so, if the judge and the plaintiff are both in the
freemasons, they will protect one another, as the fifth of the five points
of fellowship states that members must support a brother in his absence as
in his presence. If that is the most important oath that masons take, how
can such a judge be impartial? Even if the judge tried to be impartial,
non-freemasons will perceive that he will be partial. Public perception is

There are more than 3,000 pages in the transcript of the Cullen inquiry.
Three people who gave evidence mentioned Queen Victoria boarding school.
Thomas Hamilton had access to the gun club in that school, where he also got
a job for a teacher. He had a van from Central Regional Council to use for
transporting children at the Queen Victoria school. However, there was not
one mention of Queen Victoria school in Cullen's report. I have the
transcript of the pages that it appears in. Ian Steven Boal was referred to
on page 1803. He was a teacher; Thomas Hamilton got him a job. On page 286,
Grace Jones Ogilvie, a neighbour, said that Thomas Hamilton used to get a
van from Central Region for camps at Loch Lomondside and Queen Victoria
school. Robert Mark Ure, an ex-husband of a friend of Thomas Hamilton, said
that his estranged wife had been to the rifle range at Queen Victoria school
with Thomas Hamilton. Thomas Hamilton had all that access to Queen Victoria
school, but there was not one mention of the school in Lord Cullen's report.
A schoolmaster, Glenn Harrison, wanted to give evidence at the inquiry. This
is ultra important in calling for a rerun. He saw-

The Convener: I am trying to get-

William Burns: He saw high-profile people coming into the school.

Col 229
The Convener: I fully appreciate that you want your statements to be
factually accurate-

William Burns: They took children away for the weekend.

The Convener: What I am asking about is the relevance of the information to
the petition and where it is taking us.


Ms White: Dunblane was a terrible tragedy. Nobody wants anything like that
to happen again. My concern about the decision at the time-it did not arise
just from the petition-related to the 100-year rule. I do not want to
indicate to the petitioner that any decision that the committee makes may
lead to a witch hunt of people who he may have named or who may not have
been named. I am concerned about the 100-year rule.

This may be a hurtful question to Mr Burns, but it has to be answered. Is
the reason that you have brought the petition to the committee to get to the
truth of what happened at Dunblane, or is it a witch hunt of people who are
members of a freemasonry lodge? I am concerned by some of the language that
you use. I am not a member of any such organisation, but I do not think that
we should carry out a witch hunt of people who are members of a union or any
other organisation. I want a simple yes or no answer. Have you brought the
petition to the committee to get to the truth and to prevent another
Dunblane or to have a witch hunt of people who are members of secular
societies, the freemasons or whatever?

William Burns: It is about the truth. It is not so much to get to the truth
as to get the truth made public.

Ms White: So it is the 100-year rule that you have the problem with and you
are looking for a new inquiry.

William Burns: Obviously I want the 100-year rule to be removed because that
explains a lot on its own, but I want the truth about what happened in
Dunblane. What is worse than the murders themselves is the cover-up after
they took place. That is even worse because they could happen again and

Ms White: Are you saying that the evidence that came out in the Cullen
inquiry is untrue?

William Burns: The truth was smothered. Not only was a gagging order put on
the files, but a gagging order was put on witnesses. Glenn Harrison, a
schoolmaster at Queen Victoria school, wanted to give evidence. He had been
claiming for years that children were getting abused. He ended up getting
moved away out. He (Col 230) is now living on an island away up in the north
of Scotland-he got taken right out.

The Convener: I am trying to keep the discussion focused on what the
petition is asking for.

Ms White: I am trying to focus on that. Mr Burns asks for a new inquiry that
also investigates the reasons for the 100-year ruling. I am trying to
establish whether a new inquiry would satisfy what he wants.

The Convener: There is also the question of whether we can ask for such an

William Burns: We need a new open and honest inquiry.

The Convener: Do members have any points or do they want to make
recommendations on where we take the petition?

Helen Eadie: Perhaps we could write to the Lord Advocate to ask him to give
an indication of the time scale for the publication of the catalogue that
Jackie Baillie mentioned on the Cullen inquiry material and to inform us of
any subsequent decisions on the release of material or any variations to the
closure period. If we were to receive that information from the Lord
Advocate I would be happy with that as a way forward on the petition.

Mike Watson (Glasgow Cathcart) (Lab): There is an issue to do with the
100-year rule, although I am not sure whether we would get all that much
further forward if we asked for it to be rescinded, because I understand
that the normal rule in such a situation is 75 years. That would still not
serve anybody who is currently in the room.

It might be useful to get some answers to the points that Mr Burns has made.
We have been told that the 100-year rule was brought in to protect the
children and the children's children. Although that argument may have some
resonance, Mr Burns has made the point that some of the information that is
retained has nothing to do with children and does not mention them. We
should query that, regardless of whether the Lord Advocate is the
appropriate person to ask.

I was not happy that Sandra White equated being a member of a trade union,
which everyone at work should be, with being a member of the freemasons.

I was a bit concerned about one of the comments that Mr Burns made in his
opening statement. He felt that the freemasons were harbouring paedophiles,
which is an extremely serious allegation to make. I am prepared to believe
that it is likely that freemasons would help one another to get jobs or
promotions, but I have (Col 231) difficulty in getting my head round the
idea that senior law officers, for example, would harbour paedophiles, who
are among the most abhorred members of society. Unless Mr Burns has firmer
evidence, that sort of allegation does not serve his case, but weakens it.
The allegation that senior law officers would hide paedophiles simply
because they were members of the masons or a similar organisation is so
serious that very few ordinary people in the street would believe it. I do
not want to sound patronising, but I do not believe that that allegation
helps his case.

William Burns: That point needs to be answered right away. I have friends
who are freemasons. I am talking about high-profile people-law lords and
politicians-who are paedophiles and are being covered up.

The Convener: Mr Burns, you are again making allegations which, unless you
substantiate them-

William Burns: If there were another inquiry, that would all come out and my
allegations would be proved to be true.

The Convener: If you have evidence of that, you should not be talking to the
Public Petitions Committee; you should be referring it to the police. To
make such statements-

William Burns: Glenn Harrison, who was a schoolmaster-

The Convener: I counsel you not to use people's names unless you can back up
your allegations with evidence. We are getting on to very dangerous ground.
I am trying to be helpful to you.

William Burns: I will drop that for the moment. I know that Lord Cullen
became Lord President, but his boss at the time-Lord Ross, the Lord Justice
Clerk-was on the board of directors of Queen Victoria boarding school, as
was Michael Forsyth.

The Convener: I fail to see how that is relevant. You are answering Mike
Watson's point.

William Burns: Lord Ross is a member of the Speculative Society.

The Convener: I do not think that we need to have a roll-call of who are
members of what organisations. I do not see how that serves your petition in
any way.

William Burns: I am answering Mr Watson.

The Convener: I fail to see how your line of argument does that.

William Burns: Mr Watson said that he could not believe that freemasons
would protect paedophiles. I know a prominent freemason whom members of the
committee will probably all have met. He stands outside on the first
Wednesday (Col 232) every month. He is behind the exposure of any freemason
who is the subject of the kind of allegations that I am making.

The Convener: I am asking you to be very careful. You are making allegations
about a connection between an organisation and paedophilia. I am asking you
not to go down that route. You are using people's names and accusing them-

William Burns: I am talking about high-profile freemasons, as opposed to
freemasonry as a whole.

The Convener: Mike Watson made the point that it does not help for you to go
on in the way in which you have done.

William Burns: I think that I am helping the cause; I want to get a rerun of
the inquiry.

The Convener: We will have some more questions.

Carolyn Leckie: Such suspicions are inevitable when a gagging order is
placed on evidence. There are legitimate questions to be asked about why
certain evidence has not yet been put into the public domain. The reason
that was given for that-to protect children-has not been substantiated.
Whether or not the suspicions are true, their existence is inevitable. I
also think that there is enough concern in society about organised child
abuse for legitimate questions to be asked. I am of the view that people who
abuse children exist in every layer of society. When there is secrecy, there
is bound to be suspicion. The specific recommendations before us do not
mention the wider implications of the ability to have a 100-year rule.

One of the justice committees should consider and pursue that. If the
committee wishes to write to the Lord Advocate as well, I am happy for us to
do that. If we could exert some pressure and get answers to questions about
some of the evidence from the Cullen inquiry that has not yet been put into
the public domain, perhaps the information and evidence would support demand
for an another inquiry. However, logically, getting to the bottom of what
exists as a result of the original inquiry comes first.

The Convener: The difficulty is that the petition does not ask for that.
That is not to say that we cannot-

William Burns: I am asking now.

The Convener: We have to be careful about how petitions are dealt with. If
we consider a petition, we have to know what its aim is. The aim of petition
PE652 gives us a couple of options. It has been suggested that we take the
matter up with the Lord Advocate. That does not-

(Col 233)

William Burns: The Lord Advocate has nothing to do with it.

The Convener: Mr Burns, excuse me.

Carolyn, the recommendation is that questions be asked of the Lord Advocate.
Responses will come back, which will allow us to decide what further we want
to take on the petition. However, to agree to write to the Lord Advocate
seeking an indication of the time scale for the publication of the full
catalogue is a starting point for taking the petition further before we ask
anybody else to consider the petition.

William Burns: The embargo is illegal. The Lord Advocate has nothing to do
with it.

The Convener: Mr Burns, I am sorry. We are trying to agree some
recommendations to act on the petition.

William Burns: There is no power to impose the 100-year closure rule.

Helen Eadie: Convener, you have summed up the views of other committee
members. I would happily endorse your recommendation.

The Convener: Do members agree?

Mike Watson: Does that mean that we are delaying the question about the
100-year rule?

The Convener: No, we are asking about it. We are asking for a time scale. If
the Lord Advocate replies on the time scale for announcing publication of
the full catalogue, we can ask for more information on the 100-year rule and
its use. That would be a legitimate part of pursuing the petition. Does the
committee agree?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener: Thank you very much for attending, Mr Burns.

The Rise Of Evil.

Be it known that the UK does not have any independent and impartial
tribunals or authorities established by law for the resolution of their
civil and criminal rights. These tribunals or authorities are a requirement
under Article 6(1) of the European Human Rights Convention.

May it also be known that the UK has no authorities who will protect the UK
citizen from any crimes carried out against them by members of the
judiciary. Member of Parliament Mr Fraser Kemp learned of this fact when he
wrote to the Lord Chancellors Department, The Home Office, The Parliamentary
Commissioner and the Attorney General. When asked to raise this matter in
the House of Commons, Mr Kemp MP replied by letter that he is not permitted
to raise issues in the House. One of the number of questions now being asked
is for what are the UK public paying such high salaries to MP's such as Mr
Kemp for? Is he guilty by default in the furtherance of crime by failing to
pursue that matter for his own constituents interests along with those of
the general public?

The above rights of the UK citizen continue to be grossly ignored by the
present New Labour government. By failing to take action to provide
facilities to the UK citizen under Article 6(1) of the Convention they are
held to be guilty of crime by default. This, despite their promise of a
fairer Britain in the 1997 General Election.

www.perceptions.couk/index/evil/bg.htm .


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