Lift the lid on Pro­fumo

The Daily Telegraph - - Letters To The Editor -

SIR – An­drew Lloyd-web­ber is do­ing a great ser­vice to the cause of jus­tice in keep­ing up the pres­sure for the re­lease of gov­ern­ment pa­pers re­lat­ing to the Pro­fumo af­fair (re­port, Septem­ber 13).

The con­vic­tion of Dr Stephen Ward, a man of great tal­ent, in 1963 will not cease to be an is­sue of in­tense con­tro­versy, caus­ing his fam­ily con­tin­u­ing dis­tress, un­til this hap­pens. An­drew and I raised the over­whelm­ing case for the dis­clo­sure of the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments in the Lords in July 2013. The inquiry into the Pro­fumo scan­dal, car­ried out by Lord Den­ning, amassed a wealth of ma­te­rial which could well show that Dr Ward’s con­vic­tion was im­prop­erly se­cured.

We were told that these cru­cial files would re­main closed be­cause they con­tained “some sen­sa­tional per­sonal items which would be em­bar­rass­ing if re­leased”. Some per­sonal em­bar­rass­ment is not an ac­cept­able rea­son for con­ceal­ing in­for­ma­tion that could throw fresh light on the Ward case.

An in­com­plete tran­script of Dr Ward’s trial, which is held by the Na­tional Ar­chives, should also be made avail­able. When, in March 2014, I asked for it to be re­leased, I was told that dis­clo­sure “would in­vite re­newed and po­ten­tially un­fair spec­u­la­tion” about the ac­tiv­i­ties of peo­ple who are still alive.

A strong sus­pi­cion that a mis­car­riage of jus­tice oc­curred 54 years ago surely makes that de­fence of con­tin­u­ing se­crecy in­valid. The Gov­ern­ment must think again. Lord Lex­den

Lon­don SW1

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