The New Allegations contained in Mr Bower's
book, The Paymaster
17. Mr Bower, in his book, has produced new information
which, he claims, shows that Mr Robinson did receive the
£200,000 payment in respect of Hollis Industries. Of three
main documents cited by Mr Bower as not having been available
to the Committee for its previous inquiry, the first was mentioned
by Mr Heathcoat-Amory in his letter of complaint, namely:
an invoice sent by Mr Robinson from
his home address in October 1990 demanding payment of £200,000
for "management service [sic] provided to Hollis Industries
plc as agreed" and marked "paid", with a separate
note purporting to record a request from Mr Robinson that the
cheque should be made payable to him personally.
18. The two other documents relied on by Mr Bower
an item in the computerised cashbook
of Pergamon AGB referring to a payment by cheque (No. 001751)
in the sum of £200,000, entered under the name "Orchards"
(the name of Mr Robinson's home in Surrey)
an internal Pergamon AGB memorandum,
dated 26 November 1990, from Mr Stoney to Mr Kevin Maxwell enclosing
a copy of Mr Robinson's invoice and implying that the payment
of £200,000 had been agreed by Mr Kevin Maxwell.
19. In support of his contention that Mr Robinson
had knowingly misled the Committee in 1998, Mr Bower quoted in
his book from a conversation he says he had with Mr Robinson at
the Grosvenor House (Mr Robinson's London address) on 7 December
2000. During this meeting, according to Mr Bower, Mr Robinson
admitted having received the £200,000 payment and appeared
to make play of the fact that no one knew into which account the
money had gone.
20. In letters to me dated 26 March 2001 (Annex
C) and 5 April 2001 (Annex D), Mr Bower confirmed that the relevant
passage in his book accurately reflected his recollection of the
conversation with Mr Robinson and that Mr Robinson's admission
had been made in response to a direct and specific question from
him [Mr Bower].
21. Asked by me to explain the statement in his
first letter that Mr Robinson had told the Committee in 1998 that
he had "neither solicited"
nor received £200,000 for his chairmanship of Hollis",
Mr Bower replied in his letter of 5 April, as follows:
"... I inferred that he [Mr Robinson] had told
the Committee that he had not solicited the payment by his statement
that his directorship of Pergamon was unpaid. Since he stated
that he was an unremunerated director, he explicitly implies that
he did not solicit payment."
Mr Bower added:
"Furthermore in... question (ii) listed in Appendix
5 [of the Committee's 18th Report of Session 1997-98],
Mr Robinson is asked whether he expected any benefit [in respect
of his chairmanship of Hollis]. He replied in Appendix 6
'No', which explicitly excludes the presentation of an invoice
Finally, Mr Bower pointed to a letter written by
Mr Robinson to the Committee in July 1998
in which Mr Robinson said:
"This remuneration was not agreed by me."
In Mr Bower's view this statement "suggests
that he did not ask for the money."
18 All three of
these documents are dealt with in more detail, and in their full
context, in the section entitled The Documentation relating
to the alleged payment of £200,000 to Mr Robinson (see
paragraphs 32 to 35). Back
19 Emphasis added. Back
20 See paragraph
21 See paragraph
22 Appendix 8 of
the Committee's previous Report. Back