The Davina Miller Archive on the Scott Inquiry

Scope and Content

Matrix Churchill trial transcripts; Scott Inquiry transcripts; Parliamentary papers referring to the above; Notes taken in conection with PhD thesis

Administrative / Biographical History

The immediate cause for setting up the Scott Inquiry was the collapse of the trial of directors of Matrix Churchill, a firm suspected of breaching export control guidelines. The company had been exporting &'dual-purpose" machine tools to Iraq. The prosecution case in the Matrix Churchill trial was that the export licence applications were deceitful. Alan Clark, in his evidence to the trial, admitted that &'discussions he had with the Machine Tool Technologies Association could be regarded as advising companies to stress the civil applications of their equipment even though they knew that it could be used for military purposes". It exposed the discrepancy between the government's version of the policy on exports to Iraq (the so-called Howe guidelines) and the policy's implementation. The Inquiry into Exports of Defence Equipment and Dual Use Goods to Iraq, also known as the Scott Inquiry, was undertaken to establish whether all parts of Government followed agreed Government policy on defence exports to Iraq, and to report on related prosecution decisions. The Scott Inquiry concluded that Britain supplied no lethal weapons to Iraq. On non-lethal defence equipment (such as radio systems or hovercraft spares) and on possible dual-purpose equipment (such as machine tools) the Government carefully balanced British export interests alongside wider foreign policy consideration. The Government's policy was to remain neutral in the Iran-Iraq war. The report recognises that no lethal weapons were sold to either side. The Government also took measures to prevent the export of non-lethal goods, which could nevertheless have exacerbated the conflict. A set of guidelines was introduced to assist in the application of this policy. Davina Miller assembled her notes and photocopies in preparation for her PhD thesis at Lancaster University. The thesis was later developed into a book, Export or die: Britain's defence trade with Iran and Iraq (London: Cassell 1996).

Access Information

Available to researchers by appointment

Acquisition Information

Donated by Dr Davina Miller in August 2001


In English

Other Finding Aids

An unpublished handlist is available

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


Dr Miller's PhD thesis and book Export or die: Britain's defence trade with Iran and Iraq (London: Cassell 1996)