Dear Mr. Beggs,
Your letter of 24 March 1987 addressed to the Prime Minister and its enclosure relating to the case of Mr Frederick Andrews junior was written before you received a reply dated 27 March from the Lord Chancellor dealing with points in the case which you had raised in your earlier letter to Mrs Thatcher dated 5 March. As the substantial questions set out in your original enquiry have been covered in Lord Hailsham's response I write on his behalf to provide further clarification on matters of detail which are mentioned in your second letter.
In the penultimate paragraph of your letter questions are raised regarding the benefits to which the Patient is entitled and other financial support provided for him about which Mrs Wright can be in no doubt whatever. As to benefit payments, the original Order made by the Lord Chief Justice appointing the Official Solicitor as Committee of the Patient's estate provided, in paragraph 4(d), the "the Committee is authorised in the name and on behalf of the Patient ... to receive and give a proper discharge for all ... income to which the Patient may be or may become entitled," Notwithstanding that clear provision in the Court's Order Mrs Wright applied direct to the Department of Health and Social Services for various benefits without reference to the Official Solicitor but when the Department discovered that the Order had been made it sought appropriate confirmation from the Official Solicitor which was readily given by him. [Surely Mr. Stoate, this must confirm just how correct I was in going above the head of the Official Solicitor in the first instance. The conduct of the Office of the Official Solicitor has been absolutely appalling. Indeed, had the Official Solicitors done the job that they were commanded to do by the Judge and by their own consciences, I would not have had to apply to the Department of Health and Social Services for "various benefits" for Freddie. Freddie's estate was more than sufficient to support him and the lifestyle his father provided for him. The fact is that the Official Solicitors were determined to ensure that Freddie was not going to be allowed to enjoy his own property and money.]
With regard to the payment of Attendance Allowance, which is not a benefit payable to the Patient personally, not only did the Official Solicitor not attempt to stop the payment but he specifically pointed out that the entitlement was that of Mrs Wright as she was advised in a confirmatory letter of 18 January 1985 from the Office of Care and Protection which she acknowledged on 28 January 1985 and subsequently sent to the Attendance Allowance Branch for reference. [I really do not see the point Mr. Stoate is making here. He just seems to be filling in space and treating Mr. Beggs MP with a certain contempt.]
As to the further proposition expressed in the penultimate paragraph of your letter that financial difficulties were deliberately created in order to deflect Mrs Wright from her enquiries, it may be helpful for you to have an accurate picture of the financial position within the household at 4 Norwood Gardens. The house itself and a large part of the contents belong to the Patient and payments are made from his funds in Court to discharge rates, ground rent and insurance on the property in addition to all bills for oil, electricity, telephone and maintenance charges incurred by a household comprising the Patient himself, Mrs Wright, her husband and son, Mrs Minetta Andrews (the Patient's mother) and a resident male nurse. [So what are you implying, Mr. Stoate? That 'accurate picture' of the "financial position within the household at 4 Norwood Gardens" has changed somewhat, hasn't it? When journalists began to 'air' the conduct of the Office of the Official Solicitor in the press, the Official Solicitor 'gave' 4 Norwood Gardens to me to try to silence me. The Official Solicitor also gave a very large sum of Freddie's money to Freddie's younger relatives. The Official Solicitor then tried to force ME to pay for all the outgoings but obviously thought better of it. If Mr. Stoate was implying that the Andrews/Wright families were/are beggars, I'm afraid he is very much mistaken.]
Additional payments are made for the Patient's personal needs at Sandown Road Day Centre and for clothing, holidays and other requirements. [Freddie's money of course!] The entire household finances were reviewed with Mrs Wright on Wednesday 14 December 1983 when she and other members of the family were present with their respective solicitors together with responsible social workers. Mrs Wright attended at a further meeting on Wednesday 4 June 1986, accompanied by her 2 sisters, when the Patient's personal and domestic finances were again considered. On both occasions she indicated that she did not wish to have any additional provision or allowance from the funds in Court beyond the payments already being made.
Finally in regard to the influence of Mr Herbert Wright upon the case the true position is very different from the impression or account coveyed [should read "conveyed"] to you. During the review conducted by Mr Hall acting under the direction of the Judge he was able to establish the essential facts which were relevant to his investigation of the civil aspects of the case at a single interview with Mr Wright in the offices of his former employers, at which two of the partners in that firm were present, on the evening of 17 November 1983. All the significant details of that interview were set out for reference by Mrs Wright, other parties and their respective solicitors in Mr Hall's report to the Court dated 30 January 1984 and a full account of the interview was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions. [What shocking lies, Mr. Stoate! Here is what Official Solicitor Hall told the judge about solicitor Herbert Wright's conduct, but here is what came out in the County Court in Belfast about the same Mr. Wright's conduct. You, Mr. Stoate, did not expect the truth to be told here, did you?] Neither Mr Hall nor the present Official Solicitor, Mrs Bowers, has had any formal communication with Mr Wright since the single interview described above. [That is what is so wrong, Mr. Stoate! Hall or Bowers SHOULD have interviewed and acted against Wright in the County Court in Belfast long before the Ryland Vehicle Group did. Of course Hall and Bowers had to maintain the damnable cover up.] In addition you should know that although the interests of individual members of the family were represented at hearings before the judge by solicitors and counsel throughout the review and while Mrs Wright herself had the advice of both senior and junior counsel and two separate solicitors no formal submission was made to the judge in regard to any matters arising from the Official Solicitor's account of his single interview with Mr Wright or the conclusions which the Court might properly draw from it. [Given what we know now about the conduct of the legal profession in this sorry affair, Mr. Stoate's last sentence speaks volumes for the shocking conduct of the legal representatives of our family.]
I hope that this comprehensive reply and the Lord Chancellor's reply of 27 March complete the picture for you.
R C STOATE.