Lord James of Blackheath, Speech on Foundation X
House of Lords,
Lord James of Blackheath:
At this point, I am going to have to make a very
big apology to my noble friend Lord Sassoon [Treasury Minister], because I
am about to raise a subject that I should not raise and which is going to be
one which I think is now time to put on a higher awareness, and to explain
to the House as a whole, as I do not think your Lordships have any knowledge
I am sorry that my noble friend Lord Strathclyde [Leader of the
House] is not with us at the moment, because this deeply concerns him
For the past 20 weeks I have been engaged in a very strange dialogue
with the two noble Lords, in the course of which I have been trying to bring
to their attention the willing availability of a strange organization which
wishes to make a great deal of money available to assist the recovery of the
economy in this country.
For want of a better name, I shall call it
Foundation X. That is not its real name, but it will do for the moment. Foundation X was introduced to me 20 weeks ago last week by an eminent City
firm, which is FSA controlled.
Its chairman came to me and said,
this extraordinary request to assist in a major financial reconstruction. It
is megabucks, but we need your help to assist us in understanding whether
this business is legitimate”.
I had the biggest put-down of my life from my
noble friend Lord Strathclyde when I told him this story.
You’re not important enough to have the answer to a question like that”.
is quite right, I am not important enough, but the answer to the next
“You haven’t got the experience for it”.
Yes I do. I have had
one of the biggest experiences in the laundering of terrorist money and
funny money that anyone has had in the City. I have handled billions of
pounds of terrorist money.
Baroness Hollis of Heigham [Labour]:
Where did it go to?
Lord James of Blackheath:
Not into my pocket.
My biggest terrorist client
was the IRA and I am pleased to say that I managed to write off more than £1
billion of its money.
I have also had extensive connections with north
African terrorists, but that was of a far nastier nature, and I do not want
to talk about that because it is still a security issue. I hasten to add
that it is no good getting the police in, because I shall immediately call
the Bank of England as my defense witness, given that it put me in to deal
with these problems.
The point is that when I was in the course of doing this strange activity, I
had an interesting set of phone numbers and references that I could go to
for help when I needed it. So people in the City have known that if they
want to check out anything that looks at all odd, they can come to me and I
can press a few phone numbers to obtain a reference.
The City firm came to
me and asked whether I could get a reference and a clearance on Foundation
For 20 weeks, I have been endeavoring to do that. I have come to the
absolute conclusion that Foundation X is completely genuine and sincere and
that it directly wishes to make the United Kingdom one of the principal
points that it will use to disseminate its extraordinarily great wealth into
the world at this present moment, as part of an attempt to seek the recovery
of the global economy.
I made the phone call to my noble friend Lord Strathclyde on a Sunday
afternoon - I think he was sitting on his lawn, poor man - and he did the
quickest ball pass that I have ever witnessed. If England can do anything
like it at Twickenham on Saturday, we will have a chance against the All
The next think I knew, I had my noble friend Lord Sassoon on the
From the outset, he took the proper defensive attitude of total
skepticism, and said,
“This cannot possibly be right”.
During the following
weeks, my noble friend said,
“Go and talk to the Bank of England”.
phoned the governor and asked whether he could check this out for me.
about three days, he came back and said,
“You can get lost. I’m not touching
this with a bargepole; it is far too difficult. Take it back to the
So I did.
Within another day, my noble friend Lord Sassoon had
come back and said,
“This is rubbish. It can’t possibly be right”. I said,
“I am going to work more on it”.
Then I brought one of the senior executives
from Foundation X to meet my noble friend Lord Strathclyde.
I have to say
that, as first dates go, it was not a great success. Neither of them ended
up by inviting the other out for a coffee or drink at the end of the
evening, and they did not exchange telephone numbers in order to follow up
I found myself between a rock and a hard place that were totally paranoid
about each other, because the Foundation X people have an amazing obsession
with their own security. They expect to be contacted only by someone equal
to head of state status or someone with an international security rating
equal to the top six people in the world.
This is a strange situation.
noble friends Lord Sassoon and Lord Strathclyde both came up with what
should have been an absolute killer argument as to why this could not be
true and that we should forget it. My noble friend Lord Sassoon’s argument
was that these people claimed to have evidence that last year they had
lodged £5 billion with British banks.
They gave transfer dates and the
details of these transfers. As my noble friend Lord Sassoon, said, if that
were true it would stick out like a sore thumb. You could not have £5
billion popping out of a bank account without it disrupting the balance
sheet completely. But I remember that at about the same time as those
transfers were being made the noble Lord, Lord Myners [former Labour
Treasury Minister], was indulging in his game of rearranging the deckchairs
on the Titanic of the British banking community.
If he had three banks at
that time, which had had, say, a deficiency of £1.5 million each, then you
would pretty well have absorbed the entire £5 billion, and you would not
have had the sore thumb stick out at that time; you would have taken £1.5
billion into each of three banks and you would have absorbed the lot.
would be a logical explanation - I do not know.
My noble friend Lord Strathclyde came up with a very different argument. He
said that this cannot be right because these people said at the meeting with
him that they were still effectively on the gold standard from back in the
1920s and that their entire currency holdings throughout the world, which
were very large, were backed by bullion.
My noble friend Lord Strathclyde
came back and said to me that he had an analyst working on it and that this
had to be stuff and nonsense. He said that they had come up with a figure
for the amount of bullion that would be needed to cover their currency
reserves, as claimed, which would be more than the entire value of bullion
that had ever been mined in the history of the world.
I am sorry but my
noble friend Lord Strathclyde is wrong; his analysts are wrong.
tapped into the sources that are available and there is only one definitive
source for the amount of bullion that has ever been taken from the earth’s
crust. That was a National Geographic magazine article 12 years ago.
Whatever figure it was that was quoted was then quoted again on six other
sites on the internet - on Google.
Everyone is quoting one original source;
there is no other confirming authority.
But if you tap into
accounts - of the Vatican bank - come up with a claim of total bullion...
Lord De Mauley [Government Whip]:
The noble Lord is into his fifteenth
minute. I wonder whether he can draw his remarks to a conclusion.
Lord James of Blackheath:
The total value of the Vatican bank reserves would
claim to be more than the entire
value of gold ever mined in the history of
the world. My point on all of this is that we have not proven any of this.
(Note: The U.S. Geological
Survey estimates that total world gold production, since the beginning
of civilization, has been 154,490 metric tons - 4.97 billion troy ounces
Foundation X is saying at this moment that,
it is prepared to put up the
entire £5 billion for the funding of the three Is recreation
Government can have the entire independent management and control of
it - Foundation X does not want anything to do with it
there will be no
and, by the way, if the British Government would like it
as well, if it will help, the foundation will be prepared to put up money
for funding hospitals, schools, the building of Crossrail immediately with
£17 billion transfer by Christmas, if requested, and all these other things.
These things can be done, if wished, but a senior member of the Government
has to accept the invitation to a phone call to the chairman of Foundation
X - and then we can get into business. This is too big an issue. I am just an
ageing, obsessive old Peer and I am easily dispensable, but getting to the
truth is not.
We need to know what really is happening here. We must find
out the truth of this situation.