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Baroness Anelay of St Johns: As has been headlined by my noble friend Lady Miller, I shall speak to my Amendment No. 2 which has been grouped with her Amendment No. 1. It is a somewhat unusual procedure, but it is unusual legislation. In another place, the matter of controls over cultural objects received scant regard, but we hope to redress that deficit in this House. The Bill is unusual also in that wide controls over the export of cultural objects would come within the Bill's remit. It feels as though culture is being piggybacked in a rather uncomfortable way on a Bill that, so far as the outside world is concerned, is mostly about military exports of a very serious nature.
As my noble friend said, last year, the Government conducted consultation when they issued their White Paper. However, although the Government sent the White Paper to an extensive list of cultural organisations, there was a lack of understanding among those organisations about the fact that their part in export controls was within the Bill's remit.
My noble friend Lady Miller raised an important issue in moving her amendment: there should be consultation with the relevant organisations before an order is laid before the House. It is important that there should be such a requirement in the Bill.
Clause 1 does of course cover far more than control of the export of military goods; it provides powers for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to control the export of cultural objects. Those objects could be anything from paintings to sculptures to textiles or perhaps historic weaponry. I say perhaps because, like my noble friend, I appreciate that this enabling Bill leaves so much to the imagination.
If that is a government commitment, why not include it in the Bill? Moreover, referring to Mr Griffiths's words, what are the "new controls" that will affect the cultural export market? I found the Minister's use of the word "new" worrying in this particular context.
Last March the then Minister responsible for the arts, Mr Howarth, made the point that Britain has the second largest art market in the world, valued at around £4.5 billion in 1999, of which the antiquities market alone generated £15 million. Can the Minister give us more up-to-date figures? If not, does he agree in any event that our art market is vibrant, makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and,
Lord Razzall: I make a straightforward point. It is not for me to determine whether or not the Government wish to extend the consultation on the secondary legislation. However, if they are minded to do so, it is important to recognise that it is not just relevant industrial organisations which are interested in the Bill. The attendance in the Chamber today and the contents of all our mailbags indicate considerable interest among all kinds of people, ranging from the Archbishop of Canterbury through to the relevant NGOs, let alone the other 63 bishops, in both the primary legislation and any secondary legislation that flows from it. Therefore, if the Government are minded to accept the noble Baroness's amendment, I trust that the consultation will not be limited to relevant industrial organisations. I do not wish to be contentious vis-à-vis the other opposition party in this Chamber but I believe that all its amendments tend to consider matters primarily from the point of view of the armaments industry without recognising necessarily that other interests are concerned about the Bill and are represented in the Chamber.
Lord Judd: Before the Minister replies I pick up the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Razzall. At the beginning of our proceedings I should make very plain that I am closely involved in the work of Saferworld as honorary senior fellow. I was involved with that body professionally until recently. That should be known to the Committee because obviously that work considerably informs the contributions which I hope to make to the discussion.
Following what the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, said, I do not follow the logic of the amendment. It seems to me that if there is to be consultation it should be recognised not just that there are many NGOs in this country and other bodies, Churches and so on, which may have a view, but also that there are organisations and NGOs with considerable knowledge of the situation in the country concerned whose insight and in-depth knowledge may be indispensable at that juncture. The effect of these amendments is exclusive rather than inclusive and that is unfortunate.
However, I also accept from what the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, said that if one were really to open up the discussion to everyone who could conceivably have an interest, it might be a difficult situation for the Government to handle. I imagine that that may well be the thrust of their case.
Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: I support my noble friend Lady Anelay on Amendment No. 2. I declare an immediate unremunerated interest as the president of the British Antique Dealers' Association and also the British Art Market Federation. It is in that context that I want to say a few words. The British Art Market Federation is composed of about 15 different
Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I support Amendment No. 2. I believe that there is a black hole in the schedule to the Bill. Where one is dealing with control orders in respect of arms there is a long table to guide the Minister in bringing forward an order under one of the first three clauses of the Bill. However, as regards objects of cultural interest, there is absolutely no guidance at all. I endorse the remarks of the proposer of the amendment. It seems entirely reasonable that an important part of our economy should have some clear purpose in the real meaning of that word incorporated onto the face of the Bill.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: I wish to speak to Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 together. I say right at the start that the export of cultural objects is a matter of great importance to us. If it does not, in the course of the debate, receive as much attention as the export of military equipment, that is not because we do not think that it is important but simply because it does not produce quite so much interest and excitement when considering the Bill. I am happy to say right at the beginning that we think that a vibrant market in such items is extremely important. That does not appear in great detail in the schedule because there is not a great area of debateclearly, there can be some debateas regards what comprises a cultural object, whereas, as the Committee knows, there is considerable debate as regards what objects comprise military equipment.
Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I am most grateful to the Minister for giving way. The issue is not the definition of a cultural object so much as the purpose for which a prohibition can be imposed under the Bill.
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