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Lord Redesdale: As the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Lichfield said, the purpose of Amendment No. 48B was to highlight the issues of accountability and transparency. As the Tanzanian affair has shown, there are conflicting pressures on government members. We were therefore attempting to beef up the Bill's wording to avoid possible loopholes. The Minister has given a full reply which I shall read closely in Hansard. Nevertheless, this is an issue to which we may well return, perhaps with a different form of words, at the next stage. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: I speak also to Clause 8. The new clause proposed by the Government in Amendment No. 48A, which the Committee has approved, effectively replaces the existing Clauses 7 and 8 of the Bill. As I have explained, the new clause improves the Bill by strengthening the role played by guidance under the Bill and by putting beyond all doubt the Government's continuing commitment to sustainable development, and all the other relevant consequences listed in the schedule, in the export licensing process.
In view of that, and the explanation I have already given as to why the new clause should replace the existing Clauses 7 and 8, I urge the Committee to agree that the existing Clauses 7 and 8 of the Bill shall not stand part.
Lord Avebury: I asked the Minister a question about the activities of Mr Victor Bout and the two companies which were associated with him in the United Kingdom. Willis Insurers insured the aircraft which were used by Mr Victor Bout to ferry illicit weapons to the armed opposition movements in Sierra Leone and Angola. It has also been reported recently that he took arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan, all the time apparently being insured by a British company, Willis Insurers, which cancelled the policies only in December 2001.
As regards the registration of the aircraft, the noble Baroness, Lady Amos, told me in a letterI believe that I sent the Minister a copythat United Air Services only deregistered the aircraft belonging to Mr Victor Bout two weeks ago. I asked whether the guidance that he intends to issue under the Bill will deal with the activities of air freight companiesand those who insure themwhich are engaged in ferrying illicit weapons to armed oppositions movements or movements with which we were at war such as the Taliban.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: I apologise to the noble Lord for not answering that question. The issue relates to trafficking and brokering. That is not particularly applicable to this part of the Bill. Clearly, the guidance will cover trafficking and brokering. The Bill will now cover factors like insurance. I can assure the noble Lord that the issues he raises will be covered by the guidance although they come under trafficking and brokering rather than this clause.
The noble Lord said: In moving the amendment, I speak also to Amendment No. 62. The purpose of the amendments is to ensure that the Export Control Bill refers to the British overseas territories and to UK persons who are citizens of the territories in terms which are consistent with those used in the British Overseas Territories Act which received Royal Assent on 26th February this year. The British Overseas Territories Act updates the terminology employed to refer to the overseas territories in existing legislation such as the British Nationality Act 1981 and the Interpretation Act 1978. In particular, it replaces the outdated terms "British Dependent Territory" and "British Dependent Territories citizen" with the terms "British overseas territory" and "British overseas territories citizen". It is naturally important that the Export Control Bill and secondary legislation made under it should follow suit in this regard. I invite the Committee to accept the amendment.
Why have the Government chosen to put those two categories and no others on the face of the Bill? I do not object to the inclusion of the two categories. But why have those two been chosen and not others? I suggest a third category: archaeology. At col. 766, on the first day in Committee, the noble Lord, Lord Davies of Oldham, referred to the problem the Government have in finding a definition of "fossil". We found that intriguing. He said that if a definition were to be found it would be put in the draft order. In the meantime, he considered that the drafting of the Bill to include objects of historical or scientific interest was sufficient to cover fossils for the time being. If it is only for the time being, and temporary, can we expect some later amendment? Is it still all right for the time being? Would it not be more appropriate to signal that the Bill covered such matters simply by putting archaeology on the face of the Bill?
I am moved to raise the issue because I noted some incongruity between the drafting of this Bill and that of the late lamented Culture and Recreation Bill. In that Bill the Government adopted a somewhat different approach. In Part 4 of the Billit is, of course, burned on noble Lords' heartsthe Government defined objects of cultural, historic or scientific interest as though they were separate matters. History and science were listed as separate from culture.
The Government then said that the objective of culture online was to promote knowledge and appreciation of culture, history and science, again treating them as different. If they were different matters in the Culture and Recreation Bill, why are they now brought under the heading of culture in this Bill? I beg to move.
Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn: I declare an interest in the amendment as a professional archaeologist. I thank my noble friend for it. Not surprisingly, it seems entirely appropriate although I imagine that the Minister will explain that he would wish to subsume archaeological objects under historical objects, and no doubt cultural objects likewise.
Therefore, I was dismayed to hear the noble Lord, Lord Sainsbury, if I heard him aright, indicate that he explicitly wished to exclude cultural objects from the provisions on sustainability. One of the purposes of the Billit may have escaped the noble Lord's notice, but I hope that it has not escaped the notice of his noble friendis to maintain a control on the export of cultural objects, not only those originating within this country, but as the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, indicated earlier, to diminish the flow of looted objects entering this country and leaving it again in the process of the illicit traffick in antiquities. One purpose of the measurethis is acknowledged and will, I am sure, be acknowledged by the noble Lord who will reply to the amendmentis to control the import and specifically the export of antiquities. The noble Lord will recall that his noble friend Lady Blackstone announced in a Written Answer that it is the Government's intention to introduce legislation making it a criminal offence to traffick in, to sell or to import, stolen antiquities or antiquities which have been illegally excavated. That is where the issue of sustainability comes in. It is for those reasons that the issue of archaeology is particularly relevant to the subject area of the Bill and to the proposed legislation which I was glad that the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, announced.
For those reasons I believe that archaeology, or objects of archaeological interest, have a special place in the Bill because it is they, the covetousness they inspire and the illicit traffick in them, which leads to the destruction of archaeological sites. Consequently, in many countries of the world there is a diminishing resource for which the criterion of sustainability would be entirely relevant. I support my noble friend's amendment.
Lord Redesdale: I echo that support for the amendment. Archaeology is a much underrated profession and should be included in many other Bills. There is an important issue here which illustrates why archaeology should be included in the Bill's provisions. I refer to the nature of the illicit trade in antiquities, one of the largest markets for which occurs in Britain. That trade is often used as a means of laundering money involved in drugs or even arms
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