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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: I can give that assurance very clearly. Members of the Committee will see that subsection (1) of the amendment that I am proposing states that everything in the schedule can be covered. The schedule covers not only military equipment, but also all the categories which have relevant consequences. The particular issues mentioned by my noble friend are all ones which have relevant consequences in terms of the different things mentioned under those headings.

I can give my noble friend a complete assurance that all the issues to which he has referred will be covered. Indeed, I believe that when on Report he sees the Bill as amended, the position will be much clearer.

Lord Redesdale: Before the Minister sits down, perhaps I may put to him one further point with regard to Amendment No. 43B. The potential loophole that we envisage could be one for emerging technologies that are not covered or even seen as potentially repressive technologies. I refer to electronic Taser weapons which at the moment are seen as police enforcement weapons, but with the development of technology could have far more significant and sinister purposes.

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Clearly it is impossible to envisage all the emerging technologies. That is why in the Bill we give ourselves the flexibility to introduce, reasonably quickly, new areas of control. When we come to those parts of the Bill, I hope that the noble

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Lord will remember that point. If some kind of technology which has not been foreseen should emerge, we need the flexibility quickly to take action to control it.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: In responding to my two amendments the Minister made three points. The first point was that they led to repetition; the second point was that this is a technical clause; and the third point was that at second or third sight his amendment would seem a good deal better than at first sight. I think he said twice that at first sight it looked ugly or codswallop, or whatever word he used.

Let me take those justifications in reverse order. At first sight it looked gobbledegook; at second sight it looked an abortion; at third sight I was boiling with lawyerly rage. I was boiling with lawyerly rage because I am making a serious point with these two amendments. It is not enough for the Committee to say that this is a technical matter and that this is a technical amendment. Human beings have to interpret the statutes that we leave them with, and the danger in this House and the other place is that, week by week and year by year, we enter into legislation that is so alien in its language and so complex in its execution that the ordinary citizen of this land is left totally at a loss.

I hope the Committee will not think that I am getting too embroiled in a small matter, but we must put a stop to this kind of language. As the Minister refuses to accept my simple point, I shall read his amendment again. It states:

    "Controls may only be imposed . . . in relation to a description of thing that is within one or more of the categories mentioned in the Schedule".

That is not good enough. My suggested improvement may itself not be good enough, but we have to do better. This is not a technical or trivial matter.

As to the question of repetition, this is not simply repetition. My second amendment states:

    "'goods'" means goods (subject to export controls or trade controls)"—

which are terms of art within the Bill—and similarly for "technology" and "technical assistance".

I shall have to study the Minister's justification carefully, but, on listening to it, it seemed to be without virtue and to have behind it a degree of amour propre on the part of the draftsman, which is not a relevant consideration in these matters.

The Earl of Onslow: I came into the Chamber and I heard the Minister giving his reply. I looked at him and he started to grin. He realised that what he was saying was the most frightful load of codswallop, although he did his level best to cover up. Forty million years ago we were in the same House at Eton together, so I can say this to him. Please, please listen to the noble Lord,

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Lord Phillips. What he said is very real. We cannot pass into legislation that kind of wording. The Minister knows this. I saw his face—it was totally glorious and he giggled feebly.

The Minister was very clever in Mr Gowan's house—much cleverer than I was—so will he please go away and agree with the noble Lord, Lord Phillips?

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: This is not on the basis of any relationship that the noble Earl and I may have had at Eton. Although I believe the amendment to be legally correct, technically right and absolutely clear, I agree that it sounds extremely inelegant. On that basis, I shall try again to see whether we can achieve something more elegant. It will have to meet the legal requirements and be absolutely clear. Although I believe that it is both clear and meets the legal requirements as it stands, in the spirit of the defence of good English I shall try again to meet the noble Lord's points.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: It is not a question of elegance. I am not looking for fanciness but plain, good, common-sense, understandable English. I am grateful for what the Minister said. Perhaps he and I can speak afterwards. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment No. 43A, as an amendment to Amendment No. 43, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 43B, as an amendment to Amendment No. 43, not moved.]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns moved, as an amendment to Amendment No. 43, Amendment No. 43C:

    Line 6, at end insert—

"( ) A control order shall be made for the purpose of giving effect to any obligation of the United Kingdom which arises out of its signature of the UNESCO Convention."

The noble Baroness said: This amendment has been redrafted because government Amendment No. 43 seeks to change the schedule so comprehensively that the part of the schedule that I had hoped to amend in order to draw the Government's attention to a particular issue suddenly disappeared and came under subsection (1) of Amendment No. 43.

My amendment seeks to place on the face of the Bill a requirement that the Government shall make control orders which put into effect any obligations which the United Kingdom may face as a result of the Government signing up to the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

Let me make it clear that I wholeheartedly support the Government's signalled intention to sign up to the convention, but one needs to know what will be the consequences and how they will fall within the remit of the Bill.

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Page 22 paragraph 3 of the Government's consultation paper stated:

    "When taken together, the purposes at paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 of the schedule of the draft Bill"—

now amended by the Government to become Clause 5(1)—

    "will allow the Secretary of State to make export control orders to establish a regime which would enable him to identify and control the export of goods of significance to the culture of the United Kingdom and Europe".

It continued:

    "If, as announced, the United Kingdom Government accedes to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of cultural property, the purposes would allow the Secretary of State to implement measures in relation to export control which may contribute to giving it effect in United Kingdom law."

That consultation paper was published on 20th March 2001. Shortly before that, on 14th March, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport issued a press release saying that the United Kingdom's signing of the 1970 UNESCO convention was welcomed by the then Minister for the Arts, Mr Alan Howarth, as an important step in tackling the illicit trade in art and antiquities.

The Committee will no doubt be aware that the convention gives members who are signatory to it the right to recover stolen antiquities—primarily ancient and religious artefacts—which turn up across the globe in the countries of fellow signatories. But what has happened since the press release? Not much it would seem, and yet there is reference in the Bill to international obligations and, prior to the Bill, the Government made it clear that the UNESCO convention was certainly part and parcel of what should come within its remit.

Is the Minister aware of a Written Question on this subject, which was tabled by my noble friend Lord Renfrew, who is in his place, and answered by the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone? My noble friend asked the Government,

    "When they expect to complete the procedures for the ratification by the United Kingdom of the 1970 UNESCO Convention".—[Official Report, 28/1/02; col. WA 18.]

The noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, answered by referring to Mr Howarth's promise of 10 months previously and simply said that she hoped to be able to make a further announcement shortly.

Can the Minister tell the House what progress has been made with the consequences of our accession to the UNESCO convention, if we have acceded to it? Which parts of the convention are relevant to the operation of the controls in the Bill? What other international obligations could fall under the restrictions of the Bill? I beg to move.

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