|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: In Committee on 7th February I declared an interest at cols. 761 to 762 of Hansard in relation to the art market and I shall not repeat it. I support my noble friend on the Front Bench and the observations that my noble friend Lord Renfrew has just made. His qualifications for speaking are far greater than mine. However, I should declare an interest as a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. My noble friend Lord Renfrew alluded to the drafting issues to which the Minister may allude in responding to the debate.
I say light-heartedly with regard to that longstanding definition of prehistory as being a combination of Sir Rider Haggard's She and Sir Leonard Woolley's Excavations at Ur, that there are distinctions in these matters. There is something to be said for the definition being larger rather than smaller. I well remember in the works of the late Douglas Woodruff an account of entering a cathedral on the Continent. In the treasury where reliquaries were held, he was offered the opportunity to see both the skull of the infant Samuel and the skull of Samuel as an old man. Both those objects would have been of historic and scientific interest if they were side by side. Therefore, it seems to me no bad thing that our extension should be broadened.
My noble friend Lord Renfrew referred to Peru. For 20 years I was the trustee of the Cusichaca Trust and chairman for most of that period. That trust was set up to explore a particular archaeological site on the Cuzco/Machupicchu railway at Cusichaca. It was a distinguished dig which lasted several years. In the process we completely restored the Inca canals. It was in the process of restoring the Inca canals that we discovered that a valley which had sustained 1,800 people in the time of the Incas had sustained less than a quarter of that number in the previous century. That took us as a trust into the areas of developmental activity and ecology. I totally support what my noble friend has just said. Setting up a museum for the finds which we discovered in terms of the original archaeological work was a part of the development work we subsequently carried out. As regards sustainability, I very much support the identification of archaeology as a separate issue. I certainly endorse everything my noble friend said about the illicit trade and, as I said earlier, I am delighted to support both my noble friends.
Lord Davies of Oldham: There are times when one cannot help but envy the experience that is brought to bear in the Chamber. My envy on this occasion is directed at the noble Lord, Lord Brooke. I have long wished to visit Machupicchu. To hear that he had the opportunity to take part in such an exercise fills me with great envy. I congratulate him on the work that he carried out and on the lessons he drew from that.
Lest I be cast as some kind of Philistine without interest in archaeology, I hasten to say that I do not present the following arguments in the hope that the noble Baroness will withdraw her amendment. I have nothing but total admiration for the value of archaeology and the work of archaeologists. For a short while my daughter carried out some archaeological work. I have never known her to be more fulfilled and happy than when she did that.
The issue that we are debating is whether it is helpful to define "archaeology" within the framework of the Bill and include it in the clause that we are discussing. The Government resist that suggestion as we have sought to include as wide a definition as possible of goods, artefacts and scientific dimensions. As regards creating a list, the danger is that none of us can foresee a particular category into which some commodity in the future might not fit and therefore would not fall within the parameters of the legislation. We sought to draft the Bill in the widest possible way so as not to run the risk of inadvertently excluding any category.
If the noble Baroness's amendment were accepted, it might have the unfortunate consequence of narrowing by implication what is at present a wide definition which is deliberately designed to be so. If certain categories of objects are not specifically referred to, queries might be raised as to whether they are therefore excluded from the definition. For example, as there is no express reference to artistic objects it may be argued that such items are excluded from the definition. The danger is that we would embark on the slippery slope of having to provide an all-encompassing definition comprising an extensive list which still falls short of the protection that Members on all sides of the Committee seek to achieve for the objects that we are discussing.
The noble Lord, Lord Renfrew, referred to the illicit trade in such goods. The Bill allows for the Secretary of State to impose export controls to give effect to any international obligations, which will include the UNESCO convention of 1970, when the Government have completed accession. As I sought to express in our discussion on an earlier amendment, we expect that to take place very soon. As the noble Lord knows, that convention is very much aimed at stemming the trade in any cultural objects that are on the market illicitly.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: I am grateful to the Minister for his response. However, I should like, first, to thank all those who have supported my amendment. I have in mind my noble friends Lord Renfrew and Lord Brooke and also the noble Lord, Lord Redesdale, all of whom have far greater experience and expertise in archaeology than I, even though my first-ever prize at school was a book on the subject. However, I hasten to add that that was some 40 years ago.
The crumb of comfort that I can perhaps draw from the Minister's response is the fact that he pointed out that he places value upon archaeology. As the noble Lord, Lord Redesdale, said, it is a much underrated and undervalued profession and subject. I was pleased to hear noble Lords provide a little further information on the subject of archaeology to the annals of the records in this place.
I am always intrigued when the Government try to prevent us from extending a list by adding further definitions on the basis that, if one does so, then somehow it will become an exclusive rather than an inclusive list. I am sure that this is a matter to which we shall return on many an occasion and, indeed, when dealing with many a Bill. However, on this occasion I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.
The noble Baroness said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 63. Both amendments relate to the definitions clause. Amendment No. 62 is purely a drafting matter. The clause defines the phrase "a United Kingdom person", which is used in the legislation and includes,
Limited liability partnerships are, as I readily concede, bodies incorporated under the law of the United Kingdom. To that extent, I expect that the Minister will say that this amendment is unnecessary. However, I have prefaced my amendment with the words,
Limited liability companies are newly introduced into the world of commerce, where few people are aware of their existence at present. For the sake of clarity, the novelty of this type of body calls for the addition of just the 10 words that I propose. They do not in any way detract from the Bill as drafted but only strengthen and clarify it. I trust that the Government will find it possible to accept my proposal.
Amendment No. 63 is of more substance but is, nevertheless, constructive. I hope that it will close a potential loophole and thus strengthen the Bill. The legislation uses the phrase "a United Kingdom person" to define those affected by the Bill's provisions. Subsection (2) of Clause 10 covers: various categories of British citizens; British subjects; and a British protected person. However, the definition does not cover the activities of a person ordinarily resident in the United Kingdoma person who may be conducting or managing a business exporting the sort of goods and services that are governed by this legislation.
The latter is particularly important in relation to Clause 4(8), which authorises the imposition of trade controls on acts carried out outside the United Kingdom, but only if they are carried out by what the legislation calls "a United Kingdom person" or someone acting under his control. This subjection, quite rightly, eschews any attempt to obtain extra-territorial jurisdiction over foreign persons. However, there is no reason why any person normally resident in the UK should be exempt from the provisions of this legislation in relation to activities that he conducts abroad. Persons ordinarily resident in the UK are, and should be, subject to all of its laws. I beg to move.
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page