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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: My Lords, of course it makes those exceptions; my point is that all other aspects of military technology would therefore not be covered by the Bill. Consequently, as I said, an academic could transfer such information to other countries without restriction. To have that written into this Export Control Bill, which seeks to stop that kind of military information going abroad, seems to me a complete nonsense. The Liberal Democrat Party has pushed strongly to tighten up the Bill to make it tougher for this technology to go abroad. It has pushed for even tighter restrictions on technology being sent abroad to be used in the way we are discussing. For it then to say that a group of people should not be subject to that control seems to me to make a complete nonsense of the Bill and to go in two completely different directions at the same time.

Subsection (4) of the proposed amendment would also prevent the Government from implementing their proposed controls on weapons of mass destruction in full, and in particular from meeting their commitments enshrined in the European Union Joint Action on technical assistance to weapons of mass destruction programmes agreed in September 2000. A primary purpose of that joint action was to address the question of supply to weapons of mass destruction programmes by persons moving outside the EU.

I turn now to Amendment No. 4. This would prevent the Government from introducing any controls on transfers of technology within the UK where the technology transferred was intended for use outside the UK and would also prevent introduction of controls on transfers of information into the UK where the technology concerned was intended for use outside the UK. Perhaps it may be useful if I begin by explaining why these powers were included in the Bill.

Essentially these provisions are about the export of technology. I think all accept that it is right that an export licence should be required for certain technology such as blueprints and manuals which describe how to build a weapon. Again I think it is generally accepted that if you need a licence to export that technology in physical form, you should also need a licence to export it electronically. But technology—by which essentially we mean knowledge—can also in effect be exported through communications in person. An expert going overseas and drawing up a manual there or directly instructing someone is effectively exporting technology. Again I think that has been accepted as an activity which may be subject to control. But the same expert might communicate exactly the same information to the identical person while in the United Kingdom, or he might telephone that person in the UK while overseas himself. Should that be permitted simply because the location of the individuals is different when exactly the same information is communicated between the same people?

Paragraphs 2(2)(c) and 2(2)(d) of the Bill are included in order to prevent controls being avoided in this way. It is important to note that these paragraphs of the Bill do not provide a general power to control transfers of technology within the UK or from

18 Apr 2002 : Column 1125

overseas to the UK. They only allow controls to be imposed where there is reason to believe that the individual transfer in question will result in the technology concerned being used outside the UK. Moreover, like the other controls in the Bill, such controls could only be imposed if required by international obligations or European Community law in relation to military technology, or if they might lead to one of the consequences described in the schedule. Of course, if government Amendment No. 22 is accepted, it will be clear that these powers cannot be used to impose unreasonable restrictions on the publication of information or the communication of information that is already in the public domain.

We recognise that regulating these types of transfers is difficult; that is why we have made clear that the controls we introduce under these provisions in the Bill will be targeted on the areas of greatest concern: namely, weapons of mass destruction and related missile programmes. But we believe that these controls are extremely important in fighting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In fact, these proposals were strongly supported by the Quadripartite Committee in another place, which described them in its report on the draft Bill as "profoundly significant".

It is worth stopping a moment to consider what the effect of removing paragraphs 2(2)(c) and 2(2)(d) from the Bill would be in terms of our proposed controls relating to weapons of mass destruction. A UK citizen might know that he could not legally communicate technology relevant to the development of weapons of mass destruction while abroad to a particular individual because he knew of that person's links to a weapons of mass destruction programme. But he would be free to communicate the same information to that person if that person came to the UK. He might do that either in person or by communicating with the proliferator from abroad. I feel sure that the noble Baroness's intention is not to create that kind of loophole.

In conclusion, these amendments would have severe consequences for the Government's proposed controls. The controls set out in the draft dummy orders published last October on the transfer of technology for use in connection with weapons of mass destruction programmes—with which Universities UK has said it is happy—could not be introduced. Neither could our proposed controls on electronic transfers of military technology be introduced in full. The Government simply cannot accept an amendment which would create such huge loopholes in the proposed legislation. An effective export control regime inevitably involves imposing restrictions on certain activities. Although I emphasise that we anticipate the impact on the academic community of these restrictions to be minimal, we maintain strongly that they are necessary.

It is nevertheless possible to provide effective protection for freedom to publish and communicate information in the public domain on the face of the Bill, and Amendment No. 22 will do that. We believe that our amendment strikes the correct balance

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between the need to protect academic freedom and the need for an effective export control regime. I therefore invite the noble Baroness to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Miller of Hendon: My Lords, my amendment may not be perfect but it could certainly be put right at Third Reading. That would be the appropriate thing to do. The issue of academic freedom is a strong one and I have laid my wares on the table. There is no point in saying anything further. I wish to test the opinion of the House.

6.27 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 150; Not-Contents, 108.

Division No. 2


Aberdare, L.
Ackner, L.
Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Arran, E.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Barker, B.
Blatch, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Bridges, L.
Brightman, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Burns, L.
Buscombe, B.
Butler of Brockwell, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Chadlington, L.
Chan, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cooke of Thorndon, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craigavon, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Erroll, E.
Falkland, V.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Freeman, L.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hambro, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Holderness, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jacobs, L.
Jellicoe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kingsland, L.
Listowel, E.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
McNally, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
May of Oxford, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Neill of Bladen, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Palmer, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Razzall, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Rennard, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Russell, E.
Saatchi, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stern, B.
Stewartby, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tope, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vincent of Coleshill, L.
Vivian, L.
Walpole, L.
Warnock, B.
Wilberforce, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Wilson of Tillyorn, L.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Golding, B.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grocott, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Jay of Paddington, B.
Joffe, L.
Judd, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

18 Apr 2002 : Column 1128

6.37 p.m.

Baroness Miller of Hendon moved Amendment No. 4:

    Page 2, line 12, leave out paragraphs (c) and (d).

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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