HC Deb 09 April 1970 vol 799 cc737-8
30. Mr. Kenneth Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what decision Her Majesty's Government have now reached on the findings of the Inter-departmental Working Party on the Export Control of Manuscripts, Documents and Archives, following the submission of views by interested parties.

Miss Jennie Lee

The three-month period for the submission of views does not expire until mid-April. A request has been received for an extension until the end of April. Some time will then be required for consideration of the views received.

Mr. Baker

May I press the right hon. Lady that, as soon as she has received all the views, a decision should be made promptly, since not a week passes without some manuscripts or documents being exported to American universities without their even being photo-copied? It is about time that this sort of business was properly regulated.

Miss Lee

I agree that this has been neglected for far too long; it should have been put right many years ago. We are well aware of this, but it is, as the hon. Gentleman well knows, a complicated matter.