HL Deb 30 July 1954 vol 189 cc424-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government whether their attention has been drawn to the continuing exports to the U.S.A. of historical documents and works of art of incalculable value, as for example the recent export of the correspondence of Gouverneur Morris containing letters of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, Talleyrand and others, and whether Her Majesty's Government, if they should feel themselves unable to apply more effective restrictions upon such exports, will consider whether they can take any initiative having in view the establishment of some British-American body for the joint ownership and preservation of movable possessions of priceless value to both countries.


The policy to be adopted in controlling the export of works of art and historic documents was fully considered by Her Majesty's Government in the light of the recommendations of the Committee on the Export of Works of Artet cetera under the chairmanship of the Lord Waverley, who reported in September, 1952. The present arrangements for export control are based on the Committee's recommendations: Her Majesty's Government consider them adequate to conserve our national heritage and do not consider it necessary to amend the existing procedure.