§ Mr. George Cunningham
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement about measures taken before the grant of export licences for works of art or items of historical national interest to ensure that all potentially interested institutions are notified at the earliest possible moment and to give them every opportunity of making representations or appealing for funds.
§ Mr. Hugh Jenkins
The position is that if on the recommendations of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art it is decided to withhold an export licence for an item of national importance for a period, to enable a public collection to make an offer to purchase it, the Expert Adviser to the Department of Trade notifies those public collections which he considers likely to be interested.
I am happy to tell my hon. Friend that I have decided that in future these arrangements will be supplemented by a brief announcement to the Press giving the name of the object, the period during which an offer to purchase can be made and the person who should be contacted by collections wishing to make such an offer.