HC Deb 19 July 1979 vol 970 c799W
Mr. Faulds

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether, with reference to his replies to the hon. Member for Warley, East on 27 June and 2 July, the issuing of a licence to export a work of art for the purpose of loan abroad for public exhibition for a period exceeding six months, as distinct from sale, may, following a recommendation of the reviewing committee on the export of works of art, be withheld by him for an indefinite period, notwithstanding the fact that the object concerned is not on offer for sale and no question consequently arises of its possible purchase by a public institution in the United Kingdom.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The power to grant or withhold an export licence applies whether or not the object concerned is being offered for sale. The purpose of invoking the export control is, where necessary, to inhibit the departure from this country of items of outstanding importance to the national heritage. That aim is achieved if the owner keeps the item here as well as if he sold it to a public collection.

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