asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to ensure that the annual reports of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art include in all cases the names of the owners of items in relation to which applications for export licences were referred to the reviewing committee.
I am replying as matters relating to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art are my responsibility. I do not consider that it would be desirable to invite the committee to give the names of owners in all cases. Information is supplied in confidence on a commercial basis, and should only be given with the owner's consent. In many cases this consent is given; in others the owner may wish to remain anonymous for various reasons, including security.