To ask the Minister for the Arts (I) whether the criteria laid out in the Waverley rules cover copies of the Grolier-bound "Hypnerotomachia" (1499) or "Aesop's Fables" (1480) currently owned by the John Rylands library, Manchester;(2) if he will seek to prevent the export of antiquarian books from British libraries.
[holding answer 29 March 1988]: Any book which has been in this country for more than 50 years and is over £16,000 in value requires an export licence. If such an application were made and referred to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art the item would be assessed against the Waverley criteria. Export licences are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.